Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things I'm Loving:

:: daffodils in bloom

:: the smell of anything clean

:: really warm water

:: only three weeks left!!!!!!

:: new art in the bedroom

:: days on end of sunshine and sixty degrees

:: a house full of working plumbing

:: being in my studio again

:: my sweet little Annabelle who gets her own "lunch" of peanut butter crackers and jell-o so I can sleep

:: boys building forts

:: knowing that all those beautiful pink clothes we spent all that money on for Anna are about to get another chance in the sun

:: life - in all its glory

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Cub Scout Birthday!

Last night was Djeryd's Blue and Gold banquet for Cub Scouts. Scouting is celebrating 100 years this year, which is really kind of cool. All of the boys and their dads were supposed to decorate the cakes for refreshments. I baked the cake (carrot), made the frosting (cream cheese) and then shut my mouth. It was so hard not to say anything. I think they did a pretty good job for having virtually NO cake-decorating experience under their belts.

Because he is Djeryd, the cake had Lego Cub Scouts at a picnic table with a campfire.

Sean did a good job letting Djeryd design the cake and supporting him however he could (like slicing up those yummy chocolate fire logs).

I hope they do it again next year.
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In Progress: Sleeping

As we all know, babies spend most of the first three months of their lives asleep. I have been working here and there (not as steadily as I would like) on Alyxandria's quilt and some sheets for her first bed. I finished the quilt top last week (now it just has to be quilted), and I whipped up her first of two sheets this afternoon (must always have a change of sheets for babies).

I am so in love with this fabric! I want to buy a whole bolt and make bedding and curtains and dresses and skirts and capris and all kinds of other adorable things for my girls! I LOVE it!!

Sean set up the port-a-crib last night in our room. All of a sudden things are starting to feel very real and very soon. I can't help thinking of all the things I want to do or have done before the baby arrives; raised beds to put in, spring jammies made for the boys, books read, sheets made, crib set up, kids' bedrooms completely reorganized, Alyx's quilt finished, Montessori work areas set up for Anna in the living room, drapes hemmed, a floral photo collage on the landing, pictures hung, boxes sorted, flower seeds sown, etc., etc., etc. I know it is completely normal and natural to "nest" at this point. The challenge for me is trying to enjoy this preparation stage, instead of allowing myself to be stressed-out by it. Sean keeps telling me to breathe. The only problem with that is there is this baby in my stomach that is completely compressing my lungs. ;>
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Carpet - At Last!

We actually experienced the scene above three times before it was all said and done.

Carpet layers at work.

Isn't it pretty? ;>

And the loveliest sight of all - carpet in place of tack strips!!! Yea!!

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The Long of It

First off, these image may make a person want to either wretch or cry, or both. Consider yourself warned. (Maybe I'm not ready to write this post just yet . . . ) But the story must be told. I am putting my happy face on.

The image you see above was discovered in the boys' room on Friday night after pulling up their carpet in anticipation of the carpet install that was not. Our contractor stopped by on Saturday to take a preliminary look and began work on Monday morning. As he pulled off board after board of siding the dry rot continued down the wall. It actually looked pretty good in the middle, but he wanted to make sure the nightmare actually had an ending point (I'm still not convinced we have reached that mystical point). At the bottom of the wall his hand went straight through the plywood and we discovered a rotted out support beam that was holding up my boys' bedroom. This was a bad thing. It required jacking up the house. Very nerve-racking.

We also discovered this lovely nest of mold (shown below) that is currently attached to the sheetrock in my living room (we have not begun the removal of this exciting piece just yet). I finally asked my contractor how many thousands of dollars it was costing me every time he talked to me. He just laughed and said: "Oh, it's not thousands, just hundreds." Is that supposed to make me feel better?

By Monday night all of the dry rot was replaced and Sean only had one teeny section of carpet left to remove from our closet before the scheduled carpet install on Tuesday morning. So, at about 9:30pm Sean bravely pulled up the carpet and found this:

Oh, yes, there was more of that nasty stuff. Our contractor was coming back the next day to finish up the siding. We figured we would just have him deal with the dry rot first.

So, Tuesday morning arrives. The long-awaited day, and "what to our wondering eyes should appear?" but carpet that falls apart in the carpet layers hands. Yes, you read right. The brand-new carpet - straight from the factory - disintegrated in the carpet layers hands as he was double checking the color with Sean. Admittedly, this was the lowest point in the whole ordeal. My house was torn apart, mattresses overflowing in the living room, a house full of tack strips, and the prospect of another two weeks without carpet. Bad day.

We cancelled our order with Home Depot and found a nice local carpet company in town. We found carpet that we liked much better and just swallowed hard when we looked at the price tag, but said yes. (The tremendous amount of frustration that had accompanied us by this point made money seem like a very irrelevant thing.) Sean rolled the old carpets back out, moved all the mattresses back into make-shift bedrooms and we sat tight for two more weeks. Aside from the general mess of it all, the only dangerous part was traversing the stairs that were covered in tack strips. It was rather nerve-racking. It is all over now, though (except for the mold in the wall in the living room, and a number of plumbing problems), and we are all grateful to have something so luxuriously soft and beautiful underfoot. As soon as my camera battery recharges I will post pictures. Happy, happy day.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If You Can Believe It

I promised my next post would not be fit for anyone with a weak stomach. This was not the post I intended, but I think it meets the qualifications:

Sean just informed me the new carpet will not be installed tomorrow. Oh, no - it has been delayed at least one more day.

I am about ready to call a special fast. ;>

Really I'm just thankful that I even have a house to complain about.

One Day More

It could make a person cry. Looking at the present state of my house. A state that we have been living in for two solid weeks.

I can't believe I have been smiling through most of it. In a little over 24 hours my house will be put back together and I will have a new lease on life.

I'm sure I will cry tomorrow. Hopefully I won't blubber all over the carpet layers in effusions of joy and gratitude. If I have any dignity at all I will go hide in my closet, lie down on my new carpet, and cry there. Oh, happy day!

Next post: images that are not for the weak of stomach. I'm just warning you . . .
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Monday, February 15, 2010

HELP - Pass It On: Homeless

In what I hope will be a continuing series on this blog, here is another little kit we put together in Family Night tonight. I sincerely hope our little projects will inspire each of us to do a little more to make the world a better place.

Inspired by my Relief Society President, we decided to make little food kits to hand out to people who are homeless and looking for help on street corners. We used quart size Ziplocs. Erik placed one can each of apple juice and vegetable juice in the bag.

Anna then added two granola bars of differing varieties.

And Djeryd topped them off with a moist towelette, a dollar bill, and a pass-along card about our beliefs.

While we were putting them together Sean read us some beautiful scriptures about helping those who are in need. The kids asked questions and we talked about that fact that we are all beggars when it really comes down to it. We packed up the kits into two boxes, one for each car. It was a really neat Family Home Evening.

P.S. We have been having a dandy putting together personal 72 hour kits - like it has taken us TEN YEARS!!! Anyway, we are trying to add two or three things as part of each Family Night. We usually do it right at the beginning or before we even start. It has been so great! I like it because we can round up a whole bunch of different items all over the house, pack them in our packs, and put them away - and I don't have to do anything but give people their scavenger hunt assignments! Fantastic!
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Happy Late Valentine's Day. It seems as if we do everything a day or two behind schedule around here. Although I did manage to have Valentine presents on the table by Sunday morning (yea me!). Everyone got socks this year with a little note that read "We make a great pair! Happy Valentine's Day!" I got the idea off of one my crafty blogs, but I cannot remember which one.

We made Valentine cookies Sunday afternoon. The dough was prepped and chilled and ready to go. You can imagine my chagrin when there was not a heart cookie-cutter in sight. Dah! So we settled for lips and mittens that we could decorate with candy hearts.

By the time dinner was over and we were ready to decorate cookies, Sean and I realized our happy-parent-selves were about to turn into pumpkins. We called it a night and wound up decorating the cookies this afternoon. The kids did not have school today (do they ever have school????), so we had a very leisurely time celebrating with Valentine cookies. They made a very tasty Family Night treat.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Short of It

We are in the middle of a three thousand dollar house project (budgeted and planned for) that has rapidly more than doubled (and I fear is near tripling) that price. Yippee for dry-rot. Yippee for more dry-rot. Yippee for contractors (actually, we really love our contractor). Yippee for brand-new carpet that falls apart in your hands. Yippee for delay after delay. Yippee for holes in the walls. Yippee for having to repaint the exterior of our home. Yippee for sleeping in the living room. Yippee having one more week to go (praying like crazy it is JUST one more week). Yippee to be eight months pregnant through all of this.

Actually the good part is the computer is in the living room - the same room as the couch. I sat on the couch and watched two whole movies today. Pure indulgence. (We do not have a television. Movie viewing via computer is our sole form or digital-visual entertainment.) Really I am okay. I just lack the sense of humor to post actual pictures and go into the details of this whole mess. Maybe later . . . after my movie is over. ;>

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Alyx's Quilt

The sincerest form of gratitude for a gift is to use it, right? Here is my thank you to my husband (and everyone who worked on my studio). And here is my thank you to my in-laws. I am using my studio to make a beautiful quilt for my new baby. And I am using my new camera flash to document it (I actually use my flash for everything).

I found instructions online for a "Broken Dishes" quilt pattern (pictured in the background of the top photo) a month or so ago. I realized if I reversed the two half-blocks I could create a "Pinwheel" pattern, which I think is more cheerful looking. Anna and I hit the fabric store, and what you see above is our girly-girl inspiration. I think it is going to be beautiful.

We also picked up some fabric for sheets for the port-a-crib, which will be Alyx's bed for the first few months. So much to do in just six short weeks. ;>
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An Artsy Afternoon

I love the concentration and contentment that fills the house when my kiddos are engaged in an art project. Sunday afternoon the kids started out making Fingerprint Strawberry Postcards, and it just evolved into a free paint and drawing hour. Such a nice way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon. We have 9:00am church now, so those Sunday afternoons can be very long. (It cracks me up how Erik is always smiling if the camera is around.)

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