What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Billy Goats Gruff - A Boy and A Mask

My firstborn was in his very first school play today! He's following in my proud footsteps - my first role was in our second grade play, "Robin Hood." My line? "Look! An arrow! With a note on it!" Said while pointing dramatically at the aforementioned arrow. I remember that line, and my lines from our seventh grade Christmas production ("Pickwell Personnel Placement" etc.), and yet I can't remember why I walked upstairs a minute ago. Sigh ...

Evan was Billy Goat Gruff #2, and he had two lines in the show. He spoke with flair and used his arms to great effect. We thought he did a great job. I look forward to cheering him on in many more years of class productions!

My biggest challenge involved the costuming. He brought home a note from the teacher saying that we needed to provide a brown shirt, khaki pants, and a goat mask. You know, it's kind of hard to find a good (cheap) goat mask on short notice.  So I embarked on a quest to make my own.

Here's how I did it: First, I bought three zebra foam masks from the Target dollar spot. They also had elephants, but I thought a zebra was more adaptable. Less nose.
Then I bought a big pack of foam and a piece of posterboard. Traced the zebra mask onto the posterboard and considered the most crucial parts of the goat facial identity. Horns, ears and a long nose.  I cut off the zebra's ears, removed the grey nose, then added some pieces with foam, and tried to cover up stripes with marker.
I couldn't have done it without my assistant's encouragement and support.
You'll see that I decided that the marker areas didn't really work. I covered them up with foam, and voila! A billy goat. I ended up making three of these masks, and they used them all.
Evan graciously let Corrie pose for a photo op with his mask. It's nice to see his smile! I thought the masks turned out well, but I like the look of my boy better.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wall Art and Family Dinners

I am not a very crafty mom, but I like the idea of being crafty. I try to learn from the crafty ladies I know, and sometimes I outright steal ideas from them. For example, I have this canvas hanging in my living room:

Isn't it cute? I totally stole the idea from my friend Crystal. She made two separate canvases - one for each of her boys - but I opted to just do the one. The background is blue acrylic paint, and the leaves and handprint flowers are all cut out of scrapbook paper, then modpodged onto the canvas. It was super simple to do, and it makes me happy every time I see it.

We've added two other pieces of wall art recently:

Corrie made this pretty wooden cross at preschool for Easter.

And I treated myself to this custom-made wooden sign from RachelRepurposed on Etsy.

When I was growing up, our church would have a monthly potluck. Before dinner, everyone would stand in a circle in the fellowship hall, hold hands, and sing this song. I don't know who started that tradition - maybe one of the pastors? - and I don't know if they still sing it at potlucks, but I hum "Be Present at Our Table, Lord" regularly when I set the table.

I hope that our family dinners are a chance for us to connect with each other and be fed physically and spiritually. I'm not a great cook - we often have breakfast for dinner - or ramen - or mac and cheese - but we do try to get together at the table several nights a week. I know it'll get harder as the kids get older and we have more evening activities, so I figure it's good to get in the habit now.

I hope this sign will be a reminder and encouragement to me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just a Swingin'

Ben is 8 months old now, and I have tried to put him in the swings at the park before, but ... for one reason or another, it hasn't worked out well. When I would put him in the swing, I'd have to stuff blankets around him, and Ben would still kind of slump a bit.

Ben is still a little guy (between 13-14 pounds), but he's getting a lot stronger. We took the kids to the park a few days ago, and decided to try the swings again. Check him out:

The big kids were swinging on a huge swing together:

Corrie decided to push her baby brother on the swings for a while. Ben loved it.

And so did Corrie.

My friend Beckie came to the park with us to take pictures, and these are some of the moments she captured. Aren't the photos great? I've been looking at them all afternoon ... and appreciating how sweet the kids look in all the pictures. It amuses me that I've been oohing and ahhing over pictures of the kids while letting the actual kids run amuck. Ha! Evan and Corrie are just so much quieter in photos. :)

Here's some fun pictures of the three of them together:

It's very difficult to get everybody looking in the right direction. And smiling.

The kids had a blast playing, and I am thrilled to have some good pictures of my dear ones. I'm counting my blessings tonight!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

My mom sent us an Easter package with a book for Corrie: "The Best Thing About Easter" by Christine Harder Tangvald. It talks about ALL the fun parts of Easter - coloring eggs, wearing nice Easter clothing, enjoying spring, petting furry bunnies, and celebrating with friends and family - and it ends with the wonderful news that Jesus is the BEST thing about Easter.

That's just how I feel tonight. I liked our egg hunt, I cherish my family and friends, and our Easter dinner was delicious, but - oh! The very very very best part of this day is knowing that Jesus loves me. The choir at church this morning sang selections from Handel's Messiah, and the whole congregation stood for the Hallelujah Chorus. I cried.

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever.


Some pictures from our day:

I put the kids to work shucking corn!

Here's our homemade creamed corn. YUM.

We invited friends over for Easter dinner. While dinner was in the oven, we opened Resurrection eggs with the kids.

Then we were hunted eggs in the backyard. We had an assortment of plastic eggs and cascarones (confetti eggs).

Ben missed all of the egg hunt because he was napping. He woke up for dinner, though! :)

Here's a picture of all the kids:

Here's a picture of the kids at Easter last year:

It's fun to see everybody grow! And sad to realize that people move. Two of the boys now live in Mississippi. The other family just had a baby, so they did their own thing for Easter this year.

And sweet Ben ... this was his first Easter! Here he is enjoying the sunshine with his big brother:

I hope you and your families had a great day today! Happy Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dinner and a Walk

Ben has been participating in family dinners more lately. Usually he sits in his high chair to eat some stage 2 veggies, but we have been experimenting with the Bumbo seat.

Ben sits in the middle of the table, and the rest of us surround him. He doesn't know which way to look!

Sometimes he needs entertainment other than our scintillating conversation. He loves to chew on Corrie's hair. Corrie doesn't love it quite so much.

The south Texas weather has been hot during the day, but cooling off nicely at night. Perfect for an after dinner stroll!

I only have one half picture of Evan. He and Emmett were too busy tossing the football back and forth to smile for pictures. Here he is, behind Corrie. :)

If you look carefully, you'll notice that Corrie is wearing both a skirt and a pair of Bermuda shorts. Her grandma sent an Easter package (thanks, Grandma!) and Corrie felt that it was important to wear ALL of the articles of clothing that she received.

Ben loved the fresh air. It was such a pretty night.

This was my view for most of our walk. Corrie led the way on her tricycle while Ben and I moseyed along. Emmett and Evan were all over the place with the football.