Friday, April 27, 2012

Come sale away with me, lads!

I'm ba-ack!

Our internet connection conked out on us Monday night, and after talking to numerous technicians over the phone trouble shooting, getting disconnected, and generally confused, our local Century Link tech came out this morning and patched us up.  What a pal.

The internet interruption couldn't have happened at a better time, actually.  The weather Tuesday and Wednesday was like a whole raft of lemons- as in, extraordinary- so we were outside all day both days.  Oliver got a new bike Sunday while we were in the cities for a house-hunt with my brother Isaac (more on that later), so his week was spent cruising through the yard and trail.  Every time he passed me he'd yell, 'I'm in -- gear, Mom!'  Thanks for the updates, bud.

Yesterday the kids, my mom, and I spent the day garage saling through mom's town of Pierz for their annual city-wide garage sale.  I scored some pretty fun stuff, but one of the highlights of the day was trying to stay warm (our lemony weather from the two days prior went literal on us and turned sour ), pushing two baby girls in their prams, keeping a watchful eye on an Olive riding his bike, eating a brat and candy bar in the car amongst our 'treasures' and piling said treasures on top of and underneath us all.  I wish I had a photo of us (maybe one day I'll think of photo journalism as the Kodak moments occur instead of trying to recreate them later...unsuccessfully).  Mom nabbed a couple of cute chairs for her front porch...then we wondered whose small car we would cram them into.  We ended up putting them in mine, but my seat was all the way forward and the back acutely upright for the ten minute drive to my parants'.  I felt like a go kart was a constant, conscious effort to not go 80 mph, since sitting that close to the gas pedal can mess with your depth perception.  Ha!

I took pictures of some of the goods.  Bummer that the stage is my entryway - there's much more charm to photos taken in the midst of action.  Maybe next time.

Two lamp shades, one 5x7 picture frame, a sweet Coach purse ($3!), Finding Forrester, a fabulously patterned sash, two juice glasses, a petite mug, size 4 jelly shoes, a Christmas mug, a magnetic flashlight (magneted onto our vintage refrigerator we converted into a pantry).  Some things I can't resist while garage saling: lamps (or shades, in this case), mugs, juice glasses, and little shoes.  I submit my evidence.  Why hello, Mr. Connery.

Oliver got a red zip up hoodie and some aviators.  He's also modeling Georgi's Caboodle.  That's right.

An attempt to show my new blue earrings.  Fail.  They look like stick-ons, and that's what I like about 'em.

I tried and tried to load this picture straight...I turned it every way.  Bugger.  Gigi and her new jellies, anyway.

Monday, April 23, 2012

'O' is for Oh Oliver

I tell ya what, this young son of mine does beat all.  I had gotten Oliver a patch kit for his bike tire, as he had a flat.  Yesterday he asked, "Mom, did you buy me a sour patch kit?"  He was dead serious.

Margs loves it when we sing to her, so Oliver is constantly making up songs to go with the situation.  A few weeks ago she was crying while he was using the bathroom.  His helpful and inspired composition?  "I'm on the pot to lay an egg, Margot!  I'm on the pot to lay an egg, Margot!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Title Transfer

So I've never really loved the name of my would even be a bit strong.  'Our Little Family'?  It sounds lame.  It sounds boring.  I would rather not give the duty of first impression-making to such ninny words dubbed lame and boring.  I just thought once I had committed to a title I should stick with it, ride it out, make do.  my opinion has changed, as will the first words you see when you visit here.
And the nominees are:
Must Have Moxie
Living With Moxie
For the Love of Moxie
(Can you tell what my favorite word is?  My cousin Angie just reminded me.  Thanks, Ang.:))
- I also love all things timeless, so wondering how I can incorporate that aspect into the title?  Traditional, classic, classy...all good words, just not sure how to mix them.
What are your thoughts?  Ideas that I haven't thought of (which is quite possible since I just thought of this like a minute ago and am already posting about it.  Should I have slept on it?)?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy (belated) Easter!

We decided to keep the spirit of Easter alive by dyeing eggs a week late.  He is risen, y'all!

Edith B. Holden to the Rescue!

Oh that I would remember to take 'before' pictures!  After stripping my living room walls nearly bare in order to sweeten the impact of the stairway gallery, I have found a solution! 
The inspiration started last summer when I gussied up the summer kitchen to be a little garden-esque room.  (Although I took everything apart and down for winterization purposes, I'll take pictures of the space soon to give a visual.) 
Backup again-- when Andrew and I were newly married, my mother-in-law would give me her home decor castoffs- Christmas decorations she didn't  use, books, table linens, etc.  One of the books she gave me was The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.  It was of little consequence at the time, but last year when I was scavenging through my things looking for anything  to put in my outdoor-ish living room I found the book.  Edith B. Holden (B. Holden...isn't that a little funny??) put so much love and talent into the paintings.  And the journaling is practically sweet music- a collection of nature facts, poems, and thoughts.  I started disasembling that darn thing straight away!  I pinned pictures and poems across the wall right above the pink sofa that lives out there.  The wall and ceiling of the summer kitch are bead board painted a glossy white, so it all looked pretty cunning, I must say.
Forward to yesterday (confusing), I wanted to do something kind of unconventional for the living room.  As in not more framed pictures.  And then it came to me!  So, without further adeu, the living room reveal:

This adorable slipper chair was an anniversary gift from Andrew's parents.  The brown rocker was a hand-me-down from my grandma.  I'm hoping to have it recovered someday.  The fabric hunt is on!
Awfully beholden to you, Edith.

My in-laws got me this Norman Rockwell book for Christmas- the most amazing, detail-rich compilation of his art and biography.  It was a maroon color this morning.  By this afternoon it was cream...after I covered it with a piece of canvas drop cloth I had lying around.:)  I guess Ma and Pa T. are playing a pretty central role in this living room sprucer, too...the book, the chair, THE book.  Yes, they're amazing.
This shelf is on the wall to the right when looking into the living room from the dining room.  My cousin Megan sketched the sheep picture for me, the turkeys are salt and pepper shakers from a garage sale I think.  The donkey is actually my brother Isaac's, but I'm keeping it real safe for him.  I do love quirky animal displays.  The Webster's Universal Dictionery was a freebe at a garage sale, with the cover haphazardly taped on.  I ripped that puppy right off and there you have it, the heaviest book known to man (it's seriously like 10-12 inches thick!...not exactly light reading).  Looking at this picture now, I feel like the shelf needs work.  Humph.

Here't the view from the living room looking toward the main entry door.  Oh look!  There's a baby!

My favorite little lamp, happy as usual.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ramblings and Wall Hangings

*I wanted my pictures to be at the end of this post, but I have no patience when it comes to computers and their spacey workings, so here they are. Oh, I also wanted them in reverse order. Sheesh.
I've been thinking for a while now that my house needs some tweaking. You know after you've lived in a space for a while and it just becomes boring to you? Or you feel it has more potential than you're giving it credit for? That's what's going on here. My cousin Megan was over last night, so I presented my design dilemma to her. (She's an artistic genius.) Together we concluded it was time to take action.
I've been wanting a photo gallery somewhere in the house for a while, so that idea is what sort of sparked the whole discontent feeling that was eeking its way into the rest of my vignettes. Because, of course, I then created this movement- a cycle through every room that I draw from in order to create this new idea. Or I could just leave well enough alone. And be bored to death every time I go into the living room...or up the stairs...or down the hall...or into the bedroom. You see, it's actually a good problem- being tired of the way things are. I'm always a bit hesitant at first because I get sort of attached to my old pairings and pillow cases. But when I finish a new arrangement- like truly finish it to the point of sweet satisfaction- it energizes me to do more, move more, make more. I want to turn the rest of my house upside down, instead of just needing to because I made so many holes that now need to be filled with something new.
Last week at Bible study when we were talking about the armor of God, the lesson notes said, "Actually, the easy life is empty, boring, frustrating, unsatisfying, fruitless, and meaningless; it is contrary to the essential character God planned for us. God created us with the desire to meet and overcome obstacles, to enjoy the fruit of success after toil, and to feel the thrill of adventure in full confidence that He is with us and will lead us to Him." (Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 26, Acts of the Apostles) So that's where that desire comes from! God doesn't want us to be discontent, but eager-- to be more, do better, make things more lovely. Applicable in all of life, don't you think?

Thematic Elements

So my sister was teasing me for having enough helmet/hat pictures for two very theme-y posts (here and here). What can I say, we get into something and take it (too?) far.
I had forgotten to make an obvious note on the collection of helmet photos-- did you notice that we're always doing extracurricular things in our bike helmets? Either we're easily distracted, forgetting we were just riding our trail, OR we're extremely safety conscious. Which do you think?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I just got these smart looking dishes at a thrift store. I used them at my Habitat for Humanity luncheon table. I guess this picture seems to be actually showcasing the summer kitchen through the window.
I forgot to note the fixture in G's room. It's original to our little 1920's farmhouse, though i spray painted it and rewired it (with a little coaching from Andrew). The nursery rhyme figurines are a mobile that doesn't stand a chance against its owner (not me! The George-meister!), so I jimmied it onto the light.
Another stoic piece- a wing back chair in like-new condition from a garage sale. I gave it a sense of humor by painting the dark wood legs a peppy yellow. It rooms with Oliver, and the family piles on it every night to read our excitingly brilliant children's Bible.
Oliver's verse.
So these are just a few things I wanted to give special attention to.

Home Tour: Gigi Edition

This piece of pressed tin hangs above Georgi's bed. We bought it at a flea market to go over our couch at Little Pine, but I always thought it would be fun in a little girl's bedroom. After I hung it, it seemed a bit serious for my girl George, so I magneted some old family photos to spunk it up a bit. That's my momma's momma in the fishing boat. I never got to meet her, but doesn't she just look like an intriguing beauty? Some day I'll fish with her in heaven...if we're not too busy having coffee and laughing.
No, homegirl is not potty trained yet, thus the changing table mode of the dresser. History behind some of the hangings: the double oval photo frame is from Pottery Barn outlet, the 'M' (for Margot, if she is ever brave enough to enter Georgi's lair), is actually an inverted 'W' that Andrew made while experimenting with personalized Cribbage boards. The large painting of the little girl was a gift from my mother-in-law when I was pregnant with Olives. She was just sure I was having a girl.:) The little African American boy and girl looking up at the sky came from a Little Golden Book About God, just pinned to some burlap and framed in a garage sale find. The white oval-centered frame was also a garage sale number, without glass. I had gotten a different gilded oval frame at a thrift or garage sale, popped a picture from an old book in it, popped that inside the white frame and ta-da! The plate is second hand and the baby sleeping from a local antique shop.
A shelf nearly overflowing with books and other sweet treasures- a Raggedy Ann piggy bank, a Trixie Beldon installation, some hymns of the faith. That bright red book there is one of my favorites- Thank You for so Many Things.
Do you notice the Home Interiors multi-heart shelf to the right of the window? I used to make fun of my mother for it...then I stole it from her, painted it, and topped it with heirloom colored glass dishes and a glass from Pier One.
So there you have it.

Helmet head

Gigi and Grandma Kasper, a.k.a. 'Bobby'
My main man on his birthday, Jeshua observing Andrew opening his cards.
No, I'm not an over protective parent- I didn't make Oliver wear his helmet to climb the tree, though that wouldn't be a bad idea for this rough rider.
Buttoning up my Gigi girl.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Georgi, with hands in her pockets, obediently following her big brother Oliver, who was graciously teaching her about planting. Okay, so that's what I imagine is going on...but experience tells me otherwise... Heaven only knows what these two are capable of.
Babies Roro (Roman), and Gogo (Margot), enjoying a little cousin time.
I learned a tricky little way to edit my photos -- look out picture world! I feel like I should be able to upload them faster, but the fact that I can get them up here at all is a minor miracle, so...
I still haven't finished my house tour, I know. I've got a lot on my plate, as they say. Mainly trying to raise these three kidlets without messing them up. It's crazy- being a mom. I feel foolish for taking my own precious mother for granted all these years. I have 3 kids, which is only .5 more than the national average, but so often it feels like 5000 more. NO ONE TOLD ME IT WAS GOING TO BE THIS HARD! And the 'wife of noble character...whose children arise and call her blessed' probably doesn't yell. Oh dear. It gets me overwhelmed. My life is over and whelming. UNTIL I consider Ephesians 6, which we studied this week in our women's Bible study. Paul is telling the Ephesians to put on the armor of God. Though my house sometimes sounds or looks like a physical war zone, Paul is actually talking about a spiritual war. Our armor should include the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and shoes that are the readiness of the gospel of peace. Now, in my pre-class studying, I messed that last one up. The readiness of the gospel of peace is referring to our own peace. Not being a peaceable person, but having peace in your heart knowing that the gospel- the good news- is true. And in embracing that peace you're telling Jesus, 'I trust you. Thank you that your promises are true, that you have my best in mind. Thanks for having a plan for my kids.' I hope I remember this!