Wednesday, April 9, 2014

simple is as simple does, charlie's birthday...

charlie turned seven on monday.
she was ecstatic and treated it like christmas
(including the whole not-being-able-to-sleep-the-night-before thing).
because daddy has to be on the road to work by seven,
we woke everyone up super early to go have an early bird breakfast at black bear diner.
she barely touched her pancakes before her birthday sundae arrived.
gross but perfect.  she was in heaven.

after daddy headed to work, we headed to the store to pick up some party items.
i was talked into a pinata and it was a blast.  
mostly we just invited a few friends and family over last minute to have cake and ice cream (and pinata) 
it was simple, fun and super low key.  

i know charlie loves a good party,
but i love the ones that come together at the last moment
and are just as fun and the big ones!  
and bonus - more crazy loom bands and yarn and crochet hooks were given -
even a super-awesome cooking book was gifted...
we have days of creating ahead of us.  

so, happy birthday to my special girl, who i love more than she can ever imagine. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

starting to hang things...this means something...

"boy with single tear"
one of my favorite thrift store finds finally was hung last week.
i painted his frame glossy black.
he cracks me up every time i see him, one little tear running down his face.

guitars were hung in all the bedrooms.
we have soooo many guitars and i like that they are accessible now.
and bonus, the kids really love having their own guitars to grab when dad starts playing downstairs.

this is one of my all time favorite pictures of the kids -
printed on glass.
luke won the lottery and it is hanging in his room, just above his light switch.

nick's downstairs guitar is hung just inside our door in the master.
i painted nick's 90's style brass and wood clock to give it a quick update.
he loves that clock.
i used oil brushed bronze spray paint - so there is a subtle metallic sheen to it.  

this baby is HUGE and was only twenty dollars at ikea.
(ignore the artwork, cheesy)
i picked it up forever ago knowing we needed big art here and there.
it has an awesome inset matting and silver frame.
i am still debating what to do.  i have a number of large prints picked out to lay over the top.
the question is what color to paint the frame and background -
glossy black has been my go-to -
but silver leaf would add so much dimension and warmth.
i will post all my print options soon.  

all the lockers are getting slowly filled -
the outsides need to be cleaned, but that will take time.
we put all of the games up on top and they are now centrally located in the house.  
we want to hang one more small vintage piece on the other side of the lockers,
near charlie's room and just above the light switch.
i'm debating though, because a beautiful hook and a simple sweater would look just as warm and homey.

art upstairs is going to be trickier.
the huge windows and chalkboards are so visually dominant,
as is all the kid's wonderful homeschool/life clutter.
but we still have a number of huge white walls.

and to complicate things further the air conditioner/heater returns are in the middle of the two biggest walls -
there was no way around it, since we're dealing with the roof line hitting the containers pretty low.
so, lots of debating continuing there.

okay, back to life and such.
we had an impromptu birthday party for charlie last night and now i need to go clean.
a happy birthday post is coming soon.

Monday, April 7, 2014

the color in my life...

color, everywhere.
absolutely everywhere.

in this moment, cool stuff...

i read this great post and immediately planned a FHE around it, 
including creating this document (which is now laminated and awaiting monday night)

And this gardener does what i do with old milk jugs/mini-greenhouses, but on crack. 
check it out,  click here. 

 we are trucking through our world history at the moment, 
though we never seem to leave egyptian history too far behind...
it always pops back up.

to celebrate our ongoing study of this part of the world,
we did lots of projects and readings -
and especially loved THIS.
you can do it with any subject and your kids (and yourself) will love it!
(she gives instructions in her comments, always use sharpies)

we've already built ziggurats out of legos,
and after finally figuring out how to play with the school's 3-D printers,
we are planning on working on a 3-D model as well -
designed over at 
(which is amazing and your kids will love)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

cooking class, part II....

i wasn't able to stop in the middle of the crazy and take many pics,
but cooking class was an amazing and yummy success.  
we started out small and grew to a crowd by the end of the night.

we made it through the entire list,
though i did burn the brie and it was rather inedible.  
my favorite was bruschetta, because bruschetta is always my favorite.

the caprese spears were a blast to make with all these little-to-big people running around.
and the kids loved the pesto puff pastry so much, we made another batch.

the italian nachos were also something of a hit with the kids,
which is great, but whatever - because i won't make them again for another six years.
they are a mess maker and rather heavy, so they are a once a decade sort of appetizer.  

all in all, it was a success.
the girls and boys learned some new recipes and skills.
and us older folks were able to talk and impart a bit of wisdom here and there.

it doesn't matter what we do with the next generation -
from dancing to cooking to who-knows-what we'll get up to next! -
it just matters that we do something.  

we can all learn from eachother. 

a day in the life of my kids...

we had a rough monday.
rough in that school took hours longer than planned because the babes were recovering from a long sunday.
but when we finally made it through all of their work,
the kids settled into a long afternoon of art -
art in the yard, at the park, on the deck.
oil pastels, chalk, markers, crayons...
every medium was their choice.  

rough days can be kind of awesome in the end. 

a reason to love our school even more...

our favorite homeschool charter school is the best -
and one of the best things about it is it's location,
out in the middle of the country, nestled against the hills and less than a mile away
from the much beloved kaweah oaks preserve.
and since my friend/co-homeschooling buddy pam was heading out to school the same day as us,
we decided to head over and spend some time hiking and learning with the kids.
kaweah oaks preserve is really great for kids -
especially littles, in that all the hikes are rather short 
and you can turn back to the car at anytime without stressing everyone out too much.
if your kids are older and want more, the trails will add up to a good chunk of mileage.
because we had a toddler with us, we stuck to our two favorite small trails -
enjoy the copious amount of pics i've posted. 

and bonus, before we left -
the kids wanted to hang out in the picnic area again,
and after an impromptu talent show,
the kids started building an extensive fort around a fallen tree. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

this house...

it's finally wrapping up.
i have been completely immersed in a flurry of projects recently -
skirting the very long desk was once of them.
i bought this fabric at a clearance shop years ago and immediately fell in love with it.
i knew it would go somewhere in the house
and was able to use every bit of it, minus a yard -
this fabric is the reason i chose the orange stools. 
do you like them?
i kind of love them.

it's all coming together.  
baby steps. 
so many little baby steps to go.  
wish us luck.