Friday, July 14, 2017

Final home renovations (for now)

Last week I unpacked the final box from our move (11 months later)!  For the past year we've been storing boxes of books and miscellaneous stuff just on the floor of our office as it was waiting to be re-done.  At long last that project was moved to the top of the list and Pete worked his magic to create a new space for us!

The room used to have a fireplace... lots of pink and gray and white....

... but we decided 2 fireplaces were enough in this Southern home and we'd rather have the wall space back for storage and other things.

So, Pete ripped out the mantel and hearth, and did all the various layers necessary to board up that side of the fireplace (it's double-sided), and drywall the new area.

Then we designed a little table/desk and some shelves and now it looks like this:

It's not exactly neat and tidy, but it's definitely functional for what we need.  I'm looking forward to starting out our new school year in this space!  Well, I'm not looking forward to it quite yet... but will when late August rolls around.

Elsewhere around the house, we've painted both of the boys' bedrooms, but everything is still in progress there (read: total mess because we're in the midst of packing for a big trip, and plus, the boys are never neat anyway), so I have no good pictures of that yet.

The breakfast area of our kitchen got a makeover a few months ago when some friends sold us their old dining room set.  I repainted it and it works well in that space:

And I think that's all we'll get done inside the house for a little while!

Meanwhile, the outside has been undergoing slow transformations as we plant and wait for things to grow (and see what will die).... All kinds of experimenting going on here!

So far, the front of the house is pretty much a big mess of confusion.  I've planted all kinds of things to see what will work and what won't...  I'd like to think I'll be more organized next year, but chances are I'll forget where all the perennials are over the winter and we'll end up with more hodge-podge next spring.  At least gardening is fun!

Our Vegetable Garden experiment decided to rename itself the Marigold Garden.  We've harvested a few vegetables, but mostly the marigolds decided to dominate the whole area.  Who knew there was a  variety of Giant Marigolds?  Not me, because I don't read package labels.

And that's what's been going on on the homefront!  (and back)

Rayna goes to camp

For the second year in a row, Rayna had a blast at Winshape Camp!  She got to do all sorts of games with water and shaving cream, and obstacle courses, and inflatable slide things, and baking, and crafts, and songs, and something called "Power Surge" that I think involved music and dancing, which was her favorite part each day.

We only got a glimpse into her week on the final day when families were invited....

(Rayna is below the hippo sign)

She had such a great time!

4th of July

Jinna Rai's first Independence Day as an American citizen!
As always, my parents threw an awesome family bash for 30+ of us, and as always, my pictures of it are completely sub-par.  (Someday I'm either going to learn how to take good pictures, or get a phone that is smart enough to do it for me.)

 Special guests at this party included the Wigs, to whom we had to say goodbye as they head back to NY soon, and Lisa, Kylan, and Karalee, visiting from Colorado!

After the very tasty food...

The kids heard dessert was being served

....we all headed out for some fireworks, courtesy of Dan:
Don't try this at home...
.... Or this.

 Upon reflection that the fireworks just might be even more enjoyable in the dark, we went back inside and waited until.... well, about 30 minutes.  Then we went back out and did more fireworks over the golf course, still in the daylight.

 The kids had fun trying to catch the "parachute" ones...
 .... fun until they kept getting trampled by the rest of the herd.

Then we went inside and waited even MORE long minutes until Dan's Big Fireworks Show Finale, truly in the dark this time.  Great cheers rang through the countryside, and then all the tired kids got piled into cars and driven home where they were all grumpy for July 5th.*

Happy Birthday, America!  And thanks, Mom and Dad, for a terrific party!

*Except Colsen, Branson, and Kai, who got to go to Cousins Camp and have TONS OF FUN.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cousins Day

Today was our first Cousins Day of the summer, and it was loud and crazy and fun, just like we like it.

Here are a few of the things they said that made me laugh:

Me:  Lincoln, are you getting tired?  Do you want to take a nap here on the couch?
L:  No!  That’s not how you take a nap!
Me:  How do you take a nap?
L: You cuddle up with your paci!

Kai (inspecting  Jinna’s seaweed snack):  Is this seaweed?  Like from the ocean?
Miles:  Yes!  But they, like wash it first.

Miles, to the kids at lunch:  My mom says that reading the Magic Tree House books means you’re not obeying God.

Me:  ????  (I never said that.  My kids have read dozens of them.)