Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Break

Last week was a little crazy. On Monday I spent the whole day cooking in the kitchen for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday I ran around and did errands until about 2:00 when I started sanding, staining, and painting my kitchen furniture until 12:30 that night. The next day I got up and worked on my kitchen table for hours before finally getting one coat of stain on and packing up and heading to Arco in a snow storm. The roads were actually pretty decent until we got to the Craters of the Moon and they were really bad there until we got to my parents house. Chase and Rachel and Kelsey and Justin also came home for Thanksgiving. That night we had soup and pie and watched Fargo. Thanksgiving day my mom had dinner all ready by mid morning and we ate at 11:30 as usual and it was good! We just hung around the rest of the day watching TV, chatting, eating,  and working on a puzzle (or rather I would get a puzzle out and Justin would work on it). That night we played some games which included experiencing a first in the game of Rage which we have been playing my entire life. I won a hand with all of the free cards. It was crazy! I didn't want to win that hand by the way. On Friday Trisha's family came out to spend the day. Our kids finally had some cousins to play with. We just chatted with them until they left and then we left around 4:00 that day as well.

When I got home Friday night I had time to put on a coat of polyurethane on my red benches and then I went to bed. On Saturday I painted most of the day straight. This project is tedious and time consuming and exhausting. This week I just need to paint the bottom of the table and the benches and a couple chairs white and then put on three coats of polyurethane on them. Phew! I don't even know if it's going to look good when it's done. I think I'm hoping that my imperfect work will look "rustic" rather than "homespun." We'll see!

Kelsey and Justin have been here today since around 12:00. They have an early morning flight to catch in the morning. I think after the kids go to bed we may play a mean game of Settlers of Catan. Wish me luck finishing this dang kitchen furniture transformation. I need stamina to power through.

I painted my bar stools red. I used homemade chalk paint. I hope the claim is true about not needing to sand or prime. I guess I'll find out in a few weeks if all of the paint chips off. I stained the top of the benches dark.

I tried to strip the kitchen table and it was so stinky!

As you can see it wasn't really working. I went to Home Depot for a consult and they just told me to sand it down.

I sanded it down in the house! Look at the dust pile on the piano. This is a summer, outdoor project!

I had to quarantine the kids while I was using the stripper on the table. This is a summer, outdoor project!

My mom having some bonding time with the kids, (forcing them to sing with her on the piano). Ha.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Somebody's in a Toddler Bed

This week we moved Ryan into a toddler bed. I wasn't really looking forward to this transition as I never am, but it had to happen. Poor Ryan has been sleeping in a pack n play his whole life which is bad enough, but it's gotten a lot of use in the last 4 years and it is totally used up. The pad is horrible. It is broken and it looked so uncomfortable. We felt horrible about him sleeping on it so rather than spend the money on a new pack n play we thought we would try his toddler bed first. I couldn't believe how easy the transition was. I decided to put the toddler bed in our closet since I'm not really ready to deal with a 2 year old trying to sleep in a room with 3 older siblings. The first night I put him in his bed and he just laid down no problem. It was crazy, seriously. I think he was probably in heaven on that nice mattress. He woke up crying twice that night. He woke up once the next night and zero times after that. The next day when I went to put him down for a nap he just laid down and took a nap. Amazing! He's done great so far. There is potential for a lot of trouble if he decides to not take a nap since his bed is in our closet/bathroom. I'm envisioning my make-up being flushed down the toilet. But for now he is being a good little bunny and just sleeps. It's wonderful!

Other than that it's been pretty much same as usual around here. The exciting thing that did happen is Scott built/really our friend Jared built us 2 benches for our kitchen table. When we bought our piano it didn't have a bench with it, which was fine because there isn't really room for one anyway. But then I decided that it would be better to have a bench to work for both the table and the piano. I wanted to do it on both sides because I've never really like the kitchen chairs we had in there anyway. So Scott got to building the benches and went to our friend master carpenter Jared to have him help cut some notches. 4 hours later he had basically built both benches. That was awesome because he has the tools and the skills. Now I just have to figure out how I want to paint them. I've never loved the color of the wood on my table so I'm tempted to strip it down and re-stain it darker and repaint the bottom and do the same to the benches. I'm kind of scared to do it and wintertime is not the best time for a project like this. So we will see what happens. Wish me luck.

Bubba and Daddy

I made these turkeys for Gabby's Family Thanksgiving Feast at school.

Ryan and Hazel (babysitting)

Cute Ryan sleeping in his cute toddler bed. I snapped a picture when I had to wake him up early from his nap to go to dance lessons with his sisters. Poor fourth baby, nap time is not respected. 

Arsty Gabby making a picture of she and I holding hands with clouds and the sun.
Ryan shoved that chair over there to get to the gingerbread house. Trouble is his middle name. Don't worry I totally busted out the Christmas stuff on Friday. In principle I like to wait until after Thanksgiving but in reality I can rarely wait! I'm a hypocrite I guess.

Here's the table with benches. So an easy fix would be to maybe just paint the benches yellow like the chairs, and I could bust that out really quickly BUT I think I want to re-do the whole table as well. I've got a messy, stinky, project on my hands and it's winter! So it's not like I can do it in the garage, it will never dry. Decisions, decisions. I've been reading pinterest tutorials and watching you-tube videos...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grandma's Funeral

I got a call from my dad on Monday that my Grandma passed away. I was so happy. I have been waiting for that phone call for years. She was 98 years old and has wanted to be dead since 2003 when my grandpa passed away. What a happy reunion that was! My grandma was the best! I love her so much. She was a very big part of my childhood. My grandparents lived about a mile and a half from my house and she saved our childhood. Ha. Just kidding mom. But seriously my mom never had any treats in the house so it was always so great whenever we got the chance to go up to grandmas house and have some cookies and red vine licorice. Like I said, saved my childhood. My sister and I spent the night every Friday night at their house for years. We would get there and immediately put on our large matching t-shirts that we would sleep in and then we would get into the hide a way bed in the den and watched recorded cartoons all night. In the morning my grandma would make us bacon and eggs (we never had bacon either) or Corn Bran cereal (still my favorite cereal). These are probably some of my favorite childhood memories. My grandma and grandpa would always do cross word puzzles while we were there and they would also play games with us. 

My grandma was a hard worker! She would work all day everyday. She loved to garden. She would go out in the heat of the day and weed or some other kind of nonsense. She loved to quilt, hand stitch, do cross word puzzles, and bake. She was super opinionated. She hated long hair on girls and just LOVED short hair. She LOVED the color red. She LOVED snow and Christmas. If it wasn't snowing on Christmas day she was practically in a state of depression. She had a strong testimony of the gospel. She would fast every Tuesday for her family members that had gone inactive. She was a wonderful lady and I feel blessed to come from such great stock.

We got up early Saturday morning and drove to Arco for the funeral. I saw a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles I haven't seen in many, many years. All of my siblings came even Chase and Rachel from Portland and Kelsey from Seattle.  I loved the funeral so much. My aunt Karen did my grandma's life sketch and it was funny and sentimental. She did a great job. My dad gave a good talk including the story about the time my grandma heeded a prompting at great risk to her life. After the birth of her third baby she hemorrhaged so badly that the doctor couldn't stop the bleeding and thought she was going to die. She survived but the doctor suggested that my grandpa get a vasectomy because any future pregnancies would be risky. They scheduled the appointment and while they were waiting in the doctor's office my grandma felt like they needed to leave. They left and my grandma had 5 more children including my dad. That resulted in an additional 30 grandchildren and 82 great grandchildren and counting. Amazing! I'm so glad she followed that prompting.

After the funeral my family all gathered at my parent's house. We ate and chatted all night long. Trisha's family and Lance's family left after an hour or so. Everyone else found a bed, cot, air mattress, or floor spot for the night. Most people in the house were able to hear Ryan while he rocked, rocked, rocked, throughout the night. He rocks super loud in his sleep in his pack in play. It's unbelievable and possibly clinical. Ha. We went to Sacrament meeting and came home to my favorite meal in all the land, my mom's Sunday dinner and then we drove home. Kelsey rode back to Boise with us which was good time to get some one on one time with her.

I wish I would have taken some more pictures, especially a picture of all of her things on display at the funeral. Darn it.

This is what my grandma looked like while I was growing up.

Cute Grandma and Grandpa

My grandparents with their 8 children.
A picture with my grandma and my mom and Gabby as a baby.
Visiting my grandma at the nursing home when I was pregnant with Ryan.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's My Birthday!

It was a busy week last week. On Monday and Tuesday I scrubbed my kitchen from top to bottom. It took two days because it was so dirty and also because I have four little kids and I have a lot of interruptions. I don't think I've done that for a few years. It was hard and it felt good to have it done. We got our piano tuned. It was an old guy and he was chatty and he took forever, but he did a good job. Our piano is so old he couldn't fully tune it or he probably would have broken every string but he did tune it to itself and it sounds MUCH better. He said he was sweating bullets when he was tuning some of the notes because he thought strings could bust at any moment. Phew. No strings broke! He said they cost anywhere between $65 a string to like $185. Yikes.

On Wednesday I made some casseroles for when I was going to be ditching my family for the weekend. I also sanded and painted a toddler bed for Ryan. We kind of celebrated my birthday that day with my family and my friends. Scott brought me home a blizzard at lunch, yum and he tried to buy me some apples at the church farm. They were closed so he was willing to take some fallen apples from the side of the road for me. He said he almost got busted. Ha. Unfortunately the apples are mostly mushy and pretty terrible BUT the thought was dang cute. I had a girls night that night for my birthday. My friends all got together and one of them even made me a delicious chocolate cake. We had a fun time chatting for several hours. I sure love my friends.

On Thursday morning I got packed up and Scott and the kids dropped me off at the airport to go visit my friend Jenny in Colorado Springs. I always get nervous when I'm flying by myself. I'm scared I'm going to get lost or do something dumb, I don't even know what. I was able to do it with a few rookie mistakes. I had to fly to Salt Lake and then catch a connecting flight to Denver. Jenny came and picked me up and we drove to her house in the Springs.

That night was probably my favorite. Jenny, Scot, and I chatted for a long time until we were too tired and had to go to bed. (Jenny was my roommate for most of my college years and she dated Scot for most of that time as well, so we are all really good friends).

On Friday morning (my actual birthday) we got up and just hung around the house until Scot got off work at lunch. I tried to keep my distance from their baby Zoey as my kids had been barfing and had colds. Fingers crossed she doesn't get sick. Scot brought home some Five Guys for lunch and then Jenny and I headed out for some birthday celebrations. We hit up the outlet mall and shopped there for several hours. I found some cute clothes and had no problem treating myself as it WAS my birthday. After the outlet mall we wanted to go to IKEA and then to dinner. We really should have reversed the order of those two events. While we were in IKEA I suddenly started to not feel very good. We tried to get out of there as fast as one can get out of IKEA (not very fast) and head to get dinner. That was mistake number two. I knew I wasn't feeling well and that food would help so I really should have gotten something to eat at IKEA. We headed to the Mexican restaurant and it is was PACKED. The wait was 75 minutes. So we bailed and started to head home. I was progressively feeling worse as time went on. We tried to just stop and get some fast food, which sounded gross but I felt like eating was a good idea. We could not find the stupid Taco Bell and then we relented to go into a nearby Subway. The smell in there is always kind of gross to me but especially when I'm not feeling well. We waited in line FOREVER and were dying because we didn't actually want to eat there anyway. We started inappropriately laughing so hard when we saw the worker scrape off the top of tuna film and throw it out before serving it to the customer ahead of us. We were dying! Jenny left the store so we could try to compose ourselves. I decided to just get some water and chips to help tide me over until we got home. I decided that maybe a bagel at home would be the best course of action. Jenny tried to hurry home as fast as she could and I just tried not to throw up or die in her car. Ha. We made it home and I tried to eat a bagel and I couldn't even make it through half. I just decided that going to bed was the best course of action. When I get bad headaches like that usually sleep is the only cure. So I went to bed at 8:30 and woke up feeling much better at 5:30.

On Saturday Jenny and I went to Kneaders for breakfast, it's so, so good. Then we came home and waited for Zoey to wake up and we all went out and did some shopping. After that we just hung around in the afternoon. I took a nap and read my book and a cook book from The Pioneer Woman. We also watched a marathon of The Bush People on the Discovery channel. It's about a family that lives off the land in Alaska. People are interesting. I could see myself getting sucked into watching that show for hours. Jenny took me out for birthday dinner that night since the previous night had seriously flopped. We went to the same restaurant only this one was in Colorado Springs and not Denver. I can't remember the name but it was sooo good. No wonder the Denver one was so crowded the night before. We even went at 5:00 Saturday night and it was already pretty crowded. It was good! I want some more right now. That night we had some delicious cake Scot and Jenny bought me. It was from a store called Nothing Bundt cakes and man oh man are they good. They have a store in Meridian so that is exciting! We watched Insurgent that night and then I went to bed. We got up at the crack of dawn and headed to the airport.

It was such a fun trip. I loved hanging out with Jenny and Scot and baby Zoey (from a distance) I also loved having a break from my very chaotic life. Although I did miss my family a lot, especially Scott, it was great to get away.

Scott was so great to take the kids for 3 and a half days including taking them to church ALONE, (woof). They also had some trips to the dollar store, and the library. Daddy story telling time (recounting the story from the movie Alien, (NERD)) and sleepover in the front room. Not to mention they all survived to tell the tale. As soon as I got picked up the kids were super loud on the way home and there were things to do immediately when I got home. I couldn't help but think that my life is kind of crazy and kind of loud. Ha. Well that is all!

Eating at I can't remember the name restaurant. It was good!

The Three Amigos together again.

This cake was SOOOO Good!
We just got some donuts for celebrating. I mean I did get two chocolate bundt cakes from my Boise friends and my Colorado friends. I also think I got rid of any spare candles in the great purge of 2015 when I swear I got rid of half of our things in the house. Ha. (Not really but we got rid of A LOT)!
(Gabby came out last minute because she was feeling under the weather and did end up throwing up later) Good Times!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ryan turns 2 and Halloween and More

This is going to be a long post folks.

A lot of stuff went down last week. First off I had a bit of an ah-ha moment that I'm going to take a minute to write about. I have had mixed feelings about our house since our purchase back in 2007. We bought it at the peak of the market and the market crashed and we lost about $60,000 in equity right off the bat. Plus we couldn't really afford it. Just because you quality for a particular loan doesn't mean you can afford it. So we were house poor for a long time. We didn't have hardly any extra money at all. My friend Jen would joke every time she looked in our empty fridge. Flash forward a few years and we were about to refinance and get a much better loan with a lower interest and without a balloon after 10 years (thank goodness). Flash forward a few more years and we were able to pay off our second mortgage. As these years are going we have four children. The market changes and we have equity in our home again. Scott's job changes and we have at least 2 years before a bank will make a loan to a non salary salesman. As this is happening we are realizing that about the time that we could qualify for a new loan the housing market is up again and we may not be able to afford a bigger house.

This was a very depressing realization to me. I got on Craigslist and searched jobs for a minute. In doing this and after having a very hard conversation with Scott I came to the conclusion that I had to adjust my thinking. I was sick of feeling stuck in my house. It made me feel like I had no control in my situation. But as I thought for a minute about the possibility of trying to find a job and possibly having Scott stay with the kids during the day and him working at night that sounded horrible to me. I also didn't like the idea of getting into a bigger house and being house poor again. What is the benefit of living in a bigger house that you can't afford to furnish or decorate? Or being in a big house but you can't afford to go out on a date? So instead of feeling like I am stuck in this house I feel like I am choosing a different lifestyle. I'm choosing a life where I get to stay home with my kids. I'm choosing a life where we have money to actually fix/update things in the house. I'm choosing a life where we have a little money for little luxuries like lunch out with friends. I'm choosing a life where I can afford dance lessons for my kids. So for now I have no plans of moving anytime soon. Who knows things could change and we could move someday, but if we don't that's okay. My craft room may also be my laundry room and my closet may be my nursery, but that's okay. That's my choice!

As I came to this conclusion I decided that I wanted to buy a piano immediately. I have been waiting for my new house to buy a piano but that may not happen. So I jumped on Craigslist and bought a piano. The price was right and they were willing to deliver it to my house for free! Sold. It is old and sounds terrible. Ha. We are getting it tuned in a few weeks and I hope that helps. Fingers crossed! Corbin and Gabby will start piano lessons from their aunt Jory in January. I can't wait for the daily battle of forcing my kids to practice. Ha.

So now onto the happenings around here. On Tuesday Piper and I were able to join Gabby on her class field trip to the pumpkin patch. It was fun. The best part for me was when Gabby didn't want her hot chocolate so I got to have it. Ha. That night Scott and I were supposed to be able to go to a work adult Halloween party. I was excited. I had arranged for a babysitter a few weeks before but when Ryan got up from his nap there was throw up in his bed. He continued to throw up the rest of the day. Poor buddy. That date got canceled! The good news is Scott took my dessert I made for the party and I won first place! I'm going to get a gift card for my prize this week. Awesome!

Thursday was Ryan's birthday. I was going to post pone his birthday because I didn't want him to be sick but then he seemed fine so we decided to celebrate. We had our usual birthday breakfast. Scott was going to be working that night so we decided to take some family time at lunch. I pulled Corbin out of school and we had birthday lunch at Burger King. Then we came home and hurried and iced the cake and Ryan opened presents. I took Corbin back to school and then drove the girls to dance lessons. We had pizza hut for dinner that night and then we carved pumpkins. Ryan ended up still throwing up once that day.

Friday I was in charge of Corbin's class party so I went to that. It was super easy, a bunch of parents helped bring things and I was in charge of the games. They played hot pumpkin (like hot potato) and then they played a pumpkin relay race. That night we went to the ward party. We had dinner and then we left because I didn't want to do the trunk or treat. I think one night of getting candy is enough. After the ward party we headed over to the Hunters house for their Halloween party.

On Saturday night we went trick or treating. It was fun! Little kids are so fun at this age to go trick or treating with. Ryan was the best. He tried really hard to keep up with his siblings. They would be ahead and go to the door first and Ryan would run as fast as he could to catch up and he would yell, "run, run, run" while he went. So funny. At every door Gabby would say, "look at my baby, he's a lion, he has a red bow on his tail." It was so cute and funny. And I'm not joking when I say she said that at EVERY door. When someone asked Piper is she was going to cast a spell on them she said, "I'm just a kid." I thought that Ryan was better but he threw up again last night and had some diarrhea this morning. Hopefully he will be better soon.

Well that's about all!
Piper and Ryan can be pretty cute once in a while when they aren't fighting like cats and dogs.

Girls at the petting zoo at Lindor Farms. They were plugging their noses on their own and wouldn't take them down for the picture. Hilarious! City girls.

Popcorn and hot chocolate. Piper is wearing her coat AND Gabby's coat. She was cold. Ha.

Ryan was by far the sickest on Tuesday. I was tired of changing his clothes so I started having him hang out in his diaper and a towel.

First prize, no bake peanut butter cheesecake. Yum! Recipe here.

Birthday breakfast.

That cake wasn't the coolest but it was good.


Our one lonely pumpkin from our garden. About a month ago it was about the size of an apple. It's pretty cute, just not the right color.

Awkard Mitzi pose. Princess Leia and Han Solo.

My friend Jen and her husband were Emily and Victor from The Corpse Bride. They were awesome!
Ryan Lion. He wore his costume from last year. He wouldn't wear his mane but that was okay because it didn't really fit. Ha.
Piper witch, but remember she's just a kid.
Gabby princess
Corbin ninja!
Piano before
Piano after. I just painted it black to spruce it up a bit. Even though I am in love with all of THESE painted pianos I just didn't feel like painting it a crazy color would really work in the space that I'm working with. So for now it's black. Paint is super cheap so I could always change my mind later.