Monday, April 27, 2009

Mommy's Dream Land

Amber has been into drawing maps lately. So while we were on vacation, she wanted all of us to draw a map. I had a wonderful vacation in a beautiful place that I will blog about soon. However, the whole two weeks we were in the mountains, Amber (who just turned 6) gave me grief big time, and Autumn wasn't a little angel, either. So here is the map I drew--actually it's more a layout of my dream land. Can any of you moms relate?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Room Re-do on a Budget

This happened last month, but I still want to write about it...Several weeks ago a friend called and said she had two twin bed-in-a-bag sets with big bright daisies on them, almost brand new. She wanted to know if I wanted them for the girls. That started a room redecorating project that was fun-- and economical, too. We decided to redecorate the girls room, which has had the same Raggedy Ann & Andy/Rag Doll theme for almost seven years. (Does anyone want any rag dolls/decorations?) We decided the new theme for their room would be flowers and butterflies, in dark pink and orange colors. Since I am not an artist, we went to Target and bought decals for the walls and chest of drawers. The rest of the items were purchased at a thrift store and garage sales. I just happened to have a bag of wooden drawer knobs that I had bought years ago for some reason. I painted them dark pink. I also painted the swamp cooler box bright pink with turquoise trim. It used to be red and navy blue. The whole project, including the paint, cost $69, and we completed the room in one weekend! I didn't think about taking "Before" pictures until I was well into the project, but here are some pictures I did take. The girls love their new room!

The swamp cooler box "Before" -- red & blue.

The box "During."

The box "After" -- Amber decorated it with decals.

The chest of drawers "Before."

The drawers "After."

The wall "Before" -- after I took down the paintings.

The wall "After" -- gotta love those decals!

Closer look at the wall.

The valances and shade-- with decals.

Another view of the room -- Amber pained that rainbow a few years ago.

The finished project -- Amber's side of the room.

Autumn's side of the room!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter at the Hodge Lodge

Happy Easter! We had a fun day here at the Hodge Lodge celebrating Jesus' resurrection. Here's a picture of the girls in their Easter dresses that Eric's mom made (Amber helped make her dress during her sewing lessons--see the blog post below). At 12:00, we had the 2nd Annual Hodge Lodge Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. I filled 101 eggs with stickers, tatoos, jewelry, hair stuff, erasers and money (no candy). Two years ago my girls hunted for the egg themselves. What wew we thinking--50 eggs per child is way too much! Last year we invited Madi from across the street and they each got over 30 eggs. This year we invited all the neighborhood girls and three of them were able to come--so the five girls got to find 20 eggs each. Our backyard is perfect for an easter egg hunt. The places to hide eggs are endless! I had so much fun hiding them, the girls had a blast finding them and I--of course--took lots of pictures! They had so much fun that we decided to make this an annual tradition for the neighborbhood. Enjoy the pictures!

Amber's Easter Dress

Amber helped make her Easter dress this year. She didn't use the sewing machine, but she helped cut out the pattern and pin it together (I have no idea of what of kinds of sewing terms I should be using!) Anyway, Nana Hodge took it home and finished it. The fabric is from Taiwan, brought back more than 20 years ago when Nana Hodge's sister was a missionary there. Nana Hodge also whipped up an Easter dress for Autumn from fabric she had leftover from a wedding reception she hosted 15 years ago! She's an amazing seamstress!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So that's where they are!

I am always scrambling to find a pen in the house. Why? Because every time I put a few new pens in the pen cup by the phone, Eric takes them to work with him, never to be returned. Now we have two lonely pencils in the cup because Eric doesn't steal the pencils. Eric even bought a box of pens once and we doled them out to him every few days, but all too soon the box was empty. I never really thought about where all of the pens go and why Eric has to keep stealing my pens every few days--until today. Eric just got back from the car wash where he cleaned out his truck. Below is a picture of what he handed me--22 pens, one sharpie and one pencil. So that's where they went--in between the seats, under the seats, on the dashboard, in the glove box...Now we'll start the doling-out process all over again. I wonder how long it will take for him to deplete 22 pens. I'll let you know.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Okay, so I wasn't going to post this because it's more funny when you actually HEAR the story, but Gina said to blog about it anyway (Hmmm, I wonder if it's because it's about her son.) : )

Yesterday I called Gina to wish her a happy birthday, and her 8-year-old, Riley, answered the phone. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Is your mom there?
Riley: She's on her cell phone.
Me: Can you tell her that Christine called to wish her a happy birthday.
(I must have said this too fast because...)
Riley: Huh?
Me: Can you tell her that Christine called to wish her a happy birthday.
(I was still too fast because...)
Riley: Canyoupleasespeakslowly.
(He said it so fast I couldn't understand him so I said...)
Me: What?
Riley: Can you please speak slowly.
(I still couldn't understand him...)
Me: What?
Riley: C a n -- y o u -- p l e a s e -- s p e a k -- s l o w l y.
Me: Oh yeah, okay, C a n -- y o u -- t e l l -- y o u r -- m o m -- t h a t -- C h r i s t i n e -- c a l l e d -- t o -- w i s h -- h e r -- a -- h a p p y -- b i r t h d a y.
Riley: Okay. Bye.

I guess we both need lessons in not talking too fast!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Here's a picture "slide show" of what we've been up to lately. But you have to scroll down. (It's a manual slide show.)

St. Patrick's day, complete with green eggs and ham for breakfast!

I made these two purses in a craft class at church. I painted the fabric with dye, created the design, "trapped the fibers" by sewing them to a piece of mesh and glued the design on the purse. Yeah, I don't even understand it myself!

It was the first time I had used a sewing machine since that one day in home economics in junior high. (I dropped out of the class back then.)

We took care of Taylor & Alex for 3 days. It was girl-mania! Add on the four neighbor girls who came over occasionally, and Eric was definitely out-numbered!

We went to Farmer & The Cook's CSA spring picnic and we got to plant potatoes. Being a big-city girl, I was so tickled to plant my own row of potatoes!

Homeschool field trip to the Alpaca Ranch. We never made it there because we got lost. Where the heck is Bradley Road in Somis? I drove for an hour out in the middle of nowhere before giving up.

"Take Your Daughter to Work Day." Amber had a great time helping daddy and seeing what he does for a few hours.

Autumn is now letting me put her hair in pigtails and barrettes. I have Harley Frazee to thank for this! Yay!

Amber cooking at the stove for the first time. She made chicken pot pie from scratch, with a little help from mommy!

3-day Scrapbook Weekend. Yes, I have that much in scrapbook supplies. I know I'm in trouble if I ever have 3 suitcases full!

Two of my favorite things: coffee & scrapbooking! It was a much-needed weekend away!

Gourmet Group was at our home this month. We served lobster. Yummy!

Today Amber got to read her third book, the short i book, 30 pages. She is so excited each time she gets a new book to read!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Old Toys & Funny Conversations

This is what is heard by the children in our home when they play with my old Barbies with limbs that fall off:

Autumn playing the daughter: "Mommy, my arm fell off!"
Amber playing the mommy: "Just put it back on, sweetie."

Autumn: "Mommy, I'm ready to go."
Amber: "Wait a minute, I have to put my head back on."

Autumn: "Are you okay?"
Amber: "I'm okay, I just got my arm sewed back on."

Autumn: "My arm broke!"
Amber: "Oh, that's okay, it happens all the time. The doctor will fix it."

Sunday, April 5, 2009


My 3-year-old, Autumn, caught her first fish yesterday on the boat with daddy. It was a chucklehead. Autumn kept asking, "Is the fish alright, daddy?" and Eric kept saying, "No, he's dead, sweetie." Autumn didn't seem to mind, though. We cooked it tonight.