Archive for September, 2011

one more labor day post

I’m SOOOO behind in blogging it’s not even funny.  Before I move on to more recent things, I don’t want to miss the end of Grandpa Lane’s birthday weekend.  It was such a special weekend, and the final day was spent together at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

It happened to be the Japanese Festival at the Gardens that weekend, but we spent the majority of the time in the Children’s Garden with these two.

Grandpa Lane stayed back with us and humored Molly while she plopped fake fruits and vegetables in his lap in the farmer’s market.

I love this picture of my big boy and me.  I love that he is completely obsessed with wearing his Missouri Tigers hat everywhere he goes.  The other day we heard him moving around in his room at 6:30am (too early in my opinion) and when he emerged he was wearing his jammies, cowboy boots, his Tigers hat, and holding a rifle (fake, of course).  Not what I was expecting to see early in the morning but I love the kid’s creativity!

After the gardens we went over to Joanie’s Pizza in Soulard.  Grandpa Lane got some great pictures with his great-grandkids while we sat on the patio in the perfect fall weather.

And I had to include this picture of my sweet little girl.  She’s always doing this goofy scrunched up face grin when we take pictures and this one shows off her adorable little face.  But you can see the devilish look in her eyes.  That’s my Molly.

That was Labor Day weekend. It was great.  The end.

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Over Labor Day weekend, we had Travis’ grandpa’s 85th birthday party at our house.  The whole family gathered here…Cameron and Cristina came from California, Georgann and Keith came from Memphis, Cori came from Columbia, Jeff and Julie came up from Mena, and Lane came over from KC…and we had a blast celebrating Lane’s 85 years.  We greeted Lane with a great big sign made especially for him by Owen.

The whole family had wracked our brains to figure out the perfect gift for Grandpa Lane.  What do you get the man who has everything he needs and wants?  We came up with the idea to make him a book listing 85 things we love about Grandpa Lane.  Everyone in the family contributed to the list and shared favorite family pictures from over the years, and Travis and I compiled it into a book.  We were so excited to give it to Lane and his reaction didn’t disappoint!  Here’s a video of the moment he opened his present:

We all sat on the back patio for over an hour and enjoyed seeing him read through every page.  It was a precious time and one that will be cherished for a long time.

I peeked over his shoulder so you can see a glimpse of what the inside of the book looked like.

This afternoon proved to be the perfect time to get some family pictures.  First…Lane with his grandchildren:  Travis, Cori, and Cameron.

Next…Lane with his kids, Georgann and Jeff.

Four generations:  Lane, Jeff, Travis, and Owen.

I love this precious picture of the two Lanes:  Grandpa Lane and Owen Lane.

Later on that afternoon Georgann and Cristina entertained Molly with art projects…

…and then Molly joined the boys in playing yard games.  I couldn’t resist putting in this sweet picture of Trav and Moo.

Later that evening it was time for the birthday feast!  We were celebrating not only Lane’s 85th birthday but Jeff and Julie’s 35th wedding anniversary!!  I knew I had to make the meal extra special.  And how better to make the meal special than with, what else, but another banner for the lovebirds (made especially for them by Owen and Molly with their marvelous paint stamping skills)!

And no celebration is complete without a cake.  I put my newly found love of cake-making to work and made an 85 cake for Lane.  I’ll tell ya…getting those circles out of the 8 without breaking the cake was tricky.

Lane was sweet to let Owen help blow out his candles.  The little guy was pretty excited to help out.  Here’s a video of the candle-blowing:

And then…because I’m so clever…the 85 became a 35 and Jeff and Julie had their very own anniversary cake!

Birthday day was a success.  It was great to have the family together.  Seeing Lane have so much fun was worth so much.  But the fun wasn’t over.  Labor Day Monday took us to the Botanical Gardens.  More on that in the next post…

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When I saw the pic of Owen’s chin (the one Emily featured a couple posts ago), it instantly made me think of another notorious character who wasn’t afraid to stick his chin out. Just sayin’.

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We’d had a green kitchen (technically called wasabi green) since we moved into our house.  It was the color I wanted.  At first.  It loved it for a while.  It was bright.  It was cheerful.  It was kitcheny!  But it wasn’t very flexible.  There aren’t too many colors that go well with this certain green.  And anything red made it look Christmasy.  It was time for a change.  I learned that choosing the right color of beige is super ANNOYING.  I thought I’d picked the right color and spent an entire naptime painting the kitchen and dining room…only to discover that it looked purple when on the walls.  Not what I had in mind.  Then I went the smart route and got samples of beiges and for a couple of days my walls looked like this:

After looking at the colors in all different lights, I chose Urban Putty from Sherwin Williams.  After getting it on the walls and redecorating a bit, I love it!  I love having more color in the room through accessories.  I found this fun table runner at World Market and love the colors it introduces in the room.

In my kitchen I’d always had a chalkboard/corkboard combo that helped me organize my life.  Well…it never looked organized.  It always looked chaotic and made my kitchen feel cluttery.  That corkboard is still an essential part of my life, but it now has a new home in the stairwell leading down to the basement.  And the wall in my kitchen (the only wall in my kitchen that has any room for hanging things) now looks like this:

I discovered through this decorating adventure that hanging plates is NOT easy.  All those plate hanging hooks that you can buy are tricky!  I couldn’t get them to work with my plates.  I ended up buying some super strong glue and sawtooth hangers and gluing them on the backs of the plates.  I haven’t heard any shattering glass in the middle of the night…so far so good.  I also thought this was a fun idea that my friend, Abbey, gave me.  I found a fun piece of scrapbook paper, framed it, and then used a dry erase marker to write a verse on it.  It only cost me 50 cents for the paper so I can change it out with the season…or whenever I get tired of it.

Moving on to the part that I love the most…the kids now have an art corner!  Our house is small without a whole lot of storage space (upstairs).  All the kids’ art supplies used to be stored in the top of Owen’s closet.  Not very convenient.  And, to be completely honest, I often didn’t suggest doing art activities with the kids because it was such a pain to get everything down.  I have this shelf in my dining room that has always been home to decorative cake plates and the like.  I had a vision of turning that into an accessible art corner for the kids…and now the dream is a reality!

I love the see through containers so the kids can choose what they want to play with without having to be able to read.  A little chalkboard paint and a white paint pen made my little organized-obsessed self very happy.  Everything has a label.  Bliss.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this.  Ever since I put this together, the kids are obsessed with doing projects.  They can easily find their own supplies and get started without as much reliance on me.  The little table is now right next to the art shelf so they can get right to work.  It’s working out so great.  I wish I’d done it years ago!


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Poor Owen.

Looks nasty, huh?  Our first rainy day in a long while caused us to pull out the raincoats yesterday.  Owen is obsessed with putting his hands in his pockets when he walks, thus preventing him from catching himself when he tripped going up the slippery steps outside of church last night.  It was not a pretty scene.

Today he’s taking it all in stride.  This poor kid’s chin…6 months ago it was five stitches in the exact same place.  Now it’s a bump the size of an egg with a really gross looking bruise.  We won’t be walking with our hands in our pockets anymore.  It’s a new house rule.

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The day before Owen started school, Travis took a random day off to have one last day of family fun.  The weather took a break from being suffocatingly hot and we piled in the mini and headed to the zoo.  We got there just barely before 9am so we could get into the stingray and shark petting pool while it was still free.  The kids think this is really cool, and Owen was brave enough to put his hand in the water and touch one.  Molly wanted nothing to do with it.  The memorable moment came when the stingray chose to give Travis a little salt water shower!

The fantastic 70ish degree weather brought all the animals out to play.  I’ve never seen the chimps out like they were this day.   I counted 9 out at one time!  We even got to see them swinging on their ropes and having a snack.

The chimps weren’t the only ones having fun.  The orangutangs were hilarious.  One of them put on a show for us and got dressed in a poncho.  Another impressed us with his strength as he swung through the trees.  And a third just snuggled up close to the glass so we could get a look at his face.

Wild Cat Country didn’t disappoint either.  The leopards normally stay hidden but not on this day!  The leopard was pacing at the very edge of his cage about 3 feet from where we were standing.  We were able to see what an absolutely beautiful animal he is.

During a snack break, I snapped some pictures of my favorite people on earth.

Owen’s been obsessed with taking pictures lately.  Normally he gets very eraseable pictures of crotches or the floor, but I think this one’s a keeper.

Before we left the zoo we had to see the elephants.  They weren’t doing much but the hippos sure were!  I’ve never seen the hippos doing anything but laying in the water, but today one of them was swimming around.  It was so cool.  We were fascinated.

This was a perfect way to say goodbye to summer.

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