31 January 2011


In the midst of getting ready to clean the bathrooms...

Walker comes out of his room with his old hat... from two summers ago. He puts it on and says, "I didn't know I still had this hat!"

I said, "Let me take your picture, you look so cute!"

We then get our cleaning supplies and head to the bathroom. He gets on his stool, as I start clearing the counter and he says, "You are right, Mom. You're right! I DO look cute in this hat." I tell you, if I could bottle up this cutenss, I most certainly would.

30 January 2011

the start of 'something beautiful'

Brad and Wilson got started on the Pinewood Derby car yesterday. They really did work on it together!
I loved watching Wilson as he was trying hard to make progress... concentrating so diligently!
They started with some sanding too... more to come...
So, in reality, the Pinewood Derby car might not actually be something beautiful in and of itself. But the process is breathtaking. I don't, for a second, take for granted that Brad is here building this little car with Wilson. Its a beautiful gift. These are the moments I treasure.

and now I have this song in my head...

29 January 2011

week in review

I thought some of you might be wondering if Walker and I are still doing "school." (Yes, I still have to put it in quotes). School has turned out to be much less structured than I initially thought it would be... and I am ok with that. Walker is still enjoying when we do school and I think he is learning a lot. Its totally not the way I imagined it would go - but I am pretty sure its better!

We were given some more homeschool supplies this week, so naturally Walker was super excited to play with those... For math, he got a pack of sharks and cards for practicing patterns. I am not sure if it was Sid the Science Kid or another PBS character, but someone taught Walker patterns long before I brought them up. We did some alphabet bingo - he had to say the letter sound after I called the letter name, before he could put a marker on his card. He LOVED this!
We've been working on Hooked on Phonics too, he finally has all 26 initial letter sounds down, so we began the workbook this week. I think he'll be putting sounds together to make words in the next week or so... I would be disappointed if I missed out on this part of his learning.

In other news, it has warmed up here. Not sure how long it will last, so we're going to soak it all up as much as possible. Walker was thrilled to (finally) try out his potato gun.
And I was working on some memory verse motivators for our Bible study group at PWOC. I'm co-teaching "Tour of Duty: Preparing Your Heart for Deployment." Its a really great study. I am honored to teach it, and blessed to be working with such a fantastic lady. We set a goal to memorize one verse each week. I thought it'd be fun to make some little "prizes" as incentives. So this week I made some ACU bookmarks with hearts ♥
Oh, and look what fits Wilson now... his Daddy's old sweater. This used to be part of the decor in his nursery when he was itty-bitty Wilson. And now it fits him. Wow. Some things are just unbelievable.

Brad and Wilson started the pinewood derby car today. I'll post some pictures of that tomorrow... if I get around to it. ;)

25 January 2011

legoville and other creative endeavors...

FINALLY! I got around to photographing Legoville in Wilson's bedroom. This boy loves building with LEGOs!You can kinda tell by the look on his face, huh?
I made this little monster for our neighbor's son's first birthday... I got the tutorial here, and then made it work with the materials I had on hand... of course, the heart is ACU... (this picture was before Wilson's haircut...getting kinda outta control there...)
And I made this party hat too... I found that tutorial here. I used materials I had here as well, except I had to buy a pack of party hats for $1.59. But now I can make 7 more. In my head, the Mickey Mouse-to-hat-ratio looked differently. Overall, I think it was pretty cute though.

D. did a good job leaving it on his head too. So cute!

23 January 2011

never let go of your friendship

yesterday (Saturday) morning, at approximately 7:oo am, this conversation took place...

Walker: Mom, did you know if you you let go of your friendship, you will never see your friend again?
Me: No, really? How do you know that?
Walker: Because I wrote a song about it.

Last night before bed, Walker agreed to let Brad make a little video for your viewing pleasure.

22 January 2011

love (languages) spoken here

every once in awhile, I think to myself, "I am going to make a deposit in Brad's love tank." I don't remember when I actually read "The Five Love Languages." But it did have a big impact on me... and I think our relationship. I know every single day I should be striving to make a deposit in Brad's love tank, but I'm being honest, I don't often think about it... at least not in those exact terms.

But Friday, I was thinking of it in those terms. Brad had mentioned earlier in the week that I should bake a blueberry pie. I knew he would be surprised if I actually did. His love language is "acts of service." If I just baked a pie, but the left the house a mess, I would've missed my chance. So I baked a pie and made sure I cleaned up afterwards. The laundry was more or less caught up and the floors were clean. It always feels good when you get ready to make a big deposit, I was pretty excited for Brad to get home (he is in a school -WLC- for 20 days, and there is no way of knowing for sure what time he'll be home each day.)

The funny part is, when he came home, he was speaking my love language - which is "gifts." ...and especially gifts of doughnuts.
Have I mentioned lately that my husband rocks?

21 January 2011

super foods

so, with it being the New Year naturally this month's Real Simple had an article about the 30 Healthiest Foods - "super foods." I glanced over it, and then a day or so later when I was reminded of it, I asked the boys if they'd like to try some of these super foods this year. Initially, the way I remembered it, I thought there were 50 foods, so about one super food a week. Well, when I got the magazine out again, I realized that it was only 30 foods. Much easier to do, right?

A couple things we already eat often - skim milk, boneless skinless chicken breasts, broccoli, black beans and kidney beans. A few things we've tried before - with little success - like avocados and mushrooms. But overall, I think it will be kind of a fun adventure for all of us.

This week I bought mangoes because I thought for sure they were a super food... my Real Simple had a mango smoothie recipe... Walker had three servings of it, and Wilson liked it too. One mango was more ripe than the other, I think if they were both equally ripe it would've been even more spectacular. Brad wasn't feeling well so he opted out of the mango smoothie...

... which I guess is fine, because its not even one of the super foods. Nice.

I decided I would start marking them in the magazine and picking one (or two) to add to the cart. Maybe that way I can stick to the actual list. I did buy some edamame (on the list) and oranges (also on the list) and right now a blueberry pie is baking in the oven... is it still super if its in a pie? Maybe a little.

I doubt that sardines or bulgur will ever make their way into our regular rotation, but I figure if we can add a few super foods here and there, then we'll be moving in the right direction. And that's what its all about.

17 January 2011

super stars!

Wilson got this "Certificate of Unbridled Achievement" for outstanding citizenship at school. It entitled him to a free shake at Red Robin...He was pleased, and we are proud. We ended up having lunch, so the shake didn't really seem "free" but it was a fun time anyway. (Brad and I found out that if we split a burger we didn't leave with stomach aches. Go figure. They even cut the burger in half and brought it out in separate baskets!)
And here is Walker modeling his guitar strap... my first project in the organized area! He picked the fabric which was actually a men's-button-up-shirt that I thrifted for a quarter a few month's ago...
The Guitar Hero is quite pleased with the results!

13 January 2011

marble video

This might possibly make you dizzy... but I promised to put it here, so there's that. Enjoy...

a little bit of new year organization...

I think I said I would post these yesterday, but the weird thing is I didn't get around to it until today. I hope nobody lost sleep over it ;)

So part of this crazy-adoption-waiting involves a mental list of things to do to get ready for our child to come home. This storage closet has been on my list for a long time... There was a fair amount of space, but a lot of it wasn't being utilized...I used some of my Christmas money to buy the cheapest shelves I could find (which I sort of regretted during the assembly process... but now that they are together, I am glad I bought the cheap ones). We have not done the donate-sort yet, so there isn't a lot of empty shelf space, but I am happy with the result now. Its much easier to access stuff, and I moved some things from Wilson's closet to this one... which makes it ready for Walker to share if God should bless us with a girl! =)
And, oh my. The crafting area. This picture actually makes it look really good. You can just barely catch a glimpse of the mountain o'fabric this side of the cutting mat. I made a deal with myself that I couldn't make any projects until after this mess was organized...
I didn't have to spend a dime to make these changes. Just had to do some sorting and rearranging... Not sure how this will hold up after the new one comes home, but at least it will be easier to change if necessary at that time.
Walker wanted to be in the "close-up" shot of my fabric organization. We tried the eyes-closed-1-2-3-OPEN! trick for this picture. Kinda reminiscent of crazy-eyes-Walker. Anyway, about the fabric storage solution... I had used some old moving boxes as make shift shelving in that storage closet before, so I cut them up to make little "bolts" to fit my fabric pieces on... larger pieces are arranged in the boxes behind Walker. Medium size pieces are in the basket right behind Walker and itty-bitty scraps are in a bin in the basket on the bottom shelf.

I am hoping that this will make my fabric pieces easier to access and keep my penchant for saving every last scrap simmered down a bit... because I will have to take time to roll it on a mini-bolt I hope that I will think to myself, "Self, are you sure you need this 1"x 3" scrap when you still have half a yard of it?" And self will say, "Actually, I don't think you do." And everyone will be happier.
It feels really good to be making progress while we are waiting. A friend of mine recently posted on FB that she was preparing for rain. On her blog she wrote that people that pray for rain should carry an umbrella. By knocking out that storage closet and the crafting area, I feel like I bought a new umbrella and some matching rain boots. Bring on the rain!

p.s. I saw the cardboard bolt idea somewhere long ago on a blog and thought, "what a good idea." and I have no idea who to give credit to for it. I was just excited to continue my cardboard recycling efforts... I cut up one of the shelf boxes too. =)

11 January 2011

marble race track

the "snow" day (yesterday) gave Wilson and Daddy a chance to build this awesome marble race track. It has since been reconfigured at least four times. I started to shoot a video of the marble drop yesterday but the camera died... and I am not sure where the charger is. So finding it will be on my "to-do list" tomorrow.

It was so wonderful to have Wilson home again today. He actually wore the same pajamas ALL DAY LONG two days in a row. With a bleach bath in between. Brad was at work, but got to come home for 5 minutes and give us kisses! The boys and I made some more space in our storage closet and I finally organized my sewing/crafting area. Once I find the battery charger, I'll take some pics of that too... I know you can hardly wait, right?

I'm not positive, but I think Wilson will have school tomorrow. =)

10 January 2011

alright stop, collaborate and listen

ice is back with a brand new invention... ice ice baby, too cold, too cold
Friday afternoon there was mention of some winter weather maybe coming our way. Saturday, the weatherman confirmed it was indeed on its way. By Sunday morning I decided I needed to go to the commissary to "stock-up" before the weather came. So after lunch, I went over to pick up a few things. I really just needed dish soap because I forgot it last week and we barely had any left. Sometime during worship Sunday morning, it occurred to me that it might be a good time to make cinnamon rolls for the neighbors, so I picked up some flour, butter & whole milk. (I never said they were healthy.)

We got the phone call late yesterday afternoon that school was cancelled. It hadn't even begun raining yet, but I guess the weathermen here have a good track record with their forecasts.

I mixed up the dough last night, so this morning I just had to roll it out & bake them. Walker was thrilled to help mix up the icing! (Wilson was reading!)
We made 7 pans and delivered 5 of them. 4 went to neighbors that we've only waved at prior to this... we included a little note too, "Hope you have a sweet snow day!"
One pan went to our neighbor T, I've mentioned her before - her son is the same age as Wilson. When I got to her house, she was on the phone with her husband who was stranded across post because their car broke down... he reported for a ceremony that was cancelled (but no one told him), and then his car wouldn't start. T said he had been out there for an hour! Of course, Brad went over and gave him a jump and followed him towards home. But shortly after that, the car broke down again - so they left it on the side of the road and Brad gave him a ride the rest of the way home.

They made it home safe and sound, the roads weren't really that bad - just the overpasses. Brad had to go to work tonight (back to the 36 on, 36 off shift). It worked out well that he had a bonus day with Wilson though. That is the hardest part of his schedule, with Wilson at school, he doesn't get to spend much time with him.

So the little ice storm was truly a gift. And getting to help out our neighbors was the bow on top.

weekend update

so, I finally found some motivation to get things in order after our return from Michigan. Brad had to go back to work Saturday so I thought it would be fun to surprise him by packing up all the Christmas stuff while he was working... I let the boys have a relaxing day, and just called in reinforcements when absolutely necessary. I couldn't resist this picture of Walker... I am thinking it just might be time to retire this old Buzz Lightyear costume, he still loves it! (Rene check out the belt he fashioned from that annoying-tube-thing you got him!!)Oh the stuff. It actually worked out really well to pile all the pieces on the table before bringing in the bins to pack it away. See you next year, Christmas decor. Stay safe.
The boys tried out their fort-kit from Great Aunt Becky. SO awesome! I considered sewing something like this for the bunk beds, but never got around to it... I am glad too, because I was just going to use an old sheet... camo is much more fun!
While I was packing stuff up, they were busy getting stuff out... We haven't done the annual post-Christmas "what-can-we-donate-because-we-have-an-overwhelming-amount-of-toys" sort yet... its coming, most likely this next weekend. So far Wilson has suggested getting rid of some matchbox cars... of course, they don't really take up much space around here ;)
Oh, and if he wasn't helping Walker get stuff out, Wilson was reading. Today he finished the last of the books that Uncle Colson let him borrow. He sure loves reading. I'm going to see if I can find a Bible reading plan geared for his age. Any suggestions?

05 January 2011

smorgasboard of michigan photos

this just might be my all-time-favorite picture - Grandma in my boots =)Silly-faced boys with Yaya
At the Sloan Museum with Grandpa Carl, who let Walker drive?
Can you tell they were excited to play in the snow?
Christmas morning with Great Grandma
Christmas Night with Great Grandpa Lewis and his greats
Puppies! Wilson r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to bring one with us...
collage of gift-opening...
collage of sledding...
We had a lot of very wonderful moments as always. We are truly blessed by our families and the gift of time together. The time always seems to go by too quickly. And I never take enough pictures.

We decided to leave our Christmas decorations up at least until this weekend. There are gifts all over the place and all kinds of organizational nightmares lurking in each closet. We'll make do. =) One day at a time.