Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

My pumpkin patch days are over, but they sure were fun and touching to look back at the photos:
Good buds at the pumpkin patch:
Carving away:
At 12, Brady still excited:
At 13, thoroughly annoyed I dragged him to the pumpkin patch:
hahaha - good times ;)
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last Sign of Garden Happiness for 2008

I picked these Dahlias today.  I am sad because I'm sure they're the last ones that will bloom this year:

What a funny bouquet - one of each type!  But happy nonetheless =)
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Monday, October 27, 2008

WOW carved pumpkin

Keaton carved this World of Warcraft pumpkin (Theramore Guard):

He spent hours on it - cool how he opened up the outline part all the way through and then only took out the outer layer of the skin on the character.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

House Stuff

We drywalled a bit on Saturday - FINALLY!  And you can also see that I have lined the inside of the window seat box (I will be trimming it out and then I'll take a photo inside of it - yes, to hide the seams from you ;)
These are the can lights we put in the closet, more are completed in the hallway and bedrooms:
Skylight framed in and insulated:
Keaton chose dark brown paint for the bottom third of his bedroom and light brown for the top and ceiling (Keaton will eventually paint a mural on 1 of his walls):

Brady wanted turquoise, so I am going to do 3 horizontal stripes in the colors above and the 4th color will be his ceiling color - very faint, but it is a light blue above the 3 apparent colors.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Keaton's haircut

Keaton got his haircut last week too - not very happy about the length because it's too short (in his opinion):

I like it much better =)  And mother's know best (truly!)
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Baptism Picture Frame

I bought a picture frame and spray painted it brown and then used a clear coat.
I customized some wording to use (her last name is in the actual project, I just took it out for the Internet).
(the Take 5 wording is for the candy bar we'll give her with the frame):
I arranged some patterned paper to make a mat:
Here it is all assembled:

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Water Fountain

I bought this water fountain on Craigslist 2 years ago because it was a good deal, but I didn't really love it when I got it home (I even tried to resell it to my sister and mom):
I wanted to tile it with glass tile, but it is usually $25-$35 a sheet (or square foot).  I found some glass tile for $9 a sheet:
And made a random pattern, so my tile project cost $36:

It is going to hang in the wall upstairs between the boy's bedrooms!  I still have to clean the thin set off the tiles and grout it.  It took Jonathan and me 2 hours to do this project together.  Glad I didn't tackle it myself, I would have been stressed!  We used pennies between the tiles for spacers.  Peeling the tiles off the sticky backing wasn't very fun - but I love how it turned out!  When we get the drywall up, we'll install the fountain and I'll take a picture to post.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Pumpkins

Foam pumpkins from the craft store:
Painted them metallic brown, gold and silver:
Added ribbon and fall picks to the tops:

They are outside on my front porch!  Will make a great presentation October & November =)
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Wreath

I made this fall wreath last year using dried and silk flowers/berries, but am posting the picture now.  I love fall colors!  

I am working on some crafty pumpkins - hopefully will be done tomorrow =)
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Daddy/Daughter Date

We've been busy doing electrical work and have 17 new lights in upstairs.  Still need to put in lights in the hallway, laundry, our room/bath.  That's still a lot of work to go!  =)
So, I've also been working on an activity day Daddy/Daughter date.  The girls made cars from cardboard boxes and had dinner, activities and dessert.  They all said it was a lot of fun.

My station took photos of the girls with their dads - I printed one for each girl and then made a collage of all of them.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brady's haircut

I cut Brady's hair per his request - I can't believe how much hair there was on the ground!  He wanted it longer grades 8 & 9 and I always disliked long hair on guys - yuck ;)  He didn't feel like styling it for the picture, but I think it still looks pretty cute:
He actually even said he liked it this time =)  Wow!
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Caramel Apples

I made caramel apples yesterday for my Activity Day girls and Visiting Teaching route:

No unwrapping caramels and melting them here - although it probably is faster - I made the caramel from scratch and even took a recipe and added ingredients, took away some and altered the measurements!
Used 2 caramel coats since it was a thin syrup:
I melted white almond bark and coated that over the caramel, then rolled it in homemade granola:
Wrapped them up and gave them away:

Happy Fall =)

Granola Recipe - quick & easy

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350˚.

Combine coconut, almonds, oats, oil, and honey together in a large bowl until they are mixed well. Pour onto a sheet pan and bake, stirring once or twice during baking time, until the mixture turns a nice golden brown for 20 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring once.  Stores for 1 month or longer in an air-tight container.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boy's Bedrooms

It doesn't look like much, but these will be the 'before' photos of amazing 'after' photos ;)
I learned how to wire electrical boxes and learned how to use the tool to see if the wires were live.......the hard way!  I cut the plastic off one and got shocked, but thankfully the cutters absorbed most of it.
This will be a shared closet between the 2 bedrooms.  It had a 'secret' box in the floor - but unfortunately, there wasn't a treasure left behind ;)
Brady's room:
Keaton's room:

On Saturday, we cut out the 2 skylights, marked out for recessed lights, finished framing & running electrical wire and hopefully we're going to drywall, mud & tape this week.  Are you coming over to help now?  ;)
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Brady's Deciduous Forest Diorama

Brady had to write a report and make a diorama of a deciduous forest - he got to partner with 1 friend. So, they worked 3 days after school and on Saturday last week on this project. They decided to work the last day at our house, as in the day before it's due. Uhhhhh, they hadn't even started the diorama - yeah, don't you love that? ;) So, guess what I had to spend my evening doing yesterday? No time to run to the store, so we used paper for most everything - love the web for graphics! I guess I should have asked how far along the boys were specifically instead of 'how's it going on the project' - yes, way too vague!

What did this diorama look like before this masterpiece? ;) After the other kid's mom ground up coffee for 'fake dirt' - and Brady told me it didn't really work, I told the boys to use real dirt. Brady says where do I get dirt? I look at him and say 'in the yard somewhere'. After I sent him outside, really hoping he picked the 'right' spot to gather some dirt, as in not out of my flower gardens. Then he comes back in and asks 'how should I get the dirt'? I looked at him and said 'use a shovel. . .', boy, no wonder he needed my help - LoL Okay, poor kid - it may be that he can't think when his friends are around - but between the 2 of them and they had to ask how to scoop up dirt? It was funny! But then 'what should we put the dirt in' made my answering voice a little more strained 'in a bucket Brady!' It's amazing I didn't have to send them out again after that to get a pile of dirt!!!
The shoebox was previously lined on the bottom with green paper (which I had to point out to them that forest floors are not grass - I expected them to say 'it's moss' or something, but no, the green paper was indeed representing grass) and glued to that was coffee grinds - for the dirt - it looked like dark sandpaper grit . . . . and was not covering that grass floor very well ;) A corner was cut from the green paper exposing the bottom of the shoebox and they had colored it blue with marker - but there was glue on the bottom of the box, so that didn't really work either. It honestly looked like a 3rd grader had done this - so embarrassing! Brady told me that their diorama looked exactly like the models the teacher had shown them from previous years - how scary! And that none of the examples were to scale. The perfectionist in me would have no part in that! hehe He said the animals were all 1 size and as big as the trees. I would not make a good HS teacher as I would have higher expectations from them and I would probably be laughing out loud at them!!
I found a background of a
forest online and had the boys glue the picture to the back and sides of the shoebox - they did exceptionally well cutting it to size and securing it onto the box. After I printed off paper animals, the other boy had to go home to babysit his sister - so now I was on board as Brady's partner in finishing this project and we had a long ways to go!
We used Epoxy for the water and beans for river rocks, which turned out pretty neat. Fake floral things for the trees, moss and branches/sticks, real dirt and rocks and paper animals. The most painful part (besides how time consuming this became) was cutting out the tiny squirrels and fish to scale using an exacto knife. I cut up pieces of styrofoam to use as a base before gluing the props in & Brady hot glued the bottom of the styrofoam pieces, but just stuck the glued part to the dirt. I had to point out that he needed to glue the pieces to the bottom of the box in order for the glue to do its job. . .oh the things you assume that is common sense and the things that make you wonder where you failed as a parent in teaching a basic principle ;)

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