Wednesday, August 2, 2017

WEEKLY NEWS AND CATCH UPS!

CODY

Well I decided to grab a little bit of time and get a post up.  I guess I am doing pretty well if I do it at least once a week anymore, but I really always "intend" to do at least two.  But one is better then none I guess, so I'll get busy.  Soo let's see.  We had the first of our grand kid overnights last week-end and it was pretty fun.  We started with 8 year old Cody.  He is my oldest son's youngest boy and honestly is just about as cute as he can be.  But in addition to that he is honestly just about the sweetest too.  This was his very first over nighter, not only with us, but with anyone.  He is my grandson who is mildly on the autistic spectrum and we felt like he was ready for this.  He did fantastic!  He was just as good as gold the whole time.  We did have "a little" trouble when it came to sleeping, but he put in his very best effort and we pulled it off.  On Sat. we spent the morning just "hanging out".  This was probably my favorite part.  Grandpa was busy putting the rest of the cabinet doors up so Cody and I busied ourselves with games and cards and just being silly on snapchat.  We both laughed ourselves silly with that.  Then, he chose McDonald's for lunch (why do kids always pick that place? lol) so he and I ran and got that for him and Grandpa.  I just can't force myself on McDonald's, so I made myself a salad, lol.  Then grandpa finished his chore....finally.....and we decided to go to a late movie.  He chose spider man.  Everyone enjoyed it and then I asked him what he would like to have for dinner.  When the grand kids are getting their turn they are in charge of all meals while they are there (within reason of course, lol).  Cody was VERY definite.  He would like Salmon, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, broccoli with cheese, milk, and for dessert...vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, lol!  I was surprised to say the least, but very happy to oblige.  After dinner he got into his pj's and we put  the movie Free Willy on and really enjoyed watching that with him.  The next day we got up and for breakfast he chose bacon, waffles and orange juice.  Again, no problem, lol.  Then we loaded up and headed down to San Diego for church and for my youngest sons youngest boy's 4th birthday party afterwards.  We have not been down to my son's church in quite a while (mother's day I think) and it was sooo nice to hear him teach and visit with some of his members we have gotten to know.  I REALLY miss going to church down there, but I don't miss the drive, lol.  After church we went to James's house and had lunch and they put Vinny (the birthday boy) down for a quick nap and we sat around and visited while the kids played outside.  After his nap we headed over to his in-laws for a little swimming and the party.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed every minute.  The kids of course all swam for a couple of hours and then we had a delicious dinner of soft chicken tacos.  We followed this up with presents and cake and finally left for home around 6.  It had been a LONG day, but a really good one, and Cody really enjoyed his time with some of his cousins.  We dropped him off on the way home, and so we have finished the first sleep over.  We will pick up 8 year old Tella next Sat., and her turn will begin.

We have officially finished the cabinet part of the kitchen!  I REALLY REALLY like the way they look.  They do not look brand new, but it is a very new look for us and I am very happy with them. This Sat. we intend to paint (I have decided on a pretty shade of a medium shade of olive green) the area of the kitchen between the back splash and the cabinets, which shouldn't take long. I don't think anything will ever even come close to taking as long as the floors and the kitchen cabinets took lol, so we have definitely gotten the biggest portion behind us now.  We are going to try repairing the counter top as well, so we will see how it goes.  Meanwhile, I am looking for some new kitchen "stuff" lol.  A new tea kettle, paper towel holder, mug tree, napkin holder, and some new curtains and rugs at the very least, lol.  When I finish up the WHOLE project I will give you another view.  When we finish with the kitchen we will move to our bathroom which desperately needs some fresh paint and re-vamping as well.  It's funny.  In my younger days it seems I was ALWAYS on some sprucing up somewhere with something.  Keeping up a big house was just a lot of work.  But we haven't done anything like this in almost 10 years, and honestly I have forgotten how addicting it can be for me. One thing leads to another that leads to another and on and on.  I DO really like things fresh and clean and at least somewhat up to date.  Unfortunately I can look around our house and see a few more projects I'd like to address before the holiday's settle in.  I am not dumb enough to mention this to hubby just yet, as these things do have to be "suggested" at just the right time, lol.  Seriously though I am very grateful for all the time and effort he has put into these projects for us.

I KNOW (in case you ever wondered, lol) that I could cut my posts in half and still cover the material I am sharing just fine.  These are full of WAY more information then I am sure most are interested in. But my point of these are somewhat of a point of reference of what we've done (like a journal I think) and for kids and grandkids to read someday about what we were all doing and on.  So if you've stuck with me, I hope you don't get too bored, lol.  Here are some pics...


THIS IS WAY TOO BLURRY OF COURSE, BUT REALLY CUTE 

WE HAD FUN WITH THIS, LOL


JAMES AND THE BIRTHDAY BOY VINNY

THESE TWO COUSINS ARE ONLY 2 WEEKS APART IN AGE AND HAVE A GOOD TIME TOGETHER


TELLA HAS BECOME QUITE THE SWIMMER.  HER MOM LARISSA IS A SWIM COACH AND I THINK TELLA MAY HAVE CAUGHT THE BUG

I WILL ADMIT MY SON CAUGHT THESE PICS FOR ME...LOL....BUT I INSISTED I WANTED THEM, LOL
BIRTHDAY BOY VINN

Over the week-end Melody and her little family took their boat to a local lake for some fun.  Just had to share a few pics of that...

MY GIRL ON THEIR BOAT

GUESS THE BOYS SPENT HOURS JUMPING OFF THE SIDE OF THE BOAT!

AND LOOK WHAT SAM PULLED OFF ON HIS FIRST TRY!!!  HE LOVED IT!  LUKE WANTED NO PART OF THIS1  LOL
Then I want to mention my recent sewing projects..(didn't think you were escaping did you?  lol)  I think I told you that I had hoped I had figured out a way to make myself some new tops.  I have looked and looked and looked and even tried a few out, but I have not been able to find a pattern that I liked.  And it seems ridiculous as I just wanted a very simple, scooped necked, 3/4 length sleeved top.  Well.....using one of my shirts as a reference, I just kind of made up my own.  This was HUGE for me as I really didn't know how and have never tried before.  I can make most things WITH a pattern, but I am not a "wing it" person.  Well....I tried it out and honestly I was VERY pleased.  It fit really well.  Now the neck is not right.  It does not lay as flat as I would like and is a little lower then I would want it, but it is totally wearable and I am pretty sure I can make the necessary adjustments on the next ones to make it work really well.  This will be a huge coo for me.  lol  Anyway, let me show you that

CAN'T REALLY TELL MUCH WITH IT LAYING HERE LIKE THIS, LOL, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA

I ORIGINALLY TOOK THIS PIC SO I COULD SHOW MELODY IN A TEXT SO YOU WILL HAVE TO PRETEND YOU DON'T NOTICE I DO NOT HAVE MY MAKE-UP ON IN THIS PIC LOL.  BUT YOU CAN SEE HOW IT FITS!
CAN'T SEE IN THIS PIC BUT THERE ARE LITTLE HANGERS AT THE TOP TO HANG THE PICTURE ON A DOWEL ON THE WALL


And I finished up completely the quilted calendar wall hanging for January...just 11 more to go!  And have begun work on my large house quilted wall hanging.  That's about it for now.  Hope all of you are enjoying your week!  Blessings to you all!  Debbie

Monday, July 24, 2017

THE CONTINUING CABINET STORY AND SOME SWEET STORIES ABOUT MY LUKE! (Alopecia update!)


Well it's been a very busy, busy last three days, but we have got the cabinet part of the kitchen "re-make" almost behind us....WOW!  What a job!  Now like I said before we were no strangers when it came to this job.  It's a big one.  But in our sixties now verses our thirty's really does put it in a whole new category.  I have been all over the place when it comes to this whole thing.  From loving it to hating it to wishing we had NEVER started it to sooo glad we finally did it and on and on.  Our youngest son James came up on Friday and spent the entire day helping out or we would never ever be as far as we are with it right now.  Soooo grateful!  Here is the bottom line....we are at least officially done painting them.  The bottom cabinets are still all over our family room floor, resting on their solo cups, drying.  We are giving them the rest of this week to dry REALLY REALLY well (besides hubby has no spare time during the work week) and then they still have to have the handles and the hinges reattached and then they have to be rehung.  The upper cabinets are on and I'll show you those in a minute, but let me just say this.  Hubby had this by far the most annoying and fiddly hard part of the whole project, lol.  Probably as he was doing it all alone as I was pointless as an assistant. Honestly I cannot believe the degree to which it has changed our kitchen though. Bigger, brighter, and just "different".  I LOVE them.  The wood is soo far from perfect it would be hard to describe, but just trust me on this. It was not what I was expecting to work with.   But I really like the look.  With the color that we painted them....an antique white....coupled with the fact that we left the old fashioned antique look handles and hinges that we sprayed painted gold, the whole look has taken on a feel of an old fashioned farm kitchen.  I LOVE that feel soo much that one would think I did it all deliberately,  but honestly I just kind of stumbled on it.  Now of course I need to make a few more decisions.  At the top of the list we need to decide rather or not we are replacing the counters altogether, repairing and possibly re finishing/painting what we have, or what.  And if we replace them, with what?  Now the thought from the beginning was that we'd replace them with a nice quartz stone.  But honestly the estimates for that are way more then I want to spend.  Its just sooo much money!  And IF I were willing to part with that, is it even the "look" that would go best out there now anyway??  I don't know.  Honestly IF I did whatever I wanted to do or thought would look best I'd go with a butcher block.  But again, we are talking LOTS and LOTS of money!  And then I would have a wooden counter that I COULD possibly gouge, scratch, burn, or wreck kind of easily.  And if you know me at all you'd know that is real concern, lol.  And then....we need to repaint the little amount of walls that show out there, the curtains, the rugs, and honestly MOST of my sitting around decorative items that I have had close to 15 years.  Not sure why I even have them anymore, lol.  At this moment in time, I think we will start with painting the walls and SEE how that looks, repair (and yes I've researched and "think" there is a way to do that pretty easily) the existing counter top and just go with that and SEE how that looks.  I will make curtains at this point, replace the rugs and towels, and toss into the trash my old tired and horrid looking decs and replace and SEE how that looks.  If at that point we decide we need to replace the counter I will probably start with painting it, and if that doesn't come out or suit me, I imagine I will just close my eyes and replace it with the quartz.  lol. Sooo there you have it.  Now let me show what we have so far...


TRY HARD TO PRETEND THAT YOU DON'T SEE ANYTHING SITTING ON THE COUNTERS AT THIS POINT.  WE HAD REPAINTED THE PANTRY DOOR AND THE ATTACHED SPICE RACK AND THINGS WERE JUST EVERY WHERE  BUT YOU CAN SEE THE FORMICA BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERS THAT ARE THERE NOW AND SEE WHAT YOU THINK OF THOSE...

JUST A LITTLE CLOSER LOOK AT THE DOOR AND HANDLES

ANOTHER VIEW PLUS A ANOTHER VIEW OF THE COUNTER

JUST HAD TO SHOW YOU THESE AS THIS WAS MY CONTRIBUTION, LOL.  THERE ARE EIGHT DRAWERS ALTOGETHER.  I CLEANED THEM ALL, SANDED THEM ALL AND PAINTED THEM ALL.  PRETTY PROUD OF THEM, LOL.  I AM A TERRIBLE PAINTER.  IF HAS NEVER BEEN MY THING.  BUT I WAS PHYSICALLY CAPABLE TO DO THESE, SO I DID! 
YOU CAN SEE THE MAJORITY OF THE WALLS IN THE KITCHEN THAT NEED TO BE PAINTED IN THIS PICTURE.   NOT MUCH AT ALL...JUST THERE BETWEEN THE BACK-SPLASH AND CABINETS AND AROUND THE WINDOWS.  I AM THINKING OF GOING A LIGHT OLIVE GREEN, A LIGHT GOLD, OR EVEN A DARK SHADE OF BURGUNDY OR EVEN ALMOST NAVY (THESE ARE THE ACCENT COLORS THROUGHOUT THE REST OF MY HOUSE).  IT COULD BRING A WARM POP OF COLOR I THINK IT NEEDS.  FOR THE CURTAINS I AM CONSIDERING POSSIBLY A CREAMY LACE...ESPECIALLY IF I GO WITH A DARKER COLOR.  I AM WIDE OPEN NOW FOR SUGGESTIONS OR THOUGHTS.  OPINIONS ANYONE?  REMEMBER ALMOST NONE OF THAT COUNTER "STUFF" WILL REMAIN EITHER, LOL
OK, then I just want to share a couple of quick video's of little Luke with you.  I shared quite a while ago that he has Alopecia.  It has been quite the roller coaster ride for my daughter who has had a much harder time coming to terms with it then 4 year old Luke.  It looked like for a while it was going to all grow back in as it was close to an inch long and the pigment of it (which started out totally white) was his old color.  But it quite suddenly and quickly all fell out again, which I guess can be very common for someone who started this as young as Luke did.  He was only barely 3. Trust me no one could have ever researched more about it then my daughter.  It is just her school teacher nature, lol.  And she has put him on a gluten and dairy free diet (most of the time anyway, she does allow a very occasional treats of both though like pizza and ice cream and cake at parties) and has added some supplements in as well.  It is what it is.  Meanwhile, the other day for the first time a little girl began teasing Luke about it at a birthday party they were all attending.  Luke didn't seem to really care much and calmly said, "I have alopecia....that's why."  Melody stood there speechless she said having no idea what to say and surprised it was even happening, even though of course that has been her biggest fear.  Luke's big brother Sam put a quick stop to it though.  He started out nicely saying, "don't say that.  It's not nice.  You will hurt his feelings"  But when that didn't stop her he got right up an inch from her face and said, "STOP saying that!  Or we will never play with you again!"  The little girl immediately shut up, and that was the end of it.  She is Sam's age (which is 5) and adores Sam. In fact has a little crush on him, lol.  The boys ran off and played, but Melody was upset the rest of the day. She did in a very nice way though let her mom know what had happened as like she said, she would want to know if one of her kids had done something like this.  It wasn't just curiosity or questions which she could understand.  It was mean and mocking. Her mom responded immediately and very well to it and was grateful Melody had brought it to her attention.  Melody just can't bear for this to be a part of Luke's life.  And yet it will be.  His attitude will be what makes it a problem or not. She talked to him about it all for the first time the next day.  He has seemed soo blissfully unaware that she didn't want to bring it up before.  But she asked him, "Luke, does it make you sad that you don't have any hair?  Did it bother you when Ashlyn said those things?"  And he looked at her and said, "NOPE!  I don't care."  And she said, "but do you wish you still had your hair?"  And again he quite freely said, "Nope!  I LIKE my hair like this."  And she said, "you do?" And he said, "yep, now I don't have to let you comb it (he didn't have that done often but he NEVER wanted to have it done she said, lol) and I don't have to wash it, and I don't have to get hair cuts but I still get candy when Sam does!"  "And I look "cool".  That's what his daddy told him when he shaved off the few remaining strands the first time and he believes it.  Sooo there you go.  Now Melody feels soo much better about it having been taught by her four year old how to look at it.  Make the most of it....it is what it is.  It's not the end of the world.  There will still be mean remarks and mean kids.  There will be teasing.  But with the right attitude I don't think Luke will ever be the victim of it.  I thing he will shrug it off and move along.  He is a strong, handsome, healthy, smart, outgoing, and happy little guy. She made this little video of him and it is just darling.  All this to show you....


video


And then one more little video of my Luke....He and Sam have been taking swim lessons pretty much 4 days a week all summer.  Melody wants them swimming.  Well, 5 close to 6 year old Sam picked it up and has been swimming for a few weeks now.  Luke who just turned 4 just wasn't there and it has been making him soooo determined you can't imagine.  Well he knew he had to get his arms moving. Not just kicking his legs.  And he finally did!  This video is short but hysterical when you see how fast and frantically he is moving his little arms.  But he did it!

video


And FINALLY, today is my girl's thirty first birthday.  She has brought soo much joy to my life that you honestly just couldn't imagine it.  I am soo proud of her.  She is such a good wife, mama, daughter, sister and friend, and I treasure and cherish all that she has blessed me with.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELODY JOY!

Monday, July 17, 2017

THE BEGINNING OF THE KITCHEN CABINET PROJECT!

Good morning!

Well, I decided to put up a quick post this morning and let you in on the MASSIVE project we've taken on now....the kitchen cabinets! Let me start by saying that neither one of us were under ANY illusions, as we have done this project in the past at our old house.  The difference then was though that I was young and spry enough that I did a great deal of that job myself.  Badly....but still. lol  We did not know what on earth we were doing years and years ago when we did the job, and there was no such thing as the internet or goggle of course, or tutorials or anything like it, and we simply lightly sanded the most AWFUL looking cabinets you ever saw and painted them a beautiful shade of blue. I have no idea what kind of paint we used,  and it never occurred to us to remove the doors or the hinges. I am pretty sure we never even cleaned them first either, at least in any detail. And so of course it wasn't long and they began to chip and wear and those painted cabinets were my worse nightmare until we FINALLY had brand new custom cabinets built years later.  I swore at the time I would NEVER EVER again paint kitchen cabinets and put up with chipping and wear and tare.  And yet....here we are.  Of course we considered just replacing these cabinets altogether.  No doubt for the "look" I want, this would have been the best move.  But there is NO WAY we wanted to spend the kind of money that it would take to do so. So then the next option seemed to be to paint them.  Well our first move was to call a few painters and get some quotes and have it done PROFESSIONALLY this time and hopefully therefore avoid all the chipping etc., with a job done right.  However, the quotes were coming in between 2500 and 3000 dollars, and even more!  Really?!!  That just seemed ridiculous.  We considered then maybe just spending a few thousand more and replacing them altogether.  After we again discarded this notion, we decided OK, we will research HOW it should be done, and do it ourselves. Who cares how long it takes (working on the week-ends only as I can't do it on my own anymore!)?Who cares if they are not modern and up to date and looking totally new, as ALMOST ANYTHING would look better then we had. HOW hard can it be to do it, right?  Soooo then I began trying to figure what color to paint them and how to best go about it to get the best results possible.  I don't know how many tutorials I watched, or how much research on paints and tools I looked into, but lets just say A LOT!  Sooo having said all of that, our first step was to thoroughly clean all of the cabinets and doors.  So we bought a special cleaner product and set to work.  OH MY GOODNESS!  I guess I am going to expose myself here as a bad housekeeper, but I had NO IDEA just how dirty those cupboards really were!  It was awful!  It required hours of scrubbing and cleaning and honestly they looked completely different when we were done.  Now let me say this....this home was over 30 years old when we bought it 7 years ago, and I am sure these are the original cabinets. And they were fairly cheap to begin with as well, so combined now with old that gives you a better idea. I don't clean things the way I have in the past as thoroughly cleaning down the kitchen cabinets inside and out used to be one of my spring projects.  Then I'd give them a good oiling.  Well I am not sure if I have even done it once since we moved in here.  Lightly wiped down yes....thoroughly cleaned...no. And trust me could you ever tell.  In doing this we discovered as well that there were some spots where the wood itself was somewhat "chewed" and ragged and so course then those had to be somewhat repaired.  It wasn't but a few spots or honestly we might have just thrown in the towel at that point and forced ourselves to buy the new.  We used wood filler and more sanding and had them looking much much better.  Totally new looking? Ah noo, but way better.  We pressed on.  Hours behind our imagined "schedule" but with totally clean cabinets.  Our next step was to remove all the handles and hinges and doors.  Now we had already decided to keep and use these all again as again we were blown away with the cost of having to replace them all.  And I really kind of liked the handles anyway.  Well, the style of them that is.  Soo we began with soaking them in a cleaner, and then a couple of hours later I scrubbed and cleaned them with a brush and thoroughly dried them. They too were unbelievably just flat out super dirty.  It was amazing how well they came out.  But then I decided to spray paint them all an antique gold.  Only took 3 coats!  I left them drying in the hot sun.  They look fantastic!  Hubby was busy sanding everything and making the necessary repairs while I worked on the handles.  When he finished with that he put painters tape all around and got an area ready to paint the doors.  He rolled up our family room area rug, covered our freshly done floor with a huge plastic drop cloth, and set up the upper cabinet doors (nine in all) on plastic cups.  We had been at this project for over 7 hours and we were FINALLY ready to paint.  We decided though to wait till the morning time as we felt we wouldn't see well enough, plus we were both bushed. Soo a full day's work went just into "prep".  Not exactly what we thought, but we were still feeling good about it all.  We had bought the top of the line enamel paint at Home Depot and S L O W L Y and lightly began applying it to the doors early the next morning.  We moved at a crawl pace (I only painted two of them before my back told me to stop!) so then of course it went even slower.  I will say we were both thrilled with how well this paint was working out though. It was easily the best paint we'd ever bought, and you could really tell when applying it. But as they sat drying and hubby headed out into the kitchen to begin painting the upper portions of the cabinets, (I was sitting by now, lol) we noticed that they were definitely going to need two coats! We were both a little disappointed with that, but it was what it was.  After lunch we applied the second coat to one side of the doors, and to the cabinet area in the kitchen that he had done.  At this point it was around 3 and hubby was tired and we still had to grocery shop and have dinner etc., so we quit again.  Sooo here we are.  This morning hubby got up at 5 and flipped all the doors to the other side and gave them their first coat before he jumped in the shower and left for work.  I am sure he was glad to get to work to rest up from his grueling week-end, lol.  He will give those doors their second coat when he gets home tonight. We haven't quite figured out if he is going to be able to re-install the doors without some help (besides me of course as I am pretty pointless), but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  Might have to call in one of our sons for that.  Meanwhile....we still have ALL of the lower cabinets and doors to go...  But at least they have all been cleaned, sanded, repaired, taped off, and had their handles removed, so all that remains is to remove the hinges (and paint those then of course) put them on the cups and begin painting.  Should hopefully finish up this HUGE project next week-end.  That is of course unless we have a problem getting them back on and have to wait for assistance, lol.  So far we both LOVE LOVE the way it is coming out, and it does seem to be worth it.  It will change the look of the entire kitchen.  Next will be replacing the counters, but let's get this done first right?  lol  I will show you the pics I did get now, but they are not very good...just so you know, lol

ALL OF THE BLINDS WERE OPEN SO THAT THE SUNLIGHT COULD SHINE THROUGH, BUT IT DIDN'T HELP WITH THE GLARE THAT PRODUCED TO SEE HERE VERY WELL.  BUT YOU KIND OF GET THE IDEA.

THIS IS A CLOSE UP LOOK AT ONE OF THE CLEANED AREAS...NOT SURE WHY I TOOK IT AT THIS ANGLE, BUT THERE IT IS

NOW HERE IS A CLOSE UP LOOK AT THE HANDLES.  THE ONE ON THE LEFT IS LAYING ON A WHITE PIECE OF PAPER WHICH WAS WHAT I WAS USING TO LAY DOWN TO SPRAY PAINT THEM, AND THE ONE ON THE RIGHT IS THE BEFORE.  I REALLY DO LIKE THE ANTIQUE WAY THEY CAME OUT.  MOST OF MY HOUSE IS DONE IN SOMEWHAT OF A VINTAGE VICTORIAN LOOK, AND I THINK THESE GO RIGHT ALONG WITH IT

HERE ARE THE DOORS READY FOR PAINT!

ALL PAINTED

I TRIED TO TAKE A CLOSE UP OF ONE OF THEM, BUT IT'S NOT REAL CLEAR.  THERE IS TWO SKY LIGHTS ABOVE OUR FAMILY ROOM WHICH IS NICE AGAIN TO SEE, BUT DOES PRODUCE A GLARE WHEN TAKING PICTURES.  


WE DID STICK PAPER IN THE CUPBOARDS TO COVER THE DISHES, AS I JUST DON'T HAVE ANYWHERE TO PUT EVERYTHING SHOULD I HAVE EMPTIED THEM OUT.  I AM GOING TO MAKE NEW CURTAINS AND PAINT ALL THE WALLS IN THE HOUSE EVENTUALLY TOO, BUT AGAIN, GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.  ;LOL

SOO that's it for now.  I am very pleased with everything so far and I guess IF we pull it off a couple of week-ends of work is not too terribly bad.  Oh?  And cost so far with paints and cleaners etc?  About 150 dollars.  Way more what we felt like spending, lol. Though we are going to need more paint.  But even so, that only makes it around a couple hundred.  Pretty economical I think.  I've lots of things I have to do this week, so I will continue to be busy.  Hope you all have a good week!  Blessings to you all, Debbie

Friday, July 14, 2017

A SLOW WEEK.....



It is somewhat late in the afternoon on Friday July 14th but I decided to try and put up a quick post before too much time goes by.  I continue to struggle keeping up this blog.  I am just too stubborn I think to throw in the towel altogether, so I will just keep doing the best I can to not fall behind.

I went through my usual struggle after Melody left and we finished up with our visit to Jeff's dad out in Kingman Arizona last Sat.  It was a really nice day.  Melody and her little family had taken their boat to the river for a couple of days, and then made the drive over to meet us there.  I think the boys were a little surprised to see us (they got there a couple of hours before we did!) there.  Little Luke said just as excited as he could be, "I didn't know YOU were coming grandma!"  He was soo pleased, lol.  Did my heart good I can tell ya.  I had brought along the game Candyland, all of their favorite books, and the little plastic dogs (that belonged to Melody when she was young) for them to play with while we were there.  I knew there wouldn't be much for them to do there, and it would be WAY too hot at 118 to go outside, lol.  They were very easily entertained with me reading and playing Candyland with them, and that left the rest of them to talk and enjoy each other.  Claire was a little fussy as she had missed her nap, and after all she had a LONG week and she is only just turned 2! But she enjoyed the little dogs for a little while and Melody tried unsuccessfully to get her to sleep, but it just never did happen.  They left in the late afternoon and hubby and I then stayed for dinner and the rest of the evening.  His dad continues to do soo well at 88, and we are both so grateful.  I've missed them all for sure, but I am spent most of this week not doing a whole lot and it was just kind of nice.

MELODY'S FAMILY WITH JEFF'S DAD JACK....THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THE KIDS MET THEIR GREAT GRANDFATHER.  I WAS SOO GLAD THIS HAPPENED.  YOU CAN SEE HOW SLEEPY CLAIRE WAS.  POOR BABY!

I STOLE THIS OFF OF MELODY'S FACEBOOK TAKEN WHILE THEY WERE OUT OF THEIR BOAT...DOES LUKE'S FACE SAY IT ALL OR WHAT?  THAT LITTLE GUY'S ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE IS JUST SOO CONTAGIOUS!   
I CAME ACROSS THIS PIC JUST NOW AND HAD TO SHARE IT, LOL.  LITTLE CLAIRE HAD WONDERED INTO OUR BATHROOM AND FOUND HERSELF GRANDMA'S MAKE UP DRAWER.  SHE WAS JUST SOO PLEASED WITH HERSELF, LOL
We are going to start ANOTHER large project tomorrow!  I know....the other one is hardly behind us.  But we have been talking about doing a few things for a while, and summertime just seems like the time to be on it.  We are going to paint our kitchen cabinets!  I KNOW!  Big job!  I have been researching and watching tutorials on how to best go about this for a few weeks now, and I think I have got it down.  Not that I will be doing most of the actual work of course, lol, but I do have my roles.  And deciding on the color of the paint seems like an important one.  Honestly I have been all over the place.  From a beautiful shade of blue, to a light olive green, to a white white and then also a pretty shade of linen.   I got little samples of all of these colors and after preparing the inside of one of the doors and painting a little of it I have deliberated and pondered on it.  I did send pictures to my daughter and niece and sisters and they have all given me their opinion as well.  I have settled on....LINEN.  It just goes best with all of my other colors and things, and at the same time remains more neutral which seems important for some reason, lol.  Anyway, we will get started tomorrow.  It will no doubt take a few week-ends to finish up as there are a few steps involved.  I can't wait to see it.  I will take before and after pictures and share as we go along.  I do have to say I LOVE  a good home improvement project, and besides the floors we haven't been on any in years.  There are a few more lined up behind this one, lol, but first things first.

I did begin work this week FINALLY on a project from one of my favorite online quilt stores that I bought last January.  I just never seemed to get around to it.  It is a quilted wall hanging calendar that you change out each month.  It was a little more work then I intended, and considering of course there are 12 months it might take me a while.  I only bought January's to see if I was even going to want to do it, but I think the answer is yes.  lol.  So I bought August and September's for now and hope to get them made as soon as I can..  Meanwhile I need to get started on my Christmas sewing too.  I know it seems early, but if you have followed me for long you know I always get started in summertime as I have SOOO much Christmas sewing what with gifts etc.  I haven't decided what I am going to do yet which is part of my dilemma.  I am looking through the shops trying to decide. I also came up with a BRILLIANT idea of how to make myself a new top, but I will tell you more about that later when then fabric I ordered comes and I make it up.  Let me just say this....IF this plan works I have a feeling making these tops for myself will start taking quite a bit of my time too, lol. Sooo let me show you the calendar....


I STILL HAVE TO MAKE THE BINDING AND ATTACH IT, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS DONE.  THIS CAME AS A KIT AND HONESTLY WAS PRETTY SIMPLE, BUT A LITTLE MORE TIME CONSUMING THEN I HOPED FOR.  IT HAD SOME HAND EMBROIDERY ON IT WHICH I HAVEN'T DONE IN YEARS!  I USED TO DO IT ALOT, BUT HONESTLY IT HAS PROBABLY BEEN 25 YEARS!  A QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL BROUGHT ME BACK UP TO SPEED, BUT HONESTLY IT'S NOT ALL THAT GREAT, LOL.  IT'S OK.  THIS IS JUST FOR ME TO ENJOY, AND I FIND MYSELF A LOT LESS PICKY WHEN IT IS!

MY X'S FOR HIS SMILE ARE DOWNRIGHT COMICAL, BUT I AM NOT GOING TO DO THEM OVER LOL!  I WILL ADMIT I DID NOT ENJOY STITCHING DOWN ALL THE APPLIQUE PIECES....WAY TOO FIDDLY.  BUT IT HONESTLY WENT PRETTY QUICKLY.  I ONLY HAD TO BUY ONE SPOOL OF THREAD TO DO IT WITH TOO WHICH WAS NICE AS THREAD IS SOO PRICEY ANYMORE.


My sister Diane came over yesterday and we spent the day together.  We went out to my favorite quilt store and shopped for quite a while, then we stopped and had lunch, and then spent the rest of the afternoon working on our embroidery projects.  I really wish we could spent more time together doing things like this, but she is soo busy homeschooling her grandkids during the year that it has become quite the unusual event for her to have the time.  Hope you all have a good week-end.  I have tried to get around to visit, but I will do better next week I promise!  Blessings to you all!  Debbie

Thursday, July 6, 2017

MEL'S VISIT AND THE 4TH OF JULY


Well it's 3:00 in the afternoon on the 6th of July and I am finally ready to put a few pictures up here on the blog to try and document the last few days.  What a whirlwind...and I am not going to lie....I am beat! lol.  Melody and her little family did not get here until around 12:30 am on Monday morning so needless to say they found us in bed.  We left the back door unlocked and had their beds ready and they carried in the kids who were sleeping of course and then jumped right in themselves gratefully. But we all got up bright and early on Monday anyway and headed out for the beach. Melody is definitely a So. California girl born and raised and grew up going to the beach at least twice a week in the summer time. She LOVES the beach and it is one of the main things she misses about not living here anymore, so even though she was only going to be here a few days she wanted to get to the beach  Now as much as I too LOVE the beach it is a really hard place (as I am sure I have whined, complained, mentioned before) for me to go to these days, as walking in the sand with NO cartilage at all in my knees makes it almost impossible to do.  But my niece Jessica and her little family were going to (she is Melody's age and best friend) and she had found a beach not far from her where there is a wooden walkway that goes almost all the way to the water!   She was sure I could maneuver it and they talked us into to going to.  I was soooo glad that we did because I had NO trouble at all and honestly I can't tell you how much I too have missed sitting at the beach and watching the waves crash on the shore and feeling the ocean breeze in my hair and all of the rest of it that goes along with a trip to the beach.  It was a WONDERFUL day.  The weather cooperated and just couldn't have been better.  We were there for several hours and enjoyed every little minute.  And of course now I will no longer have to not be able to go to the beach as I will be going back there for sure.  Anyway, here are some pics from that day....

MELODY AND HER FAMILY.....I ABSOLUTELY LOVED MEL'S SUIT!  SOOO CUTE

LOVE THIS PICTURE OF THESE SWEET LITTLE BOYS AND THE MAGNIFICENT PACIFIC OCEAN!

CLAIRE WAS FEARLESS, LOL.  SHE LOVED LOVED LOVED THE BEACH.  DEFINITELY HER MAMA'S (and her grandma's) DAUGHTER

STOLE THIS OFF OF MEL'S SNAP CHAT.  THEY WERE ON THIS FOR HOURS IT SEEMED

CLAIRE AND LUKE

SAM WAS FASCINATED WITH THE SEAWEED FOR SOME REASON, LOL

CLAIRE COULDN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE SAND...AT ONE POINT SHE WAS FULL ON ROLLING DOWN THE HILL IN IT, LOL

HERE ARE ALL 4 OF THEM BURIED IN THE SAND...JESSICA'S SON 3 YEAR OLD WESTON WAS ALONG TOO.

Tues of course was the 4th of July.  We had a slow morning and at around 2 we pulled up to my oldest sons house where we met the rest of the family for swimming and a barbeque and eventually fireworks.  It was a wonderful day and EVERYONE of our family was there!  It has become almost impossible to do as there is almost always someone missing.  But we were all there and I was almost giddy.  Everything about the day was as perfect as it can be living this side of heaven.  The food, the conversations, the swimming, the ping pong and basketball, watching the kids all play hide and seek in Joe's big yard as it got dark, and finally finishing up with fireworks.  We all love the 4th of July, and I will be grateful for this day for a long, long time.  I'll show you some of the pics from that day.

OUR WHOLE FAMILY!  ALL OF 4 OUR  KIDS, THEIR SPOUSES, ALL OF OUR GRANDKIDS AND OUR GREAT GRAND DAUGHTER!  EVERYONE!  SOOO HARD TO GET THIS TO HAPPEN ANYMORE...WAY TOO MANY OF US.  I'LL BE HAPPY AND GRATEFUL FOR THIS DAY FOR QUITE A WHILE!



MEL'S FAMILY AS THE DAY WAS STARTING!



TELLA AND CLAIRE

MELODY AND SOPHIA

LUKE WAS RESTING UP FOR A WHILE WITH GRANDMA

CLAIRE'S A LITTLE HAM

ALL THE GRANDS LOVED THE FLAMINGO

CLAIRE'S RESTING UP NOW, LOL

SOPHIA AND CLAIRE LOVED THE PLAYROOM TOO


LEAH OPENING HER GIFT!  SHE LOVED IT!

ASLEEP ON THE WAY HOME, LOL
WE BABYSAT ONE NIGHT AND LET THESE TWO GO OUT!  NOT EASY TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE 3 LITTLE ONES

IN THEIR 4TH OF JULY PJ'S

LITTLE SOPHIE IN HER 4TH OF JULY OUTFIT I MADE HER...MISS AMERICAN PIE!



OUR GROUP DOING OUR GOOFY FACES...WISH I HAD BROUGHT OUR GOOD CAMERA.  16 YEAR OLD LINDSEY'S BOYFRIEND TOOK THESE PICS FOR US!  THANKS ADRIAN!

Well that's about it for now...I have been interrupted a few times with phone calls, but finally got this done.  Mel's family left this morning for the river with their boat for a few more days and we will meet them at Jeff's dad on Sat. in Kingman Arizona for a little visit with him.  I am happy to be getting one more day with them because we probably won't see them again now until Thanksgiving when some of us will travel out to Mel's.  I have had soo much activity in the last 3 days I feel like I've been in another world, lol.  How grateful I am.  Hope you all had a wonderful 4th too.  I hope to get around to visit with you all soon.  Many blessings to you!  Debbie