Thursday, August 10, 2017

ten on ten - August 2017

So funny that I didn't blog all "summer" (it's still summer but my last blogpost was about finishing our math book - hence homeschool year for 2016-2017 and today we began our 2017-2018 homeschooling year!)  

I wasn't planning to start school today.  I have been planning most of the summer and have quite a few things ready but yesterday due to a sewer back up at our house - bleh - we had to be out of the house for a while so I spontaneously took the kids school supply shopping.  

They each chose a spiral notebook, something fun to write with and some kind of adhesive (both ended up choosing glitter glue!) :) 

They were so excited about their new supplies that David asked if we could start homeschool right away so we did!  

This morning there was a scavenger hunt with clues to find their spirals.  I had written a note to each of them and David wrote me back today!  Yay!  I think this is going to be a neat avenue of communication for us in addition to a way of handling assignments, practicing writing as well as a place to cut and paste in things we are learning, etc.  

We have had a TON of rain lately!!!  It is mostly nice but I could also feel my mood lighten when the sun came out for a while this evening and was shining through the window as I was working on dinner.  

I woke up at 5:50 this morning and texted my neighbor who I have been walking with weekly to say that maybe we'd better reschedule since I heard rain and thunder from my cozy bed but after deciding that we would reschedule, both of us ended up texting back and saying "let's do it!"  The thunder had stopped and so had the rain mostly.  

When I got home we ate breakfast and did our Bible story about the 12 spies over breakfast and did a small feast of books, cleared the table, free time, scavenger hunt to find spirals, reading what I wrote and then writing me back with ideas of field trips he wants to take this year.  

Next we did math and it went great today!  One page together, Cora wanted right in there too so we did math together on the abacus.  

Then I sat outside on the swing and prayed and read my Bible while they played an improvised game of soccer inside. 

We ate lunch.  Cora made a fruit salad for us to enjoy! We read more/watched some YouTube and then Mama was done!  We have just finished a big road trip, plus three sets of company and the aforementioned sewer back up + starting school so I finished a novel I started yesterday and took a nap while they had quiet alone time. 

drying out the carpet after our incredible carpet cleaner enzyme treated it for us!  

We did laundry after that and they watched Wild Kratts and then we did some math aloud on the white board all together during dinner and Adrian did one page with him as we were finishing up.  I'm really thankful for how this first day went and am looking forward to the different things that we are going to be adding in this year!  

I was so wiped out and not planning to start today but I realized that this is such a sweet reminder from our God that I don’t do this in my strength!  *I* feel like I have absolutely nothing to give right now but I feel quite confident that all of this is in His Hands!!  I feel excited that He is leading the charge on this journey and that He took our day and will take our entire year and make it what HE wants. 

Happy beginning of school to all of the rest of you reading who are teachers, students and administrators!  


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May recap

Well bummer!  These pictures loaded all out of order.  With so many I am not going to try to rearrange them.  

Here is a little bit of what we were up to in May after school let out!

Our family of four + Nana and Ducca went to California to visit my grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins and to go to Disneyland.  My dad worked there once upon a time and it is a special place to our family!  

During our California visit, Nana and Ducca agreed to keep the kids for a day so that Adrian and I could have a date day in L.A.  We had such a good time being together and eating all the things.

We rode the train in and so we walked quite a bit and also uber ride shared around the city.

It as fun to explore different neighborhoods and areas.  

We revisited a favorite taco shop, Guisados, that we had discovered on a previous trip.  It did not disappoint!

We enjoyed Little Corona Beach for the first time!  

Earlier in the month we enjoyed a lovely morning at a friend's house.  I tried out a new technique as I hope to grow our ability to be active transportation participants.  We drove part of the way, parked about a ten minute walk away from our friends' house and nature walked the rest.  It was really nice and we even found a gorgeous - already hatched out of - robin's egg on the sidewalk!  I truly thought it was Easter candy at first!  Such a vibrant color! 
I am enjoying so much learning more about God's creation through nature!  

Over Mother's Day weekend we made a trip down to New Mexico to visit Adrian's great grandma, aunt, uncle and cousins.  We had such a good visit with all of them!!  We had such a good time that I managed not to take any people pictures but I did snap some pics of our dinner spot on the way down.

We had a couple of places in mind that were closed for various reasons that day/time so we ended up at Pat's Place and I really, really enjoyed it! 

These two cuties at "the train park" in Santa Fe.  Adrian remembers visiting this park as a child and we had a good time there with our kids!

We have determined that we really enjoy driving small roads whenever possible while traveling.  It is just so much more enjoyable for us than interstate, more to see, slower pace, less traffic, more chill . . . 

On the way home from New Mexico we got a GREAT back road perk!  We were just driving along when we came across real cowboys doing a cattle round up of a few mamas and babies who'd gotten loose.  It was so exciting to watch them with their lassos!

Also in May, Cora began riding on a regular seat on our four seater bike and pedaling!!!  

She and David are on a tandem trailbehind bike so they have to coordinate and work together to pedal at the same pace.  We are super proud of how they have worked on communicating and working together on this!  

Cora pretending to sleep on Nana's lap on the plane ride to California.  

 Salt and Straw ice cream on our L.A. date day

curiously exploring and taking in all of the wonders of God's creation we got to see in L.A. as we enjoyed long walks and talking

another shot from Guisado's

walking into Disneyland

spying our first character on Main Street 

swinging in Tarzan's treehouse!

Looking through photo albums at Grandmother's house I found baby pictures of myself that I don't remember ever seeing before!  That was really special, especially now that I am a mom.  

 on the way home from California we had a layover in Salt Lake City and we got to see cousins and Uncle Edmund and Aunt Ceci and they brought us tacos!!!

on May 31st we celebrated both of my parents' birthdays (May 30th and June 1st) with a family trip to the snowcone stand!

oops, this one's sideways, family fun at home

one of the last true naptimes . . . 

We bought new chopsticks and there were PINK ones in the package!

mud play in the backyard!  David has dug a very impressive hole!  We even called the utility company out to mark gaslines and such so we could make sure it was safe!  

a few more pics from Little Corona Beach in California

second cousin bonding

Roasting marshmallows with Gammy on her new firepit on the back patio!

We are so thankful to have our grandmas, the kids' great-grandmas!  We got to visit my other grandma, Sweetie in June!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Today we finished math!!!

This has been a bit of a slog for David and me and now we are DONE!  I am so thankful!  

God always sees us through as we trust in Him.  

We officially begin summer break now and I have some ideas for making next year more smooth in the math department.  

Hooray for new beginnings and now for a nice long exhale!

p.s. he wanted to stand on something tall so it would be like a medal podium.  :) :) :) 


Monday, May 29, 2017

one day, zero dollar bathroom refresh

Our downstairs bathroom is fine but it has never been one of my favorite parts of the house.  It is fairly small and feels dark.  These are photos from shortly after we moved in.  

Four years ago, just a day or two after we came home from the hospital with Cora, a leak sprang in the plumbing between the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms (which are stacked on the two floors).  Adrian had to tear out the drywall above his sink and disconnect the electrical to the light fixture and take it out to work on the leak.  He was more than willing to redo the drywall and fix everything then and there but I begged him to just leave the gaping hole in the ceiling and just hang out with us and help me with a new baby and an almost three year old!  

Those days were super sweet times and I wouldn't trade our afternoons of sitting on the couch snugging a newborn during David's naps and watching movies together for a finished bathroom these past four years.  

sweet boy two years ago 

My amazing mother-in-law showed up for under 36 hours in March, a quick stopover visit between two other destinations and announced on the morning of her full day here that she knew what we should do that day, redo the bathroom!  What a fun announcement!  I do not know where she gets her energy and stick-to-it-ness but she is astounding when it comes to projects!  

We emptied walls and took down towel bars bent from children hanging on them and mismatched to begin with. 

I began to rummage through my storage area to dig out various decorative treasures amassed at flea markets, garage sales, etc. and not currently in use elsewhere in the house.  

glue gun and drill employed together!  

Rebecca (my mil) concocted a sort of chalk paint from leftover paint plus a package of milk paint that I once upon a time picked up at an estate sale for $1 and had never used.  She painted all of the dark "wood" - in reality it is plastic - panelling "polar bear" which is the same white we used in the upstairs bath in the fall.  

The original to the house, 1950s towel bars that had previously been in the upstairs bath before the remodel (where I used hooks instead) were lined up side by side for this bathroom.  

The metal grate on the wall is from the original screen door from the house into what was at first the backyard before they added on our sunroom in the 1980s.  I picked up the wooden arch somewhere along the way and have displayed it different places but never yet on a wall and I like it!  The pressure gauge was an estate sale find that has always been one of my favorites.  

We used the mirror that was original to the upstairs bathroom that we had taken out during that remodel downstairs and my MIL wired this neat basket onto the black scrolly metal brackets that I have had forever and never really used much and it became a spare toilet paper holder.  

The Ansel Adams photo was found at the Arc thrift store ages ago!  It is framed in a garage sale frame and hung with some black ribbon over an old sewing machine drawer knob screwed into a neat looking old metal square plate.  

Unfortunately, the leak doesn't particularly want to be fixed once and for all (60 year old plumbing!) so we have left the ceiling open still but I strung up white bulb lights on S hooks leftover from our pot rack when I took everything out of the kitchen that doesn't get used weekly and it is now either gone or in secondary storage.  We also put up a black and white stripe strip of fabric in front of the open ceiling portion which masks it nicely.  The big black iron hook is awaiting a hanging plant, preferably string of pearls.  

This hanging basket set that used to be in the nursery holds bathroom stuff and a plant but I would love to find a more permanent solution but for one day and zero pennies, using what we had works!  

I bought this fabric to cover the swing outside but then I didn't like it and used a 25 cent remnant from one of my favorite thrift stores in town, the Bargain Box run by the Assistance League and benefitting many wonderful projects.  We made it into a "window mistreatment" as the Nester would say and I got to use this pulley that I have had FOREVER and never used.  

My brilliant mother in-law rigged up this pull system with an old knob I had in my collection an an old door plate.  I love it!  

It is not perfect as we did not repaint the top of the walls, etc. (we only spent a day on it afterall!) but it looks SOO good compared to what it has been and I am enjoying using it (and honestly am more apt to clean it) than before!