Monday, August 24, 2009

Bathroom Remodel... Part One



For the last few weeks we have been working on our bathroom remodel. This was not a project started by choice. This came about because our toilet leaked... a really bad leak... that spread into our living room and into our garage.

We had to pull up the flooring and get the vanity/sink out to dry out the area so that there was no chance of mold. Now, we had intended since moving in that we wanted to remodel this bathroom.

This was for many reasons. First, their molding and paint job was only okay, and that is being generous. Also, the toilet was a long toilet, and it was a small bathroom. You barely could clear your legs when you tried to close the door. Also, it had a full counter and sink on one side of the room. Being a half bathroom, that design made it seem extremely small.

We wanted to redo the paint, and the molding. We wanted to replace the toilet with a circular one, instead of the oval. We wanted to put a pedestal sink instead of the big counter and sink that were in there already.

With the need to rip out the flooring and the vanity anyways... we decided now was the time.

Above is where it is currently at. The room has been painted, and the flooring put in. I also included a picture of the sink (still in the box, that picture is from the side of the box) and the main artwork that I want to go in.

This corner table is what I picture in the corner for our little storage place in the room, since we are losing the cabinets with the pedestal sink. We will also be finding a toilet paper roll holder.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Our new pets?



We had quite the treat in our garden today... lots and lots of these little tomato caterpillars, and one of them was not so small.

So what did the scientist and the teacher decide to do with these bugs? Kill them... no. Spray them? ... no. We put them in a glass container, put foil on top, and poked holes in it so that we can observe them over the next few days/weeks depending on how long they live.

Why?

Because we really don't like killing bugs, but we obviously can't leave them to eat our tomatoes, and we do like observing nature... so they are, for the time being... our new pets lol.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer

Many people are curious what I do during the summer. When I answer nothing, some people (like my dad) are concerned. He always wanted my summers to be filled, and usually they were with either a job, or summer school (to get ahead, not to make up for past mistakes) or both. During the time I lived at home, I only had one nothing summer that I remember, and it was one that I insisted on having between my senior year of high school and my first year of college. I wanted to do nothing. And I did, and I liked it. When I became a teacher, I had to make a choice about my summers, and so far, I haven't worked during any of them. And I like it.

I wanted to write a post about this summer, especially since, if things go according to my plan at all, it will be the last summer that I can spend like this, with blissfully nothing to do.

I am not bored. Definitely not bored.

I wake up, and I start the coffee (decaf) and I sit down with it for a while while I either read a book or watch tv. After a good bit of this, I decide I would like to see what is going on my message boards (I love ivillage, and everyone should join such a community). Then I look at random things on the internet such as facebook, and the other blogs I read.

Eventually, I decide I should eat breakfast (we are on this healthy eating thing, and breakfast is very important... but I would probably skip it if I didn't know, logically, that it is a wise thing to do).

I usually do a devotion about now, because I have time for it, and because I always mean to do one, but I usually am so crazy in the mornings during the school year, it unfortunately gets neglected.

After the devotion, I go back into my book world, which is very addictive to a veracious reader like myself. Around 10:30 or so, I decide that since I have still not gotten dressed yet... I probably should... So I head upstairs.

At this point, I should just go get dressed... but why not check my message boards and other internet stuff first... its not like I have a deadline I have to get dressed by after all.

I finally end up dressed by 11ish, and then I decide that it is time for lunch, with my book again. (I read much more than I watch tv, I like it better).

At this point I do something productive, so that no one (like my husband) can say I am not productive and helpful during the day. It usually involves cleaning the kitchen, and one or two other things that he asked me if I could get done today (today is laundry and cleaning the bathrooms).

Once I get these chores out of the way, I go back to my... book! (Bet you didn't see that coming).

This I proceed to do until Blake gets home, and then I spend the evening with him, making dinner, going to the gym, taking Roxie for a walk, and more of the same leisure activities (like a book, or the internet).

This glorious summer routine is broken up by lunch with friends, a Bible study and lunch with my mom on Fridays, errands that come up (like taking Lily to the vet because she hurt her eye), and my realization that it is almost August, and August is almost September, and I actually do need to get my classroom ready for next year at some point.

I have no idea if anyone reads this blog, or cares what I do during the summer, or if people who do read this will just be jealous of it, but I am recording this for prosperity. So that one day, years from now, when I have two or three kids running around the house during the summer, and I don't have a moment's peace, I can look back at this blog entry, and laugh at myself for once having such a calm summer, and wishing that I could add kids to it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hawaii Trip

video

This last weekend we went to Hawaii from Friday to Monday.

It started out rough with a 4 hour delay at the airport before taking off. We amused ourselves by playing games etc. but as you can imagine, we were beyond bored before we got on the plane. By the end of the 5 hour flight, I was so antsy, I was DYING to get off.

When we got off, it was already really close to the time we needed to make it to our only scheduled event for Friday, a sunset dinner cruise. The beginning photos on my video are taken from the cruise. Blake and I always enjoy boats, and this was no exception. This was our first realization that Wow! we are in Hawaii! The food was only mediocre, but it was a great boat ride all the same.

The next morning started out really early since we had a 6:30 scheduled shark cage encounter. Yes... I went in the cage!!! It was really fun and an amazing experience. I would totally do it again. I can only compare it to my trip to the Grand Canyon in which you know it is real, you know you are seeing it with your own eyes, but you still can't believe that it is right there in front of you. I took the great picture of Blake, but somehow I wasn't turned around when he tried to take a picture of me... but it was my back. :-) We got a lot of pictures of this because it was so cool.

We went from there to the Dole Plantation, where they used to grow massive amounts of pineapple to ship out. It still has some pineapples growing on display, a maze and a great gift shop, but is no longer really the plantation. It was fun to do the maze, although my brother and dad quit before we finished. We looked at many different varieties of pineapple, and ate a TON of pineapple products (frozen yogurt, fresh, juice etc. )

After this we were supposed to go on a submarine to the reefs, but unfortunately, after the boat ride to the sub, they decided that the conditions were bad, and they would not be able to take us. It was also too tightly packed of a trip to go another day. It was okay though because I really was nervous about being claustrophobic in there, and was kinda happy I didn't have to take that risk.

The next morning, we started with snorkeling in the bay. It was really fun seeing all the different types of fish. I have always compared snorkeling to swimming in a big fish tank. We got oodles more pictures of the fish, but decided to spare you most of them.

This afternoon we had a dolphin encounter. It was actually really educational as well as fun. We learned that you can tell dolphins apart from their dorsal fins which are as different as our fingerprints! We got to learn how to have them do tricks, but we also learned that they are treated as pets there. They are not forced to do any tricks they don't want to do, just like with Roxie, our dog, she does them because she wants the reward. Also, they change up the activity all the time so they don't get bored. The other interesting thing is that last time I swam with a dolphin, I was pulled along, but here they made a point of us swimming alongside the dolphin so that it really was a partnership, not making them do all the work.

Once we got back to the hotel we enjoyed a luau that had great food and great dancing. The last dance was with lit torches. It was incredible, and I was amazed that no one got hurt.

Overall it was an amazing, fun, unforgettable trip and I hope you all enjoy the pictures of it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kitten compilation video

I made a very quick video using footage I have taken of the kittens over the last few months.

p.s. yes, the first scene is also in another video of them... but aren't they cute!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our Garden

I used my new camera and my video editing software to make a video of our garden and how it has been progressing. Everything is actually even bigger now... but it is also really crazy out of control looking so I decided to end it with a nice look of the garden. Enjoy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pets



So I have not posted in ages... Well... I have been really busy. My whole time at school is spent preparing the walls for Open House. Which basically means dragging out every thing they have done all year long worth saving, putting it up somewhere nicely, and adding a great border to it as well.

At home, we had gotten into a really good healthy kick for a while where we were exercising every other day either with Wii yoga, or swimming or tennis etc. This was great for us... but meant that we didn't have a lot of computer time. Then Blake bought Lord of the Rings online... and I have lots of time again. :-P

But this post is supposed to be about my pets. I got some great pictures of all of them, and I wanted to share those and our last week with the three of them. First, Lily and Argon got spayed/ neutered a week ago Wednesday. They are totally healed fine now, but it was a tough week. They couldn't be together during this time out of fear that they could lick each others' scars.

This meant in practical terms that Lily, with a cone on her head that she hated, had to be confined in the closet of our room and Argon had to be confined in the front room of our house. They both meowed like they were being tortured any time we were around to protest their state.

Lily pulled a Houdini the first night too, waking us up with meows that were definitely NOT coming from closed doors at 3:00am. She had succeeding in banging herself against the accordion style door enough that it had cracked open, and somehow either before it or in the process also gotten her collar off! We had to put her back, but we barricaded the door to make extra sure she couldn't escape again.

After a few days of total isolation, we decided that as long as they were supervised, they could be with Roxie and us... still not together, but a step better. This turned out to be a GREAT thing. When it was Argon and Roxie out, they became very close, even to the point of sleeping together, as seen here:

Then in the bedroom, Roxie and Lily had bonding time as well where either will start the licking fest (not just Roxie like before). It is great to see the pets bonding like this.

By this point, all is well, and the kittens are free to roam the house once more, no longer with any chance of making babies together.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our trip to the fair

Just a few pictures from our trip to the Renaissance Fair

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cool Youtube Video

I just found this on another blog I follow, and I thought it was really cool. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New sewing project completed



It isn't much, but Blake was bothering me to add more boy clothes to my sewing projects.

This is a simple gender neutral shirt. It attaches with velcro, and has a farm pattern on it. I think it's cute, even though it isn't perfect.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Newly Edited video of my adorable kittens

Dinner at the Addison

So on Saturday night, my dad decided to take myself, my husband, my mom, grandma and brother out for dinner. It was partly to celebrate Easter, it was partly to celebrate my husband getting his name on a patent, and it was partly to spend time with my grandma who lives a little over an hour away.

He decided on the Addison. He warned us it would be fancy... but I don't think that even my dad knew just how fancy it was going to be.

You can check it out at their website Addison

For one thing, it claimed to be a four course dinner, and that is special enough. But we counted... and with all the in between courses added in, it was 10!

1. First we had an Amuse-Bouche that was a little tiny bite of an avocado sauce thing with lime and basil on it. It was delicous... although everything was, so I am not going to say it every time, just assume it was.

2. Next they brought this (I don't remember names of almost any other course, so...) cheese puff thing. It had cheese in the center of some kind of yummy fresh bread.

3. This "course" is just like rolls at many restaurants. The difference is that this roll was served with fresh butter with some herbs in it, and you didn't take it from a bowl at the middle of the table, but they would individually serve them. You could have as many as you wanted (my husband had 4) but they would just ask you each time and place it on your plate.

4. This is the first course that we actually ordered. It was an appetizer... but there were two rounds of appetizers and I am pretty sure that they didn't have the same name. Oh well. I ordered a leek soup. It was great, but interesting because it was served cold on purpose.

5. This was the second appetizer course. I ordered risotto for this course because they kept making it on Hell's Kitchen and because it sounded good. It definitely was.

6. This was our entree. I ordered Duck three ways, but it was in french so it sounded pretty (no, I don't speak French, and yes, I did have to ask what it was). I enjoyed the duck breast, but it was a little rare for my taste, but that is fancy food for you. I also had duck liver on there. I had never had liver before, and I have to admit that it tasted good... but the thought of eating liver made me squeamish so I only had one bite and then gave the rest to my husband.

7. By this point we are getting extremely full... but knew that dessert was coming and we were all thinking to ourselves that we can make it one more course... little did we know. Number 7 was our pre-dessert. No kidding. It was really yummy, ice cream with what tasted like an apple snowcone on the bottom.

8. Somewhere around the dessert time they asked us if we wanted a cheese course as well... naturally we all said no. Very stuffed at this point. This was our actual dessert. I ordered a raspberry citrus dessert and I enjoyed it, and got it all down even though my stomach at this point was too full.

9. We are finding it amusing by this point how many courses we have had... glad we made it through it... my mom jokes about a post dessert and we all groan because we couldn't fit another bite... and then they bring out the post dessert!!!!! We all had to stop ourselves from laughing outloud. They were little delicate cookies that crumbled in our mouths. Even though they tasted good... few of us made it through the two little cookies on our plates.

10. I know what you are thinking... what could they add after a post dessert. Well... I might be exaggerating to call this another course, but by this point we are overwhelmed by the amount of food we ate, and yet as we are coming out the door, they hand us a little box with caramels in it for the road.

Some highlights.
- Everything was presented beautifully! It made me better understand why it is called the culinary arts.

-It had amazing ambiance. Every time they served a dish they served it simultaneously, where 6 servers would place our food in front of us at the same time. There was a footstool for my purse, and every time one of us left to go to the restroom they would replace our napkin.

- The service was unparalleled. That many servers helping you at once, and they even had our car, which we valet parked, out front waiting for us when we got outside.

It was an amazing night, and I had a blast.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fun with Video Editing software

For months now, no... years, I have had footage and pictures that I wanted to make into a fun movie to watch, but I didn't have the software needed. So, for my birthday, one thing I asked for was for Adobe Premiere Elements so I could finally do something with it.

I hope to produce much better videos later, but so far I have made two, one of Roxie and one of the kittens.Note- the kitten one was messed up, so I had to fix it and I decided to totally revamp it, see it on a newer post. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My 25th birthday dinner



On Sunday, I celebrated my 25th birthday at Napa Rose in Disney's Grand Californian with a group of my relatives and my husband's family.

We got the privilege of sitting at the chef's table, where we are right in front of the kitchen and can see everything that they are making, and even talk to them (if they aren't too busy). The other special thing about the table is that you can ask the chef to create a menu for you of the options based on what you say you like and dislike, or you can basically ask for anything you want (as long as they have the ingredients).

I chose to let them make a meal for me, and even though I gave very little description of what I liked, I think they did a great job! Everything was absolutely delicious, and as you can see in the pictures, it was also beautiful. It seriously showed why they are called the culinary arts.

Afterward, we opened presents in the lobby, and I got lots of gift cards for restaurants, which is one of my favorite gifts, and a bunch of things I asked for. It was a terrific night, and probably my best birthday ever. Yay for 25!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Garden is taking off!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are recent pictures of our garden, taken this weekend, and made into a pretty slideshow for you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spoiled? No... well maybe... okay, definately





So, I never thought that I would be one of "those" people.

You know the ones, they spoil their animals, and treat them like children. They spend oodles on money on their animals. I have always known I loved my animals, and I want them to be happy, but one of those people? Never.

But I am. I have come to terms with it, accepted it, and know that I will always love my (future) children and husband more, and will not spend outside our means on our pets, but I do love them very much, and have started buying more and more for them.

With Roxie, it was a necessity. She destroyed her toys, so we had to buy replacement (stronger) toys. She destroyed them, we got new ones again. (Now she has bones and KONG products, nothing else can live).

Ellie we bought a few toys at first, but she really wasn't interested. She would play with the interactive feathers and stuff for a bit, but not really. She would much rather chase a pen or a chapstick around the room anyways, and we had plenty of those, so it was a non-issue.

Enter the kittens. These two play with EVERYTHING! And when I say play, I mean rough and tumble, jump off things chase around the room till they fall asleep play. These kittens, who are filling the cat space left by Ellie would be spoiled for that reason alone. Every time we went to the pet store, I would buy another toy. We had got them a little scratching post, but it was clearly not cutting it for these two little rambunctious climbers.

So... and here is the reason for the post... we decided to spoil them with this deluxe cat tree. It was on sale, and it was online so it didn't cost us lots, but Ellie sure never had something like this. But the kittens love it, and it brings us joy seeing them love it. And isn't that what spoiling someone you love is all about?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So after starting this dress well over a month ago... maybe a couple months... I told myself this weekend I HAD to finish it.

It shouldn't have taken long, all I had left was the zipper, the hem and the ribbon (I'll explain why this doesn't exist later). But the problem was that I had accidentally made the dress too big. I know, you're thinking that's a good thing, but not really, because I had to try to rectify the mistake by taking it in.

I am getting all my supplies out, and realize that I have somehow misplaced the portion of my pattern that explains how to do the zipper. I search everywhere, and it is nowhere. So, I will not change my goal, and left without options, I decide that I will just wing it, because how hard can a zipper be?

In theory, not that hard. In practice, when the dress is made too large, very.

I pin the zipper in place, and try the dress on. Too big. I undo ALL the pins, take in the sides, rinse and repeat. Very hopeful, I try it on, and .... still too big. I undo ALL the pins again, take in the sides, try it on, and it is a better fit, but the middle is still too loose. So I take out the middle pins, hoping that I can just re-pin those areas... nope, won't work, I end up fixing all the pins again. It finally fits!

I sew the zipper in place, then I take it off the sewing machine to look at it. I groan. My husband asks, " What's wrong?" I show him that I have somehow managed to sew part of the dress onto the zipper. Sigh. I take out my seam ripper, take that apart, and fix my mistake.

Then I take my time hemming carefully, and that, thankfully, goes well.

I intended to add a ribbon along the bottom, but after all the time and effort the rest of it took, I just wanted to try it on. Overall, I think it looks good, but I am not in love with the top, so I will probably always wear a sweater or shirt of some kind over it (like in the picture).

With that in mind, I decided that if I added any color ribbon, I would need to always match the sweater to that color, but if I leave it plain it is more versatile.

I ended the day being giddy that I actually made a dress that (with a sweater) looks good on me, and doesn't scream out that it was made by hand. Yay! Good day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Watch Lily and Argon play

Siblings at play! Aren't they cute. Sorry no music, this was a really quick video and post.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I am not Irish, if I am, it is such a tiny fraction, I might as well not be!

But I love St. Patrick's day . I love Irish music and corned beef is yuuuummmmy! I also made cabbage soup tonight.

At school, I used this opportunity to teach about Ireland. We ate Irish cheese, and we had Irish soda bread. And I showed the class you tube videos about Ireland. I didn't have another resource, and sadly, I was "caught" using you tube by one of my oh so observant kids. But they were great videos, and I will share them with this blog too for anyone who reads to enjoy a bit of Ireland too.





it might not have been this exact Riverdance clip... but I did show them a Riverdance video



Hope you enjoyed this taste of Ireland ! (where I have never been, but admire anyways)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Argon

Who knew that a little kitty's name could be so confused with so many other names!

So... here is what Argon is NOT

1. Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. Similar. Also a cool name, but not our kitty's namesake



2. Aggron from pokemon. Now this one I had no idea that it even existed, but one of my 2nd graders, upon hearing my kitten's name said, "Like the pokemon character!" Sigh. So I investigated, and sure enough there is a very very similar sounding pokemon, but not the same.



3. Eragon from the book and movie. This mistake was made by the vet upon hearing our kitty's name. Again, similar, I can see the confusion, but still not our kitten's namesake.



So what is Argon you ask? It is an element on the periodic table of elements, a noble gas to be exact. My chemist husband picked it out, if you hadn't guessed. I thought it was a cute name, and a cute idea. For those of you who like to learn, here is a short you tube clip to educate you on what our kitten is named after

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meet Lily and Argon!

So... change of plans from the previous lady we were talking with. Long story short, we did not get a good vibe from her, and did not think it would be a good match. We made this decision on Friday night. After that I started looking online to see kittens from a shelter and I found these two, and my husband and I just fell in love.

I sent off an email that night to see if they would be at that shelter's adoption event the next day, Saturday. They wrote back and said they would be, so we went. We saw them, we filled out the application, and by 9:20 that night, they were ours. :-)

Here is a video of them for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blast from the past

So, having nothing particularly new to share today, I decided instead to share an old Roxie video. This is when she is just an 8 week old puppy, and so cute and little. It is really short, but fun.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Housekeeping magazine confirms what Christians already knew

So, I was reading my Good Housekeeping magazine today and one of the articles was about ways to live longer. I was surprised to find that one of their tips was "Say a Prayer".

They found that older people who attend religious services once a week are 46 percent less likely to die over six years then people who go to services less often. They further said that having a belief system provides comfort and improves health.

Other believers know the feeling of peace that comes from knowing that God promised that everything would work out, or any of his other promises. Seeing prayer at work keeps our hope alive and also the ability to lay all of our stresses and concerns on him probably keeps our health good simply because of the lack of stress.

The article ended with an encouragement to those who are not part of a church to start going even if they don't believe it because it is so beneficial.

Besides being excited about the fact we have better odds for a longer life, I also was really excited to see even a secular magazine encouraging people to attend church. I hope people really take the article to heart and find the truth, and not a substitute.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary, how does your garden grow?



March is here! Blake and I have spent this past week getting our garden ready for spring. We have a whole bunch of plants and I am so excited to see them grow and mature into a lot of food for us!

Up at the top of these pictures is our raspberry plant, which is really a raspberry stick at the moment (on the left) and our lime tree. Our lime tree used to be on the patio, and then little Roxie thought it would be fun to destroy it one day. It had limes and everything! That was a bad day, but the good news is that it has been recovering well. As you can see, there is a lot of green. No limes yet, but lots of green.

The second picture is of our strawberries. My dad put them together for me, and there are tons of little green strawberries to someday grow into lots of delicious fresh strawberries for me to eat on my cereal and ice cream yum!

The third picture is a view of the rest of the garden. We will have zucchini, onion, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, and peppers in that area. I am so excited about all of the things growing, and hopefully I will have enough to share.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Family members

This is family of kittens that we hope to get our new kitten from. We will also most likely be adopting the mother as well. The mostly white kitten with calico colorings is the kitten that we are leaning towards the most, but we will see more as the time gets closer. Aren't they cute!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My New Hobby





I have always loved anything creative, and so, throughout my life I have dabbled in many different creative hobbies.

I have taken drawing and photography classes in school, I have scrap-booked a few albums, I have even created some little clay figurines. Blake complains that every time I pick up a new hobby, we spend a lot on it for me to do it for a little bit. He is probably right.

Irregardless, for the last couple months, I have a new hobby. Sewing. I cannot call myself great at it because I know I am truly a novice, but I do enjoy it, and I have made some pretty cute stuff if I say so myself. Many of them are baby things because I hope someday to have a baby to give them to, and they are easy and little.

The favorite thing I have made is the green and pink outfit. In addition it is soft and cuddly, and I can easily picture a little girl in it. The dress is not yet finished because I have to do the zipper and I am afraid to do the zipper for fear of royally screwing up the most important piece. A lot is girl stuff, mostly because I like how girl's clothes look better, probably because I am a girl.

My next few projects will be different styles of shirts. I plan on posting them when I finish too.

Labs are the perfect dog!

I have always loved Roxie since we got her, but as exciting events are coming soon (kitten and babies) I, of course, have thought about how she will be with both. Now, it is one thing to read numerous account that labs, as a breed, get along great with both kids and kittens. I am happy to read it, glad that information exists. The famous phrase is that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I would extend it to say that a video is worth ten thousand words.

So... in my pondering how labs and kids and labs and kittens get along, I turn to you-tube. I found a bunch of videos that confirm all that information without a shadow of a doubt.