Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30

The VBS invasion has begun! In the past, my house has been filled with all sorts of decorations and props as we have prepared for various VBS themes. My favorite was the year we had a hippo, several lions, giant elephant tusks and a huge amount of stuffed and spray painted paper bags camping out in our basement.

This year, the theme is Egypt. And I am in charge of creating an ancient Egyptian marketplace in our gym. I'm really excited about it, as the marketplace is a new addition to our VBS this year. But it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of people (if you go to South Side, we could use your help for VBS this year!!!). Today, I started searching for supplies at garage sales. And it was a lot of fun. It added a completely new strategy to my garage saling experience. I normally just drive by houses and look to see if they have kids stuff. But now, I'm starting to look for places that would have a lot of baskets and fabric and Egyptian looking stuff...which is generally not the same place that would have a lot of kids stuff.
I got all of the stuff pictured (and some more stuff that is inside the baskets and not pictured) for $4.50 today. There is just something about finding good bargains that is addicting. I'm planning to head out first thing in the morning for more garage sale fun!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29

Our theme at Sprouts today was ice cream. Baskin Robbins donated a bunch of bowls and spoons, and then Lindsey came up with the idea to use pom-poms to make ice cream. We had a little ice cream shop set up, and it was very cute.

Audrey was a bit confused by the pretend ice cream. I don't think her mind quite understands pretend games yet. Plus, last night we went to Baskin Robbins for 31 cent scoop night, and she had her very own dish of ice cream. So as soon as she saw the Baskin Robbin dishes this morning at Sprouts, she ran up to them, excitedly yelling "I Cree, I Cree". She was quite disappointed when she realized that the ice cream was fake. But no worries, she got to enjoy the real deal during snack time.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28

Several exciting things to talk about today!

#1: Audrey's new shoes finally arrived!! I am so, so excited about them. She has several outfits she has not been able to wear because she doesn't have shoes to match. I am pretty sure these silver shoes will work with just about every one of her outfits. We went to the park this afternoon and tried to have a little photo shoot. Pediped (the company that makes these shoes) has a contest on their website. You send in pictures of your kid wearing their shoes, and they pick a winner each month. The winner gets a free pair of pedipeds! You can send in as many pictures as you want, as often as you want. I wasn't too happy with any of the pictures from today as Audrey wasn't too cooperative. But I am going to send a couple in...and then I will keep sending pictures in until they give me a free pair of shoes! I am determined to win!

#2: Speaking of winning, one of the blogs I read (Better in Bulk) was giving away a set of Lightroom presets (Pretty Presets collections 1 and 2). And I won!!!!! I love using presets; they make editing pictures a lot quicker and more fun. It's so exciting that I actually won; I never win anything.

So anyway, this picture combines both of those exciting things: Audrey is wearing her new shoes, and I used one of my new presets to edit the picture!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27

Oh Little Miss Audrey...what a day we have had today!

There were moments when I felt like I was going insane (specifically during the major temper tanrum you threw at dinner!), and I just wanted to run away and scream and throw a temper tantrum of my own!

Then within seconds, you would have me smiling and laughing and wondering how I could ever live my life without you.

My dear little drama queen--you definitely keep me on my toes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26

It's 9:06 pm, and I don't have a picture to post.

I was hoping to take a picture of the cute new pediped shoes that I ordered for Audrey. I ordered them on April 13, and I thought for sure they would be here by now. But they didn't come today.

I thought about posting a picture of the books I got at the libary today. But I've done that a lot, and I doubt that anyone who reads this cares about what books I'm reading.

Then I thought about taking a picture of the party favors I am working on for a friend. They are bright and fun and cute. But they are also in the basement, and I'm too lazy to walk all the way down there just to take a picture.

So I decided to take this worthless picture of the clock on the wall. Because I could take a picture of it without getting up from the couch. Yes, I am that lazy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25

Audrey had so much fun with Adam after small group tonight. I don't think I have ever seen her so excited and hyper. She was squealing and laughing and running all over the place. Too bad Adam has two kids of his own, because I would totally hire him to come over and entertain Audrey!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24

Today I went with my friends Heather and Janessa to Ebertfest. Also known as the Roger Ebert Film Festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign, IL. The festival actually runs for 4 days, so we didn't go to the whole thing. But we did drive over today to see two movies (and to go out to lunch and go shopping). Since going to a film festival (and seeing famous people!) is not something that I do on a regular basis, I think this post deserves more than one picture.

I like to watch movies. And I usually enjoy the independent, artsy movies often featured at these festivals. And sometimes I like to critique movies as well. So I would say I am an above average movie connoisseur. But the people at Ebertfest made me feel like I know nothing about movies. First of all, they are not called movies. They are films. I'm pretty sure the word movie was never once mentioned today. But everyone was talking about films! Every conversation I line, in the bathroom, in our seats, all conversations were about films! So I felt a bit out of place and not smart at times, but it was still a very enjoyable day! Oh, and to prove that we are truly dedicated film fans, here we are waiting in the pouring rain to get into the theater!

The first film we saw was I Capture the Castle. It was really good; I think we all liked it a lot. It is a sweet and quirky English film about a somewhat disfunctional family. After each film, they have a panel discussion about the film. Bill Nighy (one of the stars of the film--notice how I have now learned to call it a film and not a movie!) was supposed to be there to discuss the film, but he was unable to get out of Europe due to the recent volcano eruption in Iceland. So that was a bit disappointing, but keep reading, because we did get to see some famous people later in the day.

The second film we saw was Trucker. Again we all really liked it. It was a much grittier, realistic film (with lots of bad language) about a female trucker and her relationship with her estranged 11 year old son. It starred Michele Monaghan, who has recently been in more mainstream movies like Eagle Eye and Made of Honor. And she was there today to participate in a discussion after the movie, along with the writer/director James Mottern. In this picture, Monaghan is on the far right in the red. (We were in the balcony for this film. I wish we could have been closer or I would have had a zoom lens with me to get a better picture of these famous people!). Interesting notes we learned about Michele Monaghan during the discusson: she is from Iowa (like me!) and she has a 17 month old daughter (like me!) and she got her CDL license to drive the truck for this film (not like me!)

And I can't end without a picture of Roger Ebert himself. He came out to introduce Trucker. He speaks through a computer. So he types, and then a computer version of his voice speaks. It was interesting. And as we were leaving after the movie, we walked directly past him in the lobby. But I couldn't get Heather and Janessa's attention, so I was the only one that got to see him up close in person.

So it was a long but fun day. And we got to watch two really good movies, I mean, films!

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23

Tonight we went to one of my former student's 16th birthday party. Kaylee was in my 5th grade Sunday School class at church when we first came here. Then I was her Bible teacher at school for 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Now, she is 16 and will be a junior in high school next year! It makes me feel old! And it makes me realize how long we have been here in Springfield. Kaylee was a sweet jr. higher, and now she is an awesome high schooler. We're also hoping to snag her as a babysitter for Audrey sometime soon. =)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22

It was bathtime tonight, and I realized I didn't have any pictures from today. So I brought my camera in to take a few pictures.

This one was the cutest picture of the bunch. The problem with this picture is that I didn't check the settings before I took the picture (a bad habit of mine!). And it didn't turn out so good. Here is what the original looked like before I did any editing:
But thanks to the wonder that is Adobe Lightroom I was able to transform it into a somewhat decent looking picture. I love digital photography!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21

I bought this today. And now I need your help.
I have spent the past month searching for a new bed covering for our bed. Comforters, duvet covers, quilts...I have looked at them all. In every color and pattern. In every store in town. In every store online. And I haven't been able to find something that I liked in our price range. Until today.
I found this comforter at Kohls. I saw it a long time ago and liked it, but it was out of the price range. Thanks to Kohls "Lowest Price of the Season" sale (aren't they always having a "lowest price of the season" sale???) and a 15% off coupon and a chance to earn $40 in Kohls cash...this comforter and the coordinating pillows fit into the price range. So I bought them. But now I'm not sure.

When it comes to things like this, I am so indecisive. I realize it is just a comforter and not a big deal at all. But I have spent A LOT OF TIME researching all of our options. I mean hours and hours and hours of wasted time, driving to stores and looking at all the possible online options. So I want to be happy with the final decision so it wasn't all for nothing.

So here is a list of pros and cons about the bedding. I know you photo a day blog readers are out there, so here is a chance to chime in and help me make this decision!!

-I like the colors and the simplicity of the solid color. I've looked at a ton of patterns and can't find anything I like, so maybe a solid is more my style.
-I like the fun and funky pillows that go with it. (there is a brown one I am still going to buy with my $40 Kohls cash)
-It is in the price range.
-It is a dark color, so it won't show every piece of dirt that Maggie brings into our bed.
-I already own it and hate returning things.

-The colors are very similar to my living/dining room. Am I too boring if I decorate all my rooms with the same color scheme?
-It is dry clean only. And we have a dog that sleeps in our bed. I can't afford to get it dry cleaned very often (or ever).
-Daniel doesn't like the funky felt flowers on the pillow I bought today (even though I think they are fun, see above).
The dry clean thing is the biggest con for me. Getting a washable duvet cover would probably be smarter. But then again, I do really like the look of this one, and there hasn't been much else that I have liked. See why I need your help?? I just can't handle big decisions like this. =)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20

Audrey has been trying to eat with a fork lately. She can't quite stab the food by herself yet (though she tries really hard!), but once we help her get a piece of food, she gets so excited. Forks are way cooler than spoons, because the food won't fall off after you pick it up!

Since this was such a monumental milestone in the development of Audrey's eating skills, I obviously had to take a bunch of pictures. I'll post the rest on the Life with the Shelton's blog next!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19

Today seemed to be an exceptionally busy day. Audrey and I made trips to Target, the music store, JC Penney, the church and the park. I picked up the house and got everything ready for my stamping class tonight. Then I taught piano lessons from 4-7 tonight, and then as soon as my last piano student walked out the door, I headed down to the basement to teach my stamping class. Now everything is done, and I am sitting here in the living room facing a fairly common dilemma: the day is over and I didn't take a single picture.
As I look around the room, I see these frames sitting on top of the entertainment center. I made these a long time ago, back when I first started stamping. At the time, I thought they were so cute; now I'm not a big fan. I know I could make something that would look much, much better. So, I'm posting this picture here as a reminder that I want to redo these frames. Consider this the "before"picture. Hopefully the "after" picture will be posted soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18

I recently found two of our old digital cameras. One of them has now become one of Audrey's toys. I realize that giving Audrey a camera for a toy is probably not the best idea. But this one is really old, and I don't care if she breaks it. And it is so adorable to see her hold up the camera and say "cheese" and try to take a picture. Seriously, it's so cute! Once I saw her do that once, I knew that the camera was going to be hers to keep.

(I also realize that it's probably not the best idea to let Audrey's cuteness override my parenting instincts...but look at her, sometimes I just can't resist that adorable little face!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17

Today was the Day of Service at our church. Lots of people from church participated in various service projects around town. Our small group went to the Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery for the third time. In the past we have raked leaves and cleaned out a garage. This time, we mostly did landscaping work...pulling weeds and planting flowers.

I think Natalie deserves an award for all of her work today. She spent a long time on her hands and knees in this crawl space between the house and the porch railing, pulling a ton of weeds. And she was still willing to pose for a cute picture!

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16

I made an angel food cake today, and we enjoyed Strawberry Shortcake for dessert tonight...yummy!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15

Since the weather has been so warm (mid 80's) and since Audrey enjoys splashing in bowls of water so much (esp. the dog's water bowl and the toilet bowl), I thought it would be fun to bring a bunch of bowls of water outside for Audrey to splash around in today. I had 2 big bowls, and then several measuring cups...thinking she could use the cups to scoop up the water and play with it. And my idea was successful for about one minute. Then Audrey decided to abandon the measuring cups and just pick up the big bowls and carry them....which resulted in the whole bowl of water being dumped all over herself. She wasn't a big fan of that. So I gave up on the idea of having a creative play time outside, changed Audrey into dry clothes, and we spent the rest of the afternoon at the mall!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14

This is a picture of Audrey saying cheese, smiling and looking at the camera. I am pretty sure that this is the first time all three of those things have happened simultaneously!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13

Today, I found a deal on a play kitchen on Craigslist. We got a white wooden kitchen set, with a stove, fridge, a table, 2 chairs and a basket full of food for just $40. It is in pretty good condition, and it will match the decor in our basement really well! We're planning to keep it put away for now and save it for Audrey's birthday present (in 6 months!). But after I cleaned all the dishes and food today, I let her play with the basket for a little bit. She kept herself entertained for a bit this afternoon by taking everything out of the basket, throwing it around, and then putting it back. I know she will love it even more when she can play with the whole kitchen. Check back after October 31, and I'll post a picture of the whole set!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12

A few pretty flowers are blooming in our front yard!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Today was another pigtail day for Audrey! We haven't tried pigtails again since that first time because it's a lot of work to get her to sit still. But I bribed her with some cereal and an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, and it worked! She sat relatively still and did not cry as I put in her pigtails today. She looked like such a big girl!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10

Our Sr. Minister is leaving our church, and tonight we had a going away dinner for him with all the staff and elders. It was a very nice dinner, much nicer than the typical church potluck...a fitting way to show appreciation to a minister who has served our church for 28 years! (He came to South Side the same year that Daniel was born!).

They had Russell Stover chocolates to give away as favors to everyone, and I offered to make wrappers for the chocolates that would coordinate with the decor. These were pretty simple, as I only had a couple of hours to put them together. But I just love making cute and coordinating party favors!

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9

I love to get good deals! And then I love to tell everyone about the good deals that I got! So that's what my picture is today.

Here is what I got:
one pair of brand new PJ's
two brand new Carters summer dresses
one brand new shirt/capri outfit
one long sleeve shirt/pants outfit
one puffy winter coat
one pink corduroy jacket
one sweater
one Elmo toy phone (not pictured)
one Baby Einstein board book (not pictured)

Here is what I paid:

Here is how:
Last night I found a $25 Babies R Us gift card leftover from Audrey's baby shower that we lost and never used. Then they were having an extra 25% off all their clothing sale today, so I got all the brand new stuff and the board book and paid just 82 cents. Later today I went to a garage sale and found the rest for $5.00, all in good condition (the winter coat was never even worn!).

Garage sale season has officially begun!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8

Since Daniel and I both play the piano, everyone seems to think that Audrey is destined to be a piano prodigy. I don't really know/care if that is true. It would be fun if Audrey was a good piano player, and I'm sure she will take piano lessons at some point in her life. But I don't have huge dreams of her being a concert pianist. If she likes the piano, great. If not, that's OK too.
With all of that said, Audrey really does like to play the piano right now. What toddler wouldn't love to bang on something that makes lots of loud noise?? Lately, she has been interested in playing with the piano books and the piano. She takes the books off the piano, opens them up, puts them back on the piano (usually with my help), plays a few notes (i.e. pounds on the keys), and then starts the process all over again. Or she will bring me piano books and want me to play out of each of them. Usually she will only let me play a measure or two before she is bringing me a new book to play.
So do we have a future pianist on our hands? Or just a toddler that likes to make a lot of noise? Time will tell!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7

This might win an award for the most boring picture of the day. But I did get these socks for Audrey (2 pairs) for just 97 cents at Gap today. I really like Gap socks; they never fall off of Audrey's feet. So I'm pretty happy with my little purchase. But it does make for a boring picture.
I wanted to take a picture earlier tonight when we were at church. The kids area at our church has a big mural painted on the walls. The mural has pictures of dogs and kids and buildings and stuff. Audrey loves, loves, loves this mural. As soon as we got to church tonight for dinner, Audrey kept saying "woof, woof" and raising her hands to ask where's the doggie. As soon as I put her down, she took off running down the hall towards the kids area. When she got there, she ran up to the wall and gave hugs and kisses to all the dogs, boys, and girls on the wall. It was so cute. I really wish I would have had my camera with me, because it would have made for a much better picture of the day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6

My migraine from yesterday has still been lingering around annoying! Tonight Daniel took Audrey for a walk, and I just wanted to lay down and relax for a little while. I decided to turn on the first episode of Glee because I thought it would make me feel better (and it did!). It was almost over when Daniel and Audrey returned. The episode ends with a cover of the song "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. The Glee version of this song is one of Audrey's favorite songs. Really...if it comes on, she will start saying "da, da, da, da...", which is how the song begins. It's cute. So she was really excited tonight when she got to see people on TV singing and dancing to her favorite song!

Actually, she has a new song that I think is replacing the Glee song: "Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson. When she hears the song, she laughs and claps and says something like "labadabadaba", which I have come to interpret as her version of "everybody, everybody". We've been listening to it in the car a lot lately because I know she likes it. Now, whenever you get in the car (or even near the car), she will start saying"labadabadaba"!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm getting ready to go to bed with a yucky migraine...and I almost forgot to post a picture! Since this is the only picture that I took earlier today and I don't feel like taking a new one, Maggie gets to be the star of this post.
Speaking of Maggie, I'm about ready to give her away. This time of year is rough for her. We have the blinds and the windows open for the first time in a while, and she gets so excited by every person, dog, squirrel or bird that dares to touch our yard. Then she starts growling and barking and wants to run outside and chase them. And it's been raining, and she gets so wet and muddy every time she goes outside. Plus she has really bad breath and a nasty cyst growing on her ear. So...who wants her???

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3

Today we got a package from my Aunt Nancy with an Easter present for Audrey--this stuffed Easter Donald Duck that walks and talks and sings! I thought Audrey might be afraid of it at first, but she loved it! She quickly figured out how to push the button to make him move and make noise. So she would push the button and then squeal and laugh and chase Donald around, giving him hugs and kisses. She also thought it was fun to pick him up and carry him around and chew on his ears. Thanks Aunt Nancy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2

Since it was another nice day today and Daniel was off work, we decided to take Audrey to the zoo here in Springfield this afternoon. We had never been to the Springfield zoo before. Now I know's not a very exciting zoo. Plus it's early in the season and many of the animals were not even out yet. I thought Audrey would still like to see the animals that were out and say hi to each one (since when we play outside at home, she says hi and bye-bye to every squirrel and bird that we see!). But she wasn't all that interested in the animals at the zoo today. Until we saw the ducks, then she was ready to walk straight into the pond to say hi to all of them! Doesn't she know that we can see ducks for free at the park and at church...we don't need to pay $9 to go to the zoo and see them!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1

I have been so excited this week to pull out Audrey's spring and summer clothes! They are just cuter and more fun than winter clothes. We even ditched the shoes and socks and ran around barefoot for much of the day. I love warm weather!!