Saturday, July 28, 2012 see my adorable nephew!

...the little ones especially change so much so quickly.

Look at this cutie!

It was a fun time together although it was too short.

We saw lots of laughter!

Played some ball:

Rode in the wagon down the hill:

she has such a sweet smile that is not captured often enough.
Had a very short visit with Aunt Sandy:

Note how the tides are changing and it is actually #4 trying to get someone to cooperate!
And tried to get everyone to pose for several group shots (I totally bribed my crew with ice-cream thus they were somewhat cooperative.):

Lil' G was un-catchable for this photo.
silly ones in the back
Beautiful family!

And of course more ice-cream!

loves his first ice-cream (the baby not Uncle Jason)
What color is your tongue? 
What a nice time with the in-laws.  Till next time...maybe in Boston. enjoy our time in MI

...are we ever!

We have been doing lots of:

Audrey prefers to in the buff
Eating ice cream:

Check out these stadium seats!  Go Green!
Recovering from injuries (while eating ice cream):

 Learning new skills:
Thank you Uncle Dave and Aunt Karen for being the perfect hosts!
Will enjoyed paddling on the Grand River.
Thank you Uncle Don and Aunt Jean for suggesting such a fun activity!
Isabella is a natural on the water!
Riding the four wheelers:

Perfecting dives:

Now if I could only get her to join the swim team!
Spending time with cousins (my first their second):

group cannonballs!
Getting worn out!

And this was only the first two days of our trip!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 show more progress

...on the icebox

Sunday was a busy day.

Lots of activities going on.  I had errands to run.  And kids to tend too.

But in-between the bits of chaos of the day I tackled the legs of that chest.

The two legs on the left have not been treated with the bright pink goo...The right two have been.

The insides of the legs...again the top two have been treated.

The bottom two have not.  That stuff is great.

I donned my mask, grabbed my sander and scraped off even more of the old paint...

Then lastly I added two layers of primer/sealant so they shouldn't rust again.  It also should help that ice blocks won't be melting all over them.

Pretty and smooth

Next up?  More hardware cleaning.  Boring.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 mark some progress

...albeit small gains

Last week I was sure I had contracted pneumonia from sanding my icebox.  I took a few days off, acquired a face mask and realized I needed to get back to work.

This eyesore is taking up some serious space in my garage and is becoming a catch all.

note the helmets & the game of Bop-It on top
Getting to work:

I have started tackling some of the smaller projects within this big piece:

This is the ice block holder (I believe) and as you can see it is terribly rusted.

 I used this rust remover solvent that I had in the garage and some serious elbow grease along with a wire scraping brush in between applications.

pretty impressive
I had to let this piece set for 24 hours before I could add a protective coating.

So I moved onto this copper drain:

And used this slightly grainy rub for metals that I also had hiding in the depths of my cupboards.

Pretty little piece...although not at all useful 
Of course while I was working on these projects my little ones had to be creative as well...

Isabella has something impressive in the works!
 Spray paint grows out of grass right?
To be continued...

Saturday, July 21, 2012 go to Lake Ontario

...for the day with the kids

AND the LaGrange family.

And what a perfect day it was!

Sunny and 85 degrees.

Audrey packed and got ready to go 'all by herself'.

Maybe I didn't explain what a 'beach trip' was very well?
Beach days are the days I remember most from when I was a kid.

Lots and lots of time by the water.

carrying bucket after bucket out of the water
laying in the sand,

Apparently Katie and Isabella are ready for a tidal wave
as evidenced by their eye protection; 15 yards from the water
playing in the water,

playing in the sand,
covered eyes to toes

and getting buried.


Definitely my favorite season.

Friday, July 20, 2012 google awful diseases

...contracted by refinishing old furniture

In short I started working on my project today.

I have been using probably-not-so-environmentally-friendly products for removing paint, grime, and rust.

I also sanded and sanded and sanded some more.

And now...I am miserable.

Sneezing.  Runny nose.  Heavy chest.  Stuffy nose.  Sneezing some more.

Is it:
Pneumonia from the carcinogenic product fumes?   Yikes.  Sounds terrible. 
Terminal disease because it is lead paint?  Probably not likely. 
Allergy to dust storm created by my sander?  Hope so.  
Perhaps I should wear a mask tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012 say goodbye to my purple cabinet

....that I would really still love to love

But, I don't anymore....

This little cabinet was my first 'treasure' I came across in a little shop that was closing when we lived at Fort Campbell, Tennessee.

I believe it was orange and bright blue when I bought it...I sanded and painted this lovely piece and placed it proudly in our living area.

This cabinet has made many, many moves since.  And it has been repurposed several times.

Yet...(gasp, shock) it may be on its way out of our home.

Alas!  Don't be alarmed! Or worried that I will have an empty square foot of space in our home...I have come across an even better treasure.....


An ice box.

Aren't you so proud Mark?  Mom?  Dad?

Isn't this a beauty? (Minus the bike helmets and bop-it game?) might not be now; but when I am done with it, it will be gorgeous.

Just wait and see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 share our highlights from the Shades of Green

...from our time at the most magical place on Earth.

I had my reservations about staying at the Shades of Green.  In my mind it wasn't 'on the monorail' and thus not 'part of the resort' in my mind.

I had my heart set on staying at one of Disney's resorts.  I really wanted to have my kids have the full Disney experience.  Well...let's call a spade a spade.  I was being a hotel snob.

I had visions of elaborate pools and the ease of getting around from park-to-park from the convenience of my hotel's lobby on the monorail.

I was picturing Disney characters walking around our hotel's lobby.

I had visions of charm and comfort---

Well thankfully Mark is far more practical than myself in terms of both expectations and cost.

To him charm, comfort, and convenience were not worth the very significant cost difference of $274 per night.

We would see characters in the park.

If we wanted charming we should stay at a bed and breakfast in the New England countryside....not be heading to the biggest tourist trap in our country.

And comfort...well, not worth the $274 per night price difference.

Although the sheets and towels felt as if they were woven from scraps of sandpaper...I couldn't have been more pleased with Mark's hotel of choice.

I can say our experience at the Shades of Green was excellent.

The staff was incredibly friendly.

The hotel is considered to be ON the resort.  We were able to take advantage of Disney's Magic Hours.  (Guests of the shades of green could not participate in Disney's meal plan).

Transportation was extremely convenient.  To all of the parks.  Especially the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  Buses left the hotel every twenty minutes.

The pools were very clean, easily accessible, had excellent hours, and there weren't even restrictions for using pool floaties.

nighttime swimming...what could be more fun?
As for the characters...Mickey greeted us every trip through the lobby!

And Meals...While we could not participate in the meal plan benefit that Disney offers (I understand this is a pretty good deal) we instead ate many of our meals in the Garden Gallery.  One of two restaurants in the hotel.  And because Mark had redeployed within the year we also received an extra 20% off of our already reasonably priced meals.  This benefit was also extended to Mark's parents.  How great is that?

The meals were delicious and the buffet options were different every night.  Two of the evenings were especially for kids nights (make-our-own-pizza night AND circus night).  Bet you'll never guess their favorite?

The balloon guy even was present...and he was incredible!

I LOVE that my little girl still wanted to dress up in her princess dress...
yo ho ho
madame butterfly
look at her carmel apple!  Oh my.  It was delicious!
snow cones and a pirate with a parrot
after dinner in the courtyard; full dress costume with balloon gear

The hotel was a great choice.

Mark was right.

I cannot even say anymore that staying at the Shades of Green was a concession.

It will be my first choice when we return again in a few years.