Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Two years after our house burned down, we enjoyed Thanksgiving in our new house.
We started out with an easy going lunch with snacks and sweets. Sabrina was really enjoying herself.
Cozy home.
My brother and his family came to visit for a couple of days, and the kids were in heaven.
Family shot!
So much food!
And laughs!
Hours of endless play!
Best buddies!
We had an excellent weekend and the kids can't wait to see each other again! New traditions were made, and old ones were enjoyed. Till next year!

Dining Room Spruce

Well, a sick day with a kiddo is apparently the perfect occasion for me to finally sit down and write some blog posts. Thankfully the little man is already feeling better, so I best get to it!
In preparation for us to host Thanksgiving at our house this year, I wanted to get our dining room looking up to snuff. Our set was a little outdated, but hugely functional having three leaves to extend the size of the table, and plenty of chairs.
The fabric was a little blah, the off white of the table base made it look old. Now don't get me wrong, I like old stuff, but sometimes too much old just makes it look, well, old.
Here's a closer shot of the table base.
A close up of one of the chairs. The shape is cool but that fabric did not fit in with my house.
There was also one big thing missing from our dining room: lighting. When we were getting ready to move in, we decided not to install the dining room lights until later because we didn't know exactly where the table would end up. But now it's getting darker earlier, and a little more difficult to see your food when sitting at the table.
First, I painted the table base.
Covered up the top with plastic and spray painted the rest a nice metallic bronze. Spray paint was definitely the way to go, I got it finished so fast. Saige of course was keeping me company.
Next we (my mom and I) recovered the chairs. This too us a few hours to finish, but we got all ten chairs completed and they look fabulous!
I actually did a few of these cushions completely by myself! I tend to just assist on these projects but I'm getting a little bolder here lately.
Nick also got the lights installed the same day we recovered the chairs.

The dark base of the table updates it so much, it finally feels like it belongs in our house.
The chairs turned out beautifully! I love this leopard fabric; it's not only gorgeous but very durable and easy to clean.
Lights! I love the lights, however they are not completely finished. I have some embellishments I want to do, but I'll have to get to that later.
The table all set for Thanksgiving!
So glad we got a chance to get this area looking good for the holiday. It came together quickly, and was a lot of fun to see come together. We have already enjoyed this space many times since it has been completed, and look forward to many more fun time around the family table!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

That Elusive Gingerbread Man

I love fall.

I love Thanksgiving.

I love cookies, and chocolate, and baking.

This is my favorite time of year.
The only time that I like pumpkin (and still only in a dessert). They finally put salt on my toffee nut mocha at Starbucks. The garden retires, making room in my schedule for things like baking!

This year I have made so many new things for the season; cookies, pancakes, and scones. But my favorite by far is not so much for the taste, but for the fun of it.

Gingerbread men.

Granted unless you adore molasses and ginger, this cookie isn't the most tantalizing thing you will eat. But the process of making them is so much fun, it make it taste that much better.

I thought it would be a fun experience for the kids to make the gingerbread men, and we ended up inviting friends and family to play along with us!

Jessie helping everyone get dough rolled out.
We did things a little different than most; we decorated the gingerbread men before baking them instead of after. And instead of using icing, we used things like m&ms, chocolate chips, pecans and caramel bits. This made it easier for my kids to decorate, since they are too young to use a piping bag. We also had different cutters like leaves and acorns.
Gracie and I look like we're concentrating.
Lechelle tirelessly helped Sabrina decorate many gingerbread men. They both were covered in flour when she was finished.
She did most of the decorating herself, mostly with green m&ms.
This picture was taken after Sabrina accidently got her elbow in Ryder's gingerbread man. He wasn't thrilled.
Gracie and Ava came up with lots of creative ideas. Here Gracie made a larger leaf out of several smaller leaves.
This was Sabrina's greatest creation.
This was Ryder's favorite. It is Iron Man, and the dough on the face is a mask. There is, in fact, m&m eyes underneath the "mask."
Ryder's face when he finished his Iron Man gingerbread man.
Everyone got to make all that they wanted, and we ended up with quite a variety of gingerbread men! When we were all finished, we enjoyed hot chocolate with our fresh baked cookies.
This was such a fun activity, and it was nice that it was so kid friendly; even my two year old could do it! I believe we have started a new tradition for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sewing Desk Update

Whew it's been a busy time lately. Lots of projects, and I've been gradually completing each one. Recently I worked on a desk that I made my sewing desk.
Very plain. Very, in need of some life.
Lots of storage!
A little rough, but not impossible to work with.
First, we prime. Already it looks better.
Smooth, and well, white.
Time to punch it up.
Some yellow, maybe?
This took a lot more work than I thought it would, but it turned out really great.

Works perfectly for my sewing machine!!
The only thing was, I wasn't happy with the knobs. I got these knobs from my local thrift shop, and decided I needed to jazz them up a bit.
First, we prime.
Then we paint.
Red! I like it already! But it needs something else...
Buttons! I picked out colors that match the room, in various tones and sizes.
A little hot glue and...
You've got some cool new knobs!
Love the way it looks! Adds a lot more interest.
I love my new sewing desk! It's so nice to have a place to get some projects done! I've already made a dress for Sabrina. More to come!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Takin' It Easy In Pigeon Forge

We just returned from a wonderful, long trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We've been up in those parts before, but we got to enjoy different aspects of it this time since our kids were older and able to do more stuff.
We enjoyed our trip up by taking a slightly leisurely pace and checking some things out along the way.
Of course, we had to stop at Bass Pro shop. The kids had a blast looking at all the animals, especially the fish.
Ryder posing for me.
We spent two nights in Birmingham, Alabama. We hit a few spots, including the Railroad Park. The kids had fun playing on the playground. (Nick did too.)
Awesome spider web jungle gym. It's so cool because it's hard for them to fall far.
See sawing. It's funny because neither one of them could touch the ground.
Relaxing with my baby.
Taking a walk.
They had more fun playing on these hills than at the playground.
We visited the Southern Museum of Flight. There were lots of historical machines and displays.
They had a couple of planes they were actually allowed to get inside of. The even had some moving parts on it.
They had a lot of machines, including this humongous helicopter.
Oh, just hangin' in the Air Force jet.
They had an excellent toy room as well. I've never seen so many aviation related toys.
Ryder was right at home.
The kids having fun together in the hotel room. Yeah, I think they like each other.

The hotel we stayed in had an indoor heated pool. Here Ryder is enjoying the hot tub with Pops.
After our stay in Birmingham, we continued on to Pigeon Forge. I forgot our camera battery charger, so we didn't start taking pictures again until part way through our trip, when we borrowed my parents' camera.
The whole family went to the Ripley's Aquarium. I highly recommend this place; it's one of the best aquariums. Here Lorelei was giving me a sweet smile.
Lorelei and Sabrina decided to be twins that day.
Ryder and Liam were fascinated by the hanging fossils.
There's no doubt about it, kids love to see fish.
They had a cool play area for the kids. Liam, as ballsy as ever, was completely unafraid of what could possibly be inside of that barrel.
This little penguin was so active and happy to see everybody.
In many areas, there were tubes that allowed you to go up inside the aquarium. These are typically built for kids, but Pops had to try it out. Lorelei insisted. It was a wonderful afternoon.
Just the girls hangin' out. Lorelei shared her dress up shoes with Sabrina, who discovered a love of heels.
Daddy dancing with his little princess. It's a rough picture but I couldn't help but share it.
Lorelei was singing "Let It Go" for us.
The Flynn family tradition: breakfast at Ihop. What a beautiful family.
Momma and her kiddos.
Daddy and his minions.
Cool covered bridge near where we stayed.
Bubble Time!
Ryder probably had the best Feast of all of us. He got to do so much that he's never done before, and loved it all! They have these roller coasters called Alpine Slides that he just couldn't get enough of. I believe he went on them 5 different times. It helps that he has willing enablers, specifically Daddy and Pops.
One of the places you can ride the coaster is called "Goats On The Roof" and they literally have goats on the roof. You can feed them and everything.
One day we went to an age appropriate amusement park for the kids. They had the best time and rode everything they would ever want to ride.
My dynamic duo.
Ryder got to ride on the go karts. The look on his face says it all. Lorelei and Jake got to ride too.
They were having a lot more fun than they look like they were in this picture. Everybody got to ride Thomas the Train.
Sabrina loves horses, and this one was no exception. Everyone went home tired and happy. Sort of.
Had to include this picture of Sabrina's bohemian twist hairstyle. I barely caught it on camera before she pulled it out.
We had an easy going Feast of Tabernacles, with lots of quality time spent with family.
On our way home, we continued our leisurely pace.
We stopped at Tannehill Ironworks State Park in Alabama for lunch. The kids got to get some energy out on the playground and walking trails.
Double slide!
The park had all these historical cabins and buildings, including this old mill.
It was built by this really cool creek.
We love water wheels. Nick wants to build one at our place just for fun.
It all starts with this neat lookin' dam.
The water flows down this trough to the water wheel.
Except not really because needless to say, there's some leakage happening.
We made it home the next day, weary from travel and ready to be home in our own beds.
We had a blessed trip, full of special moments and fun times.
Looking forward to seeing everyone again!