Friday, September 30, 2011

Picture Perfect



Amy McDaniel did it again. She was able to take three uncooperative children and make them smile and appear calm and serene all at the same time!



I was so thrilled with the way these came out. With the kids being five, two and a half and six months, it seemed like the perfect time to have their pictures made by a pro.

Oh, those eyes...



This one is just so Annie. Plus, I just adore that little Superman curl.





Getting some hugs from Grandmama. Annie was actually not feeling well the day of the shoot. I love that this picture captured Annie's "sleepy face" complete with thumb.




I love this one of my boys. Dusty hadn't planned on getting in the shot, but Charlie wasn't happy (post head bonk) unless Daddy was holding him. Dusty doesn't like his eye tooth in it, but I think they both look so very handsome :)



Look how grown-up she looks!



And finally, my favorite.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...



Perfection.

Thank you, Amy! Beautiful pictures of my lovies make me one happy Mama! I will cherish them.

Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snaps of Lately

Busy bees are we. Life has been the good kind of crazy these days. Here is what we've been up to...

Taylor and Phoenix came to visit for a few days last week! What a treat.



Charlie was so happy to have another little man around the house to play with.



Annie was smitten with him as well.



Charlie didn't want him to leave!



I made these margarita cupcakes...



...and took them to spend a fun evening out with these girls!



Our deck's makeover is now complete and we've enjoyed spending more time out there.






Benjamin Moore's Natural Cedarstone stain works wonders!

I've also been clicking away doing homework for my photography class...





This class has challenged me, but I'm loving it and I'm (hopefully) learning a lot!

And I just had to add in another shot of my little puppy chowing down. He had his first ear infection last week, but it really didn't slow down his appetite. Good boy!



We just got back from the beach last night, so I'll be back with pictures of our sunny days on the Gulf and the exciting surprise we found out while we were there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten 2.0

Whew! It's been a crazy couple of weeks. It has been full of good stuff, just not a lot of down time. Back now with a full camera and a memory that will fade if I don't get this all down.



Libby is now an official Kindergartner! We are all adjusting to this new routine. I am so happy for her but I also miss her each morning. She has done great, but we did have a little bump in the road the very first day...



We all got up early last Monday morning. We made the special first day of school breakfast. Clothes had been laid out, the right hair bow selected, brand new Keds sat by the back door.

The official first day of school picture!



We had talked this day up big time! I figured I had thought of everything.



As we drove up to the school, I noticed there were no other parents walking in or out. Darn, was she was late on the first day? Dusty stayed in the car with the little ones and I walked her towards the front door. A teacher saw us and asked, "Are you here for Open House?".

What?

Since we had registered Libby late, in all the last minute planning, I had missed one very important detail.

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL WAS THE NEXT DAY.

As I explained to Libby that today we would just be touring her classroom and meeting her classmates, tears welled up in her eyes. This was her big moment and now I was telling her she was going to have to wait another day.

The day was totally saved when we walked into her new school as a family that morning for Open House. Three large colorful rooms buzzing with excited kids, sweet teachers and so many fun things to look at! It made me want to go back to Kindergarten too!

Meeting new friends...



A dress-up corner! Perfect.







Class pet hamster, Harry!



Of course, we had to try out the playground...





We enjoyed Open House and decided it was a great "dress rehearsal" for the main event Tuesday. At least that's what Dusty and I told ourselves!

So, we got up the next morning and did it all over again with just as much pomp and circumstance.

Here is her second "first day" shot! :)



She went right into the classroom and actually told me it was ok for me to leave. And that was it. Sniff sniff.

I'm so proud of my big girl. I can't believe that this year is here. Libby is enjoying her new school and friends and better yet, we have been able to point out to her our answered prayers concerning Kindergarten. The Lord truly cares about even the smallest details!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game Day

The Tigers (just barely) defeated Mississippi State yesterday! War Eagle! A friend reminded me that Libby once asked where 'Mr. Skippy State' was. :) Dusty had a much deserved "guy day" planned: football game, tailgating and grilling steak. He was so excited. Because our little town shuts down for home games, and with Daddy away for the day, the kids and I decided to stay home all day. We stayed in jammies for half the day and genuinely enjoyed having no where to go!

So, Charlie's little sit-up lesson the other day must have worked, because...ta-dah!



I totally think that he's been able to sit up for a while, but I have just haven't given him the chance. I guess I was always worried that one of the girls would come by and knock him over. I love this expression. He seems to be saying, "See, Mom? I've got this."



Big boy!



With the perfect weather, the kids have finally been able to enjoy their playground. The novelty has not run out on this since it has been such a hot summer.







We came in to have a picnic inside while we watched the game on TV. I made them sit on a blanket over a plastic paint drop cloth.





We watched a little Wizard of Oz, Annie and Charlie took a nap, I perused Pinterest, watered our flowers, we read ALL of our library books, and I loved overhearing the girls play school/orphanage/office upstairs. A nice afternoon.

Then they were swing-set bound again (this time in costume, of course).




A trip to the mailbox was especially exciting when Libby received this postcard from her teachers...



And Mommy always loves to find these waiting for her. While they played, I dog-eared pages of delicious roasted squash recipes...



...while little man tried out his new chew toys...



I finally got to record Annie singing the anthem of her summer. She's been singing it for months, but would never do it for the camera.



Love that girl. I hope she keeps that lisp for a while.

Dusty had a great time at the game and with all the boys. He is always intentional and gracious to make sure I get time to myself or to make plans with friends, so he was due for a day off himself! So thankful for this cooler weather so that we can get outside without breaking a sweat!

It's Kindergarten Eve, so off to bed I go! I have butterflies tonight, almost as if it's my first day of school. Praying for my big girl and for this new stage for our family. I'll be back soon with the traditional first day of school pictures...and details on whether or not I cried openly in front of her whole class!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some Sewing and Such

I had made a mental list of things to blog about this week, and every time I sat down to do it, someone was asking me to refill their sippy cup, or braid a baby doll's hair, or find a missing Croc. All duties I should probably perform without grumbling, but now I've kind of forgotten all my semi-clever musings and will share about some projects we've been up to and other happenings...

Last weekend I finished my "kinda sorta Roman shade" for the bonus room.



Here it is hanging between two chairs in my dining room and before I inserted the dowel rod in the bottom for support. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it!

When I went to Home Depot to get the dowel, I was astonished to find this little table in the middle of the trim and molding aisle...




What?!? They trust regular ole' people to hack away at wood trim in the middle of the store? Unsupervised? Look how close my baby was to that hand saw!

I was not confident in my carpentry skills and asked for assistance. I was not about to lop off a digit in front of the kids. Does anyone else find this Molding Cutting Center just a little bit scary?!?

Anyway, I got the shade hung and then started on some pillows for the two club chairs to break up the beige-on-beige-on-beige color scheme I've got going on up there. Thanks to a super simple YouTube tutorial I was able to make two envelope pillow covers.



I love any sewing project that only requires straight lines, so this was a good one!

I then got a wild hair and decided to try and make matching basket liners out of the scraps for the toy bins.



I am not going to allow my talented sewing friend to inspect this one too closely, but I just attached a band of fabric to the existing canvas liner that came in the basket. This way the print can show on the outside and it meant I didn't have to buy tons of fabric. One down, six more to go!

And speaking of improvements, I have to share a picture of our deck...



Our wonderful neighbor graciously cleaned our deck for us this week. This picture was taken halfway through. Isn't that amazing? We did not stain or seal our deck after we moved in two years ago (mainly because we are clueless when it comes to exterior home maintenance), and it had fallen prey to black mold and fading. I didn't think we would ever to be able to salvage it, but voila! We are so blessed to have this sweet couple up the street. Not only do they babysit our littles from time to time, they love projects like this. If it stays dry this week, he is coming back to help Dusty stain it. Great neighbors are a gift!

Dusty has been traveling a bunch lately and the girls have missed him more than usual. Libby begged Daddy to pack her along for his trip!



I'm grateful for his job and that it allows me to have mine, but we miss him when he is away. Three on one is tough! Glad there won't be that many more trips for him this year!

In unrelated news, we've been having a time lately with sleep and the girls. As in, not getting enough of it. Tears at bedtime. Staying up giggling and talking. Annie climbing into Libby's bed EVERY night. Getting up while it is still dark. You name it. And it's no wonder that they are waking up grouchy...could you sleep like this?



...and guess who starts Kindergarten on Monday!



We are all getting excited for little Lib. I think after all this wait, she is even more ready to begin her school year!

And lastly, Charlie is seven months old today! He's such a lazy little thing. We held a "sit up school" today on the living room floor. It's high time he start to spend more time vertical!



Happy weekend!