Monday, December 10, 2012

Colin's birthday

I feel like I have said this before, but I truly think Colin's birthday falls on one of the hardest days of the year!

Colin was born to us nine years ago, Halloween afternoon. As most families with children would agree, Halloween is a jam-packed day as it is--let alone adding birthday festivities into the mix!

But of course, as usual....we managed!  Lola got costume #1 of the day on, 
and we headed to the boys' school for some lunch and Halloween parties!

Then, that evening, was some trick-or-treating fun with our friends: The Mario Kart Gang!

After that was dinner out. Because this year Halloween fell on a Wednesday night, and Shane, I, and our friends run our Wednesday night children't program at our church, we had to hurry--so we picked Steak N Shake to eat. Then it was off to church, and home for showers and pj's!

The poor kids were exhausted--but Colin was so excited over opening his presents that, even though it was almost 10 p.m., we had to let him do it! His first one was a doozie, for sure!!

Something he'd been asking for for a long time....

....from Grandma 'Nette and Grandpa.....
....a BULLS jersey!!

He beamed as bright as the sun. It was so precious.

He opened several more things: some clothes, some soccer pj pants.....

....and something else he has been wanting....

....his very own real Bible. He has several Bible story books, but has been asking for one he can read himself, on his own and in church. We were happy to oblige!!

We chose the Adventure Bible for him, and he has loved it so far.

(I loved that he wanted to read it right away, and for a moment even forgot about the other presents!)

Some Star Wars legos!

{Being silly and showing me how old they are...Lo didn't quite grasp it LOL}

One last one!

Colin is just such a special boy and a wonderful gift to our grateful for the NINE years we have been blessed with this young man's presence!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To "new" or to "re-do"

A couple of months ago, we decided to take on a project that we have been wanting to do for awhile: revamp our dining room table and chairs.

Originally, I just wanted Shane to sand out the many scratches (matchbox car derbies anyone?) and spots where the finish was worn completely down (mommy rubbing crayon marks off the table a little too vigorously, I guess) and put a new layer of clear lacquer on the top.

I'm so glad Shane had a better vision!  He grabbed the boys one day, 
took the set out to the garage, and got to work.

Each boy got a turn or two with the sander.

Cameron was so funny--he said he liked how the sander on the table
made his ears feel funny! That kid. :)

My sweet Ethan, enjoying his turn with the power tools

Cameron's turn--and Ethan with his head on the table now! *giggle*

Daddy decided to distress the table a bit.

He added some "worm holes"....

....and some deep scratches.

{Overseeing the boys with the sander}

Distressing the sides of the table

After everything was sanded and distressed, it was time for a good cleaning to get allllll the dust off!

"I'm good with a paintbrush. I can help stain, right? Don't you trust me?!"

Time for the stain!

The boys were absolutely enamored with this process. It was really cute to watch.

The worm holes and scratches after the stain had been applied

A big color difference from before to after!

Completely done with coat number one

After the table was done (one more coat of stain and several coats of polyeurathane) it was on to the chairs. Boy, that was a project. Yowsers. Sanding our chairs was incredibly time consuming and painstaking work, due to the lattice work on both sides of the backs of the chairs. We estimated that the sanding alone took us about 20 hours. But they were worth it!

Shane putting the cushions back on

After Shane got the chairs in, he decided he was ready to take on one more project 
that we have talked about doing for a while: building a bench. It was done in a few 
hours, and it has quickly become the favorite seat in the house!

My beautiful Lolee enjoying some lunch :)

Favorite spot. See!?

The last step was personalizing the bench. Shane wanted something we'd remember.... each child got their hand prints stamped into the inside of the bench.
(Shane made it to open, like a piano bench.)

Ethan's turn

Lola was very excited to "paint."

One hand at a time....

She definitely loved the idea of painting more than actually having paint on her fingers. *grin*
{Note to self: do more messy, hands-on projects with Lola}

I love how it turned out! Such a great keepsake.

So now, my table matches my hutch! I love how everything turned out!

Another project in the books! Whooo hoooooo!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trick or Treat!!

Just like last year (and I think the year before THAT!), for Halloween, we met up with our friends Tom and Jen and took the kids trick or treating together. 

BUT, this year was a little different--this year, we coordinated outfits!! It was so much fun.

Introducing.....the MARIO KART gang!
From left to right, Luigi, Mario, Baby Peach, Princess Peach, Wario, and Waluigi!!

My kids were so excited to actually do real costumes this year. For the last couple of years, 
we've sort of gone through the "dress up bin" and grabbed stuff we already had. Jen found
some great deals at Party City, and we were able to do these four costumes for less than $30!! 
This deal hunter was super excited over that one!

Ethan was thrilled to be Luigi, but his lips were glued together from his giant 
mustache--he couldn't speak OR smile! It was so funny!

Speaking of thrilled.....

Whether he is Waluigi or Colin....he still loves soccer!

The kids were so cute running up to the doors together....

We had, as usual, a really great time. It is getting more and more fun as the 
kids get older and really know what is going on. 

I already can't wait for next year.....any suggestions for our crew of 2 girls and 4 boys? :) I'd love to hear them--you can never start planning too early, right?!