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Archive for July, 2011

Why hello, it’s nice to see you!  Please come inside!  I’ve been so busy waiting for you!  Don’t mind the step stool, they’re a bunch of shorties that live here.

Don’t you just live this northwestern weather?  rain, rain, rain, sunshine, humidity, rain, rain rain.  I think that summer may have passed us over while we were inside painting.

Hurry!  Shut the door!  Don’t let Frank out!  There are cougars and bears and land beavers (which I still haven’t figured out) and bunnies roaming around wild.  All ready to eat Frank at any moment.  Well, maybe not the bunnies, but Frank might eat them.  And they are incredibly cute!  I love looking out the window and seeing a cute bunny frolicking in our yard, except if the cute bunny is eating my strawberry plants, then I consider letting Frank outside to frolic with the bunnies.  Which may end up in carnage, which wouldn’t be very cute. So please, SHUT the door!

My favorite part of the kitchen is the view.  The view may convince me to start washing windows.  Or more likely, it might convince me to teach the kids to wash windows.  I believe in diversifying my labor force.  Mike made that adorable little gnome.  It is very cute except it’s eyes are completely black.  There are no whites to his eyes.  It’s a little bit disconcerting. He’s like a happy zombie gnome.  He made it for my grandma and now it has come to live with us.   I’ve thought about putting him outside to guard my strawberries but I think that he may get trampled but my brood of boys.  My aunt Annie painted me these adorable birds.  Eventually they’ll find themselves hanging above the window.

Yes, those are egg cartons on top of the fridge.  I’m not hoarding them, I’m saving them for my neighbor with the chickens.  Or maybe they’ll be used in an art project.  They might transform into caterpillars or maybe even a butterfly!  Or they might become little cups for finger paint or maybe they might grow some seeds.  I love egg cartons, they are so versatile!

And yes, I did make a cake for you.  Red Velvet.  It’s absolutely beautiful!  It was pretty easy too, except for my red fingers.  I hope my fingers aren’t red forever.  It feels rather like Easter with dyed fingers.   I sure hope that it tastes as good as it looks.  Ignore the dozen jelly jars on the stove.  This batch of strawberry jam didn’t set up and it’s here as a constant reminder for me to try again.  Eventually I will drag the canning pot from downstairs and try again.  Otherwise it might end up as strawberry syrup.  I’m not quite sure when we’d ever use a dozen jars of strawberry syrup though.  That is a lot of ice cream!

That is my pantry on the right.  I’ll save that for another day.  For the most part it’s clean and organized.  In a rather over-crowded, over-stuffed, amazement-of-how-it-all-fits-in-there kind of way.  After shopping, I always feel a little bit like Mary Poppins trying to put everything back into the carpet bag.

If we keep going through the dinning room, we will find ourselves in the family room.  The one disadvantage of moving is that your furniture never really fits like the old house.  This room is full of all the left over chairs from the rest of the house.  Eventually we’ll get a new couch, but we aren’t exactly sure what we want, so for now, we enjoy being extremely close to each other while we sit in here.

Dave and the kids are ready to buy a new tv, but I love our projector.  I love that it’s hard to see during the day, it discourages day time movie watching and video game playing.  I love that the screen is huge.  It’s like going to the movies every time we turn it on.  Plus, when we play Lego Harry Potter, it makes it much easier for my old eyes to see all of the small details.

My favorite part of this room is the bookshelves.  Really, it’s the books on them. The bibliophile in me loves walking in this room.  I’m sure I will reorganize the books a hundred times.  For now, they are by reading level, for the most part.  Soon, all of the easy readers will be gone.  Probably by next year since Nathaniel and Jacob have begun to read already.  A few weeks ago McKayla pulled out our easiest of easy readers and taught them how to read.  I was so very excited for them and at the same time my heart broke a little bit.  My babies aren’t babies anymore.  There is freedom in that, If they were babies, these shelves would be a nightmare.  The books would constantly be on the floor, the mess would be incredible.  But they aren’t babies, they only take out a handful of books at a time, and it’s to look at the pictures and point out the letters, not to pull them out for the sake of pulling them out.  Still, it’s just a little bit sad, knowing that this house will not be the home of babies.  These floors will never have a crawling baby over them.  And that makes my over active ovary get all weepy and sentimental.  For this summer, I refuse to teach them to read.  Don’t get me wrong, I read to them all of the time, we sing our abc’s, I point out letters, but the formal training, not quite yet.

Are you wondering what’s over there in the corner.  It’s a train set.  Oh, hanging on the wall?  It’s a quilt I made for Dave while we were still dating, way back when we had time to make each other presents.  I’m not sure where we found all the time we had back then.  Now, it’s hard enough finding the time to order a present off of amazon. The quilt represents our first year together.

If we walk through the door on the left, we’ll find ourselves in the office.  Watch your step, this room is sunken.  I’m not sure why, but it is a foot shorter than the family room.  Eventually this room will get a chair rail, and a flight chart across the back wall.  This will be an aviation themed room.  Or maybe a cartographers wet dream.  I’m not sure.  For now, it’s painted and the computer is set up and we have internet!  I consider the internet finally working consistently and well one of  the greatest accomplishments to date.

I think this might be the last room with boxes in it.  Well, besides McKayla’s.  I went into her room and found the closet stuffed with boxes!

This room is also lined with things to be hung up.  Maps, charts, aerial photos, diplomas,

and shrines to our achievements.  I found all of dave’s scout memorabilia while cleaning the house to move here.  With the help of his parents, I framed the important badges.  The empty space is for a photo of Dave in his uniform, so far we haven’t discovered that box yet.  I did unearth my brownie sash from girl scouts, I’m thinking of framing it and putting it next to his.  Yes, he may have received a nuclear energy badge, but I earned myself a puppeting badge.  How about them apples!

Let’s make our way back to the dining room.  If we turn left, we’ll find ourselves in the living room.

This is the room where our couches live.

The large windows let in a glorious amount of sunshine, something that I didn’t quite appreciate until we moved here.  Dave recently told me that the University of Washington released a study and we’ve received a whopping 78 minutes of temperatures over 80 degrees this year.  I think the pacific northwest may not have realized that it’s July already.   Besides the sunshine, the windows also gives me a great view of the front yard where the kids can most likely be found.

I also have a nice view of my garden, if my garden was anything more than overgrown weeds and unruly rose bushes.

It’s also the room where I’m most likely to find someone reading.  It might not actually be the sunlight that attracts the readers.  It might not be the comfy couches that attract the readers either.  It even may not be because this room has nothing in it which requires electricity except for the lamp.  There isn’t a television, a computer, or any video games in here.  It’s free of distractions.  It might be because we keep our library books near the fireplace and once you’ve got a good book in your hand, it’s rather difficult to venture very far. That red box is full of unread library books.  The amount of library books that five kids bring home is astounding.  We needed a system.  The red box is for the unread books and the green bag is for the read ones.  All of the large legos are in the green treasure chest and the small piano is meant for either children or gnomes.

I’ll continue the rest of the house later, but for now, I have children to tuck in and stories to read.

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I know you were wondering if the teen ever cleaned up her room.  It turns out she didn’t.  Well, she claims to have done it but our ideas of clean are very, very different.  I know I’m completely unreasonable thinking that she should actually do things like putting the sheets on her bed.  I’m also insane asking for things like vacuuming.  Though it’s not as clean as I’d like it, it’ll do.

I know it looks like her room is still white, but it’s not, it’s a beautiful cream color, a blank palate for a creative teen.  It can be a bit overwhelming and maybe a tad daunting when your an indecisive teen.  Once she finally decides on a course of action the short wall will get an extra dose of color. I tried to convince her to paint her room pink and we could stencil stars and princesses all over it.  Maybe even a large princess mural on the wall.  She wouldn’t bite.  This is when I told Dave that we should have a baby girl who we would indoctrinate to like princesses and fairies and dresses that twirled.  Neither of them liked either of my ideas.

I am also amazed how anyone sleeps with all of those things in their bed too.  I wonder sometimes if she’s not part hamster, nestling in for the night.  When we moved we let McKayla choose which bed frame she wanted.  She chose the loft bed.  I think she really wanted it because she knew it would be impossible to drag her out of bed in the  morning.  She claims it’s for all of the added floor space.  She’s pushing for us to buy her a couch for underneath the bed.

For now she’s stuck with a chair, filled with stuffed animals and a desk filled with clutter.  It’s amazing how much clutter can accumulate after only a few weeks of being unpacked.

This is her savings fund for Italy.  I think this may have started with all of the loose change in my purse.  Her new plan is to graduate high school, move to Italy, and go to college there.  She is currently perusing all of the travel guides from the library and practicing bocce ball.  If I force her outside, she might as well further her dreams.

Eventually this will become a walk-in closet, for now it’s the dressing alcove.  On a typical day the floor is littered with discarded outfits and accesories.  Now, all of the clothes are shoved into dresser drawers and the closet floor.

This wall is the tribute to softball from t-ball

to now.

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