Wednesday, December 12, 2012

:. Catching the Holiday Spirit .:

I'm still trying to figure out where September and October went and suddenly the calendar tells me it's DECEMBER!! I guess I've been around these past few months but it seems they've just flown by. 
In trying to be a little more in the groove of Christmas, we've been a little crafty around here lately...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Been Almost a Whole Month...

...since my last post. Really??! Where have I been? What has been happening that I can't take just a few minutes to sit down and talk with you? Well, here is a little run-down: 

piano practice, play practice, and practicing his French horn take up a lot of this boy's time...

art + friends = fun!

and even a little more craft time. 

Oh yes, we had some fun dress up days in the middle school to work on...

Then there was a night of cheering! (Preceded by the week of practices!)  

We had great fun with Grandma & Grandpa while they visited for Grandparents Day. 

Tis the season for concerts to start again. We've been to a few already. This picture shows P's first Jazz Band Concert! 

Volleytennis is nearly done. We have 1 practice and 3 games remaining. Its been a great season! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

{ the many faces }

When they are this little, you just don't know what to expect...but I could read this look very easily today:  Mama, you think you got it past me, but you're wrong. I just decided to eat it this time.

At times, quiet... and other times, not so quiet...

 A bubbly personality- she loves people. She loves to be in charge of people. Maybe someday she will be.

She always has a secret...if you want to have one too, just ask--often times she'll share if you catch her in just the right mood...

An Actress.  
Did I mention messy? 

 --this part is not an act. She's a natural  ;)

(And check out this photobomb! -love it!)

Here she is as our waitress.

And she is also happy. Did I tell you that yet?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

During the Day, While Everyone Is Away...

 My floor gets transformed...

 And in between carefully setting her toys out precisely where she wants them...

She pretends she knows a lot of gymnastics... 

...and then she gets back to business...

This is her class. She arranges them differently every day. She know just where they should be, and if they are goofing around or if they are helping her that day. 

I let her be. She prefers it that way. When I try to play along, many times she comes "out of character" and loses her train of thought. So I let her be. 

Sometimes I even have something fun to do myself! (This is the beginning of a mug rug.)  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A *Before* and *After* Show and Tell

We've lived with these cabinets in the bathroom long have we been here? 

Not a real big space, but plenty can go "aesthetically wrong" even in a small space. (Is that a word even?) 

Anyway, some guys we know from church took our bathroom from this...

...To this in just a few short days. Too late to turn back now! So you can see that the only thing we kept from the old bathroom is the tub. It is still in very good condition. 


And then a day or two later we had this! Ready for Eric to paint in his spare time...

Which happened to be after dinner as this was the week that the teachers had to be back in school. ugh.

So excited for the new flooring here-- thanks to another church friend for helping me out with the linoleum. (If you live nearby and plan to do remodeling or flooring anytime soon, ask me for their numbers! I do recommend!)

Here is also a peek at the vanity we purchased. --Which, by the way was quite the hassle. Glad I don't have to do that often. 


Oh look, I thought I was all ready to write this post about my new bathrooms, and here this picture doesn't even have the door frame or the mirror! *sigh* I guess another time I can show you all of that. With the base board, mirror and door frame in place it really does look nice.

And the other side of the room-- complete! oops, that isn't true either! I can see that the window is still the old window in this picture. (sorry for not catching these things!!)

I really love the feel of the linoleum and the height of the vanity. The old vanity was a little short. I guess the standard height has changed since 30+ years ago. The shower curtain was a little long, so I trimmed 4 inches from just above the band at the bottom and then put the band back on. I'm thankful I know how to do that!! 

And here we go again! After finishing the upstairs bathroom we decided to "go for it" with the one downstairs. This was mainly because we knew it would be far less work and time. 
 This is a *before* shot. Sorry, I forgot to get one with the old vanity in the room. Scroll back up and see the one that was in the upstairs bathroom-- they were the same except this room had a mirror across the whole wall. 

This picture is especially for my Dad. We talked about how this hose came out of the wall from the side and how it would (or wouldn't?) fit behind the drawers. Well, they didn't have to change anything-- the manufacturers of the vanity must have known that they should leave 6 inches open behind the drawer (SERIOUSLY?! These were obviously not made by a woman! I could have used those inches for the stuff I want to put the drawer!) Anyway, it all worked out with no problems and I guess I am glad they gave me the "extra space"  .

Uh-oh. Nothing ever goes 100% smooth. We had trouble when we went to paint this wall. It is hard to see in this picture but much of the paint is peeling up or cracking and flaking off. AAAHHHHHH! There were a couple of moments of frustration. 

Success! Finally the paint stuck to the wall like it was supposed to, phew! Since Eric often paints at night there is no natural light in this picture-- so the color definitely looks different. It is more of a grey than the light green I see here on my screen. 
And of course we had to get a new vanity and counter top for this room as well. This one did not have a back splash attached or that came with so we had the guys put just a little bit of tile around it-- I love how it looks! 

Again, no mirror in the picture. Actually, truthfully, its been nearly a week and I still haven't found a mirror for this room. It is on my list of things to do this week-- I'm just not entirely sure what kind of mirror or how big of a mirror I want. 

Anyway, that is all. This was part of our excitement at the end of summer-- ripping out bathrooms and showers and going to the pool each day hoping that people couldn't tell the difference.  ;) 

This remodeling was part of what kept us busy at the end of the summer. So glad to be back in the routine of school and homework and piano playing. We are enjoying our new bathrooms-- although I will tell you that Chloe told me that the faucet downstairs is a little darker than she thinks it should be!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

{ and we're back in the race }

...of school and routine and more and more to do! 

The first day of school has come and gone. 


Look at their smiling happy faces! We have three kids at different campuses this year. Payton made it into 7th grade. Audra is in 4th grade. And dear Chloe is excited about Preschool. The two older kids were ready almost an hour early the first day. Here's to hoping we can keep the enthusiasm level up near to that, anyway!

This is the first time I couldn't go with P to school! Sad day for me!! Here he and two friends are riding off together. (Payton is the one in the middle.)
  And this is where they are headed! (I stopped in later that morning-- not to check up on Payton but to help Eric move instruments from one campus to another.) Our middle school has gone to what they call "one to one" where each kid is expected to have an ipad. It will be used in class and for homework. So far, so good I guess. No major trouble to speak of. Also, Payton has enjoyed his first week. He enjoys having a locker, even though it is a bottom one. In his English class they are watching a movie for which he is expected to take notes. He thought that was a funny idea. (haha, the joke may be on him...) P is looking forward to more extra-curricular activities, starting off with auditioning for a play...

Look at her! Crazy to believe that she is my only elementary kiddo right now. Audra is having fun getting to know the new kids who have joined our school-- she has a good number of them in her class.

Doesn't it feel good to be wanted? These two are definitely wanted! Audra was excited to have this friend in school with her-- they are often mistaken for one another, even by their own family! This should be a good year.

Audra's other activity that has begun is volleytennis. This activity is played through the park league. She and I are on a team called the Purple Panthers. (I am helping to coach her team.) Audra did play last year, so it is not completely new to her. I can tell that she has improved a lot since then! Should be a fun couple of months.

Oh boy. And the next day it was Chloe's turn. Taking the big walk down the sidewalk for preschool. She'll only go on M W and F, half days. Tonight at bedtime she asked me what I would do while she is gone tomorrow. When I told her I wasn't sure she said I'd probably make cookies or dessert without her! 

(notice the random and out of season rain we got on the first day! Strange!)

We were glad to see her friend there, right away.  They found the coloring center and immediately  went to work. (It was Chloe's only paper to show for her first day-- she was a little bummed about that because she "loves homework".) 

Chloe's teacher is Miss Karla. She is really looking forward to painting and to having homework. Chloe told me that on the first day there was no homework, she didn't get to paint and that at play time the boys were chasing the girls. 


 Just before I left the kids were called to sit in this circle. Notice Chloe's right hand up by her face-- she is a little teary and I'd given her a tissue. I'm glad to know she was going to miss me! 

 When I picked her up she had a huge smile on her face and she said she loved school. (yay!)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

... Our Quick Trip ...

...To Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado! 

A few stats: 
--750 miles (one way!)
--12 hours of driving, all done in one day
--Chloe was carsick 4 times, (only tossing her cookies 3 times...ew.)
--In one day, temperature ranges from 81˚ at 6:30am to 91˚ at 5pm
--Overall, we saw license plates from all but 9 states

As the miles go by...

Wishing I'd captured more of the side-of-the-house artwork with my camera. There were quite a few pictures painted on the sides of different buildings.

Finally here and enjoying the view! Deer wandered through our campsite in the mornings and evenings. Maybe they are hard to see but just beyond the road on the left side of the picture are some deer grazing. 

The start of adventure! "Oh yeah, I can't wait to go exploring!" ~Chloe  Here the kids are pointing "up" because we are at 8572 feet in elevation.

Already she was saying it was too much exploring...This was only an hour later!

Cliff House Palace. We got to walk around here(with somewhat limited access).

This picture is to show where these Indians who lived in these cliffs actually went to get to their homes. Wishing I could draw a circle around the cliff dwelling in this picture. It is pretty much in the center of the picture, just below the mesa top. Did they climb down from the top? Did they come up from the canyon floor? There were many, many examples of cliff dwellings in this park. Amazing.

I guess this is the view of us that Chloe sees. She wanted to take our picture.

We were hiking a trail called "Knife's Edge". Notice the valley floor just beyond the grass? A long way down!

We found even more reason to take care while hiking this trail! Can you see it? There were two of these rattlers along the trail which caused us to jump!

Ruins at one of the Far View Sites. Gives an idea of what some of the sites looked like. The rooms were very small. Short doorways. Every place had a "kiva" which was like a room for practicing their religion and using for special ceremonies.

After a long day of exploring we got to watch nature in our own "backyard"!

Our "house".

On the way home we drove through torrential down pour rain. We could hardly see the road at times! Thankfully that was somewhat short lived and we were able to get home at about the time we expected to. 

 We had a great time together. I know our tent looks big, but sometimes with our growing family it feels small... We're already thinking about and dreaming about the next camping adventure! Any suggestions?