Monday, April 28, 2008

Let's go bucs!

As I mentioned previously, Chris and Nancy were here visiting. They were on a baseball stadium tour and included PNC Park as their last stop. The girls and I hadn't been to a game yet, so we all decided to go. We had so much fun. The weather was glorious and it was so fun to spend time with the Clark's. I was so sad when they had to leave the next morning.
Roger and the girls. It was Tuesday, which is free shirt night. Ashby wore her shirt for about two days. I love me a new t-shirt too!

From left to right: Chris, Nancy, Avery, me, Roger and Ashby.

The Pirates actually won and Captian Jolly Roger waves the jolly roger when they win. Chris enjoyed that we had our very own jolly Roger.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We really did finish our kitchen remodel about a year ago. I've been too lazy and too messy to get any good after photos. Roger's sister Nancy and her husband Chris are coming to visit tonight, so I figured I'd better clean up a bit. It also is a good opportunity to get some decent after photos. It's not perfectly clean, it's Chelsea clean and it will have to do. As I was looking at the before photos, we've come so far and are so grateful for all the help we had in getting here. Thanks especially to Roger's parents Grant and Margaret. They spent a whole week with us right after we moved in. Grant worked and worked and worked, it was amazing. Without Margaret's help we never would have had a suitable pretend kitchen (as the girls called it) for all those months. Thanks again! Also thanks to Kevin and Kelly and Chris and Kim. If anyone came to visit us, we put them right to work! Thanks everyone, here are the fruits of your labors!! (Of course, thanks to Roger, who would come home from work tired, but could still manage to sand or mud a wall!)

Before: The wall with the sink and window above, gross huh?

During: the same wall with the men hard at work. See the piece of ceiling that hasn't been sheet rocked yet? Roger and I singled-handedly put up the 12 foot piece of drywall. It almost squished me, twice.

After: I love, love, love the apron front sink and yes, I'm obsessed with red.

Before: The corner between the stove and the sink. We couldn't close the cupboard doors when our dinner plates were inside.

Before: We don't really know why the stove was free floating. How much do you love the duck border?

During: The men still hard at work. Note on the left, that was the only entrance into the kitchen.

After: The stove and the microwave were the only new appliances we bought when we remodeled.

Before: I didn't even get a good shot of the dining room. You can see the corner of the dryer. Yes the washer and dryer were in the dining room.

During: We removed all the drywall in preparation of having the wall removed. We moved the washer and dryer into a bedroom on the same floor. It's not the best solution, but it worked. This is where we kept the refrigerator while we were remodeling. It was great having to put shoes on to get the milk.

After: It made such a huge difference to have the wall removed. To the right is a little pantry that we have loved. Our dream is to install a bench in that right corner, it would give us a tiny bit more room.

Before: This is the wall opposite the sink. It's where the fridge was, again free standing. The entrance to the kitchen is out of the picture to the right.

During: It was Grant's excellent idea to put in a new entrance to the kitchen. It has made all the difference in the world.

After: Now we can see into the living room while we are in the kitchen. Before it was so hard to be cooking and have no idea what the kids were up to, now I can keep my eyeballs on them!

After: Both entrances. Our plan is to make a pantry with a door where the original kitchen entrance is, wouldn't that be swell?

After: This is where the fridge is now. We would like to replace the fridge and dishwasher, but they work fine, so no need to yet!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Butter IS better

The votes are in and butter is better, 11 to 3. We'll definitely give it a try. The most convincing argument for me is the existence of trans fat in the margarine. I knew about it all along, but put my blinders on about it. I'm not a health nut by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like making small changes to benefit my family's health. Sam's Club here I come!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It breaks a mother's heart

Ashby had to get a cavity filled at the dentist today. It was a little tiny one and when they found it, the dentist said he wouldn't even have to numb her to fill it. We go today and I guess he changed his mind and shot her little face full of Novocaine. She was such a champ. She didn't even flinch at the little pinch. However, I was unprepared for this and didn't sufficiently prep her about what was to happen. The dentist said to be sure and watch her so she wouldn't bite her tongue or cheek. I watched and I didn't let her eat anything. But it was almost time for school and kids were hungry. We ate lunch a little before the anaesthesia had worn off completely. I was watching and she was doing fine, until I wasn't watching. Then she chewed her lip into hamburger, seriously. I looked over at her and there was blood dripping down her chin, yikes. I cleaned her up and she said she was fit to go to school. So she went. As the bus was pulling up to drop her off after school I saw her in the window and noticed she was holding something up against her face, it was an ice pack. They were playing outside at the end of school and she fell, a really really good fall. She skinned up the side of her face. So this is Ashby with a really fat lip and a really skinned face. It breaks a mother's heart.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Is butter better?

Roger and I have done more cooking and baking in the last year than we did in the previous 6 years combined. This has definitely been a good thing. As I've gotten a bit better at cooking, I am finding what types of things I prefer over others. For example, I like extra virgin olive oil over regular olive oil and for the most part we don't mind using the generic brand of items. I do like Campbell's soup instead of a generic. I just try to find whatever is the cheapest. This brings me to the point. As I have been reading recipes there are some that definitely call for butter. I have always used margarine, mostly because it's cheaper. But am I missing something? Is butter better than margarine. I know there are some people that feel quite passionately about the subject, I wanna hear about it. So vote in the poll and comment to let your voice be heard. Maybe I'll be convinced to shell out the extra $1.20 for butter.

Margarine, my brand of choice.

But is butter better?

Roger just informed me that perhaps it depends on what you are making if it matters. Then let me know what butter is better for too...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Book tag

I was tagged with a book tag by our friend Heather. Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book (at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post said sentence on your blog.
5. Tag five people.

I thought this was a pretty fun tag. The nearest book is A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle. I reread A Wrinkle in Time last summer and thought I would read the rest of the series. I'm all about the Young Adult fiction, it's right on my level! So here's the 5th sentence from page 123: "The grass was turning brown, and the green leaves had lost their sheen." Well that's awfully disappointing for a fantasy novel isn't it? Anyway I will tag Brittany and Nancy Sabina. I know that's not five, but I know you two read... so let's have it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

What a great weekend

We just finished what has been one of best weekends we've had in a long time. Saturday we were finally able to get some gardening done. We got our berry bushes in that have sitting inside our house for over a month. We hope they do well. We also prepped the garden box and started some vegetable seeds inside in peat pots. We have had sun the last few days also, giving these little plants lots of hope! It was so nice to be working outside in the yard. Apparently I guilted mother nature into some nice weather, it couldn't have been better.

It was also general conference weekend. This usually consists of Roger and I trying to watch sessions while the girls yell at us to do something with them. This time however, they were very into the conference bingo. They were doing a good job of listening for the words on their cards. Every time someone would mention President Gordon B. Hinckley, Avery would say, "that's the teacher who died." It was very, very sweet and I don't think President Hinckley would mind being called the teacher. During the second Sunday session we were all candied out so we painted fingernails and toenails instead of bingo. As it turns out this was an excellent conference activity. The girls were fairly quiet so I listened and painted at the same time! It's been rare in the last five years to feel as uplifted and encouraged as I have after this session of conference. What a great weekend!

Both girls chose pink fingernails, Avery has green toenails (painted, not sick) and Ashby purple toenails.