Monday, April 21, 2014

Egg Hunting

Sunday afternoon we headed over to Yiayia's for some fried chicken and egg hunting. Of course the Easter bunny made a stop by her house with lots of goodies for Kate as well as our own house. She got lots of fun goodies.
 She had 22 eggs to find, so after her first run of the back yard she had to stop to count and see if she had found them all.  Bill finished the porch on Kate's new playhouse addition he built onto the shed in their backyard, so that was the perfect spot for her to count her eggs.
 Later that afternoon the bunny made an appearance in the backyard. All last year this bunny hung out in Yiayia's backyard and Kate would set out carrots for it and water. Either this is the same bunny or he told his bunny friends about her because this rabbit kept hopping around the yard, sniffing, as if he was saying "hey, where are my carrots?" while Kate and Yiayia were on the back porch. So she set some out for him, and he hopped right up close and proceeded to eat two helpings of them.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Pictures!

We have a family tradition of taking some family pictures before heading off to church on Easter morning. Although we were a little bit rushed today, I still managed to get a few photos before we left.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Yesterday we went over to Yiayia's to dye some eggs for this weekend.  Last year we attempted some Pinterest stuff with shaving cream when we did the eggs, but this year we decided to keep it simple and just used the tried and true method of coloring in a cup. Kate still managed to make a mess because she didn't want to use the little metal egg "spoons" but insisted on using her fingers instead. Naturally she ended up with some colorful hands.
After we finished the eggs, Kate and Bill decorated a cake for this Sunday. It's a chocolate layer cake with green grass icing, surrounded by bunny Peeps and topped with M&M eggs. Kate did an excellent job os keeping her bunny pattern going all the way around. I think it turned out really cute!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Moon

I set my alarm and woke up at 2 am so I could watch the lunar eclipse last night. I wanted to try to get some photos of the "blood moon". It was COLD outside, like in the low 30s, so I pretty much froze while standing on the back porch.

I started shooting when the moon was rising and got this shot:
After that I went to bed and waited for my alarm.   Kate actually woke up during the night a couple of times, so I didn't even sleep all that well during the time I was supposed to be sleeping.

I knew the eclipse would begin sometimes around midnight but it wouldn't be in full eclipse until just after 2, so I decided that would be my target time. I didn't really see the need to watch the whole two hours before hand because I needed to be able to function today.
You could also see Mars really well last night, and the blue giant star Spica was hanging out near the moon and very bright as well.
In between  taking photos, I ran in to my computer to upload what I was shooting and make sure my focus was in check. It was really hard to manually focus on the moon because of the angle in the sky, which meant my tripod was aimed really high so I had to crouch below it to see, which was a bit challenging. Never mind that I had to balance my tripod up on two chairs and a garden statue because the power lines that run behind my house were in my way. I had to be able to shoot through the wires, instead of having them cut across my moon. It was awkward.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Egg Hunt 2014

Yesterday we had a church fellowship get-together at a friend's place and Kate got to have her first egg hunt of the year. Considering that the last few years she has hunted eggs for at least 2 months after Easter was over, I'm quite certain this will not be egg hunt 1 of 2. At any rate, we had a lot of fun getting to know members of our new congregation. Kate has made a good friend there named Ava, so they had quite a good time together.

Monday, April 7, 2014

House Project: Laundry Room Remodel

While a laundry room remodel may not sound like much fun, it was one of those things on my must-do list that randomly became this weekend's project. My laundry room is the first room we enter when we come home - it's just off the garage. It's been an eye sore for me from day one, but I had bigger fish to fry so I've been ignoring it. This was the laundry room before this weekend:
Yes, I needed to iron. It's been completed as well, ok? Anyway, so this are all the things that drove me crazy about the space. First, I didn't like being able to see all the bottles of cleaner and what not. It just made the room look so cluttered to have all that sitting out for the world to see. When the house was built, obviously there was one shelf in the laundry room that sat in the middle of the wall from side to side. The previous owners had a stacked washer/dryer, so they had to remove that shelf and put their own shelves up but couldn't be bothered to remove the ugly 1x4s that were on the wall. So that useless wood was just ugly. I also hated all the shelf brackets. They were just too industrial looking and the wall looks messy because of them. Lastly, my clothes rod (a necessity for all the stuff we don't put in the dryer) is actually a shower curtain rod that was just barely long enough (note the sagging in the middle) but it got the job done. It was all I had when we moved in and I just went with it.
My original plan was to purchase an unfinished cabinet from Lowe's and paint it, then hang it above the washing machine and reconfigure the rod. I needed to wait until we had the extra money laying around for that because those cabinets are about $90. Then my next door neighbor unknowingly came to my rescue last week by sticking a chest of drawers with no drawers out on the curb. I ran out and grabbed it, trying to figure out what I would do with it when it dawned on me - add shelves and use it in the laundry room. I removed all of the drawer tracks and was ready to go. I already had a little black curtain rod that I could hang at the top so I would not need doors. It cost me $15.53 in lumber to add a bottom and middle shelf. I also cut the four legs off at the bottom.
Bill came over on Saturday morning and we got to work. I had taken as much of the shelving down as I could, but he had to rip the 1x4s off the wall and remove the top shelf since I was too short to reach all the screws. When he pulled off the top shelf, it revealed a seriously bright blue wall color that obviously filled this tiny space at some point. I can't even imagine why.
Once we got the new shelf unit in place, we used the same shower curtain rod but just hung it over the dryer instead of all the way across. We added the top shelf back so I would have some storage space all the way across, and voila! Then it was time to start puttying and painting.
 It's already so much better, and I haven't even added the stuff back!
 I had some material that I had purchased sometime last year just sitting on a shelf in the spare room, so I sent it over to Nana to make me some curtains for my shelf. Now everything is still accessible but hidden and the room looks so much nicer!
The only thing I still want to do is get some kind of cute laundry wall decal to stick on the wall above the dryer and it will be complete! Even though the new shelving sticks out 5" further than the old shelves did, the room feels much bigger now than before the transformation. I'm pretty happy about it all...and it only cost me $15.53!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Disney on Ice!

Today I surprised Kate with a special Mommy-Kate date - we went to the American Airlines Center and saw Disney on Ice! I knew she would love it and although she was a little scared at first because of the volume of the music and the dark arena, she warmed up pretty quickly when mickey and Minnie came out.
She didn't like the Fantasia number at all, although I thought the ice skating brooms were very cool and the black light effect made it really neat looking, and that was followed by a Halloween themed number with a bunch of villains that again, I thought was really cool but Kate did not like it at all....but that was quickly changed when the princesses all came out in honor of Valentine's day.
That's when I captured this expression on her face, and every penny I spent on the tickets was totally worth it for her pure joy:
 The show was pretty lengthy- they skated for an hour, had a short intermission, and then skated for another 45 minutes or so.  Of course we had to visit the souvenir tables, and she came home with a new Belle necklace and Snow White doll.  They weren't cheap of course. It was a cute show and after it was all said and done Kate was thrilled she got to see it. It definitely makes me ready to go back to Disney World, but I have to wait another 11 months for that.