Anything You Can Do








Brian was commenting on how she wants to do everything the boys do.  She was shoveling away and he called her Annie Oakley, he started to sing,

Anything you can do , I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!  Yes, I can!

We definitely hear her scream it at her brothers all the time…YES, I CAN!!!!!

Our fiery Annie Oakley!

Snow Fun

The last three Sundays have been spent outside playing in fluffy new snow.  The first two, Brian and the kids built massive snowmen.  This time around they built a massive snow fort.  I took photos and said some encouraging words and then went inside to make dinner.  🙂


IMG_6634taken by Brian

IMG_6643taken by Brian

IMG_6630And then some sweet shots of Papi and Laney:





Pike Youth Basketball League

Malachi and Elijah finished their first basketball season in this more competitive league. After their first practice, they came home saying how strict it was and that they really didn’t like it.  After a few weeks, they loved it.  They could see and feel themselves getting better during each Saturday game.  IMG_6222Brian was an assistant coach for Malachi’s 5th and 6th grade team.





Elijah’s 3rd and 4th grade team was almost undefeated.  They lost one game due to some terrible reffing.  Some of the boys on Elijah’s team get some private coaching from a former NBA player, and it showed.  And because of that competitive influence, Elijah’s skills improved tremendously this season.IMG_6277



This was the last game of his season before the championship tournament.IMG_6307


Elijah’s team playing the championship game.


Brian did the announcing for this game.IMG_6352


IMG_6385Their victory chant! They won!


That smile didn’t come off his face for days!  IMG_6425

And now we’re attending games for all three boys in another basketball league. Last week we showed the boys Hoosiers for the first time, they loved it!  Elijah just finished his 4th grade Famous Hoosier Project on Larry Bird.  We’re embracing Indiana, these boys are growing up Hoosiers!!

Filled with Joy

Squeezing in some fall photos on this last day in November:IMG_5569

The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. Psalm 104:19




Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.  Psalm 14:17




Give thanks to the LORD, for he his good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1



Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Hiking Along The White River


This is one of our favorite places to go, and we love to see how the water has changed and pooled along the banks.




Laney couldn’t get across, the boys found a log and made a bridge so she could be with them.  One of those precious moments that will always stay with me.






Help back across.


Holliday Park is a gem in the middle of the city.

The Three Hunters and the Princess Warrior


Since living back in the states, I’ve secretly hoped they’d want to dress up as a theme for Halloween before Malachi was too old to be a part of it.  I was thrilled when the three boys wanted to dress up as Lord of the Rings characters and even more thrilled that Laney’s costume was made over the summer.

My goal for these costumes was to make them as cheaply as possible with as many details as I could fit in before my deadline was up.  🙂



I made this in June for Laney for her birthday.  I bought the dress at Once Upon a Child, and the brown tank top too.


I cut the tank to be more vest like and added the brown ric-rac to the bottom and then sewed the tank in a few key spots to the dress.  I added the gold line for Halloween, decided painting would be cheaper than buying ribbon to add around it.  Although the dress is lacey, it is all that I found that was the perfect shape and not too long so that she’d trip over it.  It is a size 8 dress, so she has a few years to enjoy dressing up in it.  The sword isn’t the original one I made for her birthday, that one was too big for t and t, so I used one we already had and added some gold to it.  It is made from a paint stirrer and popsicle sticks.


The hair was $1 from the dollar store.  She LOVED the hair, then soon after this photo she broke it.  😦



This costume only came together because I found some faux leather scraps and brown bed sheets at the Goodwill Outlet, at 89cents per pound, that totally made this costume. The black boots were also from the Goodwill Outlet, and the black pants were in our costume box.  I did cut some buckles off the boots and had to take them in at the back of the boot to fit Malachi’s legs.


From the faux leather scraps, I cut out the front of the vest.  For the back, I used the brown sheets and sewed them together.  Aragorn’s vest has ties to hold it together, so the way I replicated that was with more faux leather scraps cut into rectangles and folded over and sewn with some leather cording between it to then tie together.  I found an oversized leather belt at the Goodwill Outlet to tie and hang just like Aragorn.IMG_5877

The sleeves were then added to the vest. I took the sleeves off of a knight costume Malachi wore a few years ago.  This was the first time I’ve sewn sleeves on!  It worked out great and the chainmaille really added some detail to this costume.


I made the hooded cape from the brown bed sheets, and the sword(Anduril) is a nerf sword(that was actually broken) that was covered with shiny silver duck tape with some black duck tape at the  handle.  The elven leaf clasp is made from two green felt leaves and then sewn together to look like the veins on the leaf.  The arm bracers are more faux leather scraps, if I had time I would have added more detail and depth with cut up pieces of leather glued on to the bracer, but instead I just used a silver paint pen to draw on the White Tree of Gondor and a brown permanent marker to draw details.



Elijah loves characters with a bow and arrows, he dressed up as Hawkeye a few years ago, so Legolas was a perfect character for him.  He refused to have long hair and elf ears, so that eliminated a lot of extra work.  🙂  IMG_5889

That tunic was a green shirt I bought at Goodwill, and cut down and sewed to look more like Legolas’ tunic.  I cut five separate pieces of the brown bed sheet to make up the top of the tunic and used heat and bond to attach them.  The silver markings were made with a silver paint pen….and was an extra add-on that I wasn’t planning on doing, but so glad I did, it just added an extra punch and made it look more like Legolas and less like Robin Hood.  The hooded cape is the same as Malachi’s made from the brown bed sheets with the Elven Leaf Clasp made from felt.  The silver shirt underneath also added a bit more detail to look like Legolas.


The belt was a Goodwill Outlet find, and had some designs on it that aren’t exactly elvish, but still looked fine.  The straps for the bow quiver were made from the faux leather scraps, sewn together around a belt buckle. The one strap has some velcro on it for easy on and off access.


The bow quiver is a cardboard tube cut and then covered and hot glued with the faux leather.  If I had time and the right kind of paint, I would have painted an elvish design on it.  I used gold duck tape on the bottom after I stapled the straps on the inside at the bottom and did the same for the straps on the top too.


We made two arrows with the gold duck tape and some wooden dowels I had from another project.   You can see the arm bracers pretty well in this photo, I used the faux leather again.  I glued two pieces together to give it some depth, and drew on some elvish designs with the silver paint pen.  Each arm brace is held on with sticky velcro pieces, no sewing needed to put them together.  The bow was a birthday gift a few years ago.  And although it can’t be seen here, he wore my brown boots.



First off, the hat was a Goodwill find, if I would’ve had time, I would have made it look more dwarf like with geometric designs and some silver paint and less Roman guard like.  The boots were a Goodwill Outlet find.  The axe is a nerf axe we’ve had for years, I added some gold paint to it to tone down the yellow.  The hooded cape I made for Zekey last year when he dressed up as Frodo Baggins.


The tunic was a women’s shirt from the Goodwill, I cute off the sleeves and slimmed it down some and then sewed up the middle and sewed on the chainmaille sleeves.  I took those off another knight costume from our costume box. I added some more chainmaille pieces to the bottom too.  The goldish pieces at the shoulders were taken off Malachi’s knight costume and sewed on for Gimli.  The belt was a Goodwill Outlet find, turned around, and then the faux leather suspender straps were added with sticky velcro.  If I had time I would have added some design and depth to those.


I also painted some gold on to the tunic towards the bottom to look a little more like Gimli’s tunic.  The arm bracers were made with brown foam because there wasn’t enough of the faux leather to use.  As you can see I made them too long for Zekey’s arm and then they tore at the top because of it.  I drew some geometric designs on with a brown permanent marker, I also would have made this differently if I would have had time, but had to settle for something simple.


And then there was his beard.  I started it the night before Halloween and worked on it all day on the 31st and finished it just in time.  I followed this tutorial and it was perfect.  I used brown yarn and a plastic mesh canvas and a crochet hook to pull it through.  He loved it!  (And I didn’t have to spend 30 bucks to buy one at the costume store!  I only spent about $5 for the mesh, yarn and crochet hook.)


There you have it!  The one year I made all the costumes and they dressed as a theme.  It was fun, but I doubt we’ll ever do it again.  🙂

And as my kids were going to bed, Elijah came and gave me a big hug and said, “Mama, I love the costumes you make. The costumes from the store come apart too easily. I like all the layers and details and parts you put on them.”

My heart is still smiling.

P.S Rewind a few years to see a LOTR and Hobbit Birthday Party.

always scanning to find the perfect view

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