Monday, March 26, 2012


 I told my boys I was going to make a chess table. I asked them to design the chess pieces. I started an epidemic.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project #2 Magnetic Chalkboard painted wall.

So, chalkboard paint has been all the rage forever. I think it's fine but I wasn't into it until we moved into this house and had this wall. It's the perfect place for kids to do schooling while mama's in the kitchen.  I decided to use some of Matt's per diem money to do it.  I have been so incredibly busy since he's been gone. I was bragging at church today about being used to him being gone and not really "needing" his help. While that is true for the most part, I've worn myself thin this week. I sure do appreciate the small amount of time he does have to help out. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I didn't have time for this, didn't do quite enough research for this and jumped in headfirst. So, last night about 10pm I was covered in nasty metallic paint, needing to pump and go to bed and I still had to put on another coat.  SO, I will inclue a tutorial of lessons I learned in this blog. I am excited about putting the chalkboard paint on soon.
  • This paint is NASTY, it speckles like no other, it's heavy and it doesn't come off without mineral spirits. I didn't know that, thought it was a soap and water job, didn't know where I had mineral spirits AND really made my skin burn trying various ways to remove it AFTER I had to take a loaded roller thing off the handle part because Eli broke the handle part. That probably doesn't make sense. That's ok, just hope it doesn't happen to you:)
  • The paint is a very wierd kind of thick and it doesn't cover very much area so i suggest making it smaller than what they claim it covers which is 16sq ft.
  • The paint soaks into the roller something fierce so plan to start and finish the job in about 2 hrs. I wouldn't start it unless you have 2 hrs to do it.
  • It's a very textured paint so if you want a smooth wall, don't use it.
  • Don't expect a really strong magnetic pull from the wall. Lightweight magnets are the only thing that stick. I am doubtful that I'll be able to hold papers up there, which was actually the point.
  • Plan on throwing away whatever you use one the paint, it's not worth trying to wash it out.
  • I think i wish I hadn't wasted my time and money but oh well, it's on now and the kids think it's pretty cool.                  

My secret projects

So, I took the initiative with Matt being gone, to attempt a couple of home improvement projects to pass the time.(HAHAHAHAHAHA, if you know my life you're also rolling over laughing) This is the before picture of my Dining Room. We ripped out the carpet(thus the bare lower wall w/ no baseboards), Matt primed the floor to cover the horrible stench(thus the white parts of the cement), and Matt also put down floor leveler(thus the dark cement spots). I am attempting to make it presentable since money has run bone dry and there won't be any wood floor going down in this room for at least another year. I've grown weary of looking at it, wasting the space and having visitors see this first thing.
The link above shows what I'm attempting. I'm not expecting anything magnificent, I'm not patching anything, I'm not doing it for permenance. I'm still really nervous about doing a big job like this w/o the help of the hubby.

Here's the floor with the first coat of paint.

Book Club

My friend and fellow homeschool mom organized a book club for our children. We get together every month with a reading assignment and project. The kids(or moms) pick the books out of a specified genre and then there's an assignment to do to help present the book. These are Quadramas. The kids Made them to illustrate scenes or aspects of their book. I love giving my kids to make monthly presentations. Luke even looks forward to it!

Scene from 'The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' that Eli did.

Luke's character presentation of 'The Bobbsey Twins Go to Indian Hollow'
Luke took forever to decide what mystery he wanted to read and had to do his last minute.

Samuel read his first chapter book all on his own. This is a scene from 'The Knight at Dawn'. It's a Magic Treehouse book.

And here is to keeping it real. Brigham was quite a handfull that day. Getting him and Sennia and my whole onterage(sp?) through the library can be an adventure.

That's why I HAD to come home and make this. MMmmm was it good! If I had some avadaco I'd go in there right this minute and make some more. I made 12 rolls of sushi. Any guess as to who ate 2 of them all by himself? Yep, Brig.

Peek-a-boo fun

Sammy gave Sennia Peek-a-Boo Bear to keep her happy.

It worked:)

Fun around our house in March!

Sleeping little angel. She has decided that she likes sleeping on her tummy in her cradle. I voted for the hammock but lost.

Do my lips look blue to you?

72 degrees. I'm not gettin' in yet!

Tea time

Alena wants everything to be a party. A party for every occasion. Quite frankly, it's exausting. Even though I don't make everything into a party, I always have a guilt trip about it going on and I also have this long list of things I would love to do with her that haunt me. So, when my fun book group ladies sent me home with too many treats(had to leave early to save Brigham from a bug that got into his bed) it made it easy to have a tea party. Much to her chagrin we stuck w/ plastic(Brigham isn't safe with glass) and we didn't use the disposable table cloth in the cupborn I'm saving for Samuel's next birthday(that took some doing for her to get over) but Eli did help her make tea to make it offical. Happy children. Sorry you can't see all the yummy food, Eli's shot is a bit blurry.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blue and Gold Banquet Cake

Luke ready for his banquet

The theme was Our Nation and Voting in the upcoming election. I thought Luke's cake went with the theme really well. It's a popcorn cake and then he made cake balls into cake pops to go around the edge(not pictured) and on top as you see. It was a really tough project to tackle but he did awesome. His was our favorite cake!

Birthday workout, park time, mardi gras fun day!

It's that time of year again. The Sour-cream Chocolate Chip Cake was scrumptious. Eli made it this year. Hooray and Happy Birthday to you dear husband.

We went to the park with our family friends, The Lane's. The boys and men worked out. Then there was some pretty serious capture the flag and then we chowed on cake, veggis, apples and chips and salsa until the mosquitos started chowing on us. It was a muddy bunch of fun. Sennia slept, pooped all over herself, and slept some more:)

Had to have a bit of king cake in honor of Mardi Gras!

It's a start

Gardening here in Houston is going to be different. We've got to make raised beds and since we cannot afford that just yet, we're going to be container gardening for the most part.

Sammy labled the pots.

Here's one little herb plot we transplanted our rosemary and basil into.
We sure love gardening. It sure made a nice family day.

Hers, mine and ours

When I had Alena, I decided I didn't care about money or any other hinderance, she was going to get every special treatment I ever wanted for my baby. She wore only clothes I approved of. I searched high and low for just the right shoes and made many pair myself. She had natural fibers and slept in a hammock. Everything she came in contact with was earthy, soft and sweet. It was fun. I sewed for her even. With sweet Sennia, I would love to do the same but she isn't just mine. She's also Alena's and Alena has a different opinion of big bows and flowers than I do. I feel it's only fair to let her have a turn. After all, this is the only sister she will ever have and since I NEVER put a big fooffy anything on Alena(as a baby) I figure she has a right to accessorize her baby.

Known on the records of the church as

Sennia Elizabeth Stecher
If that isn't sweet repose, I've never seen it. I think that would make a nice card. Sweet Sennia was blessed on Sunday the 26th of February. We had lots of Sulins and the Stonelys and the Stechers. Also, our good friend Robbie Lane and our hometeacher Bro. Maclane and the Bishop. Matt cried through the whole thing. Harold Beckett was put in charge of the pacifier but evidently she launched it. Thankfully she still stayed quiet, listening to her dear daddy bless her to grow up and do great things with the help of the Lord. He also blessed her in a beautiful symbiotic relationship with her siblings. I'm so thankful she's here to complete our family.