Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things I had Forgotten About When I Checked My Camera Card

I went to pull a couple of pictures off my camera the other day, and found some I forgot I had from the last several weeks.

We are deep into the "Disney princess phase" with both girls right now. At any given moment, Harper and Emerson are princesses, or mommies, or teachers (when they play school, both of my bossy little girls are the teacher), or kitties and doggies. Even so, it was a little trial and error before I figured out what hair style the girls wanted when they requested "Tangled hair". Behold, the Tangled hair:

And just so you know, Mulan hair is just a regular ponytail (also sometimes known as "dance class hair").

It seems like our family went through a "sick spell" for a few weeks in February and March. Aidan was diagnosed with mono, and was a pretty sick little guy for about a week before he was able to get back to school. He is STILL banned from contact sports (aka outdoor football and living room wrestling) for another week. Harper was sick with asthma and ear infections for a while, and even Emerson had a fever for a couple of days. Thankfully, we have all recovered. Aidan was not to sick to help Dane find this guy in the backyard:

(the boys' hair in this picture makes me cringe. They have both had haircuts since this picture was taken.)

And you better believed they tormented their sweet little sisters, and chased them around the yard with this poor frog.

On a far more rainy day a couple of weeks ago, a couch cushion fort was called for:

Recipe for couch cushion fort:

Take all cushions from falling-apart, tired, worn out living room set, and combine with living room corner with convenient end table. Add blankets, pillows, and as many flashlights as there are children. Give 6 year old stuffed animals and books, and let chill for 2 hours. Best served with popcorn.

Quick Emerson story...

A couple of months ago, I made the mistake of telling Emerson that she was going to go to kindergarten next year. That she would ride the bus with her brothers, and go to the big school with them and get to eat in the cafeteria with her friends every day.


Speaking of every day, Emerson has asked me EVERY DAY since then if she is going to kindergarten tomorrow. When I say no, she asks me if she is going to swim team tomorrow. Sorry, sweetie. Lately, she has been asking if the wedding is tomorrow. (My beloved babysitter is getting married in June. The first babysitter we ever left Emerson with, and one of her favorite people on earth. And Emmy is going to be her flower girl.)

Anyway, Emerson is a bit excited about kindergarten, and it tends to come up in conversations she has with everyone. Everyone. She tells her grandparents on the phone. She yells it to friends across the church parking lot. Her pediatrician has been notified. I was grocery shopping the other day, and I had to take the girls into the bathroom at Kroger for Harper to go potty. As I'm holding Harper on the toilet, I notice Emerson, who is standing outside of the stall, bend over and notice another lady's feet in the stall next to us. Then I hear a certain unmistakable voice, "Hi, I'm Emerson. And I'm going to kindergarten next year!" If this poor lady next to me thought she was going to be able to steal a quick moment of peace and quiet in the bathroom, she was sadly mistaken.

Hoping you get to pee in peace today,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Allow Me to Re-introduce Myself...

I was peeking at my blog stats the other day, and I realized I had more traffic last month (when I blogged twice) than I did last November, when I was blogging a couple of times a week. For whatever reason, I seem to have picked up a few more readers since in the last few months. Perhaps you're hoping to read more stories about my mother's shopping habits, or my father's tendency to bring his own seating to inappropriate places. Instead, you've been thrilled to no end to see pictures of my cheap secondhand furniture. Sorry.

So I thought I would take a moment to re-introduce those of us here in the Outnumbered House.

Hot Brandon:
The hot husband, known as "dad" to most of the people in this house. (Not me, I always thought it was mildly creepy when wives called their husbands "dad"). High school youth minister, chief lawn mower, singer of goodnight songs, haircut avoider, meat griller, and pretty much my favorite person on the planet. I think I'll keep him.

Dane Christopher:

The 8 year old. My Dane-o Bo-nano. The fastest second-grader at his school (um, is it embarrassing that my 8 year old can run a 5k in about 25 minutes and I can't?). Smart and competitive, he will likely always be the mastermind behind all of the trouble and stunts he and his brother will get busted for doing. Loves his brother, and a great helper for his little sisters. Once wore the same shirt 3 days in a row to school while I was at work.

Aidan Cooper:

The 6 year old. My sweet boy. Sensitive, dramatic, and passionate. Not an emotion is hidden on his "carbon copy of his daddy" face. Tall, skinny as a rail, and eats like a truck driver. Best friends with his big brother Dane-o, who's just 20 months older. Aidan loves to sing his little heart out, and helps lead worship in his class at church. Someday he will learn to say his "R"s, but until then he pronounces the words "crotch" and "garage" exactly the same. I love my littlest boy so much!

Harper Sloan:
The (almost) 3 year old. The baby. And strong. willed. I remember calling two year old Aidan "strong willed". I look back on that sweet, unknowing mommy that I was and I just want to warn her of what was to come. Has been known to eat 3 cold hot dogs straight out of the fridge at 6:30am. Also enjoys dumping 500 q-tips in the toilet, fingerpainting with nail polish, and pouring entire jars of oregano onto the pantry floor. Which is why my house smells like lasagna every time I vacuum.

Emerson Jing Long:

The 4 year old. Stole our hearts when she became ours in September 2010. Forever amazed how God puts families together so perfectly. Loves her brothers and sister, Mexican food, lamb curry, and sushi. Bossy as anything, never met a stranger. I realized she had mastered the English language when she informed me the other day (from the toilet) that she "still had poop inside, but I'll just get it out tomorrow". The sweetest sound in the world is hearing her pray every night.

Outnumbered Mandy:

Wife of Hot Brandon, mommy to two jedi knights, the princess of destruction, and one China doll. ER nurse, inconsistent blogger. Master laundry folder, apple cutter, boo-boo fixer. Still learning how to fix "little girl hair". Crummy picture taker, birthday-rememberer, and bed maker. Blogs to record fun memories of my family, so that when I am old and senile my children will hopefully have something to remember besides their mother consistently forgetting about picture day at school.

Now it's your turn...who's still reading my little piece of the internet?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Before and After- Girls' Dresser

It's no secret that I am a complete cheapskate when it comes to some things. Furniture is one of those things. A surprising amount of our furniture was acquired free, or very cheaply secondhand. My desk in the "dining" room was a freebie, along with the bookcase that sits next to it. The red dresser in that same room was $25 plus the cost of paint. Our kitchen table is from a consignment store. The girls' beds used to belong to my brother when he was a kid, the sofa-bed upstairs is a cast-off from a friend. The boys desk. The hutch in the kitchen. The upstairs TV cabinet. You get the idea. I don't like spending a lot of money on stuff that I can score for free. Especially when my dear family is still in the "football in the house and sometimes eat pizza on the couch" phase of life. In other words, things in my house need to be functional, but not overly valuable or costly. Because chances are they are going to get milk spilled on them or markers colored on them.

Where was I? Oh, yes. A few months ago, (I am SO far behind on blogging) we picked up a dresser from Goodwill for a mere $30.

It was not in the best of shape...

Harper's potty training meant good-bye to the changing table that got when I was pregnant with Dane. Good bye forever. FOREVER!! So we needed a bit of extra storage in their room for all of her new princess panties.

I sanded a bit. Hemmed and hawed over paint colors. Pinterest-ed a few ideas. Spray painted the hardware, and tried my hand at glazing for the first time.

And the finished product:
I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I think I can make it work in their room for the next several years anyway. And the best part? For $30 and a little elbow grease, if it gets Sharpie-markered at some point, it's not the end of the world.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Prayer Time

I know, it's been a while since I have blogged. It's been so long since I blogged on a regular basis that I can't remember what stories I have shared and what I haven't. I can't even remember what has happened these last couple of months since I haven't been blogging them! Yikes! I'm not even going to attempt to recap the last 2 months (you're welcome), but I will share this little memory from a while back...

Every night we do prayer time with the kids, and for the last few months the girls each take a turn and pray. It typically goes something like this:

Harper's prayers: "Dear God, God made Emerson and Harper sooo special! God made me wonderful! I AM SO WONDERFUL! I AM SO BEAUTIFUL! The end."

(Harper with her "Potty Training Incentive" Barbie. If I haven't blogged about potty training her, it's because it's too painful to remember.

Emerson's prayers: "Dear God. Thank you for Harper and Emerson and Dane and Aidan and Mommy and Daddy. Thank you for my bed and my panda blanket and my pretty pillow and my pajamas with the princess on it. Thank you for my fan and for my shower and my pretty hair. Thank you for dance class and Miss Sarah and Miss Kylie and I am going to kindergarten next year." It's around this point that I try to cut in with a well timed, "In Jesus name we pray..." prompt. One night I got busted though. "MOMMY! I AM NOT DONE PRAYING." Having appropriately rebuked her mother, she went on several more minutes and finished her prayer, having thanked God for every single object in her bedroom. It reminded me of the times when I am talking on the phone with Brandon, and he starts saying, "Okay, I love you" repeatedly. That's his cue that he is done talking on the phone and ready to get off.

The girls, dressed in their "so beautiful" (Christmas) dresses to go out for Chinese New Year. We took them to eat, you guessed it, Chinese food.

I'm hoping that, despite my computer's persistent refusal to allow me to post photos, that I will get my bloggy groove back.