Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch last night.  
It was sooo fun!  We went down the gunny-sack slide, stuck our faces in hilarious cut-outs, rode on a wagon heaped in straw, drank hot apple cider made from apples a breath away from the pot and we took darling pictures in our cozy fall sweaters, flannel shirts and broken-in leather boots.  
It was the cutest, familiest day 
ever.


The air was crisp as we wandered through the corn maze and, finally, picked out
the perfect pumpkin.


Then, we came home and carved 'em up.


At least we did get the carving done this year!  
Gotta get some points for that.
:)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stop Complaining

There are some things in my life that are a challenge, but I had an experience recently that reminded me that 
my life is not so tough.


We were at the doctor for his 18 month well-child check-up.
"Any allergies?"
"No."
"Is he taking any medications?"
"No."
"Was he premature?"
"No."
"Does he have any health problems?"
"No."
"Did he have any problems at birth?"
"No."
"Were there any complications while you were pregnant or during delivery?"
Again, "No."
"Do you have any concerns about his health today?"
"No."

And that was just the start.  We went through a rather lengthy list on a medical history form and the answer to each one was the same:
He is healthy and always has been.


That was when a ton of bricks fell from the sky
and hit me right on the head.

He is healthy.
They are all healthy.
My husband is healthy.
I am healthy.
Even our dingdang dog is healthy.


That isn't to say we don't have a little bit of this and a little bit of that because we certainly do have a pile of doctor's bills to prove it.  But a bump removed, a test taken, a spot burned off, those are all piddly.

Hat Hair
I know I take our general health for granted and after hearing the list, I was propelled to my (figurative) knees. 
(I was in the doctor's office, having a conversation, after all.)
I knew, right then and there, that I needed to do some serious repenting.
Heavenly Father has blessed me so much that I don't have room to hold it--literally! 
That is my problem!  
Can you imagine complaining about not having enough room because you have so many blessings?!

My heart has turned and I am sorry for my grumpy, embittered attitude.
My Father loves me and I, his selfish, greedy, short-sighted daughter hasn't been doing a very good job of saying thank you.
I am turning away from that person 
because I can.
I have nothing about which to complain.
The End


Friday, October 17, 2014

Blessed by my Parents

My parents stopped by for a quick visit tonight.  They were here to see the children--one child in particular who turned 11 yesterday--but my dad knew we had a log that needed cutting up so he brought his chainsaw along for the ride.

My mom walked into my house and immediately got to work on my sink full of dishes.
She does this every time she comes to my house.
I've tried to tell her not to do it and I've tried to have the dishes done before she gets here.
If there are no dishes in the sink, she'll fold laundry.
And, let's face it, with eight people in the house at almost all times, there are always dishes in the sink.

Meanwhile, my dad quickly sliced up the log and asked if I needed anything else done while he was here.
I did.
I've had this horrible tree that has needed to come down because it is ugly and is impeding the healthy growth and a beautiful tree.  
BUT, it leaned heavily to one side and it would have fallen on the neighbor's greenhouse.  
Justin and I hadn't the skills to get the tree down AND keep the greenhouse up.

My dad is amazing.

"Did you know the hook broke off of your chain?"
No, I didn't.  Sorry, Dad.
In a matter of 15-20 minutes, he had the tree down and cut into logs.
No lives or fingers or dogs were lost in the process.


Even the neighbor's greenhouse remained untouched.

At one point, when Dad was sitting on the couch, I handed him Isaac's guitar and asked him to change a broken string.  Within a matter of moments, the string was changed and the guitar was tuned.
My daughter nailed it on the head when she declared, "Papa!  What is going on here?!  This is getting out of hand!  How did you learn how to fix everything?!!"

Amen to that.  
I am blessed by my parents.
Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ready to See More House?!

Me, too.  
Unfortunately, nothing has changed about the actual structure.  We're on a budget, see, so we are low on the priority list.

Cute girl.
Honestly, most days, it is okay.  I'm not terribly bothered by the slow progress and I'm enjoying the building process.  My dear, agreeable husband and I have not bickered about one single thing in regards to the house.

The only problem is that my current living conditions have just about driven me batty.
I WILL press on.  I Will, I will.

Just because hammers aren't swinging and saws aren't blazing doesn't mean that I wasn't busy doing what I could.  This week, we finalized flooring, tile, cabinet layout and countertops. 
Mostly.  There are a few little bumps to be ironed out later.

Here is a snapshot of our pallet.
Try to ignore that horrible, distracting flooring under it all.

Second row, middle sample is the library carpet.
Gray carpet is for all of the bedrooms.
wood-look vinyl is for the upstairs bathroom,
marble-look formica is for the bathroom and laundry countertops,
Historic oak flooring in the timber color (which is the top right sample on the green board) for the main living areas
and the gray oblong tiles for the laundry, mudroom, and master bath floors.
I tend to be a mix-it-up kind of girl; 
We don't have any purple in this house!  Let's have a purple room . . . Here!

When I scrapbooked my wedding photos, I learned that mixing things up is not always good.
I'd done the entire book in the same 7 shades of navy blue and gold (our wedding colors) and Autumn leaves (we were married in November).
By the last several pages of the album, I was sick of navy blue and gold and burnt red and golden yellow,
so I mixed it up.
Those last few pages of my wedding album look so weird!

I'm trying really hard to learn from that mistake and proceed with this house planning to create cohesion.
Cohesion isn't boring.
I have to remember that.

Better view of the library carpet.  I wanted something that alluded to a rug,
but with the convenience and quiet of wall to wall.
We are doing white subway tile behind every sink and in every shower.
It isn't boring.
It is cohesive.

Close up of my mismatched toenails, courtesy of my 6 year old beautician.

We are using the same carpet in the rest of the carpeted areas, 
the same tile in the rest of the tiled areas 
and the same wood in the rest of the wood areas.

Most of the walls will be Sherwin-Williams Polar Bear.
I'm hoping it reads creamy parchment when it is on the walls.


The library will be this moody gray called Mink.


I am throwing a bit of a wrench in things with my laundry room.  It will be this bright, happy blue called Watery.  The laundry room has been dreary for too long!


You know, I have this vision in my head of what I want, but I've been building this house for a long time now.  Nearly a decade, really.  I been actually purchasing sale and clearance lighting for two years.
I really, really hope that the lights I bought two years ago jive with the lights I bought two weeks ago.
Gah!

On another note, our beams finally arrived!


They are so beautiful!


If you think they look pretty, wait until your nose gets a whiff.  Amazing!

So you see?  Things are happening.  I will move into my new house someday.
In the meantime, I'll keep my chin up and be grateful for my stinky trailer
because at least I have a place to call home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dirt Be Gone!

I wish it were as easy as chanting a magic spell, but, alas, I do not possess magic.

Remember these?

Great heaping mounds that the children quickly turned into fortresses?


Piles that blocked every view and laid waste to my peaceful mountain meadow.


After hours and hours in the backhoe,
I am happy to report that
the massive piles of subsoil are removed from sight.


Here, for the first time, is full, clear shot of the back of our house!
Ta Da!


We still have some (eternal) rock picking to do and we'll spread a layer of topsoil over it all to make a back yard.  But look how flat it is!!


From the living room window you can now see our outdoor fireplace.
I just ordered 72 lavender plants from a wholesaler in Sequim, WA.  
That place is pronounced "Skwim." 
Anyway, the idea is that there will be a four-foot deep bed of lavender (the black landscape fabric) around the little fireplace courtyard.
I already made the concrete counters that will top rock legs (which I will build in my spare time) so that we can have permanent tables out there.
So many ideas.


Also, with the dirt removed, we can see the waterfall that is forming at the northeast corner of the property.
You can't really tell from this picture, but it is going to be a beaut.
I think.
I hope.


Inside, the HVAC guys have been hard at work this week.
That is pronounced the H-vac guys, not the aged-fat guys, like several people thought I said.
I began calling them the H-V-A-C guys so that no one could think I was calling them names.
But, anyway, LOOK!


Another fireplace!  This one is gas.  
Having it there makes the living room seem more grounded and less floaty, if that makes sense.  
I'm planning on building the rock surround out of the gorgeous and plentiful free rocks on our property.  I was nervous about it until I realized I was nervous because I don't want our contractor (who has strict standards and isn't shy about sharing his design tastes) to think it looks homemade or sloppy.  Why do I get myself so worked up about what other people will think?!  I know I can build something that will make Justin and I happy and will fit the woodland cottage feel of the house.  Everyone else doesn't have to like it!

Meanwhile, time marches on and I am trying to squeeze every precious minute out of my baby.
He will be 18 months old in a few days
and I'm not quite ready for that to happen.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Makes Me Happy


Our 15 year old son, Isaac, recently bought himself an acoustic guitar.  He's had an electric guitar for a while, but never improved much.  Between his coming and going, (and not just to here and there, but to other countries and such nonsense) faulty cords and a cheap amp, he struggled with hearing himself play.  This guitar is a much better option!

My dad is a wonderful guitar player.  One of his first dates with my mom--maybe the very first date, even--was to play guitar for her while she sang.  One side of the soundtrack of my childhood was my dad playing guitar; the other side is my mom singing.  Every time Dad sat down, he was playing.  I love listening to the guitar because of that early and often exposure.

When I was in Jerusalem for a semester of a study abroad program, I didn't have any music.  I couldn't afford a portable CD player (remember those days when you had to have a device and the discs and the batteries?) and had to go without.  A couple of months in, I wrote home and plead with my dad to send me a tape of him playing.  He went to work right away and I got it several weeks later.  I bought one set of batteries and borrowed a roommate's Walkman.  I put on the headphones, closed my eyes and listened to home until the batteries died.

Now, I have a guitar in the house again and I love it.  This is a sound that makes me happy.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

House Update


Our construction loan reaches maturation at the end of October.
We were expecting it, but just got official word today that there was no way that our house would be done by that date.
So sad.
Our builder requested a 45 day extension.
In the mean time, the kids are enjoying the unfinished basement.


We have to sweep constantly to keep the concrete free of sawdust, wood shavings and garbage, but it is worth it to have this huge, smooth skating surface.


For those of you who were wondering, the upstairs is for the four girls and the boys will dwell down here, in a cordoned-off section of the basement.  It won't be a totally finished space, but it will be warm and livable.
One end of the basement will be the game room/theater.  We have had a 19" television for much of our marriage, but know we will want an upgrade once we get settled into the new place.
Did you know there are TV calculators available online?
You plug in the dimensions of your room and it will tell you what size television to buy.
We are supposed to get an 80"-85" television.
WHAT??!!
The kids were thrilled because they thought that since that's what the calculator said then that's what we must get!  
Too bad they have these cheap parents.

Please, Daddy?
We've had our capable electricians doing the wiring this week.
Having done a bit of wiring in my time, I absolutely love these guys!
Look at that confusion!


It isn't confusing to them, however, and they are very organized in what looks a bit like chaos.


Here's a little something that thrills my soul:
they put the exterior eave outlets on a timer so that Christmas lights can be controlled from the coat closet.
Smart!


The plumbing is a lot done, the roof is done (and is beautiful!!), the windows are all in, but one (still waiting on the front porch beams that were accidentally sent to Montana) and this:


All of our paint is selected and purchased.  Sherwin-Williams had their 40% off sale last weekend, so we had to choose, pronto.  I know you can buy a can and have it tinted later, but if you buy the wrong base, that doesn't do you a lot of good.  This sheet of white paint chips had me in fits.
I want a true cream.  Not yellow, not gray, not beige.  Cream.
We picked Polar Bear.
We bought a massive amount of it.
It had better be right.
We chose a few other colors for the bedrooms, laundry, library and such, but most of the house will be creamish.  We have a lot of wood in the floor, trim and cabinetry so I didn't want our walls to be too heavy.  I hope all of my vision comes together.
We'll see . . .
45 days after October 30th.
Hopefully.