Friday, December 30, 2011

Gettin Crafty after Christmas!

We stopped by Eric's cousin Kari Dru's AWESOME store in Emporia, Kansas, on our way home from Christmas celebrations with my fam. Whoa!

Studio 11 is the name, and it's like Etsy in person! It was like being surrounded by goodies and num-nums that all were calling my name. Kari and her business partner are both artists in their own right, then also consign other handmade items by local artisans, creating quite the funky boutique.

Zane boy fell in love with the monster me great inspiration to use up some of my fabric stash! So wah-lah! Here's the very funky monster for a very happy boy.

He likes the cape the best cuz his monster can "fly like this...ssshhhhooooo!" Kai also jumped on the bandwagon and is almost finished...just needs to finish stuffing and add the antennae eyeballs.

Food-wise, I didn't get crazy with the gingerbread this year. I only got wild enough to make little Christmas mice candies at Jodi's (from Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade magazine--no recipe on her site though). They were, frankly, a pain in the neck. But they did get easier as I went along...and looked better :) Plus, they all tasted yummy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Peacock blue, I love you!

As we come up for air after our months of remodeling our kitchen, I find it's good to have a sister who surfs around and finds fun hair things to try!!! Today was the first Saturday in a looong time with no mile-long checklist to complete. Well, of course there is still more to do...but nothing pressing like a plywood window and snow in the forecast or anything. Soon, there will be a whole before/after post...but moving on...

So! Jo posts some totally fab pix of her latest dos along with links to the tutorials on You Tube this morning. Lucky me, we had a party to attend tonight so seemed like the perfect opp to try one out!

Step 1: Curl that hair, girl. You need ringlets from tip to tail. Hot rollers may not be the best mode, but they're quick and what I got!

(please note Pitt State shirt...Woot! Nat'l Champions as of today!!!)

Step 2: Feel like a retro movie star with your drop-dead ringlets. Or feel like a almost hot momma...really should have worn a bra today. Swoop those bad boys over into a low side pony, leaving just a small section out on the far side. Twist and twirl sections of the pony up and pin to make a giant swirly bun. Whaat?!! That doesn't make sense?? Come on... Okay, I posted the link to the very excellently done You Tube video below so you can see it happen step by step.

Step 4: Adorn with some kind of fabulous hair ornament...for me I chose my Grandma's peacock feathers...from her own real peacocks! Who knows how old the feathers are...50 yrs??? Regardless, they are fantastic!

Step 6: Go to a party with your friends and talk about hair, among other things. Because it's what girls do. (Carrie...I cropped most of your, eh, interesting look, out for ya!).

Step 7: Come home and try to take pictures of your very cool hairdo by yourself. Struggle, really, because who can aim, shoot and smile backwards in the mirror?? At least on the first try? Not I said the fly. And note the husband just standing idly by. So helpful. All he said was "I hope your hair was worth it." (Being late to the party, that is). Well, of course, silly!

Here is the link to Lilith Moon's instructional video. So wonderful and she's cute as can be! Thanks hair girl!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shiny New Toys

Our kitchen facelift is slowly moving along amongst all the rest of life. When the heating element went out in the oven about 8 weeks ago, we decided to go ahead with appliances before finishing the cabinets/countertops/backsplash. Yay. So now I need to decide if I'm going to tell you my embarrassing story about appliance shopping. Hmmm...well, of course I am...then it makes it less embarrassing and more just funny.

So I'm really excited to change from a nasty old coil stove to a gas range! I've never cooked on gas before, but that's okay, it's going to be great. From all the pulling out and cleaning behind over the years, I remembered that although our current stove is electric, we have a gas line there ready to be hooked up. Enter hours on Garden Web parusing their appliance forum. Then enter reality and realize I'm not willing to spend $4000 on the stoves they recommend. So the weekend before soccer gets going I dedicate to shopping the boxes: Lowes, Home Depot, and Sears. Sears has the best deals and after much hemming and hawing (and calling all my close friends for their opinions) I make the purchase, have them load it up in the mini and off we go!

Eric slides out the old range and then I hear the holler: "RESA!!! So where's this gas line, Miss "I clean behind the stove so often"?" Uummm...I stare at the single electric cord and massive amount of crumbs...oohhhhh, yeahhhh....shoot!!! That gas line? It was behind the electric DRYER that I had to constantly fish things out from behind in the old laundry room! Sorry hun. Then I got to call Sears: "Um, I'm the lady that's been in three times today and just bought the gas range, um, uh, I need to bring it back because I don't really have a gas line, and, um, uh, will you all please laugh at me now BEFORE I show up?" Sigh. So no gas range for Resa. There could be worse things in this world.

Fast forward another month and wah-lah! I have gone to the mega-box store, Nebraska Furniture Mart, spent 1.5 hours (by myself) and picked out three deliciously new, completely average, midrange appliances. All by GE, all stainless or stainless look. They delivered, my honey has installed all but the microwave, and we're back in business! (See cupcakes baking?) --by the way, PAY someone to install your was a pain!

The countertop guy has been here to measure, the cabinet dude is working on designing a couple new storage areas, I've picked out the backsplash/sink/faucet/cabinet hardware and we're to call the window guy next week. So here's to some nice fall weather while we rip out the sliding glass door and rebuild the wall...and I get to work painting the cabinets! Whew.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Postcards from Italy

Even snapshot takers like myself could become postcard photographers in coastal Italy. Here's the synopsis of our vacation in pictures...I whittled down 350 photos to just 19 (plus the few I already posted and the FOOD pictures I'll put up later!) to save you from beauty overload! Enjoy!

Hilltop view of Sestri Levante

Market in Pisa

Dan & Eric helping out the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Sunset over the Baia delle Favole (Bay of Fairy Tales)


Night view from our hotel, the Vis a Vis (View of a View, or something like that)

On a hike above Sestri

Sunset dinner at the Vis a Vis

Cemetery in Monterosso

My fav spot in Monterosso

One of our daily excursions to Angel's Ice Cream for Gelato w/the KC gang

Restaurants along Corso Colombo

Waves crashing in Sestri Levante -or- "Happy Toes"
High above Monterosso with terraced fields & vineyards behind

Picturesque Manarola

The Via dell'Amore between Riomaggiore & Manarola
Lovers clasp locks on the railings as a symbol of their attachment.

The restaurant that sheltered us from a downpour along the Cinque Terre.

Hi! I'm Dan! I'm from America!

Plaza in Sestri Levante

Monday, September 05, 2011

Living on a Postcard

Yes, I seem to have landed on a postcard. Not a bad view in sight. As my first taste of intercontinental travel, I believe Italy may have me hooked.

Yesterday we hiked & train-traveled the Cinque Terra, visiting 5 lovely towns between rainstorms and amid lucious views of the Mediterranean along the Ligurian coastline.

Today, I've indulged in a full body massage (Aaack! That was an adventure for this Modest Molly), time by the crashing waves, lunch with two fun gals & gelato for lunch's dessert. Now I'm on this--our patio feeling the cool breezes and enjoying the church bells tolling in the distance.

Oh, yes, and this is the view I am taking in:

Nice, eh?

Here is another look at some of yesterday's travels.

And the rocky beach where we all gathered a few gems to bring home.

Well, I've already taken more than 100 photos so this is just a taste...but I have much more to do than blog :) so enjoy your holiday while we enjoy ours!! (Hi to our kiddos having fun over at Aunt Jo's! They are having their own adventures...and Jodi is keeping me up on them on her blog, Hart of the Matter if you want to see those cuties!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Entertainment

Just in case any of you have forgotten what it's like to have a two-year-old in the are some samplings of this morning's conversations. Mind you, this is a very opinionated and slightly bossy two-year-old who speaks quite fluently and with much emphasis on getting his way.

No! I not a Doggy, I Zane!

Don't sing dat, just put my shorts on now! (Evidently he doesn't like my singing.)

You go on airplane Mommy? I go on airplane too.

I want cereal, not cheerios. Dose cheerios have milk? Oh, okay.

I DONE! Take my tray off! Take my bib off!

Me: Do you want shoes on? Zane: No, I fine. Me: Okay, just stay on the porch (shutting door). Zane: NOOOOO! (stomping feet & getting upset) I need shoes on!!!

I run way now. (Was sitting down to get shoes on...)

I funny. He he he he he.

Where are you Mommy? Oh! I find you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Countdown to Bliss

I'm counting down the days until our trip to Sestri Levante, Italy, and it truly still seems unreal! Almost too busy with the other "stuff" of life, I needed to give myself a visual of the lovely resort area we will be staying so I clicked on over to the hotel website....ahhhhhh. Yes, friends, I have high hopes for a lovely week on the Italian Riviera.

Until's back to the checklist, though I did get the "purchase skimpy bikini" done. Besides the whole "actually using my passport" that is probably the most unusual part of getting ready to go! Arrivederci!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bathtime @ Our House

I think I'll leave this one as a Wordless Wednesday post...

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Home-Clean-Home Plan

This is it! What I should be doing (bare minimum) each week to keep this home going. I'm guessing that those of you who were born organized never have to think this hard about keeping up the house, but for us scatterbrains...well, it's like trying to cram a square through a round hole. (And there's gotta be a better metaphor but it's all I've got right now).

Morning Chores
-Everyone gets dressed, makes their bed, brushes teeth & puts away their pj's BEFORE coming downstairs.
-Breakfast together (7:30)
-Unload the Dishwasher (possibly the most important daily chore...the whole kitchen falls apart if it doesn't happen!)
-Put away breakfast dishes
-8:00 School starts!

Laundry Day: Wash, dry and put away all clothes
Cooking: Prepare snacks for the week (boil eggs, make granola bars etc.)
Kids: Vacuum their rooms, Fold & put away their laundry, bathroom wipe-down

Errand Day: Groceries, appointments etc.
Cooking: Crock Pot dinner
Cleaning: Wash Towels & Put away any leftover laundry
Kids: Fold Towels, Take out Trash

Kitchen Day: Baking, clean out fridge, mop, wipe down appliances & backsplash
Kids: Clean Glass Doors & Mirrors, Strip & make beds

Cleaning Day: Dust, vacuum, bathrooms
Laundry: Wash Sheets
Kids: Dust rooms, Tidy Playroom

Planning Day: Shopping lists, menus, weekend prep, next week's activities
Kids: Tidy Entry, Tidy Schoolroom

Now I just need to find several hours to embroider all that onto daily tea-towels! Ha.

The chores assigned to the kids help out more than I imagined. They are not hard by any means, and purposely do not take a long time to them a sense of accomplishment and hopefully teaching them to keep up on work at home to avoid a huge, un-tameable mess! They get a little bit of a reward for helping...I think I need to come up with something to reward myself if I check everything off my list too! Hmmmm...well, gotta go switch the laundry!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Mommy Schedule

In the spirit of back-to-school week, today I'm sharing my personal "back-to-household order" plan for this year. Eric says I'm always looking for the next best thing. Yup, I'm still in search of the magic wand that makes homemaking happen with out hard work. (Actually, I KNOW what it is...a maid & cook...but doesn't Eric already work hard enough without taking on the three extra jobs it might take to employ them?) So I'm sticking with hard work on my part...and going to tweak methods until I finally find one that works for me!

I've shared before some of my favorite homemaking resources...from FlyLady to Inspired to Action to the books Large Family Logistics and anything by Don Aslett. My favorite resource is, however, my friends!! And although I may never achieve the seemingly effortless efficiency of MJ, I have high hopes that this time I've found something doable and easy to implement for the whole family. Jodi (my sis) started me on this plan by making one for herself...printed out nicely and just a few basic chores for herself & the girls per day. Brilliant.

This is our family chore chart (tweaked from Erica's @ Confessions of a Homeschooler)...the kiddos earn tickets for each chore they do and get a prize when they have 25 tickets. I have assigned chores for each day for myself and them and wrote them on the daily cards across the top. Before, I was just picking some things that sounded good and sticking them in their that there is a plan, the system is much more efficient.

So take Tuesday for instance:

It's my errand day, so I need to put dinner in the crock pot before we leave in the morning, plus start a load of towels. Once we're back home, I have to finish putting laundry away from Monday (that's the day I wash all the clothing) and the kids take out the trash and fold the now clean towels. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? I think we can do this! And I might even mop my kitchen every week--fabulous!

So adding in the essentials like a daily schedule, house rules and a reminder about what obedience is and looks like:

And we have a happy crew in a semi-tidy and clean home! (Please pay no attention to the pile of stuff on the entry bench in the background :) !)

The boys doing school on Tuesday...Zane likes to wear his goggles while playing...go figure.

Next time I'll share exactly what makes up my chores each day. That is, if I'm done doing them and can sit down to blog. Naaah, I'll probably write before I do them, it's more fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to Home-School!

Yay! Yesterday was our first day of school for the year. This is the first time we've started before Labor Day so it feels a little strange to me, myself, and I but we're thinking it will work out fine and dandy. Obviously the children are...well, what are they?? Goofy? Silly Rabbits? Funny Bunnies? Something.

The new schedule has them freaked out--especially the room check before lunch and the starting time of 8 a.m. I suppose they're the only ones who realize it's just a schedule on paper...and real life doesn't always follow the plan.

Ooooohh! I LOVE new school books and supplies! Elena is in 3rd Grade and Kai is in 1st. Here's our line up for this year:

Bible/History/Science/Literature/Reading: Adventures In My Father's World (American History for 2nd & 3rd graders and their younger siblings)

Spelling: Spelling Power for Elena (This program starts in 3rd grade and can work all the way through 8th. I have high hopes.) Kai will start spelling next year.

English: Elena-Primary Language Lessons (2nd half) Kai-Language Lessons for Little Ones, book 3

Copywork/Drawing: Draw Write Now books 2 & 6

Math: Elena-Teaching Textbooks 3 Kai-Horizons 1

Electives: Discovery Homeschool Academy (YAY for Tuesdays!!) They cover music, art, PE, keyboarding, Spanish, science, social studies & tons of fun.

Wow, that all seems so nice and tidy. If I had time to go on and on I could tell you the process of making all those decisions. It's a lot of work!

Our office is still providing a lovely area for school...we rearranged the walls a bit and still have some tweaking to do.

Oh, some more B2S poses:

Aren't they sweet?

Here's our timeline wrapping around the walls:

A close-up:

And my favorite framed print...(my new camera has a fish-eye option...kind of strange, but okay!):

Happy Back to School or Home-School week to you all! Enjoy the Adventures!!!