The Bertie is Featured in Chilean Magazine: Revista Vivienda Y Decoracion

A couple of weeks ago I received a very kind email from a woman who works in Chile for Revista Vivienda Y Decoracion magazine. She asked if I would supply her with photos of my work for a feature in an upcoming issue. Two things surprised me: 1.) that the woman somehow found my work in the first place, and 2.) that two weeks later, when I checked out the magazine online, I found my Bertie Box already in the magazine. I'm always so amazed and excited when people in other countries stumble upon my toy boxes.

And then, of course, I get all cocky. But inevitably, someone, like my son, will say something to bring me safely back to Earth. The other day in the car on the way to school he asked Scott, "Dad, what does Mom do all day at home?" Nice.

Here's the magazine link...


Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day! And a big thank you to veterans, soldiers, and all those amazing military families who miss their loved ones on a daily basis.

I've been thinking a lot about my family members who served today and wanted to honor them in some small way . My mom was kind enough to share some of what she knows about my grandparents so I've included it below. Thanks Mom!

(Juanita Pennington, 1945)

My grandmother, Juanita Pennington was member of the WAVES (Women's Navy) and worked in D.C. during WWII. (Photo above was taken in D.C.) One of her jobs was to decode Japanese messages. She was put on a train with other WAVES. Juanita had no idea where she was going or where she ended up due to the black-out curtains hanging in the train windows. She got off the train at a secret location and worked on the messages. The women would be brought back to their bases the next day.
My grandfather, Lawrence Pennington was a paratrooper during WWII. He was in Africa fighting Rommel (German) as well as parachuting into Europe where he was one of the first paratroopers to drop over the Ziegfreid line when Americans invaded Europe. Most of the men were killed as they parachuted, but he landed safely and hid under a snow-covered tree. He was discovered and held as a prisoner for nine months. The Russian army liberated him and when he came back home to the US he was sent to the Biltmore House Estate in North Carolina to recuperate due to his poor health.

(Clifford Parsons with my dad, Barry Parsons)

My grandpa, Clifford Parsons, was in the Army Engineers division who was responsible for building the roads and bridges before the rest of the troops advanced. He fought in Europe and was ordered to invade Normandy. A week before the invasion, his units' orders were changed or he would have been one of the first men there.

(Charles Hathcock)

Scott's grandfather, Charles Hathcock, also served during WWII. Charles came from a family of six siblings; he was the youngest of four brothers. At one point during WWII, all of the Hathcock brothers were serving in the war. Charles was recruited much later in the war and served in Austria Germany in two main roles. His first role was as a Military Police(MP) officer watching over German war prisoners. His second role gave him the opportunity to explore the German countryside as part of the communications reconstruction team. Charles helped hang telephone lines and open back up communications between German villages. He never had to fire a single shot in either role but instead left the war with an appreciation for the German Austrian people and their countryside.

My grandpa, Calvin Deeter, served in the Navy aboard the The USS Conklin DE439. There's a wonderful website dedicated to those who served on the Conklin: http://www.ussconklin.org/index.htm.
If you have more info, photos, or different memories to share, please let me know! I'd love to add them to this post.


Happy Fun Day

"Dad, what fun stuff are you guys going to do with us on Wednesday since we don't have school?"

Oh NO!! Grace didn't get the memo that said Dad and Mom have to work on Veteran's Day. How could she have not gotten that memo!?! Of course, my initial reaction is panic since I really do have a lot of work to do this week. And then the panic dissolves into guilt since I'm anticipating some of her friends saying they're going to Disneyland...or the beach....or Europe on that one day they have off this week.

I really do love my job but if I were working in an office somewhere, I'd just take a personal day (or pretend to be sick) and that would be that. (I know this is how it would play out because I lived it from 1998-2003.) Anyhow, my only stress would be wondering how the hell we'd get to and from England in a 24 hour time period. There wouldn't be the tug of war between duty and guilt I feel inside because I know I have to work every day in order to meet my production demands. And I know it's just me doing the work so the slack can't be picked up by someone else. If it doesn't get done, it just doesn't get done. But, of course, in the bigger picture, I have it set up the way I want it even if it means I work til midnight. So what will I do with my kids tomorrow? I HAVE NO FREAKIN' CLUE. Most likely they'll play Wii for hours while I'm working and then for fun, I'll offer to take them out to lunch only to hear them say, "But that's not fun like _______ is having fun. He's in Europe today."


Pregnancy Magazine's Nursery Must Haves Includes The Owyn Toy Box

Being that I'm always on top of Mod Mom Furniture press, it should come as no surprise to you that the Owyn was featured in Pregnancy Magazine"s New Mom's Handbook Edition in September and I'm just now finding out about it. :)

Thanks to Krista Worth (of HGTV fame) for including Owyn in the list of must-have nursery gear for those woodland-minded parents. I just created a new catch phrase with "woodland-minded", didn't I?!?!

Check out this link to the spread on Krista's press page. It's a PDF files so it may take a tiny bit to load.


Halloween is finally over!!

As promised (Ray), here are the photos of the Haunted House Entry we worked on for weeks inside our house and/or in our back yard. It seemed to be a hit so we're pleased as punch!