Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Family Fun Night - Dumbo Style

For the last year, we've been doing Family Fun Nights (usually Disney themed) once a month or so.  We've just started ramping back up because -- *drumroll* -- we have a trip to Disney World planned for September!  For now, we're doing every other week; as our vacation draws nearer, we'll move to once a week.  It's an opportunity to do something special as a family, to be silly and childish, and to remember past vacations and to get excited about future vacations.

We've done a Dumbo-themed fun night before, but since we had it checked out from the library, we decided to do it again.  First, we strung cheap plastic bunting all over the kitchen.  It was a little bit overwhelming, but fun.

While dinner was cooking, I hung up a plastic photo-op thingy in one of the doorways.  The kids had a great time posing.  Here's one of the more 'normal' shots they got.

We also did lots and lots of circus themed temporary tattoos.  Lachlann didn't want any, but all the other kids were fully decorated.  Doug and I may or may not have gotten in on the action with some tattoos (privately applied) in naughty places.

We let the kids have soda for dinner - a rare treat.  Colwyn wanted root beer while the rest of the kids opted for orange soda.  Some festive straws made it even more exciting.

Dinner was 'fancy hot dogs'.  There's a restaurant in Rockport called Top Dog that's a family favorite.  They have amazing hot dogs with all sorts of different toppings, in combinations named after dog breeds.  When we start craving Top Dog but can't make it there (like in the winter), we do our own.  Here's our version of the 'bad dog' - sauteed onions, bacon, and cheese sauce.  Yum.

 After dinner, we put the movie on and had popcorn and animal crackers for snacks.  We'd gotten those frozen soft pretzels but never got around to eating them.  We watched a bunch of the special features after the movie, too.  All in all, it was a great success!  Next up for Family Fun Night is Princess and the Frog, since all the stores have Mardi Gras decorations.

Let There Be Light!

Our kitchen at the new house features a huge bay window.  It faces southwest and lets in so much light that it's a bit blinding, to be honest.  Our kitchen table is right in front of it and on sunny days, mealtimes require sunglasses.  Obviously, I had to put up some curtains.  I thought something light would be best because I don't want to darken the room up too much.  I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would suit our old farmhouse quite well.  The curtain 'rod' was easy to make - we got some 1"x3"s at Home Depot, painted them gray, added some crackle coat, then a nice coat of white.  The single-prong hooks were a pain in the ass to find, but I managed to get them from Amazon.  Screw them in, mount the board to the wall, and voila!

Fora while, the curtains let us use the window ledge as a place to store junk (half-finished Etsy orders, the kids' art projects, miscellaneous electronic devices, etc), but something had to be done.  This window was just begging for some houseplants.  After a trip to IKEA where I got a nice little greenhouse and two hanging planters, we were almost there.  The kids and had a fantastic time at the nursery picking out all sorts of plants in the middle of a snowstorm.  When we first brought everything home, the window ledge looked like a jungle - but we've since repotted things and moved a lot of the plants into other parts of the house.  This is what we have on the ledge now.

Look at that cute little greenhouse!  I've never had succulents before, but they look wonderful and exotic.

These are the flowers that Fiona picked out - pink, of course!

Lachlann chose yellow, and they look so sunny.  You can see how close we are to the road in this photo, too.  It's not ideal, but not a big deal since it's just a rental.  We've all agreed that when we start house hunting next year, we can't be on a busy road.

Here's a wider view.  The tall plant is a hibiscus.. I didn't take a better picture because the ride home and/or the repotting procedure made it think it was time for a dormant period, so it doesn't look so great right now.  I read up on it because I've never cared for a hibiscus before.. so hopefully I won't kill it.  I didn't realize I didn't get two of the other plants in the shot - an African violet and something else blue that Colwyn picked out.  We also picked up a plant stand from IKEA that's now in our living room, holding the terrarium (with new plants because they got neglected in the move), ivy, and a sensitive plant (forget the real name!).  And in our bathroom upstairs we have another plant keeping the air oxygenated.  I'd forgotten, like I do every winter, how happy plants make me.  It's so much more homey here with our new additions.

Oh, and for good measure, a picture of one of our cats, Milky Way.  It's so rare for me to catch them being still and in good light!