31 March 2010

Pretty branch tutorial.

I love these kitty willow branches from Betz White.
I refuse to call them what they really are because I hate that word.
Even if it is in reference to felines or vegetation.
A bit childish, I know.
Unfortunately, I'm not a big felter,
so making them similar to the original was out of the question for me.
Alas, what's a girl to do?
Oh, I know...
1. buy a bag of poms for $.99
2. spray paint the poms in the desired shade(s)
3. grab a glue gun
4. go to town

A splash of spring color!
Quick and easy, too.

30 March 2010

Same & Different

Last week, Jake and I had a meeting for Betsy concerning her transition from her early childhood school setting to primary school, her inclusion in a regular education setting for parts of the day, her new special education classroom, and ALL OF THOSE THERAPY HOURS.  It's so overwhelming, and a bit sad (because we're even in a position that requires such a meeting), and happy (because there are so many people that truly care about Betsy and love her as evidenced by teary eyes), and scary (because we just don't know what her educational future holds).

Let's face it...kindergarten is hard for any mom. 

It's the big time.

It dosen't get any easier.

I sobbed in my car the day the bus took Jake away, and 2 years later with Pete wasn't any different.

I'm not sure how things will go this fall with Betsy.

I'm nervous.

My Dad has always said {concerning parenting}, "What you do for one, you do for the other."  Material and otherwise.  For all intents and puposes, I believe this to be true. 

But, what do you do when one of your littles is very obviously different?  A difference so great that even the other littles take notice and adjust their own interactions and behaviors with her? An anatomical and physiological difference? 

Whatever I do to try and lessen that gap, it's still there.  Undeniable.  I mean, let's face it...Betsy Jane gets treated differently.  Necessary?  Absolutely.  For better or worse? I'm not sure yet.  Undoubtedly, I'll know the answer to that in 15-20 years. I'll be able to tell the effect it had on the other beasties.  And, I hope I will have raised them well enough to take responsibility for their own place in this world, and not be victims or blame their father, me, or anyone else for everything that may go wrong in their lives.  :)

Fact: the differences between Miss Betsy and her peers in certain areas is quite profound.

This is why letting her go is hard.  Not necessarily hardER, but different.  In every fiber of my being, it feels different.  Cutting loose the bird that hasn't quite learned to fly, and expecting them to take flight anyway in the cruel, unforgiving skies. 

Okay, that might be a little dramatic.  Because, for realz, that girl rarely disappoints or fails to rise to the occasion.  But, it's still a pretty intense feeling.

How do you let go of something that was never really yours to begin with?  I'm just here to help her along in this life.  She is her own woman, a daughter of God, a free and independent spirit. 

And, she's ready.

I'm not...but she is.  Oh, yes, yes, yes she is.

29 March 2010


I love sheepskins.
But not sheepskin prices.
So, I went to the fabric store, and...

bought a hunk of white nubby fleece for $5.
{The furry version felt like poop, so, I passed.}
I folded the fleece in half with 'right' sides together
Next, I free-handed a sheepskin shape and cut it out.
Then, I straight stitched the wrong sides together
leaving fleecy goodness front & back.

25 March 2010

If you're...

bored, sad, mad, melancholy, pouting, ungrateful, feel cheated, ignored, lied to, betrayed,
or if you just plain love dogs and have an immense appreciation for good camera work {live or still}
pause my music in the sidebar and watch this.
You will NOT be sorry. 
I repeat:
You will NOT be sorry.
It will just make you feel plain happy.

And, if you don't like/love canines
or have an immense affection for
great camera handling...
well, then shame on you.

24 March 2010

Fabric & Swordfish

I have a super, special, secret project in the works with those scrumptious beauties up there.
I canNOT wait to get them in the mail.
I love fabric so much, sometimes, I think I could just pile it all up on my bed,
and roll around in it naked.

If you think that's weird...
you won't want to meet my sister.
Because she tells everyone that she wants
 to rub the swordfish from McCormick & Schmicks all over her face.
It's that good.

What the hell did my parents do to us?
Maybe they deprived us of important sensory experiences
when we were little.
{Nah, that's too easy.}
Maybe it's because they lied to us for years,
and told us that liver was steak so we'd eat it.
Maybe it's because we'd get grounded from going out on the weekend
if we didn't make our beds every freaking morning.
No, I'm sure it's the fact that
my mom used to play 'hide and seek' with us
just so she could scare the poo out of us when we found her.
Who knows?
I do know this...
that game sometimes pretty much always ended in tears.
Except from my swordfish loving sister who got giddy with excitement
every time Mom would pop out from behind the shower curtain and growl.

She totally misused her 'mom power'.

Those memories are priceless.

Oh, and Mom & Pops...
I love you.

22 March 2010

a few things.

First off, I cleaned out my closet this morning. 




The bags:

The prize:

I found my sister's 'go to' black dress.  MIA for longer than we can remember.

I'm pretty sure this will officially get me off of her hit list.

And, no, I'm not kidding.  Lately, she wants to end me.

Secondly, I wish to tell you that I am a clean, clean person.

You could eat out of my toliets.  I mean if you're freaky like that.

Closets and junk drawers do not fall under my must-be-clean-at-all-times umbrella.

They did before kids, but now, it's just a losing battle.

Think Monica from friends. Remember her mysterious closet full of crap-o-la?

Anal-retentive/OCD, but with a twist.

My dirty little secret is starting to make me feel crazy.  Institutional crazy.

Something had to be done, and this is the start.  Thanks to this.

I hope it snowballs from here.

Finally, will someone puh-lease help me find this elusive 'spell check' in the new editor. 

Otherwise, I will resort to screen capturing my editor page and showing you all that it doesn't exist for me.

Does.  Not.

That, or I need glasses, or an entry level Computer class.

Both are probably completely & utterly true.

I know nothing about computers.  I had a party the day I learned how to enlarge my photos. 

Punch, cake, the whole she-bang.

Here's proof.

If you have a quick tip on the spelling situation shoot me an email or a comment.

And, as always, be patient with me...

I'm a constent work in progress.

21 March 2010

Spell check lament.

Oh, spell check...

where have you gone?

How I miss you so.

I'm not really sure why the freaky web guys at Blogger got rid of you.

And, all for what?

To add a strike through key?

I, mean, don't get me wrong I love the strike through key, but that editing option didn't come cheap.

It cost a total of my blogging sanity.

Seriously, I'm about to call it quits.

No spell check means a total of 2.4789276 more minutes a day I spend on this contraption.

I'm about ready to quit this blog thing altogether. 

Did I already mention that?

Maybe that's what the Blogger people want.

To frustrate the living hell out of exactly 96% of bloggers who use Blogger. 

I think they're all up in their ivory towers, wearing Gucci suits, sipping exspensive French champagne, and having a hearty laugh at our expense.

Saying things like,

"Learn to spell you pasty white, mini-van driving, casserole making, Mid-Western, suburban housewife."


"Didn't they offer Spelling 101 in grad school, you big dumb-dumb?"

I think they're drunk with power. 

So, I say, whudeffer ewe Bluggre giyz!  I down't neid speel cheek!  Down't nied id I telll yuo!

Just wait until the angry mob of mommy bloggers show up at their pads with pitchforks & torches. 

We'll see who's laughing then.

Am I right, ladies?

Who's in?

20 March 2010

I'm a nerd.

I canNOT wait for this movie to come out on Tuesday (?). 

I love these kinds of films.

I am a total loser.

And, that's okay.

{pause music in sidebar first}

Have a fantastic weekend!

19 March 2010

A needless tutorial.

I have long since been attracted to open kitchen shelving.

Talk about forcing yourself to minimize and organize. 

Everything I've ever read seems to elude to how easy it is to convert your existing cabinetry into open shelving.  But, I've never really seen a tutorial.

I started this adventure to create my own tutorial, but after having done it myself, I now know why there aren't many detailed tutorials. 

Because it's really a mindless maneuver.

But, since I already took the photos...

Stock it up!

See what I mean?

It really wasn't brain surgery or rocket science.

You DO have to fill any exposed holes with some wood filler.  That might be tough.  NOT.

Hopefully, you'll get rid of a ton of crapola like I did.  It was quite liberating.

My breastpump was in there for goodness sakes.  Maybe I thought I'd need it again.  Who knows?

I did get a little weepy when I pitched it.

But, I'm psycho like that.  Some people would say overly sentimental.  I say psycho.

P.S. I apologize for having made you dumber for reading this post.

18 March 2010

Beasts & Black and Whites

First off, have I ever told you how craptastic our washer and dryer are?

Like, you-have-to-run-the-dryer-2-or-3-times kind of craptastic.

I hate laundry enough as it is. 

I don't need that shniz in my life.

Enter the new Grebe twins...
We're talking 5.0 cubic feet in the washer and an amazing 7.3 cubic feet in the dryer that has a steam option.

No more wrinkly clothes.

They're not the prettiest ones out there...originally, I wanted front loaders (except everyone I know that has them aren't huge fans).  But, they are beasts.  Beasts I tell you.



I took a bazillion photos at the Dogtown Saint Patrick's Day Parade yesterday. 

St.Pat's is craaaaaaazy in Saint Louis.  Craaaazaaazy, I tell you.  Craaaazzzzzyyy!

What was I going to tell you...?

Oh, yeah, the photos.

So, I took about 3,234,298 pictures, but this one is BY FAR my favorite.

Pete, Jake, and my nephew, Sam

By the way, I've successfully made it to day 4 of Spring Break.

I think we'll park it up today with the 65 degree temps, and library on Friday.

Because the snow is coming this weekend.


I {heart} mid-west weather.  It's a surprise everyday.


17 March 2010


I'm pissed off...

Yes. I just said that.

Yesterday, Pete started bleeding from the head.  Blood everywhere.  He was freaking out, Jake was crying because he was responsible.  It was a typical Grebe mess.  I asked what happened so I could get a handle on the situation and Jake said that he threw a chopstick at Pete. 

A chopstick?  Seriously?

Only in our house.

photo of the actual kind of chopstick which was thrown
which, if you're in the market for kids' chopsticks,  I highly recommend purchasing these

Then, to make matters worse, once things calmed down, naturally, I read an article the 'The New York Times' published about 'mommy bloggers' that made me want to spit nails.   Which I wish I could do but, alas, I can't, so I just cursed a lot using internal dialogue only.  Worse than a sailor.  Did you all know I have a muddy mouth?  Having kids made it real tough for me and my oral cavity.  It took a lot of cranial retraining.  But, I think I censor quite well now.  Anywho, while lately I've been struggling with what fuels my own blogging desires, I felt disappointed to read such chiding words. 

Blogging for my own self worth has never been a motivator for me.  I'm not a very insecure person.  Particularly in certain areas, and I certainly don't need people patting me on my back for painting a dresser with a faux finish or a posse telling me how incredible my homemade pillow cases are.  I was fine before I blogged in that department, and I'll survive the day after I decide to hang up my blogging hat. 

I don't ignore my kids (unless they're on my last ever loving nerve) or the housework (except when I'd rather eat chocolate and watch my stories) or the dog (except when he escapes out the front door and I wish he'd really just run away because he is so freaking high maintenance).  By the way, I'm totally kidding. I'm not sure how many times I have to say it, but it takes a max of 20 min. for me to post.  Apparently I can't say it enough.  In fact, since blogging I feel more motivated than ever to get my crap together.  To do more, create more, share more. 

funny, no?

I'm not trying to market myself or increase my search engine optimization.  I don't do it for freebies because, well, frankly I've never been offered any.  I don't do it becasue I think my kids are so cute the world would cease spinning on it's axis if they weren't shared or exploited.  I don't do it because I think my ideas are the best or my house the prettiest.  Believe you me...I know plenty of people in the blogosphere with far more outstanding ideas and much more stunning homes.

I mean, doesn't everyone that chooses to do certain things well or hone their particular craft do it to to get some sort of self-satisfaction.  Is that wrong?  We are all guilty of seeking the approval of others in some capactiy.  If that weren't the case, no one would strive to do anything to the best of their ability.  It seems like a debate that ends no better than a dog chasing his tail.  It could go on and on and on with no real winner.  Except let's face it...I think that tail outsmarts that dog any day.

I like to write and I like the resulting 'therapy' I seem to get from it, I like to make people laugh, or to inspire, or to get people think beyond what they're making for dinner or even to help them figure out what TO make for dinner.

Do I like to read blogs with meaty, sink-your-teeth-into-it, profound writing?  Yes.  Do I like to read blogs with tutorials on how to put pockets in dresses?  You bet'yer @$$.  Is one less important than the other?  Absolutely not. 

It really can't be explained.  Blogs/blogging...you either get it our you don't.  It's really that simple.

If you don't get it. I'm not sure why some of you continue to read or leave nasty comments or judge.  In that case, you're no better than what you seem to hate.  Munch on that.

So, if you know me personally in the UNvirtual world, you may want to turn right around and find something else to read (although, I wish you'd hang around with an open mind). I have a tendency to unintentionally blow the minds of those handful of people in the worst possible way.  I would suggest 'The NYT'  but, well ...

16 March 2010

If I knew then...

what I know about myself now,
I would've made my wedding
a bit more like this...
(Can you tell my cousin is getting married soon?
Weddings are on my brain & I can't wait!)
invitation from Rifle Paper Co.

 gown by Kate Towers

shoes from J.Crew

vintage brooch bouquet by Fantasy Floral Designs

grooms attire
boutonniere from Blue Bouquet

grooms shoes Jack Purcell Converse from J.Crew

programs via the knot

cake from Martha Stewart

chocolate eggs in nest favors from the knot

venue inspiration Blackberry Farm

Would you like to come to my imaginary wedding?

P.S. A big thanks to Natalie
over at Little Shindigs for featuring
Rosie's Spongebob Tutu 3rd bithday party today!
Totally awesome!

15 March 2010


Pete is our little entrepreneur.
This week {spring break}, he is working on selling
anything that isn't nailed down.
I mean, who doesn't want a juice pouch while they peruse retail goods?

I'm thinking sooner than later,
he will learn a very important rule of business:
You need to keep the prices of your
goods or services competitive
in order to be marketable in this economy.

With prices like those...
I think it will be a hard & fast lesson learned.

14 March 2010

Come on in...

I cordially invite you to see what's new in our nest.

Click HERE.


I'm working on compiling all of our before & afters.
It's taken almost 7 years,
LOTS of elbow grease,
plenty of imagination,
an extremely handy husband who puts up with my wacky ideas,
not to mention gobs of resourcefulness,
but we've made it a home we are very proud to call our own.

11 March 2010

Short term leave.

German countryside

Early yesterday morning, Jake's paternal grandfather passed away.

Ottmar lived a long, full life, and although he will be missed, his soul is in a place he has long since awaited.

What more could one ask for out of a life?

Family will be coming in from Texas and Kansas City for this bleak occasion,
but we always manage to laugh until our bellies ache from memories when we're together.

In death, there is life...
a new addition that we haven't yet met, another we've only met once. 

A legacy that will live on.

9 members of his 4th generation, and counting, I'm sure.

Rest in peace, Ottmar.

See you all on Monday..

P.S. Some of you have inquired about my test on Saturday (thank you, by the way)...I'm happy to report the results came back great!  Now, I get to go 5 years in between procedures instead of only 2.  Hooray!

10 March 2010

Yadda, Yadda.

Spray painting madness.
I've decided the frames that we're hanging
along the basement staircase needed
lightening up.
A fresh coat of glossy white paint oughta do it.
I have some other 'surprise' projects being painted, too.

This is a favorite spot of mine in our home.
It's a strip of happiness in the hallway
dedicated to the kids artwork.
It, too, needs an update.
Yummy new fabric.
 I'm liking this one from here.

Next, is the BIG clock.
I {heart} my BIG clock.
But, when I saw this...
from here (photo),
well, I knew what needed to be done.
More fabric, more spray paint.
Oh, and Tammy is my real life friend,
so you should show her some love.

I've been dying to get my sew back on.
I'll be starting with something for myself.
The project is this skirt...
from here (photo and tutorial).
it has pockets!
That's right!

some bed sheet curtains,
and lots of applique for the kids.
All are in my sewing future.
I'm going to try a new twist on the boys 'neck tie shirt'.
Just in time for their new Easter duds.
It'll be tough,
but they'll be even cuter than last year.

Oh, and how could I forget baking.
Toffee Crack...
from here (photo and recipe).
There will be lots of that in my life
in the weeks to come.
I don't think it's included in the P90X program,
but if you're not flexible in life
you're setting yourself up for failure.

Check out my handy-work (the cake and cake balls) here.