Snow is Pretty But Enough of That!

This snow was fun.  A lot of fun.  And I suppose we all need a few days off and some time to run around acting silly and snuggling at home ALL DAY LONG!  Not to be a complete pessimist but we live in the south, one good day of snow every 3 years is perfectly adequate.  And it can wait until at least February.  We JUST got off Christmas break and MLK day and Presidents Day is right around the corner.  Let’s get back to school and to a routine!  But for real, look how pretty the Ponderosa looked…

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Beautiful, right?  I was kind of in love!  It was much prettier coming up the drive because off my front porch it looked like this…

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But in just a couple of months it will look like this…

springAnd I CAN NOT WAIT!   I have decided what to do to get me through winter.  I am planning the second annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Ponderosa.  While “the Ponderosa” has stuck, that whole Easter Egg hunt title is not so catchy.  Suggestions?  I love Easter.  Everything is blooming and beautiful.  And it is all about new beginnings (or those of you who have let your New Year resolutions fall through. Hand raised!)

But if it weren’t for snow, me and this fun girl would have no idea that old cookie sheets make terrible sleds!

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Oh snow!  You are so much fun, but it’s time for a break… a break up

Snow on the Ponderosa

We have snow!  While I do not care at all for winter, if it is going to be cold it should at least be pretty and fun.  Today Amelia’s school closed around 9:30 and Annie’s at noon.   At the beginning of the day it was a lot of dramatics and exaggerations.  We got home and the roads were fine.  Ben came home a few hours later and it was rough.  Annie was down for her nap and I had a few things to get done.  Amelia pulled her bean bag over to the window and waited very patiently for snow.  It was very sweet watching her.  4 year olds are just like us.  There are things they want SO badly and they sit and wait and yearn.  I will say that this sweet girl spent her time in waiting MUCH more gracefully than her Mama does when in the same position.

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Finally we had snow!  “It’s snowing, it’s snowing!  It’s really snowing!  I can’t believe it!”

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Annie enjoyed the snow because she likes to mimic everything her big sister does.  Did she really enjoy it?  I don’t think so.  She was cold and kept taking off her gloves.  She did not argue to go inside (until she noticed her sister as outside still).  Amelia had to be bribed with hot chocolate to come in.  I didn’t fuss or push too hard because she was so excited and it was her first snow.  And it was so fun being a part of her excitement.

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I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds because it is still snowing.  In the meantime I am sitting on the couch enjoying chocolates that Nana and Pa brought us back from Hawaii.  Sand, snow, what’s the difference???

20140128-202532.jpgMacadamia Kisses are the bomb.com!

Sunday Funday

At some point this week I will post the pictures from Annie’s precious and perfect Twinkle Twinkle Party from this weekend.  We had a great time celebrating her with family and a few friends who we wish were family.  But right now I am pooped!

We had a great weekend with my parents that ended this morning.  After some great life lessons at church we came home and had lunch.  Big sister and I went outside to do some yard clean up while little sister napped and daddy put spaghetti in the crockpot for dinner (fantastic idea!)  Daddy went to the farm, Annie woke up and fast forward to 5:56… we have just come inside and finished baths.  What a wonderful, sunny, almost warm day.  We played and played and played and I am P-O-O-P-E-D!  Did I mention it was a great idea to put dinner in the crockpot at lunch time??

Here are some fun pictures of our fun afternoon

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20140126-173800.jpgPlayhouse picnic

20140126-173808.jpgSomebody may need a haircut!

20140126-173816.jpg“Welcome to Amelia House”  While she still needs help spelling most words, it amazes me that I have a child that can write!

I still can’t believe that it may snow on Tuesday!  At least if it’s going to be freezing we should be rewarded with something to play in!  I’m just a tad over winter!  Good news, the Grammys and Downton Abbey are both on tonight!  How to decide????  A little of both!  Fab dresses and beautiful accents!

Warming Up The Inside

IT IS FREEZING OUTSIDE!  I DO NOT DO COLD WEATHER!  Winter blues are common in my world but this year has been exceptionally crappy.  Not that I’m in an exceptionally bad mood, but this has been a rough winter.  I’m not in a bad mood because sometimes it’s so craptastic it’s funny. Like frozen pipes.  Our pipes have frozen twice so far.  Luckily no bursts, but frozen water is not helpful (unless you are drinking sweet tea or a cocktail).  I have never lived anywhere that pipes freeze, but here I sit.  The cowboy explained to me tonight that we sit on a hill, on a crawlspace without insulated pipes.  We typically leave the water running when it’s cold but sometimes you go tee-tee, wash your hands and turn off the water.  Then you wake up in the morning and you have no water. Ugh! This morning I found out we had no water AFTER I had raw chicken on my hands.  I was putting chicken in a crockpot, I sliced my pinky on an onion and couldn’t make coffee because I had no water.  It was not my finest moment.

20140124-115029.jpgWhile I am very resourceful, I’d rather have running water than boiling ice to brush my teeth and wash my face.

To combat my winter blues I have been finishing my projects on the inside.  My plan for the hall bath (the girls bath) was to paint it neutral and use pink and green accents.  Once I told Amelia we were painting she was set on pink.  I will always remember the name of Amelia’s nursery color because Poetic Princess is such a fun name.  I went right into home depot and ordered a quart of our favorite Poetic Princess by Behr plus a little green spray paint to paint the light fixture and a mirror on clearence.  I think it turned out great!

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And, did I mention my most favorite panels were sold out?  My Aunt and I went shopping to look for more and just couldn’t find anything. Tell my why big box stores do not carry any curtains longer than 84″.  I know the trend is to buy older houses and fix them up (at least in my circles anyway). Surely there are more people who are looking for long curtains that doesn’t want to blow their whole renovation budget on 2 window treatments?! Right?!  Anyway, she found these super long tablecloths and I thought they were really pretty.  They are still a little short, but I’m thinking about getting one more and cutting it to make a ruffle at the bottom.  And by that I mean, I will ask my mom to help me learn to use the sewing machine I’ve had for over a year.

20140123-214430.jpgDon’t you think these panels will make doing laundry in the dining room SO much prettier?  Since we have an eat in kitchen, that’s about all we do there.

If I have to stay inside a few more months, let’s at least pretty it up a little!

10 Day Cleanse Leaves Little Spark but Good Guts

We are grumpy grumps on the Ponderosa at the moment.  The man of the house has decided to start a diet (Cheers to New Years!).  To kick start his diet he ordered the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  We have some great friends who believe in the product and I had already thought many times about doing the 10 day cleanse and I LOVE the Spark drink.  When he ordered the 24 I thought “what better time to do the cleanse, I can support the cowboy and clean my guts out.

It’s so funny how your mind works, just as soon as I ordered it I started stressing worrying about what kind of supplements, etc am I putting in my body.  I had already read, asked a ton of questions and felt completely comfortable with these products until it came time to ingest them.  Here’s the funny thing… I am the queen of McDonalds and 99 cent cheese burgers from Wendys.  Do you think I have thought once about what is in all of that processed greasy food?  Never!

So we are on day 5.  Days 3 and 4 were the worst.  I think weekends are much harder because there is no routine and by day 3 the newness is worn off and I was bored of the food I knew I could eat.  I should have spent more of my research time looking for recipes.  There are SO many things you can eat and I love veggies, I just didn’t prepare as good as I should have.  And I do not eat eggs.  That is a big bummer for this plan.  So far we have both done great.  No wine is killing me.  Not that I require it but I sure do enjoy it. Whining without wine is dreadful!  Also, being a grown up and having someone or something telling you that you can not have something you want will just aggravate the mess out of you!  It’s definitely more of a mental thing for me.  AND if I’m honest, I did cave and enjoy one powdered donut yesterday.  I couldn’t help it, it was screaming at me and now I feel so much better!

20140119-205003.jpgThis!  This is what’s working wonders in my guts.  And It was sitting next to the bible but I did scoot it over for this picture.  Because I think you totally need Jesus to get through these 10 days.  We have been short and grumpy with each other and the girls all weekend.  Good thing is that we are getting a lot of practice saying “I’m sorry” and learning about forgiveness. haha

20140119-205015.jpgLook at this pile!  It’s WAY bigger than me!

While some things have been going against us on the inside (the blinds are the wrong size, the curtain panels were sold out…) the outside progress is awesome!  We had so much done and it looks SO good.  I can’t wait for it to get a little warmer so I can plant my beds.  As with any house we still have a lot to do, but we got so much accomplished this week.  Hopefully by Easter, our bodies, minds and the ponderosa will look completely different!

A Week In Review

Like any other weeks this one has had highs and lows.  The week started out pretty sad then frustrating. We had an amazing man in our lives and community pass away this week.  On Sunday his life was celebrated. What an amazing celebration it was, but for us left here, it is so so sad.  Before the funeral we had church service.  If you cant see there is an entire living room scene hanging upside down from the roof of the sanctuary.  We are beginning a series on The Sermon on the Mount.  We were challenged to start living life Upside Down.  To be noticeably different from the ways of this world.  Mr. Gene definitely did not live for this world but he did serve the people of it with Christian love every single day.20140115-100309.jpg                                                                  Funny, I feel like my living room is upside down all the time!

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20140115-100335.jpgThis image is what I’ve always dreamt being a Mommy was always about!  A girl to play dress up in my shoes!  I did totally miss the part about her carrying an iPod around in her pocket at 4 years old.  Didn’t see that coming!

20140115-100349.jpgThese girls!  This was taken about 5:00 pm on Tuesday. The time of day when everyone in this house is a hot mess regardless of how the day progresses.  However, Tuesday was a day!  I was getting water at work and dropped an entire Tervis tumbler full of water in my shoes.  Also I called to check on my perfect window panels that had not been delivered and it turns out they are SOLD OUT and will not be getting more. Oh!  And did I mention our blinds did not fit?!  We are getting new ones this weekend. Sadness!

20140115-100400.jpgWednesday morning I woke up to this!  I LOVE love notes! And my husband!

Wednesday morning I got to work and found a great surprise!  Earlier I had taken the chipped polish off my nails and thought how bare my fingers look now that they have gotten used to polish.  I have been lusting over the Butter Nail Polish at a shop in town for months, but it’s a little bit of a splurge for nail polish in my opinion.  When I arrived at work this fun new spring shade of blue BUTTER was waiting for me with a great pair of earrings.  One of my sweet friends spent the weekend at Mart and brought me back goodies! Talk about a mid-week game changer!

20140115-100438.jpgDoesn’t it look great with my new fab skirt from Target?!  Why do my hands look SO old?  Time for grown up moisturizer!

All week we have had our yard cleaned up.  They have cut down trees, cleaned up around the barn, transplanted bushes and cleaned out flowerbeds.  It is looking great around here!  I mean look at this trash pile!

20140116-191949.jpgIt is much bigger than it looks.  That lattice had a rose bush creeper type vine growing up the side of our porch.  It’s much taller than me.  The Cowboy says we can burn it but I think it will set the whole county on fire!

Today we both started an Advocare Cleanse.  I’m only doing a 10 day but Ben is doing the whole 24.  We did ok today.  We didn’t prepare enough lunch and afternoon snacks and were STARVING by dinner time.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Also, tomorrow is Annie’s birthday! How is this girl already 2 years old??

annie 092This was our first day as a family of 4.  Crazy how much babies grow in 2 years!

A rainy weekend on the Ponderosa

Now that it is finally 60 degrees, which feels like summer time, it is super rainy and soggy. At least when you know it is going to rain all day you can plan for it. The girls stayed up until about 10 last night so that will make a long nap today (thinking, hoping, praying and wishing). Also Daddy brought home our new rug last night so floor play is warm and comfy.

20140111-080318.jpgI couldn’t get the princess to stop twirling long enough for a photo.

The rug is basically just a 10×10 piece of thick higher grade shag carpet. Looking at it we could have even got a 12×12 or bigger. Our living room space is huge compared to the other houses we have lived in. At this point in the game, our almost grown-up budget couldn’t really afford a grown-up area rug. Also, I really couldn’t justify that price while I still have toddlers eating and spilling juice on the floor. This is perfect for our family right now and it is SO comfortable! It really pulls our living area together.

This is also the last day that I will have our vinyl pull down shades! The blinds are going up!

20140111-080305.jpgApparently it takes taking a picture to realize one of your pictures has fallen down on the top of your hutch.

Now that we have the rug down, the Cowboy-turned-interior-decorator has about 4 other projects he wants to do in here. ” Whoa, boy! Baby steps!” We obviously still have a lot to do but we’ve also come a long way. This paint color is my favorite! When I went to all the decorating blogs looking how to make this huge living room look smaller and warmer, Benjamin Moore Woodgrain Brown kept coming up. I was hesitant to paint such a big space chocolate brown, but it is perfect.

I also painted a little nook in my pantry with chalkboard paint this week. The pantry is right off the kitchen and right by the backdoor. This wall always holds calendars, reminders and notes so I thought chalkboard would be fun!

20140111-080327.jpgWe have Dress Yourself Saturday at this house. Amelia picks out her own outfit and can wear whatever she wants as long as it’s weather appropriate. Somehow, dress yourself Saturday moved it’s way right into Friday this week. Also, we are not a SpongeBob family, but my dad thought this hat was colorful and cute and picked it out himself.

I declare that is enough productivity for one week.  I predict an afternoon of food, puzzles, Candyland, tv, naps and reading.  We may get crazy and have a dance party with the karaoke machine!

20140111-104040.jpgI’m still reading Crazy Love and I’m in a state of awe with every page I turn.  It is so obvious the Lord is in the book.  It has been revealed to me that all of our days are numbered.  There are some precious things that matter in this life and a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t.  Some days the things that matter drive me straight up the wall.  So far, today is not one of those days.  For that I am thankful!

The Freeze of 2014

Well, it’s been a rough few days on the Ponderosa.  Single digit temps have no place in Georgia!  Sunday my inlaws came down to winterize our pump house and well (they are way good to us kiddos!).  Monday we covered all the water hose faucets, put the kitties in the barn with food, water, a space heater and a blanket and forgot to leave our water running when we went to bed.  Dumb, dumb, dummies!

20140108-211858.jpgYes, we are obviously animal lovers!  These really are great little kitties.

I woke up to take a shower Tuesday morning and no water. BOOOOO! I still can not believe we did that.  Luckily, again, we are right across the pasture from my in-laws.  This meant pancakes and bacon for breakfast while we showered and dinner and dessert for bath time.  While the fellowship and food was wonderful, it has been very stressful getting dressed with 2 toddlers (is a 4 year old still a toddler?  Or a kid?) in 2 homes.  And even though it’s close by, going outside when the wind chill is below zero is not acceptable.  Plus, yesterday morning Amelia’s school was delayed 2 hours due to cold weather.  Since my office was not delayed for cold weather I had an intern for a few hours. She’s cute but my productivity is way down when she participates.

These past 2 days have made me a grump.  Cold weather alone puts me in a funk.  Add on the stress of no indoor plumbing (no showers, no way to brush teeth, no coffee, no way to wash lunchbox items, no washing hands after changing diapers, no flushing of toilets) and trying to get back into a routine from Christmas break all in one week about did me in. I also have not had a way to work in quiet time since Sunday and I feel the difference.

Today I was sitting at my desk eating lunch.  This is after I was 15 mins late to work thanks to children with no sense of urgency, not sleeping well, so waking up late-with no coffee and a train.  So as I sat at my desk eating warm soup that my mother in law sent with me I realized the blessings in this story.  It’s almost like that soup warmed me all the way to my soul

20140108-211837.jpgEvery family has frustrations, but I have a mother in law that randomly brings frozen garden veggies to my freezer and sweets to my kitchen table when I’m not home, who sends lunch with me to work many days and does a whole host of other things to help us raise our children.

20140108-211910.jpgWhile being at work for almost 2 hours was not ideal, it is always nice to sit beside this girl and learn about her. She sat on her side of my desk at her “office” and drew a picture of herself with her teacher and her teacher’s daughter.  They were on a play date together.  I love that she adores her teacher.  Always good to have affirmation that your children are were they are supposed to be.

20140108-211819.jpgAnnie’s school sent home Snowman Soup (marshmallows, hot chocolate and a candy cane) to warm them up from all the cold.  Not only did they give Annie one but they also sent one home for Amelia.  They are always so kind to think of both sisters!

msAnd these two,  there are no words!  There is no way I would get through a day without the encouragement and support my parents provide.  In about a year they will be living in our town.  There have been very few times when I regretted being an only child.  Maybe because I am still spoiled???? Nah!

20140108-211829.jpgTHEN I got home this afternoon and we had water!  No busted pipes or anything!  We got lucky this time!  The sinks are already dripping for tonight.  Tomorrow is a new day and while I’m excited to see it, today wasn’t too shabby itself.  I should spend a little of my fingernail time on my toenails.

I bought some chalkboard paint today for a fun upcoming project.  Stay tuned!  All these ups and downs are what make up life, whether you are on a “ponderosa” or not!