Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Getting there!

random kitty picture

So busy. So many projects "almost", but not quite finished. My camera broke (dropped by who knows), followed by a block getting dropped on the screen of my phone (while kid listening to music on it was putting blocks away). Sooooo, no pictures! I didn't mind the camera so much, my phone actually took better pictures, so hopefully the screen can get fixed soon. We're in the middle of doing the second "half" of our kitchen and I'm so excited! We have an old/new window and an old/new door!! They should be in this weekend, and hopefully I'll remember to use hubby's phone to take some pictures. Our downstairs is feeling like it's going to look "finished" soon and I can hardly wait. We started up with school yesterday, we will be doing a light week this week, as David has next week off. We will hopefully finish up the downstairs and have a day trip to Portland planned. Chuckie Cheese (birthday request from Feb and April) and Ikea (heeheehee!!!). I still sneak in and read other blogs here and there, but haven't taken the time to post anything myself. I had just figured out how to from my phone, too. Ah, well, it'll all happen eventually. No hurry. I cut out a quilt for our bed yesterday! I picked up two old quilts at Goodwill recently and one is a twin sized dresden, and I realized how easily it could go together and look nice, so while at the fabric store, looked and the quilting notions were 40% off, so I got an acrylic pattern, cut out shapes and assembled the pieces while watching a couple movies. I sewed up a couple this morning, I'm pretty excited. I've got one window shade mostly finished, I'm not sure how I'm liking it yet, but the brackets went missing, so it's not actually up yet. I'm doing roman shades, but am trying to avoid having seams across it, so I just used rings, which makes it a little wonky for raising and lowering. I'll fiddle with it a bit more. I like it when it's raised and it's pretty decent lowered, just a fiddly process.  Like I said, so close, but not quite there yet, haha!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finished Dress!

Yay! I finished a dress for Mia! I started this in the spring, hoping to have it done by Fall, and I did. I wanted something to work on while taking Emma to her first Bible Camp. It is this pattern, which has long sleeves. I had planned on adding them, too, but when I tried it on Mia first, I love it the way it was.  I will likely make another with sleeves, I still like it that way, too. That first picture is pretty wonky, she was moving so fast, she's translucent, haha! I plan on making a white shift for her to wear under it, but it will be cute with warm tops and leggings, too. In the meantime, it's surprising nice to wear in the hot weather we've been having, too! I love getting projects finished.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scrap Wood Chalkboard

This was the first year we had this

this was the second year

I'm trying to find and post all the projects I've completed, photographed, and lost! I really need to organize my pictures, but WOW is that a huge job! I made this chalkboard a few years ago out of a twin headboard/footboard David had made into a bench. We never got around to finishing it, we did leave it outside for a year in the very wet weather we have here, and I ended up with some wood to play with, so all was not lost! The board itself is just a plywood scrap, painted with chalkboard paint. I know "everybody has one", but I really love it. I love having changeable "art". I have lost the other pictures, I'll add them later if I find them. Last year, I did a verse in the shape of a tree, like this. For winter last year I wrote a winter poem out. I've enjoyed the deer head for the spring and summer. Really, that one can work anytime I'm either uninspired or just busy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amelia's Nightgown

Just a quick one. This was one of those eternally lurking, never finished projects. I cut this nightgown out for EMMA, when she was around 4. It was from fabric gifted to me and I had a very limited amount, so of course I managed to lose one, single bit of cuff. Once in a while I would find it, put it somewhere, find the nightie, not be able to remember where the cuff piece was, and so on. I gave up when Emma got too big, anyway, but was pretty bummed about it. The cuff piece seems to have disappeared for good, so, having Amelia, I decided I'd just figure something out. She saw it and started wearing it right away, unfinished, haha. Last week I finally cut the cuff down and just finished the sleeve like it was bias tape. Perfect and FINISHED!! I love it. I recently scored a roll of heavy cream colored flannel for some winter nighties for both girls.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Busy but Fun!

     Oh my goodness, have we been busy!! I've loaded only a "few" pictures because I just can't fathom going through the gazillion I have, ugh. Or posting said gazillion! David and I had our 16th anniversary (that means 4 more years until England!!) at the end of June. For Mother's Day, Scott had gifted me a dinner for two at the restaurant he cooks at. We cashed in on it for anniversary dinner ('Cause I'm cheap like that, hahaa!). Holy cow was it good! I had deep fried albacore and it was so amazing that David regretted his burger, which was good, but the fish was so AMAZING. Scott cooks at a Pub (at least American style), and they have daily beer samplers they give you when you sit. I don't even remember what kind they had that day, but I really liked it, and had it with dinner. David does not like beer, but tried it anyway. He looked at me and I said, "It tastes like beer, right?". It all tastes the same to him! So funny. Root beer, on the other hand, he is very picky about!  After dinner, we went and watched Inside Out. Without the kids. They absolutely did not believe us when we told them, but we really enjoyed the movie! We weren't really in an adventurous mood, it's been so hot here (for us), that it was nice to sit in a dark, air conditioned building!
     At the beginning of July, my brother and his family came to visit for a week. They stayed at my parents', but for once we actually got to see them every day they were here. It was so much fun! David and I took them to our favorite "nice" restaurant (this is Astoria, the restaurant is nice, but people dress however they feel, so it's not unusual to see some dressed up, or some coming in from shopping or the beach). My SIL is mostly vegetarian, so I was hoping this place would have some good options, and they did not disappoint! I tasted some and we were both stunned at how good it was. I was glad, I'd be so bummed for her meal to not be good. Afterwards, we took them down to an arcade that a local man opened with his collection of vintage arcade games. And a Tardis. We didn't know about the Tardis, we haven't been there for a while.  They have a few free games that are changed every so often, Jess (SIL) bought a bowl of lemon meringue ice cream, and again, YUM!!

They got to meet Alaina, who is crawling and getting huge.

We all went to a 4th of July parade, which was so much fun to do with them (even though the parade is really pretty lame). This particular parade is really mostly work vehicles, but they throw out candy, so the kids still like it. They filled their buckets!

Watching my nephew is crazy. He looks so much like his dad, who I was nuts about. I was 8 when he was born and was wanting a brother SO BAD. He was so cute, but I'm afraid I definitely spoiled him a bit too much. Abel is completely adorable. Emma and Kira took to each other immediately and were pretty inseparable. I loved it, I only wish they'd move up to Oregon! They live in Utah, which is too far!

Abel snuggled up with Uncle Dave for the fireworks...and fell asleep before they started! He was wiped out. He never flinched when they did start.

 We had a wonderfully full and fun week with them. The day they left, we met at the beach in the morning. I love when we get there and there are giant "puddles" the kids can play in without worrying about undertow and such.

Kevin made Castle Grogan

                                                         Jess made an awesome dragon.

The week ended too quickly, though I was thoroughly physically shattered by then! I took naps the next few days, which I usually only do when I'm pregnant or sick! We have all been missing them like crazy. 

We are still in the middle of a million projects, but here are a couple bits to share. I chopped down our two wooden stools and a small table that has had many jobs in our house over the years. It's a little tricky to make a room into a sewing/play/eating area, but I think it's getting there. I do envy people who have whole rooms to devote to play or entertainment! Or crafty/sewing. We still have to put molding and baseboards into the kitchen as well as new plates for the switches, but again, we're getting there!

  Yesterday I decided to make up a quick sundress for Mia. She picked the fabric from my stash, and funny enough, it's all from goodwill. I'm not crazy about the peach, it's from the late 80's, early 90's. Some sort of cotton/poly blend that was popular then. I remember disliking it back when I worked at Fabricland in high school. Still, it's at least pretty enough, it's just the feel and drape of it I don't care for. She loved it, and that's all that really matters! She prefers to just be naked in the heat we've had, and we are fortunately on a dead end, but still. if I can find something she likes to keep on, that's a very good thing!

I crocheted a front for a pillow, just a quick, mindless crochet. I will sew that up today and toss it on Owen's bed. It will look great with his quilt. Have I posted his quilt? I don't think I have. My mom made him a beautiful chevron quilt. It is a dark blue with multicolored chevrons, which are actually snakes. My mom hates snakes and actually stuggled with the making of it at times - that is how much she loves Owen, heehee.

I'm not even sure which trip to the beach this is from, I just love it. I don't think there can be too many pictures of sunsets, there's something different about all of them, though sometimes it's hard to capture exactly what the difference is. We have busy times still coming, though it's mostly driving on our end. Emma is getting ready for bible camp, Alan is going to be helping out at our county fair again, then he's off for bible camp. I was not a camp kid, but am so glad we're able to send these two who are. It's not cheap, but then again, for food, lessons, supervision, and all the fun they have, it kind of is. Alan plans to work there when he is older, which I am excited about, he'd be great at it!

Friday, June 19, 2015

23 years

Me, 19 years young in my gorgeous 1992 stylish maternity wear!

My 18 month old giant baby in Wurzburg, Germany. 

Opening his present, I love that smile! 

Good grief. I've been a mother for 23 years! What a crazy mixed blessing motherhood is. It's all I wanted, growing up. Sadly, I rushed into marriage to achieve it, without the benefit of some time to grow myself. One of my goals as a parent is to provide an environment that allows my children that growth while at home, enough to make wiser decisions upon reaching their own young adulthood, whether that be more schooling, working, or even their own young marriages. Mostly, that they will have confidence in their relationships with God, that they won't feel like they're on their own in the decision making. That we are encouraging to them in going after their own dreams, in cultivating their own skills. That success is not about the money. There's no big "moment" in life that will solve all your problems or make you suddenly happy. You get to choose to be happy along the way. If we actually trust God, then we don't stress about the stuff we already have no control over. We take care of the stuff we can, and enjoy the rest. At least enjoy each other through the rest. I stumbled and struggled a LOT with Scott and Rachel; I learned a lot, too. I have wonderful relationships with both of them, and am so grateful for that.  I am just so grateful that God even gave us so many wonderful, healthy kids. I pray I do Him even a little bit of justice by them.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Family Barbecues

        Good grief, have we been busy this past month! I'm fairly overwhelmed, too many projects going, no single room "finished". I've felt pretty down about it a few times, but have to just get myself reoriented and focused. I still need to make a new, complete list of projects so I can start crossing them off. I think it would help to see what is actually being accomplished along the way! On the upside, we've had some beautiful weather and a couple family celebrations, so that's what I'm posting today. My dad's 65th birthday was the 8th, so the Friday before, my family went over to my parent's house for a barbecue. Rachel and Alaina even came up, which of course, was wonderful. My parent's have a beautiful property, about 3 1/2 acres. Perfect for shooting bb guns, which I loved to do (and was pretty good at) growing up.
      Last night, my sister's kids were all in town to celebrate one of their cousins (on my brother in law's side) graduating nursing school. When that party had wrapped up, we all met up at my parent's house again for another barbecue. It was so much fun! Rachel and Alaina came up again, though Scott has had to work both times we've been over there. "Grandpa 2" (guy in camo coat, bottom set, right middle) and "Meemaw 2" (in glasses, middle pic, middle row of bottom set) also got to come over. Kenny (Grandpa 2) was a road deputy, and had worked during my dad's time as a State Trooper. He and his wife have become great friends with my parents, and another set of grandparents to my kids (hence the "2" in their titles). They loved spending time with my kids and my sister's 12 kids, they're all such sweet and fun people! Alaina instantly fell in love with my oldest nephew, Samuel, which was adorable. It's so crazy to see how grown everyone has gotten. This May, Anna has been officially leukemia free for two years!!! Emily and Craig have been on a cruise this week, and the family will be reuniting at some point today, which will be so good for her very little ones. We look enough alike, that they kept getting caught off guard, calling me "mom", especially as it got darker and the kids became tired. (they got to say goodnight by phone, the top middle picture of the bottom set shows little Tirzah, giving mom and dad a kiss goodnight!) Still, I'm so glad they got to go be alone for a week, it's not easy to get alone, especially when you're pastor's family, and a large one at that!! They've done a wonderful job, though. Such an awesome family, anyone who meets them, falls in love with them.