Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This n That

Well, it's been a terribly fast-moving fall. I feel like before we left for Canada everything was operating at a certain comfortable pace, and ever since we've come home, it's been break-neck speed!

Most of that has to do with school - oh the cursive, and english, and science, and health, and and and. Kenna and Brooks just have to do so much more now than when they were little like Sonny & Grey - who can knock out required work in about an hour.

The house: October was going to be a banner granite countertops, a new fridge, a new dishwasher and microwave...and we got as far as the countertops! And then the HVAC on the Hugo house completely went out. The cost of repairing the system was just not worth it, as we don't have an exact date on the thing, but it's definitely 20 years old. So it had lived its life well. The cost of repairs was a third of the cost of a brand new system - so we made obvious choice and just replaced everything. Which is really good - but means definitely no new fridge, right now anyway. And why are fridges so expensive anyway?! Wow! The house is quite livable even without the upper cabinets, but we've got plans for them soon! I currently have more than double the counterspace I had in the old kitchen, which has made cooking a dream! I love it! Also, silly as it may seem, but the sink and faucet we chose are just amazing. The sink is so large, you can fit an entire dishwasher load (up and down) in just one side. I'm loving it! I spend a bit of time cleaning out the garage today - it always seems to get disasterized quickly. You would not even believe the stuff I touched. Whew! It was crazy. I put all the extension cords in their place - but just piled up. I tried to wind them, and just couldn't handle it. That awful feeling of dry dusty dirt on the cords are about where I draw the line. I pointed this out to Brian and just said "you wind them". LOL.

Time is always so short it seems - Brian is very busy with work these days. With the pressures of running a company it's oftentimes more politics and mental work than physical labour, but exhausting just the same. Adding to that church responsibilities, kids sports, and stuff for fun (like having friends over), and it just seems like time slips away rapidly! Because it's almost Christmas! Yikes.

We signed all three kids up in a learn to play hockey program at the local arena. This will mostly involve learning how to skate well, I'd imagine, in their particular cases. But they've got no where to go but up! It will be very interesting to see how they do - it starts on Nov 21st and runs for 8 weeks. I wonder how many times they'll have to repeat the same class? :-D I'll be sure to take before and after videos of their skills. They can really barely skate at all currently, so I'm sure it'll look like marked improvement, even though its just learning how to skate:-)

We were considering going to NY for Thanksgiving this month, but given our expenses in the month of October, we've decided to stick close to home. So we're hosting Friendsgiving, and will have other "homeless people" (aka other friends who also have no local family and are not travelling) over and eat turkey and all that fun stuff. I just started menu planning today - because they're already playing Christmas music on the radio, so Thanksgiving just seems really close now:-)

If you follow on my Instagram feed you have a decent idea of whats been happening day by day. Huck wandered a little too far from home last week and was taken to the animal shelter. That was "fun". He seems super grateful for the rescue and has been really cuddly since then. I guess 2 nights locked in a cage will give you some perspective. Also, you have no idea how hard it is to identify cats at a shelter. When there are no less than thirty thousand of them. And they all look the same after a while. Thankfully Huck has that poofy squirrel tail, so that made it easier to tell. Also by the fact that he found us before we found him and was pressed against his cage bleating like a crazy lamb (he has a very weird meow) until we acknowledged him. Poor kitty. He is Brian's fave, because he is so beautiful, so Brian was glad of his rescue. I think he's beautiful - but quirky. It's hard for me to pick a fave, but I feel like Sawyer and I get along best.

We're gearing up for picture day! I can't wait! We have a few cool things planned this year, different from what we've done in the past, so I'm hoping it turns out as envisioned.

On tv: The Blacklist
On iTunes: Adele's Hello and Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud
On the stove: Bone broth soup! The kids fave meal!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Spooky Movie

Kenna and her friends were playing around on the friends ipad. And thanks to some nifty acting, camera work and music, created this adorably frightful movie trailer. Kenna and Julia appear to be the main characters, while Claire is doing the camera work...and appears briefly at the end as the scary villain.

Seeing this literally made me LAUGH out loud! Kudos to their budding skills;-)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Quotes Archive 2015

Oh for grace to trust Him more. Louisa M.R. Stead

What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. CS Lewis - The Magicians Nephew

'Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend.' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing,' EB White, Charlotte's Web

The single most important ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. Without it, most achievements are not possible, and even what we do achieve will feel hollow. Abraham Lincoln

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. C.S. Lewis

There are good young men who need someone to show them they are trustworthy by entrusting them with worthy work, who take the time to inspect their work so they know what to expect, who give them confidence to do hard things by giving them hard things to do. Ann Voskamp

I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. Put your finger on any properous page in the Church's history and you will find a little marginal note that says: 'In this age people could readily see where the Church began and where the world ended.' Charles Spurgeon

It is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.” CS Lewis

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. Thomas Szasz

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition. Martha Washington

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich

Monday, October 26, 2015

Counters: Before

So finally!! After living in utter destruction for a week or so, after coming home from Canada in July, to living in semi-craziness until the flooring was down in August, we've been living in semi-comfort - somewhat normally since then.
Except for the countertops. We decided to go with a natural stone (granite), and with Brian's work connections we were able to pick "end of" material. Extra/leftovers from other jobs, and the price (although still a lot), is incredibly cheaper than normal pricing. But we just had to scour through their lot and find something we liked, that was a big enough piece to be cut for what we needed.
Having no water/sink in the kitchen is...not very fun. Although not impossible - still - not fun. I starting buying baby wipes for little spills, and we ate everything off paper plates and throw away cutlery - so I only had to wash the main dishes/pots/etc.
Not sure how many people can say they had to unclog their shower drain catcher from cilantro, but I can:-) And really, cilantro is way less gross than hair, so there's that.
These are a few of the before pics. I snapped these and the above video on Wednesday morning, right before the 1pm install of the new counter, and sink!

My dishwashing system - laundry baskets collect dirty dishes, and then we carry them to the tub for washing - and then back to the kitchen to be put away.

So this was Wednesday!! I'll post pics of the gorgeous new counters as soon as I get some nice pics!

Stewie Loves VA

The backstory in brief detail: Andrew moved to Virginia to attend "our seminary" (that was started by our church), and Brian hired him to work in the shop while in school. They became friends working together:-) And Andrew, who has an extremely deep voice, was nicknamed Stewie by everyone at work, because of the baby on Family Guy with a grown up voice. And it totally stuck. And then Stewie met Virginia, and that was the beginning of their love story...He's only been here in VA for 1 year, and has already married VA;-)

They had a wonderful day! The wedding was held at Virginia's parents home, in our old 'hood in Norfolk. Everything about it was perfect.

Guess who made all the cupcakes/gluten free "naked cake" for them to cut? (Bride is gf)

The program:

All the bread and butter was put out on this table. The dinner was a "soup bar" with many different soups and breads. It was really yummy!

The Gf Naked Cake!
They danced to Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud. Looove.

Just pronounced Man and Wife! You could see the JOY on her face!!! Stewie looked as cool as a cucumber - at this moment. He cried pretty much through the whole ceremony - Brian said it was just allergies. I said, oh sure, "allergies". It was super sweet.

See my handsome groomsman? He was, unbiased opinion naturally, the best looking one;-)

The kiss
Half of these pics I stole from fb - as always I neglected to get any while the event was happening. (half of these I stole from FB). It was a CRAZY whirlwind weekend, as I was helping with everything from the rehearsal luncheon, to making all the wedding desserts, and then I also did Va's makeup for the wedding. I haven't been so tired in awhile actually - 8pm could've been midnight, or that's what it felt like anyway. But it was so fun. And so nice to see two great people get married and start their life together.

I neglected to get any pics of Brian, or he and I together, though, I thought we looked pretty good! ;-) I know they'll be pics of him when the official ones come out, since he was in the wedding and all. This is the only pic taken of me that night.
Friends: Melody, me, Elizabeth (& baby), Amy & Chae.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mixed Media Art - Complete!

Well, I finished her! I was really impressed with myself on this one - she was flat plain paper (I traced her from a guide online), and I gave her dimension and painted on her hair;-)
Mixed media means you use just about every craft supply in Michaels. Lucky for my wallet, I already owned most of these, thanks to my other adventures and projects.
It took me awhile to get it all finished, but I was definitely working in stages. All told, it's probably 8hrs worth of time (not including paint drying time etc of course)

I just kept adding and adding and adding, until it felt right. And then I hit a point where I felt like I might be taking it over board, and should likely just stop.
It's hard to capture on camera, but I really love the dimension that exists on the canvas. 
I am totally in love with how it turned out. TOTALLY.
Though, not quite ready to throw myself into making another one;-) Although I am sort of inspired, I also can't draw, so I do have to find figures to trace online. I did however paint some of these things free hand, totally a first for me. And yes, I googled how to paint branches and grass, so I didn't mess it up:-)

I "hid" a few words in the painting, sunshine, smile, joy, rest, dream and fly. Happy, whimsy, and just fitting for this piece I think!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Art Work

Brian's had a lot of late nights with work recently. So I decided to try my hand at mixed media art. "Mixed media" meaning it's all kinds of art, combined. It's paint, paper, texture, glue, stamps, wax crayons, etc all in one! This is not finished yet, but it's coming along! I still have more to add and tweak, but it's starting to turn out very well, I think!!