Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding...

I love a good love story, and especially a well publicized one. I love to look at the photos of the couple, read articles about them and anticipate the announcement of the engagement and then their wedding. As you can imagine, I have followed Prince William since I was a teen. I used to imagine myself marrying him! I would dream about attending the same college as Prince William, he would see my across campus and know that I was the one he wanted to marry. ( A girl can dream, right?) Thankfully, I have married my own Prince Charming and am so thankful that God knows the desires of my heart and what man is the perfect fit for me. I also have a special place in my heart for England. My Junior year of college, or uni/university as the Brits call it, I studied abroad in England at Lincoln University. I had the most amazing time. I made the sweetest friends, awesome memories and was able to travel around England and Europe. So in honor of the Royal Wedding and England I decided to have a tea party with my day care kiddos.

The more you read my blog, the more you will learn that I fly by the seat of my pants. Nothing is ever too planned out and my ideas almost always come last minute. Wednesday at the end of the day I decided that we would have a tea party. Thursday after work the boys and I made the rounds around town to get all of our supplies for our party---tiaras, ring, jewelry, scones,Tetley tea, finger sandwich supplies, fresh fruit, veggies, cream, etc. (I also had emailed my English friends to find out what takes place at a proper English tea party.)

Friday morning rolls around and I'm in party planning mode--I'm in the zone, or like my dad would tell us, "Focus like a lazer beam!" I have my list of "to do's" and start to prioritize in my mind. I can't start anything until I have made my Caribou run. Nothing really seems officially until I have my Northern Lite Latte in hand. When we get back, I have the kids all sit around the island so that we can watch the Royal Wedding together. Of course I have TiVo'd everything. As we watched, I was multi-tasking preparing food, decorating tables, curling & spiking the kid's hair, helping with wardrobe changes (the kids were instructed to wear fancy clothes), breaking up fights, kissing owes, you name it!

I couldn't wait to see what Kate's dress was going to look like and to see how she wore her hair and make-up. She reminds me of a modern day Jackie Onassis. She appears to be poised, sophisticated, genuine, great fashion sense & a natural beauty. I found myself putting myself in her shoes. Could you imagine going into the church and coming out royalty? I also couldn't help think of William and how sad it would be not to have your mother there. As I watched the ceremony, my eyes started to burn and tears started to swell up. The wedding was so magical & magnificent. I was overwhelmed for them. Thousands of people in the church and tens of thousands of people on the street. I also was thinking of my relationship with Jesus. I am a Princess of the Most High, the King of Kings & Lord of Lords; the only Kingdom that really matters. I was compelled to let my little munchkins know that they are princes and princesses of Jesus. I pray that one day they will grasp the concept and feel and know how much our KING loves them!

Our tea party began once Zella got home from pre-school. My mother-in-law, Mary, stopped over to check out the party. (She loves tea parties!) We took pictures of the kiddos, the food and the table setting. The kids sat around the table and were able to eat on my good china. I served each one a plate of finger foods and poured them each a cup of Tetley tea with milk and sugar. We explained to them that tea parities are fancy events so good manners are a must! We even showed them how to drink tea with their pinky's up! It was a fun party and I was exhausted afterward! Writing this blog post is my unwinding time. Now I must tend to my domestic duties and get my home back in order!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photos of new furniture and paint

Please forgive me for the way the pictures are facing, I'm still learning how to post photos, but haven't figured out the layout part. So the photos below are the beginning of stage of our living room make-over. Being the beginner blogger that I am, I of course forgot to take before photos. I will post more as progress is made! (The walls used to be a beige color.)

Chocolate Brown wall, with IKEA table and baskets. The wall will soon have a photo collage. I need to make another IKEA run.

Off White curtains that now hang just below the ceiling and a more modern curtain rod. (Curtains used to be teal and hung parallel to the window frame.)

My chase lounge! This is what sealed the deal. The pillows will be recovered soon. I want something a little more cheery and bright.

The couch. I also bought the mustard pillow from Target. I just loved the texture, color and design. It's going to be my little pop of color. The shag rug is also new. I've really enjoyed how soft and fluffy it is. It gives me a sense of comfort if/when the kiddos go crashing down.

So what's left to do? The bench, end table, lamp & pictures, lots and lots of pictures. Also, our kitchen table chairs are being reupholstered by my parents. I can't wait to get those back on Thursday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Orange Glow...

This past Friday I decided to try out my new sunless tanning lotion, Extreme Glow by Jergens. My sister, Kourtney, uses it and I was really impressed with how tan she looks. Friday morning I applied the first coat and it turned out great. No streaks, nice and even so I decided to apply another coat just before bed. I was hoping to look nice and tan for Easter. My hubby had left in the morning to go turkey hunting so it was just the boys and me. I spent the evening doing laundry and cleaning. It was close to midnight when I applied the second coat and to be honest, I was feeling knackered and just wanted to go to bed. (This is the first and only problem) I decided not to wash my hands. So many times I apply the product and wash my hands and in the morning I have tan arms and white hands. To me it looks likes I'm wearing gloves.I tried really hard to rub the lotion in evenly and make sure I covered all areas of my hand. Feeling satisfied with my effort I went to bed.

Morning rolled around, like it does every day, and I checked out my work in the bathroom mirror.I was admiring how nice my arms, face, chest and legs looked not really paying any attention to my hands. I go on with my morning routine--feed the boys, baths, get the boys dressed, pick up their rooms and then it was my turn to get ready. As I go into the bathroom to do my hair and make-up, I turned on the light this time! (This is the part where I freak out) Now I really saw my hands, THEY ARE ORANGE!! The back sides are bright orange and the tops of my hands are streaky, or so very streaky! They are streaky and orange enough that I started to panic and try to find a shirt with long enough sleeves to cover them up. I then turned to the Internet to Google, "how to take off sunless tanner?" The various websites said to try lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and there are special lotions that can help ease the ornateness. I tried all of the above with no luck.

I had to stop freaking out and just deal with my mishap, I was supposed to be to Caribou soon to meet the ladies for coffee. Thankfully, I don't take myself too seriously so I decided to just laugh it off. There is no hiding of the "Orange Glow." The rest of the weekend my hands turned into comic relief. When situations got to serious all I had to do was flash my hands and it bright smiles to people's faces. I tried to beat people to noticing my hands and just laid it on the table. Sooner or later they were going to notice. Because of this situation it made me realize how much I use my hands and how obvious selftanner disasters are! So please, learn from my mistakes. I have also concluded that the "glove" look is way more unnoticeable then the streaky, orange look. If anyone has any tips for me to help remove selfless tanner, let me know! Although it's Monday, my hands are still streaky looking on certain fingers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A first for everything...

Last Thursday Josh and I did something we had never done before. Ready? Brace yourself, it's a huge milestone in a married couple's life! We bought a couch set! We have been blessed to have had about 80% of the furniture in our home donated to us, but it was time to pass down the wicker set. We heard that Ron's Warehouse had bought out a furniture store closing and was having a huge sale. (Isn't every sale the best sale of the year?)

Josh & I (my Mom & Logan came along for moral support too) put on our game faces and were ready to take on the masses. When we pulled up to the store it looked like it was Black Friday shopping. There were lots of little ole ladies, and of course some younger ones too, ready to find the best deal of their lives. The masses hurried through the doors to claim their "prize." Josh picked out the couch set. When I first saw it I wasn't very impressed, I actually told him, "absolutely not." For one thing, I like straight lines, not curvy ones, I was not a fan of the throw pillows that came with and I really wanted something where I could put my feet up. However, the chair that went with the set was behind the couch. (This is the part where I fall in love) I climbed around and saw the beloved chase lounge chair. I had dreamt about owning one of these. I love the style of it, I've longed to read books in something so chic, but yet functional and I think it adds a little pazazzle to a room. We told the worker, "We'll take it!"

As my darling husband pays for our new purchase and loads it into our truck, my mind heads straight into decorating mode. I felt like I was a hamster in a wheel, exhausted from thinking of all of the possibilities. I called two girlfriends to come over for brainstorming sessions, checked out a few websites and was ready to present my ideas to Josh. (I actually had one of my friends do it.) He was on board with everything; I couldn't believe it!

Here is the "to do" list: Paint accent wall a robin's egg blue with a dash of turquoise and the wall when you first walk in the door chocolate brown. Purchase a bench to put under the window for additional seating and storage, purchase an end table and a lamp with some sort of chandelier look, recover the bench & throw pillows, purchase off- white curtains (95in long) and a new curtain rod. Blow up pictures and frame them for above the couch in off-white and do a frame collage on the chocolate brown wall.

Of course I wanted everything completed by Sunday night, but that isn't realistic. Josh had to bring me back to reality and remind me that we need to stay within our budget. This weekend Josh painted both walls, hung the new curtain rod and curtains and we found a new rug and fabric. Shopping in Alexandria was a little disappointing with the selection of home goods. I like to shop local and think it's important to support local businesses, but they better up the ante. I'm excited to make an IKEA run to purchase my frames and check out Home Goods for a possible new lamp and end table.

I can't wait for the room to be completed. It is rewarding to see the fruits of our labor and to see the end result. I should have done a better job of documenting our changes, but I was in checking off my list mode.

Until next time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 Little Monkey's...

I promised an up-date on my latest parenting strategies so here it is...
I decided not to change nap time to room time, I thought it might confuse the kids and I didn't want to give them the wrong impression. The first day I tried this I had three little peanuts that thought it would be fun to do chores. After putting the kiddos down for nap and telling them their two choices--1) take a nap or 2) if I can hear you then they would have to do chores. As soon as I was upstairs and turned the monitor on I could hear giggling and talking going on. I head back downstairs to find my culprits---I had a good idea who they where. I reminded them that since I could hear them they were choosing to do chores. They were excited. I had the two little honey's wipe down a bag of blocks, separately and that there couldn't be any talking. Of course that didn't go over very well. After they were finished they were excited to go back down to nap. Again, once I got back upstairs I could hear them talking again. So I repeated the process again, except this time one dusted and the other wiped down the bathroom floor. After of an hour of doing chores each one asked at a different time if they could take a nap. One sweetie woke up about 45 minutes into nap time and didn't want to go back to sleep so he choose to do chores. His mom, later told me that he was excited to come back to my house the next day to do chores.

The next AM when one of the kiddos that did chores got dropped off his dad told me that he said that he didn't want to do chores at my house. The next nap day was awesome! Everyone went right down. However, day three I had some little monkey's that decided to jump on their beds, so I let them jump on the floor! They jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped and jumped some more. Some of the kiddos started to get mad and said that they wanted to go to a different daycare, somewhere where they could excel! (I was laughing so hard) This is when you use your coasting responses so you don't get sucked into their little pity party---Probably, Maybe, Sorry, That could be, Nice Try, I don't Know. Once cheeks were pink and the majority of them appeared tired I had them lay back down and take their naps. I reminded them that if I could hear them they would get to jump again or do chores. They slept for 2.5-3 hours that day!

I have come to the conclusion that jumping in place for a few minutes is a much better option then doing chores. Chores can take some time to complete and doesn't always wear the child out, but jumping in place does the trick in just a fraction of the time. Also, my littlest ones love to help and some of my older girls really do love to clean. Speaking of that, I implemented another rule that if the kids don't hang their jackets up then they will have to either buy them back from me or work it off. Two of my girls thought it would be fun to do chores so they purposely left their coats on the floor. I had one clean a vent with a toothbrush and one wipe down a huge basket of toys. So far they haven't left their coats on the floor again, so I don't know how fun it really was to clean. Don't worry, if the child is too little to hang their coat up all the have to do is ask for help!

I attended a parenting conference this morning called, "Raising Truly Great Kids" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. He echoes a lot of the same principals that Danny Silk does in his book, "Loving Our Children On Purpose." It's so fun to be learning so much! I can't wait until these principals are written on my heart and that I don't have to think twice about it. Check out for some great parenting resources!