Monday, September 8, 2014

Kitchen Reveal

We had a pipe leak just before our New York vacation.  It didn't do a TON of damage, but it did ruin the tile floor.  That's most of down stairs.  So we had to re-prioritize for the year and decided to move the kitchen remodel up a few (many) years.  Since we wanted to change the lay-out, we couldn't just do the floor now and then re-do it all again later.


Look at all the polka dots the knobs make.

We really didn't mind the granite that the previous owners put in.  I love having double ovens, but hated that they were white (I know, so shallow) and that they took away counter space.  The sink not being centered with the window was kinda annoying too.

The peninsula gave extra work space, but it also made it impossible for others to work in the kitchen.  If someone was doing dishes, no one else could be using the sink or counter.  It made me a lonely cook.


My photography skills haven't done the colors justice.  The back splash (my very favorite part of the kitchen) is more brown and natural looking while the counter top is more green.  The entire effect is very organic and nature-inspired.  Very peaceful.

Look, no more polka dots.  I love the new handles.

The ceiling was raised a bit and that makes the cupboards seem huge.  
Still, we didn't gain much more cupboard space.

YAY!!!  I still have double ovens, but they only take up the space of a normal sized range!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New York - Seeing the Sites


We rented an apartment in Brooklyn which meant we had to ride the subway to Manhattan everyday.  We were all pretty excited about it ... at the beginning.

Here's a little friend we saw the first time we rode.

  This is such a classic picture.
By the end of the day the kids were either sleeping on the way home or buried in their electronics.  I guess the excitement of public transportation wears off quickly.

Intrepid -

Brian and the kids love military planes.  They were excited about seeing this floating museum ... even though we have one right at home in San Diego.
They had a lot of interactive displays on the ship.  It wasn't as cool as the Midway in San Diego, but the kids loved playing together.

Enterprise -  We paid extra for this???

Such a cute family!
This is how they really are together!

 The family was so excited to be able to see the Enterprise ... a REAL space shuttle.  It wasn't until we were reading the history of the shuttle that we realized that this was the SAME one we saw when we visited the Air and Space museum in Washington DC two years ago.  Not sure why we didn't connect that until after we stood in line to get our picture taken with it ... again.

Natural History Museum & Central Park

The museum is HUGE!!!  So many displays and so many floors to explore.  The kids hunted until they found "Dumb Dumb" from the movie Night at the Museum.

They were very disappointed that it's not really a stone statue, but rather a plaster replica.
Such Buddies!

But really, a selfie is what they all really wanted!

Aubrey has been wanting a turtle for the pond in the backyard.  How about this one Bree?

 Central Park Adventure

So after we walked all over the Natural History Museum we walked over to Central Park to rent bikes for a ride around the park.  It's about 4 miles ... I would say uphill all the way around, but the rest of the family says I may be a little dramatic about that one.  Ha!  It was nice to see the park this way, but we missed so much since we couldn't go on trails to see the inner part.  Would definitely plan this part differently next time.

As we were getting ready to go for our ride, Brian asked me for the camera to get a picture of the kids on the bikes.  We searched through all our bags and pockets, but no one had the camera.  My heart about broke.  I realized I left it somewhere in the HUGE museum.  Who knows where?  We would have to ride all the way around the park to go back to the museum which was closing in less than half an hour.  I started praying like crazy.

 Look at that smile!!!  We rode around the park and the museum was already closed.  A couple of security guards were out front just blocking the doors.  When I told them the issue, they directed me to a special entrance to the main security office.  There were a lot of snickers and doubtful "good luck with that" comments.  I went to the office and explained what had happened, to which they said it happens all the time.  That didn't give me much hope.  But then I mentioned that my camera was an ugly orange color and the main security guy flashed a huge smile.  They had found it!!!  He kept saying what a lucky lady I was.  I don't know how much luck had to do with it, but there were a lot of prayers of thanks going out!

I'm not sure where we saw this play ground, maybe by the Intrepid.  Still, I think it's the coolest thing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New York - Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty

Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty

This was an art piece in front of the Twin Towers that was supposed to represent world peace.  The amount of damage from the attack is shocking.  It is now in the park outside the Statue of Liberty ferry.

It was a very cold day.   We had a BUNCH of tourists from Europe on the ferry with us.  There must have been a big class of high school kids from ... we were guessing Germany ... the boys were cute, but they were crazy standing on the rails and chairs in order to get pictures.

Father/Son selfie

New York - C Line Cruise

C-Line Cruise

After about a month, I am finally posting pictures of the trip.  We are so glad we were able to take time as a family.  Spring Break was AWESOME!  I have been a little flustered trying to figure out how to choose which pictures to put up.  I decided to just go chronologically.

The first day we spent 3 hours taking a tour around Manhattan Island.  It was such a fantastic way to get history of the city.  Great tour guide!
The tall building is the Freedom Tower.
View of Yankee Stadium

Monday, March 31, 2014

Birds on the Brain

I've had some technical difficulties with my blog starting last year.  I thought I had done all I could to fix the problem, but it left my blog looking sad and uninspiring.  I find a lot of comfort sharing some things with my family who don't live so close, so I decided to have another go at it.  I sorta like the birds in the background. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Furniture Re-Do


This is the first dresser that Brian and I bought when we got married (almost 18 years ago).  It was unfinished and CHEAP.  We stained it on our tiny apartment balcony and were set.  When the kids got older the simple dresser moved on to their room and served them well.

This last month, the boys decided they wanted their own rooms.  That meant I got kicked out of my craft room (heavy heart) and we had a lot of furniture to move.  The boys needed separate dressers and I needed more storage for my craft stuff.  I couldn't just toss out a dresser that was still functional.

I got inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.  After chatting with a friend who owns a cool antique book business, Book Decor, she encouraged my vision and even offered to give me some old books (from the 1800's) that she couldn't sell.  They both seem to be in German - one is a poem book and the other might be a dictionary.

 My craft room has been moved to the "formal dining room", so it's out in the open. (Total pressure to keep it decent looking.)   I wanted something with a little more character.  This fits my needs completely.  I love how it turned out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Phrase of the Year - 2013

Pinterest takes up way too much of my time.  I decided to make a cute sign (using the fun chalkboard  fonts I pinned) to encourage my kiddos ... and myself.

The goal this year is for me to step back.  My kids are old enough to know what they need to do to get good grades, reach their goals, and do what they need to do without me reminding them over and over again.  I will be available to help and support, but without the need to harp.

This will be hard to let natural consequences teach their lessons, but I've got to do it to help my kiddos grow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Projects

CRAZY!  Two posts in as many days. We have workers in the house renovating the kids' bathroom, so I've got to occupy my time on outdoor things. So here is my newest love.

I bought this little metal bicycle planter years ago.  I loved the rustic (rusty) look, but it was kinda invisible in my yard.  So, I got inspired by this fabulous color and decided to add some color to the yard.

After a quick spray paint

Totally in love with the bright color against a newly painted white fence.  

 We bought this house for the yard, and I'm finally taking time to make it the way we want it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final Band Performance

Last night was Jon's final Elementary Band Performance.  It's hard that all of his experiences are "final" ones for the entire family.  Elementary seems like it takes FOREVER to get through, but middle and high school are flying so fast. 

Jon and his best friend, Hunter.

Aubrey, Jon & Brandon with their 5th grade music teacher, Mr. Erb.  Jon has to wear his music tie to every music performance.

With Jon going to a different elementary school than the other two attended, it is nice when the two worlds connect.  Jon's band teacher is the same that taught Brandon and Aubrey in their 5th grade.  Mr. Erb is funny, and kooky, and loves the music.  He has been encouraging Jonathan BIG time on the trombone.  And Jon truly loves this instrument.  He will be continuing in middle school.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Science Olympiad

We just got home from a great vacation to DC.  I wanted to go through the pictures and post some highlights, but then realized I still have old pictures I need to share.  So, the vacation will have to wait.  :)

 The district does a great job to get kids involved in science, if they want to work at it.  They do a multi-district competition every year.  The kids get to pick which events they want to compete in.  Aubrey prepared for 3 different events.  It meant lots of extra classes each week.  She learned a ton and had to prepare carefully.   It was fun to hear her talk of the new things she learned.

How adorable does she look in her lab coat!!!  Ok, the goggles make her look a little like a minion from Despicable Me.  Ha!

 Best Coach ever.  Brian volunteered to work with these kids and prepare them for competition.  He really enjoyed it!

And the fruit of her effort was winning 2 ribbons.  So proud of her!  She's such a smartie!