Thursday, August 22, 2013

(g)name this gnome.

since yardsale season is starting to wind down, my yardsailing buddy Nadine and I decided that we needed to find an alternate activity for girl time, because the thought of not having our weekly-ish hangouts was kind of depressing... so we're thinking crafts might be just the thing to fill the impending yardsailing void.

we held our inaugural craft-time over the weekend: while the boys were being sporty and watching weird kung-fu movies, we were painting a couple tiny garden gnomes.

(their faces and hands came pre-painted)

i think mine looks kind of like a Frans, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

lodger what?

it has come to my attention that i kind of forgot to mention something in my catching up post on Friday that is actually a pretty big thing that has happened in our life in the past few months: we have a lodger at our house.

note: this is not our lodger.
this is a tiny turkey we found when moving a chair in the basement.

in a nutshell - there is a girl in our community group, (let's call her A) whose long-distance boyfriend (henceforth known as B, aka the lodger) was able to find a teaching job in our area which enabled him to move across the country from Seattle to be closer to her. so he had a job, and a moving date, but was striking out on finding an affordable place to rent once he got here.

and that's where we came in.

in a grand gesture of an attempt to embody Christ's servant heart, we mentioned to A and B that we might probably possibly be able to rearrange the space in our finished half of the basement to relatively reasonably accommodate a short-term lodger if a more suitable situation was not able to be found. apparently this offer, caveat-filled as it was, was too good to pass up because it wasn't long before we were rearranging the basement to clear out the office and turn it into a bedroom.

click to embiggen and see if you can spot the tiny turkey in the chaos!

we made ourselves a mini-to-do list for this project that covered some of the most important items that needed to be done in order to make this space inhabitable:

- get a new dehumidifier. (our old one was on the fritz)
- relocate the office.
- relocate the futon. (and maybe actually get a futon mattress)
- rearrange the basement furniture.
- relocate the contents of the office closet.
- clean out the window well. (it was buggy and gross!)
- install baseboards in the office to make it feel more room-like.

of course, this threw the rest of the basement into a state of semi-controlled chaos for a while, and even spilled into the upstairs guest room with the relocation of the futon and a major overhaul of the organization of all three closets in that room.

there's a tiny turkey in here, too!

one of the biggest hurdles we encountered as we tackled the to-do list was relocating the office and all of the office related flotsam and the modem hookup into the main part of the finished basement. (the lowpoint was living without internet for a few days while we thought through the new arrangement) we also had to find a workable furniture arrangement which ultimately involved moving every piece of furniture except for my craft corner and the blue bookshelf.
last chance to spot the tiny turkey!
once the room was cleared, Mark scrubbed out the window well, painted and installed some baseboard, and called it good. we also spent a few evenings finally fixing up the little desk we trash-picked a year and a half ago, so that B could actually use it if he so desired, without worrying about the door falling off.

i honestly love the new layout of the basement. we were able to work with the furniture we already had down there to create several different "zones" - the office area, a lounge/tv area, and the craft area(which hasnt changed since i reorganized it).

 this arrangement makes the space more functional overall, while still leaving room for the addition of the lodger and all the contents of his moving truck. (the most surprising contents included a sewing machine, a garden fountain, and a dining room table and chairs) B moved in with the help of his cousin on a weekday while we were both at work, so we were not able to help him move in, but apparently it all went smoothly.

its been about six weeks since the lodger moved in and, while there has been a little bit of a learning curve for everyone involved as far as figuring out the best way to coexist in the shared spaces such as the laundry room and especially the kitchen, so far so good. of course, once school starts in a couple days and B's schedule adjusts accordingly, the balance we have maintained so far might get thrown off a little and require some readjustment. i guess we'll just keep figuring it out as we go.

Monday, August 19, 2013

meal plan monday: august 19.

it doesn't feel like its been a week since i last wrote a meal plan post... oh wait, that would be because it's only been 4 days.

since i've totally mastered my current method of meal planning (*snortlaugh NOT) i thought it was high time for my process to go through a pretty major change. in a few weeks, Mark and I are looking to team up to plan meals and snacks that will better fuel the amped up workout regiment we are planning to start after our great western adventure. it is going to require more discipline, more real foods, and probably more than 5 minutes of forethought. the plan as it currently stands is to model our weekly plans from the portion approach of the p90x meal plan. we still have to put some time and thought into exactly how this will best function for us, and i'll be sure to keep you posted as to whether we are wildly successful or we crash and burn.

its a lofty goal, and i am glad to still have a little bit of time to figure it out because until then here's the plan for this week that actually took me LESS than 5 minutes to dream up and throw together:

Monday: pasta with meat sauce.
Tuesday: breakfast for dinner - eggs and potatoes.
Wednesday: fish packets with rice. (recipe)
Thursday: frozen raviolis in jar sauce.
Friday: probably Subway for the road.
Saturday - Sunday: sisters weekend in PA!

Friday, August 16, 2013

catching up.

so. its been a while since i wrote much of anything of substance around here. if pressed for an excuse, i would have to tell you i've been busy. but if you ask me whats new? i would say 'not much.' which is kind of oxymoronic - how can i be busy, but have no new stories to share?

so today i am going to share:

- Mark has started a new project. normally i would say that WE have started a new project, but this one is totally him. he is building us a brand new storage bed, which is to say he is building a queen sized bedframe with a dresser built into it. so far, he has brought all of the material home, and has spent the past two weeks attempting to get all of the pieces cut while dodging scattered showers in the backyard. i swear, as soon as he decided to do all of his woodworking on the back deck to minimize the sawdust mess in the basement, it has done nothing but rain. my only contribution to the project was the first day when i attempted to help cover the stack of plywood with a tarp and ended up dropping the entire thing on my knee and his ankle. i havent even done so much as take a picture since then, to minimize my jinxing effects on the project.

- I have not started any new projects. i blame this on that whole "being busy" thing i've been doing for the past two weeks. this summer has my creativity at a standstill, and i'm having a hard time thinking beyond work, dinner, dishes, laundry. sigh.

- Action Camp was last week. it was awesome. and exhausting. the church does their week of 'camp' for a few hours each evening, so that the maximum number of people from the church will be able to volunteer. this year i was the group leader for the youngest group, the 4-5 year olds, all 25 of them. i had some AMAZING helpers who kept us all sane as we laughed, danced, sang, played, crafted, snacked, learned about our amazing God, and kept tears to a minimum (from both the kids and the adults!)

- we went to the beach last weekend! by the time we got there late on Friday night (after the last night of Action Camp) i was pretty much asleep on my feet. but the beach was just what my exhausted little self needed to unwind and recharge over a long weekend. the beach was sunny, the water was amazing, and i only faceplanted into the sand that one time, and its only because that wave hit me right in the head. apparently getting out of the ocean is difficult, ok?

i felt compelled to take a grand total of 9 pictures at the beach.  and one of them was of my dinner. i have no regrets - that fish was downright thrilling.

- we got rid of cable. we talked about it, and decided that we could live without it. fingers crossed that we actually make it through the end of baseball season without any major withdrawl. and dont even mention football season.

- i partially cleaned my bathroom last night. you dont even want to know how long it had been since i last scrubbed it down, and since i DO know how long it had been i probably shouldnt be proud at all of a partially clean bathroom...but there it is. this is my life.

- i have babies on the brain. this does not mean that i am having babies, or even trying to have babies, but i am thinking about them, and talking about them with my husband. of course some of our conversations are like the one last night, when Mark and I were discussing the merits and possibilities of long distance, virtual babysitters: he thinks that if we knock down some walls to create a more open concept living area, and we get a camera for the tv, we can just have the grandparents skype in to keep an eye on our future kiddos. seems legit, right?

there. now you're all caught up on the must-knows and even the probably-didnt-really-need-to-knows too. we should do this more often.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

meal plan thursday: august 15.

is it even worth posting a meal plan if the week is already more than halfway over? its not like i put any thought into this week at all. i didnt even make a list before i went to the store on tuesday after work. but i needed an excuse to post this picture that i took on my way home from the store on tuesday, at the tail end of a scattered shower:

this rainbow made me seriously giddy with happiness for the rest of the night. God is just SO good.

no segue here, and no real point in even posting this, but because i know my mom sometimes worries that i might be super overwhelmed and failing at life when i stop blogging for a while, here's proof that we are in fact at least eating this week:

Monday: taco night.
Tuesday: crock pot salsa chicken.
Wednesday: zuchinni black bean and rice skillet.
Thursday: quesadillas.
Friday: BBQ at a friend's house.
Saturday: afternoon wedding!
Sunday: pasta with meat sauce.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

meal plan tuesday: august 6.

so yesterday was... how should i put this... crap-tastic. emphasis on both the crap AND the (fan)tastic.

i left my house at 6:30am and didnt make it home again until 9pm. thats 14.5 hours, for those of you can't be bothered to do the math for yourselves. everything inbetween was non-stop action and excitement, whether it was a full day at work, or discovering the joys of a speed trap when you're already running late, or being late on your first night of being the lead herder for 20+ four-and-five-year-olds at Action Camp. (love those kids. highlight of my day by far) and then when i thought i had already crammed in as much fun as possible for the day, i wrapped it all up by dropping a giant stack of plywood on my knee. once the swelling goes down a bit more, i have a feeling that this is going to be quite a spectacular, long-lasting bruise.

needless to say, there was zero time for meal planning yesterday. hopefully the rest of the week will be a little less action packed, but since i am still going to be working during the day AND brushing up on my cat-herding skills heading up the PreK-K group at Action Camp in the evenings, i have the feeling that (hopefully minus the cops and the bodily injury) the rest of the week is going to be pretty much the same kind of crazy.

i'm very thankful that they're feeding me every night at Action Camp this week, but since Mark couldn't be a helper this year he's on his own for dinners. good thing he has an awesome wife to at least point him in some semblance of a direction:

Monday: leftover potatoes.
Tuesday: leftover soup.
Wednesday: frozen raviolis in jar sauce.
Thursday: taco night.
Friday: egg sandwich.
Saturday - Monday: beach time!

PS if you think of it, be praying for Action Camp this week - this year is the biggest year yet, and there is a lot of work that goes into effectively sharing God's good news with all of these kids, which is something that the enemy is going to do his best to prevent!