Friday, February 3, 2012

The Fort

Did you have a fort growing up?
I had a real one, an awesome little playhouse built by my grandfather with real working windows and a door, cute pitched roof and painted just like our real house. I loved that playhouse! Since having my kids I have thought many times about buying a playhouse kit to make one for them like the one I had when I was little.
This Fall Zander got Fort Fever. He started drawing elaborate schematics for forts, dying to build one with his dad. So, as Christmas was approaching I told Lance that what I really wished we could do for the kids was build a fort. My wise husband pointed to the unfinished attic over our garage in the backyard and declared, "We have a 500 square foot fort way better than anything we could build sitting right there". So, we decided to go for it!
It started with cleaning all the stuff out of the attic. Ug. It was painful. Here are some cell phone before pictures (please note I took these after I had cleaned out most of the stuff!).

We wanted the fort to be all about pretend play and fun. So, we hired our contractor to build a stage, install a huge blackboard, and make sure the electrical system was all safe. I made some curtains and rigged a rod system to hang them. Then we basically moved a bunch of toys and things we already had up from the garage where they were not being used to their full potential. The result is this:
Come on up the stairs, try out the pulley system and be warned to KEEP OUT!

We have a stage for putting on performances:

A huge chalkboard and a whole corner devoted to making art:

A tent for boy and girl camping adventures:

And an area to set up your stuff and engage in some good imaginary play:

The fort was a huge surprise and an awesome Christmas morning reveal! On rainy days off of school like today it is totally priceless!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It is Groundhog Day

I have to post on the namesake day for my blog! Getting back into the swing of blogging is not easy. I have thought about blogging a number of times, and even taken some pictures. Somehow that has not magically translated into a completed post. In honor of Groundhog Day being about making the most of each and every day, here are moments from the past week or so...

1. Pinewood Derby
A boy scout right of passage. This was Zander's first derby and he had a ball. He actually did the whole car himself with the exception of the base coat of white spray paint and taping off the arrow shape on his car (dad helped with that part). He drew his desired shape, completed the paint job, pounded in the wheels, and added the weights all by himself. He actually made the finals and had a fast car! He loved the experience.

2. Dance Class Buns
I have never been good with hair. My daughter is about 4000x girlier than I am, so this inability of mine to style hair is a big letdown for her. She is required to wear a bun in dance class and is always put out that my bun making style is pretty sad and messy. So, I went to the beauty shop and bought a contraption called the bun maker. I used it to make a bun for her and it looked perfect. Ok, so maybe it was a little too big. Zella was not buying it. I had to take it out and make a normal one. Oh well, back to the drawing boards.

3. Sewing
I got a sewing machine for my birthday. I am playing around with it some, and used it to make Zella a doll sleeping bag. My dream for my first big project is to take the 25 free XL Thunder T-shirts we have gotten from the playoffs over the past two years to make a T-shirt quilt. So, consider this the before picture. Look for the after sometime next year:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog...

I have thought many times over the past six or seven months about starting this blog back up again. For some reason even when I felt like I had something to say I have shied away from posting. I have decided to give it a go again if for no other reason than it is fun for me to get to go back and see things I posted about in the past. That's a good enough reason to blog, right? Just for me? It better be! Fame and world domination have never been on my radar as blogging goals. Anyway, just to get the party started again, here is a recap of our run to Dallas last weekend. We had a surprise 85th birthday party for Lance's grandma, met our cousins' new horse, and checked out the Lego Discovery Center in Grapevine. It was fun!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hawaii 2

Day by day may be too much Hawaii blogging, so here are some highlights of the trip:

1. Snorkeling at Molokini Crater and Turtle Town. The whole family went along and loved this half day trip. The water at the crater is incredibly clear and snorkeling with sea turtles was amazing. To top it off we had a pod of dolphins follow the boat. This was a fantastic day!

2. Luau Night. We got the best seats in the house for the great luau show. I loved the whole production. Food, Drinks, Desserts, Show, it was all wonderful. My favorite part was watching my sweet daughter do the hula moves along with the pro dancers the. whole. time. She stole the show!

3. Surfing. Lance, Zander, and I took a surf lesson and had a blast. Lance wishes we had done it the first day so we could go back each day to surf more!

4. The road to Hana. This is a famous day long drive through the jungle part of Maui. The views are incredible and we got to stop and see some great sights. The black sand beach was especially cool.

5. Beach Time. The beautiful Kapalua Bay beach was right by the house we stayed in and we loved playing in the sand, collecting shells, and making awesome sand sculptures here.

6. Fabulous Meals. Didn't really take pictures of the food:)
7. Family Time. We all had a great time hanging out together, especially all the kids. We have had cousin withdrawal since we have been home!

It really was an amazing trip... can't wait to go back!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Soon after our Chicago trip we were off and going on our big family vacation to Maui! Lance's mom and dad will celebrate their 40th anniversary this September. To celebrate they decided to take the whole family (all 16 of us!) to Maui for ten days. It was an incredible vacation from start to finish and I still want to weep a little each morning that I am not there anymore... We did so much and took so many pictures I thought I would break things down a little day by day for some highlights.
Day 1:
We arrived and were greeted with beautiful fresh flower leis!

The drive to the house was heaven, so beautiful. We were totally amazed by the gorgeous place we got to call home for the week. Here is a little shot of the back patio.

We may have been a little jet lagged and very tired, but we were thrilled to finally be there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane

Yikes! It has been a long time since I have updated this poor blog. I thought May was busy, but then came June... I promised some of you updates on all our travels and adventures, so here goes:

We went to Chicago for my Uncle's wedding. Zander was the Ring Bearer and Zella was Flower Girl. It was just wonderful. My uncle married a great lady with two great kids, we are so happy to have them all as a part of our family now, and especially thrilled to see Randy so happy! It was also so fun to hang out with Nana and Papa and Uncle Mark.

Besides the wonderful wedding the kids and I also got to spend a day in Chicago. We took the train in from Midway and went to Millenium Park, the American Girl Store for the girls, and the Field Museum for the boys (and girls later on:)). It was a great day made even better when my friend Kate came to join the girls for lunch!

It was a quick, fantastic trip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Game On!

I bought a new shirt for the playoffs this year. Here it is:

It is currently undefeated for home playoff games (when I am in attendance). Sorry to the Thunder for that Sunday game 1 against the Grizzlies when I graciously let my son attend the noon game. It won't happen again, this I promise. So- game on! I'll be there sporting my lucky shirt. Go THUNDER!!!!