Saturday, June 20, 2009

Birthday week and fun with Granny and Grace

This post actually begins with last weekend when Grace was over at our house. Mema Betty had sent her a package to our house and she thoroughly enjoyed opening it. There were several little things, most wrapped individually inside the box. The prizes included 2 pair of high heels, a head band, some pink hair, and a tinkerbell dress complete with wings. There were also some movies in there and a stuffed animal dressed up in a frilly dress and on a stand. She immediately started putting the shoes on and wearing them around the house and then it was on to the pretty dress. She looked adorable as some of the pictures below will attest. As far as I know, this was her first dress-up dress but I don't think it will be her last!

Digging into the box.

Front view

Back view (there was a toothbrush, too)

Head band and pink hair
and some new jewelry!
On Monday Grace and I headed to Alma to spend a few days with Granny. We always call for reinforcements when we go to Alma, Courtney! She is a lifesaver. Grace loves her and she loves Grace so whenever we are down I always call to see if Courtney is available. She is always ready to spend some time with Miss Grace, so she came up after we got in from the running around we did Monday afternoon. Grace absolutely wore her out, I think. But, if you look closely, you can see smiles on both faces!

On Tuesday we decided it was time for grilled burgers. There aren't many things in this world that Granny likes better than grilled burgers. If I am down for any length of time I always grill burgers and hot dogs for her. Courtney and Granny Ima came up to enjoy our burgers and dogs. While waiting for the coals to get hot, Courtney and Grace did some cooking of their own. I don't know how many pork chops and cookies they cooked out on that patio before our burgers were ready. It was shady on the patio and there was a slight breeze so it was not too hot to be out there. It's a good thing because Grace loves to be outside.

Wednesday, the 17th, was my birthday. Mom went over to Paul's Bakery in Van Buren and got a birthday cake for me. We were planning to go out on Wednesday so we had the cake and ice cream with our grilled burgers. It was soooo good. We have been having all kinds of cakes and cookies from Paul's Bakery since I was a little girl. Isn't it pretty?

When I was a little girl, a very long time ago, we used to have many picnics at Creekmore Park in Fort Smith. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many hours we have spent there over the years. It was a great park then and still is today. They have a train called the "Creekmore Express" that still runs most days. When we were kids, it was a steam train. Now they only use the steam train on holidays, but they run another one the rest of the time. I have been wanting to get Grace over there to ride it and we finally made it. We went on Wednesday about noon before it go too hot to be outside. It costs a whole quarter per person to ride it! Is that highway robbery or what? Anyway, we made it to the park and only had to wait a few minutes until it stopped for our turn. Grace, Granny and I loaded up, paid the man our 75 cents and waited until time to go. It was fun. Grace didn't have too much to say about it, but I think she enjoyed it too.

Waiting for the ride to start!
Of course, on the way to the train we passed all the other play areas, most of which were in the direct sun. After we got off the train, Grace headed for this slide. It was just her size and it was curvy. She had a ball. There was a swing not far from the slide and in the shade, so Granny sat down for a few minutes and we let her go down the slide.

At the top of the slide

At the bottom of the slide
She really wasn't ready to go when we were, but her cheeks were beet red and it was time for lunch. I met her at the bottom of the slide and scooped her up and started walking, eliminating much opportunity for fussing. I told her we were headed to eat lunch and since she is always hungry she gave in.
We had a great visit with Granny and came home on Thursday. I was tired, but it was worth every minute. I know she isn't going to be little for very long.
On Friday morning, I got a text message from Taylor telling me that I had plans for the evening. I was going to girl's night with her and her friends. I knew she had one planned and that they were going to dinner and then to see The Proposal. I had really been wanting to see that movie and I love to eat out so I was in. I asked her where they were going and she said that they were going to let me decide since they were helping me celebrate my birthday! Wasn't that sweet? I opted for Noodles. I haven't been there very often so it was some place different and I had a $10.00 coupon. It was great fun and the food was delicious. Taylor has posted some pictures that Stephanie and our waiter took. They surprised me with the sparkler dessert since we were celebrating my birthday. Thank goodness all the waiters and waitresses did not sing to me! It was nice to be the center of attention for a few minutes, though! Thank you girls for letting me be a part of your girl's night!
While we were at dinner, Taylor gave me my birthday card from her and Tanner. They gave me a gift card to Target so I could go get my NintendoDS!! I have never been one for playing video games but when Courtney got one for her birthday and started telling me all about it, I decided that I just had to have one! Both of my kids thought I was crazy, but they got it for me anyway!

I got the pink one, surprise, surprise! I also found the kit shown with it that has a case in it, a game, a car charger and some extra stylus pens. I looked at the games at Target, but they didn't really have any I wanted. I have been scoping out games since May! I had to go to Wal Mart for groceries so I looked at their games and found several that I want. I settled on this MillionHeir Mystery Case Files game to start with. The one that is with the case is a puzzle collection so I have some variety to start with. I was a little nervous to get it opened up and dig in, but I have played some of both games already. It is going to be easy to get addicted!
Anyway, that ends my week's activities. I do so love the summer time with very few committments! I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I'm off to play my new games! Housework, what housework?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More giveaways...

As I was blog surfing today I ran across some giveaways! This one is the Going Dot Com Birthday Bash. Check it out, there are some really good things to win!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gotta love summer projects...

Before I get to the summer projects, let me tell you that Whitney from Whitney Caroline Designs is having a giveaway. She really has some cute things up for grabs so be sure to check it out!

Now for the projects. I know that you are going to be surprised that most of these projects revolve around this precious angel below! But, surprised or not, she's the motivation behind several of them. (Some are still in the works and I will post those at a later date).

She spent the night with us last Thursday night so we had some fun on Friday. I was sitting at the computer and she climbed up in my lap so she could type. (She loves typiing on the computer). I had the camera handy, so I snapped this cute picture while she was saying "Cheese." It looks like she was winking, too. Is she not just a doll?

I have had her toys in a basket in this corner of the living room since we took down the Christmas tree. It's convenient for us to watch her and she has enjoyed them being there so handy. As you can see from the picture below, she has a few. She decided that she needed to see what was on the bottom the other day and dumped the whole thing out. She did discover some things she had forgotten about. She has this thing about dumping containers. She usually doesn't play with whatever she has dumped out, but she sure doesn't want it in the container! Same with the toy basket on Friday. Would you like to venture a guess as to who picked them up? (I didn't mind at all! Gave me a chance to clean some of the junk out.)
The first big project was to add to Grace's library. I had stored a lot of Taylor and Tanner's books in my classroom since I was out of room here. Since Grace likes books so well, I really wanted to bring them back home for here, so I loaded them up the last week of school and did just that! They stayed in the back of my car for about a week. I couldn't really do much with them until we broke down the crib that was in her room. (The one she may have slept in twice). Anyway, Tanner got a bad sunburn on Sunday so he was off work on Monday and he broke it down for me. Thanks, son!! Mike and I carried it out to the container and then I had room to work. I had bought these shelves on Sunday and put them together in anticipation of completing the room this week. So below you will see Grace's complete library now, all neat and organized! (She hasn't been here yet to see it).

Once the crib was gone, I could finish the rest of the room. We turned the bed and I bought new bedding and got it set up yesterday. This is the third bedding set that I bought. I bought one at Wal Mart that I sort of liked, then found one at Target I liked better. When we getting ready to set it up, I realized that the bed was a queen sized bed instead of full, so I had gotten the wrong size bedding. I had to put that project on hold. I felt a little silly! However, I don't sleep on that bed so I never paid much attention to it! On Tuesday, Taylor called and asked if I was going to be out. She was going to have some free time after her doctor's appointment and wasn't planning to go back home. I am always up for a day with my daughter!! We met at Target after her appointment and decided on the bedding in this picture. She hated the one I had picked out on my own. I really didn't like it that much either, but I wanted to get finished and it was pretty cheap. We both really liked this one, though, and since it is Grace's room we decided it needed to be fun! What do you think?

After finishing the bed and putting in some extra storage containers in Grace's room, I moved her toy basket in there, too. Now it is her room and all of her stuff is in the same place. Our house is not very big, so it's not like I can't keep an eye on her in her room. That freed up the corner of the living room so I bought this corner shelf to put in there. I picked it out by myself because Taylor had to go to work. I found it at Hobby Lobby for 30% off!! I plan to fill it up with pictures. I actually have added a few since I took this picture. I am really liking the way the living room is shaping up and I love the way Grace's room looks now. I hope she likes it, too!

Mike has completed a huge project in getting the garage cleaned out and organized. I don't think our garage has ever looked as good as it does now. I noticed that he marked the calendar when he finished so we can see how long it lasts! He's not very good at putting things back when he finishes with them.
We also got a new pool for Grace yesterday and a bathing suit for here. Today, Tanner brought home a big carpet remnant for us to put under the pool so we cleaned off the deck and got it ready for the new pool. We didn't set it up yet with the rain coming, but I will be posting pictures of this year's version of Graceland!
I am feeling good about the progress we have made this summer and look forward to completing a few more projects before it is over!!
Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer, too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

School is out!!!

My summer break has officially begun! I have been waiting to say that for quite a while. I don't want to wish my life away, but it was a very long school year! Now, time can slow down for a little while. Right!!

Anyway, I am glad to have the summer break and am looking forward to spending as much of it as I can with Grace. She is sooo much fun right now, most of the time. While she was out here on Monday Tanner and Katie also came out. Tanner decided that it was time to set up Grace's pool. He went and got it from the container and blew it up. Grace was enjoying watching it come to life. It was pretty nasty after having been stored all winter, so Tanner and Katie scrubbed it down good. I was the supervisor on the scene!! I was anxious to see if it was going to hold air or not. As you can see from the pictures below, parts of it did and parts of it did not!

Mike and Tanner assured me that they could find the leaks and fix it up. We will see! I plan to give them until the end of the week to check it out and then I will probably be heading to Wal Mart or Target for a replacement. After all, I promised Grace that the next time she was over she would be able to play in it, and I can't break a promise!! I also have to find her a swimsuit to keep over here. Gee I hope I can find one I like!!
Besides spending time with Grace this summer I have the usual summer cleaning projects. Some of which will get done and some probably not. Oh well! One big project is to clean out her room at our house. We still have the crib up in there and it is currently storing some of the larger baby toys. I want to move those to the container, break down the crib and put up some more shelves in there. I brought home from school all the books that my kids had when they were small. I heard Grace telling Katie on Monday night to come to her room because she had lots of books in there. She just thinks she has a lot of books now, wait until I get these in there! She does love books, though, and I am very thankful for that. I plan to read through a lot of them this summer.
Other projects include scrubbing kitchen cabinets, cleaning out closets and completing the redecorating I have begun in the living room. I have some more purchases to make to get it like I want it. I plan to have some help from Taylor completing that project. Too much fun to look forward to this summer!
We don't have any trips planned for the summer but Mike, Tanner and I have a pretty big one planned for November. Tanner will turn 21 in September and we had told both kids a long time ago that when they turned 21 we would take them to Las Vegas. We took Taylor over Spring Break in 2006 and now it is Tanner's turn. We are all really looking forward to that. Therefore, the longest trip I will probably make over the summer will be to Alma to see my mom. Which just happens to be one of my favorite all time trips anyway!!
Til next time...