Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dining Room Makeover!

When we bought our house the owner asked us if we wanted the dining set. He didn't need it anymore and none of his kids or grandkids wanted it. We agreed because the chairs to our set were falling apart, literally. We've twice now had a chair collapse under someone.

This is what the chairs to our new-to-us set look like.

Darling, right? Butterflies on blue. It's retro, vintage, whatever you want to call it, which I normally love. The house's vintage vibe is a big part of what sold me on it. However, this little bit of vintage charm isn't exactly my taste.

And we've got rolls and rolls of the material downstairs. A couple weeks ago we noticed that a few of the chairs were getting rips in the material and we'd already known that the material was N-A-S-T-Y. The kids spill and drop their food on the chairs every day. They are gross. I'm constantly having to wash off every part of the chairs after they eat.

I decided now was the time to recover the cushions. I was given two gift cards to a local craft store for Christmas and decided to use one of them to buy the needed materials.

So now, two of my chairs look like this.

Here's a close up of the material.
I also bought some plastic to cover the material so it will actually stay nice.

I've been trying to get one chair done a night, but I'm thinking I'd like it all done before New Years. It's been interesting trying to learn how to recover a chair. All those lovely video people make it look so easy. I hate them.

Anyway, I love my new chairs. With the neutral color and the dark wood, they will work in whatever kind of dining room we choose for our next house when we move away from Cleveland, as far away as possible. J/K. Kind of.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jeoparody Post Winners!

It was really hard picking the two winners from the Motherhood Jeopardy post. There was lots of encouragement and so many good answers. Whether I could use them, will use them, have already been using them, or won't be using them, I appreciate them. And a special thank you to everyone who said I should hunker down and write. It made me smile and breathe a bit easier.

I love being told to go off and write. I need to be told it more often.

The two winners I picked are . . . . . .

Kristine, because she has a sense of humor when it comes to motherhood and can joke about straitjackets and muzzles. In my opinion, mothers who absolutely cannot joke about those two items are hiding their frustrations and lying.

And . . . . . . .

First time commenter Juggling Motherhood because she gave a great tip I hope to use. I loved her idea of creating a fort for the kids to play in while I cook dinner. I'm not the best fort builder, but I am willing to improve my skills.

Thank you and be sure to email me at ksbimagine at with your address so I can mail you some candy that I won't let my kids eat, but will stuff into my face as soon as their little backs are turned and out of chocolate-smelling range.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas at the Zoo

Today we had breakfast with some friends who were super awesome to prepare a wonderful meal including the most delicious chocolate-cinnamon rolls, or as Nathan called them Happiness Solidified, we've ever eaten. (Thank you, Weights!) After breakfast we all gathered together at the Cleveland Zoo to see Santa and his reindeer.

Here are some fun pictures from our adventures today.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were in the wolf cabin. When we walked in the kids had the option to make bird feeder pine cones, which was something I was planning on doing with them this week anyway, so now I don't have to buy bird feed -sweet!

Megan was the only one of our kids that wanted to see Santa and she almost chickened out at the last minute. She suddenly got really shy and silly when it was her turn and became super glued to my leg. Santa was great! He told Megan that she reminded him of a couple of his reindeer, that Prancer is the silliest of his reindeer and Doner is the most shy. That got her attention and she agreed to sit on his lap.
Megan asked him where his reindeer were kept and so when everyone was finished with their visit with Santa and their pine cones we walked down to them.

The Zoo has special winter rates that included the Rain Forest where they had an area set up with cookies, frosting, and sprinkles for the kids. Here's Jeremy about to take his first bite of his Christmas tree cookie.

We had more fun today, too, but that story and corresponding pictures will have to be told later as the pictures haven't been through Photo Shop yet.

We had lots of fun today Weights, Brimhalls, and Monsons!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jeoparody! The Motherhood Version

Ever hear the phrase, life is a test? If you're LDS (Mormon for the rest of you), I know you have so raise your hand. Anyone else?

Today I have come to the conclusion that some aspects of life test harder than others. For example, motherhood* (do yourself a favor and see the fine print at bottom for a warning if you have begun feeling uppity or concerned for me).

It is the test that never ends.

Question One-Wake Up Time: How do you handle one overly happy child (you not being a morning person cannot understand her chipperness), one extremely grumpy child (while you identify with said grumpy child, his grumpiness still bugs you, because hey, you're grumpy), and one child you know will have either oatmeal or cereal in her hair in five minutes.

Question Two-School Time: How do you handle a child who won't let go of your leg when you drop him off at school?

Question Three-At Home: What do you do with the other two now? They want to color on your nice, painted walls and new couch, paint pictures on the dining room table, and eat candy at 8:45 AM. How do you handle this?

Question Four-Temper Rising: Youngest child has emptied your purse for the fifth time this morning (it's only 10AM) and you are running out of hiding places for it. She's eaten 53 cents and scattered the few dollar bills you were planning on using as your tithing. Oldest child is pretending she knows how to whistle and is actually shrieking at the top of her lungs. What is your answer?

Question Five-Lunch Time: Grumpy child is home from school and you have 20 minutes to feed all your children lunch before getting Oldest child to school. Youngest daughter wants to wear the peanut butter and jelly, Oldest child wants to talk instead of eat, and Grumpy child wants to pout. What is your answer?

Question Six-Sleep: Youngest child refuses to take naps now, but still desperately needs them. What do you do?

Question Seven-Repetition: Grumpy child is finally happy. Because he's throwing a ball in the house. He is told every day not to throw anything in the house. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. How do you handle this?

Question Eight-Dinner Hour: All three children are home now. You must now entertain, watch over, keep them clean, the house clean, and make dinner on time so that bed time can finally come. How do you juggle everything?

Question Nine-Bedtime: Youngest child arches her back, screams, and cries because she doesn't want to go to bed. In the same room, Grumpy child who eventually became happy is grumpy again because he doesn't want to go to bed. Small reprieve with Oldest child who has a 90% chance of going to sleep on her own. You put Youngest child in her bed when she calms down. She gets out. You put her back. She gets out. You have been told and have read that if you just keep putting her back and letting her cry she will eventually figure it out and learn to fall asleep in her bed on her own. This is a lie and you must find some other method. What will you do? Curve ball: Grumpy child shares a room with Youngest child and refuses to lay still or be quiet. How do you handle this situation while getting Youngest child to sleep?

Question Ten-Bonus Points: Once they are actually asleep for the night, what do you do?

A) the dishes, laundry, and any other chores that didn't get done during the day
B) craft or sew-not something for you, but for one of your children
C) watch TV/read/relax
D) do something for yourself
E) eat the candy you didn't allow them to eat at 10AM

Leave me your answers to any two questions, I'll pick my favorite answers and send you a prize. Seriously, I will. How about a package containing my favorite candy that I only eat when my kids are in bed? Or eat when they are at least not looking because I can't always wait until after 10AM.

*If you are one of those people that can't stand my posts where I talk about how hard motherhood can be, either read somewhere else today or try to understand that I LOVE MY KIDS AND AM GRATEFUL TO BE A MOM, but I also need to vent and complain sometimes about how motherhood is hard and demanding. That's part of having a blog about family life. Please don't worry about me, like you did in the past, over whether or not I'm "ok." I'M FINE. And the mere fact that I'm able to write this and that I'm trying to make it funny (whether I succeeded or not is irrelevant) shows that I'm normal, that I love my kids, and that I'm fine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That Was Totally Wicked!

As I mentioned earlier, Nathan got us tickets off of Craigslist to see Wicked. I checked Craigslist everyday for weeks hoping to find someone desperate enough to sell us tickets that we could actually afford.

We went a couple weekends ago (the Saturday after Megan's birthday) and it was awesome! The Elphaba we saw was the understudy, Meridith Kaye Clark and she was terrific. I can't imagine a performance better than hers. And when I compare our Glenda to the Broadway Glenda, I have to say that I like ours much more. She was more animated and looked more the part.

Our seats, which were the cheapest possible seats, technically could have been further back in the theater, but only by two feet. And a group of people two rows ahead of us arrived half an hour late and left early, so everyone between them and the aisle had to stand to let them pass. It was pretty annoying.

But I guess we were actually pretty lucky because the next weekend a woman down near the orchestra seats was drunk and decided to start yelling obscenities and nearly got into a fight with another patron. She was eventually escorted out of the theater, but it took quite a quite a while for the theater to send anyone to get her.

So we lucked out! Thank you Nathan for my great Christmas present, taking me out to the theater to see a great show. I loved being with you, hearing the fun music, and seeing the great performances.

Let's do it again next year:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday and Happy Birthday. And oh, yeah, Happy Birthday Again.

5 Years Old!

We always celebrate Megan's birthday early if we are with my parents because usually they have to leave before her actual birthday. Those pictures are with the Thanksgiving post and cover the first "Happy Birthday" in this post's title.

The second "Happy Birthday" came yesterday for her actual birthday.

I made some yummy cranberry orange muffins for breakfast for her and baked up some delish cupcakes with flower sprinkles for her preschool class (and our neighbor who donated the needed eggs. Thank you Lebanese neighbor!).

The third "Happy Birthday" is for today because we didn't get to the cake and ice cream yesterday. We were so busy and we had a Church Christmas party we all wanted to go to (I checked with Megan to make sure she was ok with us spending the evening at the Christmas party before telling her we were postponing her cake and ice cream). So the cake and ice cream part of her birthday was tonight.

I can't believe I have a five year old. It is really weird and yet at the same time I look at her and think, "You're only 5? I thought you were 13. . . ."

Here are five things I love about Megan

1. She is the sweetest and most loving little girl I've ever met. She always wants others to be happy and does everything she can to make others feel loved and wanted.

2. Her sense of humor is very well developed. She loves to laugh and loves to make others laugh.

3. Her imagination is wild. Just as it should be. I love listening to her play with her toys when she thinks I'm not listening. It is fun to hear the stories she comes up with for her toys to act out.

4. She is so smart and learns so quickly. Anyone who has read my blog or knows Megan already knows this. But you may not be aware of how big a blessing it is to have Megan be full of her daddy's smarts. She grasps on to concepts so quickly and then loves to teach others about what she's learned. And she entertains Jeremy and Emma by reading to them which is the BIGGEST help in the entire world some days.

5. I love looking at her happy smile. When I see her smile I can't help but be happy and feel blessed for having her as my daughter. God has truly blessed me.

I love this picture because she's staring almost in fear at that flame.

Sweetie, it's only going to get bigger every year.

Get used to it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bowling for Turkey

I didn't get a turkey on Thanksgiving.

Well, I ate turkey, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the three strikes in a row turkey. But, and here's where I pinky promise I'm not lying, I did get multiple strikes and for the very first time in my life got a score above not only 85, but 100.

Nathan promised to take me out to ice cream if I bowled a 300. If you combined my scores of the five games we played, I got way more than that. Unfortunately, he didn't mean combined. That's ok, we've got sherbet in the freezer.

Janeen, I know what you're thinking. (I think you're the only Rick's College roommate that reads my blog, right? If there are others, please fess up. Admitting it is the first step to recovery.) You are thinking No way, Kellie. I saw you bowl at Ricks. We took a class and you sucked. Well, Janeen. You would be right. I did suck. I am pretty sure that my average bowling score in that class was 60 and that the written part of the final is what saved me from actually getting a C in that class. I have no idea what happened on Thanksgiving. My first ball I got a strike and then they just kept coming.

Actually, when we got home and told my parents who were kindly watching the kids, I attributed it to the beautiful bracelet my mom got me for Christmas.

Ok, so you know how I said we played 5 games? After the first two we thought our arms were pretty much done (see how in shape we are?) but because we paid to play for two hours and only half an hour had passed, we thought we should play another one. After that third game we thought we'd gotten little bit of a second wind in our arms and decided to play a fourth. That was probably our worst game . . . except for the fifth one which we both played left handed since our right arms were shot. Still, I won three of the games we played (including the left handed game) and scored above 100 in the first three games and a 99 in the fourth. Some of you who know me well are probably thinking, like Janeen, Um, Kellie? You're left handed. Remember? Duh, I remember. But the only things I do with my left hand are write and eat (and I eat with my right hand a lot of the time, actually). Yeah, I can switch hit, but I haven't actually played softball in a long time. Everything else is strictly right hand.

Don't worry though. I'm sure the next time I go bowling (we go like 3 times a year) I'll be back to normal.

Bowling, anyone?