Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break Snapshot

Ah, Spring Break-the break we've been waiting for since Christmas break was over. There's really too much to tell so I'll just offer a little overview of what we've been doing at the Button Casa.

This is Spring Girl. Chloe's school had dress up week the week preceding spring break and this is what we came up with. She wanted to be Word Girl but I'm not skilled enough to make a costume. I wanted her to be Vernal Equinox girl but she didn't like that idea. I thought it was clever.

We've taken quite a few walks lately and finally took Travis with us when we walked around the neighborhood close to us. They have a walkway around their lake and back into the woods but I've never gone back there by myself before. And we found the sweetest little stream. Chloe and I climbed across on a log but Trav got stuck helping Halle "go potty". I think I got the better deal.We also took advantage of the beautiful weather to take the kiddos to the park. The fresh air was amazing. And while the girls played, Travis and I had a chance to talk- nearly uninterrupted. And last week I took the kiddos to the zoo. I think that since it's been so cold the animals started missing the people because they really put on a show for us. The monkeys were *loud*. And the giraffe got as close as he possibly could to us. I've been disappointed in the past because they've just hung out at the back of their enclosure but this guy really seemed to like the attention. Amanda really didn't want to leave him.
The Lorikeets were fun, of course.
And all the girls got to feed them.

Even little miss Halle. But I don't have a picture because I was holding her up. Aren't they pretty?

They have a new baby tiger exhibit. Be still my heart! They were just the sweetest things ever. Especially this little one. She got right up at the front of her enclosure and played with her toys to the delight of all of us standing there trying to get pictures. We've really had a nice time although we've been dealing with illness. Halle woke up sick on zoo day (ah the guilt) and it culminated in a 104 degree fever and vomiting Friday morning. A fever that high was not at all unusual for Chloe but Halle has never run a fever that high before. I actually ended up giving her a luke warm shower to get it to come down. My mom used to have to do that to me and it was pure torture. I swore I'd never do that to my own kids but the fever was making her throw up so I couldn't get her to keep down her medicine or cold liquids. The shower worked quickly though and I was grateful. By the time we got to the Dr. she was jumping up and down and acting like her (mostly) normal self. So they tested her for everything and she had...a cold. A cold? Really? All that drama for a cold? Yep. They ruled out strep and the flu and pneumonia- thankfully.
So as soon as this sickness bug passes (I may have picked up something from miss Halle) we'll be back to taking walks and hopefully another zoo venture. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm pretty sure that I've already mentioned my love for my new Coastal Living subscription. Sadly, it took the place of Cottage Living when the mag shuttered but thankfully they still have a lot of cottage style *and* it's beachy to boot, what could be better? Of course, some of you have never lived near the coast and might not like a beachy style at all but Trav and I love it. I have to say that I'm very thankful that Trav and I have similar decorating styles. Unlike some guys, he definitely has an opinion so I'm glad our styles mesh. And if they don't I can usually bring him around to my side- as long as I don't go Victorian crazy or anything ornate, there would be no hope for that. Anyway, I've got five minutes to blog before I have to get ready to get Chloe from school (she'll be on her 3 week spring break after today-yay!) and I think I can do here goes.

I look at this as a variation of Mary's outdoor bed idea. I've decided that I'm definitely going to have some sort of sleeping apparatus at whatever point I have a back porch. Outside naps are positively delightful. As are these beautiful turquoise covered cushions.

Oh for a house with doors and walls like these. I could live without the tarpons on the walls (I'm pretty sure that's what kind of fish those are. My mom caught one once-sort of- I'll have to tell you that story some other time). I can smell the sea breezes already.

I love the relaxed feel of this kitchen. It's somewhat lacking in counter space but that porch door on the pantry is lovely. I'm not sure how much cooking I'd do at the beach anyway.
And the master bedroom that sits in a converted porch. I actually love all the white with my-favorite-color green accents.
You can find their current issue here. I've got lots more ideas to file away under "maybe one day I'll have a house with lots of character". But until then a girl can dream....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Walk

This morning I went for a walk. Yep, I was surprised too. I dropped Chloe off at school and came home and wanted to go back to sleep. I thought I could read my Bible and pray...and drift off to sleep, because that is surely what would happen. Or I could take 45 minutes to myself and have a nice walk. It was 37 degrees but it was that cold that you know won't hang around. And it was crazy-foggy outside. So I headed off and noticed how very many dogs we have in our neighborhood; they're a noisy bunch. And I headed off to the picture-perfect-disney-esque neighborhood across the street.

White picket fences and all... I really love the style of homes they have there and I daydream of living in something like it one day. But they only have tiny little side yards and well, I want the kids to have room to play and I like to grow stuff so it would have to be something else that looks like this.
The forsythia is in full bloom. I don't know if this stuff grows in Florida. I love it.
And as I walked around their "lake" I noticed a few perfectly formed spider webs that had caught plenty of dew.
I really tried to catch the steam of the fog and dew being burned off by the sun. It was so nice and relaxing. The birds were singing again (I forget that we miss that all winter) and it was just wonderful. I'm thinking of doing it again tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nearly Instant Almost De-Brownification

Last night I decided that I was going to focus on cleaning the kitchen. I'm hosting a Bible study here Wednesday night and thought that I'd focus on one room and get it completely done before I moved on. Then I looked at my china cabinet. I shouldn't have, really. But I did it anyway. I painted the inside blue. I've wanted to forever and the mood just hit me and I went with it. For the first time ever though, I picked one small thing that I could finish in an evening. So here are the pics.
I roughed it up with sandpaper, wiped it down and put on a coat of primer....I was a little nervous at this point.

After coat #2 of primer...

And finished for now with two coats of Scandinavian Sky by Olympic. I knew it would match the existing paint because we picked this one and the one we ended up using off the same paint chip. I just had this little sample paint pot lying around and wanted to use it. I love the way it makes the aqua goblets stand out and I'm definitely going to paint the rest of it. I'm thinking white with faux glass handles right now but I haven't been shopping yet. I like it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Much to Say

There's much to share and I've been a bit preoccupied lately. Things are getting pretty intense here as far as praying and listening and receiving direction about our lives. I think we're hearing some things and getting some direction but it's kind of like seeing hills in the distance. It looks like a big green mountain until you get closer and can pick out the individual trees. On the one hand I'm happy that God is doing things and the intensity is a necessary part of that. But on the other hand I hate to feel unsettled, like everything could change in one instant so I walk around feeling like a fish out of water. Everything seems strange; like I'm stepping out over a cavern on a bridge with no rails. I guess that would be more than strange...but you get the idea. I'm not scared- I rarely get scared at times like this. On the contrary, I get excited. But I feel the Lord saying "count the cost" and it makes me think. I'm not a naive little girl anymore that thinks just because God's called me to do something it's going to be all butterflies and rainbows. I think that whatever it is, it will be *amazing*- and really hard. But what is the alternative? I told God when I was 19 that He could take my life and do whatever He wanted to with it so I can't just take it back. Not that I want to. It's just that I've been around this block enough to know that it's going to be hard.

At our church, we read the Bible through every year. We have a set schedule so every year at this time we're reading through the exodus and following the Israelites into the promised land. The point that they're at right now is after they rebel and have to wander in the wilderness for forty more years. But once they reached the promised land- once they crossed over the Jordan river, they didn't exactly get a break. They didn't get to sit by the pool, kick up their heels and drink Mai-Tais. Nope. They had to fight. Yes, God fought for them but they still had to swing the sword themselves. And they had to do it over and over and over again until they had run out enough inhabitants that they could actually live in the promised land. I think in the past I've mentally stopped at the promised land part and have overlooked the fighting for it afterwards.

So, I think spiritually we're fighting for it now and we will be fighting for it after we see God's promises fulfilled. I want a break, really. I need a vacation at the beach with waves and sand and sun with the burden that we've carried for such a long time removed. I think I'll get it. And then I'll pick up my sword and fight some more. That's the nature of the life we live. In some ways I'd love for someone to tell me that I get to move to Key West and walk on the beach in a flowy skirt and sandals for the rest of my life and live in peace and security. And the rest of me knows that I'd go crazy in about two weeks. That's the nature of the call to serve Christ. You can never be content not making a difference somewhere. So we wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes impatiently for whatever this thing is to happen. I'm excited and nervous and peaceful and am anticipating amazing things to come.

So Last Night...

...I sat on the couch watching The Biggest Loser while eating Cappuccino Fudge Blitz ice cream. The real stuff- with sugar- I almost felt bad about it. Almost. I know, I know, but I haven't really had *real* ice cream in months (OK, I had a little bit of vanilla ice cream at Tisra's birthday party). Anyway, it was really, really good. I saw my Dr. this morning as a check up to see how the medicine is doing and I'm doing pretty well, not really losing weight (I swear I hardly ever eat ice cream) but I'm not irritable or depressed, the brain fog is gone and I'm getting sick less often. Overall, it's been pretty successful as far as how I feel. But she upped my dosage to 3 times a day and said that I should really start losing weight. I want to be hopeful about that- really- but I'm just sort of burned out on the whole thing. I'm discouraged about working out because I'll get two really good weeks in before I get sick and stay sick for a month and then I have to start all over. I noticed yesterday that my hand and forearm were sore. I tried to remember what in the world I'd done- then I remembered. I cut up a sweet potato. Seriously? Am I in that bad of shape that cutting a sweet potato strains my muscles. I'm sure that I just need to start and I'll feel better. I'm not getting on the bathroom scale though. Every time I do I get frustrated so I'm not doing it. If my pants get so big that they start falling off I might, but not before then. Sorry, I didn't really mean for this to be a rant.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, I've decided that I love them in fry form. Baked fries of course. I love them best with olive oil and sea salt and that's it. We grilled pork chops for family night on Monday and I made sweet potato fries for me and roasted red potatoes for everybody else. Travis will eat them but the kids won't touch them- too bad, that's more for me! Oh, family night? We have it on Mondays and it involves us eating together, Chloe usually reads a story from her Bible and then we watch a movie or play a game. We've played Scene It, Disney edition the last several times and Chloe and I have won the last 6 games (we play as a team). I actually thought we were going to lose last time and I was happy, until we pulled it out as Travis was two spaces away from the end. But I can't let him win because he'd know and he wouldn't like it. I'm sure as the days get longer we'll take it outside to fly kites and go to the park and such.
I finished the aprons. It took less fixing than I originally thought and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The straps work pretty well and I don't think they'll slip out. They're pretty thick since the fabric is kind of a denim. They're stiff too since I starched them- it will probably help to wash them. I took pictures of the whole process but you guys that sew don't really need to know how to make a strap. I figured out how to do it by watching one of the gals at the last Girls in Stitches get together. That's usually how I figure things out. I should probably visit an art gallery soon to get some inspiration since I haven't been painting at all. Or maybe I'll just keep sewing for a while. I don't mind being a jack-of-all crafts, master of none. I doubt I'll stick with anything forever but it's all fun.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Poor Halle and Pictures

My poor little Halle. Last night she dove onto my bed and unfortunately her head hit the edge of my metal sewing box. It's not really a sewing box but a decorative box that a Christmas gift came in a couple of years ago. It took me a while to figure out what was going on because of all the crying but when I saw the goose-egg I was concerned and in need of ice. I lamented the fact that we have none in the house and Chloe ran down the hallway only to reappear a few seconds later with a bag of frozen peas in hand and a triumphant look on her face. It really was a life saver. Out of all of my kids, Halle is the one that has had more bruises and owies than any other. I really hope she outgrows it. She did agree to let me take her picture though so I knew it wasn't *that* bad. Today it's just a bruise.

Here's the ginormous dumpster I talked about yesterday. And unfortunately it's still here today. I'm not sure when it's leaving. But I wanted to show you all Chloe's "crazy hair". All week there's been a celebration of Dr. Seuss and yesterday was Crazy Hair Day. We did it on Wednesday night because there's no way we'd have enough time to do it in the morning. She was really happy about it.

And from the back...cute, huh?

And look, I'm actually, really sewing. I don't remember if this is before or after the machine freaked out. I just came back from Wal-Mart with a seam ripper so I can finish the apron. I also got some really cute fabric from the $1.50 table for a couple of dresses for each of the girls and one for a skirt for me plus a pattern. I'm kind of scared to work on the skirt so I'll see how the kids dresses go first. If I don't think I can do it then I'll just make something for the girls out of the last fabric too. Trav is pretty wiped out from a really rough couple of weeks at work so I think I'm going to finish the-very-last-block for Kyleigh and the two aprons so that I can work on the dresses. I love starting projects but I really don't like finishing them. I get bored.
And lastly, here's our roof. It's not quite finished here but that's pretty much what it looks like- minus the ones hanging from the roof. It's actually even a little bit lighter than what it looks like here. Amanda doesn't like it and neither does Chloe and the jury is still out on whether Trav likes it or not. I think I like it- it's just really, really hard to pick a shingle from a tiny little square on a page. It's like picking a paint color from a swatch. Amanda thinks it makes the whole house look a bit too orange. I do wonder if painting the barn facade a different color would help. I've even thought about painting the brick. If we were going to live here another 5 years then I would but it's too big of a job and I really don't see us getting around to that.
Now I'm off to do some projects...

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Apparently when you're getting a new roof and they tell you that they'll call you a couple of days beforehand to let you know they're coming it doesn't mean anything. Yesterday morning- out of the blue- I hear a knock at the door. Since I was not expecting a knock at the door I was shocked to find a guy that wanted to park a ginormous dumpster in my driveway. "Why" I asked? Well, for the new roof, of course. And this morning at 7 am two guys showed up and blocked my driveway with their truck. By the time I saw it they were already tearing my roof off so I had to ask them to move so I could take Chloe to school. Wow. A phone call would have been nice but that's OK because we're getting a new roof. And that means that we're one step closer to having this house finished. Sometimes you've just gotta keep things in perspective.

I'll blog more about this later-with pictures- because I just don't want to take the time to do it right now. But I wanted to post something because it's Thursday already. Anyway, my brain thinks it's spring. Despite the frigid temperatures we've had lately my brain will not be persuaded otherwise. Maybe it coincides with my watching Martha Stewart lately. I don't usually watch the whole show (it's actually on right now and I'm not watching) but it's my only cooking show fix. As best as I can tell, only has a limited amount of full episodes and I'm dying for some new cooking ideas. So my brain has been doing flip-flops with all of the things I'm dying to make- caramel (my body's disdain for sugar is the only reason I haven't made it yet), a pillowcase dress (I'm making myself finish two other projects first), finishing the aprons I started last week, etc. Actually, I finished the apron last night but I decided to make straps for them instead of using grossgrain ribbon. The first strap was easy-peasy and turned out just fine but my machine flipped out on the second one and I had a hard time getting it going again. Then I finished the apron but sewed the pocket for the strap too small so I'm going to have to go buy a seam ripper and do that part over. I like the strap for the apron much better than the ribbon because I think it's a little more durable and will be less likely to just slip out. All-in-all I'm enjoying sewing and when my sewing machine flips out it doesn't bother me like it used to. Now I'm off but I promise I'll have pics of a new roof and some sewing projects soon.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Homework for Me

This past weekend was, thankfully, a productive and fun one. We didn't get everything finished that we wanted to but we got some projects finished that we'd needed to for a while. And some things that aren't projects but that I'd promised to do. Like taking Chloe to Panera- just she and I. Panera is her most favorite place because, being the carb-a-holic that she is, she *loves* bagels. The pink ribbon bagel is her favorite (mostly because it has the word "pink" in it) followed by the cinnamon crunch bagel. But unfortunately they had neither. You'd think they'd make more of those on a Saturday. We had a lovely conversation and yummy food and we named a new drink. You see, Chloe loves making things called "concoctions". Travis started it when she was old enough to talk and while I prefer one beverage at a time, they prefer to make mixes. On this particular day she was engrossed in an orange scone so I decided to get the drinks. I asked her if she wanted me to surprise her and she said "sure". So I filled her cup half full of fruit punch and half with Mountain Dew. And while it won't win any gourmet awards, it turned out surprisingly pretty. Pinkish red on the bottom, lighter pink in the middle and orangey on top- just like a sunset. So she named it "Florida Sunset". Now there's probably a drink out there called "Florida Sunset" but since I don't think it will end up on any menus, I don't think we're in any danger of copyright infringement. But it was lots of fun for us. Then it was on to Target for some necessities- if that's what we're calling them these days. The two of us in Target is dangerous. Later Trav and I had a date night that was more like errand running for things we had to do the next day, but at least it was just the two of us.

Sunday was filled with snow and church. We didn't actually get to play in the snow and it was melted by the time we got out of church but it was pretty anyway. And it was March 1st. I hate to be a grump about it but I'm ready for shorts now, thanks. Then it was more errand running. I don't really like braving Costco on a Sunday afternoon but it's easier for me to stock up on things if Travis is with me. Then to Publix, then home...for more stuff.
So, you know when a teacher assigns a project for a second grader, it's really homework for mom, right? Not that it was terribly difficult, it wasn't. We actually had a really good time with it. She had a list of things she could pick from and we picked a diorama. I figured that stage fright might kick in if she wrote a song or poem, besides this is right up her alley. Her book was on horses and we were able to find a tube of different kinds of horses at Target for about $5. Along with that I picked up a pack of craft/scrap booking paper that seemed promising, so for about $8 we had everything we needed. Except for a darn glue gun. I have 2 glue guns already because I like to make wreaths sometimes. But I could not find them anywhere so I had to pick one up at Wal-Mart on the previously mentioned date night. But I also found out on Friday that Chloe had been picked as star of the week, which meant that I had to make a poster of things about Chloe and send in some other items. And it was all due by Monday. Darn me and my procrastination- I could have had the diorama finished already. So we had to make a diorama and a poster last night. I took about 3 1/2 hours but it all turned out nicely and I had one happy second grader.

While Chloe and I were busy making crafty things, Travis was at Home Depot getting boards to make bunky boards for the girls beds. Basically he had a two boards cut to size and then stapled some old sheets to the visible side so you wouldn't just see plain plywood. It was easy peasy- he did it himself- and we saved about $55 over buying bunky boards at a furniture store. He also picked up a shingle swatch thing. I'm not sure what you call it but it's just like swatches of paint that you pick up in the paint dept. We're getting a new roof and when I met with the roofing guy last week he asked me what color I wanted the shingles to be. Color? You mean I get to pick a color? I've never even thought about it. But considering that my house is an orange-y brick, the charcoal-black color that's on there doesn't really look that good. So we picked Golden Cedar. It's brown and cream with some orange-y specks in it. Not that you'll be able to tell at all- but it will still look nicer than black.

And, OK, just for giggles, aren't these eggs too funny? While we were at Publix I realized that I'd forgotten to get eggs at Costco. I wanted an 18 pack of Eggland's Best but they didn't have any and I saw these and was instantly confused. It took me a minute to figure out that these were, in fact, Disney brand eggs. It's marketed on the outside with a blurb that says "See your pals inside" and sure enough there were 18 eggs stamped with Pooh, Ariel, Cinderella, Woody, Buzz and Tigger. I rolled my eyes but the girls were jumping and begging for Disney eggs. Since they didn't' cost any more and seemed to be the equivalent of Eggland's Best, Trav and I decided to get them. Even as I was putting them in the cart I was saying "this is ridiculous". But Halle begged for a "Mickey egg" this morning. I guess if it gets them to eat more eggs it's OK. The ink comes right off when you boil them though.

And lastly- see the table runner that the eggs are sitting on? I've wanted this table runner for-ev-er but didn't want to spend $17.99 at Target. It's kind of a rule of mine that I only buy them when they're on clearance. I've gotten too many for $2 to consider paying full price. So here you go for about $4.50 I have a new table runner. Nice.