Finn's third birthday was a few weeks ago and Emily threw him a Peter Pan Party (This past year has been quite filled with a love of Peter Pan by all our kids). It was costume optional, but of course Finn sported Jack's old Peter Pan costume, and Jimmy insisted (despite my lectures about the heat and pleas to get him to be an Indian) that I get out his "Pink Michael Jammies" so that he could have one last hurrah as Michael Darling.
The Photo Booth Emily set up:
They played Pin-the-Tail-On-Peter-Pan's-Hat...
But Jimmy refused to be blind folded so he did pretty well.
Jimmy was so excited to give Finn the number one thing on his wish list:
Today May 28th is the birthday of my grandmother, Helen Tucker Woods.
To me she was Mame and to other cousins Grammy and, of course, to her children she was mom.
If she was alive today, she would be 99 years old.
Here she is on her sixth birthday in 1917. She framed this for me on my sixth birthday.
She was one of the most amazing people I know and she has been a strong influence in shaping the person I am today. She has done so for all her own five children, 18 grandchildren, and all of the great-grandchildren that were fortunate enough to know her. I love her so much and have so many wonderful memories of her. I miss her a lot, but she lived such a good life that I know she is happy in heaven now with her loving Don and my wonderful mother Lynn. I am lucky enough to have a lot of things that belonged to her around my house so I am constantly reminded of all the wonderful times I spent at her house growing up. I thought I might take some of you down memory lane and for others who didn't know her, you will surely see just how cool she was by looking at some of her things.
The yellow love-seat (or as some may "Davenport") was always in her house. It used to be yellow with white polka dots for a long time, but somewhere along the line she got it recovered like this. It is still in pretty good shape and I feel privileged to be its keeper. The arms on both sides still go up and down, but for Mame's sake I promise never to let anybody sit on them. The coffee table was actually in my house growing up, but before that it was in my mom's house growing up so it has its own history as well. The green rug coincidentally is sort of a shout out to the green shag carpet that was in every room of her house.
I am not sure what country this box is from, but it is some kind of gourd that has been carved out. It always lived on her coffee table and all the kids loved playing with it and hiding things in it (as Jimmy does now). I always loved the lid and its one squared piece.
Most of these teacups were hers. All the granddaughters got to divide them up one time and I was lucky enough to get my very favorite (the flowed one with the gold inside). I have lots of wonderful memories of Mame turning on her fireplace on a "cold" day and making a tea party for us at the little kids table with all the dolls and stuffed animals.
These are a few of the stuffed animals that I have now:
Charlie (the big dog) and one of his puppies and Chink (a favorite of Pop's)
While these canisters have outlived their days of being useful, I have to keep them on display.
Everyone should be happy to know that I still keep cookies, snacks, and other treats in here.
I was once lucky enough to have my name drawn from a hat to win this coveted item above:
The Famous Peanut Butter and Jelly Sign
(But I did make prints of it for everyone to share the wealth).
I have some random pieces of jewelry that were Mame's and I have this jewelry box. I recently came across this necklace of animals that she wore quite often. While, I don't know if I am brave enough to sport it myself, I certainly have to keep it.
So if you give your kid a box of crayons and paper at the table while you are trying to wash the dishes, it is probably a good idea to look over at them every now and then, especially if they are being very quite and playing unusually nice. Better yet, make sure you clear the table of things you don't want them playing with such as a Black Sharpie.
He managed to miss his clothes which was appreciated by me and he was actually rather proud of his art work. He was however confused later when Zach was trying to scrub it off in the bath and it wouldn't come off at all. He said, "Daddy take it off!" It has been a few days now since this incident and I can still see some faded marks. Of course, my first instinct when I realized what was happening was too shout "NO!" Then I quickly I realized that it doesn't really matter that much and it actually was pretty funny, so I calmed down and told him that was not a marker that he is allowed to use and he was fine with that. Then I noticed he had been decorating our dining table with the marker as well as crayon so again I had to explain that we only write on paper. Fortunately, it is a black table, but you can still see it. At least this might give me the motivation to re-paint the top black since it has been looking a little shabbie lately anyway. So thanks Jimmy... but not really.
When Aunt Angie was in town a month ago, we took a sort hike on Squaw Peak. It was Jimmy's first hike and he didn't last very long, but he had fun while he did. He wanted to climb all the way to the top, but I don't even think I could do that in the heat (oh yeah, and I'm pregnant). He wanted to walk and climb all himself, but we had to insist held our hands most of the time. He fell about three times, but he survived and he still likes to talk about it. Next up: Camelback.
Jimmy's Favorite Cactus filled with Wood-Pecker Holes.
So there is really only one room in our new house that we have done much of anything to and that is our family room (or TV room as Jimmy usually calls it). It is the only room in our house that isn't original. It used to be the garage and the craftsmanship of the remodel is not quite up to the standards of the rest of the house. So we may just have to deal with the fact the two "matching" windows on the far wall are different sizes and the walls are all made of cheap wood paneling, but fortunately a little paint can do a lot. We did this project back in January, but I am just a little behind. Basically, it was the first thing I wanted to do in the house because I don't think I could have lived in it the way it was. Here it is on the day we moved in:
The picture doesn't quite do justice to how gross it was. The carpet was sort of a light pink shag with lots of stains and in general very dirty. And the walls (along with many in other rooms of our house) were a lovely fleshy tone. I don't know why so many people decide to paint things an ugly "neutral" color instead of just painting things a nice clean white. I love colored walls and plan on painting every other room in our house a fun color, but I just decided this old wood paneled room was just going to stay simple and bright. Of course it was a big project, but my family helped us out some and of course Jimmy wanted to paint as well. The nice thing about painting a room where you are getting new carpet is that you can make a big mess and you can even let your kids help.
(Unfortunately, he thinks he gets to paint his room green now too)
We decided on a dark grey patterned Stainmaster Carpet so that it will last a long time and hide all the spills and dirt. As much as I love the stained concrete in the rest of our house, it is nice to have on carpeted room for kids to roll around. Jimmy had lots of fun in this room when there was no furniture in it.
I was excited when it was finally time to put the furniture in this room because it meant I could unpack my books that had been packed away for over a year. However unpacking into our new house really made me realize how much stuff I have. Sheesh! I am a freakin' pack rat. At least it feels good to have it all in one place now.
I actually kind of take pride in the fact that almost all the furniture in our house was given to us (with a few exceptions that we bought at Ikea). While it makes for a rather eclectic mix sometimes, it a fun challenge to mix and match with what you have and attempt to still design your house. Also, being the cheapskate that I am, it makes me very happy when I think about how much money we have saved.
One of the few plants in our yard that we have actually been happy with is a rose bush in the front yard. I didn't even realize it was a rose bush when we bought the house and then all of a sudden rose buds started popping up this spring and I got to enjoy them. I think they are on their last leg this time of year, but about a month ago they were beautiful. Good thing I took pictures then.