Monday, March 29, 2010

Family in Town=Happy Chaos

Once a year, my brother and his family come into town for a ski vacation. We live very close to the ski resorts and our house has become the perfect ski house for visitors. Most of my brother's kids (he has four) are older than my kids, but his youngest is the same age as my oldest. We love having them visit--great company, many meals eaten out, many intense rounds of Speed Scrabble and 12 Eggs and other such activities. There is also a lot of wrestling that goes on. All of us love a good family wrestling event and we all end up in piles on top of each other at some point. (Yes, our age range is from ages 3-50 and we are fine with that.)
So, it is currently chaos around here but it is happy chaos. On their next visit, our basement will be done and there will be no stuff in our front room but really, none of us has minded. It is being together that matters. Oh and beating my Yale-educated brother in Speed Scrabble matters too.
And in other news, Toothsome #2 got her first of many series of braces on her teeth. Since she is my easiest child (thank you toothsome #2) there has not been one complaint made from her. What a trooper.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting the House Ready for Book Club

My book club met at my house last night. This month we read, "The House at Riverton" by Kate Morton. Great read and everyone seemed to like it. From previous posts, you know that my house is in chaos because of our basement finishing project.

So I did the following to make it more presentable. I hung disposable table cloths all along my main hallway to cover up all of the stuff I am storing in my front room.
Made homemade eclairs for the book club dessert. The recipe is posted here.
I bought some flowers for my kitchen table. I will likely plant those mums outside later.
I covered our "camping-out" mattresses with a blue blanket.
I bought the movie, "The Princess and the Frog" for these two menaces to watch while I cleaned my house. It worked. They were entranced with the movie.
Meanwhile, my basement progress looks like this. My husband is not going to like that I posted this picture. He is explaining to me why he is happy with the way they hung the louvers on the washing machine/dryer door.

And because the basement floor looks like this, every night, I take a wet towel and have to wipe clean all of my wood floors upstairs. That white dust is EVERYWHERE!
Cute picture of toothsome #4's feet in the white dust. So dang cute.
The painters come Monday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things Learned While Running

I have been training for a 1/2 marathon. I really don't know why. OK, I sort of know why but I hate running. Actually, I hate all forms of exercise, so since we purchased a treadmill, running seemed to make the most sense and since I am a goal oriented person, training for something also made sense. I have conquered the 5K and 10K distances, and so a 1/2 marathon seemed like the next logical step. I have no plans to do a full marathon and this might just be the only 1/2 marathon I run but then I can at least tell people I have run a 1/2 marathon. Anyway, since I have been regularly running for about a year now, I will tell you what I have learned.

--I am a much better housekeeper now that I am "a runner." Why? Because after I have forced myself to run when I didn't want to, often at distances that I really didn't want to, forcing myself to do house chores that I don't want to do is much easier. I have honestly thought, "Well, I really don't want to clean the bathrooms today, but I didn't want to run four miles either, and I did that, so I can clean the bathrooms." Maybe this is silly but silly or not, I have a much cleaner house and I make dinner much more often since I became "a runner".

--I am better mother now that I am "a runner." Why? Because when my kids tell me they don't want to practice the piano, read, make their beds, etc. I can say to them, "I didn't want to run today but it was good for me and I did it. I am not asking you to do anything I am not doing. Just because because 'you don't want to' is no excuse in this household.

--I am healthier because I eat better and drink more water since I became "a runner." This is obvious, so I won't elaborate.

There you have it. I really don't like doing it but I am better because of it. Thank you Gabriela for inspiring me and motivating me. I am better because of it. You and your mom might beat me about an hour (hopefully, not that much but maybe) but I will finish it regardless.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finishing the basement=Camping Out

As I have mentioned in a previous post, when finishing the basement, everything, with the exception of a very heavy filing cabinet has been brought upstairs. Most of it ended up in my front room but I had to get creative with a few items. The two mattresses below are an example. Yes, I pulled my sofa away from the wall and put them behind it.
Closer view, if it wasn't obvious from the previous picture. The queen sized one is the mattress we got when we were first married. When we moved into this house, we upgraded to a king sized one and this got wrapped in plastic and moved down into our basement. It will go into "the dormitory" eventually. The twin is a hand me down from my in-laws that we used for my oldest until we bought him a new (and much more comfortable) twin a few years later. We have kept it for visitors, so they can sleep on it instead of the floor. This will go on one of the bunk beds in "the dormitory" as well.
So, what do we do on the weekends with two mattresses in our Great Room? We "camp out" as a family Friday and Saturday night. Yes, you heard me, we move the mattresses from behind the sofa and lay them on the floor in front of our two sofas. We make the beds and sofas, rent a good movie (last weekend it was "The Princess Bride") and as a family hang out and then all of us sleep in the Great Room.
My kids told me the other day, "I am going to be sad when the basement is finished because I love 'camping-out.'" Me too. But, I have a feeling when all is said and done, we might end up "camping out" in the basement a few times too.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New phone = new purse/tote

About a year ago, we ended up buying a new computer and decided to change from a PC to a Mac. It is has been a good change and we have been very happy with our Mac. Well, when our phone plan came up for renewal, I got a call telling me how for not much more money, we could upgrade our phones to iphones. So, I said yes to the iphone. My only complaint? The new phone does not fit in my current purse/planner situation deal. Below, you will see my old/purse planner deal.
I have been using the Franklin planner system for years (since my BYU days) and when my oldest was a baby, (remember he is almost 11), I found this purse on sale. I love this purse. I have taken it with me everywhere and used my planner/purse combo constantly. It has held up amazingly for over 10 years.

Again, my new iphone doesn't fit into this purse anymore and I am probably the only female I know who has used the same purse for over 10 years.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE to shop? So because Franklin Covey did me no wrong with my previous purse, I went back there. I met a nice salesman who informed me all of their purse/bags were on sale and I knew I would not leave the store with out a new one. (Again, I hate to shop, I find stores I like and go back there time and time again. There is a reason why the ladies in the Denver, CO Talbots knew me by name even though I lived in Boulder, CO and passed many female clothing stores to get there.)

Back to the purse . . . I ended up getting this. Remember, I got it on-sale and I hope to use it for the next 10 plus years. And, the one problem with my last purse was that I often was throwing it in a bag so I could take more things with me. With this new "tote" as it is called, I have it all in one and there is pocket that fits my iphone perfectly. I still miss my old purse/planner but I am loving this new one. There is room for many books, various toys, a notepad (for my kids to write on when we are some place and they are bored,) etc. Change is good.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Basement Progress

We have framing and electrical done
The above picture is the door entrance to my storage room and door entrance to what we are calling "the dormitory", which means it is a really long room that will have three bunk beds in it.
Our bathroom. That tub is a book readers dream with a reclining back and arm rests.
A 2nd water heater and if you look to the left, you can barely see the 2nd furnace we added. The furnace people were wonderful and actually fixed some of the stuff that was put in upstairs by the original builders. Again, this house was built during the construction boom and it was pretty thrown together. We now have working furnace vents upstairs that were barely producing heat before these new guys came.
This kind of shows the two big open rooms that will eventually have a pool table on one side and a TV for Wii games, etc. on the other. It also shows a lot of the furnace duct work.
The cute playroom door under the stairs. (And, for those of you who are curious, that is walk-in toy/game closet to the right.)
Since these pictures were taken, there is now insulation in all of the walls and the dry wall people start tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hangin' at the Hanger

A few weeks ago, my kids had Monday off my from school. Dentist husband doesn't see patients on Mondays so we headed out to his airplane hanger, hoping for good weather, so he could take them each for a short ride (his airplane is a two seater). The weather wasn't good enough to fly but fortunately, I had thought to bring some cones and ride-on toys. We ended up having a fun afternoon just hangin' in the hanger.
Alien artwork by Toothsome #1
My father-in-law keeps his kit-car (it is supposed to look like a Lotus but isn't or something like that) in the hanger as well as their airplane.
Roller blading, plasma caring and rip-sticking

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Room with a View by EM Forester

My review of this book is over on the Books, Blogging and Babes site, if anyone is interested.