Sunday, July 28, 2013

Temple Silhouette

UPDATE: I have a design blog! Visit for more DIY/Decor inspiration!

I rescued this frame from a neighbor's bulk trash pile. Yay for dumpster diving! It's a pretty old, and very heavy frame, and some of the plaster had been chipped off. But I thought I'd try to give it a new life with a new color. After two coats of Emerald Lake by Behr and two coats of poly, I started on the silhouette. I cut out a silhouette of the Salt Lake City Temple with black construction paper and mod podged it to a styrofoam board and secured it to the frame. I had all the materials so this project was totally free!

Here's more of what you'll see at Mid Mod Inspirations: 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Because I will forget

I started my blog to document my children's lives, but somewhere along the way it became more than that. Because I don't write in a journal, this blog became a reference for us, a memory finder. If I wanted to remember that time when Carter got that disgusting pink eye, or when Abby started walking, I can look back and see. It's been a wonderful resource to have. The other day Brian got on to me because I've stopped blogging, but the memories haven't. So...even though I know no one reads my blog anymore, I've got to keep documenting our life, because one day I will be sad that those small details and moments in life were not preserved. Cuz knowing us, we WILL forget them.

SO.  Here goes.........

Andrew is now almost 10 months. He's been crawling since his 7th month birthday, almost to the day. He's a fast little crawler but has no desire to start walking. FINE. WITH. ME! He looooooves his Daddy. You should see the look on his face when he comes home from work every day. He writes himself out of my arms and makes a beeline to Brian. He loves to give me kisses, but they're really snotty, slobbery smearings all over my face. I love it though. He can say mama, but I don't think its directed at me exactly. It's more of a chant when he needs me or is in "distress."

Insurance has denied his genetic testing twice so far, but we haven't fought on our side yet. I haven't talked myself into making the call yet. And we haven't had another hearing test for him, but he seems to hear all frequencies even at quiet decibles, so I'm not too concerned at this point.

He gets into the toilet, loves closing the door on himself and then getting mad about it, puts everything and anything in his mouth but is really good about not swallowing non-food items. (so glad he can tell the difference.) He bumps his head on EVERYTHING and always has small red bumps and scratches on his very bald head. He has four teeth and working on a few more. He is typically wonderful and we love him.

Carter is 4.5 and small and athletic. His hair is growing faster and thicker now, but it's still white, which I LOVE. He can do penny drops on the monkey bars and scale the climbing wall in 20 seconds flat. He and Abby have both become proficient swimmers so this summer has been nice. He is talking better, and the speech path sees no reason why he won't be in mainstream kindergarten next year, as long as we keep the same trajectory. He talks like he has a mouth full of mush though, and that's something that we constantly work on. He's getting better, though. He is the sweetest little boy, and loves to flirt. He knows how to get positive attention from the ladies, but he has also been a little naughty around his friends at church. I know they say, boys will be boys, but I don't want him to be one of those kids that people dread having in his class. I'm afraid he will become a class clown, which isn't so bad if he doesn't disrupt or misbehave. I really can't complain though, because for a while we wondered what kind of life or hearing impaired kids would have, and it turns out that they are going to be pretty much completely normal, which means we get to deal with all "normal" problems most parents face. :)

Brian has not had to travel for a very long time, almost a year, (knock on wood) and so he is home a lot more. Carter really likes to hang out with daddy, and its so cute to see. He also loves the computer a little too much. He could play on all day if we let him. I'm glad we don't have video games, or it would be really bad around here.

Abby is almost 6, and she's big for her age. Poor Carter may never catch up. :) She loves kindergarten and seems to be doing really well. She is at Davis Elementary, which is a mainstream school in Plano, but she is still in the Plano Regional Day School Program for the Deaf and has pullout instruction for language arts only. So she is mostly mainstreamed, and we are pretty confident that she will get to go to her home campus next year in Wylie. It's a relief because the drive is a beast, but mainstream will be a little scary too. But we have a full year left before I have to worry about I won't. Abby still loves to draw, but more that that she enjoys doing projects and making her own things, like books, computers, folders, purses, pianos, all out of paper. I've given up on having paper for myself, and just let her use it. I don't want to squelch that vividly creative brain of hers. Abby just started a cheerleading class, and she's actually pretty good at it. I mean, you wouldn't think that it takes a lot of talent to be a cheerleader (sorry, cheerleader friends) but compared to the rest of the kids in her class, she seems to have more of a knack for it than the rest. And she's got the personality for sure. So I never thought I'd say it, but I wouldn't mind if Abby wanted to become a cheerleader. Phew. that felt good to get that off my chest.

Abby seems to have an influx of emotions lately. Is that common for five year old girls? Yesterday she go sooo angry at me about every little thing while we were in the car and she ended up in this tearful screaming fit, which is not like her. So I stopped the car and got out and walked over to her and asked her why she was so angry and she said, "I DON'T KNOW!!!!" It sucks to be a girl, I just didn't realize it started so early!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the last few months.

 Andrew's first cookie. 
Abby lost her first tooth on 8/28/11. I pulled it out. Should I document that story too? Oh well, some other time. :)
Andrew at 9 months
Andrew at 7 months. Started crawling on 6/27. He usually has clothes on, by the way...
Abby drawing a picture of the Nauvoo temple. 

Carter is not too keen on my taking his picture, that's why there's none shown. I have pics of Galveston that I will post soon. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

andrew - six months

18lbs, 13 oz.
27 in. tall
Round and happy as can be.


Oh, and here's a comparison with Abby and Carter around six months of age. He definitely has a little bit of both in him. Which one do you think he looks most like?



Really wish I knew how to to take pictures back then... Poor Abby and Carter have horrible pictures of the first few years of life.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A few pictures for posterity

I am so stinkin' behind, but I do need to post some pics to at least document Andrew's growth. The top picture was taken today, at 5 1/2 months, and the black and white pics were taken at five months.

Monday, March 28, 2011

andrew, 4 months

Yum, yum, YUM!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

carter bug


Its been a while since I posted about Carter. So here's a few highlights.

1. Still working the dimple.
2. Can go across the monkey bars by himself. He's going to be a really athlethic kid.
3. Is very polite - most of the time.
4. Loves Andrew and adores Abby.
5. Fights me all the time about clothes. If he had it his way, he would hang out in his pajamas all day.
6. Is doing really great in school and loves his classmates and teachers.
7. Is doing well with speech and language, but his articulation leaves a lot to be desired.
8. He hates it when I sing. :( But loves it when he and Abby sing in the car.
9. He's been a really picky eater lately. Gotta work on that.
10. Says I love you freely and love to hug his family and friends. But he saves the kisses for me. :)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

so many things, but just one thing today

I have so many things to say, but because I haven't been consistent with blogging, its just too overwhelming to play catch up and then get into the habit again of blogging like I used to.

But I did have to post about this. We don't sign in our house anymore. Initially when we started this hearing loss process, we were a total communication family and Abby had probably 200 signs in her vocabulary. And I was at the point where I could sign in complete sentences, although I was pretty slow about it. But that was over two years ago. Since she started at Pearson in the Aural class, we haven't done a lot of signing, except to reinforce very basic daily tasks, like "done" and "stop" and "more" and usually only when my children aren't wearing their equipment.

So the other night Abby was taking a bath and reading my lips (which she is VERY good at), and I signed something to her as I was talking. And that got me thinking about the summer and how much we swim and how important it is for Abby and Carter to be able to communicate in some form when they aren't wearing their hearing aids. So for fun, as I was putting Abby to bed, I quizzed her on the signs she used to know. I was amazed that she remembered probably 75% of the signs I quizzed her on. For her to remember something that she hasn't used in two years? I thought that was pretty cool.

And then I thought about how ironic it was that I was teaching my DEAF child how to sign using verbal language. I would say, "Abby this is the sign for ___" and show her and if she didn't get it right I would be like, "no, you need to put your pinky finger up to your chin, like this." It's totally backwards, but totally awesome at the same time. My almost completely deaf child can HEAR. She can communicate verbally on a extremely high level, almost equivalent to her hearing peers. And I am teaching her sign language for "fun" and for an added form of communication. Do you know how incredible that is?!

Its in those little moments that I am brought to my knees in overwhelming gratitude. I am completely indebted to the Lord for my children, for technology, their teachers, and the many miracles, big or small, in our life.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

andrew has discovered his hands


Monday, February 28, 2011

andrew 3 months


He's still the sweetest little boy and we love him to pieces!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Allow me to interpret his expression for you: "MOM. We were in the car too long and I didn't make it to the bathroom in time and so I wet my pants (as I was running into the bathroom stall) but I told you it was okay that we still took pictures ONLY if you would let me play on the train. But instead you are making me sit here with my sister while she attempts to kiss me. This was NOT the plan!"Photobucket

Sunday, February 20, 2011

do me a solid

And click HERE to "like" my Mandie McMurdie Photography Facebook Fan Page.

If you don't Facebook, you could always follow my photography blog too.

I mean, only if you want to....

The weather this past week has been pretty awesome, 60's and 70's. The kids have been spending a lot of time outside reclaiming their childhood. I love it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

11 weeks, 11 facts

1. Weighs 13.5 lbs.
2. He's sleeping through the night for over a week now, from 10pm to 6am
3. Loves to play on the floor
4. Spits up A LOT
5. Smiles and coos all the time and has giggled once or twice.
6. Abby and Carter both love to kiss, hold, and play with him.
7. Nicknames are "jelly bean," "nugget," "joo joo bean," "joo joo train," "Andy," and "Drew." He's going to be so confused about his name. :)
8. Looks like both Abby and Carter, a little like my dad, but mostly like himself.
9. Rarely cries, but wimpers and fusses when he needs something. But when he does cry, its full on high-pitched screaming. Like a girl on a playground. I mean its sad and all that he's crying, but its really hard not to laugh at it.
10. During church this Sunday, he blew out his diaper all the way up his back, and as I was cleaning it up, he peed and it arched all the way to his face and got him in the eyes. It was awesome. Luckily I was prepared with a change of clothes and lots of wipes.
11. Is the best third baby I could ever hope for, and we are SO blessed to have him in our life!


Sunday, February 06, 2011

us in the snow


We still have snow and ice (and lots of it) in our front yard, so today after church we went out in it and played.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Unless you've been living in a bubble or remote cave somewhere, you probably know that DFW got smashed with a ton of ice and snow this week. With FOUR days of cancelled school, Brian out of town and us unable to leave our driveway for a couple of days, I was about ready to be committed by the end of the week. But the roads cleared up, Brian came home, and things are starting to get back to normal.

I have learned this week that Carter really doesn't care for the cold. Abby loves it, and would go outside and play while Carter hung out in his pj's and watched tv. Both of them miss school, so they will be super excited when Monday rolls around.

And so will I!


Monday, January 31, 2011

andrew - two months

Smiling, cooing and kicking
happy and easy going
doesn't mind tummy time
has the smelliest gas ever
soothes easily
squeals like a girl


day 22

A favorite You Tube video.

I don't get on You Tube much, but I came across this video the other day and instantly it became my favorite video.

The new Mormon Messages are pretty awesome too!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

day 21

nicknames I have, and why I have them

I'm really an Amanda, but I've never BEEN an Amanda, well except for a brief time in 5th grade when I thought I was too mature for Mandy. I think I was Mandy ever since I was born, and sometime in Jr. High I decided to change it to Mandie. Funny that I would marry a guy with the last name very close to my first name. Change the "an" to "ur" and there you have it.

But other than Mandie I really don't have any firm nicknames. Okay, well my mom calls me "Mander" sometimes, and Missy calls me "Mandie-butt" but only after I call her "Missy-head." But that's about it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

day 20

A favorite recipe

My sister Missy found this recipe a few years ago and I stole it. Every one I share them with thinks its the best snickerdoodle they've ever had. Try them and you'll agree.

Mrs. Siggs Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
3.Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4.Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Friday, January 28, 2011

day 19

A hobby of mine

This hobby is kind of an on again off again hobby that I've been doing for a long time. When the weather's right, and when I have the time and motivation, I love to take old pices of furniture and give them a new life. (My sister Melinda loves doing this too) The first piece of furniture I refinished I worked on with my dad when I was a teenager, so I remember him every time I'm working on a piece.

Here's one I recently did. I found at Salvation Army for $20. I think its supposed to be some kind of magazine rack. Or a fancy horse trough. It's a toss up.

$6 worth of paint and now it looks like this.

I put it in our front entry to put shoes, backpacks and such on.

(Pardon the crappy phone pictures.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

day 18

Put your iPod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up

Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium (Saint-Saens)
Apologize (One Republic)
Drifting (Harry Connick Jr.)
At Last (Etta James)
Good Vibrations (Beach Boys)
la Traviata: Brindisi (verdi)
I Need Thee Every Hour (Kenneth Cope)
September (Earth, Wind and Fire)
Sugar (Flo Rida)
What A Wonderful World (Stacy Kent)

day 17

A habit you wish you didn't have

Tardiness. I can't say that I am ALWAYS late, but it happens enough that I seem to have developed a reputation for it. But don't tease me about it because it's a sensitive subject, and depending on the day, I will either break down and cry or bite your head off.


day 16

Day 16 — A photo of my family
This is a HORRIBLE picture, but it was the last one we've had taken as a family. August 2010.

day 15

Day 15 — Next 3 on “Bucket List”

Well, we just found out last week that I have an antibody in my blood (anti-c) that affects the fetus and so if we were to get pregnant again, and the antibody levels got high enough, it would cause fetal anemia which is potentially fatal. There is no magic cure for this, and the only thing they can do to help the baby survive is blood transfusions. Do you KNOW how they give a baby blood tranfusions in the womb???

So that baby #4 that we were considering for our bucket list may not be a possibility any more.

Other things we'd like to do is make a few improvements on our house, since we think we might want to stay here for a few more years. I'd like to upgrade a lot of things with my photography business also. And pay off debt, car, and house is another big one.

Wow. That all sounds so....dull.

day 14

Day 14 — Your dream house...

Oh boy. My dream house would be a one-story ranch with a large wooded lot so I could do photo shoots on it. Maybe something like this:

Here's the listing

Monday, January 24, 2011

oh fine! day 13

Day 13 — What did you do today??

Um, what did I do on Saturday? We hung around the house that morning and then went to see some of my activity day girls in Annie Jr. at the high school, then that evening I cooked a full dinner, which I hardly do on Saturdays, and then put the kids to bed. And then a little later Carter woke up with an ear infection and my night ended up lasting a lot longer than I expected.

Friday, January 21, 2011

day 12

A favorite quote.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

Can anyone guess where that's from?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 11

A favorite book.

Okay, so I used to be a HUGE book reader, and then college happened, work, and babies and somewhere along the way I lost my drive to read. Its more like, if I sit down with a book, I loose all touch with reality and could read for hours. That's not quite possible when you have kids. I mean, it is, but I wouldn't want CPS to come knocking on my door because of neglect. So I just stay away from the deep reads for now. But one book that I read a year ago that I LOVE is How To Win Friends and Influence People. If you haven't read it yet, you really should. It will change every relationship and every human interaction you have.

I think its time for me to read it again, actually. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

day 10

A favorite food

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

day 8 and 9

ugh! I can't keep up.

Day 8: A favorite song

Well that's just plain impossible. So I think I will narrow it down like CJ did, but this is in no way a definitive list!

Country Song: A Broken Wing by Martina McBride
Classical Song: I really love Durufle's Requiem, specifically Sanctus. That's what I imagine will be playing when I ascend into heaven. :)
Choral/vocal song: "L'heure exquise" by Reynaldo Hahn
60's song: A TIE between Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, by Otis Redding and "More today than Yesterday" by Spiral Starecase
70's song: "Danny's Song" by Kenny Loggins
80's song: "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" By Michael Jackson, well maybe anything by Michael Jackson
90's song: "More than Words" by Extreme
Today: I have too many!

Day 9: A Favorite MovieI really don't like to watch movies over and over again, so its hard for me to have a favorite. But one of the few that I could see over and over again is "Singing in the Rain."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

day 6 and 7

Something I bought recently and something I want to buy.

My first $1000 purchase with my own hard-earned money.

Something I WANT to buy, once we get a couple more thousand. :)
We've been dying for a sectional for a long time and this one is just my style.