Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mummy Candy Holder

With four girls who have discriminating taste for fine candies, we made mummy candy holders to keep their favorites out of the community candy bowl.

First, we gathered our supplies. We had all this junk around the house. 
Plastic cups, Mod Podge, paintbrush, scissors, medical gauze, 
green Play-Doh, googly eyes, and girlie trimmings.

Next, they painted on the Mod Podge and wrapped their cups.
After it dried, they pressed on green Play-Doh and added googly eyes,
gauze and teeth to make a face. Finally, they added cute bows.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Custom Painted "TOMS" ~ Olivia's Neverland Pandas

Olivia likes pandas and Jake and the Neverland Pirates so I mixed the two for the design. I painted, repainted and repainted because I couldn't decide on the right color scheme. Also, the herringbone texture of the fabric was driving me batty! I struggled to get smooth lines.

When the shoes finally dried and the results looked acceptable, I showed Olivia and she exclaimed,"They're cute-iful!" Ok. With that adorable comment, I can live with the results. Plus, she created a new word for the family lexicon. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monkey Pudding

Emily has to bring a birthday treat to Pre-K tomorrow. She chose clementines but our household can't seem to hold back on produce so I had to make something else. I rummaged around the pantry and found Jell-o instant chocolate pudding, Nila wafers, Cheerios, red food coloring and clear plastic cups for Monkey Pudding. 

The kiddos helped with this "recipe" but really it's just a matter of mixing and assembling.
First, we put the clear plastic cups in a cupcake pan for a handy pudding carrier. Next, we mixed the instant pudding in a large measuring cup with a spout. Then, we poured it into the cups and put the pan in the fridge so the pudding could set up. In the mean time, the kiddos counted and sorted the Cheerios to make eyes and counted out the number of Nila wafers needed for the mouths. I squirted some red food coloring into a dish and painted smiles on the Nila wafers with a clean craft brush. After the pudding set up and the Nila wafers dried, the little monkeys assembled the monkey pudding. We had fun, it was easy and I saved myself a trip to the store.

AFTERTHOUGHTS: I halved mini cookies for ears but we decided to eat them instead. The cup didn't leave much room. In the future, I think I'll make monkey cookies or cupcakes and add the halved mini cookies for ears and maybe candy bananas from a box of Runts. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Custom Painted "TOMS" ~ Grandma's Garden

I'm on a faux TOMS painting kick. 
I made my MIL these and will happily make anyone else a pair too.

Grandma's Garden

 Panda Pirate/Panda Mermaid version for Olivia

Friday, August 17, 2012

Custom Painted "TOMS" ~ Emily's Zoo

While out for birthday supplies at Family Dollar, I stumbled upon a pink pair of faux TOMS for Emily. I customized them and now I want to find some more.
Her sisters are already planning their designs. Plus, I want a pair!

Emily wanted an elephant and giraffe. So I played around in Google images until I found a design she liked. These shoes are inspired by the link below.

UPDATE: The hubs suggested I spray the shoes with a waterproof finish. 
He handed me a "clear" turned out to be white spray paint. 
Apparently, our brains had a simultaneous duurrrrr moment. 
Well, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The shoes now have a worn in, muted look.
The softer colors suit her wardrobe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One Little Girl, One Big Year

One Little Girl, One Big Year
Annie is turning 1 year old on Saturday, August 18th! Where has the time gone? Good times go fast, huh?

She has many nicknames: Annie, Annie Ann Ann, Anna, Anna Banana, Anna Banana Lise, Annalisie, Annalisie-uh, Ann Ann Anderson, Itsy Bitsy, Tiny Hiney, Punkin' Baby, Baby Girl and Lil' Chub Chub Baby (retired due to loss of baby chub). Also, it should be noted that the above nicknames are regularly used; however, her intermediate and extended family often create new ones by mixing them all up. 

Some of Annie's present day activities are: attempting to climb into the dishwasher, attempting to open all locked and unlocked cabinets, hanging onto furniture and walking, climbing into child-sized chairs and standing, dumping toys, dumping food from bowls, spilling open containers, standing confidently then taking 2 steps and slowly lowering herself to the floor, mischievously smiling when we marvel at her walking, exploring food like a champ (She loves everything we've given her except baby food! She whines for bananas, black beans, watermelon and cherry tomatoes), reading books and playing toys with her sisters, giving hugs, pats, kisses and high-fives, mimicking faces (pooching lips, nodding yes and no, panting like a doggie), watching "dawg-dawgs," resting with her sisters while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and pointing and whining until she gets what she wants.

Her first words are listed in chronological order: punba (Spongebob), hi, papa, dada, mama, sis-sis and dawg-dawg. The list will continue to grow just as she is.

This past year has been filled with hugs, kisses, laughs, smiles, pouts and tears. We are amazed at what a precious person she's become. Happy Birthday to our Annie! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm entitled to be grumpy.

I can be unpleasant. I worry about situations I cannot control and a lack of proper sleep and/or nutrition can take a toll on a girl. I'd even go as far to say that some mornings I behave like a mama bear who was dragged out of her cave mid-hibernation. I'm entitled to be grumpy. Right?

Well, try living with my husband who rarely exhibits grumpy unless he happens to fall into the right combination of hungry and exhausted (then he behaves like a bear also). As he was preparing for this morning's fishing trip, I peered at him through bleary eyes and smiled as he happily shows me his t-shirt that reads,"I'm entitled to be grumpy." He was a walking contradiction with his big grin as he trotted out the door. I knew he wasn't making a statement about his temperament rather his memories. Paul is a t-shirt collector and ceremoniously retires his t-shirts to family members and makes them solemnly vow to return them if they have no need for them anymore. To Paul, each t-shirt is a wearable memory and today he's wearing the memory of his Grandpa Partee, who was the original owner of the t-shirt. I'm glad that I crawled out of bed and had a few moments with him before he left this morning. Paul possesses some magical endearing charm that inspires me in the most mundane moments and changes my grumpy heart. 

The t-shirt that Paul inherited from his Grandpa Partee.
Enjoying a cup of coffee and organizing my thoughts, I realized that I'm entitled to be grumpy; however, I'm also entitled to accept life, accept each situation, accept what people say or do and handle it. To complain is to not accept what is and to look at things in a negative light. I'm not a victim of life. I was given life! When I have reason to be grumpy or complain, I can accept it or change it. Anything else is pure insanity.

I'm entitled to be happy too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rita Rita Runken

Gigi Keller sings a sweet little Norsk rhyme to her great-grandchildren. As best as I know, it's about 2 small doggies. Paul recorded her reciting it and I asked her to help me copy it down. Enjoy!


Rita rita runken
Hessen needa brunken
Sawda vada silka peada 
Da peada vor da nesta vee
Da vadamen hamen
Two small hoona
Ana seida bo...
Ana seida bo...
A bo wo wo!

UPDATE: Gigi asked Keith Halverson for his help in translating the above. He stated via email,"The nursery rhyme you ask about must be what is called Ride, rider ranke (the toddler sitting on his/her mother’s/father’s knee like riding). It comes in different versions, and I have not succeeded in finding the one which corresponds to the version you give me in a very odd Norwegian translation. Here is a link to some of the versions that exist. A friend from Norway helped me with the song. I hope this is some help."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Perfect Wonder

Another perfect wonder joined our family August 18th. Annalise Joy Keller graces our family with more love, beauty and joy, which always amazes me. I (and ALL our family) was so anxious for her to arrive that I experimented with every old wive's tale to bring on labor. No amount of walking or castor oil was going to convince Annie. She was only 2 days past her due date, but it seemed infinitely longer at the time. Now that she's here and I get to gaze adoringly into her face, I have forgotten how miserable I made myself (and Paul) those last few days of my pregnancy.

There's something about a baby that words fail to express. I'll attempt to explain my thoughts, but words won't completely express my meaning. Holding a new baby is as if finally you have found something perfect. I'm not talking only about outer beauty but what lies behind their eyes. I never tired of looking at a baby's sweet face and suddenly the past, present and future seem to be one thing. The past, of course, is seen in identifiable shared traits such as eyes, hair or a smile. The present is in the way a baby grasps your finger or clings to your chest. The future lies in the knowing look in their eyes or the light behind their eyes is how I often describe it. Babies are a perfect wonder to me. I marvel at how such a tiny body holds so much biological and spiritual wonder.

I'm also in awe at how a baby can take plans and turn them on its head. I have learned this 4 times over. I make plans with some flexibility because you can count on this: If you continue to cling to a set of specific expectations about how life should happen, then you miss out celebrating the real thing. My goal is to liberate myself from the oppressive fantasy of a perfect life and enjoy life's perfect wonders -- my family.

Lexi, Emmi, Livi and Annie