Friday, December 17, 2010

Girls Room!

Just need to finish the trim on the pocket door to the closet and the wall trim going up to it!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a productive weekend!

This last weekend we got a lot accomplished! Both kids' baths are complete! The girls' bedroom is almost complete! We painted trim and doors, hung doors, covered outlets and switches, hung beadboard, finished our closet....

Here is the girls' bathroom.
Here is the boys' bathroom. You can see the walls are quite plain. I wasn't sure what we were going to do in there yet for color, so I had Matt paint it white. I think, someday when I am bored, I will paint some horizontal stripes of various color on the wall with the mirror.
Check out my rockstar closet! Pictures just don't do it justice, because you can't get the walk-in feel, but it is currently one of my two favorite rooms in the house!
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I love these kids!

The closest thing anyone in this family has had to a black eye! I thought I might start to look tougher, but nope!
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Friday, December 3, 2010

One corner of our living room.

You may be wondering why I haven't posted any new pictures of our house in awhile. Well, there's a couple of reasons. One is that there are so many details still to be complete in our house even though we are "livable" and even partially decorated (as you can see). But I don't want you to see the unfinished product! The parts that are missing in this picture are windowsills and floor trim. These are going to be the very last things we do, so it will be awhile before we get any finished pics!

This week house work has come to a complete STAND STILL! Matt is burning the candle at both ends and that is not including work on our home. He teaches at Soldotna Middle School, which starts at 7:45 am. He leaves the house at 6:00 to be able to plan, grade, and other school responsibilities before school starts. He has also just started watching the gym at lunchtime for extra cash. Afterschool he coaches basketball. Then he takes care of his parents' businesses. (They have just bought a second home in Arizona and left for sunnier days until March? Who can blame them!) This week that's been getting him home after the kids are in bed. He eats leftovers and then feels too burnt out to think about working on anything here. Besides wishing we were getting closer to being "done", we all miss Daddy!

Here's some of the things that still need to be done:
lots of outlets and switches, believe it or not!
lots of doors still need put up and knobs installed
sinks and bathtub in master
toilet in girls bath
sink hooked up and vanity light in boys bath
railing in entry
railing going up to bonus room
light, cabinets, sink in laundry room
fireplace rock facing, hearth, and mantle
exterior door trim
all floor trim and window sills
beadboard in girls bed and bath
chair rail trim in Carson's room

So, my dreams of relaxing over Christmas Break just may not come to pass. But, hopefully, we will still be able to enjoy the time off from school and make some wonderful family memories finishing up our wonderful new home. We feel so extremely blessed and grateful to have been able to do this!
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Okay, so I'm sentimental!

Yesterday I got started putting clothes away in my closet. I had this bag of "work" clothes that I hadn't worn in years and I was ready to part ways with clutter that I was not making use of. I was determined to get rid of them. So I dumped them out and found that even if I don't ever wear them again, there are just some things (t-shirts in this case) I can't get rid of. They are too sentimental. I like the reminders of different times in my life. Enjoy this little history lesson on the life of Amber.

(disclaimer: please don't focus on my bad hair and huge zit!)

Although hard to see, this t-shirt has a skeleton drawn on it. I did this scientific masterpiece my junior year of highschool in Anatomy and Physiology. I am normally an English/Literature kind of a girl, but this class was one of my favorites! The teacher, Mrs. Lakin, was great. The class was fun and she really taught in a way that I "got it". I was really proud to be named science student of the year by Mrs. Lakin.
Happy Birthday Ruby! I have never met Ruby. But I had an unlikely friend in college at Cal Baptist named Johnny Holmes. He was way too cool for me, but somehow we clicked. He was a golfer on the school team, which is why he was there, and had a great sense of humor. He also smoked, eww! I used to keep him company outside the school gates when he needed a smoke. I think he came from money, not sure, but one day he was getting rid of this big bag of clothes. Really nice stuff! I went through it and took a couple of shirts, one of which my husband now wears, hee hee! This Ruby shirt is the other one. I was aghast that he would dare throw away his Aunt Ruby! And thus, I will continue to store her safely in my closet.
Kenai Peninsula Football Camp. One of my best buds, Dana, and I were football managers for our highschool our sophomore through senior years. Man, we had some good times! Loved being a football manager. I have always felt fulfilled when taking care of guys. Highschool, college, now, as a wife. Someone has to do it! They are just not capable. ;)
Nowhere else but...Jerseyville! I mean seriously! This is the tiny town I was born in. But I found this shirt at a thrift store or garage sale, can't remember which. And I think that's enough said about that!

Special thanks to my photographer Carson!
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for! We were able to host this first holiday meal in our new home! We had 19 at our dinner table this year.
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Our morning creating the placecards/napkin holders. Guess who finished about 14 of them after the kids got tired or bored of doing this project!?

It was fun to watch Ollie interact with his cousin Delaney, who is 2.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hats and Curtains

So, I am by no means a seamstress. I wish I were! But there have been a couple times in my life that I have set my mind to making something with no directions and have been really impressed with my results. Several years ago I decided to make hats for Carson and Tana to match their coats, since there are so many cute fleece fabrics out there now. I did not ask anyone for help or advice, just decided to give it a go. I just measured their heads with the fabric. Then I sewed a large hem on one side to double up the area that would cover their ears. Then I sew a "stovepipe shape." Then I tied the top with a piece of thread into a pom pom. For the girls, I cut the pom pom into little tassles. For the boys, I keep it short and sweet. Hats and other winter gear are really spendy and fleece fabric is always 50% off or more, so I decided to make the kids some new ones. You can see Hallie and Ollie's here. Montana wouldn't let me photograph her this time! :( Carson already had a nice storebought one, so I didn't make him one. But now he says he wants one, so I'll have to go shopping again, drat!
Here's the cute fabric that I just sewed into a little curtain/valance for the kitchen! I am in love with this fabric against my dark brown cabinets! I am pretty much in love with fabric, especially bold patterns, I guess that's why I wish I was a seamstress! (By the way, please don't examine my sewing!)

So, I've been debating on what colors to accent my kitchen with since we've been in here...worried about clashing with the living area in this great room. I have now settled on several colors -- green (somewhere between lime and avocado), yellow (kind of a vintage yellow), and orange (more bright than rusty)! Not sure if my rooms clash or flow, but so far I am comfortable with all the colors I am living in!
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

we'll miss you, Gramps.

I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, but I couldn't access my scanner. Many people have influenced my life, but one of the greatest was my Grandpa Winters, affectionately known to me as Gramps. We had been losing him to alzheimers over the last several years. Jesus took him home on Oct. 25th.

Here are some of the things I learned from him:
  • saving your favorites for last isn't always the wisest strategy
  • a gentle spirit wins the heart of most everyone
  • sometimes it's best to let to let an overbearing person have their say and move on, other times it's important to stand up for yourself
  • icecream can heal many hurts
  • love is an action
  • never forget your passions and stay active your whole life

Monday, November 15, 2010

SO much to do!

In case you didn't know, we are in! We've "lived" in our house for 2 weeks now. Since then we've had almost constant snow! I was just tellling the kids on the way to the bus this morning that I had prayed for it not to snow until we moved in and it it started snowing immediately after we did. It's like God was just holding back the snow, waiting on us. Thank you, Lord! :)

I am so happy to be here. No more driving 2+ hours every day (which is so good, considering the roads have become horrible). Plus, no more stress of my kids tearing up someone else's house, no more "have" to get the kitchen cleaned now -- it can wait if it needs too!

When we moved in, we had one toilet in the basement. After 2 days, we also had a shower in the basement. Now the 1/2 bath is complete, with doors, so it's nice to have privacy. We also have 2 more working showers and one working bath upstairs. Still no rails on the stairs, and thus, no carpet there either. This last weekend Matt got one garage door opener on, so this morning I was able to leave the house in a warm vehicle, yeah! He also got my pantry shelves in, which is so wonderful! Lots of lights, outlets, and switches have been installed since we've been here, but there are still many remaining to be done. All of our clothes are still on the floor, which is starting to get old. Many doors still have to get put back on the hinges since they were removed for painting. I think I can go on and on, but you get the idea there -- lots of things to get finished in the house in order to switch from contruction loan to mortgage.

So, on top of my regular chores which have to be done every day (feeding the family, laundering their clothes, doing their dishes), there are many things that I need to be helping with while Matt is off getting some bacon. Things such as screwing on outlet covers, painting banisters, and sealing grout. But the things I really want to do are make curtains and put up curtain rods, make the kids hats that I bought material for long ago, make a slipcover for our ugly chair that no longer matches the living room, decorate the Christmas tree which we decided not to put away just to get out again in a few weeks but is just standing bare in the corner. There is also much remaining to get put away and organized, but must wait because their homes are not ready yet. :)

Another comment made by one of the kids this morning was, "I can't wait until Christmas." My response to that is: maybe by then we can enjoy some relaxing time doing what we want! I would love to snuggle with my man on the couch and watch a movie, work on a puzzle (a favorite Christmas tradition), do some scrapbooking (about 4 years behind now, I think.), read a good novel, play a boardgame with the kids, and bake, bake, bake!

For now, I am looking forward to hopefully having some "normal" days in my near future. These days would look like this: quiet time, exercising, showering, doing something to my hair and face while looking in a mirror, cooking and eating bacon, getting the kids off to school, tidying the kitchen and planning dinner, MOPS work, interacting with the little get the idea!

Enjoy these pics of our half bath and the before and after of the pantry/mud room.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

dump truck Ollie

Why are boys immediately attracted to mud? After going several weeks without shoes, I had finally found some to fit Ollie's fat feet and he found this mud the next day. One of my least favorite things about building a house -- the muddy season.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Photo Shoot Take 2

I had Matt with me this time and not a single picture where all four are looking! So frustrating! I just want one pic to replace the one of Carson and Tana over the fireplace...

Fall Photo Shoot Take 1

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Beautiful Alaska

Mt. Redoubt as viewed in the evening from our bonus room window.
The mountains to the south as viewed from the other bonus room window.
The Turnagin Arm drive is so beautiful some days! I drove by myself to Anchorage to lead a state MOPS meeting and I had to attempt to capture some of the beauty by opening the window a little and holding the camera and shooting. Without looking of course!
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House Progress

We are planning to move into our house next weekend! By then all the flooring should be installed and we should have a completely functional kitchen and at least one functional bathroom. Everything else that is not done we will do while in residence. I CAN'T WAIT!

Cute Kids

Ollie in his babylegs on the road by our house.

Hallie in her new princess dress from Grandma. We had a tea party every day for a couple of weeks.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fleeting Moments

Last night I couldn't fall asleep. It's becoming about a 1 in 3 day pattern. At about 11:30 I heard Oliver fussing. He almost never wakes up at night, so I crept in to console him and see what might be causing his distress. I hefted his long, 18 month old body out of the crib and sat with him close to my heart. I cherished 5 solid minutes of rocking and cuddling him. A toddler boy is a busy boy and his times of sitting still are rare.

Although I am looking forward with anticipation to how our family will look when there are no more babies, and I am bravely facing a new identity, my heart still longs for another baby. (No matter how many I have, I don't think it would ever stop!) Thoughts of how quickly the days have passed in my children's first years brings me to tears, because I realize how little I took the time to cherish them. I pushed them to grow quickly and allowed time to pass quickly because I always knew there would be a "next" baby. Now I am mourning the end of an era.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Montana's 6th Birthday

On Montana's birthday, she picked pancakes for dinner!

The next day was Saturday and we had a tea party. It would have taken place at the park, except for it decided to pour down rain. Thankfully, Tana did not have a large guest list and we were able to "take over" the little kids eating room at McDonalds for an hour without any complaints from the other diners. I think she was happy with the outcome, but I definitely look forward to being able to have celebrations in our own home again! I fear being in McDonalds with many children!
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