Friday, September 23, 2011

100th Post!

This is the hundredth post on my blog, which I started on May 2, 2008.  It's been a fun few years, with lots of variety in my posts.  Today's post is just a link to my new blog, which I started for my preschool.  I blogged about the first week, which was a blast!  So go ahead and check it out if you'd like to.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

That was scary!

I just thought I lost a kid. A mom's worst nightmare. I had gone to bed early cuz I've been kind of sick. M comes in and tells me he's been outside for a while and it's not fair that W once got to sleep outside. I threaten to call his dad if he doesn't get in his bed. He leaves and I go to sleep. A while later C wakes up crying (she's been sick too). I take care of her, then go to check on M and he's not in his room. I check his closet, under his bed, under the pile of blankets on the floor. No kid. I look in my room, downstairs, outside. No M anywhere. I start to panic, and then check all the places I've already checked, this time adding the garage, but to no avail. Finally, I look in W and C room (I had just been in there comforting Camille, you know). I see a leg sticking out from behind the toy box. It is M's leg! What a relief!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Landscaping our Yard: The Parkstrip

When we moved into our house, the landscape was less than desirable.  That's the thing about building a house; you have to build the yard, too.  It's work that I love doing, but it is expensive!  So we are just doing it a piece at a time.  We recently finished our parkstrip, which was a huge undertaking.
This is what it looked like when we started back in July of last year:
And today, it looks like this:

It took a lot of work and a lot of money, but I think it turned out great.  I started writing in detail about every single step along the way, but soon realized that would take too long and be too boring, so here are some photos and the condensed version of the transformation.
There is a 3 ft diameter drainage pipe that runs along our park strip, about a foot below ground.  This made planting large trees impossible, so we opted for smaller trees than our restrictive covenants called for. 
So sue us.

The strip was full of clay and rocks, which we deemed unsuitable for trees and plants to grow in, so we dug out the areas that we wanted to plant things in and filled them in with good soil.  This took A LOT of hard work!
Next we had to define our squares in which our trees would be planted.  We did this with treated wood in hopes that it would last quite a while.
We also put down weed barrier at this time (but not where our trees were to be planted, just in the spaces between where we would put down river rock).
It started to take shape, which was exciting.
We used this board as a guide for leveling out dirt and river rock, but our kids and thier cousins found better use for it!

Then we put down river rock, planted our trees, put down more weed barrier around the trees, and mulched around the trees.  Lastly, we went around the nieghborhood looking for large stones to use as accents around the base of the trees.  We will also plant some onamental grasses as a final touch.
It was a lot of work, but I think it was well worth it. Our little trees are blossoming now, and they are just lovely.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Color me Yellow

While my husband and I were building our house, we liked to go for walks in new subdivisions that, like ours, were still under construction. We liked to walk through the houses and look at the various floor plans as they were being built. Most of them either didn't have doors yet, or the doors were left unlocked to allow the workers to come in and out freely, so it was easy enough to let ourselves in and have a look around. It kind of makes me wonder how many people walked through our house while it was still under construction. Usually the homeowners started locking up as construction neared completion, so we rarely got to tour a house that had floors and painted walls. But one day, we happened upon one house that was that far along, and still left open, so we let ourselves in.
What we saw took our breath away. Dark wood floors with the most perfect yellow walls. It was a stunning combination. Both soothing and cheerful at the same time. We both fell in love with the color scheme, and decided it was what we wanted in our house.
Fast forward a few months, past the hours of hanging, taping, and mudding sheetrock (all while caring for a new baby), and it was finally our turn to paint our walls. Now came the problem, exactly what color of yellow was that? As I thumbed through the paint color fan, I was overwhelmed with all the different choices of yellow available; egg yolk, lemon burst, banana split. Was I looking at a color fan or a menu? How would we ever find the same hue of yellow we had fallen in love with so many months before?
The house that we had toured back then was now inhabited. Looking back, we probably should have just rang their doorbell and asked them what color of paint they had used, but we weren't gutsy enough to do that. We could figure it out on our own. One thing I did know: I didn't want my yellow to end up looking orange. So I veered as far away from the orange side of the yellows as I could, and that was where I made my fatal mistake. What I didn't realize was that the farther I got from orange, the closer I got to green. In the end I chose a color by the name of "perfect fit". With a name like that, how could I go wrong?
I've been living with my "perfect fit" for a year and a half now, and I'm telling you, it is anything but perfect. Okay, I admit, it has it's moments when it is nearly perfect. Like when the red light of the sunset is pouring in from the West, the wall directly across from my West facing window is transformed into a warm, beautiful yellow, and I am taken back to that day we took ourselves on the tour and fell in love. But those moments are rare. Most of the time, my yellow that I agonized over for months has a sickly, almost fluorescent green undertone to it. Yuck. Definitely NOT the color we fell in love with in that distant memory.
Last week, I had had enough of its green glow. I just couldn't stand it anymore. We still have two buckets, five gallons each, of the radioactive stuff down in the crawl space. You know, just in case we decide our bedrooms should glow green too. My husband had mentioned that maybe the experts at Kwal could do something to change it enough to be bearable, saving us a couple hundred bucks when we decided to repaint. So I took my five gallon bucket in to the Kwal paint store and asked what could be done. The options the gentleman gave me didn't seem great. He couldn't make it lighter, which is what I thought I wanted. But he could make it warmer, which is what I knew I wanted.
I found myself once again going through the color fan, overwhelmed by all the different choices. I decided I needed something lighter and warmer, so at the paint experts advice, I took home a sample quart of "light honey," a yellow he claimed was very populat. It was lighter and warmer than what we had, and I couldn't wait to get it on my wall (I chose the wall that divides my front room from my kitchen, because it's small and has no cabinets, windows, or doors that I would have to mask).

Turns out it was too much lighter. It had the warmth that I desired, but was so light, it almost looked sickly. You know, how your kid looks pale when he's about to puke? I didn't want my walls looking like they were about to puke, so the next day I took another trip to the Kwal paint store. I decided to just go ahead and give the altering of our existing paint a try. What did I have to lose? They would change the color for no charge, and I figured it couldn't get much worse than it already was. I thumbed through the fan deck one more time, asking the man which colors he could turn my non-perfect fit into. The choices were sparse. It came down to egg yolk or big deal. I'd rather have my walls be a big deal than the yolk of an egg, so big deal it was. I also picked up a bucket of primer. I didn't use it the first time, and my patches from last year's Christmas stocking nails showed through. I didn't want that happening again.
So I spent the afternoon priming the wall. And I did it while my three kids plus a neighbor kid were running around the house. We only had a couple of minor incidents, and nobody got hurt. Phew. This is also when I decided to start documenting with photos.
Here is the chosen wall, all primed and ready for its third try at being yellow. Note our original yellow on the adjacent wall. Doesn't look too bad in this photo, but trust me, it's bad. Now that I had it primed, I had to wait for the primer to dry! And wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. My husband and I decided to take the kids to get haircuts and then go out to dinner to pass the time. By the time we got home, I was exhausted, but I needed to see that color up on my wall. Would it be lovely, too much, not enough, hideous? Got the kids settled, and pulled out the roller.
My first thought: This doesn't look nearly as orange as it did at the store. My second thought: Man, is it bright! I rolled and rolled and rolled some more while the rest of the family slept. When I finished, I stood back to have a look, but my eyes were tired, and it was dark out, so I knew I had to wait until morning to really know if I would like it or not.

Morning dawned, and I went down to really look at it. It was definitely an improvement, but I still couldn't be sure until I got rid of all that blue tape and white paper, and got my living room back in order. I had to see the wall like it was going to be every day; with the piano, adorned with picture frames and decor, pushed against it. After getting my boy off to school and thoroughly enjoying my zumba class, I finally got around to it.

The verdict? I think it's a keeper! It really is a lovely yellow. Warm, but not orange. Able to hold its own, but not too bright. I do think it would be too much though, if I did all the walls this color. It would be TOO big of a big deal. So now I need to find the perfect brown to go next to my big deal yellow, and then decide which walls want which color. I'm pretty sure the wall on the North, the one that goes up to the vaulted ceiling will be brown, but not sure if some other walls need it, too. I'm just going to take it one wall at a time. I think in the end it will all be worth it. For now, I have one wall that I love, but am still surrounded on all other sides by that radioactive stuff. All in good time, all in good time.

Here you can see the difference between our original perfect fit (on the left) and the big deal (on the right), though it doesn't do the awfulness of perfect fit justice. Also note my brown and red theme I've got going with the decor. I like it.

Just found this picture my boy took of me folding laundry. That's "light honey" in the background. It only stuck around for a day. Too pale. It couldn't hold it's own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our New Baby

It's been way too long since I've posted on the old blog. I love going back and reading my old posts, and it makes me kind of sad that I haven't been keeping up. Life is so full of amazing little adventures, special moments, learning experiences, and fun times. I'm going to try to do better at recording them. That includes here on the blog, and also in my personal journal.

One of our most recent adventures we've enbarked on includes a new baby! We are so excited about this new addition to our family:

Isn't she a beauty?! She's a 1952 Cessna 170 taildragger. Andy went down to St. George last weekend with my dad to pick her up. As you can see, she needs some work before she will be air worthy. Most importantly, she needs wings! They took it to a hanger in Cedar City, where my dad will be working hard until she's ready to fly. Andy plans on going down every weekend to help get her up and running. We hope to have her flying by April.

Last weekend, while Andy was gone, I was having a hard time with the kids, mostly because we were all sick (still are), and I was alone with them. I jokingly told Andy that next weekend, he should stay home with the kids, while I go work on the airplane. To my surprise, he agreed! So if I am well enough, I'm heading down South this Friday to do some work on our new baby. I'm so excited to meet her!