Monday, February 25, 2019

4 Projects Left

We have settled into somewhat of a routine....

We have reestablished our weekly chore system.  One of my favorites is dinner.  Each of the onions creates a menu for an entire week. They make the grocery shopping list, and do shopping.  Then they are involved with cooking dinner every night for that week.  I help them as little or as much as they want me to.  I love this time with my children, and they are learning valuable life skills.

Eric went to New York on business.  He was in down town Manhattan.  I have always wanted to visit New York City.  Maybe I'll go with him.....

Although... I do not have a desire to go ice skating.

Sometimes life is lazy....

Naomi found this "game."  
There are 3 houses and 3 utilities.The object of the game is to draw lines from each utility to each house WITHOUT crossing any lines.....
She was so convincing!
Almost everyone tried it and ended in frustration mixed with laughter.
It's a trick.  It is IMPOSSIBLE!    

We were given some "Larabars" from our dear church friends.

Eric was in charge of the treat for Family Home Evening. 
He decided to take us all to his favorite ice cream place... 40 MINUTES EACH WAY.
I avoid ice cream because of it's negative effects on my body and Eric eats rather quickly.  
Although they had a flavor I had never tried and absolutely loved - black licorice!  Scott shared 4 bites.
This is what it looks like as we pass the time waiting for our onions to eat ice cream!


We went to a Thai place that had great reviews.
My curry was the best I have had.  
Eric's Cashew Chicken was the worst he had ever had. Bummer

We discussed replenishing our food storage.  We calculated what we might consume daily for a year and then converted it to 4 and 5 gallon buckets.  
2 cups = 1 lb rice
We consume 3 cups of rice when we cook it. 3 cups = 1.5 lbs
On average, we eat rice about 3 times each week
3 x 52 = 156 days per year
1.5 lbs x  156 days = 234 lbs
4 gallon buckets hold 25 lbs of rice
234 /25 = 9.36 buckets
Always round up - 10 buckets of rice!
What if we ate it every day?
We figured out many of the foods we eat this way - legumes, oats, sugar, flour, etc

We have 4 more projects on the list of home improvements:
                                       1. Move the fireplace to the front of the house
                                       2. FLOORING
                                       3. Shelving
                                       4. Trim
Trim cleans everything up and completes any room.  I want a finished house!
We headed to various stores.  
We found a wide variety of shelving options and faucets at Lowes.  
We found a wide variety of flooring at Home Depot.
so romantic..... right?

We purchased a white metal shelving unit and a finished board to serve as Amelia's desk.
We bought one box of flooring (to be certain that I like it), some paint, a sledge hammer, and a star shaped wedge.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Swimming in February!

We had a few days of warmer weather...  One day is got up to 79 degrees!

It was so nice that Eric worked out on the front porch.

Scott and I played catch.

Elanor, Scott, and Naomi rode their bikes to go wading in the spring fed creek.

Eric and I took a walk and watched them play.

Piglet came along too.

Scott found a snake.

We drove with the windows down!
Seth being a goof ball.

When Grandma and Aunt Donna were here, it was not as warm, but it was warm enough to fell a tree and collect some wood.

Eric is new at felling trees and this was a pretty big tree (40+).
The chainsaw got stuck under the weight of the tree.
There was cracking, swaying, and shifting, but it wouldn't fall.

Scott was our runner.
First he went for the sledge hammer.
Then for the crow bar.
Then for the car jack (left by the previous owners), but to our dismay it didn't work.
Finally, Scott brought the old chainsaw.  

Push, Persevere, Persist, 

The tree went the exact opposite of where we intended for it to fall.  However, we are grateful that the chainsaw did not snap in half AND that we have wood for our to burn.

Aunt Donna let us use her truck.  

After 3 truck loads, we still have a huge part of the trunk left.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Living in the STICKS

I have always wanted to live in a green country setting.  Some people call it the middle of nowhere.  Some call it the boonies, or "boon dawgies."  Here it's called the sticks.

Living in the sticks is beautiful, serene, and even magical.  

Ice storms are spectacular.

The chickens want in when it gets cold.

Despite the cold, they continue to lay eggs.

Naomi has asked for a doorway bar to play on..... 

Naomi is generous and shares.

Family game fun.

Enjoying our California lemons

Scott found that the bucket of water was frozen.  

Thankfully we have a heated bucket in addition to our regular buckets.

We celebrated my birthday!  I loved ALL of my gifts.

We made toothpaste!

Grandma and Nana (aunt Donna) came to visit! 
 It was wonderful to have them in our home!

Friday, February 1, 2019

My best friend is a machine

I have posted some pretty amazing (at least I have been amazed) before and after pictures of things I have cleaned.  But I have to admit that recently, on more than one occasion, I have doubted whether I could really get things clean, even with my steamer.

Then I thought about my family and friends, and the people who have profoundly affected my life.
Have I doubted them?  Their sincerity?  Questioned why they care for me?  What they see in me?
I am just beginning to understand that I have innate worth: not because of what I have accomplished, not because of what I can offer, but because of who I am.  This has been a significant shift in my life.

I have listened to lectures and participated in discussions about the difference between believing in Christ (in theory) and believing Christ (in MY life).
It is easy to see things in theory and to hope.....  But it is a whole different experience to live it.
I am beginning to trust that I am good enough, just the way I am.  That I don't have to prove myself.  That I don't need to DO anything to make people love me. That I can, and have the capacity to, love without expectation of reciprocation.

I have been close to my steamer for many months.  I used it so much one day - it was hot for such a prolonged time that some of it's components melted.  I didn't pay attention and take care of it.  Thankfully, I was able to get the parts and Eric fixed it.

Sometimes we wear out the people closest to us and we need to fix things.  Sometimes, there is so much damage, that there is no possibility of fixing.  And that can hurt.  But there is always the opportunity to learn.

As I have been cleaning I have learned to trust that with effort, intention, and perseverance, I can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

This is my steamer machine!
The buttons don't match and that is difficult for me (ha ha), but I have overcome the need for sameness and consistency through my gratitude for a once again functioning machine.

machine surgery

What to do with the FLOOR?

The other cleaning methods may work just fine, but it's more effort and a bigger mess. 
I'll stick with my steamer.

THE PANTRY (2 days to clean it)

Pantry floor BEFORE

Pantry floor AFTER

THE LIVING ROOM (almost 2 weeks to clean it)

3 Levels of Steam

Nail Polish 

Oil and Staining

The next oil spot

Before and after is just plain satisfying

THE LAUNDRY ROOM (3 days to clean it)

I started cleaning because the dog had an accident.  I couldn't stop....
Notice the light spots?

I spent THREE DAYS cleaning the Laundry room floor.
Inch by itty bitty inch by itty bitty inch, towel by towel (40+).

"It's like when you go camping for a week and think you got a little color from the sun.  
And then you take a shower and realize - nope, it was just DIRT!"

FUTURE LIBRARY (1 full day to clean)

Left side - dirty.  Right side - clean.

FRONT ROOM  (3 days to clean)
Old dining room area - Future spot for the wood burning stove and a seating area.



I steamed a line to set a goal to get to.

We moved our living room furniture into the front room in an attempt to decide what we want to do with this space AND because we were expecting visitors.
Notice the line and difference in coloration in front of the rug?  Clean!

WINDOWS (5 minutes per window)

We have decided that we will install flooring.  We are still debating different solutions.  
In the mean time I want a clean floor to live on.  I have the entry, the kitchen-dining area, and the utility room left.  And then our floors will be completed.

Happy Steaming!