I would like to thank Andie Jaye from Crayon Freckles for featuring the duct tape shirt I made with my son!  Be sure to stop by her blog & even link up to her Tip-Toe Thru Tuesday link party!

Thanks for the feature!

Hidden Toy Storage

Someday, I will have a playroom in the basement filled with adorable baskets & bins of toys.  It will be a place for my children to proudly display their favorite toys & to feel free to play & create until their little hearts are content!

Unfortunately, that is not the case at the present.  Each child has a FEW toys in their bedrooms (dollhouse, tea set, stuffed animals, door basketball hoop) but most of the toys are housed in our family room.  (A few of the toys my kids have somewhat outgrown & the toys that are big live in the unfinished basement.)  Since the family room is connected to the kitchen & can't be closed off, I like to keep as many toys hidden as possible.  Today, I thought I would share with you some of the places I hide my kids' toys!

1. Many toys & games are hidden in the entertainment unit my husband built.

{Toys are in the cabinets & in the baskets on the bottom shelves.}

2. We also have toys stored in a shelving system, which is on a wall that is somewhat hidden.

{I had my hubby build these crates after the fabric bins became somewhat deformed.}

3. My son's trains & tracks are hidden in a basket ottoman.

{When the lid is on, this acts as a piece of furniture.}

4. Our couch sits a few feet away from the wall, so we have a few of the larger toys behind it.  You can only see them if you walk around behind the couch.

5. The final place I have toys hidden in the family room is under the couch & love seat.  When we bought our refrigerator, a shelf was cracked & the company kept sending us a snack drawer instead of the shelf we needed.  We ended up with two & one day it hit me to use them under the couch.  These store my daughter's Polly Pocket/princess type things & her Barbie stuff.  We also have some collapsible Polly Pocket houses & a Barbie car stored under this love seat.

Depending on the height underneath your couch, you could possibly use under bed storage or cut a box down to size.  We have also reused the zippered pouch a bedding set came in as under the couch storage.  This one contains a marble run & marbles.

I hope this post was helpful!  What are some ways you hide toys?  I'd love some new ideas!


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Crazy Camp Days

Last week my son went to basketball camp.  Wednesday was "crazy shirt day".  Zeke & I both agreed he didn't have a "crazy" shirt.  I didn't think much about it on Tuesday night.  Zeke mentioned that he wanted to color polka dots on one of his old undershirts, so I figured that's what he would do.

I woke up really early on Wednesday morning & couldn't get back to sleep.  As I layed in bed thinking about anything & everything, the thought occurred to me that we should make a basketball jersey out of duct tape!  The idea seemed to come out of nowhere.

When Zeke woke up, I had to convince him to go along with my idea, which he did with some initial hesitation!  We ran to the hardware store to pick up some red duct tape & black electrical tape for the trim.  By the time we got home, we only had about 40 minutes to create the jersey.

I wanted to mimic the look of the local high school's jerseys, since the camp was being run by the high school basketball coaches & team (hence the red tape!).

Since we had limited time, I didn't snap pictures of the whole process, but hopefully enough that the idea can be duplicated.

First, I took an old jersey of my son's & traced it with a permanent marker onto a plastic garbage bag.

Next, I taped red duct tape completely covering the lines on both sides.  (The garbage bag was thin enough that I could see the lines on the other side.)

Then, I re-traced the jersey onto the red tape, so I could cut it out.  (There's a possibility the first step was pointless...)

The next steps were to cut the jersey out & tape the shoulders & side seams together on the outside & the inside.

{This picture was taken PRIOR to taping the shoulders & sides.}

The slow down began at this point.  Since the original jersey was stretchy, I had to keep cutting down the neck (of the duct tape jersey) so it would fit over his head!

The final steps were to add black electrical tape as trim around the neck, arm holes, & bottom.  Lastly, (I was really running behind at this point...) I added the letters & Zeke's basketball number to the front & just the number on the back.

Here's a very quick snapshot of the finished product:



It's not perfect, but it was a big hit at camp!  The coaches & high schoolers thought it was pretty cool & Zeke won "Craziest Shirt" for the day!

I should mention that my seven-year-old son totally helped with this project.  He gathered supplies, pulled the tape off for me, captured some of the pictures, & was my gopher for about 40 minutes!  Plus, I made him try it on about 10 times in order to get the neck to fit!  If we would have had more time, he would have done more of the work!  Last year, we made a duct tape pouch that Velcros closed for him to keep his lunch money in, & he did most of the work on that. 

This would be a great rainy day project.  Let your children design & decorate their own duct tape shirts & accessories.  Then, they could put on a fashion show & model the finished product!  This duct tape comes in all different colors & patterns, such as orange, teal, & animal prints!

So, do you have any creative ideas for crazy shirt day?  What about crazy sock day?  (That was Thursday & my idea of taping feathers to the top & duck feet at the bottom of rainbow striped socks didn't end up working out!!  I wish I would have had time to get some fake fur.  I thought it would be funny to add it to some long socks to make it look like Zeke had really hairy legs!!)



Landscaping Retained!

So, I finally convinced my husband to build a small retaining wall around our front landscaping!  Yay!  I gave you this sneak peak a few days ago:

And, here is a bigger view of it:

I can't really tell you how he did it, since I wasn't able to help on the two days he worked on it.  The basic steps were to dig out the area & add some sand to level the blocks.  Once they were all in place, he added tiny pea gravel to help with drainage & then filled it with topsoil until it was level with the rest of the ground.

Of course, once the new wall was in, we had to add some additional landscaping & mulch to spruce it up even more!

We kept the boxwoods in their place and added some type of evergreen shrubs in front of them.  We also moved our hostas around.  Then we added:

a Green Lace Leaf Japanese Maple, red Coleus, some sort of petunia, and...

some yellow Tickseed.  (I think these are deer resistant!  Wahoo!)

With the left side looking so good, I couldn't just leave the right side of our door looking sloppy, so I we again moved & added some plants.

We added some adorable, red Poppies...

and some beautiful Dianthus.

We moved our boxwoods to the back and moved both our hostas & barberry bushes into triangle shapes to create the look below:

And now here's a picture of the whole house:

{Trying to block the sun out of the picture!}

And, just in case you forgot what it looked like before:

Finally, one thing completely crossed off the Summer Project List!  How are your summer projects coming along?


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What's Up With Us...

Summer hasn't even officially started (you know, because it's not June 21st yet) & we are already crossing things off our Summer Project List!  Who knows, maybe we will actually get it all done!

My husband has been wanting us to go camping as a family for a LONG time.  He finally got his wish on Memorial Day weekend, when we visited Red River Gorge.  (Google it for better pictures.  The place is amazing!)  Unfortunately, my camera battery was dying, so I only got a few pictures this time, but here are some pictures from various day trips to the gorge:

{Chimney Rock}

{Sky Bridge}

{Zeke with his uncle}

We actually camped at Red River Gorge Campground, which I would highly recommend.  The campground was adorable!  As you entered you saw a fishing pond, rustic barn, & charming farm house with a red tin roof.  (Sorry, no pictures though!)  At the campground, we went on a canoe ride & Zeke caught his first fish!

Jim (owner of Red River Gorge Campground) obviously shares his love of pallets with a lot of us bloggers:

{I had to share this pallet basketball goal with you!}

{Pallet table at one of the camp sites}

Anyway, we got home from camping on Monday (Memorial Day) around 4:00 & my husband immediately started in on another project. 

{Retaining Wall}

The wall turned out to be a pretty quick project.  I'll share more of the details & pictures on Friday, so be sure to stop by again then!

On Wednesday of that week, I volunteered to help out with Field Day at my son's school.  I didn't pick a very good station to work at, as it required handling feet & wet socks!  I brought my camera, but decided it wasn't worth photographing those!

Thursday, we attended our town's Frontier Day Parade.  We went last year & got a hoot out of the fact that they gave away goetta along the parade route.  Here's a picture from this year to prove it:

{The guy on the segway is seeing who wants it the most!}

If you've never had goetta, it is a sausage product that contains oats.  I have personally never eaten it, but I have heard it's good! 

Friday, was Eliana's dance recital.  She did a great job, despite losing her slipper at the beginning of her routine!

Saturday, we went swimming & later went to the Frontier Day carnival.  The kids had a great time on the rides, but we only stayed for about an hour because it was so HOT!

After church on Sunday, I power washed the deck & began staining it on Tuesday.  I had no idea how long it would take!  I'm still not done with it, but here's a sneak peak:

In between staining the deck & working on the front landscaping, we have been going to the pool & library.  I have been trying to balance home projects along with fun activities for the kids, which has caused my poor house to suffer.

Tuesday was Zeke's last day of school.  I came up with the idea to hide around the side of the house & douse him with water balloons & squirt guns as he approached the house.  It would have been a great idea, had his pants not fallen down, causing him to fall pretty hard on the sidewalk!  It's all good though, because he enjoyed it before the fall & got to get back at us after the fall!

So, that's what's up with us!  What's up with you?


Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is less than a week away.  Yikes!  I'm not sure what I'll be doing for my father, father-in-law, or husband this year...I better get on that!

Anyway, I thought I would share a couple of Father's Day gifts from years past:

I made this for my father-in-law last year:

My father-in-law used to play scrabble on the computer all the time.  I found this idea somewhere (if you know the origin of this idea, please let me know so I can give credit) but couldn't find any scrabble tiles.  I ended up finding printable scrabble tiles online.  I cut out all the fake tiles I needed, glued them on a black piece of card stock, & framed it.  Simple & sweet!

This is what I made for my dad last year:

This is a Wendy original!  To make this, I bought a plaque from Hobby Lobby for about $1.50.  I used some leftover stain around the edges.  Then, I printed a map from Map Quest from our address to my parent's address.  The big, blue line shows the path from our town to where my parents live.  I zoomed it out enough to have both my city & my dad's city fit on the plaque.  Then, I wadded up the map, painted it with watered down brown paint, & let it dry in the sun.  You can see a similar process here.  Once dry, I cut it to size & decoupaged it to the plaque.  Then, I added some stickers from Hobby Lobby to say, "don't forget your keys".  I also added a vintage camera sticker, a sticker near our hometown that says, "Wish you were here!" and an arrow sticker that points to where we live.  Then I had my husband drill pilot holes (I think that's what they're called) & screw in the hooks.  I love the way this turned out!

Below is a gift I made for my husband for Father's Day in 2006. 

I found this idea in an old MomSense Magazine.  To make this, I took a picture of my husband & son together (This was before my daughter was born.) and had a 5x7 printed in sepia.  Then, I took an 8x10 mat & painted it cream.  Once that dried, I used painters tape to make stripes and painted them tan.  Finally, I decoupaged the picture to the mat & wrote "Happy Father's Day 2006" below it.

So, there you have it!  Hopefully these ideas will inspire you.  Now, what are you doing for Father's Day?  I need some ideas fast!


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