upcycling book dust jackets & photo canvases

Do you have a giant stack of book dust jackets laying around because your kids refuse to allow them on the books? Someone in our house has been complaining about them and thinks we should toss them. But, I couldn’t let them go to waste and well I’m not really creative enough to make them into cards or something, so I made a simple banner for the playroom. I have oodles more books to do and luckily plenty more wall space, so I’ll be making more.


I just cut out some basic triangles, I went for two sizes, 9 inch and 6 inch, since not all the books were the same size. On some books I turned them upside down or sideways in order to get the picture that I like the best. Greta & Eloise have both requested banners for their rooms, so as soon as I get a few more minutes to sit and cut and go and buy more ribbon, I’ll get busy.


I think it turned out cute and adds some much needed color to the playroom. We also added some photo canvases of the girls to one wall recently. I LOVE them!


And as you might have noticed I kindly left out the diaster that is the floor of the playroom. 🙂


Two of my friends from high school recently had a baby girl with a pretty serious heart condition. (I’ve actually known the mother, Mary Frances, for much longer, since we went to elementary school together as well). She was born right before Christmas and had open heart surgery on Christmas Eve. They recently learned that the baby might not come home until after her second surgery which is scheduled for when she is between 4 and 6 months old. If you could please pray for their whole family. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for all of them. They also have two little boys, ages 4 and I think 7.

We haven’t seen them in a long time, but I’ve been thinking about them constantly.

Let’s dig up some old pictures to make us all smile. Here is their second son with Greta when they were about 7 months old.


And a picture of Zach and me on my 18th birthday (with my dad in the background).


They have a blog that they are updating pretty often to keep everyone up to date. If you have the time please add them to your prayer list.


Greta has been asking for a big slide and swings for the backyard for many, many months. We had mostly decided we were going to get the Step 2 one, and hoped to find it on craigslist. After a good long while of searching and responding to posts, I finally gave up on that idea and we bought it new when I found it on sale. This was the girls big Christmas gift from us. When we opened the boxes to begin assembly, we realized there were several things missing, so it turned out to be a kind of bum Christmas present, but eventually we got all the parts and they now LOVE it.

We have had some seasonably warm days and have gotten some time to enjoy the new playground.


Matt’s dad made this wooden swing for us a while ago, but we never had anywhere to hang it until now. Beatrice LOVES to swing.
















trash to treasure

I know you all love to see all the treasures we find in the trash, so here are some recent finds.

1. A 1970s Barbie Dream House. Currently selling on E-bay for around $200. For those keeping track this is the second really nice dollhouse we have rescued from the trash.


2. A nice solid wood dresser in great shape. There was a matching one that I tried to snag the next morning, but the trash man had already come. I’m hoping someone else saved it from the dump before the trash man got it. Greta’s clothes were seriously overflowing from her drawers and so we put this in her closet to store more clothes! This is our THIRD solid wood dresser that we have picked up.


3. This weekend we were trying to figure out a better solution for our coat/shoe closet and were talking how we needed to build some shelves, but wood is so expensive. This morning during our treasure hunt, I found this bookcase/shelf thing and it fits nearly perfectly in the closet. Again solid wood. I don’t stop for plywood, manufactured, or composite junk. Score!


If anyone local is in need of anything, let me know, I’ll be on the lookout. We have gotten a few other things lately, but nothing else that great.

And for those that are new around here, here are some other treasures we have found.

The white dresser.
The sit & spin.
The dollhouse.

And I can’t believe I haven’t ever posted about our nicest dresser. Let’s see if we can find a picture.


Christmas dresses

So the story of how we came to have matching Christmas dresses. Beatrice’s dress was worn by both Greta and Eloise for their first Christmas. Even though this is actually Beatrice’s second Christmas, the dress clearly wouldn’t have fit her last year and she didn’t even have a dress for her first Christmas. Our dear friends happened to have the same dress in a size 3T, which would fit Eloise perfectly this year. So, all I had to do was find it in Greta’s size (5T). Only problem is this is a gymboree dress from when Greta was a baby, so 5 years old. I stalked ebay for probably a month or two and FINALLY found someone offering the dress in a 5T and it was even new with tags. Rather than hope for to be the highest bidder, I asked if they would let me do a buy it now and they did, and for a reasonable price, I think $24 including shipping. The dress is a 100% silk dress and new was I think at least $50, so definitely reasonable.

So this year we had matching dresses. We didn’t have time to take pictures before Christmas Eve mass, so we put them on again on Christmas day and took some pictures without tights, sweaters, or shoes.




And one of just Beatrice since we have pictures of the other two in this dress. Beatrice is 12 months old.


Here is Eloise at her first Christmas at 10 months.



And Greta at 7 months old on her first Christmas.



Tally part 2

Let’s see if I can finish up the Tallahassee pictures really quickly and then move on to the actual Christmas stuff.

We got to see one of my oldest friends, his wife and his daughter, who is a few months older than Beatrice. I’ve known Josh since I was born and he and his twin sister, Katie, are some of my favorite people!






And a few travel pictures. We bought the girls Melissa and Doug Trunki suitcases for the trip and Greta loved riding hers. Eloise wasn’t so into riding hers, but would rather walk or be carried through the airport.







I’m not sure I’ll ever get through all the oodles of Christmas pictures, for now here are some of the ones I found that I like.

Our Christmas spanned several days. First we had Beatrice’s birthday (which will eventually, hopefully, be a real post), then her party. Matt’s parents stayed overnight and we celebrated Christmas the 23rd with them. The 24th we went to mass and opened a few gifts that had come in the mail from family members. Christmas day we opened our stockings (from Santa) and the gifts from each other. On the 26th, we flew to Tallahassee to spend some time with my family.

Here are some pictures from Tallahassee. The girls all had fun playing with new toys and friends. Beatrice pretty much would only let Matt or I hold her for more than a minute, so there aren’t too many pictures of her with others.




A good friend from college came up from Gainesville with her two kids. Her daughter is just 5 days older than Eloise and her son is about 2 months old.




Both of my sisters were there for at least part of the time. The girls loved exploring their rooms and finding new things to play with.



We met up with some old Tallahassee friends at a park one day. Greta had a great time. Eloise was exhausted and so wasn’t into playing for most of the time. It is always so nice to meet up with folks who we don’t get to see often and have the kids play together. This time we got to see some people I hadn’t seen in many years, like since high school graduation!






My mom bought us all matching nightgowns.



Granddaddy is always a favorite.



We went to a favorite local light display and my dad joined us.





And that’s all for now. More when there aren’t two children screaming at me and pulling on my body and biting my legs.

Christmas Tree

So many things to post, let’s start at the beginning of the holiday season. This year we went to the tree farm we have been to the last two years. We love the whole go to the farm and cut the tree down experience. It really is quite lovely. We go on the same day as our local Christmas parade, which this year was on December 1.

Two years ago we went with some of our friends from college who happen to live somewhat close (about 45 minutes away). Last year both of us were very pregnant and so they didn’t come out here to go with us. This year they came and went with us again and it was nice to see them and spend the day with them. First we went and picked out our trees. The kids all had a great time.







Then we headed over the local Christmas parade, which was a little disappointing this year, but of course the kids loved it just the same.


We also went to dinner, which was kind of crazy with 6 kids age 5 and under. Thankfully there aren’t pictures of that craziness (at least that I took). The next day we worked on decorating and the kids helped as much as they wanted.




We picked out a gloriously fat tree this year. I really loved it oh so much. We still put the tree up on our cedar chest to keep it from being attacked too much by the kids.


Then we attempted a photo in front of the tree. They were pretty cooperative and we got some cute pictures.