Monday, May 30, 2011

Puppy Love

I’m a sucker for a baby! So when the puppy showed up at the church picnic yesterday, I fell in love! And I wasn’t the only one who did…

I admit that I have been thinking about a puppy lately. The boys are getting older and Betsy is getting older. I figure the best time to get a new puppy is while both Betsy and the boys are still around to help show it the ropes.

We decided our only male pet needed a good strong name: Maximus, after the greatest gladiator of all times! :o)

Contrary to our expectations, Betsy did pretty well with the new little brute! Tabitha on the other hand, did not!

puppy 01Come on Tabbi! How could you not love that face???

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Meeting Betsy

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He’s not sure about the steps…

Fortunately for Maximus, the boys fell in love with him right away! And the feeling is mutual. He already follows them all over the house…

puppy 08 puppy 05 puppy 06 puppy 07

Playing outside with the boys!

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puppy 10Puppies play hard and sleep hard!

We pulled up some pics of Betsy the day we brought her home 7 years ago… Look familiar???

04.15.04 - Betsy Up Close

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Snowball Effect

You know how in the winter you roll a snowball for the head of your snowman but you sometimes start too far away? Then by the time you get to your snowman, his head is now 4 feet in diameter and weighs 125 pounds and you know that there is NO WAY you are hefting that thing up there! You never intended for it to get that big and out of control, it just ended up that way.

Yeah, that’s what happened to my two-day painting project!

Before painting even started, (I had done the prep work) I realized I just couldn’t stand the thought of painting our ugly banister railing behind the couch! I just couldn’t! Plus I still had a bit of birthday money and a Lowe’s gift card from my sister burning a hole in my pocket. So while everyone else was gone for the day, Will and I went to do a bit of investigating at the home improvement store.

Now, keep in mind I didn’t go with the intention of buying anything. I was just looking and pricing…

I priced all the most economical supplies I could find and discovered that my ingenious plan was within my budget. And reason told me that it would be easiest to do while everything was already prepped for painting. The timing made perfect sense! So Will grabbed a lumber cart, we filled it up, had a gallon of black paint mixed and headed home…

While construction is very rewarding and satisfying, there is just something about destruction. It is not only empowering but it has just that hint of danger and thrill knowing that you are doing something that you probably really shouldn’t be doing. And it’s just plain fun!!!

First thing, get rid of the rail… Will and I made quick work of it with a hammer and cat claw! Will is very good at destruction!!!

wall 01Do you see why it had to go???

wall 02Going…

wall 03  


wall 04

still going…

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GONE! (that last post was really a bugger!)

Just about the time we finished cleaning up the mess from the now absent railing, the rest of the family came home…

They probably would have been less shocked if they had known what I was contemplating before they left. But, hey, I didn’t even know I was going to rip out the railing when they left!!!

My sweet, patient and supportive husband didn’t freak out or get angry at all! I love that guy!

I set right to work building my new stylish and attractive wall feature! I even got some of the boys to help…

wall 06wall 07wall 08   Building projects sure do take a whole lot of measuring and stuff… But it looked just like I wanted it to!

Again, my sweet and supportive and patient husband, gently pointed out to me that my wall had a couple of slight defects. For one, it was a bit of a safety hazard… Too much space between the bars! Secondly, it just wasn’t very stable.

This meant another trip to Lowe’s for more beams and more  screws…

wall 09But the finished project was MUCH better! My hubby is such a smart fella!!!

Now that I had this fantastic new wall, I just HAD to get rid of our completely unattractive chandelier! The problem was that I had already gone over budget with the extra wood and my favorite fixture was $160!!! I had to do something, even if it was temporary…

Again, my handy and talented husband came to my rescue. He took down the ugly chandelier, let me take it apart and then rewired it and put it back together…

wall 10I added a little bit of texture, a few coats of shiny black spray paint and viola… a whole new entryway light!

wall 12I think it looks quite snazzy with the new black “wall”…

wall 13I didn’t use the highest quality lumber money could buy. Remember, I was on a pretty tight budget. Thankfully, black is a very forgiving color and does a pretty slick job of covering up flaws from a distance. Maybe that’s why I like my little black dress so much???

wall 14I wish I could say that our entryway was all put back in order, but the snowball was at the top of a hill and it was starting to pick up speed…   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

White Walls

This story started 10 days ago with what was to be a simple two day painting project of the entryway. I should have known better. After all, there was no way I could prime and paint in only two days! Our entry has two paneled walls and a really high ceiling…

painting  02

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painting  04After 5 coats of primer, a really TALL ladder, breathing paint fumes, and a whole lot  more than two days of painting; it was finally done!

painting  05Thankfully Will was there to help with the stirring!

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It was really high up there!

It was the wall over the downstairs steps that was the hardest! There was just one little section that I just couldn’t reach…

painting  07painting  08But Andy and I came up with a solution involving duct tape, a yard stick and a paintbrush!

painting  09painting  10painting  11It did the trick!

After the entryway looked all clean and white, the downstairs hallway looked horrible and dingy. So I repainted it while everything was still out and I was still in the mood.

painting  12      As you can tell, it really needed paining… and the hallway was WORSE!

I also painted the doorway to the kitchen. Our dinner bell is pretty tough on the paint job! So to protect my fresh new paint, I laminated a fun piece of scrapbooking paper to put behind it.

painting  13painting  15I also put the coordinating sheet of paper in a frame for the other side.

painting  14   The painting was done but I wish the story ended here…

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meeting Elsie Francis

On Saturday, our new niece was born. She arrived 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule and weighed in at 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18 inches long. She was a tiny little peanut with a gorgeous head of dark hair!

Elsie 04 Elsie 06 Good morning Elsie!

We got to go down to Portland today to meet Elsie Francis and have lunch with Frank, Amy, Ada, Mom and Dad.

Snuggling with a tiny baby is a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Elsie 05  Elsie 02 Elsie 03

Ada thought playing with Zack’s iTouch was pretty fun, too! Wonder how those farm animals got into that thing???

Elsie 07Elsie 08   Welcome to the family Elsie!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cannon Beach

We took Spring Break a little bit later than usual this year, but we were waiting for a break in the rain and for Chris to be done teaching. And it was a good thing we did!

The weather was gorgeous! We played on the beach in t-shirts! Low tide was not at 6 am! :o) We made a trip to Tillamook! And our favorite room at Ecola Creek Lodge got some terrific updates and remodels!

I also got to play with my new Zune the guys got me for my birthday and Zack bought his new iTouch on the way there! (I think they actually surgically attached it to his hand without us knowing it…) LOL

It was the perfect relaxing family vacation!

beach trip 01  beach trip 02 Battle Tops!

beach trip 03

Carpet Ball

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And billiards at the gym!

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They built a bridge over the “creek”

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Heading to Haystack Rock

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Checking out the tidepools…

beach trip 11 beach trip 08 beach trip 09 beach trip 10

Great pics Will!

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Playing Frisbee was so much fun! Even though Zack was constantly trying to steal it from me… LOL

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Ecola State Park in the distance

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Eating lunch in the sun!

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Haystack Rock from Mo’s after supper

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We played a bit more Frisbee to work off our dinner

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The seagull enjoying the sunset with us…

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The sunset was pretty but didn’t last long

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beach trip 23Zack & Andy also practiced some kung fu (Sifu would be proud!)

beach trip 27 beach trip 24 beach trip 25 beach trip 26 

Then we played a couple of rounds of mini-golf before having ice cream…

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Zack is taking a picture of me taking his picture. I really like the new hat Andy bought at the hat shop!

beach trip 29

At the Tillamook Cheese Factory!

beach trip 32 beach trip 30 beach trip 31

Making cheese…

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Eating cheese!

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 But you can’t go to Tillamook without getting ice cream!

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Or, apparently, playing with the new iTouch. ;o)

We had a super nice trip and it was really hard to come back to real life again… But I suppose that is why we still appreciate vacations!