Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Break (and other stuff)

For Spring Break, we spent a day in Michigan, hanging out with old friends. I took the boys to the AirZoo, where they had a new helicopter that the kids could play in.
We met some friends at the downtown library for a Lego-day. The library filled a room with Legos and the kids (even Hannah, who said she didn't want to go) spent almost 2 hours building.
We had our first visitor's travel down from Michigan. The Shumways came for dinner. For dessert, we planned on doing Fondue, but decided to make it extreme and use our chocolate fountain (which we have never successfully used before).
It was messy, and took some major tweaking (cream? milk? oil? more chocolate?) to get it to work (for about 5 minutes), but I don't think anyone minded--it was pretty entertaining.
And, of course, there was some general tom-foolery.

And I totally forgot to blog about Christian's adventure in February...He returned to Michigan to participate in a dodgle ball tournament (a scout fundraiser). He and some friends put together a very competitive team, and ended up winning the adult division...and then coming in second to the teens.
He got a cool ribbon!
Dodge-ball--its not just for grade school anymore. Apparently.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How I Choose Paint Colors:

(the Imperfectionista way)

Wow. Home ownership is not for the faint of heart. We've been finishing the walls, hanging curtains, refinishing (or attempting to) the hardwood floors in the entry, and so many other things. Eventually we'll hang some pictures.
Our goal was to start and finish one space at a time. We've already messed that up by starting on at least 3 rooms at the same time, but enough about that. Our focus right now is on finishing the entry hall so that when people come to the door, at least initially it looks like our home is put together. Ha.
I mentioned before that we started out with floral and striped wallpaper, which we immediately removed. Later, we debated adding beadboard or board and batten, but since that would likely involved changing the molding, we decided to remove the chair rail. It was at an odd height, anyway. That lead to sanding, spackling, and more sanding and more spackling,
and the craziest dust storm all over the house (since it didn't occur to us until too late that we should hang sheets of the doorways to control the mess).
During all this, I was trying to decide...what color?
I yearn for white molding, really. I promised myself a while ago that the next home I purchased would have white trim, but it just wasn't going to happen this time. I want white for its crisp and clean look, and makes choosing paint so much easier! Our trim right now is actually not bad--it isn't the cheap orangy-yellow stuff we had in our last place. But....It still really affects the colors I choose for the walls.
The first room I worked on in this house was the front room-the room that we hope will stay clean and nice for when people drop by. It started red, and I painted it a nice mid-tone neutral beige. At the time, I picked out a hallway color, too. As we worked on the hallway, I painted a test square on the wall, and hated it. It looked pink! Flesh colored! Eeew! That led to this:
Paint swatches everywhere! I browsed my favorite design blog, found out the colors they used, and ran to the store (again and again and again) to find the paint chip or, sometimes, to buy a tester-size sample. Of course, all the blogs I saw online had different lighting, white trim, and totally didn't work. I tried every color I already had that might work, plus some testers I had purchased before I chose the first color. (I know, I know--how many shades of tan are there, really?) None of the colors worked on all the walls--They changed so much between each time of day! It was making me crazy! Everyone had a different opinion....

Eventually I decided, and I'm happy with my choice. But after all the craziness, what did I decide?
I went with the original color, and maybe learned a lesson about doubting myself.
(It doesn't look fleshy at all).
Next up: adventures in refinishing floors...and then maybe I'll post a Before and After. I'm excited for any of the projects of my list to reach "after"!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April's Fool: Take 7

Rachel is 7!
(This is the mandatory "brag about my child" post)
I am so amazed when I think about the last seven years, and how far she has come. Rachel has had her implant for 4 years, and is taking and signing quite well. She loves school, has adjusted really well to being the only deaf kid in her new school, and is reading at (and sometimes above) grade level. This is huge, considering English is in some ways her second language, and most deaf people really struggle with reading. She is also writing well--with good English grammar. She has deaf and hearing friends, and insists on being included socially wherever she goes. She participates in Primary, and loves to sing Primary songs. Rachel has a strong stubborn streak, which can be frustrating at times, but also fuels her progress. Perhaps most important, Rachel is happy.
(Flaunting her birthday-cowgirl get-up)

Rachel's birthday is April 1st--April Fools day :) My brother in law, who shares this birthday, has warned me NOT to mess with her birthday, so we don't...too much. Lately, we've tried to find some silly ways to celebrate her birthday to go along with April Fools' day (without doing shaving cream or cardboard cakes). This year, we served lunch at the Crazy Cafe.
I used a free online printable, but changed it some to fit our needs. Christian came home for lunch to celebrate with us. The menu has items letter A-G, with corresponding girly items (like Cinderella and American Girls). I had a master list that said which item corresponded to which food or utensil.
The kids chose 2 items for an appetizer and 4 for the main lunch. Nathan about had a fit when he realized he had to eat macaroni and cheese without a fork, but most of the kids followed Daddy's example, and dug in with their hands. Only Aaron ordered a fork with his noodles :)
After lunch, we did cake and ice cream and presents before Christian hurried back to work, and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing with the new things. That night we had a pizza and a movie night with popcorn and candy.
I don't have the greatest pictures from yesterday, since the kids weren't interested in slowing down long enough to smile for the camera, but I did find this old picture of Rachel from when she was a baby. I love this, because she just looks so fragile and sweet. She really did have all that hair! In the picture, she is 2 months old, but still weighs only 7 lbs. She couldn't really hold her head up, so we had to prop her up and take a quick picture. It was shortly after this picture was taken that the doctors got serious about her weight and I stopped breastfeeding.
In her 7 years, she has had 5 surgeries, moved 4 times and lived in5 states, and, quite frankly, is having a very blessed life.