Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feeling Much Younger, Newer, and Improved~ Sneak Peak

Why do all home improvements always throw curve balls back at you? 

Our little project that was supposed to take a few hours on Friday and a few hours on Saturday turned into all day Friday, all day Saturday, and a few hours on Sunday. So, my little madeover kitchen is not quite ready to make her debut, but I thought I'd show you a few pics of the progress we made this weekend. Actually the progress Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Salinas made this weekend.

THANK YOU, Thank you, thank you Bill!!!
And thank you General Salinas for lending us your husband.

My kitchen is feeling very refreshed but a little sore with all of the work done to her. She needs to add a little make-up before she can give you a total picture. Coming hopefully, very soon.  We are all giddy in the Dunbar home.
Now, I've got to go get the mess cleaned up, my men are tired of eating out.

~mrs. dunbar

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kitchen Today... she's feeling aged

Here are a few shots of my kitchen.

How do you like that silver metal edge to my counters?  It's like tin or something. Dont' mind the Jif or the cell phone.
My counters are this gray dingy blue-ish color. Who knows what they really looked like years and years and years ago, when they were installed.
The gray continues on my walls as a backsplash.
She's going in for a "Botox" of sorts today.  A makeover, nothing drastic, but I think she'll feel refreshed.

And here's my first attempt at something appliqued and a slipcover for the pillow.

Have a good day everyone.

~mrs. dunbar

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Food

My newest thing is to put something healthy out on the counter to snack on during the day. I found that I was constantly opening up cupboards or the fridge just to look for something to "snack" on.  This week its cherry or grape tomatoes. When I am making the boys something to eat or getting them a snack I already have something healthy out  and I can just pop them right into my mouth. It seems to be working since the chips  are still in the cupboard, kind of like an out of sight out of mind thing.   Now the cookies and Reeses, are still on my mind, but since I'm not eating sweets, they are off limits.

And my one in a million kid, Bogie, has decided to do some crazy bulimic thing. He won't swallow most of his food. Check out Exhibit A.
That is chewed up and spit out bacon and pineapple. The strawberries and olives are gone. But Bogie decided he didn't want to swallow this part of his meal. He put them in his mouth and chewed, but didn't eat it.
He did this at church on Sunday, too. He ate a fig bar on the way to church (because Mr. Dunbar is one of those crazies who says we have to go to the early service, so we eat breakfast in the car on the way to church.) Anyhow, when I went to pick him up, his teacher and the Children's Director said he refused to swallow whatever was in his mouth, (can we say strong willed?) so finally they made him spit it out.  Just wouldn't eat it they said.

Have any of your kids ever done this?  He's doing it with foods he loves (like pineapple), so its not even foods he just doesn't like.   I'm out of ideas on what to do with him on this.

~mrs. dunbar

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our days and the DJ

Wowzers!! I was informed yesterday by some friends that it had been too many days since my last blog post. And when I thought about it, they were right. ha. Life has just been creeping up and slipping by too fast.  I've worked a little; eighth graders are so different than 7th graders. It's always neat to see some of my students that I had in the 2nd grade now in the junior high. I've pretty much been right on - on how I thought they would turn out. I wonder if I'll be able to do the same with my own boys??
We puddled around the house on Saturday and on Sunday we went to a birthday party where everyone wore pajamas and then all of the kids had a pillow fight at the request of the birthday girl. During the party all of the Dads left to help one dad finish up a home project he was surprising his wife with.  They were able to complete it and come back in less than 2 hours and the wife was so surprised when they she got home, she was away all weekend for work/school stuff, and coming home to framed in windows was a pretty big surprise.  For me, it was really nice to see all of these guys, who are dads and husbands, who work all week long, would take a few hours out of their Sunday to help one of our friends.  They are just cool guys like that, and in general, I think it showed a lot about their character.

Anyhow, here are a few pics of my hooligans playing on the DJ. By far one of the best gifts they've ever gotten. Everyone who comes to our house loves this thing.

Pop on over to my friend Cathy's blog, she has a beautiful post on love and motherhood.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Chocolate Party

I was taking a shower the other day and the boys decided to have a Chocolate Party. This is what I found when I got to the kitchen.

So my kids love chocolate, they get that from me. But now I am detoxing our kitchen of the stuff.
On a side note:
Monkey has been cracking me up.

On the way to school yesterday he yelled from his seat, "You forgot to put cough medicine into me!" ~I didn't do what?

Then when we got home I noticed that a Band-Aid that I had put on him right before he left for school was no longer on his arm. When I asked him about it he told me,
"I guess it just took off."  ~Yeah , they do that sometimes.

Last night Mr. Dunbar and I were sitting on the couch right next to each other, Monkey climbed right into my lap put both of his little hands on my cheeks, looked straight into my eyes and said, "I'll fight him for you. I'll protect you Mommy." And then pounced on Mr. Dunbar. ~Okay, but don't hurt him too badly, he pays the bills.

This morning when he got up, I asked him why he came to my bed at 4am, he shrugged and said, "My bed just got lumpy." ~That's reason enough to go find another one.

Aye, this kid, he is forever making me laugh. 

Hope we made you smile. Have a great day everyone.

~mrs. dunbar

Monday, February 15, 2010

Okay, I blew it

I had every intention of having a nice heart picnic for all of my men on Saturday and to take pictures of us opening up our Valentines Surprises on Sunday, and then to whisk you away with photos of the eventfully fabulous Valentine's Dinner that Mr. Dunbar and I attend every single year. But none of it happened.  I was in a bad mood on Saturday, exhausted on Sunday, and just overwhelmed today.  But I received the following passage today and I thought it was fitting. I've read it before but it's a good reminder.

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom . Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.

It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

~mrs. dunbar

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Weeks- Day 12

The Drop-Off

We wrapped up cupcakes and dropped them off at our other friends door steps. They weren't home so we couldn't ding-dong ditch, (See Jennita, we're cool like that, too.) But we were hoping to give them a little lovin when they got home from work and school.

Funny story, kind of:

We started with our friend's that lived the furthest from us, dropped off their cupcakes and then went to another friend's house, who live a few blocks from Costco. I knew I was going to need gas, so I figured I would get it after the second drop off. We waited in line for Costco gas, have you ever waited in the LONG lines? We get up to the pump and realize that I had no wallet. I still had one more drop off so we sped to the last house, with my gas light on bright, and then I coasted all the way home in neutral praying that my car wouldn't stop.

Monkey has been telling me since Tuesday, that I needed gas. Next time, I'll listen.

~mrs. dunbar

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Weeks-Day 11

The Party.
Monkey wanted to have a Valentine's Day PARTY at our house. That's all he wanted he said, "A party at my house with my friends." Umm, okay. So, we re-arranged out weekly DATT (dinner at the Tibbetts)Group to be at the Dunbar's, so Monkey could have his Party.

I made cupcakes and put out snacks. (Mainly chips and dip in Heart shaped bowls.) No pictures.

While I was taking pictures of the cupcakes, Bogie was at the table saying, "Cheese!"
Okay, Bogie, I'll take your picture, too.
And no, he does not have front bottom teeth.
 I put out some art supplies(markers, stickers, glue sticks, Valentine's paper, funny scissors, etc.) for the kids to make Valentines Cards, or bookmarkers, or pictures.
 The girls took to the art supplies and got right to work.
The boys, not so much, they decided to play ping pong or swords in Monkey's room.
The dad's gabbed in the kitchen.
The Mom's chatted in the living room.
And then we ended the night with eating all of those cupcakes and exchanging Valentines.

A lovely, simple, evening shared with good friends.

Are you planning a Valentine's evening? Fun or Romantic?

~mrs. dunbar

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love Weeks- Day 10

The school Valentine's.

I tried to keep them simple since there are twenty kids in Monkey's class.  So we bought these Disney playing cards, added a little treat, and wrapped them up.
I attached a little note to the top that says "I think you're a winner."
And a small snippet of my kitchen's open shelving.

                  Oh and here's the link to Last years Valentines. 

~Mrs. Dunbar

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love Weeks- Day 8 & 9

Day 8

A little something for me.

I thought perhaps I'd get something new to wear, but then the Pottery Barn catalog came in and, well, I just knew I wanted this basket. Along with a pair of Converse,( I had to order to order 3 pairs to get free shipping on the boys Converse.) Red was all sold out in my size.

Day 9
The Heart Attack

This is a spin-off of something the Heart Attack I did for Mr. Dunbar on our first Valentine's Day. The boys were so excited to help me put up the hearts as a "special surprise for Daddy."  When you walk into the Great Room at our house this is mainly what you see.

I used scrapbook paper that I got at the Dollar Spot at Target (8 Valentines sheets in the package) and Pom Pom yarn (priced at $4.99, but I used my  40% off coupon.)

Tonight I'm going to add a couple hearts to each ceiling fan in the boys rooms. For a special surprise for them in the morning.   You could also tape large hearts to skewer sticks and stick them in your front yard along with a sign on the front door telling your loved one that they've been "Heart Attacked."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Love Weeks- Goof Up Day 7

Okay, so I goofed. Technically I did nothing yesterday. But, and that's a big "but", we did have a fun weekend away from home.
The Dunbar's went to the snow. 
And my beliefs of "How do people do this?!?" Still stand.
Snow is a lot of work. Tons.

But Monkey and Bogie had a blast.
The Daddy's lit up this old fashioned stove thing to dry all of the jackets, gloves, boots, and snow pants.

The children kept busy, either playing on their travelling games,
(See Patty, even 4 year olds want and IPod Touch)
waiting for the snow, rain, and sleet to let up, or eating snacks.
The Daddy's worked extra hard to shovel the cars out of the snow at the end of our stay.
Like hours, and these Daddy's are not used to shovelling snow.

They did a great job and got us all home safely.

Love Weeks- Will resume tomorrow, or tonight, if I can get my act together. I've got MOUNTAINS of laundry.

~Mrs. Dunbar