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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art Clothesline

Kessa loves to paint. (Rather, we paint her hands, fingers, and/or feet and put them on paper and make pictures out of them.) She's getting into drawing a little bit, too. I've been wanting a way to display her artwork for a while now. IKEA to the rescue! We hung this clothesline up on the wall under the window in the landing so that every time you go up or down the stairs you'll see it.

PS - The fish on the right is her latest and the first one she's done about 96% by herself.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hand and Foot

No, not the disease.  My mom makes ceramic (?) hands of all her grandkids.  We all got them as kids, made at the dentist office.  But once grandkids came around, she discovered it was cheaper to just do it herself.  Plus she could take the stuff to our houses instead of having to take the baby to the dentist.  

Abby looks on wearily while Grandma mixes.

Hand goes in.

Daddy's turn to hold, this time for the foot.

This was Abby's reaction pretty much the entire time.

"I don't like this, Daddy!"

"Oh, hey.  A binkie.  Ok, I'm happy."

And the finished product
At least the one we kept.  Both grandmas also got a hand.

Kessa's is on the left, Abby's on the right.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


So, if you haven't noticed, I'm going backwards in time.  I'm playing blog catchup.  Here we have Easter!  This is Kessa's first Easter where she had any idea what was going on.  It was also her first Easter egg hunt.  We did one with our ward which was very well done.  They split the field into ages, then set a limit on number of eggs to collect, then had extras in case some kids didn't fill their quota.  Which meant that it was nothing like the horror stories I hear from friends about injuries and parents fighting parents to get eggs for their kids.  Way to go, our ward!

Here are our Easter baskets!  Grandma and Grandpa Lovell shared the one on the left.  BJ and I got the one in the middle. Kessa got the one on the right.  See those green and white stripes?  Real grass!  (Pinterest)  We grew it for about two weeks prior to Easter, to give the Easter bunny a place to put her stuff.  It was fun.  I think we'll make that a tradition.  But we won't use cat grass again.  It was fun, but not nearly thick enough.  (Unless I buy multiple packages, but that starts getting pricey.)  And the bunny in front I've had for years and years and years.  I always forget to bring her out until after Easter, though.  Glad I remembered this year!

And here is a video of Kessa looking for her basket after her nap.  I love that she barely ever looks anywhere and I have to almost tell her where it is.  Maybe we should play hide and seek more?

We let Saturday be more of the Spring Celebration portion of Easter.  Also the more worldly portion.  Hunts, baskets, candy, etc.  Sunday was more for the spiritual side of Easter.  The exception was coloring eggs.  That happened Sunday, mostly due to lack of planning and a much needed nap time on Saturday.  I'll plan better next year.

We did Resurrection Rolls (again, thanks to Pinterest) to help teach Kessa about the Resurrection.  We simplified it and didn't actually read the scriptures, but rather summarized them.  I think she got a little inkling anyway.  And she liked to help make them.

While the women cooked, BJ and Kessa dyed eggs!  It was really fun.  We used a whisk to dip the eggs in, so they didn't splash and came out easily (any guesses where I got the idea?).

Daddy got creative with the colors and made rainbow eggs!

They had fun writing names on in white crayon, then seeing them appear after they colored them.  And then we had fun choosing who we got to eat.  Bwahaha.

We invited Travis over to eat with us.  Can you see why Kessa just adores him?

Travis always makes fun of the practice of eating ham on Easter and Christmas.  The two holidays celebrating the life of a Jewish man who lived the Law of Moses perfectly… and we eat pork?  So for him we made lamb.  This will definitely only be a yearly tradition, because turns out, lamb is expensive.  But it was fun and an adventure.  (Wait, what temperature should we pull this out at? Google says this, but is it supposed to still be bleeding?  Don't worry.  It ended up cooked perfectly and was delicious.)  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wheeler Farm

A group of women in my ward got together to go up to Wheeler Farm for a few hours.  Ok, so I know I rarely, if ever, actually read through zoo blog posts.  So if you skip this one, I will forgive you.  However, you must watch the video first.  Because it's hilarious.  Some older boys were chasing the geese and ducks around and Kessa saw them and wandered over.  I thought she just wanted to see the birds.  Turns out, though, she thought it looked like great fun to chase.  I don't think she really thought of it as chasing, so much as running with the geese.  She was so mad when I made her go back.  (Sorry it's bouncy.  I was jogging to keep up.)

I fail at remembering essential things during outings.  For example, I didn't think to bring a stroller.  So here is Kessa sharing another kid's stroller.  (A few of the moms took turns holding Abby so I could keep up with Kessa. Thank you so, so much other moms!)



Sheep/lambs (we learned they bob the tails for cleanliness)


Driving a tractor

Climbing the fence, despite all the Do Not Climb Fence signs

Woah.  Big horns.

Yes, Papa Homer, this picture is for you.

Chicken, rooster, and egg!

Chatting about the pony

Muching on bread (meant for geese) while watching cows

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Do Board

This project was inspired by this blog post I found on Pinterest.  I'm very much a list person and I wanted a way to put all of my lists in one central location.  I also wanted a chore chart (because I'm 12 at heart?) and wanted to easily see what chores needed to be done when.  So when I saw this post I decided to do it!  

I started with just a 2'x2' piece of plywood from Home Depot ($5.92), painters' tape ($3.47), sample paint ($2.94 each), a 2" foam brush ($0.57) and sawtooth hangers ($3.47).  Total cost for the board, including tax: $19.25.

Then I painted it a sage green.  I chose the color I wanted, then had them mix it in a sample size ($2.94).  This used about half.

Then I drew two patterns I was considering.  Chevrons (which I measured to make it look nice)

And a cross weave.  (Which I just drew freehand.  Obviously.)  Popular vote chose this one.

I made BJ figure out the math for where to put down the painters' tape.  Another blog suggested you paint the base color over the tape to cover any bubbles so the top color doesn't spread.  So I did.

After it dried, I painted over with the white (also a mixed sample).

Ta da!

After that dried I did the cross sections.

More white paint (I did the green again, too, but didn't take a picture).

Finished board!  Looks cool, huh?  (Don't look too close.  There are boo boo's.)

I made a grocery list pad using gorilla glue on top to hook it together.  (It seems to hold together fine, but I haven't used it yet to determine how well it stays and tears off.)
 Final Project
And then I made my menu, chore list, project list, etc. and framed them, then attached them to the board using Command Strips.  I just used dollar store document frames.  So far I'm not loving them.  Either pay a few extra dollars for nicer frames or just laminate your paper.  I want to redo my lists, so I'm considering just laminating them. 

I still need to hang it up, though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2 going on 24

BJ's Aunt Jan gave Kessa some of the cutest clothes.  One of my favorites is this dress that makes me think that she belongs in the British upper court.  Perhaps at the Queen's garden party?  It cracks me up.  She just looks so grown up in it!  Minus the pigtails and stuffed bunny.  

I guess since we're not going to England or anything upperclass anytime soon, playing Wii Fit will have to be good enough.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


My parents came home from their mission!!! Woohoo!!!  It was very, very exciting.  So we went up to Idaho for their homecoming.  We carpooled up with Travis and James.  Well, Travis wanted to get part of his sprinkler system in for his garden first and I was trying to get a time estimate from him, but he was ignoring his phone calls.  Kessa started to get impatient, too, so we sent him the following video, figuring he couldn't ignore that.  (Turns out, he could.  Jerk. ;) (fine.  In his defense, he didn't hear his phone.))

I've decided I much prefer long car trips with other people in the car.  It's totally selfish, though.  It just means that this happens instead of me trying to reach back and give Abby a bottle.  Thanks a billion, James!  :D

Kessa wanted Travis to play ball with her.  It turned into him bouncing the ball, it hitting her head, and him saying, "Sorry noggin."  Or hitting the plant and saying, "Sorry plant."  She thought it was fantastic.  (Moms: this is a video.  Click through to the blog.)

When we got there, we went straight to Damian's for a barbecue.  Kessa loves her cousin, Taegen.  He's one of her closest cousins in age (he's almost exactly a year older) so she was very excited to play with him.

At one point I was busy making food for the homecoming dinner and Abby didn't want to go to sleep.  I thought James just wanted to be helpful and went to take care of her.  Turns out, he just wanted a nap, too.  Either way, though, I was very, very grateful!  (And aren't they just so cute?)

Mom started crocheting ties on her mission, at the request of some elders.  So she crocheted Dad a tie to wear to church.  And like the good wife she is, she straightened it out for him beforehand.

My Grandma Hall kept a book for each of her kids with photos and drawings and such that they got when she died.  It got pulled out a couple of times that weekend (so Mom could prove that Abby looks just like me) and the drawings she kept cracked me up.  This one includes the only non-family member entry, from my friend, Kami.  Apparently Grandma appreciated her humor.  I love the two side-by-side because it brings back floods of memories of Sunday School classes where I would spend the whole time trying to copy Kami's handwriting (isn't it just so cute!  I love it!  I still find myself trying to imitate it sometimes) and because the faces and the rose and the corny sayings were so typical of my doodling.

And this is sideways, but I'm too lazy to fix it.  This is a self-portrait.  Apparently I thought my lips were GINORMOUS.  I'm so horrified at this picture that I find it hilarious.  Enough to share it with the world.  (Maybe I shouldn't blog past my bedtime?)

Kessa and Lexi and Taegen cheesing it up for the camera. Holy cow, this girl loves her cousins.

Damian wanted a deep back rub.  James complied.  It looked like torture to me.  Please note that James' elbow is digging into Damian's back.  And note the grimace on Damian's face.  And the laughter on Mom's.  And if I remember correctly, Damian thanked James when he was done.  This is why I love back rubs.  People thank you for torturing them.

Mom made this dress.  Isn't it so cute?  I had BJ put it on and we were in a hurry and I didn't notice till it was too late that he put it on backwards.  In his defense, it looks cute with the bow on front, too.

But it looks cuter with the rosette on front.  (Kessa couldn't help but join the photo shoot.)

On the way home Kessa kept getting the sun in her eyes and didn't like it being so bright, so I gave her my sunglasses.  It didn't work, but they stayed on properly long enough for this photo, which I think is cute.

Welcome home, Mommy and Daddy!