Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Three Little Pigs...

For a few weeks now, the kids and I have been working on building houses for the 3 little pigs.  We painted, glued, adhered things, glued, etc.  It has taken a while, but at last we have come to a completion....

If you would like to create these adorable homes for your own little piggies, here is how we did it.

First, you need to gather supplies:

*Paint Brushes
*Yellow, Brown, White, Black Paint
*Wax paper to prevent messes on table (live and learn :)
*Boxes for homes (We used pasta boxes for 2 of them because they came with windows)
*Straw for straw house (if you don't have any, cut up yellow paper into thin strips)
*Baby sticks (this is what Makenna called them when we went out to gather little twigs)
*Red paper (we used card stock and cut it into 1 and 1 1/2 inch rectangles)

*Paint your boxes.
*Once they are dry, cut out windows and doors (Be sure to do this before you glue down supplies, or it will be more difficult.)

For the Straw house:
*Sqiggle glue around and drop hay on for a messy approach
*(or, for a neater approach, line it up neatly.)
*Once one side is dry, move to other sides of the house.  
*Do additional layers to make it covered in straw.

The stick house took the most time as it required lots of trimming of the "baby sticks".  This is the house that I did, and it was a long process.

You can go for a less together approach by swirling glue around, and dropping the twigs on.  Doing this would go along better with the 3 pigs story because the first 2 brothers were lazy. :)

*Glue down bricks.
*Stagger a little to make it look more like a brick house if you wish.

The finished pieces:

I had been racking my brain over what I wanted to make the characters out of, but after long debate, I landed on this idea, to paint the characters on rocks (the ultimate durability and FREE!).  I painted them with acrylic paint and then put a few layers of mod podge on top to seal the deal.  These guys will last through many play sessions.  Makenna has already given me a list of several more characters she wants me to make for her :)

For the finalizing of the brick house, we added a chimney out of a small box, painted the chimney and door black, them added a little smoke coming out of the chimney by using cotton. 

 The end result:
The kids LOVED this project!  They enjoyed painting, gluing, and now playing with the houses and the pigs.
 I'm glad we are now done.  This doesn't have to take a long time, but well, I was lazy for a while there.
I will be happy to get them and all of my supplies off of my table!  Now I need to put up a few shelves in the toy room for displaying their cute little creations :)

* This is another idea I stole from Alexs' teacher.  They studied the 3 little pigs in class and then built their houses.  Alex opted out of this to play with the blocks, so I of course had to make it a home project.  They didn't make any of the characters though.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy 35 years Marlan and Garry

The other weekend the family got together to celebrate Nani & Papa's 35th Wedding Anniversary!  A very belated one, but nevertheless...

The VA dwellers of the family planned to come down on Friday, but due to the stomach bug, their trip was delayed until Saturday.  Our family of 4 headed over to M&G's Friday night to kick-start family weekend.

The reason it was so belated was because apparently we are all very busy people, and unfortunately there was never a free weekend from Oct. 25th and beyond. :(  And even then, P&K sacrificed a very busy weekend to accommodate us finally all getting together.  Which meant, they were unfortunately unable to stay in Durham....

We took family dinner to Gboro to allow us to all be together for the fullest amount of time possible.  We ate at Leblon, a brazillian steakhouse where they brought out an endless supply of meats for your eating pleasure.  I wanted to taste them all, so my plate looked like a slaughter house of various animals :)

We all headed over to P&K's new home for dessert.  Yes, that's right, I said their new home!  A cute townhome in GBoro that is perfect for them.  I couldn't be happier for them to finally have a place of their own!  This allowed the chance for everyone to see the new place, a great place to eat a yummy cake from Delicious Bakery (which is only a few minutes from their home...added bonus!), and a great way to hide M&G's Anniversary Present....A pair of Adirondack chairs!  Who can't resist the impression of pure relaxation that these chairs emit?!  We hope they love them!

We tried to plan a way to surprise them with the chairs, but as soon as they got there, Marlan walked straight into the living room where the chairs were hiding and said "I wish I had a chair like this", well, "SURPRISE! These are for you :)".  Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the chairs, you'll have to visit M&G for a chance to ogle and admire them for yourself ;-)

I always enjoy the times that we have to all spend together.  Hopefully we'll be able to have a real family weekend sometime in the near future.

Happy 35 years Nani & Papa!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Say "Hello" to Midge...

Say Hello to Midge, our newest addition to the family.  She's our beautiful, large, stainless steel, energy efficient REFRIGERATOR!!!  Husband came home from work on Monday determined to buy a new fridge.  After searching on the web for 30 minutes in search of a good deal, we decided to head out and see what deals were in stores.  So off to a few stores we go.  With notebook and pen in hand, we enter Lowes, the closest to our home.  After checking out the deals and being unsatisfied, we headed to Home Depot.  At every store, I wrote down the specs of the fridges that we were interested in, so that after seeing all of the options out there, we could compare (I love comparing).  Our 3rd location was Sears.  Sears turned out to be the home of our new baby.  She had practically everything we were looking for, she was 25cu ft and she had a water and ice maker in the door, oh and the best thing, she was a thousand buckeroonies off!  Woohoo! I'm a sucker for a bargain.  At the start of our search, Brandon told me that Stainless Steel was out of the question and that we were going with white (because it's cheaper) so I was fully prepared to come home with a white one.  Midge, turned out to be the best deal out there, so I ended up getting what I wanted, woohoo!  The biggest upset was the delivery....she was overdue.  We were told that she would be delivered on Wednesday night, they called to set up a time, and then midday Wednesday, we get a call saying she has not left the store, grrrrrr!  The worst part was that they called and told me this and then said that I had to find out why and set up another delivery time myself.  Grrr!  So, I called the store, I was reassured 100% that it had left the store already and would be delivered on Thursday morning.  So, I had to call the delivery people and they reassured that it would be delivered on Thursday.  That night, I got another delivery set up time for between 10am and noon. Well, noon Thursday has come and gone and I call shipping.  They tell me that the fridge is still in the store and that it will not be delivered that day.  Well, I was furious!  Furious that the people in the store lied to me, furious that no one called me to set up a different delivery time, furious that their customer service was not helpful.  Well, I finally found the right person to talk to and was willing to help instead of referring me to yet another person.  After being on hold for 30 minutes, I was reassured that my fridge would be picked up that evening and I would have my fridge on Friday.  I told them I was outraged with having to set 3 days aside to wait on a fridge and I can now expect the delivery of a complimentary $25 gift card, woo hoo.  Friday is here and my Midge was delivered at 1pm!  YAY!  She's large and in charge!  We even had to trim the cabinet above for her to fit snugly.  No worries though, we pulled out the jigsaw and got the job done :)  My awesome, smart, adorable husband even hooked up a water line to it, and we now have running water, and an ice maker, yay!  I can't say how precious an ice maker is to me, but it is :)  She even has 2 freezer drawers, she's very awesome.  Come and meet her some day :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

I just finished reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte today.

I must say it is my favorite novel thus far written by any of the Bronte sisters.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte I read a year or so ago and enjoyed it, though it was full of ups and downs and periods of me being very angry that that book had ever been referred to me.  But in the end, I thought it a very great book and was quite glad that my friend lent it to me.

I must admit that of the 3 sisters, Charlotte is probably the most intelligent novelist. But for some reason, I just loved reading Wildfell Hall the most.  I enjoy suspense, but not the horror of the child abuse as depicted in Jane Eyre.  After having kids of my own, I just can not stomach pain or mistreatment of kids.  

My most despised book being Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte that I read the other week.  Wow, is that girl dark.(To be honest, all of the girls are, but this one being the most dark of them all, in my opinion.)  Though it was a good book, I don't really see myself reading it again, unlike Jane Eyre or Wildfell Hall.  

My next project is to watch various movie/TV versions of these 2 recently read books, as I have already seen several of the movies made for Jane Eyre.  I enjoy comparing novels to the movie versions and knowing secretly where they misrepresented the book.  

I took up reading Tales of Angles by Charlotte Bronte, but about 1/3rd of the way in I was enjoying it but kept staring at Wildfell Hall on my counter and chose to put it down for that one.  Now that I am through with Wildfell Hall, I may pick it up again, or I might start reading Agnes Grey that is waiting for me in my collection of Library books.  Thank goodness for the library so that we may taste an array of books for free...lest we should lose them along the way.  I will be purchasing several of these books in the future for my own collection :)

Sorry if I rambled, 'I'm a ramblin' man..."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's cold!

Sending you warm thoughts during this cold cold week....

"dress sharp, play well, be modest"
-Devon Sproule

Monday, December 13, 2010

Toy Story 3 on Ice!

We've been waiting for what it seemed like forever to attend Toy Story 3 on Ice!

The day finally came on Sunday!

This is the large group of kids, I think we are missing a few even still.

Kaile showing off her cool new buzz lightyear spinner toy

 Ivy, Kaile, KennaKat, Ethylwolfe

I can never get all the kids to look at once :)

Ethylwolfe and Jacob, good buddies

I told them to smile and this is what I got...
(The buzz lightyear helmets look more like purple storm-trooper helmets)

Nani and Kristyn joined us and the kids really loved having them, I did too!  Patrick planned to come, but he's really sick, so we invited Kaile at the last minute.  Glad she could come, she had a great time! 

Can't wait to see what cool ice show they come out with next year :)

Ice Skating Outside

Gboro put in an outdoors ice skating rink this year.  A group from Pat and Kristyn's hall got together this past Saturday, and thankfully Kristyn told us about it.  This was the kids first time on skates of any sort, and it definitely will not be their last!  Skating outdoors was awesome!  I had never been on an outdoor rink and it had a completely different feel to it, very fresh!

 They were very excited while we waited for the group to arrive...

Husband joined us!  He was our photographer while we skated :)


This pretty girl can't wait to skate!

Ethylwolfe is also very excited!

On the ice, trying to teach him the ropes

Thankfully Kristyn helped out with the kids, they were too eager for patience

It wasn't long before KennaKat got the hang of it...yes, she's wearing socks, I forgot the gloves at home :(

Ethylwolfe picked it up to, and at the end, they were both skating without the wall!

My battery died halfway through :(  We went to Delicious Bakery afterwards and enjoyed some delicious cake, cupcakes, and pastries.  Unfortunately I could not get pictures.  KennaKat fell asleep in the car on the way to the bakery.  Ethylwolfe fell asleep on the way home, they were exhausted, but had a great day!
This will not be our last experience on the ice this year!