DIY Projects

Over the past three months since we moved in, I've been able to get a few do-it-yourself projects done around the house.   I'm not the best at documenting before photos, but oh well!  DIY projects are pretty tough with little ones at home, but I'm sure that every stage of life has interferences of it's own.

I bought a kitchen table and six chairs from a local antique shop before we moved.  I really only wanted the chairs, but they wouldn't break up the set so we took the table since we paid for it anyway.  For the price it was worth it and I decided to go ahead and paint the table, use it and beat it up while our kids are young, and probably replace it in the future.  This was my first project with Annie Sloan chalk paint and I LOVED it.  The only downside I found is that it can take up to a month for the wax to fully cure.  We definitely didn't wait that long since it was our kitchen table.  And it shows.  Oh well.  It's a good thing I wasn't in love with the table to start with.  I could repaint and rewax the top, but eh.  No matter what I do it will probably get messed up by my little crazies anyway.  I recovered the chairs {too bad I don't have a picture of the lovely before fabric} and the fabric definitely tied the room together.
 I love, love, love the softness of this paint and the way it distresses!

Next on my list was to paint the furniture in the guest room.  I kept putting it off, but decided on a whim one weekend to go ahead with it.  My dad and step-mom were in town and she offered to help me paint while my dad watched the kids {which he's all about anyway}.  I couldn't pass up an offer like that!  We used Annie Sloan chalk paint again.  This time we used Cocoa and Old White.  We played around with it when our first "method" didn't work and definitely learned a lot.  I really like the way it turned out, even if it wasn't what we planned!

Here's the before...

And after...

The next weekend my mom and step-dad were in town.  Notice a trend??  My mom helped me make pillows for the guest room.  I made the upholstered headboard and bedskirt a few weeks ago.
Gran hard at work!

The guest room still has a long way to go, but it's a big improvement from what it was before.  The checklist for that room includes:  painting the standing mirror that's in there, getting a mirror for over the dresser, window treatments, throw pillows for the bed, moving our bedside tables in there {whenever we get new ones for our room}, lamps, getting a chair that is currently in our family room recovered {whenever our new sofas arrive}, and then accessorizing/decorating with smaller things.  The list is long, but at least a guest can sleep in there for now!

John hung these prints for me in our master.
Our master bedroom is close to complete.  On the list for that room: bigger bedside tables {I'd love some small chests with drawers}, a lamp for Bryant's side to match mine, an upholstered bench at the end of our bed {probably a DIY version}, and deciding where to hang a few other things.

Lastly, well this isn't exactly a DIY project, but I wanted to share it nonetheless.  On our recent women's retreat a woman shared how she had a prayer journal for each of her children that she jotted down prayers and memories for as they grew up.  I felt like this would be an awesome treasure for them someday and really wanted to start one for each of my boys.  {Even though I must confess that I wonder if as "boys" they'll even care about this stuff.}.  I just hope I can keep up with them!  I figure even if I only write in them a few times a year, which of course I'm hoping for more, it will still be awesome for them to have one day.  I pray for them every day, but I don't often write those prayers down.  I want for them to see the specific ways they've been prayed over and how the Lord has answered those prayers.  I also thought it would be a great place to keep funny, little things they say and do.  So... be sure to remind me in a few months to write in them!


Miller::3.5 years (ish)

Nice title, huh?  I have been meaning to do a post all about my firstborn for quite a while.  I want to remember all of the the little things that I love about him {and even the things that drive me crazy} at this stage.  Technically, he is three years and seven months right now, but that's pretty close to three and a half.
Miller is 3'2" tall right now and weighs 36.5 pounds.

He is beginning to play pretend and usually wants me to pretend to be him while he pretends to be me or his teacher.  Other times he likes to pretend we're at Chick-Fil-A and he serves me food, ha!  Sometimes he gets really creative and we're on a rocket or something, but usually his make believe is based very closely to his real life experiences.  When he puts on costumes he grins and giggles as though he's tricking me and then says, "It's still me mommy.  I'm just wearing a costume."  He totally thinks he fooled me.
Creative Storytelling day at the library

Naps.  Oh beloved naps.  He could probably drop his afternoon nap at this point, but I am fighting it with every fiber of my being.  I covet this time in the afternoons not only for my sanity, but also because it's really the only time I can get things done around the house and prep for dinner.  I'll probably have to give in and let him move to "rest" time with quiet toys in my bedroom soon.  He often wakes Jacob up while he fights sleep by jumping on his bed, kicking his headboard, yelling at talking to his animals.  Once he finally gets still {usually after a spanking} he goes straight to sleep.  I'd love any tips or suggestions for rest time!  We've found him many afternoons under his bed after he finally gives in to sleep.
Even though his naps at home are going downhill, Miller is finally taking really good naps on long car trips.  He understands that if he sleeps it will feel like we got to our destination faster and actually tries to sleep.  He even goes back to sleep if something wakes him up sometimes.  Fabulous.
He is still a good night-time sleeper, but started having bad dreams around his third birthday.  They seemed to peak when we moved into the new house, but have lessened recently.

For some reason the move had a positive effect on potty training and he was fully potty trained within a couple of weeks of us moving in.  He was almost all the way there, but for some reason things just clicked even more after we moved.

As you may have noticed from many of the pictures, blue blankie is still a member of the family.  Miller likes to sleep with it, watch cartoons with it, and take it in the car {although we don't always let him take it everywhere}.  He also went through a phase recently where he wanted "baby" all of the time.  He even named her "Annie" after his new baby cousin.  These days his tiger lovie has taken the place of baby Annie.

Miller LOVES to talk.  All.  day.  long.  I am so grateful that he has such a great vocabulary and language skills, but he wears me out, ya'll.  I probably hear, "Hey, let me tell you something" about five hundred times a day.  This is another reason I'm clinging to naptime.  And also part of the reason he wakes Jacob up, ha!  In addition to his nonstop rambling, he WILL NOT stop repeating himself until you acknowledge whatever he is telling you.  A nod will not do.  You must take part in the conversation.  Like I said, a huge blessing, but exhausting nonetheless.
His "cheese" face

He also loves being outside.  His favorite things to do are ride his bike, ride the four wheeler with daddy, play with his dump trucks in the gravel around his swingset, and swing {not alone though}.

Miller is mostly sweet to Jacob, but he has his moments.  His guilty face is easy to read though and he fesses up if he's done something he shouldn't.  Usually the not-so-nice things he does are push him over, try to slide him across the hardwood floors, or take a toy from him.

Another favorite activity for Miller is building fires with daddy.  He wants to build a fire every night {which I certainly don't mind} and I think he'll be pretty bummed when it gets too hot for fires.

Miller loves to snuggle while watching cartoons and before naps or bed.  He often asks, "Will you just lay with me, mommy?"  Once we get settled, he cuddles up close to me and says in his sweet little voice, "This is so cozy."  Melt my heart.

His favorite cartoon is Bubble Guppies, his favorite movie is Toy Story 2, and his favorite books are Chuck's Stunt Park, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Jesus Storybook Bible.  This is an awesome children's Bible if you're in the market for one.

Miller knows all of his letters, but sometimes forgets one here or there.  He is beginning to realize that letters make words and we have practiced CVC words a few times.  I'm letting him take the lead and working on reading as he's interested at this point.  There's still plenty of time for that and I certainly don't want to push him beyond his readiness.  He recognizes a few numbers, but has gotten much better at counting.  He understands one-to-one correspondence, but occasionally gets going to fast if he isn't paying close attention.  He grasps the concepts of comparison {more than or less than} and sorting by various attributes.  He can complete a simple pattern needing a little help occasionally.

He has discovered unhealthy foods and it seems there is no going back.  For the longest time, I tried to shield him from so many things, because I knew I wouldn't always be able to.  He is still a great fruit eater and will eat almost any vegetable with a little persuasion, but he would eat snacks and carbs all day if we let him.  He has never been a big meat/chicken eater, but is getting better as he gets older.  Overall, he still has a very healthy diet, it just isn't as easy as it used to be.
Good thing he doesn't fight brushing his teeth!  Miller had his second dentist appointment a few weeks ago.  He did great and he didn't have any cavities!

I know I'm partial, but Miller is a pretty clever kid.  He's constantly saying, "Uh oh, mommy.  We have a problem" quickly followed by, "I have an idea!" with a solution to his problem.  Granted, the solutions are usually farfetched, but it is so cool to see his little brain spinning.  A few weeks ago, he noticed this place on our limestone fireplace:
Just to give you a reference point, it is only about an inch big.  He asked what it was and we told him it is a fossil.  We tried to explain {in three year old terms} what a fossil is.  I asked him, "What kind of plant or animal do you think used to be there?"  Without even pausing he answered, "A penguin."  So funny!  It does look a little like a penguin, I'll give him that :)
Miller so desperately wants a playmate {which is usually me} and I look forward to the days when he and Jacob can play together.  Although I'm sure they'll have their share of fights, I know he will love having someone to play with.
Nothing like an indoor Easter egg hunt in pajamas on a rainy day!

My sweet, precious Miller, you bring me so much joy and laughter each and every day.  You are such a smart, funny, little ball of energy and I love spending my days watching you learn and grow.  Being a mommy has exhausting and frustrating moments that ultimately reveal my own sin and selfishness.  I'm thankful for the Lord's faithfulness and grace that covers my many failures.  I pray every single day that you will know this gracious gift one day and that you will know how loved you are.  I spend a lot of time trying to teach you to be obedient, but I know that you will never be perfect.  Nor will I.  Above all, I pray that you will see Him at work within me and desire to know Him too.  I love you more than you could ever know.  You made me a mother; the greatest job I've ever known.  Thank you for showing me how to love unconditionally.  I'm so proud of you, baby boy!  Oh, and in case you're reading this and your fifteen, you promised me yesterday that you will always snuggle with me no matter how big you are.  I'm kind of expecting this look when I remind you of this pact.


Spring has sprung!

We have been loving the spring weather that has begun to make an appearance!  It has been so nice to get outside, enjoy the boys' new swing-set, and even have a few dinners on the porch.
 Miller had been enjoying a blue sucker.  Obviously.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."  Psalm 19:1


Jacob::10 Months

This little angel is ten months old!  He is such a joy and a blessing.
Stats: 17 lbs. 10 oz. - This weight is from about two weeks ago, but it is great news!  He gained plenty of weight during the three weeks between his doctors appointments.  The reflux medicine he started taking has helped him to not spit up quite as much as he used to.
Sizes: size 3 diapers, 9-12 month clothes

Schedule:  Wakes about 7 a.m. and eats.  Naps from about 9-11.  Eats at 11.  Naps from about 1-3.  Eats at 3.  Naps around 5-6.  Eats about 6:30.  Bedtime around 7.

Sleep:  Jacob still sleeps with his green lovie and paci.  Overall, he is a very good sleeper.  (Yep, he'll wake up tonight now that I jinxed him ;)

Eating:  He drinks 4 bottles per day with 6-8 ounces of formula each.  He still prefers pureed food, but we have started some finger foods.
Likes:  Daddy!  Not that he disliked daddy before, but he is a TOTAL daddy's boy these days.  Any time Bryant is nearby Jacob wants to be held by him.  
He also loves baths, reading books, and eating Puffs.
Dislikes:  Playing alone and most solid foods.

Milestones:  Jacob is officially crawling!  He started really crawling about a week ago.  I can also feel his first tooth coming through and he learned to wave about a week ago.  
He usually just opens and closes his hand as opposed to waving his arm like he is in this picture.  He also opens and closes his mouth like he is trying to say "bye bye".  It is really, really cute.  

We are so thankful for these past ten months with you, Jacob!  We love you!