Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creative Genious

There has been an out-pouring of creative genius at our house lately. It all started one lovely Saturday morning when Mom was sleeping in. Dad and DA decided they were going to build the Tower of Babel in the living room:

I was happy I was able to get a picture, because this was the result:

Since then DA has taken off on a building spree that has lasted for months. I've only been able to get pictures of a few creations before they fall apart, but the ones I have are phenomenal. He's built everything from cars, boats, and airplanes to bridges, towers and cities or forests all out of legos.

The most amazing one that I completely regret not getting a picture of was a crane he built. Somehow over the course of a morning of building he was able to build a skinny little tower that supported two opposing arms that were so well balanced and supported that the whole structure (built on the base of a 1 inch by 1 inch lego tower about a foot high mind you) actually stayed standing long enough for Dad to get home from work and see it. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture because it was really cool. Anyway, here's some samples of his work:

The Garage

The Submarine and Dock

Spaceship #1

Jet #1

The Boat

A Car

The Guns

City #1 (with the assistance of Uncle Zach)

City #2 (on his own)

The Tower

Space Ship and Landing Platform

Tower #2

I am definitely going to have to enter him into some sort of lego building competition. This boy has a limitless imagination and builds until he is satisfied not matter how many times it falls down. There have been many mornings where I've heard the crash followed by, "Oh man!" then the sounds of reconstruction. I love legos! I'm so glad DA loves legos too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Break

My lovely sister gave DA and I a wonderful gift a few weeks back and bought us these fabulous passes that get us into Trafalga, Seven Peaks, Owls games, and Flash games for a whole year for free. DA and I had so much fun the first time we used them with my sister's family that Jake was convinced he wanted a pass too. He and DA went to Trafalga while I was on vacation in St. George with my girlfriends. They had a blast too.

Well, this week was fall break for school, so we decided to use our passes for the first time as a family. We went to Trafalga in Lehi for the day. We rode all the rides except the boats (it was way too cold to be doing water activities), played mini golf, laser tag, and generally had a great time together.

There was only one incident that wasn't fun, but it was pretty funny in retrospect. When we were playing laser tag, DA and I were on one team and Jake was the other team. At the very end of the game, DA and I cornered Dad and were getting him right and left. Jake turned around looking for an exit and slammed full speed straight into a wall. He was wearing his glasses at the time and split his nose open. It hurt pretty bad, but I still can't help giggling remembering his blind dash that landed him on the floor. Maybe I'm not very nice, but it was hilarious to watch. Anyway, here are some photos from the day:

The first time DA went on this ride with his cousins he was absolutely terrified and in tears by the time he got off. I was surprised he wanted to go on it again this time, but with Dad by his side, he was all smiles.

His face at the top there was priceless, but I didn't get it on camera. He looked pretty frightened, but still trying so hard to enjoy it.

I'm afraid to think what teaching DA to drive is going to be like after this experience, but he had fun, so that's what counts.

Thanks Rachael! We never would have bought these passes without you! We're totally excited for ice-skating at Seven Peaks and going to some fun games this year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wow, 3 Years in the Making

Three years ago, my sister Juli was having a baby. My other sisters, my mom, and I threw a baby shower for her. One of the things we did at the shower was have everyone write or draw a picture on a quilt square. I was going to be ambitious and make a beautiful quilt for her baby boy. Well it's been three years in the making now and baby is no longer a baby, but I finally finished the quilt last night! And here's the finished project:

Each of the squares had a fun little message to Juli or her baby and some had the most adorable drawings done by a good family friend. I ended up quilting it with stars and binding it lazy-man style, but it turned out beautiful and my little nephew loves it! Here's one of the pictures drawn for the quilt so you can see just how fun and cute they were:

I want to say thanks to Melissa for helping me put this together and to Brigitte for the loan of her machine when mine was broken. This was my first quilted quilt and I loved how it turned out. Thanks guys!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another fun Project

My mom called me a few weeks ago and told me my Grandmother had given her two nightstands for my little sister's room, but there was a problem. Here's the problem:

Anyone want to take a wild guess on why my mom wasn't crazy about them? Dey UGLY! Ugly hunter green and brown don't really jive with anything in my mom's house, especially a little girl's room, mostly pink and white, for whom they were intended. She asked, "You can do something about them, right?"

Sure Mom, I'll hop right on that. Actually I was kind of excited to work on a project again in a space where I didn't really have to worry about dust, wind and the elements screwing it up.

I would love to have sanded these down and stained them a nice dark walnut, but...they're mostly MDF, and ya, that doesn't stain well.

I started out by removing drawers and knobs then busted out the hubster's power sander and sanded off all the finish. You have to at least give it a rub down with sand paper otherwise the paint will bubble and settle on the surface without getting a firm hold on the wood. It leaves it with an ugly finish if it doesn't have anything to adhere to and add to that, the paint will generally peel off if it gets nicked at all. Not fun.

Anyway, after I'd blasted it with a nice course grit, I went over it again with a fine grit to smooth down the surface. The next step is very important to this process or you'll have horrible results! After I got done sanding, I went over the entire piece with a slightly damp rag to remove all the sawdust, then let it dry. When it was dry and the wood pores were good and ready to accept paint, I sprayed on a lovely white semigloss for my base coat. When doing furniture you always get a better finish spraying it rather than brushing or rolling it unless you want to see the brush strokes (which isn't likely).

You can prime it first, but I didn't bother. Two coats of paint covered the piece as well as I wanted it to, then I got to bust out techniques I haven't used since college and antique the thing. I used a mahogany bombay stain, which is pretty dark and dry brushed it on all the edges, then worked it in with a rag. It would have been better if this thing had some classic lines and grooves to work the stain into, but it turned out pretty nice.

Last but not least, I picked up a couple of crystal cut glass and brass knobs at the Home Depot and put 'em on. They are very pretty and add a little sparkle to an otherwise boring piece.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! :)

Love me some projects! And although this took several weeks to complete because of the lack of time I could actually spend doing it, it was a great time and I love it, especially when compared to what it was...

Monday, September 13, 2010


Today we had a funny experience at our house. While I was in my room this morning DA let out a piercing bloody cry that scared me half to death. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find gray hairs in a few months masquerading as blonds. I ran to the living room to find out what happened and if he was hurt. He was screaming, “Fire, fire, mom, fire!” over and over again. As I ran, I was trying to figure out how he’d gotten a hold of matches because I keep them well out of reach even for me! And I was trying to remember if we still had a fire extinguisher in the closet or if I was going to have to smother it with something. When I made it to him, he grabbed me around the legs almost tackling me and pointed at the couch. “Fire mom, fire! It went down the couch!” Tears were streaming down his face and he was hiccupping he was so afraid as he pointed in the crack between the cushions. I didn’t see or smell anything so I asked him where the fire was and he calmed down enough to say clearly, “No, spider mom, not fire.” He had a big old ugly spider that sat next him and tried to introduce itself. Needless to say, my heart rate slowed significantly. Spiders I can deal with. Or at least I thought so, but just then the spider came out to say hello again. It was huge! In fact huge doesn’t describe it. It was gynormous! Like bigger than a silver dollar with the fattest butt I’ve ever seen on a spider that wasn’t carrying an egg sac around with it. I sent DA for toilet paper and kept an eye on it. I just have to interject here that I hate squishing spiders, I prefer to trap them and let Jake squish them when he gets home, but I didn’t think I had a chance trapping this guy. The spider crawled up the back cushion and over the edge so he was hiding between the couch and the wall by the time DA got back with my squishing material of choice for the day. I pulled out the end table, then whipped the couch out screwing up my courage for the squishathon. The spider had paused mid step startled I suppose by the movement of his climbing surface. I took a deep breath and tackled the nasty. Just as I was going in for the kill, he reared up his front legs and I swear he hissed at me, but I put the kibash on his nasty aggressive temper and sent him to the trash thoroughly smushed. Squishing bugs with your hands regardless of whether there’s an intervening layer or not is never a fun experience. I can still feel the bum on that thing going “pop!” between my fingers, Ugh! I hope DA wasn’t traumatized. He seemed to be quite calm when he found out it was good and dead. Wish I had thought to get a picture, cause this thing was literally huge, but sadly my son's peace of mind came before the funniness of the situation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Snuggles

This morning DA came into our room for his morning snuggle and tickle. Jake pulled him up on the bed and said, "Hey you, come snuggle me."

DA piped up and said, "I don't want to snuggle you, you're stinky!"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fun in the Sun

This week, DA and I spent the week in Sunny California and loved it. We stayed at a resort in Indio that was fantastic. We'll be visiting there again for sure. Thankfully, it wasn't just me and him. Dad spent the first couple of days with us and some of the cousins came too.

This was the night before we left. DA is just too adorable for words.

We went and saw "Despicable Me" with the cousins at the theater. Little Miss sitting next to DA really got into the movie and almost cried when they took the girls away. I almost did too. It was a fantastic movie though, and super funny.

One evening we went to a street fair out in Palm Springs. It was a blast! We'll have to visit again.

DA loved this fountain and just wanted to hang out there for a while, so we did!

The last morning we were there we went shopping at an outlet mall. The kids didn't want to look at clothes, so they watched Sid the Science Kid on cool chairs while the moms checked out the merchandise.

Then we went outside and the fun began...

They wanted to ride every single ride there, so they climbed in and had a blast.

The ride home was LONG. We did the whole drive in one day, and DA was quite the trooper. And thank goodness for my sister's nephew who drove with us! He drove part of the way home and we wouldn't have made it without him.

He loves his Lightning Blanket he got for his birthday. We take it everywhere.

We saw the most beautiful rainstorms on the way home and double rainbows that crossed the whole sky. It was amazing to be out in nature and see these beautiful sites. It's good to be home, but I need another vacation. I came home to these little guys crawling around my bathroom:

So not cool! I have yet to identify them, but I'm working on it. I'm also praying they didn't get into my food storage!