Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guess Who Came to Visit?

Some clues for you -- he has 4 feet, curly white hair and a cute little bark! Of course, it's Larry -- the bichon! Philip and Catherine and Larry came to visit last weekend and stay overnight. It was so nice to have them all here. Maddy was in hog . . . I mean, dog-heaven!!

Poor Larry was probably exhausted by the time they headed home. We took him on lots of walks, she played with him and walked (pulled) him around the house on his leash. He tried to get his paws on some of her stuffed animals and she gave him one that looked a lot like him. We called it Little Larry. Big Larry really wanted a Webkinz kitty though. After she wore him out, he took a little nap right on her lap. So sweet! Come again Larry! You too -- Philip and Catherine! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Climb Every Mountain (or Boulder)

Really now, you know there are no mountains in Nebraska, right?! Heck, truth be told, there are very few hills around here and even less as you go further west. Warning, do not attempt to drive I-80 across Nebraska without a big ole' pot of coffee. The flatness will make you very, very sleepy!

But there are mountains and challenges to be faced everywhere, aren't there. Lately, we've had a bit of a math challenge going on. Miss M has had the darndest time since school started with math -- mostly addition and subtraction of larger numbers. Being a parent can be such a balancing act -- trying to help your child, build some self-confidence and still not become one of those neurotic mothers! Oy -- parenthood is not for the weak of heart!

Already, Miss M looks down and says "I'm no good at math." Oh man -- that kills me. And she's a bit of a shy girl and very tender-hearted. She doesn't want to ask her teacher for help or tell her if she doesn't understand, so she'll just take a wild guess. We've talked to her teacher, we work on math worksheets and flashcards, and we also have a tutor come over every week. Oh, gosh, I do sound a bit neurotic, don't I!

During the summer, she and Courtney (the tutor) worked on and practiced reading together. Maddy really, really likes her. I wasn't sure if I should keep the tutor for the school year too, but I'm so glad I did. They spend nearly the whole hour going over math and doing fun math-related problems. They do a bit of reading too and go over any papers that had mistakes on them. Probably at least partly because it is somebody else (not Mom), Maddy thinks it is fun and looks forward to it every week. Guess who else attends tutoring sessions - Mickey Mouse and sometimes other random stuffed animals. Second grade is so different than first grade. In 1st grade, it was all about learning to read. In 2nd, it's more reading to learn and figuring things out on your own . . . a bit more of a challenge and that's a good thing, right?!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ta Da -- Dining Room Done!

Are y'all sick of hearing about my dining room? I am finished or really close to being finished with the redecorating project. I even spent nearly the entire day yesterday (Sunday) washing windows!

My first project in this room was to repaint below the chair rail. I did that a couple months ago while Mr. Tennis was out of town! Shhh- don't tell, but I didn't move one large piece of furniture to paint behind it, I just painted a bit behind it, so you can't tell I cheated.
Then came the new chandelier, new rug, new curtains, re-covered chairs and a little bit of this and that. I think the exact words uttered by Mr. Tennis were -- "trying to solve the recession all on your own???" Kidding -- he thinks it looks tons better too, though he was initially skeptical of the power of an on-line decorating consultant -- the fabulous Rhoda of Southern Hospitality blog.

We have this great built-in corner cabinet that I've always loved. Lighter-colored paint below the chair rail and new curtains hung up higher than the old ones. Wow -- that makes a huge difference and the room seems so much larger!

Here you can see the new rug and recovered chairs a little better.

This is the honking heavy piece of furniture (can't really see it, but take my word for it - it's heavy) that I could not move to paint behind, but I got in close enough, so you can't tell. Even the Rickster hasn't realized (yet anyway), I haven't painted behind it.

Do I need more accessories on it? I'm terrible at accessories, so opted for less instead of more. Love those two buffet lamps and the reflection of the cool new chandelier in the mirror!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wacky World Wednesday!

Yes, it's a wacky world when we have snow in October!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who To Be?

Maddy has a unique way of deciding who or what to be for Halloween.

This year, it all depends on the accessories!

She has decided to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, not because she loves the movie and Dorothy. No, the real reason is because she spied a little doggie in a basket -- Toto -- and you know, that is MUST accessory for Dorothy!

Plus -- bonus -- Dorothy wears very cool and sparkly red shoes!

Last year, we had a warm and lovely Halloween. I don't think jackets were even necessary. If this past weekend is any indication of what the weather may be, I think Dorothy's red shoes will be replaced with snow boots! Yes, we were one of the many areas of the country that received a record-early snowfall. October -- what is the deal with snow in October???

And guess what, I did not like it at all! I want to enjoy fall some more before winter weather gets here! The dumb snow made some trees drop all of their leaves immediately!

Come on Mother Nature -- give us a break!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gotcha Covered!

Trying to remember to take a moment now and then to smell the roses -- this was a beautiful rose, wasn't it! Even so, it feels like I've had so much going on lately that blogging is taking a bit of a back seat. Speaking of seats, I finished re-covering my dining room chairs -- part of the dining room update project that has been going on for months! Oh my goodness -- what a project! I've seen all those bloggers that make it look easy, and maybe it was easy . . . for them! It took me a LOT longer than an hour or two!

First, I removed over 130 (I kid you not, I counted) staples from each chair -- that took a weekend at least. Then I had to find some fabric. Score - found a lovely neutral that will go with the new rug and also had a little other fabric to play with and use too. Then the cutting began!

Did you know that I failed cutting with a scissors in kindergarten? Yes, I did and so did my twin. My Mom said to the teacher-- "What -- there are two of them, why would I be crazy enough to give them scissors???" And we both did poorly in beginning sewing when we took it one summer (make that two summers in a row)-- again, still can't cut a straight line!

Finished chairs!

Anyway, the first chair took days and days! And then I dawdled some just thinking about it all. Finally, last weekend I swore I would finish the rest of the chairs! And I did! Doing the corners was way harder than I thought it might be, but I persevered. And now look -- do you love them? The stripe fabric was a remnant and just happened to match my neutral fabric. My plan was to make two chairs striped -- you know, the Mom & Dad chairs. But somebody (Maddy) got a really sad face and also wanted a striped chair, so we have three striped chairs and three plain. Works for me! The dining room is really coming together. More photos when it is done -- which I hope is soon!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hats + Fall Weather = Cool!!

October really says fall to me! One of the things that I like about fall is that you can wear a hat and not look like a total dork!! But, I have enough bad hair days without "hat head" days too! Miss Maddy, on the other hand, has perfect hair -- hats don't mess it up at all!

Last week for school pictures, Maddy said she wanted her hair curly. She announced this around 7:15 A.M. the morning of school pictures! Hot rollers to the rescue! She looked in the mirror after the magical hot rollers had done their work and believed her hair to be curly! To me, it looked like it had a bit more oomph to it and was not quite as straight as usual. She loved the "curly" look, but said no one at school noticed! Gosh -- same thing happens to me -- except no one notices when I get my hair straight!

This sweet knit beret is from last year. Don't you love a beret? Does it make you want to go to Paris? It does me!

Flashback from last fall! Looking for more hats soon -- a girl can't have too many hats, can she?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Family News!

Generally, I don't write a whole lot here about my older sons. Since they are older (and just how did they get to be so old anyway!!), I believe their lives are private and I shouldn't share every little thing about them. They know they may get in a photo that could appear at any time on the blog and I may brag about them now and them --I'm only human after all! What Mother doesn't brag about her kids!

So, we have some family news and I made sure to ask permission before writing about it. This photo of my sweet daughter-in-law gives the news away, doesn't it! Yes, Philip and Catherine are expecting a baby! We are all so thrilled and excited for them. And happy to report that Catherine is feeling better after a pretty miserable first trimester. I believe the due date is around Feb.16 -- maybe it'll be a Valentine's Baby! Or maybe it'll wait a bit to be born on Philip's birthday - Feb. 28 --wouldn't that be sweet!

They're actively seeking name suggestions (not finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time) and so am I. I'm trying to figure out what the baby should call me -- any ideas? Granny sounds so very old-- ancient actually. My Dad used to call me Janny when I was little, so maybe Nanny or Nana?? Any cute Grandma-name suggestions??