Hubby is always on a quest for the “perfect” home office. It’s always a very elusive goal, but for the first time in years, we seem to be on the right track in getting him what he wants.
We live in a split-level home; you enter on the landing between the stairs and the top floor is the main living areas (living room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, & 2 bathrooms). The bottom floor is half underground (the windows, while normal height inside are ground level outside) and has the kids’ playroom, one bedroom, a half bathroom, and laundry facilities.
Hubby took the downstairs bedroom for his office.
When we moved in, it was an awful shade of blue – too light to be “blue” but too dark to be “white” – and had blue trim just a few shades darker than the walls. The light fixture covering was a huge yellow sun, and when you turned on the light, the yellow of the sun combined with the blue of the walls made the room appear green.
Needless to say, the first thing hubby did when he decided to make the room his home office was to take down the sun. The next thing he did was paint. He chose charcoal gray for the walls and crisp white for the trim. That alone made the room about a million times better.
His next task was furnishing it.
Our church was getting rid of this desk. Hubby loved it, so he brought it home.
It was quite nice as-is, but the color didn’t really go with his new gray-and-white office. Our neighbor is a wonderful lady, and she offered to help paint the table. She taught us a technique called “chalk paint” (not chalkboard paint). Basically, you mix up some Plaster of Paris with water and add it to any latex paint to make it a bit thicker, then apply as normal.
Here’s the desk after the first coat:
Tip: If you’re painting something and you need to get all the way to floor-level, lift the item to be painted up on something. In our case, we were painting the desk legs, so we propped each one up on an old spray-paint can lid.
It took a total of 3 coats to get the brown completely covered. Then our neighbor took some sandpaper and distressed the edges of the table.
We polished it up with a bit of wax, and it was like a whole new desk!
It looks so amazing in the room now!
Some friends of ours have a baby just one week older than Small Fry, and his birthday party was on Saturday. I didn’t think I’d be able to go to the party because hubby had to sell books that day, but Friday night, our neighbor (who was also invited – these friends are also the previous tenants of our house, so they were friends with the neighbor too) said she’d drive us over. I didn’t think through until Saturday morning that this meant we should bring a gift. So I spent the bulk of Saturday making a quilt.
Thank goodness for fabric scraps! The party was at 5:30 and I finished the quilt around 4:00. everyone was super impressed that I’d made it in one day. Which wasn’t why I did it, but still nice all the same :).
I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.
As I mentioned on Wednesday, today is my hubby’s birthday. The two days of us being the same age are over, and he’s a year ahead of me again. In honor of his birthday, I thought I’d share one of his comics.
As Mom to three boys, I often feel this way! Both in the “quit shooting your brother” way and the “I don’t know anything” (about the way the play) way. Lol!
If you’re interested in reading more comics, click here to read some of the older ones online. You can also buy the book securely online here. Or the other book from Amazon. I’m not sure why he has one book on Amazon and not the other. *shrug*
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day! Have a great weekend.
Over the next 9 days, three of the five members of my family will celebrate birthdays. Mine is today, Hubby’s is Friday, and Small Fry’s is next Friday. For mine, I thought I’d share one thing for each year of my life (32!) that you may not be able to easily deduce from the blog.
1. I’m short. Extremely short. Like my driver’s license says 5’0″ but if I’m not wearing shoes, that’s not completely accurate.
2. I got married at 19. We dated in high school, but went to different schools. I think that still qualifies as high school sweethearts, right?
3. For the first 3 years of marriage, I worked as a cashier in a grocery store.
4. I quit that job 3 weeks before Seahawk was born in October 2003 and have playing the role of Mommy ever since.
5. Even though I know how to crochet (moderately well), I don’t have a clue how to knit.
6. I’m a member of a Nazarene church where my father-in-law is the senior pastor.
7. My mother-in-law passed away 5 1/2 years ago.
8. I’m not a very good housekeeper, but I’m much better than I was even 3 years ago.
9. I like creating things (stories, novels, quilts, things made from yarn, etc), but I don’t consider myself creative. I almost always have to get ideas from somewhere else and just execute them myself.
10. I never thought I wanted more than 2 kids, but now that I have 3, I think 4 or even 5 would be awesome!
11. I was born exactly 5 weeks before my mom’s 21st birthday.
12. I have one brother and one half brother, both younger (though much taller!) than me.
13. Both of them have 2 kids. My full brother has 2 sons and my half brother has a daughter and a son.
14. My parents divorced when I was 5. My mom married my stepdad, to whom she’s still married, shortly after.
15. My mom and stepdad have no kids together.
16. On hubby’s side, we have the only boys. His sister has 2 girls and his stepbrother has 2 girls.
17. I only wear skirts and dresses, no pants. (I mentioned this once before, but cut me some slack – I’m barely halfway through this list and it’s getting hard!)
18. With each of our kids, we tried to pick an original name. We failed epically with Seahawk. But it’s not our fault. Between when we picked the name (even before I was pregnant) and when he was born, it surged in popularity.
19. With the older two, they got family names for their middle names (Seahawk was named for his father & grandfather and Munchkin for my grandfather). With Small Fry, we just picked a middle name we liked that went with his first name.
20. Hubby picked Seahawk’s and Small Fry’s names; I picked Munchkin’s. It wasn’t planned, and I love all their names. That’s just the way it ended up going down.
21. Seahawk was my only natural (though medicated) birth. Munchkin was an emergency c-section (maybe I’ll share that story when his birthday comes around in September) and Small Fry was a scheduled c-section because I’d already had one. I DO NOT recommend repeat caesarean sections. The second one was MUCH harder to recover from than the first.
22. My favorite beverage is iced tea. Unsweetened with no lemon. The plainest one available is all I’ll drink.
23. My favorite store to shop in is JoAnn.
24. I don’t hate grocery shopping. For a lot of my adult life it was the only shopping we could afford, so I learned to like it.
25. I’ve recently learned to love biking again. It’s been really fun getting back into that habit. I can’t wait until we get Munchkin’s add on bike and a trailer for Small Fry so we can go for family rides.
26. I made Small Fry’s cloth diapers. But I didn’t design them (see #9).
27. We don’t have a dryer. This is a lot less bad in the summer than in the winter.
28. One of our favorite family activities is swimming.
29. Another one is bowling.
30. I play Words with Friends. If you do, too, hit me up. My user name is wmr1601.
31. I’ve used that user name for everything online for ages (until this blog, that is). It’s my initials followed by the day I got married (Jan. 6, 2001: 1/6/01).
32. I like reading. Currently I’m reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series on my Kindle. Hubby tried for a couple of years to convince me to read it, and I finally am.
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little better :).
We have a small planter near our front porch, and I’ve always been a bigger fan of veggie gardens over flower gardens. Yes, flowers are beautiful, but they’re the same amount of work without the “payoff” of fresh produce. I might come around next year and do flowers in the planter instead, but I don’t know. We’ll have to see.
So, because I favor veggies, I put carrots in the planter. my thinking was that it’s deep enough to get decent sized carrots, and carrots don’t flower like other veggies (since they’re a root vegetable), so they wouldn’t attract bees to the door – yet another reason to put something besides flowers there. I started the carrots from seeds a couple months ago, and it’s been exciting to watch the tops get bigger and bigger.
Because of their root nature, we’ve all been horribly curious how the carrots have been doing. Hubs even pulled a couple up a month or so ago – they were very spindly and not at all carrot-like, so he carefully replanted them. I decided to take a chance a couple days ago, and guess what?!
A real carrot!! A small one, but a true carrot nonetheless. Our tomato plants have really started thriving recently as well. And we’ve already used our own lettuce on sandwiches and burgers. It’s very exciting :).
So maybe, just maybe, we’ll end up with a good harvest of fresh veggies this summer after all.
P.S. Did you notice my new header? 🙂
I’ve recently been serving only homemade bread instead of store-bought, and since it wasn’t hot yesterday, I made it bread baking day. I use this recipe from “the mrs” – I tried a few and this one is by far our favorite. I make a few modifications, though. Her recipe calls for honey, and since babies can’t have honey for their first year, I substitute agave nectar so Small Fry can enjoy it. I only own 2 loaf pans, so I cut the recipe in half. And I don’t have a stand mixer, so I do it all by hand. Oh, and she grinds her own flour; I don’t have the ability to do that, so I use half all purpose (I buy it in 25 pound bags) and half whole wheat. Considering all my modifications, I’m sure hers is much better! lol. But it’s still amazing bread.
Anyway, so the picture. When it was time for the kneading process, Munchkin wanted to help. So of course I let him :).
Happy First Day of Summer!
I haven’t bought a purse in years. Whenever I feel like I want a new one, I just make one. I’ve tried several patterns over the years, but always come back to the Lindie bag. It was the first one I ever made, and to this day is the one best suited for me.
It’s small enough that my family doesn’t feel the need to put all of their stuff in it but big enough to hold my stuff along with a single diaper for short trips out when I don’t need the full-on diaper bag I made.
So if you have even a little sewing experience (the tutorial is very well-photographed and clearly explained) and need a new purse, I highly recommend the Lindie!
I’ve never blogged about Munchkin’s heavy medical issues from when he was younger – they all took place long before I started this venture – so with what I have to share today, the timing is right now.
About two weeks before he turned 3, he and Seahawk (who was 5 at the time) were playing; I was in the other room sewing. I suddenly heard a thump, followed by screaming. Seahawk came rushing into my room telling me that Munchkin had fallen off the top bunk (we’ve since gotten rid of the bunk beds – even now that they’re older, I don’t trust the safety of stacked beds). As I was hurrying down the hall to the kids’ room, I asked Seahawk if Munchkin was bleeding. He replied, “I don’t think so.” To this day I don’t know if he was lying to avoid punishment (it came out later that he was at fault in the fall – they were playing pirates, Munchkin was at the top of the ladder, Seahawk said “reach for the sky!”, and Munchkin did) or if he’d come to get me before the bleeding started. in any event, by the time I got there ten seconds later, his nose was hugely swollen and his face very bloody. Without further hesitation, I loaded the kids into the car and drove to the ER. Hubs was at a book signing that day; thankfully I’d driven him, so I had the car.
At the hospital, they decided to do a CT scan to make sure he hadn’t done any brain damage in the fall. The scan was inconclusive. There was a shadow there that they couldn’t identify. No one was sure whether it was bleeding on the brain or something less sinister. To be safe, they took us by ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for an MRI. I called my mom to come get Seahawk so I could focus on Munchkin. I also put in a call to my in-laws so they could pick hubby up and bring him to the hospital. As we were loading into the ambulance, the local hospital gifted Munchkin with a quilt.
Two MRIs, an angiogram, and four days later, Munchkin was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. basically, he had a clump of “extra” blood vessels in his brain. Eventually, they would have caused him to stroke.
There was a question with the insurance we had to resolve before we could schedule the corrective surgery. The only doctor in the state who was qualified to perform the surgery (he actually invented the procedure!) wasn’t covered under our plan. Dr. Barnwell and his staff took care of talking to the insurance company for us to explain the severity of the situation. The surgery, with the right doctor, was approved. The initial fall had taken place September 5, 2009. His surgery was October 21, 2009.
This is his “after” MRI. I wish I could’ve found the “before” one at the time of this post; the difference is astounding. In the before shot, those white coils on the left side of the image (which is actually the right side of his brain) were a black muddle of misdirected blood.
How does this relate to “quilts for kids”? That quilt we received as we were getting in the ambulance really stuck me, even though it hasn’t really stuck with Munchkin. Because of someone’s generosity, he received a lovely gift. I want to pay it forward, so to speak. I was given a bunch of quilting materials by a friend of my mom’s a few weeks ago, so I’ve used them to put together these 5 quilts. There’s enough for one or two more. When I get them all done, I’ll take them to the hospital for them to pass out as they deem necessary.
I won’t ever see the kids who receive them, and I’m okay with that. I just want the quilts to be a blessing for them as the one we got was for Munchkin.