Friday, July 31, 2009

Small Successes :: July 30, 2009

"It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

~ 1 ~

I survived our first week of swimming lessons and, despite a dead car battery yesterday morning -- which was jump started minutes before we needed to leave by a neighbor we don't really know and who had still been sleeping (oops!), we did not miss even one of the children's classes. Snuggles is still not very happy to be in the pool (yeah, he SCREAMS the whole time!) but Chiquita is swimming wonderfully and was once again "diving" off the board today! Nevertheless, I am SO happy to be home this weekend knowing that I don't have to go back until Monday!!

~ 2 ~

I made great progress (with lots of help from Hubby and my friend Marci) on our home projects this past week. I posted pictures of some of what was accomplished including:

~ 3 ~

Inspired by Twinkle Toes' Godmother, who also uses Right Start Math, I organized all of our Math supplies.

What are your Small Successes this week?

Stop by Faith and Family Live to read more of this week's Small Successes.

(I wrote this post yesterday afternoon, but forgot to click publish.)

Using Apostrophes Correctly

My last couple post were really bothering me... I kept wondering if I had used the correct punctuation on "Girl's" and "Boy's" in my post titles...  They just didn't look right.  If you haven't noticed by now, grammar has never been one of my strong points.  (I even failed the placement test when I arrived at Christendom and needed to take Grammar 101... )

Anyhow, I did a quick Google search for "the correct use of an apostrophe" and found the following rule:
To show plural possession, make the noun plural first. Then immediately use the apostrophe.
It was just what I was looking for and I corrected my last couple posts... Now I know, and perhaps I'll be able to sleep tonight! ;) 

P.S.  Please overlook any new grammar errors in this post!  I'm still learning... 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Girls' New Bedroom

I am so happy with how the girls' bedroom turned out!  It is so cute and girly!!!

I took some photos to post, but they hardly do it justice.  I think it looks so much prettier in person.   The girls were so excited and are really enjoying their new room.

Like the boys' bunk beds, the girls' bedroom furniture was also handed down to us from my parents.  It had been the twins bedroom furniture, before my mom redid their room a couple years ago.

The crucifixes above the beds were favors from one of Hubby's brothers' ordinations, and blessed by the newly ordained "Uncle Father"!


On the side wall, above each of the girls' beds, is their baby picture and some wall decals that matched their bedding.  It was so much fun to decorate the room with the flowers and butterflies, plus they were inexpensive and moveable! (And Twinkle Toes LOVES Butterflies!)

~Twinkle Toes ~ 

~ Chiquita ~

I am also thinking about maybe hand-painting or stenciling their names near their pictures, but I haven't decided for sure. 

Above their window is this cute little quote that I found awhile back at a local boutique.  I also have some curtains to hang, but before I can I need to exchange the rod for one that is a little bit longer. 

On the floor in the middle of the room is a bright flowery rug.

At the foot of Chiquita's bed is their bookshelf.  There was a little hole already on the side so I ended up hanging Twinkle Toes' Carmelite Cross there for now, a gift from one of her Uncles.

On top of the bookshelf is a darling picture hubby found at an antique shop, when he was still single, and a little lamp from my mom.   So precious!

Here is a photo taken from the doorway.   The armoire is at the foot of Twinkle Toes' bed and their little play kitchen is to the right.

Just inside the door is this beautiful Holy Water Font, from Twinkle Toes' Godmother.  (Which reminds me, I still haven't hung the boys' back up in their new room...)

Here is the opposite end of the room, behind the door.  Along the back wall is the closet organizer.  I am thinking of possibly hanging a curtain on each side to cover their clothing, at least until we are able to add a wall and/or doors to finish the closet.  

On the open closet shelf are two angels that were a gift from their Great Aunt Bridget, my dad's youngest sister and a WONDERFUL Aunt, on the day they were born.  Aunt Bridget is the one that always takes care of our children for us when we are at the hospital welcoming a new little one.


Also behind the door is a Fairy themed growth chart that was made by my own, very talented, Godmother!

She also gave the girls this beautiful artwork from one of her collections.


I wish I could have gotten a better picture, it looks so much nicer in person!

Well, it is now bedtime for my girls and so I am off to read them a story and tuck them in for the night.  Goodnight and God bless!

Update:  I posted a picture of the new curtains here

The Next Project :: Painting the Boys' Old Room

After the boys were all moved into their new room, it was time to paint their old room for the girls. It seemed like an overwhelming task, especially being pregnant and wanting to avoid the fumes, but with hubby doing all the taping and my friend Marci doing the actual painting, we were done in just a few hours and by evening we were able to get on with the FUN part and start moving the girl's furniture into their new room!

Here are a couple pictures I took real quick, after realizing I hadn't taken any, before removing the rest of the old furniture and pictures:

(Sorry for the mess!! It's amazing what one finds when beds and dressers are moved! I probably should have done a quick pick up before taking the pictures. )

The "Camelhair" paint that we had on the walls was nice, but as soon as it was painted (5 years ago) I realized it was too dark for a room with just one window. I couldn't wait to repaint it, but hubby said I was stuck with my decision for at least 5 years. The five years is up, and besides, the color just wouldn't work with the girl's bedding! ;)

I suppose I could have left the girls where they were and made this room our nursery, but I had a few reasons for wanting to move them:
  1. The beds would fit on either side of the window, unlike in their old room, due to the incorrect placement of a window when the room was built.
  2. The girls would be able to have a "closet." (Someday we will be able to close it in and make it "officially" a closet!)
  3. I'd be able to paint the walls to match their bedding -- at first I was thinking of Lilac, but hubby wasn't too crazy about that idea, and much more open to a Light Green...
  4. Their old room, being yellow, would work well for either a baby boy or a baby girl without needing to be painted.
Anyhow, last Saturday morning I went to the paint store to choose some paint. I WAS SO NERVOUS!!!! I've always had help in the past... However, with a little guidance from the nice gentleman working at the paint store, I came home with a couple gallons of "Pastel Sage" which is just lovely and really brightened up the room!

I am out of time right now, but I will be back later to post pictures of their finished room. It turned out SOOO SO CUTE!!

The Boys' New Bedroom

aka:  our old school room

Since I only posted pictures of the boys' closet earlier today, I am back with a few pictures of the rest of their new room.

Here is how it looks from the doorway.

The bunk beds were given to us a few years back by my parents.  They had been my brothers.   If you look close you will see all sorts of carvings in the wood, but that just gives them character, right?!  We decided to go ahead and set up both sets, even though only Captain and Rascal are in the room right now.  More than likely Snuggles will be joining them soon.  

On either side of the closet door we hung their icons and crucifix, as well as their Sacred Heart picture above the dresser. 

In between the beds is a little nightstand, which use to belong to their daddy when he was a child, and we hung their Grandfather's Navy memorabilia above, which was given to Captain. 

I still need to find comforters for the other two beds.  I don't think I will be able to match the denim ones I have but I am hoping to find something that will compliment them nicely.  Any suggestions??

I also have quite a bit of wall space above the beds. (This particular wall still needs to be painted, and has since we moved the door to it's current location when we added on to our home.)   I was thinking that it might be fun to paint just this wall a different color, but I'm not sure.  

The boys would also love to have a print of "The Prayer at Valley Forge" and also one of "The Flag Raising on Iwo Jima" to hang above their beds too... I'm going to have to start watching for those.

The boys are really enjoying their new, organized and simplified, room!  The drawers, under the bunk bed closest to the rug, have been used to sort some of the toys that aren't in their closet:  Cars, G.I.'s, and Playmobil.   They have been setting up either their castle or coliseum each day and having battles against each other.  (Today is was the "Rebs vs. Redcoats."  And yet, they are able to pick it all up when they are done so much easier than in the past.   Yay!!! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Making progress...

After almost a month of rearranging rooms in our home, it is finally starting to come together!  I thought I would try and start posting a few pictures of our progress.

The hard thing is deciding WHERE to start... Normally I would have been blogging while I went, but I just didn't have the time.  I am really wishing that I would have taken some "before" photos since I don't seem to have as many as I thought I did, particularly of the boy's old bedroom.

I guess I will start with the school room closet.  It  has been one of the most challenging projects so far.  I can't believe HOW MUCH STUFF I was able to cram in that little space.   It all needed to be cleared out so we could install closet organizers for the boys clothing, since they are now using the old school room as their bedroom.

Here are a couple pictures I posted last year:


If it was that FULL last May, I am sure you can image what it looked like after a busy year of school, crafts, etc...

Since the new school room does not have a closet, everything needed to be temporarily moved to my bedroom floor to get it "out of the way" till I could figure out where to put it all! (Sometimes I think a attached garage would come in VERY handy!)

Here is a glimpse at what has been sitting in my room for the past couple weeks:

This ridiculous pile did get MUCH worse this last week, while we were moving the girls to the boy's old bedroom, and it is much better now, though I do still have quite a bit to sort.  I have come to the realization that we just have too much stuff (for the amount of space we have) and I did drop off 6 more bags of donations today on the way home from swimming!   Anyway, more on this progress later...

Back to the closet -- which by now is empty:

Once everything was out of the closet, hubby painted. The next day  (last Thursday) a friend of mine came over to help me. (Had I mentioned how overwhelmed I had been feeling??)  We installed the closet organizers and I moved all the boy's clothes to their new room!!  It was SO NICE to FINALLY have one room FINISHED!!

Well, almost finished... The right side still needs a couple more shelves which I picked up last week.  We'll install them soon. 

I was also very excited that the baskets from my old changing table fit in their closet so well!  They are working perfectly for holding some of their toys and sports gear.


I'll be back to post a few pictures of the rest of their room. 

Summer with the Saints :: St. Patrick

Each week my children get so excited when it is time for:

Summer with the Saints

Captain was especially excited this past week since the featured saint was St. Patrick, one of his patron saints!

Like always, Marci had lots of fun activities planned for the children and we all had a wonderful time. Here are a few pictures from our morning:

~ Coloring Pictures ~

The children began the morning coloring pictures of either a Celtic Cross or St. Patrick, while Marci read them a short story about the life of this great saint.

~ Holy Cards ~

They then moved on to making Holy Cards, though a few of my children have been opting to make actual cards to mail to friends and family.

~ Craft Time ~

For the craft project Marci had ordered some Trinity Shamrocks from Oriental Trading for the children to put together. They turned out very cute!

~ Games ~

The game was a HIT, especially with the boys.
What boy wouldn't LOVE tossing snakes from Ireland?!?!

My girls on the other hand couldn't get enough of Marci's new hammock swing!

~ Snack Time ~

For a snack we had refreshing Ice Cream Sandwiches made with chocolate covered cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream molded in a scalloped bread tube. I think I need to pull my Pampered Chef tubes out of the cupboard and fill them with ice cream!

~ Group Photo ~

I loved that everyone showed up in green even though not everyone knew who the saint was going to be!

We are looking forward to another Summer with the Saints tomorrow, after swimming lessons!! (And praying that it isn't really the 112 degrees like the forecast is predicting... )

Saint Patrick, pray for us!