Friday, September 19, 2014

DIY: Simple (and Cheap!) Soccer Goal

Hello! Today I'd like to share with you an inexpensive and super easy soccer goal that I made for the girls using this tutorial from the Six Sisters Stuff blog.

I had some PVC pipe left over from [K]s fifth birthday party that I never ended up using so while surfing the web trying to find plans for a kiddie car wash (I'm still going to do this some day because how fun does that look?!?) I came across this soccer goal and thought, "That looks quick and fun!" Thankfully I already had the right length of PVC pipes so all I had to do was get the 90 degree elbows and "t"s from our local hardware store, some kind of fabric for the net, and zip ties.

Originally I went with the suggestion from the original blog post to use inexpensive tulle fabric from Walmart (~$1.00 per yard) and after one use it ripped in several places. I ended up going to JoAnn Fabric and  replaced it with this mesh fabric. I think the most common use for it are those garment bags you use for your delicate washing. It was a huge improvement.

The girls really seem to enjoy using it. The other nice thing about the goal is that it's very lightweight making it portable enough to bring to the park if you happen to have a very hilly backyard like we do.
The purple fabric in this photo and the one below is the tulle that ripped immediately.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

K's 6 Year Photos

At the end of August [K] turned six. I have a birthday party wrap up blog in the works for you but in the meantime, here are her latest yearly photos. I'm also including her past photos for a yearly comparison. Since I wasn't blogging when she was one I have to dig out our external hard drive and update this post another night.

Two Years

Three (and a half) Years

Four Years

Five Years

Six Years

Oh my gosh, how did my baby get so big?!? I was SO impressed with her during her photos. She did so well; listening and taking direction, smiling naturally, posing just so... I don't normally buy into their collage photos because (A) they're more expensive, and (B) Usually I prefer the individual photos. However this time, there were so many great ones that I would have ended up with 7 different poses. And that's on top of the fact that she just had her school photos taken.

Here is the first collage followed by the individual photos so it's easier to see them:

Here's the second collage followed by the individual photos:

The girls had a ton of fun eating that cupcake after the photos were done. Me, not so much. First of all, the frosting was starting to melt all over the place under the lights of the photo studio. Secondarily, the dye in that frosting made EVERYTHING blue - tongues, lips, teeth, fingers... It was a hot mess, literally. But, they had fun, nothing got on their clothes or on the studio props and I got some great photos. Yay! Thanks for another year JCPenney Portrait Studio.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tennessee Vacation - Day 4

Wrap it up, I'll take it... That's right, I'm about to wrap up our trip to Tennessee!

If you recall from my last post, I mentioned that the lovely host, Janice, from the B&B where we were staying recommended a hike for us to take. She prepared a delicious picnic lunch for us and off we headed to Big Creek and Mouse Falls. The Ponies, of course, came with us.

The hike to Mouse Falls is two miles and it's a relatively flat and easy hike.

On the way to the falls you hike next to Big Creek where there is a wonderful swimming hole. Or so we were told. Our host mentioned the fact that the water is freezing so we opted not to go in but maybe next time.

The thing I love most about Big Creek is that it's absolutely littered with these enormous boulders the whole way. We had a great time climbing around on them.

Along the walk, on the forest side (as opposed to the creek side), it was filled with beautiful white rhododendron flowers. My sister in law loves these so I was sure to send her a photo text while we walked.

Selfie :)  I've never really been a selfie kind of person but since it was just the two of us and I didn't want all of our pictures to be just nature or just [A] or just me, selfies it was.

When we made it to Mouse Falls we ate lunch while dangling our legs over a huge boulder. While there these tiny white/blue butterflies kept us company and one even landed on my shoulder and stayed with me for a good part of our walk back.

The next morning we were headed home but before we left we spent a bit of time walking around the property at Whisperwood Farm and Chapel. I love our reflection in the door.

Right next to the door is a Shalom sign and when we were leaving, on the sign was this amazingly huge, furry moth. It was beautiful.

The chapel on the property is rustic and gorgeous. And then to learn that Janice and her husband built it themselves makes it that much more meaningful.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. I know there were a lot of pictures and too many days in between posts but I really wanted to get this done and in a format where I'll be able to go back and look at it again and cherish the memories we made together.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tennessee Vacation - Day 3; Part 2

Oh my gosh, if I don't wrap up this five day vacation, I don't know what I'll do when it comes to our 10 day beach trip. A birthday has passed, the first day of school has come and gone, and I'm still stuck on a mini getaway from back in June. Ugh. Sorry. I'm long winded and I use lots of pictures. I guess I look at this blog as a journal for myself to remember the big and little things we do over the years. I hope you enjoy it but if not, thank you for indulging me.

Anyway, to continue from the last post, after we left Lookout Mountain we headed across the state to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our first stop was Clingmans Dome.
I think my favorite thing about the Smokies are the layers of mountains.

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is Great Smoky Mountains National Park's highest point. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the second highest point east of the Mississippi. Only North Carolina's Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) rises higher.

Clingmans Dome is a popular Park destination. Located along the state-line ridge, it is half in North Carolina and half in Tennessee.

The peak is accessible after driving Clingmans Dome Road from Newfound Gap, and then walking a steep half-mile trail. A paved trail leads to a 54-foot observation tower.

The cool, wet conditions on Clingmans Dome's summit make it a coniferous rainforest. Unfortunately, pests, disease, and environmental degradation threaten the unique and fragile spruce-fir forest.

Dead trunks litter the area, and dying trees struggle to survive another year. Berries thrive in the open areas, and a young forest will replace the dying trees. (

I loved this cloud formation. It reminded me of a baby elephant lifting its trunk.

When we left the sun was beginning to set so we stopped at a pull-off where a very nice couple had set up some lawn chairs and were having wine and cheese while watching the sunset. We struck up a conversation with them and funny enough, it turns out we have the same anniversary except we're one year later.

It was a lovely way to end our first day in the Smokies. From here we drove to our Bed and Breakfast in Cosby, TN. If you ever find yourself in the area and looking for a place to stay, please let me suggest the Creekwalk Inn at Whisperwood Farm. Janice runs the place and is just a wonderful woman with great stories, a kind heart, and great hiking recommendations. We took one of her recommendations on an amazing hike I'll show you in my next blog post. Until then, have a fantastic night!