Sticky Will Toast

A long Random Thought ago, I mentioned Sticky Will Toast but without pictures.
 How about we fix that with some Instagram love. 
Ingredients are simple — bread, peanut butter and marshmallows. 
Toast until toasty. Wipe sticky mess off happy little faces. 


On the tree 2012

What? You say it's January 2013? I'm still catching up on my December posts ...

Here are the ornaments the boys received from Aunt Catherine this last year. Still one of the traditions of Christmas that I look forward to the most. Past ornaments here and here.

By far, this was my favorite ornament on the tree this year! Will made this nativity at school with his "seventh grade buddies." (I remember making fun crafts with my "eighth grade buddy" when I was Will's age.) So the big bean at the bottom is Joseph, the middle bean is Mary and that teeny-tiny black-eyed pea is the baby Jesus. So adorable! I love just about everything the boys create and will be hanging this one on the tree for years to come.


Lego heart necklace

How About Orange

I just saw this DIY pixel heart necklace (made with paper) on one of my favorite Web sites, How About Orange, and immediately had to make one ...

with Legos! 

And I'm going to wear it this weekend to Brickfair, because where else would I wear a Lego heart but to a convention filled to the top with Lego-goodness. This is the second year for Birmingham to host the convention for AFOLs (Adult Fans of Legos) and it's lots of fun to take the boys to see all the cool things folks have built with Legos.

Since I've never shared this, here's another Lego necklace I made about two years ago. Super-easy DIY (two Lego pieces, two jump rings and a length of chain) that always gets me compliments.

Okay, now that I thoroughly wasted an hour, I guess I'll wash those dinner dishes.

The not-a-box disco party box

It feels like it's been raining forever! At least every day this week and last. The only thing that has saved my sanity is THE BOX. I spied the box at a neighbor's house. Seems they got a delivery. We're all tight on my street so I immediately asked for the box, dragged box to my house, barely got it through the door and then rejoiced in the peace and quiet the box brought to my house. Not so much the quiet because jailers and prisoners can be rather loud when an escape attempt is ongoing. The day after I got the box is when it started raining and raining and raining. (Good Lord, when will it stop?!) Which is sad because I had dragged the second big box to the backyard for more fun and it's now a sad pile of damp cardboard. 

Now when I first spied the box, all kind of ideas ran through my head. Ideas that I had pinned just waiting for the opportunity to show up on the curb. Should I make a playhouse? A reading nook? 

Holly/Life as a Thrifter

Come on, isn't this amazing?!! What a lovely little house. My hats off to this mom for all the love she put into making it. Wallpaper! A mirror! But before my fantasies ran away from me, I stepped away from the craft supplies and decided to just let my boys decide where the play led. So the box is unchanged expect for some markers and a barred window in the back for the prisoners. EXCEPT for the Christmas lights which hey, they were still plugged up so not too hard to add them to the box. I got the idea here. It's fun listening to the boys and their friends play or for us all to pile in to read books. 

To be honest, while I love the occasional rainy day best spent reading in bed, these days of damp are starting to get to me. We're promised some sun on Friday but that's after a chance of snow Thursday. Which at my house, will more likely just be more rain. Time for an inspirational quote: 

Download your own copy at Addicted2Decorating


Top stories of 2012

Marie Leech
-30- usually marks the end of a story. In this case,  
it marked the end of 125 years of daily newspapers 
in Birmingham. The fact that someone put this in
the paper makes me smile every time I see it. And yes,
I do know that someone!

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a year go. 2012 sucked. Just plain-old sucked. 

1. We found out in June that Chris' last day at The Birmingham News would be Sept. 29. So he had to go to work with 60 other laid-off folks for THREE MONTHS with them all knowing it was their last days. Morale was awful at work and at home. I hated sending Chris off each day knowing how low everyone felt. But come October 1, things got better. For starters, we had daddy at home every night for dinner (as a page designer, Chris worked nights). That took some getting used too for everyone but we started to feel like a "normal" family by November. Despite still having some talented folks, I say the paper has suffered moving to a three-day-a-week publication schedule. 

2. Being free from the paper has let Chris focus on his other job — one full of fast cars. He's an internationally-known automotive journalist for Autoblog, one of the largest automotive sites on the big ol' Web. And now he has a title — social media manager. So go follow these fine folks on Facebook and Twitter. There is a standing agreement that if he goes the Paris Auto Show, I go to!

3. I stepped way out of my box this year by making and selling stuff at a craft show. And people bought the stuff. Then, I approached a local store with some of the leftovers and people bought the stuff there too. I guess I'll be making more stuff in 2013. Especially since there was a Dremel under the tree.

Sure there are more things I could write about, like a big trip with my side of the family to Oklahoma City to see a cousin get married. But most of the year was spent in daily routines and little things. I dismantled the nursery because it was time. Will was an Indian in the annual school Thanksgiving play. Joseph loved many, many trips to our science museum. Dishes were washed, clothes folded. Here's to the new year. Whether it is filled with big or little moments, it has got to be better!

Feel free to go back in time for 2011 and 2010 highlights. 

Top books of 2012

Once again, here are the books that had us entertained in 2012. Previous lists here and here.

Joseph enjoyed hearing "The Three Bears" over and over. And if we weren't reading "The Three Bears," then mommy was re-telling the tale with much ad-libbing. One day Joseph suggested the three bears should really lock the door the next time they leave the house. I had some discussion with friends on Facebook as to what IS the moral of story? Is it lock your doors? Don't fall asleep while robbing a house? Buy better furniture?

"Nobunny's Perfect" by Anna Dewdney (of Llama, Llama fame) got checked out again and again from the library. Thanks to MayMay we got our own copy for Christmas. Joseph also loved "Big Mean Mike" from the library. I randomly picked it up off the new arrivals shelf only to come home and see that bunnies play a big part in the story. Yep, we're still surrounded by bunnies.

And dinosaurs. Joseph likes the "How do Dinosaurs ..." series by Jane Yolen. But his favorite dinosaur book is an old, scruffy one he found at the thrift store, copyright 1971. It's for much older readers so I thought it would be forgotten after we got home. Nope, he pulls it off the shelf again and again. I admit to passing most of the reading of the book off on daddy.

Will dove into the Magic Tree House books. And hasn't meet an Eyewitness book not worth flipping the pages. It was really amazing how boom, one random day his reading skills just took off. Like a switch. Now he's reading chapter books and acing the tests on them at school. We still read to him nightly, after he reads to us. "Ma Lien and the Magic Brush" (1968, Parents' Magazine Press) became a favorite thrift store-find. Again, I tend to pick up any PMP book I see and nine times out of 10, it's a keeper.

Much to mommy's happiness, I found the reincarnation of Douglas Adams, and his name is Jasper Fforde. I'm late to the party because the first book in the "Thursday Next" series was published in 2001. After I devoured all that was available, I picked up the next book by Fforde sitting on the library shelf, "Shades of Grey." The writing is fantastic, the plot complex and I was soooooo mad to come to the last page to see sequels mentioned but not yet written. Not to be confused with that other "50 Shades of Grey" which I will admit to reading. There are at least six Fforde books I haven't read yet so that should keep me busy in 2013. And I'll probably re-read all the Thursday Next books too. When I really love a book, I tend to read it too fast (and way into the night) so a second reading is always good.

Was there something you really enjoyed reading to others or by yourself in 2012? Got a long list for 2013 already? Please share.