Wednesday, April 29, 2015

just a swingin'

Are you one of those people who drive by the Cracker Barrel restaurant
and drool over all the rocking chairs on the porch?
That's me.
Someday I would love a wrap around porch with rockers.
And .. a swinging bed type thing on the back porch for napping.
That would be the dream.
Kind of like this bad pictures I pulled off Google.

Or this one.

However, within the last week I've added some porch swings to my patio.
They aren't white.
They aren't the adult version.
They won't even fit Tia who would really like to climb in.

They do elicit the greatest smiles and giggles.
From both babies and adults alike.
I'll wait on the white stuff for the big peeps.

Monday, April 27, 2015

camper redo

It has been a while since we started working on this camper thing.
Really not we ... more like he.
I just got around to the finishing touches and they're not quite done.
Today, though, it went up for sale.
That means hurry up and take a few photos ... just in case.

First of all ... the most important thing.
The first time we took it out, the bugs were bad outdoors.
No mosquitos, but flying critters nonetheless.
The screen keeps the air flowing and the critters outside where they belong.
Jumping up into the camper gets to be a serious workout after a day.

This camper was pretty much entirely gutted.
Walls were changed to give it a more open feeling.
The extra fold down bed disappeared and became permanent storage.
The floors were replaced with some left over laminate wood flooring.
Several different shades of gray were used in the painting.

The photo above has the silver hole thing on the floor that the table slides into.
I still need to recover the table.
Have seen some cool ideas using vinyl to cover the top.
I keep forgetting that I need to do that!
The lights were all replaced with LED lights and it gets a bit bright in there!
I asked for some little lights above sitting area and the sink area ...
and voila! They appeared.
It lends a much warmer feeling to the atmosphere with just those little lights on.
And ... I've gotten use to the waves.
Seriously, when I first did these cushions I felt like I was on a Scandinavian ship or something.
Then I had the thought that I should do gray on the sitting part and the wavy
stuff on the backrest.
However ... I had that thought belatedly and the fabric was history.

My original plan was to make curtains on every window.
I nixed Jari's idea of mini blinds until I was at Target one day.
I gave up sewing and traded for the clearance section.
Mini blinds went on every window but this one.

We haven't camped anywhere plugged into power.
That would afford some more luxuries, but we do have a solar panel that manages
to keep us in power. USB plugs for cell phones and all that good stuff.
We would still need to be plugged into power to use the outlets.
So, no curling irons on these trips.
Pack your baseball cap instead.

I went Dollar Store shopping for storage containers.
Was hoping for something other than orange.
I might need to spray paint them, but have a feeling that the paint won't stay
with silverware going in and out of them.
A few more handy things on the walls for spices and whatnots might appear later.

Next ... the area of luxury.
We did move the table out of here when we were camping.
You really didn't get to eat your lunch and sit on the throne at the same time.
If you could manage that .. I'd have a serious award for you!
However, we did use the facilities.
Squatting over rattle snake hideouts just didn't sound so good.
The bathroom does make for good storage, though,
especially when on the road.

This may be a little more than you care to know, but I don't know how anyone who
is a wee bit larger could ever fit in this bathroom. Seriously.
And, I really wonder how on earth you're suppose to take a shower in there!
Jari took down the shower curtain and got rid of it.
There is barely enough room in there to sit, let alone scrub up!
Would probably work good for babies.

Permanent storage in the dining room! Those little white bins you see fit up there perfectly. I have several more that ended up somewhere or another. They worked great for tucking bread/buns/bananas into a safe non squishing place. And ... we have pots and pans. Just for camping. Jari has become a great fan of cast iron. That stuff goes in and out between camper and house,
otherwise ... this bugger is stocked.

The escape hatch.
Just in case you might need it.
When you don't, it opens beautifully to keep the air circulating and cool at night.
Until the wind blows and threatens to take it right off.
Excuse the color of the photo here .. that's my oops. It really is a gray.

Our first time out we used an air mattress.
Then we started looking for something else and ended up with 4 inches of memory foam.
I wouldn't equate it to the Sheraton's Heavenly bed, but we slept well.
And ... it won't all of a sudden deflate in the middle of the night.

The handsome guy who did all the work.
And if this one sells ... he will find another one and will do it all over again.

And maybe the next time around I'll go with a color that I really liked on Pinterest.
Then again ... this has grown on me!
Waves and all.

It is a bit cozy.
We don't really live in here when we're camping.
We're living outside.
However, in a few short weeks it will be just the two of us.
It fits us just fine.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

one more wedding post

Just because I love this picture,
and the people in it,
I wanted to share it with you.

Today I tried something new.
Heather and I both put our pictures on my computer and then I proceeded to do a bit of editing.
For some silly reason, I thought I was still 20 years old and would have them done in a flash.
It's only been a week ... and the newlyweds are still on their most interesting ever honeymoon .. so maybe it's not that bad.
Anyway, I didn't realize that when you send your photos to Dropbox, they disappear off your computer. Oh. My. Goodness.
Talk about panic!
I reloaded them and am missing a few (I think) but if you're reading this and haven't visited the family FB sites ... they are there!
I can't wait to see the photographers photos!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

wedding day!

We enjoyed a beautiful day on Saturday
and an even more beautiful wedding.
Thanks so much for all of you who shared in our joy.
The marriage of my oldest son to a most wonderful woman.
The bride and groom didn't stop smiling the entire time.

Sebastian, the ring bearer, and Heidi, the flower girl.
Aren't they just precious?!

My heat is still smiling.
I wish them a life filled with love and blessings from above.

Monday, April 13, 2015

camping in a flash

I have one of the longest days in history coming up tomorrow but wanted to share a few photos with you from our weekend.

It started out a little interesting. Within the first hour we had a rattlesnake sighting and a swarm of bees moving over our heads. It got better from there ... in a hurry.

Yes. They were cold.
But they're young.
God's beautiful creation.

The penthouse suites.
This is sort of rattler season and they were making us a wee bit cautious.
The tents went up on the trailer.
Worked perfect!
Like serious. Pristine fencing on the front porch and everything!

Just so you know. These are not our toys. These aren't even our kids.
But they sure were ready to ride!
Kind of looks like the lines at the gas stations during a gas shortage or something.
Miles and miles they drove ...
helmeted and in circles.

We are hoping he has a love of wrenches at some point in life.
At this moment he was a happy boy.
He's doing some serious molar cutting and is not the happiest boy on the block.

Our littlest ever loves.
Now we are talking serious joy.
The kind of I never knew existed until a year ago.

I love that our kids enjoy the outdoors as much as we do.
I know the others would have loved to be there this weekend and couldn't be.
Actually, we were missing our boys and their brides.
We had all of the girls.

This week is going to be hopping.
Monday thru Thursday working with some very long days in there.
Brock & Bridget should be here Wednesday!!!!
Family dinner Thursday evening.
More family flying into town Thursday.
Friday wedding rehearsal and dinner.
Saturday .... the biggest day of their lives for Blayde & Charlene.

It's a really big one for us as well.
We gain another daughter.

There is joy everywhere.

Friday, April 10, 2015

mantra of joy

Recently, a FB friend posted this as part of her status:

I read an article on Contentment, and in [it] a lady talked about taking her Amish friend with her when she went to a large mall for the first time. When they left, her Amish friend told [her] 'Before I went there I knew I had everything I needed. Now, I think I need so many things!'

I didn't comment on her post, but had the thought that it mirrors what I have been thinking lately.

In actuality, my mantra lately has been Envy is the thief of joy.

I don't know what prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to use the words Comparison is the thief of joy, but I have my own reasons for my newest mantra.

I have thought of deleting Facebook, but I really do enjoy it. I don't waste mind numbing hours poring over people's pages. If FB friends (or acquaintances as many are in actuality) post things about repost this so I can see how many people are actually paying attention to me, I'm not going to do it. If you feel like I'm ignoring you ... go ahead and unfriend me. I'm okay with that.

I really don't have time to personally visit the pages of some 300 people .. or whatever it is.

I do like to see your pictures and hear of your joys and, as life tends to give us, sorrows. I'll rejoice with you and mourn with you.

I love seeing the pictures of families growing and playing. I love seeing reality. I even enjoy a link now and then.

Those don't typically cause me envy.

But there are some things that do.

I am happy in my life. I have an active family life, faith life and work life that keep me hopping and happy. We have been abundantly blessed.

Then sometimes as my finger is flipping down the page of FB, I see things that cause me discontent. I don't want you to stop doing those things that bring you pleasure and that you enjoy. I love the fact that you are able to do them. I especially love seeing families doing things together. I rejoice when I know that it isn't a common occurrence for you and that the memories you just made with your family will be treasured for the rest of your lives. I love that you can take days and spend them out and about with your friends/family/loved ones doing the things you enjoy.

However, it is as if I am the Amish woman who just walked into the mall. Until my finger hit the FB icon on my phone, I had enough. I was content. I was happy.

Then I scrolled through pages and suddenly I don't have enough. Envy, defined as a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck, has reared its ugly head and taken my joy.

No it hasn't taken.

I have allowed my joy to be given to envy.

Will others look at my life with the same kind of envy? Perhaps. I am at a most delicious stage of life. I take naps when I feel like it (although lately I'm developing napping insomnia!). I go out for breakfast/brunch on Sunday if I'm in the mood. I can drop and run to Hobby Lobby on a crafting whim. I can get my laundry done in several hours. I could seriously go on and on.

I have an entire litany of reasons that a walk through FB shouldn't be anymore challenging than an Amish walk through the mall should be.

I still don't have an answer to my dilemma as, irrationally, my joy turns to envy. No longer is my life filled with enough. I am left wanting more than our good Creator has seen fit to bless me with.

Maybe someone has a solution for this problem. Perhaps this is my problem alone and no one else shares it, although I am doubtful of that.

Perhaps my mantra is enough for now. It is a gentle reminder to the heart.

Hold on to the joy.

I'm going camping.
There is sure to be much there in the way of both peace and joy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

mr & mrs

As part of the upcoming wedding, we have an evening get together with both families ... a tradition of the bride's family and heritage. It is a Spanish named party so I asked my resident fluent Spanish speaking person at work what it meant. I know that we are all meeting each other that evening but other than that I'm clueless. So I asked him if it is a gift giving event and he thought so. 

So just in case ... I buzzed up something this weekend that the bride and groom might enjoy. 

First I had a few ugly smaller couch throw pillows that I took the covering off of. 

Then I cut muslin to the same size and made it double thickness. 

Next came Microsoft Word and printing. I found the font I wanted, printed the size I wanted and then placed them where I'd like them on the fabric. Once I had that in order, I did the ol' fashioned thing and taped them to the window to trace. 

Fabric was placed and taped over the lettering so I could pencil trace the wording onto the fabric 

Then a fabric marker to darken and fill the wording. I've also seen folks do this with Sharpie. 

I'm not a great fan of stacking double layers of fabric and then trying to get the edges lined up once it is folded. I'm sure there is a trick. Probably like cutting one piece just a tad smaller the the other, but I just go with the wing it thing. Trim off the excess mess when I'm done.

I stacked the layers and then folded it in half, sewing around two of the open sides. One side was left open to slide or stuff the filling in.

Next, I pressed the edges so they were sharp and even.

Followed by top stitching around three sides. 

Now for the unfinished side. I folded the edges (double thickness again) in and pressed them.
(Can you believe this cutting mat is almost new?!)

The stuffing was inserted into the pillow envelope. Those pressed seams were aligned and pinned.

And then, because I can't manage to find where I put the other foot for my machine, I struggled to get this through the sewing machine. One row of stitching to close the deal. 

Soon ... the deal will be really sealed!

After I was done and had shared a picture with my girls, I asked them to pick up any really cheap pillows they see at yard sales, etc.
The exterior is easily tossed.
A wee bit of muslin and a fabric marker ... lots of possibilities!

Monday, April 6, 2015

a blessed easter

to each and every one of you.

We enjoyed a day with our loved ones around us.
I actually took out the camera.
Even flipped between a few lenses.
Some of the kiddos are more challenging than others to keep still, but I managed half a dozen blog posts out of todays camera action.

Tia is dreading one of them.
Oh yum!

This is the last year that the Easter Bunny will fill baskets in our home.
There are some of these things that I don't mind leaving behind.

This would be one of them.
Someone beat me home from church today and sent me a text that read,
"Who's Easter bag?"
Yup. Last one. Done.

The littles were both here today at different times.
I think I might actually enjoy Easter egg hunts with them when they are a wee bit older.

Wyatt is such a sunny little guy. He is ticklish, has the greatest belly laugh and does not stop moving. Ever. And happy, happy, happy. Makes me want to drive over and snuggle him right now!
I say that must be all Simonson.

He is now at the age where if I disappear behind the camera ... he doesn't know where I went and stops smiling. Makes for some more serious photography when I can't see but through my view finder.

Then there is this one! He wants to be everywhere. Sebastian turned a year old this week and hasn't started walking yet. He's pretty proud of himself when he pulls a hands free stand. Won't be long and he'll be motoring by foot ... everywhere. As it is, he doesn't mind crawling in the rocks, under benches and couches .. pretty much anywhere he can fit!

Heart. Be. Still.
My hubby just found my hidden Cadbury mini eggs.
And asked me if I wanted a few.
I must remember to stop at Target on my way home tomorrow.
I think they'll be marked down.

And, last but never least, the recipient of the last Easter basket in this house.

Have a great week!