Saturday, January 28, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 4

This weeks 52 week photo challenge photos are from today.  A simply beautiful, ordinary, wonderful Saturday.

Colton enjoyed the beautiful weather outside with his pirate ship. 

Our neighbor is graduating from high school this year and Jadyn decided to paint her a congratulations plague.

And, lastly, Rylee.  Rylee is recovering from a cold and fever.  She opted to enjoy her Saturday with her Loving Family Dollhouse, Little People Dollhouse and her brother's Imaginext Dragon Dungeon.  And, of course, her barbies.  Don't all little girls mix barbies and dragons???

Saturdays like today are so good for the soul!  Weekends like this (after crazy weeks like this) make the coming Monday so much harder.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Camping Trip of 2012

Towards the end of 2011, we achieved part of our "5 year plan."  We bought a pop up camper.  This camper has been part of our 5 year plan for 12 years!  Both Rusty and I grew up camping (him with a pop up camper, I with a tent) and knew this was something we wanted for our family.  We have tent camped with our kids and have enjoyed it, but we REALLY enjoy an A/C (which living in Houston comes in handy even in January!) and our own bathroom & shower.

This past weekend we took it out for the second time with our good friends the Hargraves and the Collins.  Friday afternoon we headed out to Lake Livingston State Park.  Rusty and I LOVE this place.  We have been going for years and hadn't been back in 2 years and couldn't wait.  Tons of fun memories made!

My little munchins waking up Saturday morning

I think anytime you take 6 adults, 8 kids (with 2 more on the way!) you are bound to spend it laughing!

We all took a walk down this boardwalk trail through the woods.  The sign posted read that it was a 1 mile loop.  When Jackson read this, he turned around and ran to us moms.  Looking at his mom (Amanda who is 7 1/2 months pregnant) he asked her (in a VERY excited voice) "Mom, can you believe it!  Your walking a mile!"  We died!

Another Jackson funny for the weekend....He and Jadyn are great friends and shared a chair quite a bit through out the weekend.  At one point after Jadyn caused their chair to tip over, he declared she was not a very good chair buddy.

These little remarks seemed much funnier in person.

And of course what is camping without smores?

The Hargrave girls love their smores!  This photo of Halle (on the left) was taken on a camping trip back in May 2011 and Arden's (right) was this weekend.  I thought this was really cute!

While I am in no hurry for our little ones to grow up, I am ready to no longer be so darn nervous with them near the fire.  I don't have a picture to represent it, but Dalton Collins is a little pyro! 

Colton photo bombing the Hargrave girls very cute picture. 

Camping is providing these kids such an opportunity to be kids.  Adults are always talking about when they were kids they could take off on their bikes and just had to be back in by dark.  Jadyn, Rylee, Halle & Jackson have their chance to experience this when we are camping!  Although their parents require more frequent check-ins than just sundown, they do get to take off on their bikes, ride the trails, and play at the park without their stuffy ole' parents around all the time. 

I love these people and look forward to our next camping trip- with 2 new babies in tow!

January 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 3

This weeks photo memory is absent 2 of my own children and including 2 of someone elses.  It happens sometimes.  I will make extra photo memories with the older 2 this week.  I promise.

2 of these 3 little monkey's (jumping on Colton's bed) belong to my very dear friend Amanda.  She is always saying she can't get any decent photos of her children.  She is NOT EXAGGERATING!  Emma almost completely refuses to look at the camera.  Dalton is into this very cute (yet cheesy) hands on the cheek smile thing.  It was hysterical trying to capture these kiddos in a great photo of a great moment. 

Dalton and Colton are supposed to be best friends.  The kind of best friends who have grown up together their entire lives, whose parents are great friends. They haven't always agreed with us on this.  We spent a few hours together this week and are happy to report they seem to like each.  They really, really like each other.  It is really fun to see Colton growing into the age where he really plays well with other kids. 

Nothing is more fun than watching my children develop friendships with all my friends kids!  I am so thankful for all the close friendships Rusty and I have been able to develop over the last several years.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rylee & Elfie

Disclaimer: This is going to be one of those blog posts that will probably bring not an ounce of entertainment to anyone other than myself.

When I started this blog, I decided not to play catch up with any past events (including Christmas).  I wanted to start with January of 2012 and go forward.  I have decided now to go back just a tiny bit. 

I know, understand and respect those who chose not to "do Santa".  I personally enjoy the innocence and magic that it brings with it.  There is a wonderment for children that I believe is lost once they outgrow this phase in their lives.  I personally, through watching my own children, and looking back on my childhood, believe this magic and excitment far excedes the present aspect of Santa.  Christmas time is filled with so much tradition.  No other time of year is so much time and energy spent in memory making!  I would love to be better at that! 

We have always done Santa Claus in our family, and this year we adopted an Elf on the Shelf (who we named Elfie).  Jadyn no longer believes in Santa and hasn't for 2 years now.  She is under strict orders not ruin this for anyone else (especially her brother or sister).  So far, she has adhered to this warning, and she LOVES playing along.  I am writing this because I fear this may have been Rylee's final year believing in Santa Claus (considering Jadyn's age when she came to us).  I am so sad to see this time in  her life pass.  It marks another milestone that reminds me she is growing up.  There is something ok about the oldest growing up-it is what they are supposed to do, but when the babies start growing up... well, this is all wrong.

Our Elfie (its an Iphone picture-sorry for the quality)

This year Rylee fell in love with our Elfie!  She could not wait to find him each morning, and around a week before Christmas she began crying about having to say goodbye to Elfie.  She left Elfie a sweet note saying goodbye and see you next year. 

 Note reads I love you Elfy.  I will miss you.  You are special to me and my family.  We will all miss you Elfy.  Look in the card.  (Family photo was in the card).  Love: Rylee Burress  P.S. Jadyn is naughty this year.

Of course Elfie couldn't leave without a goodbye to her either.

Mommy dropped the ball and lost Elfie's letter.  I read something along the lines of Dear Rylee, I love you, too.  You are very special to me, too.  I am so glad your family adopted me.  I can't wait to see you again next year.  Love, Elfy.

A week ago she came to me asking if we still had the book (The Elf on the Shelf) out.  We did.  She asked if she could read it to herself before bed because she missed Elfie.  That is when I decided to write this down.  I want to remember my little girl.  The little girl who plays with Barbies and still with her extensive Fisher Price Little People collection.  The little girl who has ALWAYS hated skirts and dresses but I notice her wanting to dress up for school every so often now.  The little girl who asked her big sisters friend to give her a makeover yet once the makeup hit her face she couldn't get it washed off soon enough.  This baby girl of mine who I know one day won't touch her Little People, will feel the need to dress to impress everyday and who will cover her precious freckles with too much makeup.  All too soon. But, for now she is a little girl in love with her Pixie Elf.

Friday, January 13, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 2

I think sharing rooms is incredibly good for siblings.  I shared a room with my sister my entire life.  We not only shared a room, but we shared a bed. We had separate beds yet we chose to sleep together our entire childhood.  Many nights were spent me holding onto her shirt so that when the bad guys came to get one of us the other would be woke up and could help the other.  So many hours were spent spilling our guts with one another; memories I wouldn't trade for anything.  Sharing the room bonded us and there are so many life lessons to be learned through doing so. 

My girls share a room and have for most of their lives.  Like most siblings, they complain about it.  Yet, like my sister and I, they had seperate beds and have chosen to share one (they now have a full size they share).  Most mornings I go to wake my girls up for school and this is what I find:

If they slept any closer they would be on top of one another!    I pray these girls continue to be each others lifelong best friend.  I tell them constantly that God chose them for each other.  I am so honored to be chosen to guide this.

This started out as a cute, funny picture.  And, now I am crying.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pinterest Playroom

Blah.  This is how I would describe our playroom.  With 7 years of just little girls, this room has always been feminine.  Now that both girls are in school all day, Colton is spending more and more time in here.  It was time to gender neutralize it!  I needed this room to not only be an attractive space for my daughters (9 & 7) and son (2 ½), but also be age appropriate for all 3.  This was not easy!
I forgot to take the picture before the dark purple sheers came down from the window and the VERY GIRLY art came down behind the bed, but here is the ugly and embarrassingly boring before:

Then I found this picture.  This became my starting point. 
Shortly after deciding on the alphabet wall (not yet knowing where all my letters would come from), I found these 3 fabrics from Hobby Lobby.  I also purchased a large US map and poster frame for the room.

Now began the task of tracking down all of my letters.  Some were easy- the O is a decorative life preserver, the T a cross made of horseshoes, and the I a metal traffic light (all 3 from HL).  My incredibly handy hubby cut me the A & Z out of scrap MDF we had out in our garage.  As for the rest, they were either unfinished wood from HL that I used acrylic paint on or I DIY’d them from other materials I had lying around (lots of scrapbook paper, old frames, metal wire, old wood artwork, vinyl etc).

The wall color is Silver Aluminum by Kwal and I adore the paint color so it stayed.  Although, if you don’t know this, I do have a paint addiction and am very willing to repaint anything and everything at anytime! 
I sewed new pillowcases and recovered existing throw pillows with my fabric. 

I then put the incredibly talented hubby back to the saw again for arched cornices.  Just for fun I have thrown in a pic of our redneck way of drawing the arch.

Funny thing is, I was convinced it was uneven.  I measured it (you know, to prove my point to Rusty) and what do you know- it was even!
Next up was covering the cornices.  NOT FUN!  I used spray adhesive for the batting.  That was easy.  Wrapping fabric around the arch, NOT SO EASY. 

Really happy with how it all turned out though! 

I plan to do something above the television with large pictures of each individual kiddo (either canvas or framed poster size prints).
Maybe next time I am bored I will pretty up this disaster (the closet)….

I am sharing over at Kristen's Creations, Savvy Southern Style, and Home Stories A to Z

Friday, January 6, 2012

No Crushed Spirits Here

I want to remember this.  Not my 2 ½ year old wearing his helmet so he can ride his first bicycle that Santa has just brought him.  No, that is not what is happening here.  That is what it started out as….it ended with Colton being “Temple Run”.  The Iphone game character.  “Temple Run” ran up and down the driveway and sidewalk, jumping in the “water” (grass).  He thinks you are SUPPOSED to jump into the water in the game.  If you have never played-you are NOT supposed to jump in the water.

Colton as Temple Run

In a 24 hour period, my boy pretends to be atleast 5 different people/characters.  He will come to you and let you know who he is.  “Mommy, I Frosty the Snowman.”  You must then treat him as such.  Our characters currently include The Lion King, Frosty the Snowman, Thomas (the train), Santa Claus, Barney & Lightning McQueen. 
Colton as Frosty the Snowman (the bucket is the magic hat)
Recently at lunch he was supposed to be eating his Mac & Cheese.  When he wasn’t, I told him to eat.  This was his response, “It’s a wake (lake).  There’s a wadybug (ladybug). I no wanna eat wadybugs.”  This is my 3rd child (1st boy) and while the girls were creative and imaginative, it was NOTHING like this.  All day everyday is an adventure.  He loves to pray over our dinner.  Before he begins (which is still repeating what Daddy says), he tells daddy, “Pray for Barney”.  Or whatever character he is in.
He has even begun “introducing” himself to his YMCA teachers and Sunday School teachers.  While I find this very entertaining and endearing, my husband has decided that this is cute so long as he doesn’t turn into a “Brick”.  This is a reference to the tv show The Middle.  If you don’t get it, watch The Middle.  So funny!
Colton as The Lion King (the blanket is his mane)
This was our conversation on Thursday morning. 
Mommy:  Good morning.  How are you?  (I know this sounds weird, but I think it is funny to talk to him like a little grownup sometimes J)
Colton: (Clearly misunderstanding me and thinking I said “Who” rather than “How”) No, I Colton.  Daddy say I Colton.
I called Rusty and told him to stop crushing my baby’s spirit.  I know he wasn’t, he just wanted to make sure Colton actually knew his real name.  I just thought it was funny to accuse him of such.  Well, within 10 minutes this is who was riding to the YMCA with me:

Colton as Santa Claus

No crushed spirit here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge

After considering starting a blog for the last couple of years, I have finally decided to just do it!  My friend Emily over at  wrote a very inspiring post about looking over the last year and realizing she had forgotten to take pictures of the everyday memory makers with her own kiddos.  Her challenge was a 52 week photo project of everyday moments.  I immediately was on board.  I went a step further and decided on writing the blog, too.   I want a way to remember, document & share everything that consumes the Burress home.  We are DIY lovers, Jesus followers, I am a die hard scrapbooker (who is always sending picture messages to her sister in law of my latest layout), Soccer/Volleyball mom, crafter, camper, reader & TV junkie.  This blog is going to provide a great place to capture and share all that is us! 
But we will start with the first photo of our 52 Week Photo Challenge!
What better way to stall at bedtime?  Well, everyone lock onto daddy's leg of course!