31 August 2008

here it is.

The kitchen still isn't technically finished, there are a few very small odds and ends, but I've started putting things away and cooking, so it's been a great week!

walking into the kitchen before

walking into the kitchen now

west wall before

west wall now

eating area before

eating area now

stove before

stove now
north wall before

north wall now
sink and window before

sink and window now

29 August 2008


Okay, so it's not the finished kitchen, but it is the finished windows above the sink, which I am VERY excited about! This is the only old picture I could find of the windows like they used to be, but they looked a lot worse in real life. They also didn't close because of old weather stripping and bad hardware, so I took off all that and got some nice new hardware. They close! And they look great! Only 6 more things to cross off the list!

28 August 2008


the other day i made a list of small things to do on the kitchen. today i crossed off 4 things! i have 7 left! i'm hoping to finish this weekend. (but i really shouldn't be putting a time limit on this.) hopefully the next post you see will be the finished kitchen! (but i'm not making any promises.)

23 August 2008

jack the artist

at school last year jack's class worked a lot with paint. here's what i found saved in the pictures. the part that caught my attention was that he named it "Grofedey in Blue".

i won!

marta has been doing giveaways lately and i entered this one the other day. i was pretty sure i wouldn't win when i was the 117th comment. but then i got a comment from her on my blog (how exciting!) and i won! i'm really in love with those zigzags. i'm already thinking of the zigzag quilts i need to make.

ps - i don't know marta personally, just through her blog - she's overdue with a baby and still working/blogging/doing giveaways - not what i'd be doing at 9 mos. pregnant. (i'd be complaining.)

22 August 2008

race relations

sam (the future diplomat) has been telling me all about chinese people lately. he thinks anyone who has black hair and speaks another language is chinese. (more likely hispanic here, but oh well.)

so yesterday we're at the park and sam comes to tell me that "there's a chinese guy over there! i can tell because he's old." a few minutes later the "chinese" guy walks past us and sam says, "see, there's the japanese guy!" then he turns to the guy and says, "adios!" the guy turns around and smiles at sam.


i mentioned it before and some of you already know, but my little brother andy's engaged. here's the happy couple (andy and ashley). they're getting married in december. (sorry the picture's so small, i thought it would be a little bigger.)

21 August 2008


well - it's 1:20 and the boys get in at 3:15 and the kitchen's NOT FINISHED! i really wanted to have it done before they got back. it's almost done and i did get a lot done while they were gone, but still. maybe i should just stop having expectations, or at least lower mine significantly and then when something works out, i'll be pleasantly surprised. that said, i expect to get the kitchen done soon, but i'm not putting a time limit on it this time.

19 August 2008

hiking pics

these thistles were scattered along a trail in park city. we saw several of them with big fat bumble bees just resting in the top cushy part.

little luke wasn't crying, he just has teary eyes.

this huge tirantula was just walking on the same trail we were. i couldn't believe it and i wanted a good picture, but it was getting dark so i had to use a flash and i threw the cheerios in so you could see just how big he was.

i really liked the contrast of this bluish green with the red soil. (it was a little more contrasty in real life.)

i don't feel like it

this last week i've been working so hard trying to get the kitchen done. the 3 older kids are at my moms (they've been gone for 7 days today and they'll be back in 2 days). but right now i just don't feel like working on it so i've been checking out everyone's blogs and i thought i'd get a post or 2 in. i read 2 really motivating and inspirational posts today. one is from my aunt peggy who's on a mission for our church in peru and the other's from marta, who i don't know personally but love to read about on her blog. i'd love to do a post like either of these one day, but you'll have to settle for this one today.

without the kids it's been really weird. but good. i can't remember if i mentioned this in the hawaii post but being away from them has made me realize that i like being a mom and i'm glad that's what i spend my time doing. (that's a much easier thing to say when the kids are gone, but it's true.) i'm grateful for my kids and that i'm their mom.

this week we bought a baby backpack (how have we never owned one?) and we've gone hiking almost every day they've been gone, something we rarely do. i love being in the mountains here or really anywhere in nature. there's so many beautiful things to see and i always feel really grateful that we have such a beautiful earth. of course i took some pictures, but i just had my point and shoot so i didn't get as many as i would have liked (because it wouldn't focus on what i wanted it to.) i'll post the pics in a minute.

kitchen's almost done! this week we've painted the ceiling, had the lights in the ceiling put in, put in all the knobs and pulls, installed the stove, the microwave, and the fridge, moved 2 cabinets up so the fridge would actually fit, replaced the ropes in the windows and put the bottom sashes back in (the ones i took out at the very beginning of all of this.) all that's left to do is all the trim (there's quite a bit), build a new vent (i've never done this but i'm not too worried about it), finish painting the windows above the sink, and a little touch up paint and tile stuff. I'm so excited to get rid of all the mess that goes along with a kitchen remodel AND excited to eat some real food. i'm also excited for ice (i can hear it being made now) and the dishwasher, and so much cabinet space! hopefully we will be all moved in soon.

and then it's on to this project - which has been going on this whole summer too: the front and back yards. right now we have a new retaining wall on 2 sides of our back yard and a graded yard full of nice dirt. the front is also just dirt with some trenches dug for french drains (it was dead grass last week). we'll be putting in the french drains, the sprinklers, a fence, and some grass. it's going to be another big project and i'm SOOOOO excited to buy some beautiful plants! (now that we'll have sprinklers i'll be able to keep them alive.) here is the load of gravel being dumped.

16 August 2008

photos (finally!)

here are some of the photos that nicole hill took. there were over 350 of them, but i'll just post some of those. what do you think?

11 August 2008

things we crammed into one week

Wednesday: we waited and waited for zach and steff (and fam) to get here from azerbaijan. (also waited for mom, dad, katie, andy and HIS FIANCEE ASHLEY! - pictures later, because i don't have any yet.) z and s brought along some azeri gifts for everyone. mine was a silk scarf made by a company named "rosa parks". mom's was this head thing she's wearing. i don't remember the name.

Thursday: found Luke stuck in the toilet (don't worry, it had been flushed and he did get a bath after.) we played pretty much all day with the cousins and got to hang out with Grammie for a little while. we also took Laura (dan's sis) to dinner for her birthday.

Friday: had the family reunion talent show. talents included cutting a piece of paper with scissors (grant - 2), playing and singing blackbird (andy), and dance moves (sam). received e family reunion shirts designed by andy. played and played some more with cousins.

Saturday: got the dishwasher and sink hooked up! (i haven't washed a load yet because i haven't had time to buy soap!) took family pictures (what hell with 12 kids - actually 11 of the kids were pretty good - it was hell with charlie). went to dan's fam (craig and tammy's) for dinner and cousins there.

Sunday: had the triple cousin baptism. Julia, Jack, and Katie were born within 2 months of each other. also moved the fridge upstairs (thanks to some strong men) and it didn't fit! i have to move the cabinet, which I am REALLY annoyed about. (in the photo katie's in the middle with carl, julia's on the right with zach)

Monday: IKEA and and an Imax movie and little Luke's first birthday party! we got pizzas and a costco cake and played a rousing game of baseball at the park (where i slid into home plate, wearing a skirt, only to get tagged out by jordan).

Tuesday: that just wasn't enough so today we're going to Lagoon. everyone's leaving tomorrow morning, so we have to pack it all in!

and i am exhausted just by doing this post!

05 August 2008


i've finished it now, i think it took 3 days. i think i'll give it 3.75 stars (out of 5).

things i didn't like: it took about 200 pages to get into; it was too wordy and pulpy and not really well written; it was a little predictable (but maybe part of that is what i've heard from others who've read it.)

things i liked: after 200 pages it started getting pretty intense; i started having all these questions about vampires and they kept getting answered (kind of fun); it was a pretty fast read, even though i was bored at first; i liked the idea of controlling your urges - even though it may be VERY difficult, it's still possible.

in short: i liked it more than i thought i would, but it's not my favorite book.

and thanks for all the previous comments - it was fun to see what you guys thought too.

03 August 2008

i almost forgot

with so much going on, i forgot to tell you all that we went to see these guys

and let me tell you - they were much older than this. though i have to say that they were rocking pretty hard the whole time. i don't know how old guys get up there and play for a good 2 hours, but they did. sting and stewart copeland are 56 or something and andy summers (who made very good use of his whammy bar) is 66! you actually couldn't tell how old they looked until they started showing live feed closeups. maybe not such a great idea.

the songs they played were not just the songs on the best of cds, which i appreciated. i loved hole in my life, can't stand losing, and so lonely (which was my theme song in college until i met dan). they did 2 separate encores (which was nice - the last time i saw sting - in 1991 or so - he didn't do any encores).

elvis costello opened, and i don't know much of his stuff, but what i know i like. we only really heard 3 songs because of traffic getting there (the worst venue i've ever been to for traffic there and back) and one of them was allison. and sting came out to sing harmony - it was cool.

the tour's almost over, and they swear they'll never do it again, but if they do, you should go see them.

to read another (probably more entertaining) review of the phoenix show a year ago, go here

reading this

i don't know - not that great so far. i hope it doesn't turn out like Titanic (the movie). I had no interest in seeing it and then everyone loved it, so i gave it a shot. i was sorely disappointed. maybe i shouldn't read it, but i wanted to see what all the hype was about. i'll let you know . . .

cute jack

wow - it's so great to have an eight-year old! just now jack gave luke a bath (including washing his hair, which we told him not to do) then he got him dressed. it took him about 10 minutes to get a t-shirt and shorts on the big squirmy guy and he didn't complain or whine about it! the other day we were in the drive-thru (man am i getting sick of that place) and charlie had to go to the bathroom. i asked jack to take charlie inside and it was so great! no more taking every single person in with me if only one has to go. he's not quite ready for babysitting, or going too far away from me, but it's so nice to have some help from a kid! thanks jack!

the tile is all grouted!


AND part of the wall is painted!

01 August 2008


the tile is half-way grouted. and i'm so pleased with how it looks, i thought i'd show you!

still left to do in the kitchen are several more minor jobs:
redo the vent i took out (it's hot in there)
finish up the electrical stuff
hook up the sink and replace the drain pipe
paint walls and ceiling
windows (paint and install)
trim (lots of it)
install knobs and pulls on cabinet doors and drawers
install appliances
i hope that's it! (but i'm probaby forgetting something.)