Sunday, October 25, 2009

Home Improvement time

I'm not sure what has exactly gotten into us. Maybe with that swine flu, we just had too much time on our hands to think about things, and stare at the walls.

Last week, my husband just decided to cut out a strip of drywall down our unfinished basement steps. We've since seen a snowball effect.

After he cut between the two studs, (opening access to the other side of our basement), we decided to re-arrange our bedroom, and move our bookshelves downstairs. We had moved the girl's bookshelves downstairs a couple of months previously as well.

Well - it didn't stop there. Our neighbor came by and gave us his expert opinion (that the wall wasn't going to fall down with further cutting) and my husband got busy.

Here he is sizing up his ideas:

Here's the second section he took out of the wall, along with part of the handrail:

So, while we were getting used to the novelty of having a small library downstairs, and having easier access, I got ambitious. On Friday I decided that I wanted to learn how to texture my wall, and so I did. It was actually quite fun and I learned a ton. As soon as it dried, I pulled out some paint (copper colored) and painted it up.
The girls thought it seemed to lead to a cozy inviting area. I'm just happy that it has some texture instead of being plain dirty wallboard, and a little personality as well.
Top looking down:

Down looking up:

While we thought we were done for a breath or two, I decided to move most of our main floor library downstairs as well. And we now have a nice cozy little reading area. It is just amazing how the removal of such a small piece of wallboard could snowbal this drastically, but I love it!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sick, sick, sick

Well - we have (almost) survived the H1N1... cough cough. Almost there we hope.
Last Sunday our daughter would not get ready to church. After I figured out that she was sick, she and I went upstairs to snuggle up and watch some Veggie Tales (her choice obviously). She was so sick that she actually let me fix her hair. Here's the proof...


On Thursday night my fever broke and my husband and I went to a small cafe down the road for some lunch Friday afternoon. Ironically, the electricity went out while we were eating and we had to head out to the back to dine al fresco. It was nice to at least be out of the house for a couple of minutes!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

I've surpassed myself!

I just found out that the recipe blog I began 8 months ago has already surpassed all the traffic I've had with this blog in the past 2.5 years...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I spoke too soon

So the stars aligned for a moment, and then scattered back into chaos.
Our oldest child was difficult on Sunday morning - not wanting to get ready for church. I pushed and pled and prodded, and then thought maybe I should shelve my agenda and start really listening. She didn't feel well. Since her actions were fairly singular, I decided to go with my gut and stay home with her (even though it was our primary program practice and I'm in charge of the singing). As the day went on, she got more and more sick. I was glad we'd stayed home. I identified it as H1N1 which has recently surged in the community. Our youngest seemed to feel well, so we sent her to school, but yesterday by the end of the day we just weren't so sure about her either. I took them to the Dr. office (so they could confirm what I already knew), and come to find out - all three of us have it! My husband came home with a terrible cough which had developed throughout the day, along with a headache, and he too has swine flu.

If you've wanted to get hold of us, and haven't been able to for a while, now would be an excellent time. We plan to make some road trips, maybe do some hikes (if we are up to it). Possibly finish up some painting and organization projects. We aren't all stuck in bed and feel mostly well as long as we've got some fever / pain reducer coursing through our veins.

On the good side, at least it is all at the same time, we can hang out and have fun together, and we've definitely felt much worse. Finally, we won't have to worry about getting it later since we are getting it out of the way now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And the stars align

Some of you may remember that last year I blogged about my kid's problems with habitual tardiness. No, it doesn't really matter that we live less that a 2 minute brisk walk from the school - my kids are those habitually tardy ones. I've hated it, I've railed against it. I've put my kids half naked out on the porch with a pile of clothes and their backpacks trying to get them to school on time, I've even driven them naked to school while they hastily scrambled to get dressed in the back seat. Nothing seemed to be effective - they just didn't care Well, that was the before.

This year, finally, the stars have finally aligned and after a month of school, my kids still haven't been tardy yet - we are amazed! Such an improvement from last years all time high of 42 tardies. Yep, 42.

This year, we made some tough decisions and changed our morning routine. One great strategy I've found is to have our kids make their own lunches the night before (then they aren't complaining that they don't like peanut butter) and they lay out their clothes (everything) and pack the backpack the night before. It then becomes a no-brainer. What a simple solution - why didn't someone tell me this before?

The rest of our morning routine deals with my husband and I getting up very early and getting our exercising and getting ready out of the way. Our kids are out of bed somewhere between 6:00 - 6:30. While I finish getting ready, dad is the morning chef (with a kid approved menu). We then breakfast, while reading and discussing our scriptures together, and when dad leaves the girls both have 15-20 minutes to practice their piano. While one practices, the other can finish up homework, make their lunch (if not the night before) and focus on finishing up getting ready. Then they switch.

While kids definitely need their sleep, we found that getting them up earlier has been the total key. We have several evening activities that we've decided not to participate in. While very worthwhile, they end late, and we decided not to compromise on bedtime. It is music to our ears when our kids happily and voluntarily crawl into bed at 8:00 and ask to be tucked in.

While life is never perfect, and I know things will change - especially as our kids get older, I've never enjoyed a schedule so much! I figured I'd probably better record this as a reminder of some of the less turbulent moments when the stars did indeed, seem to align.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween FHE

Our girls have been SO excited to decorate for Halloween this year.
Last week we decorated our pumpkins for FHE. Here's the documentary of the process



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Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 2009 General Conference Packet Link

Our church's semi-annual General Conference is being held today.
As my kids get older, we expect them to pay a little more attention and listen more and more. Here's a link for a conference packet for the October 2009 General Conference. It took me a while to find. Happy Conferencing!