Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken Heaven

K has a dream of living on a farm, so she jumped at the chance to help with our friends' chickens while they were away. I didn't hear one complaint as she did chicken coop duty which, of course, involved chicken POOP. She took the job seriously and even studied their photos the night before so she knew them all by name.

Today was a super hot day, so we took an apple and a bowl of ice with cranberries frozen on top. When we arrived the chickens were all in the coop sitting in front of their fan. They were so excited for the treats that they all came running down the ramp clucking up a storm. Nothing like a little chicken stampede to brighten the day.

I made sure to bring my camera when we went to lock them in for the night so that I could snap a few shots for K.
(and for the chicken owners who are missing their girls!)

I kindly asked them all to turn around and face me and say cheese, but they had other ideas.

They were wondering if the tall dude had any treats on him.

Chicken hug shot number 1

Chicken hug shot number 2

Chicken hug shot number 3 (yea, it's a little blurry...I'll stop here)

Note to the chicken owners:
Rest assured....all your girls are closed up in their coop with food, fresh water, a frozen ice bottle and some scratch for snack. They survived the hottest day of the year and looked as happy as chickens when we left them.
8 eggs today and it looks like Maya used the regular nesting box
(instead of her special corner)

Enjoy yourselves!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sharing on your birthday...

This morning K woke up and was officially a TEENAGER!  Woohoo!!  To celebrate we had lots of shopping planned, a lunch at Chipotle and a big family dinner to cap off the day.

However, there was one other stop planned for today.   K has had her hair cut only a few times and each time she has donated to Locks of Love.   Today was the day for another donation.   I think she was more than ready to shed the locks....and to be able to help others was the icing on the cake.

          Here's a shot of Kristin this morning before we headed out for the day.   

Quite a difference, isn't it?

Back view

New outfit, too!

Happy Birthday, Kristin!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Constructing a special birthday cake....

So, K will be turning 13 on Tuesday!  I am not even going to get into my thoughts on that one.  No, I'll save that for another post.   Today's focus will be on the all important birthday cake.  

Every year K likes to design her cake and I do my best to make it happen.  This year has the added element of being her 13th birthday, which begs for an extra special cake.   A few months ago K started thinking about cake.  One thing you should know is that we are very different in this area.   K likes to think months ahead and I like to take it one week at a time.  Sometimes it bites me in the rear, but it's how I handle life.  Anyway, K brings it up in February and I did my best to just shut it down.   I told her I would make a yummy cake for her and she would like it! 

Fast forward to this last Monday.  Yikes, it's time to start planning that cake!   
Hmmm, what to make?

I know K saw a picture of a cake months ago that had many layers and was tall.  She definitely thought that was drool worthy, so I stored that in my file cabinet that I keep tucked in the corner of my brain. (your brain has corners, right?)  However, that wasn't enough information to construct an extra special cake!  I needed more.  Thankfully, inspiration was soon to smack me upside the head.  We were at the grocery store and once again she was drooling over Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  She even went as far as to say that I could buy them as a birthday gift to her.  BINGO!!

This year's cake idea was born!

I made three layers of chocolate fudge cake. (I actually made 4 layers, but I froze one for another dessert for another day)  I sliced each layer in half and put fluffy peanut butter frosting between each layer.

                                   I covered all the layers with homemade chocolate frosting.                                                                            

Then I made bittersweet chocolate ganache to pour over the top.  Chopped peanut butter cups finished off the design.  It was declared a winner by the birthday girl! (and really that's what counts!!)

I still have 24 hours with a 12 year old in the house, even though she already blew out the number 13! 
I'm going to hang on to that thought!! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A New Friend for the Wee One

We had Olivia today and she loves being outside. Fortunately, this morning was beautiful and we took the opportunity to get some fresh air. Our backyard is a pretty good size yard and watching her trek all the way to the back using those little legs is entertaining. Toddler energy never ceases to amaze me. Olivia seemed to have a destination in mind and she made a beeline right to her new little friend.

And here he is. Just the right size to be a little friend to an 18 month old.

"Oh, aren't you a cute little fellow?"

She likes to kiss her friends....

and again....

Stepping back to see what he thinks of her little kisses....

and going in for another one for good measure.

He's a good little friend and doesn't mind wet baby kisses, AKA drool. It seems he doesn't even mind
when she decides that his honker would make a great little handle.

She held on to his nose for quite some time while she picked up sticks and various other debris.
He was so very patient and stood perfectly still.

She even switches hands...she's ambidextrous like that.

Yes, being a friend to a wee one is rough stuff.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

K's Room Makeover, Pt 2

Now, for part 2 of the Room Makeover. Things to note first, K's room is small, but she's packed a lot of her personality into the room. We've pretty much let her pick everything out. Some things she knew exactly what she wanted and some we've discovered along the way. Or sometimes she knew kind of what she wanted, but didn't know where to get it or exactly what it would look like. So, I'll show pictures and share a little of her thought process....or just how it was thought out.

Ready for a lot of pictures? Let's open the door....

When you open the door and look straight ahead this is what you'll see. K's family picture collage and a vinyl quote that I picked up for her for Christmas. You can also see two of the three colors she picked for her room. She chose a dark brown, a green and a blue. She said it was like the dirt, the forest and the sky.

For this wall, she took the three framed postcards that she had hanging in her "old" room and put them in black frames. Then she took some actual photos and a couple of calendar pages to finish the grouping she wanted. Her grandma took the picture of the hawk in the middle.

The birdhouse hanging was another added touch. She loves birds and likes to keep bird feeders right outside her window so she can sit and watch them. So, it only made sense to add some inside bird decorations. This one has a little bluebird watching out the opening.

Here we step back so you can see the whole wall and her bookshelf. All of her furniture is from IKEA. The blue flowerpot is waiting for the perfect plant. She's still researching that.

Mike built a shelf above her windows years ago. It was originally white. So we pulled that down and Kristin painted it black. She likes glass bottles, so she's been keeping her eyes out for different ones. These bottles have been found at various yard sales. The empty space on the right is about to have a neat project on display. I'll share that tomorrow in the final installment.

Now, if you remember from a picture of her old room, she had a white shelf with pegs and ladybug paper on it. Well, that wouldn't do in the new design. So, they pulled the pegs out and Kristin learned to fill the holes and sand them.

Then the shelf was painted black and we put cork board on the back. There was a seam from the cork board, so she picked out a ribbon to cover it. I think it turned out rather well.

On top of the shelf you see a mason jar with rocks and fake flowers. That was one of her inexpensive projects. She also made one for the top of her dresser.

Now, we'll step back and look at it from the doorway. Her desk gives her a great view of the birds at her feeders. One of the features she really liked about her dresser was the mirror that flipped up and the jewelry tray. She can close it for more flat surface, but she likes the mirror up. I can't blame her!

For our last view, we walk in the room and turn to look at her bed. So much to talk about here. First off, K knew that she wanted some posters of animals that you could find at Yellowstone. We had no clue what or where...but we were looking for affordable. We had done some looking online and I had to remind her to be patient and that her room may not be done in two weeks. Well, just a few days later we went to Bass Pro Shop to look at camping stuff. We walked right by a section that had canvas photos of wildlife. Jackpot!! For around $20 each, we picked out two which were pretty much exactly what she had envisioned! How perfect was that?

Another tough piece to the puzzle was the bedding. We searched many places online for ideas and nothing really jumped out at us. I had picked up some really nice sheets a few weeks before, but that wasn't going to be enough! Again, we found ourselves in a store (this time Target) looking for something totally unrelated and walked right by the perfect bedding. We have the brown, the green and the blue and it has the requirement she had of having a "nature" design. It looks like she found this first and made the room around it.

A week later, she found the bird picture (also at Target) that fit with her colors and love of birds. It was an amazing design project that just came together so easily. Now that months have passed, we still find a few things here and there that would just be "perfect". Sometimes we get it and sometimes we pass. In the meantime, she's enjoying her Yellowstone National Park room and being surrounded by all her special things.

For tomorrow's post I'll share the newest updates in her room.
She has a few photos and decorations that she needs Mike to put up and has that little project that we're working on. I'll also share her idea she came up with to solve a little problem in the room. I imagine that will be completed sometime in the spring.