Wednesday, June 19, 2013

...of reupholstery

I've seen that a few of my friends around the world have the lovely little Latt children's table and chair set from Ikea.  Maybe it's just my kid that stands on the flimsy little seats, which has slowly created cracks in them.  And maybe we are the only ones who then used them for a kid gathering and they returned to our house not with crack, but holes.  But I'm cheap on a budget, so I didn't want to buy new chairs, I wanted to be able to fix the old ones, gosh darnit!  

Unfortunately wood is sort of hard to come by (read: expensive) in this country, so I couldn't just go and buy some wood and cut more seats.  But I did have some thick cardboard.  And some fabric.  So I took some pictures of what I did, just in case any of my friends have or will have the same problem and might like a quick little solution.  You could also do it to spice up the set even if they are holding up better for you than they have for me. 

The one with the little crack
The one with the holes (forgot to take a before shot.  But you can see here how bad it was.)

Take apart the chair and remove the seat.
I turned the seat over so that the cracks and holes would have pressure put on them from the other side and hopefully be a little more sturdy for longer - if that makes sense. 
Cut a piece of thick cardboard a little smaller than the seat.

Cut a piece of fabric a little larger than the seat.  If I had had spray glue, I would have sprayed the cardboard  before placing it face down on the wrong side of the fabric. But it works without it.  Then lay the seat face down, centered over the cardboard.
 
And just wrap it up.  The tape becomes unnecessary when you are done, so you can use whatever kind you have handy.
I made sure the corners were wrapped like this, because I think it made those squared out corners wedge in there a little better.
Then wedge it into the slots really tightly when you put it all back together!
Done.
Bedtime ready, thumb-sucking, chair enjoying kid.  Selah even tried to climb up in one today (which she never did when they were boring).  She kinda made it and sat there for awhile with my help.  

Yay for being cheap!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

...of a Father's Day note

This weekend was a special one for our family.  On Saturday, Quinn and I celebrated five years of marriage.  On Sunday we celebrated two and a half years of him being a dad.  So I wanted to take a moment to forever record my gratitude for Quinn Ryan Smith.

Quinn,

We met almost seven years ago.  I was dramatic and indecisive.  You were steadfast and assured.  You were adorable, handsome, kind, talented, inventive, and gentle. The Lord told me I could trust your leadership and your assurance in Him for the rest of my life.  So I did.  And we got married.

You gave me a home.  You led me humbly and gently through years of busyness and memories.  

I thought we were thinking about thinking about talking about having kids.  But, apparently, you were praying for one already.  And the Lord answered your prayer in His timing (not mine).  You loved me through nine months of whining and complaining.  You prepared for the birth of our son by spending time in the Word and let me take care of the decorating.  You were calm and reassuring when he came.  My favorite memory from that day was watching you look at your son in that baby warmer for the first time.  I was overwhelmed by how blessed I felt that that boy would have you for an earthly father.  It was one of the best moments of my life.

You have been a better father than I could have ever dreamed.  I was a little worried when I found out that you had only changed one diaper before you were going to have your own child.  But I learned that the amount of time a man spends with other children before he has his own does not determine the kind of father he will be.  What has made you the most amazing father is your servant heart, your firm and loving hand, your love of Jesus, your youthful spirit, your willingness to guide our children as a leader and play with them as a comrade.  Abram adores you and it's heart melting.  I can hear his little voice telling me just yesterday, "I love Daddy SO much".  Me too, buddy.  Me too.

We started to wonder if God had something different planned for our lives.  You were sure about our calling long before I was.  You were patient and kind, not pushy but directive. Once again, God assured me that I could trust you and what He had confirmed in you.  And so we prepared to move to the other side of the world.

You surprised me by also confirming that you wanted to have another baby when Abram was only five months old.  Were we crazy?  Yes.  But we tried and God blessed us with our precious, sometimes solemn, sometimes emotional, but always bright eyed and beautiful little Selah.  You chose her name.  I chose the pronunciation.  Thank you.  She looks like you and I love it.  I think she is more like you, too: easy to get along with, until she suddenly lets you know that something is bothering her, and then snugly and smiley one moment later, forgiving and forgetting in a very special way.

These kids (and any others that the Lord might see fit to bless us with) have no idea yet how truly blessed they are.  To have a father that is creative, encouraging, vocal, and persistent about their knowledge of our King and their relationship with Him is a rare thing.  But you are that.  The songs you have made up have Abram and I constantly singing the Psalms.  The books you have written have helped not only our kids and I, but others as well, to understand the Good News more fully.  Your gifts are incredible.  Your humility is inspiring.  You devotion is convicting.

I am so grateful to God for making you the man that you are and are continuing to become.  To think that if I had met you eight years ago, your life would have caused me to pass right on by without thinking twice.  But He brought you out of darkness and death into light and life, as He has done for me and all who put their trust in His power and sacrifice and I will praise Him for that for the rest of my life

You started out as an awkward, quiet, tree climbing, banjo playing, creature drawing, enigma of a man that I met one morning at 6am in a high school gymnasium and have so quickly and providentially become a more bold, outgoing, tune writing, book writing, caring, loving rock of a man who I am so so blessed to call my husband and the father of my children.

I love you, Quinn Face.  You are my best. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

...of a photo jackpot!

Here I was, thinking that I only had iffy iphone photos to share with you last time, and then I looked in our photo archive to find that Quinn had copied over some pictures that we had apparently taken during the last few weeks of May!  So here I am with said pictures.  I'll let them do most of the talking...

Birthday dress from some friends.

Pink Eyed Bug.

Breakfast sandwich on homemade rolls?  No one complained.

Finally getting to open her birthday present from Gigi and Boppa

I am going to write a little preface to the following pictures:
Selah got a leotard and tutu for her birthday.  I was anxious to try it on her and see how she looked/what happened.  I have purposefully avoided tutu like skirts throughout Selah's life because they didn't seem like her or me.  But this was an actual ballet outfit and I did ballet when I was little, so I thought maybe Selah would like it and we would have a little ballerina on our hands.
 No such luck.
 We'll have to try it again some other time.
Yay!  Finally off!

Playing outside before dinner.



Pushing Selah.

Banging.

Getting sweaty.

Sweaty and dirty.

Date night with Quinn face.

View from the balcony at the Starbucks near our house.  



Monday, June 3, 2013

...of kid miscellany

No.  Let's just call it what it is: catch up.  I haven't posted in awhile.  I am beginning to realize that unless this blog becomes something kind of "official" in a way, there is no urgent motivation to make the time to do frequent posts.  I would love to have documented Selah's first few years as well as I did with Abram, but one more kid makes things quite a bit harder.  Also only having one computer, which is the one that Quinn uses for work makes it exponentially harder.  We are talking about getting a new one for me soon, as he will be starting to go away to the church office everyday and my only access to a computer at all will be very late and night and on the weekends.  So, maybe that will be like our anniversary present.  We will have been married for five years on the 15th of this month!
It feels like so much longer than that (in a very, very good way).  But we are already starting to make plans for what we want to do to celebrate, since we are notoriously bad at making date plans and then just ending up somewhere uneventful, unfun, or too expensive.  Hopefully whatever we do will be blog worthy and picture heavy :)

So, what have we been up to?  

Selah is still not standing on her own or indicating/pointing.  These things worry me sometimes, but then she will do something else that proves that she is developing and changing and growing and otherwise on track.  She cruises, crawls, and climbs over stuff like nobody's business.  She loves to just go right over whatever is in her path (mostly people).

She's been "talking" a lot more.  Officially she is "saying": Mama, dada, more (but it sounds like "mama") and milk (it also sounds like "mama"). But it's clear what she wants when she says it.  She also starting copy us saying "bubba" today, which is what we are calling Abram for her.  Oh.  And she very clearly and decisively says "no no no" as well, like when she knows she is in trouble or when she doesn't want something.  We'll see her doing something she shouldn't be doing and we say "Selah..." and she immediately says "no no no..." and usually stops what shes doing.  Abram said "yeah" for a long time before ever uttering the word "no".  I think it says a little about what I've seen in their personalities that she is saying "no" before "yes".  So funny.  We've also had to stop her a few times from hitting him too hard on the back or in the face or pulling his hair.  I don't think I've had to tell Abram to be gentle with Selah in her whole life except for a few times when she was pretty new.  Little sister beating up on big brother.  Who'da thought?

Selah is also getting more attached to Quinn recently.  I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that we are now officially completely weaned now, or that she's just now realizing how awesome he is.  He's been able to watch them once or twice recently for longer periods of time (because she's not nursing) and I think it's helped.  When he puts on his book bag and computer bag to head out to the office in the morning, she starts to freak out.
She races over to him and gets him to pick her up and then just kind of snuggles with him until he has to put her down and leave and she whines and little and then we are fine.  When Abram sees her upset about it, he gets clingy and whiny, too, and then Quinn ends up with his kids and bags hung all over him until we peel them off and he sneaks out.

So that's the Bell.

And for the Bug... He is still stuttering some, but I think I can clearly see that it's because his mouth is trying to catch up with his brain (which is what so many of my knowledgable and wonderful friends and family have said is probably the case).  I mean, I feel like his vocabulary is growing like crazy every day.  His grammar and sentence structure is getting so good and I'm just in awe of how I get to see first hand how God develops our brains as humans.  Pretty cool.

He also amazes me because he's so caring and in tune to the needs of other people or what other people are doing and not just on himself all of the time.  Maybe this is a normal thing for a two and a half year old, but I just assumed they were all completely selfish :)  But he's so not.  Many of the questions I hear throughout the day are things like "You wanta banana too, Mommy?" or "Are you feeling better Mommy?" or "Does Selah wanta milk, too, Mommy?" It just makes me grin thinking about what his little face looks like when he asks questions.  His eyebrows raise up really high and his eyes get all big and he kind of tilts his head and makes sure that he's right in front of your face and you are looking right at him.  He doesn't just do it to me. I've seen him to it to other people as well.  It's a really great character trait that God has blessed him with right now and I hope He continues to grow and develop in him.

I've been making a quilt for Selah that will sort of match the one that I made for Abram before he was born.  I want to use them on their beds as they get older.
 
My wonderful friend Sarah shopped for the supplies at Joann and then sent them over to me!  Isn't that amazing?  Cute quilting fabric is really hard to come by over here.  I started working on it the other day and with Abram's help, I have completely finished the top already!
Now I have to make the bias trim, the quilt sandwich, and then actually do the "quilting" part.  So I've got awhile to go.  But It's been so fun to actually make something again.  I don't usually make the time, but when I do I see that it's possible.  Now, most of the housework was severely neglected the last week because of it, so it can't be a regular thing.  But it's fun to take a break every once in awhile.
(Hidden message.  Can you see it?)

I'll stop there.  Of course there are tons of things that the kids are doing and things to share, but neither you nor I want two weeks worth of kidformation in one post.  Hoping to satiate the grandparents with this :) And then count down the days until my mom will be here for almost a month!!!  I think we're at 19 days.  But with how fast the last 6 months have gone (can you believe that it's June?!) 19 days will probably go by faster than I think.

Have a great week, friends who have made it to the end of this kid-heavy post!  You are troopers.  :)