Sunday, June 30, 2013

Projects & Weekend Fun

It's officially summer, which in Redding lingo means it's HOT! Today was 110 degrees, and I know this is only the beginning. But this also means plenty of opportunities for fun family activities :-)
In honor of summer beginning, I stole an idea from my good friend (and fellow mommy) Tegan Knifton and created this list with my boys.

We sat down and I asked them to think of all the things they wanted to do (big or small) before summer ended. I have to admit, they came up with 30 pretty amazing ideas! From summer camping, to going on a family walk, to baking cookies for the neighbors, I was pretty impressed, and the boys were super excited. We have already been able to check a few things off the list (mini golfing, and eating watermelon by the pool with Nana and Papa)!

In keeping with the list theme, we decided to test out a new method of discipline in our home to help get some of the brother rivalry under control. We asked the boys to brainstorm as many positive and negative behaviors as we could and made a giant poster listing them all.

Each child has their own mason jar. When we notice positive behaviors we will ad "crystals" to their jars, and likewise when we notice negative behaviors we remove "crystals" from their jars. We went to the doller store and bought about $30 worth of toys (large and small). When their jars reach the halfway mark they can either pick a small toy out of the basket and empty their jars, or choose to save their "crystals" until their jars are full. At that point they can cash their whole jar in for one of the bigger toys. 

The "emeralds" are for every day good behaviors. The blue "crystals" are for when we notice them being especially loving and kind to one another. 

So far they seem pretty excited about it! I'll keep you all updated on how effective it is...

Overall we've had an amazing couple of weekends. Nolan's mom came for a visit, which the boys loved. Some friends from the bay area stayed with us for a few days. We spent some time by the pool, and we welcomed a new member to our family, Ridley Paul (my nephew). Couldn't ask for anything better!

Did I mention we bought a puppy? No? Meet McMissile. As in Finn McMissile, British intelligence (fellow moms and dads should know what I'm refrencing... lol). What can I say? The boys named him.

Pool time at Papa Thomas' house for fathers day.

Can she get any cuter? Seriously, we're in trouble...

We have a roller!

Lola and Grandmother (aren't lazy Saturdays in our PJs the best?!)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Here, it's Here!! I Can't Believe it's Here!!

Everyone has something they obsess over, right? That one hobby that gets them all fired up, a sport they love to play (or watch), travel, reading, the list could go on forever. My obsession? Furniture.

I know, it's a little weird. When I was in design school I was required to take two semesters of furniture history. These two classes covered the history of interiors from early Greek and Egyption days, to the post modern pieces more similar to what we see available today. Up until enrolling in these classes I had very specific tastes in furniture, which was pretty limited, and frankly looking back it was, well, bad. The world of bergeres and feuteuils was unknown to me. I had no concept of the fact that like good art or fashion, furniture went through it's own periods as well. I was clueless.

Those two semesters, which every other design student dreaded, became my favorites. I completely blame our instructor for lighting a fire under my butt, and igniting my passion for unique timeless pieces which I now obsessively hunt down and fill my home with.
Every time I utter the words "Guess what I found?!" I'm pretty sure Nolan curses her name.

About two years ago as I was graduating with my design degree, I was relentlessly scouring craigslist for Chinese Chippendale chairs for our dining room. Never in a thousand years would I have imagined I would be so in love with chairs that appeared on Golden Girls. As it turns out, I'm not the only one. Chinese Chippendale chairs have made a huge surge in the design world over the last five years, and are literally turning up everywhere. Finding one (let alone six) for an affordable price was going to be next to impossible. With a little help from some friends in Texas, and a one armed lady driving a horse trailer, I scored these babies for $100!!

That was four down, two to go. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks lafter I was walking to my car and passed by the window of one of our local Goodwill shops. There, in all their glory, were four Chinese Chippendale chairs. They were awful brown and had terrible 70s cushions stuck to them, but they were there! Because I couldn't convince the store to sell me two of the four, I ended up buying all four. Within a few weeks I was able to sell the two that I didn't want on craigslist for... well, let's just say it was enough to pay for the four chairs from Texas, shipping costs, and the cost of the four Goodwill chairs, with enough left over to take a pretty awesome anniversary trip to Ashland with the hubby. Like I said, they are popular chairs.

Fast forward a few years, and I have found something equally as exciting (to me) to obsess over. I have spent the last year trying to acquire a dresser from the Broyhill Brasilia line which was made in 1962. Thanks to the show Madmen, mid century furniture is fairly popular right now. The Brasilia line is essentially the holy grail of mid century furniture. Pieces are hard to come by, and when they turn up range anywhere from $700-1700 (depending in the piece and condition). For a year I have been roaming thrift stores and scouring craigslist nationwide, hoping to find someone who was clueless to what they had. Then, about a month ago, it happened. During one of my random craigslist scans I found a dresser and hutch from the Brasilia line, in Portland, for (drumroll please)... $80. 
After picking my jaw up off the ground and cleaning up the drool puddle on my table, I began frantically typing an email to the seller. My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing (told you I'm weirdly obsessed)... every time my phone chimed that it had a new email I think I had a small stroke. Eventually I was able to arrange for a cousin (who happens to live near Portland) to pick up the hutch for me and keep it in his garage until I was able to arrange for shipping. Monday night, my dresser and hutch finally came home to me. It's in definite need of some love. Someone (I will refrain from name calling) actually attempted painted the thing an awful grey/green color, which I will have to spend hours sanding away. But once this beauty is sanded and stained.... *sigh

Stay tuned! Somewhere down the line I will post my step by step process of restoring Brasilia to her rightful glory. 
Thank you (for those of you still reading), for humoring me. I forget sometimes that other people aren't as excited about these things as I am.
See what I mean, it needs some love. The handles have been pulled off (actually it's missing four of them) to sand the drawers, and the hutch is in our garage.

This is what it will look like once restored.

And this is the hutch (top) that came with it. Seriously, $80 for the whole thing?! I don't care how much sanding needs to be done!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Maddox is Three!

Last weekend we celebrated Maddox's third birthday with a BBQ at our new home. His actual birthday was a few weeks ago, but because of the madness of moving we planned to have his party a little late.

Of course Maddox insisted on a CARS themed birthday party. He was very specific in wanting Francesco plates and a Lightning McQueen piƱata. Considering the time crunch, I think we managed to pull off a pretty sweet party! The best part was getting to see all of my family in one place (which doesn't happen often). We missed our bay area friends, but I know they were all there in spirit :-)

I of course forgot to take pictures of all of the food, etc. But I was able to get some of the decorations, and my wonderful mom took "action shots." Overall it was a hot, but wonderful day!

Poster board + coffee filters + spray paint = awesome almost 3 ft. tall #3

Sweet checkerd flag pendants

Is it possible to make it through a birthday party without being roped into buying massive themed balloons? Don't think so.

Dark chocolate salted caramel cupcakes with drifter cars on top, and Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes with checkered flags. Quite possibly some of the best cupcakes I've ever made! Yuuuuum 

Dollar Store balloons and table cloths = amazing over hang decor.

The pinata ended up being a bit of a bust, so it turned into and all out beat down.

A bit anticlimactic, but the kids didn't seem to mind.
Birthday boy playing with some of his new toys. Thank you everyone!!
Lola was happy to be snuggled all day long 

Cousin time!

Opening presents with his buddy Daniel

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I've Decided I Don't Blog Enough

Just last night Maddox said something silly, and Nolan off handedly mentioned that I should write it in the family blog.
Blog? What blog?
Sure enough, once upon a time we came up with the "brilliant" idea to create "The Wilson Family Monster Farm," sure that we would fill it with funny anecdotes about the kids and our life in general.
It's been three months since our last anecdote, and it wasn't even funny. It was actually kinda sad.

I am hereby resolving to blog more. If not to keep family and friends up to date on our lives, then to at least have some record of the madness for ourselves.

In the last five weeks we have completed one elementary school renovation, one long distance move, celebrated our ninth (yes, NINTH) wedding anniversary, and most recently Maddox turning three (more on these later). All the while Jax gets closer to his first day of kindergarten, and Lola grows bigger and harrier every day. Time just doesn't wait for us...

Seriously. I know I'm bias and all... but is she or is she not the cutest little girl EVER?!

Hours of fun in Nana and Papa's kiddy pool :-)