Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving - Thankful Thursday

I missed last week's Thankful Thursday but I couldn't miss this one! I am so thankful for many things, but today it's mostly friends I'm thankful for. They always say you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends and I must be really good at it because you guys are awesome!

Today our house is filled with the pitter patter and bang bangs of little feet and there will be 12 at our table. All friends and family in Christ. What a wonderful way to spend the holiday! We haven't spent Thanksgiving with family in a few years now, but have made it a tradition to spend it with friends. I'm thinking of the last 5 years where every year our table has looked quite different with the dishes and faces and this year is no different even though the location is different (I have a table big enough for 12!) and as a new addition this year of those 12 half are kids!

Right now I'm home with Max alone as the rest of our house guests are our delivering meals to those in need and when they get back we'll have cider, finish watching the parade, and get that big ol' bird in the oven while other friends show up and we get to be thankful for health, life, God's provision, and last of all FRIENDSHIP!

(And a picture of Max this morning with Aleksandra)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I thought this was pretty fun. Check it out here

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My little troublemaker

This morning while trying to check my email, two minutes tops, I had to stop three times. Once to keep the computer cord out of Max's mouth, once to get a tissue out of his mouth (where'd he find a tissue?) and third to replace the tv antennae which he pulled down off the tv. Oops gotta go he found the Wii remote. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Home Remodeling Part 4- Bathroom Makeover

Here's a quick markup of the bathroom and what's been chosen. I'll add to it when I get the chance showing all the "design" things like towels, etc.

The bathtub should be here this weekend. The vanity was ordered today. The tile is finally back in stock and today I decided on a paint color.

We spent most the day at the house, and I didn't have the camera.... Drywall was finished being put up and taping has begun. Adam learned how to tape and mud, so we'll see how that goes in the next few days.

Max is starting to learn that when we get to the house he's put in the pack n play. Today he didn't like that so much, so I didn't get a whole lot done, but I did get quite a bit of the wall done in the living room with a different scraper. I might pull down some paneling to see what's behind it in the living room.

Probably won't be at the house much the rest of the week, as I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving at our house! I can't wait to have 12 at the table and get to use all the leaves. Tomorrow I'll be roasting one of the pie pumpkins to make pumpkin pie from scratch. Stay tuned for that!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crafty Update

I know I go in spurts with the crafting. I've been slowly working on somethings for a while, scrapped a couple of things that didn't turn out well (Yeah, Kara, that's still why you don't have a birthday present, you too Mom!) and returned to tried and true things, but that still didn't help the belated presents.

As always I have a list a mile long of things I'd like to make, but we'll see how much of a handmade Christmas we have around here this year. I'm just not sure with the house, how much time I'll have to make all the things I'd like. And golly gee there are babies coming out of the woodwork in our lives. So many babies, not enough yarn.

I've been working on a couple of baby things, Baby Carter (Strange) got a star blanket. I don't even know if I took a picture of it.... But it was similar to this one I made Max which I love! Carter's is red though with brown trim.

I just finished this little set (hat and small stroller blanket) intended for one baby, but much more fitting for another once it was completed. Some things just seem to go with certain people and not with some.

As soon as I saw this pattern

I knew I wanted to try it. I thought it would be a challenge, but it's so wonderfully fast and also easy to pick up, I wouldn't be surprised if I made quite a few more of these. Here's what I have so far.

After the one above, other babies right now aren't getting afghans, I'm trying to venture out, I've got some ideas and some other favorites (like this simple receiving blanket and burp clothes) that I'm going to be going back to for a while.

Crafty Day
The sudden reason for the craft post was to really tell about my afternoon with Heidi, my eight year old friend. For her birthday I told her she could come over and craft with me, that Adam would watch Max, and we could do whatever she wanted. We got to do that this afternoon for a couple of hours. I hope she had fun, because I sure did.

I showed her my array of crafting supplies all quietly tucked away; the paper, cards, wallpaper, yarn, fabric, more fabric, more yarn, paint, punches, tins, buttons, ribbon, books, and ideas. She seemed a little overwhelmed so I gave her some specific suggestions and let her choose. I was secretly hoping to decoupage or use my new sewing machine, but I knew as soon as she laid her eyes on The Cute Book it was over. We were definitely making something cute. (Remember Gwyndolyn? and the one I made for Ella with the matching onesie?)

We made Terry the Terrier (which she actually named Sugar) and had a grand time.

There's Gwyndolyn riding Sugar

We also made a sewn notebook on the sewing machine with some wallpaper scraps and blank paper. She wrote in it, "Thank you Mrs. Cara. I love you" Awwwwww.

When we were done she had a few minutes before her parents were picking her up and she told me she wanted to see me craft and wanted to watch, so I started another project hoping it will turn out than other attempts that had gone so wrong recently. We'll see, so far so good. Maybe Heidi's my good luck charm. She helped me pick out the colors.

We are finally back to feeling better, I still have a nagging cough and sinus pressure, but all in all that's ok with me as long as the other stuff stays away. I'm off to take some Nyquil. Tomorrow's our usual big long day with church but tomorrow we even have a Thanksgiving meal, which I still have to prepare stuff for.... better do that before I take the Nyquil....

Home Remodeling Part 3- Bathroom, Wallpaper, Basement

This week at the house has been interesting. We've been plugging away, I just don't know how certain things are going to turn out. At least I have complete confidence in the bathroom, it's the rest of the house that has been causing me a lack of sleep.

As I understand it, once the rest of the drywall is up, we're just waiting around for the tub (ordered should be in next weekend) and tile (backordered!) to get in before we can do anything else. I need to pick out a toilet and faucets and order the vanity.

Look! There's a ceiling and walls!

One guy working and the rest of us watching. :)

It has taken two days' work to do this:

but I think now that we have a groove, the rest should be easier, at least there's only one more wall and a ceiling to do and that's it, I guess all in all that's not too bad. The plaster (as we thought it might be) is in poor shape, especially around the windows and door. We are researching different options for what we should do. We don't necessarily want to pay to have the room replastered---- Any suggestions?

I got a picture of the old basement steps before they were loaded up to meet their maker in a burn pile....

They look even more unsafe laying there in the yard, completely impossible to walk on.

Here is a picture of the dining room - the chair rail and paneling are coming off the bottom, there's just nothing under it so I have to pick out new

Friday, November 21, 2008


I've got it on my Netflix Queue but I've never seen High School Musical. But today I was intrigued by Sesame Street's version. :) Here it is for your daily dose of laughter.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Follow this Blog!

I just added the FOLLOW THIS BLOG feature on the left right under my picture. Be the first to be a follower of my blog, that way I know you follow along :)

PS - More work done today, dry wall put up on the ceiling of the bathroom and quite a bit of wall paper/paint taken down from the living room.

I'm off to organize organize organize and get ready for Thanksgiving and our guests!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home Remodeling Part 2- Bathroom, Basement, Wallpaper

This week so far has been busy around the house. I've not been there as much as I'd like, but hopefully tomorrow I'll get to continue my plaster restoration phase (fancy way of me saying that I will be scraping off a layer of wallpaper with paint over it for the next eternity).

I started in the dining room prepared for the worst taking down wallpaper. I pulled away the corner and ripped each sheet down. It took me all of 10 minutes to get the whole room cleared. There was only one layer over the plaster. Dining room, done. Whew!

Next was the hallway leading up the stairs. Same thing, each sheet pulled away with out any issue. Hallway, check.

The next is the living room, which won't be quite as easy. Luckily one wall is the staircase, one wall is paneling, but the other two are a thin layer of wall paper on the plaster that's then been painted over. A spray bottle of diluted fabric softener and a 4" putty knife are my only friends in there. Adam and I working on it for quite a while on Monday yielded only an area between windows being finished.

While I was working on the wallpaper Adam, Jim, and Art were working on the bathroom. In the past three days, there were some electrical issues that needed to be corrected, the drop ceiling was removed, some subflooring was removed and replaced, a fan vent was added into the ceiling and the vent directed out the side of the house, and 2x4s added to allow for new drywall to be put up.

Today I was told that things are almost ready to start being put in, guess I need to go pick out a toilet.

And while nobody was looking yesterday afternoon, I got a new set of steps to the basement, I wish I had pictures of the old ones; they were scary. I would not have been able to carry laundry down them. But the new ones are pretty, thanks to Tom who hand made them to fit in our space.


Max is enjoying getting around these days. He's not figured out how to go forwards but definitely has the hang of going backwards. We find him in all sorts of hilarious places lately, wedged in between and underneath things.

Here he is in Florida wedged underneath Grammy's bed.

Here he is at home wedged between the chair and couch.

Here he is tonight in his stuck under his bed. He was mostly frustrated because his head kept him from going any further back.

We've still been fighting some sickness here at our house, it's down to mostly me though to be honest. Just when I thought I was better from a cold, I caught some sort of virus and have been back down the past two days. I've been trying so hard to get better because there's so much to do. We'll see how well I feel tomorrow. Hopefully better than today.

Here's some more cute pics of Max to tide you over.... Especially you Grandpa.

Tardy Florida post....

This is long overdue, but here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the end of our Florida trip. We had a great time together as a family. We took some family photos while everyone was together.

The whole family

Three Generations

Momma and her babe

Daddy and his boy

Fun in the pool

Fun in the ocean

Too much fun

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Remodeling Part 1- Bathroom

As soon as we first looked at this house we knew the first project would be the bathroom. It's not that it was horrible or falling apart or anything like that, it's just that there's not even a shower. Just a tub. Could you imagine Adam taking bubble baths everyday? No me neither.
The other deal is that there is just one bathroom (not counting the toilet in the brick cellar/basement that terrifies me). I can live without a kitchen for a period of time, but I can't live without a bathroom.

So demo on the bathroom started right away (after a pipe in the basement was moved to make room for the new basement stairs that are going in as well) and we are continuing work on it tomorrow. Sorry I don't have pictures of me helping to take down the wall, but trust me, it was fun.

We took down all the tile (cheap plastic stuff) and also the layer of drywall that was over the plaster. Took out the old cast iron tub, built in vanity and sink and are even taking up the linoleum floor. We will eventually take out the toilet too, but have to leave it working for now.

We took out the wall behind the tub that was a closet accessed in the master bedroom. It was a second closet, so all is not lost, and we now have a lot more room for a regular sized tub (the previous one was only four feet long) and can build a false wall allowing for a shower as well. We will be laying new ceramic tile for the floor, baseboard, and behind the tub, new drywall all around to cover the old plaster with a lot of holes in it, a new toilet, corner tub, and vanity will go in. We are dropping the ceiling a few inches to allow electricity to be run through to put in new lighting and a vent/fan. Then of course you have your regular painting, etc. that go along with everything else.

Just so we are very clear, when I say "we," I mean Adam and I being bossed around by the much more knowledgeable men from our church who are helping. Jim has kind of taken on the bathroom project for us and is patient in teaching us all kinds of new things and giving us his expert plumbing and building opinion. Tom is helping out building the new basement stairs.

Now for the pictures:


View from the door leading to the kithchen. Viewed are tub, vanity/sink. Don'tcha like the wallpaper?

The little addition for the toilet

Another view, so you can see how compact it is, the edge of the toilet on the left, tub with the vanity in the way.

Current View

The pink is the original bathroom and the blue is the closet once the wall was down. The door leads into the master bedroom but will have a wall built over it and the tub will sit in front of it in that corner. The door will be plumbing access from the master bedroom.

View into the toilet cubby

The mess! Drywall on the floor, but so much more space

Once more view that would have been similar to the first picture view.

Looking at the change already makes me really excited to see how this will all shape up. It's so hard to show these things in pictures, but I'm working on making a mark up of all the products and things we are using so give you some idea of what it will look like finished.

Tomorrow we are expecting to spend all day at the house and I believe Adam will be learning to put up drywall. I'll of course have baby duty and will be starting in the dining room taking down a chair rail, paneling, and wallpaper. Too many people in the bathroom are not a good idea as it is a small space. Plus the demo is a lot more fun than the putting back together anyway. :)

Let us know what you think! Also any suggestions or ideas are helpful too! We want to hear from you about this process as we go along.
I saw snow today. Not on the TV, but in real life. Well, it was just flurries, but it was too much for me.

Five Reasons I Miss Working (These are for you Tina and Elea)
1. Adam doesn't encourage my crafting the way you did
2. I didn't have to clean up poop once while working at the Auto
3. I miss having lovely conversations with Hessina
4. I don't get updated on the news nearly as much and I haven't been to YouTube in months
5. I have a pile of magazines taller than my kid that haven't been read
And Bonus #6 - I haven't had good coffee or tea in quite a while
Oh yeah, I also miss Chinese food with brown sauce,
Oooo and making fun of Kerry while he's asleep and to his face :)
Oh! And I miss our secret club where we took over the universe, because we are way smarter than everyone else on the planet and a lot less annoying.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I should be

I should be sleeping, but I'm still up. Lots of things have been accomplished today, and so my body just can't seem to wind down. I'm also really excited about tomorrow.

Tomorrow we go to the Ohio State vs Illinois game. I haven't been to a game since I graduated. I can't wait to hear Carmen Ohio live and watch Script Ohio. Yup the football's nice, but the band is my favorite.

I've got a pile of clothes waiting to be donned in the morning and a list for those watching Max on what to expect (luckily, all of us are feeling much better, thanks for the well wishes and prayers).

Adam finished ripping out drywall in the bathroom at the house while I did a lot of shopping today. New tub ordered, check! New guest mattress picked out, check! Sponges, soap, dust masks for the new house, check!

Monday starts my adventure in pulling down wallpaper....

I read this little story today and thought it was really good. But then again, I love James Thurber and am a big fan of embroidery too. I also love little, strange stories.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to You- Thankful Thursday

I am so Thankful for my little baby boy! He's completely changed our lives and we don't know what we'd do without him.

Today is Max's half birthday! I can't believe 6 months ago we were still in Dallas, not knowing where we were going to be living in the next two months, just graduated from seminary, and I was still laying the delivery room, staring at the most beautiful thing in the world and feeling overwhelmed that he was ours.

Yesterday at the doctor's office Max weighed in at an even 18lbs. Yup, 18lbs- That puts him at 65% for his age. The doctor and I agreed we don't have to worry about his weight anymore ;)

He also has another ear infection and a pretty bad cold. So we are back on antibiotics for that and he'll have to get his shots next week sometime.

And today we demolished the bathroom in our new house. Literally. I got to help knock down a wall. It was awesome.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll find the time to blog about the end of our time in Florida and get the first post of "Our Home Makeover" together.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick (but not long enough) Update

We've had a lot going on, so here's a run down

The beach was awesome! Just the 12 days I needed. However, I was not thrilled to come back to 40 degree, rainy weather. The high on Saturday is 35. When we are supposed to be at the Illinois vs Ohio State game. Yeah, that'll be fun. I've got more pictures from the beach, but I'm too lazy to get up and find the camera, I'll have to get back to you on that.

Our Household
We are fighting sickness here. Max and I have been yucky since we've been home and have just the general crud as far as I can tell... We're just hoping Adam doesn't get it.

So much has been happening with him lately. Being sick, I rescheduled Max's 6 month checkup for tomorrow, so I'll hopefully have some stats on him tomorrow. But we've reached a new stage in our house. The "DON'T LOOK AWAY FOR ONE SECOND" stage.

While we were on vacation Max perfected his rolling and scootching skills and now cannot be trusted to stay anywhere. As I'm typing this, he's gotten himself all the way across the room and is now playing with the screen indicating he'd like to write my blog for me. He's super fun and follows toys and people around the room. He's also a self feeder, or increasingly so, but can't understand that if he rolls over his bottle doesn't work so well, and that I still have to spoon feed him his baby food, he thinks he should be able to do it himself.

I have kinda relished him not feeling well because he's been super cuddly today, and baby sneezes are the cutest things ever, he's a smiler even when he's sick. I love that about him.

We closed on the house yesterday and I've already had nightmares about the line that shows you the total amount you will have paid after 30 years. Gosh that's a lot of money. But nonetheless, we signed anyway and this afternoon work started on the bathroom. And I was too sick to go over and watch and start my own work removing wall paper. Maybe tomorrow.

I've realized I'm really behind in music. I've decided I like Taylor Swift and today she released her second album, I'm not sure where I was when she released her first. Yeah, I also realize she sings country. Oh well, she seems like a sweet girl.

We are having Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner.... It's a recipe from the Ladies Mug Run we had at church a few weeks ago and I've altered it a little. Here's how I made it...
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel for those of you in Texas)
2 cans enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced dried onion
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
shredded sharp cheddar
sour cream
tortilla chips

Put milk and cream of chicken soup in crock pot and mix until lumpies are all gone (important to do first) and then add the rest of the ingredients until the cheese put on high for 4 hours or medium for 6 stir in cheese until all melty and mixed in before serving. Serve over tortilla chips and with sour cream.

Other things.... I would love this with guacamole. The original recipe also called for one medium onion (instead of dried onion) and also a red pepper chopped and a jalepeno instead of the chilis (and instead just using plain diced tomatoes). But let's be honest, I was makng this so I didn't have to make anything major toinght for dinner and I didn't have an onion or jalepeno, and I wanted Adam to eat it (so no red pepper, but I didn't have one of those either). Thanks for the original recipe, Lynette, which I then completely butchered.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful Friday

I missed Thankful Thursday yesterday because we were at Universal Studios for Adam's birthday. We had a great time (without the kiddo) and acted like kiddos ourselves for the day.

So Thankful Friday it is, and this is what I'm thankful for today.

We leave tomorrow evening for home, where I saw it's only supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow. Yuck.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I could live here....

Talking with my mother in law, she asked if I thought I would ever get sick of being here. I replied with a not likely response and so did she. I thought, I could be a beach bum my entire life, but then where would I vacation?

We joined Ryan and Laura at their church on Sunday. It was interesting for me to be back in "big" corporate worship after adjusting to our smaller church. It was nice, but I missed listening to my husband preach God's Word. The highlight of my morning however was the woman sitting next to us, she said about Max, "He sure looks well fed." My mission is complete, I have a chubby baby. :)

The whole family is here together now, Adam arrived on his birthday on Monday and my father in law arrived yesterday. The eight of us (Dad, Mom, Adam, Cara, Ryan, Laura, Ella, and Max) all had lunch together and went to the Florida Aquarium for the afternoon. Max actually loved watching the fish and trying to get them through the glass and Ella seemed to love the turtles the most.
I don't know what's in store for today, it's a little overcast, but I'm enjoying the sound of the waves, the quiet while Max and Adam are still asleep, and that the elections are OVER. At least it's over.