Happyfull, that peaceful place between wanting more and having too much.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Fun

Our house is for sale.
During October we averaged a showing every other day.
Finding something fun, and relatively inexpensive, to do with three small children during these showings has been my number #2 job this month (cleaning the house for the showings is #1)...

Everyone's favorite "during a showing" activity has been to go to Ring Mountain...our favorite Gelato/Ice Cream place in town. 

I've found that they have pretty fantastic decaf/skim/vanilla latte's, too.
Can you even believe the eyes on these two?  Corey blessed our children with genes for the biggest, most beautiful eyes...and dramatic long lashes.
Soleil's eyes have almost completely changed from blue to green. 
She shares that trait with my mom.
Both of the big kids would tell you that the Birthday Cake ice cream is the best flavor at Ring Mountain.
Shore likes to mix his with Blue Gelato, Soleil prefers to add Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.

Everyone leaves happy.

Getting this posted a little late (right before she turns 4 months old)

Sweet Little Siri is really trying hard to steady her head...and she smiles all the time now. 
She's especially enamored by her big brother and sister...and Bella.

Those big blue eyes pierce right through mine and zap me directly in the heart.  Every time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Waking up to this every morning...
makes me want to stay in bed and stare...all day long.
And she smells as good as she looks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wanna peek into the nursery?

This nursery was a labor of love...and a test of my thriftiness.  
I love it.  
Everything has a story, nothing is new and many things were gifts. 

We started by scraping the ceiling and painting it and the walls "Simply White" by Benjamin Moore. 

The mirror above the changing table was purchased at an occasional sale years ago, it used to be in Soleil's bedroom...back when I was able to control how Soleil's bedroom was decorated...
I found the Ultrasuede rocker on craigslist...it's previous owner had rocked five babies in it...and her house was spotless.

The dresser/changing table was also found on craigslist...it had been a almond color and the woman selling it agreed to repaint it white for me.  She had lost a premature baby, and, knowing my history, prayed for my then unborn baby continually while she painted.
I found this sweet shelf with hooks at the Goodwill.  It was in rough shape, but my dad cleaned it up and painted it "Elephant Pink" (also Benjamin Moore) for me.  The piggy bank and antique planter were both gifts from my dearest friend, Hollie.  
The sweaters were both knit by my mom.
My dad also built the most wonderful bookshelf and painted it that same pink as the shelf.
At my shower, Hollie asked everyone to bring a book for the baby, so it is already completely stocked with thoughtful selections. 
The crib is the same one that we used with the big kids.  It was the first large purchase that Corey and I made while I was pregnant with Soleil...I love everything about it, especially all of it's memories.

I purchased the dust ruffle and sheet on Ebay and the darling mobile was a shower gift from my friend, Katie Liz.  Shore helped me assemble it.

The curtains also used to be in Soleil's room, they are the Simply Shabby Chic Target line, but I found them at the Salvation Army.

So there it is...Siri's little haven of soft pink thrifty loveliness.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to school they went

The big kids went back to school today.  They were so excited.  Soleil was up early contemplating shoe choices and Shore discovered that it's really best to eat breakfast and brush his teeth BEFORE putting on his school clothes.
Siri went along for the ride, enjoying some minutes more than others...

And the verdict afterwards?  It was a great day!  Shore thought that recess was too short and Soleil is already planning to read 2000 hours this school year.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Love at my house?...well, it looks something like this:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer 2012, the biggest news first.

We're down to the wire, just a few more days of watching TV till noon while eating leftover State Fair salt water taffy for breakfast and it's back to life with schedules.  It's been a crazy, whirlwind of a summer full of growth, change, and a dash or two of drama thrown in for excitement, I guess.
I'm a little sad to be saying goodbye to all my time with the kids but, who am I kidding, I'm a little excited about saying goodbye to all my time with the kids, too.

Our biggest news was that I went from this:

To having this little sweet bundle in my arms on July 2nd...

She arrived early, 6 weeks early, but was big (6 pounds 3ounces) and healthy and we were more than ready to welcome her into our family.

And while she was "Baby Alice" nearly the entire time she was growing inside me, in the end I knew she needed an S name like the others...so Corey chose Siri. 

Siri Alice, made us a family of 5.

And we truly could not be happier.  The older children have loved her since before they met her and since she's been here they've done nothing but shower her with kisses and hugs and a whole lot of cheek squeezing from Shore.

And just like that, the sweet intoxicating baby smell was back in our lives and we had room in our heart that we hadn't known about before...
And Sweet Siri became a part of our crew...forever.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Maybe it was a mistake, but in an attempt to make sure that my older two kids felt important and loved I promised them both redecorated bedrooms...in addition to decorating the nursery for Baby Alice.  When I made the promise I truly felt like I had all the time in the world...and loads of energy.

It's taken me six months but I'm finally starting to get some momentum going for these projects...and their rooms are looking up.

I'm in the midst of some DIY projects for Soleil's room that I hope to show photos of soon...we're going from a beautiful soft shade of pink to a rather harsh "pool blue".  It hurts me a little to replace all of the darling Shabby Chic things with "sporty girl" stuff but I'm doing it cuz I love her so darn much.  And, besides, I can still have my way with Alice's room...:)

And, while I was originally pretty depressed about my $0 budget for these projects, it has turned out to be kind of a fun challenge.  

I can't wait to show you everything.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Season Opener

The canning season is officially here!
 As you can see from the photo the kids took, I'm pretty darn excited...
Since Vidalia onions are in season I decided to start off canning one of my favorites from last year...
Pickled Sweet Onions.
Which, if you haven't tried them, are pretty fantastic on just about everything from hot dogs and burgers to grilled cheese sandwiches.  
And sometimes, I like to eat them all by themselves, straight out of the jar!
I'm not sure how long the canning season is going to last for me this year...Baby Alice might just cut it a little short...so I'm determined to make the most out of the early months.

There is something so rewarding about seeing all of the glass jars filled with colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables lined up all in a row.
I love it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's beginning to look like spring...inside.

The kids and I are carefully tending to our little seedlings in hopes of a bounty of flowers.
It always amazes me how quickly these little things sprout with the help of the "greenhouse". 
We planted Zinnia's, Bachelor Buttons, and two other things that I can't remember right now.
It's so rewarding to start from seeds, isn't it?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where have I been?

It's been a busy month, and I think I've been a little tired.  
During this pregnancy I've really tried to prioritize and not waste my energy on "non-essentials".  
Unfortunately, that seems to mean blogging has been forced into the backseat.

But here's a quick recap of our last month...

1.  Corey painted Shore's room and scraped all the popcorn off of the ceiling...it looks beautiful!
2.  Shore also got some great khaki insulated curtains added to his room...they block out light and keep his room warmer on cold days and cooler on hot ones.
3.  Shore felt like he need to add something to his "new" room so he repainted his giant rock/doorstop to match his new decor direction :)
4.  We made a road trip to Clay City, Kansas for Corey's grandfather's 90th birthday.  It was a long drive but the kids were superstars...and the family time was precious.
5.  Baby Alice has grown and so have I...I'll have to get the kids to take a belly shot soon.  Phew, I'm feeling big!  Just 3 months to go!

I haven't done anything remotely crafty and poor Alice doesn't have a nursery yet. 
Maybe this month? Next?
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
or maybe I just need another nap.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All things birthday

We're recovering from our first overnight birthday party. 
Nine 9 year olds from 4pm-10am...and we survived!
Actually it was loads of fun and I think my favorite nine year old had a fantastic time.

As a mom, there are few things as pride-inducing as seeing your child choose and interact with nice friends.
And all eight of her friends were delightful and courteous and very kind.

Here are a few photos from the big bash:

It was a Harry Potter themed party...so I made a few things...

Before we went bowling, Soleil chose to take her friends to dinner at Subway:

*Does anyone know how to upload a video without putting it on YouTube?  I have an adorable video of the girls singing "happy birthday" but I don't know how to show it to you.

That was our fun-filled weekend, how was yours?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When is cheap okay?

I grew up with a mother that lived by the motto, "more is more".  
That nearly always translated into, "quantity not quality".
When I was a teenager and then into my "spend like crazy and worry about it later" early twenties I purposely defied these rules and bought only the very best my credit card could accommodate.
Since then I've become a bit more real.
And while I still would always choose fewer nice things over quantity, I can now appreciate the need to buy less than the best.

Lately I've been thinking about things that you can get away with going cheap on...and things you can't.
For instance, I would never recommend buying off brand Q-tips
masking tape, toilet paper, 
laundry detergent, peanut butter, 
bar soap or glass cleaner...

But store brand kitchen garbage bags meet our needs...
and my kids don't seem to notice a difference when I buy the no-name fruit snacks.

A few other things on my "okay to go cheap" list would probably be liquid hand soap, 
pudding mix, body lotion, 
snacks in bulk for the classroom, 
jelly and, (don't crucify me for this one), milk.

What things would be on your lists?

Monday, February 27, 2012

here's to you, my sweet girl...

Today is my sweet Soleil's 9th birthday.
I can hardly believe that I've been mothering that long.
The day she was born certainly changed my everything...forever.

As a tribute to her, and as a memory aide, I thought I'd list some things about my daughter:
1.  For her birthday dinner she chose pizza and french fries.
2.  She adores rootbeer but is only permitted to have it on special occasions.
3.  She describes herself as a "sporty girl".
4.  She has proven time and time again that she can be successful at anything she commits herself to.
5.  Taylor Swift is her favorite musician.
6.  Her favorite color is "electric blue".
7.  She gets the hiccups when she laughs too hard.
8.  Her dream vacation would be a trip to California.
9.  She makes friends nearly instantly.
10.  Science is her favorite subject at school.
11.  Her big blue eyes have had the power to melt her father and me since the day she was born.
12.  She has the kindest, most sensitive heart.

I love you, Soleil!
Happy Birthday from your proud Mama!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2nd finish of 2012

It has taken me a while to blog about this.  
Truth is that the little boy that I made it for has been enjoying it now for over a week...at least I hope he's been enjoying it :)
His mom was really kind and appreciative when I presented them to her.
Her enthusiasm and support made this project really fun...and rewarding.
I had never done anything like this before and was so honored that she trusted me with all of her children's baby clothes.  
As I was cutting into the sweet little things, I kept thinking to myself, "Ruth, this better frickin' work cuz all her memorabilia is now ruined".
But thank goodness it all worked...beautifully.
Now I only wish that I had kept my eldest daughter's clothes so I could make one for her!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


We got a ton of snow last night.
I don't get the paper anymore and have never really watched the news so I wasn't expecting it.

This morning when Shore let the dogs out, our larger dog, Toni decided to leave our yard and go exploring.

After about five minutes of listening to Shore scream for Toni, I donned my coat and boots over my pajamas, and headed outside to join in the search.
My hair was sticking straight up.  I was wearing my glasses.  I have horrible pregnancy acne.
I was a lovely sight.

I passed three of my neighbors...all of them just turned away from me.  
Maybe it was the acne.

I decided to get out of the road and start following the dog prints in the snow.
I slipped and fell down one of my neighbor's steeply sloping backyards.

I finally found Toni, about a block away and right in front of the woman's house that seems to ALWAYS find Toni when she "runs away".  

Thank goodness I found her before she did.

This whole week has kind of been like this story.

I really just want to go back to bed and wake up to all my bathrooms being miraculously cleaned.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Putting the nursery together

What is it about the 2nd trimester?!?  
You start to feel better and you immediately begin nesting.

Right now I'm working on furniture for the nursery.

I have a VERY little bedroom to work with this time around...
being the third child, this one is drew the short straw.

My vision is white walls, neutral furniture, and pops of color in the curtains, pillows, art work, etc.

I just have to show you my very most favorite find so far...
It will probably never make it into the nursery...
it currently resides in our master bedroom, right next to our bed.
Every night before I go to bed, I look over at it and dream of the sweet little one that will be here soon.
It's precious.

And, while I'm at it I might as well announce that the sweet little one is going to be a GIRL!

Life is so very good.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Finish of 2012

Remember those memory quilts I was commissioned to make?  
The ones that were made out of baby clothes?
They're finished!!!
And I'm ready to show you the first one...Zaid's.

I think when I last showed you these quilts, they were just quilt tops...
since then, my quilter Pam Cole quilted each of the quilts in a fantastic swirl pattern.
Zaid's mother had given me a few of the receiving blankets that she had gotten from the hospital when he was born.  
They ended up making perfect binding for the quilts...
Lots of hand stitches secured the binding in place...
And voila, Zaid's quilt was finished!  
(Pam makes each quilt so personal...I love this extra step that she does)
Stay tuned for his brother Zeen's quilt, I'll be showing that later this week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wreath of Love

Have I showed this to you before?
I actually made it last year for Valentine's Day.
I'm not much into decorating for each and every holiday but bringing this sweet little number out of storage sure did make me smile.
I had forgotten how much I like it.
One of my favorite things about it is that I was I able to make it with mostly things that I found laying around.
It cost me nearly nothing...and yet it looks so pretty.
I really wanted the sign portion to be made of wood, but I didn't have any so I used a piece of cardboard.
It's kind of hard to see in the photo but I painted it Robin's Egg Blue, then covered it with Elmer's glue and then painted it again with white.  The glue makes the top layer of paint crackle...and look even more like wood ;)
So, for the second year in a row, this Wreath of Love is hanging on my front door.
It might show up again next year, too.