Thursday, December 29, 2011

What to Read?

My amazing sister, Michelle, and brother-in-law, Dustin, bought me a Kindle for Christmas. I love, love, love books! I have a gazillion books - yes that's an actual word, well for me anyway. Just ask Brad, he's had to move them from house to house and even in a boat after the flood. My dilemma is that I have soooo many books and I love to read them. I'm often reading several at a time. But now, I have this Kindle. So, what do I read? I need some input on the best way to use mine?
I have downloaded a lot of free things so far. I have some books, fiction and non-fiction. And I did some word games, that the kids and I are all enjoying. But how do you decide what to read? What tools work best for you on the kindle? I am overwhelmed by the whole notes and highlighting thing. I read that you can transfer things from your email to your kindle. Does anyone know of any other cool tools or tricks? I am excited about the fact that you can save where you're at and go back to it later. I also like that there are endless possibilities for books to download, but where to start?! Hmmm, oh the choices!!!
~ Misty

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011

It's finally about over, this year that is. As optimistic as I was about the new year at the beginning, it turned out to be a bear. Granted, some good things happened, but generally, it's a year I will be happy to put behind me. Instead of focusing on all that was difficult or didn't go as I had planned, I'm going to try to leave that behind and look ahead. This picture was taken Christmas day.
I am most thankful for my family and that everyone is healthy. 

I have a friend that says it's cliche to have a resolution that starts on New Year's Day, so I'll start now. Well, I'll start thinking about things now. Overall, I'm ready to move into the red albatross. I'm ready to have my own space. I'm sure everyone else is ready too. I'm ready to have someone ask me if we are in our house yet? and actually say yes! We are in the drywall phase right now. We've actually hired someone to come and start the mudding and taping next week. I do think it will go quicker then. Most of the first floor has the drywall hung and we're hoping to finish that up by the end of the weekend with inspection on Tuesday.

There are several personal goals I've set for myself. I'm reluctant to call them a resolution, just things I really want to change. Among them, be healthier, drop those last few piper pounds, lower my overall stress level, be more consistent in my parenting and relationships. There are some fun ones too. I would like to do the 52 new recipes in 2012, run a 5k (or more?) focus on my writing, do more with this blog....

Any new goals or resolutions for you? If you would like to read some perspective that a friend shared, check out this blog, I did and it helped a lot as I was thinking about how I could make this year great - 30 things

~ Misty

Piper's Kitchen

I finished Piper's kitchen just in time for Christmas. It has been, by far, the gift I have been most excited to give. I don't think I would have attempted it if it weren't for Brad's help. He was able to cut the holes for the sink for me and help attach all the hardware. But, in the end it was my project, so I'm taking the rest of the credit.
I totalled up my cost in the project and my best estimate was around $50 or so. That includes the actual cabinet, wood for the back, all the hardware, paint and fabric. The two most expensive things were the unit (15) and the faucet (20) which actually is a laundry faucet that works if it's hooked up to water. Brad asked if I wanted him to plumb her room for the sink? That was a very quick NO! Can you imagine the disaster that would cause?!
The first picture is her the day after Christmas with her kitchen before I moved it into the actual kitchen. Still a mess from Christmas, you can see that she's a little on the short side yet. She has been using the potty for a step stool, rest assured, she doesn't actually pee in the potty yet...
I put hooks on the right side of the kitchen to hang her apron and pot holders. And on the left side, I painted a picture frame and added "Piper's Kitchen" to the top of it. However, when I tried to glue on the metal for the magnet board, it messed up the side of the frame. I still haven't fixed it yet, but when I do, I will attach it to the side so she can put her letter magnets on it and maybe her shopping list :)

So, it's finally done and I can quit obsessing over it. The good news is that Piper loves it, plays with it all the time and the other kids do too. I wish I would have seen this idea when Hailey was little. Maybe someday if I have a niece, she can use it when Piper's done with it.

~ Misty

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas is Coming

It's true, Christmas is coming. So, we needed a tree. Last year, we waited too long and had to get one of the last two trees that was left at Earl May. Usually, we go cut ours down from the Kris Kringle tree farm the weekend after Thanksgiving. We made it there this year, just a couple weekends off. All the boys had their hand at cutting it down. Starting with Jackson while Anderson threw a fit because he thought he wouldn't get a turn. And Brad finishing it off. He has a hat on this year, so no funny head shots.

 The girls and I watched while they did the dirty work. Piper wasn't too thrilled with the whole snow suit thing, but it was sooo cold! She looked like a stuffed marshmallow waddling around.

 Last week, I decided it was time for a change, so I had my hair done darker and shorter. It's a bit of a drastic change, but I think it works. The lighting is hard in this picture to tell how dark and red it is, kind of like red wine. We took a bunch of other shots that actually turned out better, but I liked this one. Piper was trying to get in on the action and was very upset that she wasn't in the picture. So, there ya go Pipe! And in the background you can see the tree decorated by the Block kids. No shortage of tinsel there.
~ Misty

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pinterest Addicted!

The first step is to admit you have a problem. Yes, I have a problem - PINTEREST! Where have you been all my life?! Like so many others, I have fallen victim to the allure of crafting, baking and new style ideas that dominate pinterest. Seriously, I have no time for facebook now. I spend way too much time on pinterest and I'm sad to admit, I think Hailey is addicted as well? She is always asking to go on and find new craft ideas. On the upside, I have gotten a ton of new ideas and my kids and family are benefiting from it. I made the headband holder below for the girls. Super easy and turned out way cute, you can use the inside of the container to hold other hair things as well.
I'm also not the only one that wishes she could sew better after being on pinterest. So, that's next on my list, brushing up on my sewing skills. While on the site a few weeks ago, I found the absolute cutest idea for a little play kitchen. This is the inspiration for the kitchen. But, I 've taken it a step further, cut off the ledge on the back, removed the cardboard and added a 48" high solid back with a shelf. Here are a couple before pictures.

The whole thing is going to be painted pink. I was in the process of sanding and started to prime it all when Brad tells me that I shouldn't use spray paint. He gave a list of reasons why etc. etc. As it turns out, one of his clients offered to primer and spray it in his paint booth. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I am making the curtain out of the same fabric I used to cover her chandelier.
A few other details on the kitchen, the knobs for the stove were free from an appliance store and I got the "sink" for .75 from a thrift store. Brad says I should put a Viking emblem on the oven. I'm still researching that idea, but how cute would that be?! There will be a magnet board on one side and hooks to hang her apron and potholders on the other side. I am so excited for this to be done and able to give it to Piper for Christmas. Stay tuned for the finished product!
I have tried quite a few other things from pinterest. We did the pumpkin muffins for school a couple of times, super easy and tasty too. I bought the ikea shelves to do this project, just need to paint them - you guessed it - pink!  I'm making my sister's cards into a book, about half way done with that. Who knew she had so many cards?  
 If you haven't done so already, you should check it out.  
But don't blame me if you have no more free time...
~ Misty