May 2014 archive

Random Rambles

This girl has my heart.

She's half Nebraskan...

She’s half Nebraskan…

She’s the best kid I could have ever imagined even asking the Lord for.

Love her curls...

Love her curls…

She’s a picture of grace and mercy and forgiveness – bountiful in each.

My suntan/sprinkler partner...

My suntan/sprinkler partner…

I really, really wish I were more like her.

Cute girl in a cute shirt!

Cute girl with a big pink bow!

Lord, help me to be the mommy she deserves.


Today was housecleaning Thursday combined with mowing Thursday.  Everything looks spic and span…and I’m beat.


Wryder has been slowly repaying Sawyer for all of the care she’s given him over the past year.



He’s got a long way to go but it is so much fun to see them play so much together!

Look at 'em go!

Look at ‘em go!


Sawyer has figured out how to get in the crib with Wryder via various toys in the toy room.

Sweet sibs!

Sweet sibs!

Thankfully, he hasn’t managed to get out………yet.


In order to save a few dollars, I starch and press all of Wrexy’s dress shirts here at home.  After I’ve ironed them, I always stick little notes in the pockets.  Nothing too elaborate, but a little note of some sort to make him laugh or to let him know how special he is to me; it’s a simple way I can show some love.    Sawyer has recently gotten in on the action.  She’ll color and decorate the note paper and then write her message and tell me what it says so I can write it out to make sure daddy can understand it.  Wrex sent me this pic the other day…



That girl loves the sale barn…and that daddy loves that girl.


Our sweet neighbor and friend had a birthday today and I whipped up this cute door hanger for their baseball loving family.

Imagine there's a burlap bow and a jute rope hanger, will you?!

Imagine there’s a burlap bow and a jute rope hanger, will you?!

I had seen a version of this floating around Pinterest and I thought it was ADORABLE.  Turns out, it was an easy naptime project!


We popped into the local dollar store yesterday and in a basket of clearance items were some Disney princess stick on earrings for $0.40!  We bought ‘em.

Can ya see 'em?!

Can ya see ‘em?!

I remember my grandpa buying me stick on earrings when I was a little girl and I loved them!  My parents didn’t really have any major rules on getting ears pierced but I was scared to death to do it until about 6th grade.  Thankfully, I had those fashionable, sticky, sparkly shapes to get me through…


We’re headed to Denver tomorrow to celebrate the graduation of two young ladies who we’ve had the pleasure of doing life with.  To think I first met them when they were 7 and 8 makes me feel OLD.  Why can’t that danged clock slow down…

Happy weekend to you!

Our Humble Abode: Front Yard

Oh, friends…I think we’ve recovered for the most part.  We’re still nursing sunburns and a few scabbed over blisters but other than that, we feel human again.

When we moved into our home three years ago there was no yard.  The “front yard” was basically just packed down dirt, which we then used as a driveway for a few years.

See?  No grass...

See? No grass…

We had planned to lay sod the first year we were here but we got busy doing all sorts of other things outside like cutting down dead trees, building fence, removing old fence, etc. and it never got done.  The next summer, a handsome newborn slowed us down but this past weekend we made it a priority!

We started by leveling a place for a sidewalk that would lead from the driveway to the front door, as there never was one.  I wanted a cute, curvy sidewalk, but it was a little faster and easier to just make a straight one…and I’m all about fast and easy!

A long way to go...

A long way to go…

Thankfully, the ground was soft thanks to the inch of rain we’d had during the week so it made the weeding and leveling a little easier.

Concrete going in!

Concrete going in!

Our neighbor and his grandad came and helped us float and level the sidewalk and we were so grateful that they did!

One section done!

One section done!





We were really pleased with how the sidewalk turned out…it just kinda makes you want to rip out all of the old concrete around the place and start over!

Next, it was time to level the yard area and it get it ready for sod.  This took a while…a long while.  We finally finished about 6:00 on Sunday evening and got to actually lay the sod.  We’ve decided that laying sod is easy; prepping the ground for sod is not.

Cute helper with her shovel...

Cute helper with her shovel…

Looking good!

Looking good!

This man is a MACHINE!

This man is a MACHINE!



It looks soooooo nice (sans the seams, of course) and was totally worth feeling like we did on Monday.  ;)  Sawyer has already taken advantage of a few barefoot walks and some sprinkler play.





We got flowers planted and our other lovely neighbor came down and bladed our driveway!  Seriously, the place is looking good…except for the rest of the acreage that needs mowed again since we were a little busy with this project…we’ll get there.

yardBring on the summer…and all of the rest of the projects on our list!

Our Humble Abode: Stairway

We are smack dab in the middle of an outside re-do, so I’m gonna keep this short and sweet so I can help lay some sod.  EEP!  Pray I don’t get too much dirt under my nails before the baby shower I have to get to this afternoon.  ;)

The stairs in our old farmhouse are steep.  The last person that came to visit said, “I don’t think I’d call these stairs – I think I’d call them a ladder!”   I wish I had a picture before I painted the hand rail and the wall, but I’m sure you can imagine that lovely purpleish color that’s been in the bathroom and kids’ room, yes?!  The stairs in and of themselves weren’t horrible, just a little plain…and dangerous.


Not horrible, just nothing exciting...

Not horrible, just nothing exciting…

The first thing we needed was a gate of sorts.  With Sawyer’s room being upstairs, we did not want her falling down those steep stairs so we needed it be sturdier than a baby gate…and more aesthetically pleasing.

Wrex found a pallet that was narrower than normal and had slats that were really close together.  We added hinges and a lock and the gate was born!


Isn't the awesome?!

Isn’t the awesome?!

It lays flat against the wall when not in use...

It lays flat against the wall when not in use…

We then decided to give the stairs a little pizazz using fabric and wall paper paste.  Wrexy measured and cut all the rectangles and I “glued” them on to the stair faces.  I absolutely love how they turned out!

Don't you?!

Don’t you?!

I still hate those ugly black skid thingies, but alas, three years later and they’re still here.  I’m kind of itching to redo the faces again with different fabric.  We’ll see what I can get Wrexy talked into…after the sod gets laid.

Feed Me

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, Wryder loves to eat and I mean LOVES to eat!  It’s such a joyous, exciting thing for him and it is so fun to see.

Sawyer is a good eater; she’s not very picky…she tries new things…her palate is expanding all the time these days…she finishes all of her food and is obedient about it, but she doesn’t get excited like he does.  Meal times with her can drag on and on and on and on and on.  Partly because she likes to talk and sing and we have to do a lot of reminders regarding the fact that it’s time to eat and not play, but she just doesn’t get as jazzed about eating as this guy does.

Look at that sweet smile...all those crumbs!

Look at that sweet smile…all those crumbs!

He just really likes food!  Every since he was born, he was an eater and he liked to be full.  There in the beginning, he really only cried when was overly tired or overly hungry…and overly hungry just meant he though he might’ve felt his tummy fall below the stuffed line.

Feed me!

Feed me!

Remember when he dug in the trash can, found the empty pumpkin can, dipped his hand in and started licking if off of his arm and fingers?!

They don't feed me enough around here!

They don’t feed me enough around here!

He rarely turns down an offer regarding food so sister offers a lot!



This morning took the cake (so far).  I had finished cooking breakfast and was dishing up everyone’s portions.  I had fixed his plate first so that it could cool while I finished ours, so I dished it up and set it on the table to do just that.

As I was walking to the table with plate in hand, I saw him get excited about it but I didn’t think anything of it until I heard, “Mom!!” coming from Sawyer.  I turned around and he had reached up to the table on his tippy toes, grabbed a huge handful of eggs and then went to town shoving them in his mouth.

I just couldn't wait!

I just couldn’t wait!

You can clean it up later, mom!

You can clean it up later, mom!

It was too funny and too cute to be upset about!  Poor guy is HUNGRY when he wakes up!

We will soon be taking donations for his food budget once he gets even bigger…any takers?!

Our Humble Abode: Kids’ Room

As much as I love our bathroom, I love the kids’ room even more!  It started out just as Sawyer’s room, obviously, but we decided we’d like for them to share a room for a while so we could all be upstairs together.  (Our home has two bedrooms upstairs and two bedrooms downstairs.)

One of Wrex’s biggest desires for our home is peace…and the room sharing didn’t really result in a lot of peace.  Wryder is a really light sleeper and no matter how much training we did or rules we had, it just wasn’t working out.  He was waking up a lot, which would wake us up, which would then wake sister up and peace was hard to find.  We separated them for the time being but hope to revisit the room sharing thing soon.


When we moved in, this room was probably in the worst shape.  Between the paint job and the fact that the previous tenants put carpet upstairs by gluing it to the hardwoods, meant that we had some work to do.

View from just inside the door.  See the glue tracks from the carpet?

View from just inside the door. See the glue tracks from the carpet?

And, again, that paint job...

And, again, that paint job…

Closet and it's paint job.  Are you seeing a theme?

Closet and it’s paint job. Are you seeing a theme?


We put in wood flooring and painted everything pink, of course.  The walls in this room are thin and strange and the ceiling had a lot of visible joints, so we added faux beams to break the room up a little and hide those seams.

***This room has changed a bit in the three years we’ve lived here, so some pictures are older, while some are newer, but you’ll get the idea.***

Ta-Da! Told you it was pink! This was when it was just Sawyer...

Ta-Da! Told you it was pink! This was when it was just Sawyer…

One of my favorite parts of the room is this little chalkboard.  This door is the entrance to the upstairs crawl space and looked kinda silly just hanging out there, so I added some chalkboard paint and the paint cans as chalk holders.  (This was prior to the last can being hung).

Isn't it cute?!

Isn’t it cute?!

We decided to take the closet doors off and leave it exposed and I really like how open it is and how it turned out.  The dresser is one of my favorite things in the house.  I painted two drawers and mod-podged maps on the remaining two – cute and easy!

Who doesn't love maps!?

Who doesn’t love maps?!  And shoes, for that matter…

The rest of her room is just lots of pink and colorful things that we love and cherish.

Shelf with things she's made or things people made for her...

Shelf with things she’s made or things people made for her…

These books were two of my mom's favorites when she was growing up which she then gifted to Sawyer...

These books were two of my mom’s favorites when she was growing up which she then gifted to Sawyer…

Artwork from her Aunt Dessa; an interpretation of one of her 3 month old baby pictures...

Artwork from her Aunt Dessa; an interpretation of one of her 3 month old baby pictures…

Oh yes, bows are important to us.

Oh yes, bows are important to us.

I love this sweet little rug...

I love this sweet little rug…

Glider and cute is that bear pillow I thrifted?!

Glider and friends…how cute is that bear pillow I thrifted?!

My mom's baby blanket...another treasure.

My mom’s baby blanket…another treasure.

This little rocker was my mom's, then mine, now Sawyer's...

This little rocker was my mom’s, then mine, now Sawyer’s…

I bought this baby quilt at an auction.  I LOVE all the colorful, vintage fabrics!

I bought this baby quilt at an auction. I LOVE all the colorful, vintage fabrics!

The ceilings upstairs are really pitched so I knew I needed a really shallow light fixture.  I had Wrex shape me one out of wire and then I took strips of scrap fabric and ribbon and started tying it on.

Love how this turned out!

Love how this turned out!

Once Wryder moved in, we didn’t want the poor boy to have to live in a totally pink room, so I painted his half white!

It's not pink!

It’s not pink!

I made these from some thrifted frames, spray paint and some scrapbook paper.

I made these from some thrifted frames, spray paint and some scrapbook paper.

Love my little WD...

Love my little WD…

His little nook...

His little nook…

We used these old grain elevator cups as storage...

We used these old grain elevator cups as storage…

How cool is that toy box?!

How cool is that toy box?!

These little guys were in Wrex’s nursery when we was a little guy – awwww!

If you haven't read the Little Blue Truck you NEED to!

If you haven’t read the Little Blue Truck you NEED to!

There are soooooo many fun things in this room (to me) that it was hard to know where to stop and start for this post!  Sawyer told me her favorite part of her room is her bed and Wryder, well, he replied in Cantonese and I’m not sure exactly what it meant.

What’s your favorite part of their room?!

The Phipps Kids, Au Naturel

The wheat fields surrounding our house look so pretty and lush right now.  (We’ve been fortunate to have about an inch of moisture and are praying for more.)  There’s an area of really long grass that butts up to the field to the north so I took advantage of yesterday’s beautiful weather and shot a few pics of the kids.  I want to call them “au naturel” because this is how I see them in my mind’s eye…Sawyer with her wild curls, Wryder and is his inquisitive eyes…play clothes and dirt smudges…nothing contrite or over fussed…just my kids. I am so grateful that I get to spend my days with them…

Sweet smile

Sweet smile

Look at those lashes!

Look at those lashes!

She chose this pose and I LOVE IT!

She chose this pose and I LOVE IT!





My handsome man!

My handsome man!



And again...

And again…

Sweet babies...

Sweet babies…

Love this one!

Love this one!

REALLY love this one!

REALLY love this one!

Our Humble Abode: Bathroom

When the Lord provided our little house on the prairie here on the eastern plains of Colorado, we were thrilled to have a place to call home…but home needed a little work.  Mostly paint.  It’s so…what’s the word…interesting?? the paint colors people choose and the previous renters had chosen some interesting ones for sure.  Ahem.

We painted every space, put in new flooring in three rooms and spiffied up the others, built shelves and got creative and just had a grand ole, exhausting time!

Today, I thought I’d give you a little before and after tour of our bathroom.  It was the smallest and easiest for me to throw together this morning.  :)



This flooring was just stick on tile…


See that nice paint job?!


Yes, that’s duct tape…

As you can see, it needed a little work.  We replaced the flooring, bath tub, sink and painted the walls.  As weird as it may sound, it’s now one of my favorite rooms in the house!


We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up.  We chose a vinyl flooring that was water proof, not just water resistant.  We kinda figured we might have a little splashing in here from time to time.  This is my favorite flooring in our house, hands down.

New flooring...

New flooring…

We replaced the old sink with one with a much smaller vanity that takes up far less room and hung a new mirror.

New sink...

New sink…

We painted the walls a pretty, Tiffany blue and the wainscoting a soft, creamy white.  I found these super cute printables and framed them and Wrex made the mason jar storage.

Wash.  Brush.  Flush.

Wash. Brush. Flush.

Our bathroom isn’t huge and there’s not a lot of storage so we’ve had to get creative.  Wrex made these barnwood shelves for the short wall and I love this hanging system from Ikea; cheap, chic and functional!

We make it work...

We make it work…

We replaced the bathtub and then got to work on the shower walls…they are the best part of this room.  I had seen one similar in a magazine one time and I fell in love.  Thankfully, Wrex agreed to give it a try and we both love how it turned out.  It was far cheaper (and easier) to install than tile and much more unique; it’s quite the conversation piece.

Galvanized metal...

Galvanized metal…

So shiny!

So shiny!


Isn’t it neato?!


Pretty, pretty…

We are so pleased with how it turned out!  It’s been almost three years and the colors and shower walls still make me smile every time I see them.  Let me know what you think about it!  Log in later in the week and we’ll take a peak at another transformation we made…there were a few!  ;)

Worth 1,000 Words: Our Days

I’m beat.  We went to the sale barn with daddy today as we haven’t been in forever…thus I haven’t bought groceries in forever.  I feel like we’ve made several random trips to the local store to grab more fresh items and milk…lot of milk…but no pantry stocking.  We fixed that today.

It was HOT…and Wryder weighs a ton…and there were a LOT of cows.  Sawyer stayed with daddy while Wryder and I went shopping.  Once we had it all loaded, we picked up sister, went to the park, ate lunch, went to a different park and then went back to the sale barn for a bit.  We’re home now, the groceries are put away, the kids are bathed and in bed and I’m worn out.

Regardless, here a few pics from the last few days around the Phipps ranch…enjoy!

This smile is killer!

This smile is killer!

The crackers are DELISH!

These crackers are DELISH!

A little fun Friday costume surprise!  (Thank you November clearance rack!)

A little fun Friday costume surprise! (Thank you November clearance rack!)

We almost lost it...but I got it back!

We almost lost it…but I got it back!

We taught sweet Sawyer to play was a hit!

We taught sweet Sawyer to play Uno…it was a hit!  (Forgive my huge finger)

I found this coon skin hat for $1 at a garage sale.  I have BIG plans for it!

I found this coon skin hat for $1 at a garage sale. I have BIG plans for it!

I love this sweet girl curled up in her gown watching some Berenstain Bears!

I love this sweet girl curled up in her gown watching some Berenstain Bears!

Our sale barn attire...

Our sale barn attire…

Not a big fan of the grass...

Not a big fan of the grass…

No really, mom, I don't like this...

No really, mom, I don’t like this…

Can I please get up!?

Can I please get up!?



It was a good day for a snow cone!

It was a good day for a snow cone!

This boy is a bathwater drinking machine...

This boy is a bathwater drinking machine…

Pretty gross, yes?!

Pretty gross, yes?!

Thankfully he's cute.

Thankfully he’s cute.

Random Rambles

It’s 6:45 on Friday morning and I’m sitting in bed, blogging and eating a banana.  Apparently, the letter of the day is ‘B.’  I kid, I kid.

I mowed and burned tumbleweeds yesterday and my sinuses are paying for it today.  Ugh.  Wrexy left for work around 5:30 and I was up popping Advil, allergy medicine and Sudafed.  At this point, I think I might survive the day.


We’ve been working on our basement this week.  Our house is 100 years old (no really, it is) and we have an outside storm cellar/crawl space that we’ve been wanting to get situated for a while now.  You know that I’m hoping that the severe weather season is a mild one, but in case we do have to spend extended time down there, it would be nice to have a clean, clutter-free space.  Wrexy framed in a room, installed a door, put up new lights, and we’ve been shop vac-ing 100 year old dirt for days.  It’s gone a lot faster than I thought it would and we’re about done!


Sawyer has recently taken a liking to “chip tacos,” also known as crunchy tacos.  (She likes mexican food of about any kind, especially chips and salsa – girl after my own heart!!)  We cooked some up for lunch yesterday and I made some pinto beans to go in/with them.  I put her beans in the bottom of her taco and as she was eating her taco from the top down, she noticed them in there.

Sawyer: “Oh, look – beans!”

Stef: “Yeah…it’s like a little bean family in a canoe!”

She played/ate her little canoe (what was left of her taco shell for a while) and then I hear…

Sawyer: “There goes momma!”

I look up to see what she’s talking about…and it’s the beans!  She grabs two more and says, “Come on, dad, let’s go together!”  And another and says, “Wait for me guys!”

She was totally giving life to the bean family and it tickled me to no end!  She’s a funny girl!


While mowing yesterday, it was a little breezy.  Every time I headed north, I found myself huddled down in my sweatshirt and when I turned south, I reveled in the soaking warmth of the sunshine.  I found myself saying, “I just want to face the sun…”  And boy, do I.  I want to live a life facing the SON; I want to keep my eyes fixed on Him.  I don’t want to be shaken or moved or distracted or pulled elsewhere…I don’t want the world to speak to my soul louder than Him.  I want all Him, all the time…..


Wryder is such a funny little guy.  He really does bring us so much joy!  He is into everything and it is so fun to watch his mind work and explore and figure things out.

The other day, he had it in his head that this cat was real.

Look at those eyes...

Look at those eyes…

You could just see it in his eyes!  He finally finished up lunch and I let him touch it and he was shocked…and a little pleased.  We definitely have another animal lover on our hands.




He got several toy trucks for his birthday and he loves to play with them, of course.  I found this construction vest at a garage sale this weekend and I think he looks adorable in it!

What a sweetie!

What a sweetie!

He had so much fun dumping legos…until about 12:45 and then he was ready for nap!

Please let me in!

Please let me in!



Sawyer was, and is, a fantastic sleeper but Wryder takes the cake!  Kid naps for 4-5 hours a day and sleeps 13 at night – woooooo hoooooo!  (I know, I know…I should never complain about being tired…but I am…and I do…)


Today is “fun Friday” but I really have no (firm) idea what we’re gonna do to make it “fun.”  I suppose we better start with breakfast…I hear little bodies a stirring.

Happy Friday!



Sawyer the Second

It’s still a bit chilly here today.  A high of 55 doesn’t really scream May to me but at least I haven’t planted flowers yet.

Since we spent the morning inside, we decided to have a little fun while brother was napping.  We rolled out a big piece of paper and made Sawyer a twin!

We traced her body and then added all the details.  I got a mirror out for her to look at herself and make observations and then she transferred what she saw to the paper.


This one’s a little hard to see but she’s on there!

Once we were finished with all of our details, we cut her out!


How cute are they?!

I think she’s adorable in any form!


Sweet pea(s)…

1 2