Fourth of July Weekend {in Pictures}

This weekend was a bit of a blur, but we managed to have some fun with the kids amidst the chaos. Knox and Brody had a birthday brunch with my sister, Kayla, who decided to cover them in temporary tattoos. Brody was delighted, so much so, I would suspect he’ll be our child that asks for real ones when he’s a teenager. He had “sleeves” of Cars tattoos and was SO proud of them! Hilarious.

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Knox, on the other hand, told his aunt to “take off!” When she put his on. I asked to see it, and this is what he did. He was quite horrified about it. LOL- I did take it off for him.

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I made a pound cake, and this is Brody knocking on the oven for it to come out.

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If you needed more proof that Knox is my child, this is him watching “19 Kids and Counting” on Netflix. He calls the Duggars “Wise Men.” I have no idea why (unless maybe he saw a Christmas episode), but he told me he wanted to watch “wise men” one day, and it took me forever to figure out what he was talking about! Anyway, he’s a boy after my own heart with his Duggar love. :)

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Knox’s other love is anything related to fire, so he really enjoyed watching sparklers and little cheap fireworks.

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We took the boys swimming on Saturday at my mom and stepdad’s house. We didn’t take pictures while swimming, but when we were done, Knox said he “needs to lay down for a minute” which meant he wanted to lay in “his” bed and play with my mom’s iPad. LOL. One of their dogs, Luna, is a Border Collie and is terribly stressed when Knox swims. She runs around their pool until her feet bleed because she’s so anxious about him being in there. Poor thing! Knox’s swimming is absolutely crazy. He thinks he is a fish, I believe. He swims under water without holding his nose and holds his breath. It’s amazing. He has a puddle jumper but prefers to be without it. If we take it off of him, he is underwater practically the entire time. He’ll be swimming by himself by the end of the summer.

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They were worn out!

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We did some drawing… mainly Brody enjoyed this. He thought it was so funny when I would draw his trucks for him.

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I finally made playroom curtains yesterday while Brody napped and hung them up last night. I could not get a good picture because the light was streaming in, so I’ll update that later. Eventually, I will post some more house pictures!

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Did you guys do anything fun over the weekend?

Essential Oils for a Sunburn

So, we have taken the leap into Essential Oils, and after some research, I felt most comfortable using DoTerra (thought I have to say, Young Living is also a great choice) brand oils. I didn’t really know what I was doing at first (and I’m still learning), but I ordered the Family Physician Pack and a ZAQ diffuser to start with- the Family Physician Pack has some of the most-used oils and is a great way to get your feet wet and learn about this new world. Basically, Essential Oils are a natural, plant-based way to enhance your life- aka use “Balance” blend of oils to calm yourself and your kids down by using it in a diffuser in your living room or try using “On Guard” to hold off an illness that is creeping into your home one person at a time. There are a million different options, and as much as I love “green” and natural things, I had to give this a shot. When you think about it, before the dawn of modern medicine, people used natural oils for tons of things- and very effectively. Now, if we’re really sick, we’re using antibiotics. However, if I have a tickle in my throat that I’d like to get rid of, I’m going to try oils first and see if that helps. There are a lot of oils that seem to help with Autism, as well, so that was a huge decision-making factor for me. I’ll let you know as I try some of those to see if they make a difference for Knox.

A super easy “recipe” I tried this week was for sunburn. Trevor and I got fried out on the lake on last week, and we were out of aloe. I did some Googling and decided to try something out:

Doterra Essential Oils for sunburn relief

DoTerra Oils for Sunburn Relief:

1/4 cup water
20 drops peppermint oil
20 drops lavender oil

Combine in  a glass spray bottle and spray on affected area. It provides an instant cooling sensation, and even after we bought some aloe, I kept using this because it felt WAY better than the aloe! Plus, it smells awesome. I’ll definitely keep using this one, and I will share with you guys when I find things that work! I love knowing what’s in the products that we use, just like I prefer to know what’s in the food that we eat, so this has seemed to be a natural fit. If you’d like to try it out, feel free to use this link to check out DoTerra!

Grass & Gallery Walls

This weekend, we inadvertently had another weekend sans children (my mom asked to have Knox Friday night, then Brody ended up going over to Trevor’s parents’ house, too… and they didn’t come home until Sunday) so we got a lot done around the house with all of that solitude while missing our boys!

Trevor’s main project this weekend was seeding the yard. We opted to use grass seed instead of sod because sod is insanely expensive. Apparently it was a late harvest this year, so demand is up, and you know how that goes. It would have been about $2k to sod the area we needed, so instead, we spent $130 on centipede grass seed! It was a lot more labor intensive and required a lot of time on the tractor and with a metal rake, but Trevor got it done. That poor man is sunburnt like crazy! Trevor’s Pop lives next door and has an old blue tractor that he lets us borrow for this kind of thing, and nothing thrills Brody more than watching it drive around the yard. He got to watch for a while Friday before he left for his grandparents’ house.

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As of this morning, the first shoots of  grass are peeking through, so we are hopeful that by the end of summer, we’ll have some semblance of a grassy yard!

As for me, I did not partake in the grass planting. Instead, I decided to clean the house like a crazy person- we cleaned a lot of things before we moved in and spot cleaned a lot, but it was in need of a thorough deep clean. So, I spent around four hours Saturday morning doing floors, scrubbing bathrooms and sweating myself senseless. The good news is that the house is all kinds of clean! After that, I knew I needed to tackle the pile of pictures in our dining room.

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I hung a few up in our entry way the weekend prior, but I still needed something else.

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I found some adorable chalkboard pins at Kohl’s on sale for $5 for a box of eight- I strung some twine between some nails and used chalk to write “It is Well” (my favorite hymn) on them. I love how it turned out!

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The biggest project was the gallery wall I wanted to create in our hallway. Gallery walls look awesome, but they are an undertaking to hang up!! First, I started out by spreading out everything on our living room rug and trying to figure out my layout. It took FOREVER.

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Once I decided, I got my ladder, nails and hammer and started by working my way from the middle outward- all the while, I referred to the original layout which I had taken a picture of on my phone. Of course, I ended up adjusting the edges as I went, as my original design was too wide, but we are super happy with how it turned out. This gallery houses lots of special pictures for us, and I love to just stand and stare at it.IMG_4361 copy

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Here are some detail shots- we love the boys wearing Trevor’s fire helmet:2014-06-14 20.41.01

I made this one in Photoshop after seeing some similar things on Pinterest-

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What did you guys do this weekend? Do you love gallery walls, too? I am a little obsessed!

Playroom Beginnings

Now that we’ve moved into the house, my plan is to take you space-by-space through our little abode to show you how things look right now. Then, over time as we decorate and adjust the spaces, I will give you updates- sounds good, yes? First up, the playroom. Why first? Because when you walk into our house, this is the first room you see if you glance to the right. This is mildly terrifying, seeing as how my children are tiny destroyers of things. However, I figure- hey, this is a playroom, it’s allowed to be a mess. Mostly… because my OCD can only handle so much!

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Right now, we unpacked toys (we donated two large moving boxes full- yay!) and threw them into our bookshelves and cubby holes. We had this organizing system in our old house, but the bench sat underneath a single window- obviously, our windows are crazy big, so that wouldn’t work. Instead, we removed the cushion and turned the bench into a TV spot. This TV used to be in our bedroom, but we decide to forgo a television in the bedroom when we moved. We are loving that decision so far! So, now, it will be used to play Veggie Tales and Disney movies when we just can’t handle hearing “Let it go” one more time (honestly, that never happens to me, because “Let it go” is my jam).

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We are in desperate need of a rug in this room. I cannot tell you how many times a day I have a mini heart attack when Knox takes the entire basket of metal cars and dumps them out onto the hard floor. The volume level is astounding. I still need to sew my curtains- I have the fabric, which I really like (I dig Paisley… a lot). I wanted something pretty and colorful that wasn’t too kiddish.

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Seeing the fabric and with the grey walls, I would LOVE a lime green shag rug (not fluorescent lime green, but pretty, non-garish lime green), but they’re expensive and we are on a budget. So. I’m holding out for a great find! I am also currently hoarding 25 candle holders and various decorative items on the top of the bookshelves until I can figure out what in the world to do with them. The plan for the wall above the shelves is to display the boys’ artwork in fancy painted frames with burlap backing and clips. Like these but in an assortment of bright colors and various sizes:

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Also, you have to see this:

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Just because he’s so darn cute! I cannot tell you how many times I day he asks me to “Hold this!” aka “Hold me!” I hope he always loves me this much. Also, random side bar- Brody is now sleeping in his own BIG bed! He’s doing awesome, too. This guy has always HATED his crib, so we went ahead and gave up on that idea. So far, so good, though!

So far, it’s just nice to have room for the boys to play and have fun! Lots to do, but we have plenty of time in which to do it. Knowing this is our house for the long haul has given me so much peace when it comes to decorating and getting settled- there is no time table, and it’s very refreshing! So, what’s your latest home project? What room are you focusing on right now?

And we’re here!

Last Friday was our move-in day. We had passed our final inspection but had yet to have our power turned on as of that morning, so we were sweating it (literally) hoping the power company would be out that morning. Happily, they came out first thing and got that taken care of. We did spend the day without air because we were waiting on the HVAC guy to come turn it on himself, and he ended up getting held up at another job. Luckily, we had a random old window unit we were able to use for the night so we didn’t melt! The actual move went very smoothly. Trevor and my brother, Austin, did the heavy lifting and unloaded our storage unit. We went later that night and the next morning to clean our stuff out of Trevor’s parents’ house.

We sent our boys to stay elsewhere (Brody with Trevor’s parents and Knox with mine) for the weekend, and that was the BEST decision ever. We got so much accomplished in a few short days since we were able to to focus totally on unpacking and getting things situated. As of right now, our living room, kitchen and the boys’ rooms are totally functional and unpacked (aside from decorative items). The dining room, study and our room still have a few things left to unpack- the majority residing in our rooms. Apparently, I needed to buy enough towels for the entire world to use, and now I can’t find a place to put them all. We had so much in storage for so long, we have learned we don’t need so much stuff- while unpacking I keep a box handy to fill with donation items. So far, I’ve filled four huge boxes with things to get rid of, which is awesome.

I know you guys really just want to see the pictures (because that’s what you’re telling me on Facebook!), so here they are. And yes, as is the pattern with me, these are very much REAL LIFE pictures. Our junk is everywhere, and nothing is staged or pretty-fied. But you get the idea!

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And the best part of this house? The people that I share it with. So happy to be home!

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