Friday, November 27, 2009

My hyper-sensitive girl.

My first born was complaining to me again about the supposedly hideous picture that I had of her on my blog. She was upset that "the whole" world could see this picture and she how she hated the picture. I told her that she completely overestimates the interest "the whole" world actually has in my blog.
This was the photo she complained repeatedly about. I took this picture just three days before her 12th birthday in May. I think it is adorable, but I am just the big-loser-mom, so what do I know? She eventually wore me down, so I told her last Saturday I would take a new picture. She quickly scampered to her room and changed into a different outfit, while I scratched my head and tried to figure out how I could be so manipulated by her.

We ended up having a good time taking the pictures and here are a few of my favorites.
The end result is that she is now happy with the updated "Totally Tween" picture on my blog {happy being completely relative and rather fleeting for her}.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


As many of you recall, Steve had some challenges last year when he tried to put up the Christmas lights on our house and even has the scars to remember it by. The end result was very minimal outside lighting in 2008. This past weekend, he decided to leverage the good weather and take on the task of adding Christmas cheer to our home.

After hearing a suspicious noise, I ran outside to check on him, fearing the worst. Turns out, Steve had a new plan of attack for those lights which involved a totally different approach. I admired his ingenuity and ran back in the house to get my camera to document it.

Instead of moving the ladder along the front of the house while putting up 2 to 3 feet of lights at a time, he instead propped it up on the side and used it to climb onto the roof.

From the roof, he leaned over the edge and using plastic clips he had pre-attached to the lights added the lights to the roof-line.

Some of the clips slid under the shingles and some were clipped to the gutters. As our friend, Lance always says, "Every job is easier if you have the right equipment." Those clips were a good purchase.
The end result, he was able to rather quickly attach lights to the entire front of our house for the first time!
Of course, we can't turn them on until after Thanksgiving (my rule), but he tested them out and they looked great. Steve's outdoor Christmas lighting 2009 was a success!
I asked Steve if he was going to remove the residual evidence (see the black lines) of the ladder sliding down the front of the garage and he said "No", he likes the visual reminder on "how not to use a ladder" to be there.
So grateful no ER visits were involved in the hanging of the lights this year!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bratz & Barbie World Home Improvement

Several months ago, the girls came up with an idea to expand their Bratz/Barbie house. After bugging their dad for a long time, they finally got to start on the attic renovation on their house.
The original house plan had three upstairs rooms and two rooms on the lower level.
Steve removed the roof and added hinges so it could open and close. He put in a couple room dividers to complete the new floorplan.Kippy got to work on the painting. She chose three bright colors that we already had on hand to complete the rooms. She also repainted two of the existing rooms, so there was more to the home improvement project then just an attic addition.
So Pergo wood-look flooring was added compliments of some contact paper which is so much easier to clean than carpet. We have to be practical ya know.
The orange room has become a baby playroom.

The 2 dads are chillin' in the green room, which has extra storage while supervising the daycare.

So much for the little toddlers to do and play with!

The life and times of the Bratz and Barbie's. The set-up literally took the girls hours to complete. Let's go in for a closer look.
A large group of gals are gathered to chat in the living room. Maybe they are having a jewelry party or something? Whatever it is, they sure are packed in this room.

Two sweet teenagers have a room to themselves. Notice the props near the dresser. There is a lot of detail going on here.
Looks like a pillow fight going on with these two little girls.
Apparently the only Barbie's in this world are the maids who have to slave away in the kitchen.
Another room is dedicated to two tweens, who have to babysit their little sister.

There are outside activities happenin' as well. This couple is going off on a little joy ride.
And this family is off to go on a trail ride together.
We have a skateboarder...
And even one adventurous gal, who is rappelling from the book shelf (I'm sure it is me)!! So fun to see the girls demonstrating cooperation, imagination & creativity. An extra bonus is that there were 3 large bags of excess Barbie/Bratz paraphernalia which was disposed in this process. I think they were inspired by all the episodes of Clean Sweep that I watch!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Backyard hoar frost from Monday morning... always reminds me of our wedding day nearly 18 years ago, where everything was beautifully frosted.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Got my new BBB!

It's my Big ol' Blog Book. My first year of blogging is now captured in hardcover from September 29, 2008 to September 30, 2009 which equates to two-hundred-seventeen pages of our life.

My girlfriend, Lori, had found this website which easily allows you to print a hardcopy book of your blog.
It is 8 1/2 x 11 and you can customize the front as well as the back of the book. The quality is really great!There is also a table of contents...
All pictures from the blog are included and you can even print the comments received on each post as well.
The book also has a dedication page. I am more than happy to leverage technology to give my family a way to capture memories and tell the story of our lives. Being the family historian and photographer is getting a little easier!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A surprise heirloom

Steve went back to the farm this past weekend for some much needed male-bonding-time (a.k.a. hunting) with his nephew and brother-in-law. While at the farm, my Grandma Ruth's niece, Joan Anderson, asked him to stop by her house before coming back to Fergus because she had something for me.
Here is a sweet picture of Joan, my 1st cousin once removed, with Angelique who was 4 years old at the time. Joan looks just like my great-aunt Genevieve (Grandma's sister).

And I never would have guessed what Steve brought home with him...

It is a beautiful 26 x 29 picture given to my great-aunt Genevieve and great-uncle Palmer on their 50th wedding anniversary by my grandparents.
This was a gift given 28 years ago in 1981.
My grandma did the detailed embroidery and I even remember her working on this particular piece when I was visiting with her at her house. Such a great memory!
My grandpa Rudy made the frame out of old barn wood.

It is a little hard to see in this picture, but the date is embroidered of 6-1-31-81, meaning June 1st, 1931 was when Palmer and Genevieve were married and their 50th anniversary was in 1981. Grandma's initials of "RS" are also stitched there.

All in all, we are very happy to have this new heirloom in our home and are greatful to Joan for thinking of us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My favorite vacation souvenir

We haven't taken a lot of family vacations, so when we do, I like to take lots of pictures and document the event. My new favorite vacation souvenir is the 8x8 photo books from Shutterfly.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a special of buy one, get one 50% off or something like that. I was able to put together a photo book from our family vacation this summer in the Twin Cities

and also from our family vacation last summer to Chicago. In the back of the book, I like to glue in a little envelop to hold various ticket stubs and ephemera from the trip.
I also try to include specifics about what we did and what we liked about the vacation or interesting little things that happened.

Eventually, I would like to have a complete collection of 8x8 books from our family trips. I have a few more to get done, but really for the money, I think this is the best vacation souvenir ever!