Thursday, June 30, 2016

flying solo

I've done a lot to help with the house,
from countless trips to the hardware store 
to helping run wire for electric.

I even spearheaded the installation of a shower base,
and have had a hand in building more than one wall.

I've touched
-  and not just because I purchased ;-)  -
fitting and piece of Pex pipe in our house.

But all of that has been simply
carrying out someone else's instruction,
be it my dad's, Tyler's, or Brandon's.

Today, though!

armed with hands-on knowledge 
from last night's plumbing session with Tyler,
I went under the house
- by myself -
and worked out 
(through trial and error)
how to connect the drain from upstairs
to the kitchen sink's drain.
(which is also connected to the washer drain...)

If you've never done it,
I assure you,
it's much trickier than it sounds,
and I am pretty dang proud of myself!

Now though,
I have to do an ordinary mundane thing,
and pay the bills.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

snippets on a Sunday

I never did manage to work on the quilt this week.

my dad isn't coming down to work on the house 'til Tuesday,
so I *should* be able to spend several hours on it (the quilt) tomorrow.


It has been so hot;
productivity has been a little low.

Wednesday was just dreadful
since the humidity was really high, too.

We got very little done.

But - I can now add 
(eager, but really awful) door installer (assistant)
to my ever-growing resume ;-)


We tried some new coffee that we really liked,
GV donut shop blend.

The kids and I had run to Walmart before TKD last week
to pick up a few things they needed for camp.
As we were heading to the checkout I saw a box of 54 donut shop coffee pods
on clearance for $15,
so I snatched one up.

The next day was our date night,
and Tyler and I decided we really should buy some more;
that was such a  great price.
So we stopped in Walmart before picking up the kids,
and bought 4 more boxes.

After we got home,
we realized (again)
that I am an idiot!

It was the wrong brand!

Tyler made up a cup real quick, 
hoping that we'd like it as much as the one we thought we were buying.

It's gross.

I have 5 boxes of gross coffee sitting in the LEM.
(And we can't find the receipt for 4 of them.)


Tyler took a couple of days off last week,
and he and my dad got started on the plumbing.
Brandon helped them all day yesterday.
And guess what?
it's my turn to help this afternoon evening.

Very soon,
I'll be adding plumber to my already impressive list, too ;-)

(let's just hope I'm a better plumber than door-putter-inner...)


This is the last week of camp!

I'll be happy to have everyone home again.

It's Lily's turn this week - today  thru Wednesday.
Then Lexi goes Friday 
and comes home Saturday.


Our draftsman was completely opposed to the idea of putting a stove in the island,
but we ignored him
and our entire kitchen was designed around it.

But -
slide-ins cost a lot more than free-standing stoves with the same features.

A week and a half ago,
I was considering putting the stove along the wall after all,
so we could just buy a freestanding one.
Quite honestly, though
the idea made me more than a little sad.
really want the stove in the island,
so I can be a part of everything
in both the living room and dining room
while I cook.
(I think I've even mentioned it before on the blog -
one of my very favorite things
my family playing games at the table
while I fix food for them)

God provided me with a slide in stove
for the cost of a freestanding one!

Product Details

And it's listed as #4 in Consumer Reports top 10 slide-ins
to boot!


Dad and Tyler (and I.)
(I helped a little.
As a matter of fact, I am a framer!
How did you know?! ;-)

anyways - back to my story -
Dad and Tyler built the 'frame' for the kitchen island on Thursday.

this makes me so happy!

The cabinets will go in front of the wall (duh)
(the sink base will actually be about 2 inches left 
of where it's marked in tape on the floor)
and my stove will slide in the 'elbow' :-)
A 15-16 inch bar will set on the wall
and will (hopefully) one day house some really cool bar stools.

The fridge will be across from the sink
and there'll be a 12" deep x 4 ft wide cabinet along the wall
to the right of the bar and next to it,
8 ft of countertop
with upper and lower cabinets.

Next week is the last week that my dad will be coming down to help us;
he has his own stuff to tend to.

Progress will slow tremendously without him.

We have been so blessed to have him come these past 3 weeks!!
It's a gift we can never repay...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Miscellany

I have a list of plumbing supplies typed up
that I need to send out to a few companies
so I can compare prices.

I have been sitting here
growing increasingly frustrated
as my e-mail is loading
and loading
and loading....

I figured I may as well type something
instead of just watching that damn circle go round and round.

The electric work is almost finished!
We still have to do the 'big wires' for appliances,
and  power for the island and porches,
but other than that,
we're done.

Being an electrician is hot work.

It made me very grateful that summer is just now in full swing!
we'd have temps in the 90s in May, also.


Very little sewing happened.
I think I got in about 2 1/2 hours on that big block.

I really need to be able to get in 5 - 6 this week
so I can get the top completed by the end of June.

I seriously underbid my time on this one;
I need to get better about that...


All of the boys are at camp this week.

I'm not quite sure how to cook.


Tony and Kacy gave me a fitbit for Mother's Day.
I love it!
But it doesn't always paint an accurate picture of my energy expenditures.


We got a letter today from the local school district 
regarding intent-to-homeschool forms.

was spelled incorrectly.


Grocery shopping has been sporadic.

It's getting to be slim pickens
'round these parts.


It has been an hour since I began my e-mail attempts.
It finally loaded and I just sent out my lists.

I really hope Yeagers is going to come through for me;
they're 7 - 20 minutes closer than all of the other places...

(Speaking of Yeagers,
I was going over my statement this morning,
and they haven't always given me the price they'd quoted me,
so apparently I have to go over my bill 
with a fine toothed comb.)


This was a good call;
I'm not nearly as agitated as I was when I started.

Now - it's back to work for me.

Friday, June 3, 2016

sometimes simple shines

In keeping with tradition,
I wanted to make a little something to tuck her cash in
for the gal who graduated with Brandon.
But I really don't know her at all.

I decided that rather than invest several hours 
(and agonize over every decision)
on a bag that she may or may not like,
I should just whip up something quick and classy
and hope for the best.

I picked this AG print because the one thing I did know,
was that Rebecca likes aqua.

I sorta followed this tutorial,
and used interfacing instead of quilting it;
I thought the bold geometric pattern was perfect on its own.

I'm super pleased with how it turned out,
and think it may actually see more use 
than some of my more complicated other bags.

I remembered,
that sometimes simple is best.

I'm certainly not going to give up on making more personalized gifts
but these little zip bags really are a great money holder/greeting card replacement
and there will likely be many more in my future.

linking up with Amanda Jean :-)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday's this and that. and the other...

I am feeling rather exhausted today,
and I've wandered aimlessly through the house 
more than once.

There are so many options
of what I could (should) be doing,
I'm not sure which to choose.

I settled on writing up a quick post.


Let's see - we have a roof now!

I got kinda tickled when I saw an instruction manual for a harness
lying on the floor;
obviously one of the roofers felt like the occasion called for a new one.

It's a 12/12 pitch
so I'm not surprised.

Thankfully no one fell off...


My dad came down last week and parked his camper trailer.
He's been living in it Monday thru Thursday
and going home for the weekends. 

I can't even express how grateful we are for all of his help!

He and Brandon spent a few days adding some structural support
 that we deemed necessary,
but our framer did not.

He may have been right,
but we all feel a bit better about some key walls now,
and the peace of mind is well worth the couple hundred extra dollars
and a few days of work.

They installed the four windows
that needed to be installed before the roofers came.
(well, actually, they did two
 then Brandon needed to leave for TKD,
so I helped Dad with the other two)

Wednesday or Thursday
they started running wires.

There are far more decisions than you would expect 
(if you've never built a house before)
when it comes to electric.

Over the weekend,
Tyler and Brandon did some more framing.
This time, it was just changing things up a bit.

We added a poop closet
to the upstairs bathroom,
to open up the space a bit.

I'm so tickled with that decision
because it creates so much character,
and makes the house feel more 'like us'.
Plus, getting ready for bed
should go quicker. 

And - I get a sliding barn door :-)

Even better - it was Tyler's idea!

We decided to insulate the attic space above the garage
and turn that room into usable space.
It was just too lovely not to...

In order to get to it without going through a bedroom,
they took a few feet from said bedroom,
and turned it into a 'secret' hallway and a closet,
and the space can now be accessed through the playroom.

Like with the bathroom change,
it makes my heart happy to see the house becoming more and more

a little bird has also decided that our house is home.
There are 4 eggs; I need to check on them soon :-)

This week, 
Brandon and my dad continued with the electrical stuff.
They have the house almost completely wired
and most (maybe even all?) of the light/fan boxes installed.

Brandon will be at camp Sunday - Friday for the next three weeks,
so I'll be my dad's right hand gal.

He'd rather work with Brandon
(he told me - this is not speculation ;-)
he's stuck with me anyways.

Tyler and I have both spent hours
- hours -
light shopping.

Light shopping it tricky for me.
For the most part,
I believe that good lighting isn't really noticeable,
it's just there.

It helps (tremendously) 
to create the feel of the space,
but it doesn't draw attention to itself.
when noticed,
it should fit the room perfectly.

we are doing mostly recessed lighting
so that cuts down on the fixtures we have to choose.

Lowes had a fantastic price on the trim / light kits for the can lights
on Memorial day, 
plus they offer 
- every day - 
a 10% discount for military and former military
(did you know this?? I did not)
so we were able to get the lights for $9 each!

I am so thankful for blessings like that!!


I am also filled with gratitude
 when I think of the many hands that have had a part
in the building of our house.

Everyone has been top notch,
from the concrete guys to the roofers.

Our front door came yesterday!
(a million thanks to Nicholas for going out of his way to bring it here)

When we went door shopping the first time,
I just wanted a simple 15 lite door.
But I was informed that that
was a back door,
and my front door needed to be much more substantial.

I didn't agree at first
(I mean, really, how many people are even going to see it?
It's not as though we are in a neighborhood...)
but then I got to thinking about the open foyer,
and the fact that the inside of the wall that the door is on 
is about 17 or 18 ft tall 
and I realized.
My front door needs to be a bit more substantial....

If I have to go big,
what I really love is a door with sidelites and a transom,
but still nothing fancy,
just wood (or masonite - I don't care) and glass.
lots of glass.

What I ended up with,
is a door waay fancier than what I wanted,
but one that, 
I think,
(I hope!)
suits the house perfectly.

stain or paint?? hmmm


We still have a couple of weeks of math left.

I'm ready to be done,
but I'm really proud of the kids for not complaining.

Lily learned long division the other day.
There were tears about 15 minutes in,
but an hour or so later,
she was thinking it was actually kinda fun.


Tyler is on flex time again!

It's only for the summer,
but I'll take it.


A 17 yr old girl was backing out of our neighbor's driveway yesterday
and hit the back of my van.
(that's the short version ;-)

Dammit, Bobby!

I really wanted to give her the 'you need to look...' speech
but instead I hugged her while she cried,
and told her it was okay,
and no,
her mom was not going to kill her.
(But seeing that this is her second accident in her short driving career,
hopefully her mother will make her take driver's ed...)

my poor pretty car. 

Josiah's neck was instantly sore.

If it's still hurting on Monday, I'll take him to the doctor,
but I think he's fine.
(I hope he's fine...)


I've got it caught up now,
but the laundry situation in this house
was so dire a few weeks ago,
that I had to pull an entire outfit out of the dirty basket,
sprittz it with water,
and toss it in the dryer with a dryer sheet.

I'm having a really hard time
wearing all of my hats
these days.


Our 242 group takes a break for the summer.

We had our end-of-the-year cookout last night.

We're going to miss our people,
but it'll be nice to have those few extra hours in the week.


I've got a commission quilt that is due in early August.
(so - end of July. I never like to take it all the way to the deadline...)

When I agreed to make it,
I thought I'd be done with months to spare,
but now I think
I'll be cutting it pretty close.

I've finally finished piecing all of my firework blocks for it.
Not surprisingly,
they've taken far more time than I anticipated,
and I was so happy to finish the last one.

there are a couple more. I ran out of wall....
this is not the configuration - I've just taped them to the wall as I make 'em
(This is an awful room to take pictures in!)

I have one more large (non-firework/star) block 
and a few 6 inch  sawtooth stars 
to make for the top,
then I can begin putting everything together.

Hopefully I can make some progress this weekend,
since my clothes will be covered in sawdust
instead of thread
for the next 3 weeks.