1.06.2016

zooey

Our new year had a sad start, as Zooey was hit by a car and killed on New Year's Day.
She was definitely not a perfect dog & certainly drove me nuts at times,
but she was loyal & wonderful with the kids & we loved her & miss her.
Stories & pics of Zoo throughout the years on the blog found here.

1.04.2016

our house: willa's room

Well, now that Willa is a year old and we've got another babe on the way,
and we are working on yet another room re-do,
I suppose I should do a post about her nursery. Oops.

Willa's room was originally designated as Bo's nursery when we first moved in.
Our decision was based on two key factors:
(1) This floor was the newest (read: least squeaky) and (2) the door closed the most softly.
Had we known that Bo would become the world's heaviest sleeper, we wouldn't have cared as much.
But I digress. Here are pictures from Bo's time in the nursery. 

I absolutely love this cabinet on the wall:
I was not as huge a fan of the wallpaper border or the 3-curtain closet:
This wallpaper did NOT come off as easily as the hockey border in Bo's big boy room,
so I was very glad it was just a border and not the whole wall.
After that, we had Mark Miller of Brush & Hammer paint.
Since we weren't finding out the gender of the baby, I wanted a nice neutral,
and it doesn't get more neutral than beige. Here's an in-progress picture.
After Mark painted, we had our dear friend John come and help install closet doors.
Which we thought would be fairly routine. Because... it's closet doors.
However, this project turned out to be much more involved than anticipated.
Let's just say that it quickly became apparent as to why the former owners 
chose to put up curtains rather than install closet doors.
The boys ended up removing the molding, adding slabs of wood 
(don't be jealous of my construction lingo knowledge),
and to make a long story short - expending a lot of energy and emotion on this project.
(Meanwhile, Sarah & I went on fun shopping adventures.)
Anyway - eventual success!
In hindsight - should have tackled the closet doors before we had Mark paint, but oh well!
My 8-month pregnant self had fun touching up the molding and painting the closet doors.
A few weeks before Willa was born, the room looked like this:
Ready & waiting for accent colors!

After our sweet girl arrived, I slowly but surely got to work making it a girly nursery.
Crib: Target (formerly Bo's)
Changing table: IKEA (formerly Bo's)
Rug: IKEA
Curtains: homemade, fabric from JoAnn's
Bookshelf: Target
So, I absolutely love that the bookshelf above was "styled" by Doug! 
We were "digging out" the house after Christmas, and I came upstairs and he had
organized all the little horses and put Raggedy Ann & Andy on the shelves!
(Sidenote: Raggedy Ann & Andy made by my step-mother-in-law!)
My grandma cross-stitched the sampler with Willa's birth info in the photo above.
My cousin Victoria made the tiny "wreath" in the photo below. 
The painting was the first one I did a few winters ago.
Opposite side of the room - originally the white bookshelf was against the wall where that desk is.
Like I said, we're already moving some things around in preparation for Baby P #3!

Rocker: hand-me-down from a family friend in Michigan!
Desk: mine growing up!
This painting is one of my favorite pieces of art that we own, along with the watercolors done by my grandpa.
One of my former students and small group girls, Lindsey, painted this portrait of an Ethiopian girl, 
based off a photo I took on a trip to Ethiopia (you can see the photo here).

So there you have it! Willa's girly little room.
My favorite thing about Willa's room is all the personalized touches from beloved family and friends.
Naturally, Willa's favorite thing about the room is getting into the creams & wipes on her changing table. 

12.17.2015

Grandma's Christmas Cookies

My grandma's chocolate-molasses cutouts were always my favorite Christmas cookie.
My mom sent me a photo of the recipe from an old family cookbook, 
and I decided to post it here so I can pin it and have it easily accessible.
The family cookbook credits these as "Aunt Ethel's Chocolate Jumbles"
but to me, they'll forever be "Grandma's Christmas Cookies".

Grandma's Christmas Cookies
Warning: halve this recipe unless you are baking for hundreds.

Mix together:
1 c sugar
4 sq Baker's chocolate, melted - or - 3/4 c cocoa
1 c shortening (+ 3T if using cocoa)
2 eggs
2 c molasses

Add in:
2 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
5-6 c flour

Make dough stiff & chill.
Roll thin & cut out. 
Bake at 350 for 7-12 minutes.
Frost & decorate.

11.10.2015

gender game, round 2.

As with the last pregnancy, we are not going to find out the gender until baby makes his/her arrival!

Here are the stats of the old wives' tales this time around!

Baby's heartbeat: above or below 140?
12 weeks = 150
16 weeks = 150
20 weeks = 140

Mom's cravings: sweet or salty?
sweet!

Morning sickness: yes or no?
Yes, from weeks 6-8.
No from that point forward!

Mom's skin: soft or dry?
dry

Mom sleeps on: right or left side?
Back & forth & back & forth.

Chinese Calendar: 
Girl

Mom's emotions: moody or happy?
Eh... pretty moody.

Mom's headaches: more or less?
Less.

Girl tally: 4
Boy tally: 3

I think it's a boy.
Bo thinks it's a boy.
Doug thinks it's a girl.

What about you guys?? What do you think?

11.01.2015

oh & another thing

As long as I'm updating the blog, might as well include our now public announcement:
 Adding to our patch in March 2016!