Jack Of All Trades

I went to the Together For Adoption Conference over the weekend.  Jas and I joked that "Survive" might be the only thing on his to-do list while I was gone (like the daddy on one of my favorite blog's HERE).

But Jas did more than survive, of course....he is Super Dad!

I was thrilled with him when I got home.  My bedroom looked like this....

...and this....

...and this!

Stuff EVERYWHERE!  It looked as if the closet had exploded...and, in fact, that is exactly (kind of) what happened!

So, why was I happy about this???

While I was gone, Jas took the opportunity (with LOTS of help from smaller hands) to get done a project that he and I have talked about ever since we moved into this house.

When I left, our master closet looked like this:

And it NOW looks like this:

Jas and I've only been together for 21 years now...why am I still continually surprised by how smart and talented and thorough he is?!?!

I may still be surprised, but I am also very thankful!

Jas took "before" and "during" pictures with his phone, so I could see how the project progressed.

This may sound silly, but I truly would have been a happy, happy girl if Jas had just done the wood work...

...even if he hadn't painted anything.  But he did:  the walls, the new (and old) woodwork...and he even freshened up the floorboards and casing on the door!

It is just more than I had ever hoped or imagined...and I am ecstatic!

Jas taking an "after" pic with his phone, so he could brag on FB...as well he should!

Jas even thought to buy us a new little ladder that we will need to access the new highest shelf.

So, in closing....

....My new closet is great...My husband is awesome....

...and AMEN!


I Heard It

Last night as I mowed (I love mowing!), Chelsea and T-Bone came up to the pasture fence.  They watched me curiously - while lazily chewing their cud - as I circled around and around.

They were in the pasture.  The pasture I no longer need to mow.  Because they're in the pasture.

As I circled around (and snapped this pic with my phone), I told them, "Thank you!"

They said..........(chomp, chomp) "You're welcome." 



When we first closed on our house in March 2013, I called this section behind the backyard proper the "pasture."  

I was dreaming.

March 2013

It looked nothing like a pasture.

The six of us took down the (falling down anyway) wooden picket fence.

And in February 2014, we had the "pasture" fenced in:

And then in April 2014, my dad drove down on his tractor and tilled up the pasture...

 ...and Jas planted grass seed:

And after a few weeks, it looked like the grass seed wasn't going to take...but then it did!

And on Saturday morning, our pasture looked like this:

A.M., 10/11/14

And then on Saturday evening, our pasture looked like this:
P.M. 10/11/14
Don't see anything different?

Look reeeeeal close back in the left-hand corner...


There are cows in that pasture!

At times I thought this was just never going to happen.

But here they are....

Meet our two Jerseys....T-Bone, and his mama, Chelsea.

I took this through a square in the fence....they weren't letting us get that close at the time.

More to come about our cow adventures soon.....but I'll sign off with these "milky" pictures...


Cabinet Makeover - Better Late Than Never

Background: Jas and I had a kitchen island in our house in Colorado...and I loved it.

When we first saw our current house last year, I thought the kitchen looked wide enough that I would be able to put an island in there...woohoo!  I pinned all kinds of DIY ideas on pinterest...looked at ready-made islands in some stores...and then...

As we took out part of the wall between the kitchen and the family room (so I would be able to see what is going on in there!)...the kitchen went from this...

...to this...

to finally this:

I just ran into the kitchen and took this pic.  I didn't even try to clean anything up
and make it look like my kitchen doesn't always have 100 projects going.  You're welcome.

As Jas used the sawzall and hacked into the cabinets that were coming out...

...he set a very nice specimen down on the kitchen floor, and my mom and I immediately said, "THERE is the island!"

Except, well...it wasn't.  It was just too wide to be an island in this kitchen.  

But it was a great cabinet....so we still kept it and put it to use.

For the next couple of months as we worked (and worked) on the house, the children played with (in/on) the cabinet, out in the sunroom:

And once we finally moved in May 2013, we put the cabinet in the eat-in section of the kitchen, as a sort of improvised "welcome" entry area.  

I have no before pictures...it wasn't anything to look at...still half wood/half white.  Thankfully, we did have a proper counter top made for it....after it had been sitting in the kitchen for 6 months.  We're quick around here, I tell ya!

But as we (finally) began Operation Cabinet Rescue and Redo recently, I remembered to take some in-process pictures.

We'd already taken the doors back off, and primed it here.

And here - only 18 months after we cut it out of the kitchen wall - is the new and improved cabinet, as it now greets those who walk into our kitchen:

I love it.

I love the bright, cheery "Cranberry" color. (My friend Amy told me it was "Cranberry"...I like that better than the "Bright Red" I was calling it in my head.)

It bothers Noah that it doesn't match the rest of the cabinets.  I told him he was just going to have to deal with it.

Elisabeth, ever ready to hop in a picture, saw me and jumped in there.

Besides, being pretty and welcoming, this is why I couldn't bear to part with this cabinet once it came down from the wall:

It has tons of storage space.  Storage space that we need.  The left side holds cookie sheets, trays, baking stones, cooling racks, and our world map placemat that we use multiple times a week (as we do school at the kitchen table now...not in the schoolroom...because that makes too much sense.)

The right side holds books and more books that we use daily.

I'm not showing anything above the cabinet, as I have another project "in the works" for that area...

...and maybe it will be done in about another 18 months.  


Abigail is 3 Months Old

Our little miss is 3 months old now.

These are 3 of approximately 5 pics that exist of me with Abigail.  Daniel offered to take this yesterday,
on her 3-mo birthday, apparently aware of the dearth of pics!

One of my aunts asked a couple of days ago - upon not being able to get A's attention by calling her name - if she doesn't recognize her name yet.  Ummmm, probably not...given that about 95% of the time we call her "Sissy."  We really need to stop calling her that unless we want it to stick for life!

Her last doctor appointment was at 2 mos. old, and at that appointment she was 12 lb 6 oz...75th percentile for weight, and 85th percentile for height.  Given her birth parents' heights (5'11" and 6'3"), we are not surprised at all.  My 6'4" dad has high hopes that she'll be a good basketball player...but the children hope she'll be a "keeper" for soccer!

I am thoroughly enjoying having a chubby baby.  I was so worried about G's weight for so long, all these rolls and squishy is just delightful.  Makes for some interesting bath times, though: I've got to be real careful to get in all the cracks and crevices.  Her double chin likes to hide some milk....and that's not too pleasant.

Abigail has worked her way up to 7 oz bottles, and she normally takes 5 bottles a day.

But she has to squeeze all those bottles into a relatively short amount of time, because sissy is sleeping through the night like a champ.  She started sleeping through at 9 weeks.  But at that point she would still wake up to eat again at about 5 a.m. (which wasn't a problem, as that is what time Jas and I get up anyway)...but NOW- she sleeps until usually 8 a.m.   It. is. awesome.

She takes a couple of cat naps during the morning, but is awake quite a bit now.  Then she takes a good long (3-4 hour) nap in the afternoon. And another quick doze at about 7 p.m. or so.  Then she takes her last bottle at about 8 or 8:30 and is asleep for the night by 9 p.m.

Considering that it took G til he was 14 months old to sleep through the night, I do not take Abigail's sleeping schedule lightly or for granted....I am so thankful!

The "serious" pictures that we capture of A could be misleading....

...because Sissy really spends most of her time smiling.  Beaming, actually.

Who wouldn't smile, with so many adoring fans constantly surrounding you?

The children are so good with her.

Sissy helping Daniel with something in the school room

G is still very sweet with Abigail.  I'm hopeful it will stay that way for a while....at least until she starts trying to swipe his toys.

We don't ever leave him alone with her, though...because he is very curious about things - like her eyes - and pokes at them.

Lately, when Abigail has "tummy time", G runs to go get his blanket, and then he gets down there with her and wants us to spread the blanket over both of them.

Abigail is full of coos and purring and "talking" now.  And she seems ready to bust out laughing any day now.  Can't wait to hear that!

One cute thing that Sissy has been doing lately is playing with her own hair.

Maybe she is twirling her hair, but it looks more like pulling.  Gently, thankfully.

I can't blame her...I can't keep my fingers out of her hair either.  Whenever I feed Abigail, I spend the whole time playing with her curls.  They are so cute!  Noah calls them "sproing-y".  When stretched out, her hair is 2 inches long now.  

If the drooling... 

 ...and more drooling...

 ...and shoving everything. she. can. into her mouth....

 ...are any indication...Sissy has officially begun teething.

"Why can't they BOTH fit in there?!?"

In true Sissy-style, she has not been fussy at all.  The drooling and gnawing that commenced suddenly tipped us off.

BUT, amber to the rescue.  I've read for years that wearing an amber necklace/bracelet helps with inflammation (due to an acid in the amber that your skin absorbs).  A few days after we had noticed the drooling/gnawing, her amber showed up (I had already ordered it, knowing that teething couldn't be too far off).  A couple days into her wearing it, I realized that I could really tell a difference in her sleeping.  She slept noticeably longer during the night and then took a crazy-long nap in the morning...much longer than she had been doing.  I am pretty willing to try new/unusual tactics/remedies....but I'm always skeptical about them actually working.  But this amber has me believing!

I purchased this amber necklace specifically made to help a baby with teething (regarding the length, individually knotted, etc.) , but with all of Sissy's chins, it makes me nervous for her to wear it as a necklace.  So we've been wrapping it around her ankle and keeping it in place with her sock.

 I love all of the random movements and motions that babies make with their arms and legs.

 Love that look in the above picture.

So, Abigail is having a belly button issue. Jas has termed it her "belly knob" as button is totally misleading in this case.

You can see her belly knob poking out the front of her outfit in this pic.
The doctor is not the least bit concerned about this....which is encouraging.  She said that she has seen them as big as a fist (I didn't clarify if she meant an adult fist, or the baby's fist...but either way, WOW!)

 And Dr. D confidently pronounced that Abigail would end up with an "Innie."

Innie or outie - we love this sweet little girl to pieces...and we're so thankful to Him for bringing us all together!


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