lovey dovey

I love my family!

I am a wife, mother of three beautiful boys, and a middle school administrator. At times, I have mistakenly tried to achieve perfection in each role. These attempts always fail miserably because there is no such thing as a perfect wife, a perfect mom or a perfect worker! I decided to relinquished my pursuit of perfection…I can say without guilt that my shortcomings are vast and my mistakes many. Embracing my imperfections and turning my life over to God has been freeing and led to a sweeter life. I found that when I quit trying so hard, that SOMETIMES things magically fall into place and for brief moments I am “Supermom.”

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cannon's Football Table

Usually every Christmas, I have a crazy idea to make something for the boys.  It is always some grand plan that ends up with me staying up into the wee hours of the morning the night before Christmas.  This year, I decided to make Cannon a Football Table.  Essentially, it is a tall coffee table that is painted like a football field where he can play with his little plastic football men that Santa brought him.  Good job Santa on bringing football did you ever know I was making a table? 

Cannon had really gotten into football this year with his dad as a football coach and his team doing so well, he was most excited.  For the playoffs, Cannon had to wear a full football suit, complete with football pants, jersey, helmet and eye black!  He was so cute...I think he was the lucky charm that made the team do so well.  :) 

If you want to build a table, you will need these supplies/tools:  drill, frog tape, wood screws, paint, tape measure, three 1x4s, a two foot by four foot board, and table legs at the desired height.

I'm such a cheap scape, that I could not spend the $30 at Lowe's for legs.  So, I went out thrifting and found an end table for $10 at 50% off!  So I got the legs for $5.  I took the legs off the end table and rubbed a little stain on them to hid some of the wear and tear.  They worked perfectly.

The board was salvaged from our train table that bit the dust.  The train table had two green boards that were 2 feet by four feet each.  I haven't decided what to make with the other on yet.  Maybe I'll make another football table and put it on Etsy.

The first thing I did was screw the one by fours on each side of the green board, leaving about a half inch lip on the top so the football men wouldn't fall off.  I had Lowe's cut one of the one by fours in half for the short ends of the table and then screwed them on.  It is a very simple way to do it, and could be done a lot better with some molding and such, but I just wanted a basic look.  Then I screwed the legs into the sides of the table.  This served to be quite a challenge since there was a wooden dowel in the center of the legs.  I broke a couple of screws, but finally got them in place.

Once the sides and legs were on the table, it was time to paint.  I can't say enough how much I love Frog Tape!  I've used the blue painter's tape in the past on various projects and always had bleed through.  The Frog Tape was near perfection. 

This is Parker wanting to help me paint. 

Jaron's brother Timothy, the boys uncle, stayed up until 2 a.m. with me one night helping me paint the football field on the table.  I thought I was a perfectionist, well Timothy is worse than me.  He taped and re taped until each line was perfectly straight.  Without his help, I would have stayed up all night that night and the following night for sure!

The board was four feet long, so it was simple to divide the field up every four inches which gave room for two end zones, and shrunken down version of the the 100 yards on a field. 

I used stickers in the end zones.  On Christmas Eve night, I started to paint the numbers on the field, but my stencils weren't working to my satisfaction.  I decided to wait and put numbers on later, rather than mess it up.

Here is the table with the football guys all in place.  The plastic men are called "Football Guys" and can be found at 

The table was ready waiting by the other presents Christmas morning.  Santa put the players all in place for Cannon. 

Cannon loved it!  He has had to fight his little brother for it though.  Parker can't keep his hands off of it and tries to steal Cannon's football guys. 

Cannon at Cowboy Stadium in his jersey and eye black, days before Christmas at his dad's team's game at the State Playoffs.  I know it won't be long until Cannon is on the field himself...Wow!

The Friendly Village finds a new home

I was most surprised this Christmas to receive a set of The Friendly Village china!  My step dad, Paul, gave them to me.  Several years ago, I found a Friendly Village plate at a thrift store and loved the pattern.  I purchased it and placed it on display in my dining room.  Paul saw it and asked me where I had gotten it.  He then told me that he had the whole set and that it had belonged to his grandmother.  Paul said he remembers it being used on Thanksgiving and Christmas at his grandmothers.

Needless to say, I was very touched to receive a present that had been in his family for so many years.  We will continue the tradition of using it with our family every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One day, I will enjoy passing it on to one of my daughter-in-laws and telling her the story of the china.  Thanks, Paul!

The really neat thing about The Friendly Village set is that each plate has a different winter scene, including The Lily Pond, The School House, The Well, The Old Mill, The Village Street, Willow by the Brook, The Covered Bridge, The Village Green, and Autumn Mists.  I have a setting for nine, including dinner plates, saucers and teacups, and several serving pieces and a large platter.  I have enjoyed looking for additional pieces on Ebay recently and can't wait to add to my new collection. 

The table with the new china at Christmas dinner.

Give Thanks!

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.  Jaron's mom and step dad were able to come in to celebrate.  We had Thanksgiving dinner that evening with them and Jaron's brothers and wife and soon to be wife.  Because Jaron's football team was still playing and he had practice on Thanksgiving Day and a game the day after Thanksgiving, I was not able to celebrate with my family this year.  :( 

Jaron's mom and step dad prepared a feast for us all that evening.  This gave Cannon and I time to decorate the table and kid's table for the evening.  We had such a fun time together making Thanksgiving crafts.  Cannon is such a sweet little guy.  He loves spending one-on-one time with his mom or dad. 

The dining room table. 

Cannon made place cards for each guest by hot gluing sticks into the tips of pine cones, cutting strips out of construction paper, writing the names of each guest, hole punching holes and the ends and poking them through the sticks.  He did such a good job!

I used Cannon's Kindergarten Thanksgiving papers from school on the table.

I love this one!  Cannon said he was thankful for "frens" and drew a picture of he and Lucas, his best friend.  Great job of coloring in the lines, Cannon!

Cannon's turkey made from a pine cone and torn construction paper.

Two turkeys that Ryan made several years back in preschool.  I love the one on the left.  It is made from a copper color silk Christmas ball, pipe cleaner, and a baby food jar lid.

Cannon and I cut leaves from our country road.  They had just started turning colors and were so pretty.

The kid's table, complete with a Mayflower and little flower arrangements.  Ryan and Cannon enjoyed eating their turkey at their own special table.

Cannon had been studying about the Mayflower in Kindergarten and was so excited to make this Mayflower.  We used wallpaper for the boat, sticks and scrap booking paper for the flags. 

Two little flower arrangements in glass baby food jars were the finishing touches on the kid's table.

Another turkey Cannon made with a pine cone, crayons as feathers, and construction paper head.  So cute!

I love these two vintage turkeys.  My friend Staci's gave these to me.  They were from her grandmother's huge collection of glassware and vintage linens.  I use her stuff all the time.

I can't walk away from cheap Scrabble games at thrift stores.  I love using the tiles to decorate.  I recently saw them used as necklace charms on Etsy and got inspired to make my own.

A cute little copper pumpkin was tied on the jar of fall leaves.  My Wal-Mart thirty cent find!

Our Thanksgiving scene on our bar...the leaves had died by the time I took this picture several days after Thanksgiving.  They looked really great when they had first started to change colors.

 I love using the old soda crate with its chippy green paint.  It looked nice paired with some burlap and the other fall decorations. 

Our family was thankful for our health, happiness, and for Jaron's team's football victory that came the day after Thanksgiving in Cowboy Stadium!

Ryan's 9th Birthday - Lego Party

For Ryan's 9th birthday party, he wanted a Lego theme. Ryan LOVES Legos. He lives and breathes Legos.  When he grows up he wants to be a Lego engineer.  He always amazes us with the Lego creations he comes up with. 

For the Lego theme, I had some good ideas and decided to get more from the internet.  There were lots of great ideas I found , so I can't claim all of the ideas below as my own.  I wanted somehow to incorporate a quote that talked about the world and creating/building.  I found a great one by Ralph Waldo Emerson from his essay entitled, "Nature".  It served as the inspiration quote for the decorations. 

I took the quote and added some Lego clipart I found on Google images and printed it on cardstock.

My camera is about to kick the bucket, so my pictures from the party are TERRIBLE.  Blurry and weird...sorry! 

Since Jaron's football team was deep in the playoffs, we were finding it difficult to find a time when he wasn't working to have the party. We squeezed the party in from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving, just in time for Jaron to walk off the practice field to be there for the celebration. Yea! I was glad that Jaron's mom, Manna, and Paul were there to help me get ready for the party and corral the boys.

Ryan selected Creamy Tacos as his birthday meal. It is a really simple recipe from Jaron's mom and it is so yummy. Email me and I'll send it to you.

We decided to try cake pops again. I made red Lego bricks and yellow Lego men heads.  The Lego bricks turned out pretty cute. Cannon made a Lego box that we filled with Styrofoam to put the pops in. The Lego men were sort of strange looking. I figured out that I'm trying to make them too big. Then, disaster struck at about 12:30 a.m. before the party....the edible marker did not work to make the faces! Yikes. I almost panicked, but decided the bricks were cute enough that if I had to go w/o Lego men that it would be fine.  But at the last minute, I decided to use the decorating of the Lego men as a party activity. I melted some chocolate and let the kiddos design the face of their Lego man. It turned out to be one of the favorite activities!

The red Lego brick cake pops were made with the same recipe I used for my farm animal cake pops.  I shaped them into rectangles and dipped them in red Wilton candy melts.  I put some red cake icing in a Ziploc bag, cut the tip of the bag and piped six dots on the rectangles.  The kiddos loved them.

In addition to cake pops, we had a candy buffet.  Skittles, M&Ms, cherry sours, sour tape, pretzel rods dipped in candy melts, animal crackers drizzled in candy melts, etc. all in bright colors were displayed in Mason jars.  Kim, Jaron's mom brought some cute Lego cookies that went perfectly with the decor!  The candy also served as party favors at the end of the party.  The kids just loaded up their brown paper bag and had a sweet treat to take home. 

I used a broken globe from a thrift store that I bought for fifty cents, some old maps, a quilt from Jaron's Maw maw, a Lego book, the Lego cake pop box Cannon had made, and the various candies as the decorations for the cake table. 

We used a Lego man holding a cup as a candle holder.  We saw this on another website and thought it was super cute!

The party favor bags table had some of Ryan's Lego creations displayed.

I found a Lego brick background and used a Lego font I downloaded from the internet that had little Lego men to spell out "Happy Birthday, Ryan".  Sorry the picture isn't better. 
Lillian, my soon to be sister-in-law, couldn't make the party, but a couple of nights before she helped me make Lego stamped shirts for Jaron, the boys and myself to wear to the party and a Lego stamped table runner.  We took a big Lego block, dipped it in paint and stamped the square part first.  Then turn the Lego over and stamp the dot side in the paint and stamp it on the shirt or paper. 

I used binder clips in bright colors to hold the table runner down over the vinyl tablecloth.

On the main table, where the kids played some of the games, I used the top of an old Lego table, a Lego game board and a bowl full of Legos. 

For the birthday banner, I punched holes in Lego game cards and ran ribbon through it.  On the backs of every other card, I glued a UNO card w/a nine on it, since it was Ryan's ninth birthday.  At the ends of the banner to hold the corners down, I hot glued dominos with a nine combination. 

On the front door, Ryan made a nine out of Legos on a Lego board.  Lillian spelled his name out of Legos and we connected the two and used binder clips to tie ribbon to it. 

I found lots of good Lego party activities on the internet.  Some of the games we played are below:

1. Guess how many Lego men were in the jar.  We filled a jar full of Lego men and had the party goers write their guess on a piece of paper.  The kid with the closest guess won a prize.  Congratulations, Chase! 

2. Create your own Lego man. (I found a blank Lego man template online at

3. Find the brick Lego Maze. (I found a maze online and changed it to have Ryan's name on it.  Sorry I can't remember the website.)

Ryan making his Lego man.

Drew used a Lego man from the jar as his inspiration.

4. Lego Light Saber Race. (Kids had to balance a Lego on the tip of a light saber and do a relay race.)

Chase demonstrated his steady hand at the race that proved near impossible!

5. Lego Tower Challenge. (In pairs, kids built a tower in two minutes.)

Quentin's team won with their creative placement of the tower on his head, therefore, winning the tallest tower.

Ryan and his team work hard on building their tower.

Parker deciding he wanted a piece of the Lego building action!  How cute does he look in his Lego onesie and red Converse shoes!

6.  Customize your own Lego cake pop.  This was such a blast!


Miss Kim, Wesley's mom wins the award for the cutest Lego woman!

Drew can't wait to eat his Lego cake pop!

Katie worked hard on her cute Lego woman.

Eli's Lego man had eyebrows.  :)

Quentin's Lego man waws wearing a cap and a frowny face.

Cannon dipped his whole Lego man in chocolate and said it had poop on its head.  Go figure, Cannon would say something like that! 

What big eyes your Lego man has! -Chase

6. Create Your Own Treat Bag. (The cake table was filled with different candies that the kids were allowed to stuff their treat bags with).

The noise level was CRAZY! There were seven little boys all running around screaming and yelling. It was a great time.  After the party, Ryan was super sweet and thanked me for the party. He said it was so fun and that he loved it. I thought that was really cool for him to thank me w/o being prompted. What a good boy!

The whole family in their Lego wear.  Thanks for being a good sport, dad!

Ryan, Happy Birthday.  We love you and think you are the best nine year old in the whole world!