Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Pumpkin Pie Elf

I did all my pie-baking on Wednesday night, and left the pumpkin pie out to cool while I worked on the apple. Of course I did other things during that time, and so I didn't have the pie in my line of vision at all times. When I went to cover it up right before bed, I noticed that it had a few fingerprints in it.

I have no definitive proof, but based on opportunity, personality, and reaction when confronted, I'm 99% sure the culprit was Nicolas...

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Help Support Orphan Care in DRC

Today is the last day of bidding on an auction to support Our Family in Africa, the non-profit that helped us bring Nicolas home. While OFA does some adoption support, the primary focus of the organization in orphan care in DRC, and all of the funds from the auction are going to support a very impoverished orphanage in war-torn Eastern DRC. We have so much money to raise to provide for the orphanage for the year - this orphanage does not participate in international adoption, so their access to international funding is very limited unless groups like OFA step in.

There are over three hundred items up for grabs, many of which are still going for well below retail, and over seventy that have NO bids. This includes a USC autographed football, a Reggie Wayne autographed football, ipad/kindle/iphone cases, adorable handmade animal hairclips, and much much more. Please take a minute to check out the auction and see if anything you have on your Christmas list is still up for grabs:

2nd Annual OFA Holiday Auction

Bidding ends tonight at 9pm CST (7pm PST), unless an item is getting lots of action, then (like a live auction) the item will remain open until it has not received a bid for three minutes or until 9:30, whichever comes first.

Additionally, two of the auction vendors have offered to donate a percentage of their proceeds from orders that specify "OFA Auction" through the month of November.

Life Verse Design has tons of scripture and inspirational art photograph art, "subway" style prints, stationary, and beautiful Christmas cards. Julie is donating 20% of proceeds from orders that specify "OFA Auction" in the special instructions box, so if you haven't ordered Christmas cards yet or are looking for a nice print for your home or as a gift, order away!

More Love Mama has beautiful African blankets, cute shirts, dashikis, handbags, scarves, and Christmas stockings! She is also donating 20% of her proceeds from orders specifying "OFA Auction" in the instructions. We have one of her cozy blankets with the minky backing and love it

Monday, 11 November 2013

Carving Pumpkins

My mom and dad did the honors of helping the kids carve the big pumpkin we picked out on our trip to the pumpkin patch. Tommy and my mom designed the scary face using the pumpkin's preexisting features (if you recall, it was late in the season to go pumpkin picking so those left had lots of character). It turned out that the flaws in the pumpkin made for great eyebrows and inspired the rest of the face. I think it turned out rather well, and no one lost a finger, which is what really matters.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Halloween Happening

Our Halloween turned out to be rather rainy, and I may have forgotten to grab my camera when we dashed out to trick or treat in between cloud bursts, so thankfully we had the foresight to dress the kids up and take them out to a Halloween Carnival the weekend prior. I had seen some advertisements for trick or treating downtown, and for some kind of park district outdoor party, so even though we had no idea what to expect we decided to check it out.

It turned out that the information I had been given about the timing of the trick or treat event was off, so we ended up going straight for the Halloween event, and it was a good thing we did. First, because it was huge and there were lots of kids so we needed the time, and second because it was way better than I expected and the kids really enjoyed themselves. The carnival was set up outdoors in one of the many beautiful parks in our new area, and the park district had arranged lots of silly games for the kids to play. They threw troll dolls in holes, picked treasure from pirate's chests, played "croquet," and threw bottles at milk cans. There were probably fifteen different games, and after playing the kids got candy or plastic toys (ah, junk, every mother's dream).

The kids were thrilled to spend the afternoon amassing candy and playing games, while the adults enjoyed the time outside in the nice weather and the chance to watch the kids dress up and have a great time!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Boys' Room

I have been getting little comments here and there asking for pictures of our new digs. They are coming, I promise, just not all at once because it is taking a while for me to figure out what I want where, and I would like the rooms to look halfway decent before I post pictures. Also, I read once that you shouldn't post home tours/house layouts on your blog in case someone uses the photos you post to plan a robbery. I figure that if I post little by little potential robbers will get bored trying to piece the full picture of our home together and go pick on someone else (if you are reading this post and contemplating robbing our home, please note that our television is very small and covered in fingerprints, our DVD player jams so you will need to pry it open with your finger nails in order to insert a disc, and honestly our nicest machine is my breadmaker. Good luck fencing that).

I decided to start with the boy's room, not because it is finished, but because it is the last room that I will be spending time/effort/money decorating. It will happen, eventually, but my boys have yet to notice that their bedspreads don't match and that they have no art on their walls. Frankly, I'm dreading the day that Nic realizes that one half of his reversible Navy/Rose comforter (inherited from my college years) is pink and decides to reject it. But for now, this is their room and it isn't changing until after I finish my room in the distant future. You will see that there are only two beds in the boy's room. The three boys have been rather vocal about wanting to all share a room, so they will in the near future, but at this point the only way that we can get them all to sleep is to have Kenny in another room. Otherwise Kenny will jump on Nic's head every chance he gets, even if Nic is already asleep. We have no idea why he does this. Thus Tommy and Nic, who are both quite good about staying in their beds, are together, and Kenny is in a toddler bed in our room. This situation is less than ideal, but Kenny also doesn't sleep well completely alone, so it's a catch 22, and this is the solution that allows everyone the most possible sleep. The only other point about the boy's room is that Nic is not sleeping on a mattress on the floor, he is sleeping in his trundle bed, but now that we have a very large room for them to share we no longer trundle it.

The other reason that I really want to start with the boy's room is that Jeff designed and built an awesome closet system for them, and I want to show it off because I am really proud of all the work he did to make it happen. We wanted to avoid dressers in the kid's room because they climb everything and dressers are really dangerous for children who enjoy climbing. I know we could anchor them to the wall, but I still don't feel they are particularly safe. The boy's room has a huge closet, and Jeff is quite handy, so the obvious solution was to build in shelves for all of their clothes. Since the boys are so small and their clothes don't take up too much space, I can keep all of their clothes, both winter and summer, out all the time. This is so awesome. I hate having to change out the clothes each season (it's bad enough every time they grow a size), and it makes packing for trips in warmer climates and those odd days when the weather is not typical of the season so much easier. The only draw-back with the open shelving is that sometimes Kenny, in his enthusiasm to help put clothes in the hamper, helps himself to the nicely folded clean items in the closet and makes a bit of a mess. In my opinion it is entirely worth not having to deal with clothing items stuffed haphazardly into drawers and having to unstick things with great frequency.

And so, I give you, the boy's closet and their room.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Cheesey Faces