30 September 2014

The Dining Room: Part II

(If you missed the 'before,' click here.)

He finished!  Doesn't it look nice?  If our house was about to get hit by a tsunami and I had time to grab five things, this cupboard would definitely be one of those five.

I've always been a fan of antique pie safes.  Years and years ago we were on a little weekend trip to central Oregon and found pie safe tins at an antique store.  Now, finally, they are being put to good use and I have my own pie safe-inspired piece. 

Isn't the hardwood counter top beautiful?  That's extra hardwood from our old house that apparently had been in the attic all those years.  David grabbed a few boards before we moved out, but now that these have been shined up and put to good use, he wishes he had grabbed more.

With all the fall touches, this room is definitely my favorite room.  I mean, when all the other rooms aren't my favorite, then this one is my favorite.

Daph putting the room to good use with her math work

23 September 2014

What We Did On the First Day of Fall

Let me share some more house love, since that's a topic that hasn't been beaten to death yet.

We love that we feel like we live out in the country even though the Portland border is a mere 40-ish feet away.  Our street is so quiet we can meander around on it for a little nature walk and not see a car the whole time we're out.  I try to teach about street safety and Christian's like, "but there's NO CARS here!"  It's confusing to him. 

And if we didn't love all that enough, now the leaves are starting to change, turning our street into a rather magical place.

Since rain is in the forecast for the week, we took this morning to walk through crunchy leaf piles and collect bagfuls for leaf rubbings (we straight up copied this activity, cute leaf garland and all).  Daphne was very impressed that you can make leaves show up on paper.  She's pleased with our garland hanging prominently in the family room.  (Our house is decorated like a kindergarten classroom.  Such is life.)  We called it Science, Art, and P.E. and then gave ourselves high 5's for a school day well done.  Oh, we did Reading later because we're not total slackers. 

Christian loves doing whatever project Daphne is doing, even if his shorter attention span means that after only a few minutes of coloring he's on the floor tearing paper to bits.  Then 5 minutes later he's throwing trucks down the stairs. 

Jonas was content in the Ergo and then in his seat, taking in all the activity.  I tickled his chin so he giggled and squealed, because babies like nature walks, leaves, and fall, too. They also like naps. 

17 September 2014

Jonas: 3 Months

I'm sure all have heard the good news that Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix streaming on October 1st?  It's just SO difficult to load DVDs all the time (not to mention my DVDs have been viewed so many times they've practically worn out) so this news will make my life infinitely better.

That doesn't have much to do with Jonas, but I couldn't bear to keep the good news to myself.  After all, sharing is caring!

Anyways, back to Jonas at 3 Months. What a sweet, smiley, squishy, chatty little doll he is. There's not much more to say beyond that he's practically perfect.  He gets a little mad when he's tired and we've kept him up past his nap time.  Stiffens himself up like a 2x4 and refuses to relax.  He doesn't especially love being hungry, either.  I guess what I'm trying to say here is that as long as he's napped and fed he has nothing to complain about, and so he doesn't.  Isn't that the nicest?

Christian asked if we could get another baby like Jonas soon.  I told him that's probably not a great idea right now, but it makes me happy that he loves his baby so much.  Daphne is the perfect little mother and loves to babysit him while he's awake.  That keeps both of them entertained; big win for me.  Baby Christian was always a little frightened of Daphne and her smothering ways, but if Jonas is irritated with her, he yells.  No crying, just a nice and firm, "back up, lady!" yell.  It's funny.

We all like him quite a bit.  With those cheeks and eyes and that tiny tuft of hair sticking up atop his head...he's basically irresistible. 
photo courtesy of the fabulous Michelle

13 September 2014

We Have Pumpkins

September has rushed in and our fall activities are getting underway.  Even with our few scheduled weekly activities we're still feeling quite lazy-ish because HOME SCHOOL.  Yay.  More on that another time, I'm sure, but basically we can't handle having to be somewhere every. single. day. so we've become nerdy introverts who school at home.  Except our social calendar is ridiculous (home school perk I never really considered), so never mind on the introverted part.  Nerdy, I don't know, but this is how Christian dresses himself.  So maybe?

Bible Study Fellowship started Wednesday and we are all happy to be back.  I thought Daphne would be going with David this year, but since she's still 5 she gets to come with me.  She's happy to be back in her class with old and new friends.  Christian ran freely into his classroom this year instead of wrapping himself around my leg and wailing.  That was nice.  This year's study is the life of Moses, Exodus through Deuteronomy.   If you need a good study, we can't recommend this one enough, so look for one in your area.   Or come to mine and be my friend!  (Or go to David's and be his friend.)
poor David didn't get a first day photo

After BSF was peach canning time.  Jonas took a nice long nap while the big kids stole peaches yet still wanted me to fix them snacks and were generally in the way.  There is just no telling which child is my favorite.

I don't understand his fashion choices

Thursday we gathered pumpkins and gourds from my parent's house. (Thanks, Dad, for your wild gourd patch.)  This house is a dream for the holiday decorating, putting a crimp in regular unpacking.  The guest room is still a disaster, but hey, we have pumpkins! 

'every leaf speaks bliss to me fluttering from the autumn tree'

I need piles of pumpkins around the gate

08 September 2014

Finished/Not-Finished Dining Room

I surely do love a formal dining room.  This house has a dining room AND a roomy kitchen nook, basically my dream come true. 

Since I like a dining room to get as much use as possible, I tried to keep ours cozy enough to sit at the table with coffee, and casual enough to allow the kids to spread out with their art projects.  This room has amazing natural light and a lovely view.  It's closely connected to the living room, making it easily accessible for more than 'formal dining.'  Our kids like to park their chairs at the windows and yell to people as they're coming up the front walk.  Don't be frightened if that happens to you when you come to visit.
do you like my map? 

Before: the walls were light blue, and a pewter colored chandelier hung from the ceiling.  The window treatment, while pretty, was a little too fancy for my personal taste.   The rug came with the house, but having little children to clean up after means I prefer hard floors in eating rooms. 

I love having windows at child-height

I painted the walls Dutch Boy Rudimentary Beige.  I used this same color all throughout the house.  Maybe boring, but I love it.  David hung the new light, and he's currently working on building me a hutch.  You'll notice I don't show one wall of this room, and that would be because it's completely blank until the new hutch comes in.  Once it's decorated and the rest of the wall art hung, I will have an even better 'after' to show.  Let's all text David multiple times a day and ask when my hutch will be finished, shall we?

(FYI, the table is set because friends were coming for supper.  We're not quite fancy enough to always keep the dining room table set up.)

We found the house blueprints in one of the closets and framed the front page drawing.  I just love it.   That flower picture is in need of a frame, but who has time for frame shopping?. 

my view from the kitchen sink

nice flow to the living room

hi Daph! who is running from the kitchen

Our dining room chairs are the same that we had at the Parkrose house, but I painted them black to trick myself into thinking I have new chairs.  We love how they turned out, and love the black against the light walls. We have a plan for some wainscoting or board and batten in this room, but I have to figure out exactly what I want and of course have to have David home long enough to help with the project. 

Aren't you excited for me to get my new hutch?  In time for some fall and then Christmas decorating?  Yes, me too. 

07 September 2014

At Least Jonas Has a Done-ish Room

I'm feeling brave enough to share two of our rooms that we have in fairly good liveable conditions.  If you think house pictures are lame, you'll hate this post.  If you happen to love a good 'before and after,' this one's for you. 

Jonas's nursery is the most completed room.  His car rug is in the big kid's room right now and I have at least one more thing to hang; other than that it's looking pretty swell.  I'm sure as he is in there snoozing he is appreciating the beauty around him.  He probably has really nice dreams.

His room required the most painting because I wanted to paint the trim.  Trim painting, especially going from dark red to white, is rather laborious.  It is not made much easier when done while home alone with 3 children. 

(My 'before' pictures aren't that great.  I took them while we were at the house for the home inspection, so was snapping quickly while trying to stay out of the way/keep the kids out of the way of the inspector.)
weird Dave

Daph needed to be in every single picture

We didn't mind the barn red trim in the room, but for a baby nursery I wanted white.  David liked the red closet doors, though, so we kept those for now.  The doors work for a baby boy room.  The beige was a bit darker than I wanted, and I didn't love the green above the picture rail, so the whole room got freshened up with new colors. 

David built this super cute rustic shelf

canvas + sharpie = 5 minute 'art' project copied from Pinterest

Hobby Lobby map

Christian doing unusual things

I didn't take a picture of the doorway, but this room has one of those cute little entry nooks that we're planning on doing this to:
this picture is everywhere but I can't find an original source

And that's the nursery!  Of course usually it looks like this: darkened, J sleeping in the rock-n-play, fan for white noise, random stuff on the dresser...perfectly imperfect, as our house typically is.

I was going to show the dining room, too, but this post is so huge we'll save that for another day.  Such exciting things to look forward to!

04 September 2014

Slices of Life, Vol XIV

*Driving past Bonneville Dam:
Daphne: Is that a bridge?
David: Nope, it's a dam.
Daphne: Oh, it's a dam bridge?
David and Melissa:

*While watching me cook supper:
Daphne: What are you doing?
Me: I'm grating cheese.
Daphne: Grating? What's grating?  Are you making the cheese dead?

*Daphne: "Someday all the old people at our church are gonna die!  And then some new people will come!"

*After seeing inside Papa's beehive and then noticing the hexagon tile in our bathroom Daphne said, "Our floor looks like honey holders!"  (We've since taught her the word for 'honeycomb.')

*While we lived in our rental, our neighbors used to sit in their windows and stare at us while we were in our backyard.  Sometimes 5,6 people at a time.  It was strange.  So one day Daphne said, "Maybe when we live in our new big house we can stare at OUR neighbors!"  (Now that we live here, we don't do any unusual staring.)

*Daphne: "Daddy is going to let me visit jail so I can see the bad guys.  And I will say to the bad guys, 'You naughty bad guys, you are going to stay in jail until you learn to follow God and your Heavenly Father!'"

*Daphne got on the phone with David and said, "Hi Dad! I'm playing with needles but I'm being careful!"  Then she hung up.  (Nothing to fear when Mom is in charge, obviously.)

*Daph loves to be crafty and Jonas gets the benefits:

03 September 2014

Daph Endorses These Pickles

I recently stumbled across Smitten Kitchen's Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles and thought we should give them a try.  I was cautious getting too excited about whether or not they would be good, because I hate cucumbers and even the essence of cucumbers, and wasn't sure such a simple recipe would truly turn cucumbers into pickles in only a few short hours. Baking kale into kale chips is supposed to turn kale into a yummy snack, but really, kale chips are just kale turned into warm, cripsy, kale grossness.  This could be a similar experience. 

I let Daphne have the first try, because she's a braver taste-tester than I am, and because if they turned out gross, better her taste buds than mine.  (I'm a great mom.)  She loved them enough to make me brave...and they really are good!  She eats them by the bowlful, until I cut her off because I'm afraid her stomach will hurt.  Christian won't try them because he's even wimpier food-wise than I am, but David and I both really like them.  I think we're going to have to start growing cucumbers and dill in order to keep these a summer staple. 

I have a jar of apple peals and water fermenting on the counter, trying my hand at homemade apple cider vinegar.  I think it will turn out just fine because my jar looks just like the jar in the recipe photo, so surely that's good?  And it smells fermenty-sweet, also a good sign.  I think. 

Happy Wednesday!  Go forth and make yourselves some pickles.