Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Rest of the Story

A few weeks ago I told you about my husband starting a big fence project for our backyard. Last night Judd finished staining & sealing the scalloped picket fence he built (we didn't want the grey privacy fence look). He worked very hard on this project, and I'm so proud of the finished results.

This is the first fence Judd ever built and it is gorgeous! We've had neighbors call us to tell us what a great job Judd did on it. Strangers have stopped their cars to complement him on his work too. Can you imagine how hard it was to correctly build a scallop-topped fence, with gates, on a hill, with zero experience? It took a long time to complete, but it was worth the work. I love bragging on my hubby. He's a keeper!

And our precious daughters are kept safely within its borders now.

Great work, Judd! I'm so proud of you!

Outdoor Play Set

We bought an outdoor play set for our girls and setting it up was a manual labor of love. Because our backyard slopes, we had to dig out and level sections prior to building the set.

We have to use two baby swings for the twins right now, but the set did come with two regular swings. I think the bay window above the slide is adorable. (I let Sophie pick out her own outfits when we are staying home, and since the top and shorts both have pink somewhere in them, "they match". Later in life, when she sees these pictures, she's going to be mad that I let her pick out her own clothes, isn't she?)

This set has a rock wall, snack bar shelf, and a shaded area perfect for a sandbox and picnic table. We use pea gravel instead of sand because the kids don't track gravel into the house like they do sand.

We hope our girls will build great memories of playing together on this play set in our back yard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Couch to 5k - Day 1 and I Didn't Toss My Cookies!

I sort of committed to try out the Couch to 5K running program. Today was my first day and...oh, my! What a workout! Look how red my face turned! (ignore the fact I wasn't wearing a stitch of makeup). 

If you are interested in joining me in the Couch to 5K program, I have two websites for you to visit. First, you can download music with running/walking prompts all cued specifically for each week of the program which gradually takes you from couch potato to running 5K. This is all free, Baby! Download the podcasts or mp3s at Also, visit to see the details of how this running program works.

Today was day one and somehow I didn't toss my cookies. I didn't have the pleasure of going for a walk/jog on my own. I had to push this bad boy too!
This stroller with my three kids in it weighs 122lbs.

I didn't enjoy pushing the extra weight and my three year old, Sophie, didn't enjoy the ride. She kept whining the whole time. "Mommy, why is the dog chasing us! Mommy, are you going fast? Mommy, I'm cold (when it's 70 degrees outside). Mommy, I don't want to go this way! Mommy, I want to go to the park. Mommy, I want a drink. Mommy, She dropped her toy." ...and on and on and on!!!!! Doesn't she look thrilled to be doing this?

Plus, every time she wiggled around in an attempt to free herself, she'd throw the whole stroller out of balance making it even harder for me to run.

On the C25K program, you alternate intervals of walking and jogging. Day one is only 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds brisk walking to recover. The cue with the music went something like, "Now slow your jogging back down to a brisk walk to recover. I'll let you know when it's time to start jogging again. You should be able to feel the results of running by now, but should not be out of breath."

What?! Yep, I feel the results of running --if that's what you call what I'm doing. The results are sweat rolling down my back and pouring off my face and neck while my throat is as dry as a cracker. I'm gasping and panting so hard my daughter asks me what in the world I was doing?

Why would anyone want to do this?

Because Fit is Fabulous and it's swimsuit season!

So, are you in? Do you want to join me in the C25K program?

Race you to the fridge!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Sittin' on the Front Porch

My Sagging Hamper Had a Little Work Done

I bought this canvas hamper in Target's dollar section several months ago. It matched my black and white bathroom decor and was an upgrade from the worn out mesh hamper I previously used. was frumpy, and that bugged me. I know I certainly have more important things to do than be bothered by a frumpy hamper, but every time I opened my linen closet door, there it was, staring at me, in its poor, pathetic, droopy way. It's been begging for a little nip & tuck. Nothing major. Not, like a Joan Rivers, Cat Woman, or Kenny Rogers type of overhaul. Just a little lift.

I decided to reinforce the inside of the hamper with wire. Using wire cutters, I cut a wire hanger to the height of the hamper. Using pliers, I bent both ends of the wire over to eliminate a sharp wire edge which may poke through the canvas.Then, I covered the wire with black electrical tape to make sure it wouldn't rust if it came in contact with any damp towels (which should never be thrown in the hamper while damp, but...).

Turning the hamper inside out, I hot glued a long strip of scrap fabric to the side wall of the hamper leaving the center of the fabric free from glue the entire length. This created a fabric tunnel into which I slid the wire.

I reinforced the hamper this way three times in all.

An easy five-minute project produced the results I wanted. My hamper looks uplifted, refreshed, and like it just got back from vacation --if only I did!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plan B - Let's Make Snickerdoodle Cookies

Storms rolled through our city around 5 a.m. this morning knocking out power to several area schools. Sophie's Mommy's Day Out preschool is closed today, so, we went with Plan B - making snickerdoodle cookies!

I like using tried and true recipes from because you can see ratings and reviews from people who have already tested out the recipes. This snickerdoodle recipe was their hightest ranking - 4.5 stars reviewed by over 2,500 people.

Sophie and I had a great time baking these together. She's such a sweetie pie and loves to help out in the kitchen.

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.

3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

I already called my dad and told him we'd be bringing a few of these yummies over (that way Sophie and I won't eat them all!).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dreaming of this Master Bedroom

I've had the same old comforter and dust ruffle in my master bedroom for years. It's time for an update. Hello, Anthropologie! I've been drooling over their Cirrus duvet set (in grey) for years. My friend, Laurel, from has this in white. I love rouching and the steel blue/black color scheme. Although I do enjoy sewing, I admit, this duvet project seems daunting. I'm just not sure my sewing skills are good enough to pull this off, but the $300 for just the duvet and two shams is a big motivator for me to try.

 I don't care for their dust ruffle. I'd probably make mine black, long, and gathered.

West Elm carries a cheaper version of this coming in at $180 for the duvet cover and two shams.

But, this is a duvet cover, and I'd have to go buy the duvet insert since my current comforter is too big to fit in this cover.

What's a girl to do? Hmmmm?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baby Names

I'm joining Kelly's link up party at Show Us Your Life. Today's topic is baby names.

Before Judd and I were married, we talked about having children someday. We picked out names for them and wrote them on a list. One name was a 'J' name picked out to match Judd and Jennifer. After we got married and had years of infertility, that list of names tucked in our Bible at our favorite verse was a thread of hope for us. Imagine the prick in my heart when Judd's brother announced they were having their fourth child, and her name would be Jordan. But that was our name! We had it first! We had that name picked out for years and years on our list! Sniff Sniff. One by one the names from our list were "taken" as close friends and relatives had babies of their own. Stinkin' infertility.

But - God is faithful! After three unsuccessful rounds of IUI at the fertility clinic, we did in vitro and it worked.

We named our baby girl Sophia Coco. I always liked the name Sophie. It's a cute, friendly, happy name. As an adult, the name easily switches to Sophia - sophisticated, classy, and alluring. That name also means, "Wisdom of God." What more could a girl ask for in a name? Coco is just an adorable chic name I fell in love with. Yes, I do love to sew and enjoy fashion, so Coco Chanel did come to mind too.

We did in vitro again and had fraternal twins. We knew we wanted the first one born to be named Piper Jentry. I had to have an emergency C-section. The doctor reassured me that the lower baby is always pulled out first since she is the one who would have been born first naturally. I found Piper's name on a baby name website and loved it immediately. Judd instantly loved that name too. We found the name Gentry on that website too and liked it, but changed the spelling of it to Jentry. We had to get our 'J' name in there somewhere. (I see your "Jordan" and raise you a "Jentry" - just kidding).

Riley Autumn. Oh how I struggled with picking out her name. Part of me wanted to name her Petra ("the rock" and also one of the most spectacular places in the world.ever. google Petra and you will see). Since they were twins, Piper and Petra sounded good together too. But, Judd didn't care for that name and he kept the name Riley close to his heart. I'm so glad we named her Riley. It fits her perfectly. I wanted her middle name to be something soft and feminine, so Autumn was what we chose.

What's so important about a name?
Proverbs 22:1 "A good name (sterling reputation) is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold."

My prayer is that my girls' beautiful character outshines their names.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Food

Having fifteen month old twins means buying a lot of baby food. The checker at Walmart asked us if we were storing up on the baby food. Nope. This is one week's worth of food for the twins.

I used to make most of Sophie's baby food when she was little. That was before I had twins.

I do make baby food for Piper and Riley every once in awhile. Last week I made them poached then pureed pairs

pureed butternut squash

Blended green beans and peas.

Yes, I know it looks a bit gross, but my girls are looking rather orange with all the beta carotene in their other foods. They resemble little oompa loompas right now. I've got to balance that out with more greens and blues.

I also made smoothed sweet potatoes, and a pumpkin pair puree which didn't go over well. They didn't care for the steamed diced beats either, but Judd and I ate those right up - Yum! I get an 'A' for effort, but buying the pre-made stuff is so much easier. Fortunately, the twins are really starting to enjoy table food more and more each day. They've been off bottles for awhile now, and soon all of the mouths in my house will consistently be fed with table food, not little jars. Hooray!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In-Laws Are Here!

My in-laws came down from Nebraska this past week. I love it when they visit. I was able to take two, count them, two naps while they were here! My girls enjoyed the extra attention, and Grandma and Grandpa were tickled at watching the twins walk all over the place. All the pictures we took were with my MIL's camera, so I'll just post one from our last get-together. Piper and Riley have changed so much since their Grandma and Grandpa saw them last.

We did a little shopping, a little neighborhood walking, a little browsing at garage sales, a lot of eating - ha! I'm so thankful for my in-laws and look forward to seeing them again - soon, I hope.

Wordless Wednesday - Riley & The Chef Hat