Friday, August 28, 2015

"Dream" Sign DIY

As a part of my new room, I wanted some sort of wooden sign with a word I want to be reminded of often. People who know me, know I would much rather "figure out how to make it myself" than go buy whatever item I have in mind (in most cases). 

I acquired some old wooden ladders, and employed Christian to help me tear them apart. We ended up pulling off two of the steps and then the cross supports to use for my project. (Another thing about me, I rarely totally plan it out, I pretty much just get into it and see what happens.) 

I told Christian what I wanted and he grabbed all manner of power tools and did it all while I stood 10 feet away, closed my eyes, and covered my ears

He cut the two steps to be the same length roughly and then cut three supports for the back.

The wood was old and one of the steps was cracking so he used wood glue to fill it in. I was no longer closing my eyes at that point. 

Then he glued the two steps together.

And attached the supports to the back. After that, we left it to dry for 24 hours. 

Once it was dry, I wiped the whole thing off, and checked to make sure everything was secure. 

Then I printed off the letters I needed in a font I liked, and cut them out. They ended up being too big, so I cut them down to make them fit. 

I was going to just trace around the letters with a pencil and then paint them, but the pencil wasn't showing up. 

I grabbed a couple pieces of paper and measured and cut it to be the same size as the sign. Then I laid out the letters on top and taped them down. 

Making it up as I went, I took the paper and letters to the window and used a pencil to trace around the letters on the back side of the paper using the sun to show up the shadows. That ended up being a wasted step because I decided to make the paper into a stencil and cut around the letters, then went back and taped all the edges.

Once the stencil was finished, I taped it onto the sign and got my paint. I used a flat brush, and did two quick coats of regular acrylic (?) paint. It was not kid paint, but it wasn't wall paint either. If I had wanted to the use the stencil again I should have made it out of card-stock. As soon as I finished painting the letters I pulled off the stencil and let it dry. That didn't take long at all. 

To hang it up, I turned it over and used a heavy duty stapler to put two staples into the supports. They didn't go all the way into the wood, which was good. I then threaded heavy wire through the staples and used pliers to twist the wire several times around itself. 

I may end up hot gluing some burlap flowers onto it later, I just haven't decided yet. 

There are other projects I have in mind for my room, and if I think of it I'll do something like this again so y'all can see what I did. 

Later on, I'll post pictures of where they all end up in my new room.

The reason I chose the word, "Dream," is because I don't want to only do what I think I can safely do, I want to reach beyond that and dream big. How far can I go? What can I do for Him? But I don't want to just dream, I want to act. And along the way, maybe inspire others to do the same. 

Watched Pots

Monday was a little different, as I had Kate that day instead of Tuesday. She arrived sleepy again so we both got a nap from 6:15-7:00. *pumps fist*

Other than that, it was a full day caring for her, doing school work, laundry, a few projects, blogging, etc. Everyone else was home too.

Dad had a meeting at our house, it started with a tour of our home and our family's life story as told by Mia.

Then I had babysitting for small group that night. This time, there were 10 kids between the ages of 2 and 5, plus 5 infants. Thankfully I had parental help. I admit it though, it did wear me out.

When I got home at 8:30 pm, everyone was still up running around the house doing stuff. (Usually everyone is at least in their room resting before bed.) Chloe decided to bake a bunch of stuff just because, Mom and Dad had been putting together furniture, and everyone else was playing! I headed to bed as soon as I could. So two hours later.

Tuesday, I went to my nanny job because I did not have Kate. 

Then I went to Denton to by jeans and a dress for pictures in Hawaii. For once in my life, I planned extra time and finished sooner than I excepted to. That was nice! Mom is the best one about accurate, realistic planning. Dad and I on the other hand always think we will be able to accomplish way more in the time we have than we actually ever can. 

That night we had small group at our home. During the sharing time (while the kids played outside) all the couples went around and shared praises, prayer requests, and things they do to keep their marriage healthy. The ones I remember were reading marriage books together each year, going to a marriage conference every year or two, having open communication, always having in mind the best interests of the other person, and that if you are having an argument or disagreement you might be pregnant. 

Wednesday afternoon after work, Chloe and I worked on writing the rough draft of our Speech Duo Interpretation. That was pretty fun! When the two of us get something going there are so many ways it could turn and with our opposite personalities... *Smiles* 

(Editorial note: We found out later that we can't actually write our entire duo from scratch, it has to come from a book.)

I babysat again that night while the others had dinner and a game night. Out of my whole summer, this week I have had the most things going on. BUT I have been making it a point to get enough sleep, and that's been going well! 

Another book recommendation- I've been reading "Christy" the past *ducks* two months *smiles sheepishly* (it took awhile...) and it was very good! A couple years ago Mom, Chloe, and I watched the tv series that was made based on the book as a special "big girl" activity in the evenings. Ever since then, I've wanted to read the book, and I'm really glad I did. I loved how it was all definitely a story, but the author wove in things to get the reader thinking, and conversations that would explain different issues or show things from a different angle. She had very strong characters, and so many different processes of growing, learning, and redemption. 

The Herd: Quoted 

“I’m just waiting for the water to boil.” -Chloe
“You know, a watched pot never boils.” -Mom
“I know, that’s why I’m not looking at it." -Chloe 

"I feel like baking cookies, that ok?" -Chloe  

"Are you okay? I thought I heard groaning." -Dad to Chloe while she was doing school.  

"I wish I could go and see what you would do..." -Chloe 
"You could turn into a fly on the wall and watch me, but I would probably smack you because I don't like flies." -Me
"Well thanks I see how it is!" -Chloe
"That sounded a lot badder than I meant it to." -Me

"Yeah, I've got guns, see those are 22's!" -Christian flexing. 
"No, you have water guns." -Chloe 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Because I'm a Blonde

Saturday morning looked something like this for Mia, Dad, Gabe, Chloe, and Christian. 

They worked on repainting our breakfast area the same soft grey that is in our schoolroom. The most time-consuming part of that project was taping around all those amazing windows. 

Mom and Ava went out for breakfast with some friends and then did some shopping. I actually didn't notice Ava was gone for a long time. She is so quiet! 

My Saturday morning looked something like this... 

And it was wonderful. 

I also finished this book. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in a post a long time ago. Because I have been reading this for several months...I read slowly. But I still HIGHLY recommend it! I would read this again and again just for myself because it was SO good. He outlines everything with basic stories and examples. So many things I simply had not thought of in the way he lays it out. (And for most people it probably wouldn't take as long to read as it did me.) 

When we go to Hawaii we always make it a point to get family pictures taken. Usually we all wear white and khaki clothing. That afternoon we worked on pulling everyone's outfits together. 

In the car on the way to church Mia wanted to have "girl time" with me. She read me the story she is writing and we took serious pictures. 

Sort of. 

Sunday we ate a quick breakfast and, as fast as we were ready, left to swim at Gramma's. So an hour later... We only have a few more weekends to do this! Mom stayed home and did a few things in between doing a lot of nothing.

Because of the cold-snap we had earlier in the week the water was actually pretty cool. If it had been the beginning of Summer we totally would have turned on the heater. But it was plenty hot outside to make it feel really nice. 

We did a lot of nothing for awhile, then after lunch played games, jumped off the diving board all different ways, and did gymnastics in the grass. For the first time we decided to take pictures.

Let me take my hair out of it's braid because I definitely want it to be super tangled. 

Ava doing the Karate-Jump. 

Christian always does the best ones. 

Preparing to do the Karate-Jump. 

Until Dad does something cooler.

Ava can touch her toes! Almost!

So close... 

What do you know, water!

As I gracefully step down.

I can fly, I can fly, I can fly.

So can I.

Dad and Ava also did cartwheels with us. But I don't have pictures. 
Christian and I doing handstands. 
I have never been able to do one in my life.

When Ava takes a picture.


At home we showered and Dad and Chloe worked on dinner-
french toast, skillet vegetables, and sausage. 

When she doesn't have a book.

Even though Chloe and I aren't in the same room any more, we still manage to talk a lot at night. 

The Herd: Quoted 

"I can do a jack-knife, I do that every time!" -Christian
"I have never seen you do a jack-knife." -Dad 

"Do a cartwheel." -Dad telling me what to do off the diving board.
"Somehow that doesn't seem like a good idea." -Me
*I do it*
"Yeah, that hurt." -Me 

"Writing helps me process my day and is very important to me. I really like this couch in here!" -Me  
*Chloe laughs*
"What?" -Me 
"That was so random!" -Chloe 

"I'm really glad God put you in this family because I don't know what we would do without a blonde person to laugh at." -Chloe 

Astronaut Ice Cream

I started the week on top of things pretty well and with a good night's sleep. What a blessing! In my lunchbox I found a note from Ava. 

Monday afternoon I got to be home and work on, primarily, chores and reviewing play lines with different siblings. Then I had small group babysitting again. 

Tuesday morning Kate actually let me rest a little longer after she arrived. Poor Ava had gotten up to play with her at 6:15, but then Kate wanted to rest in her bed. So Ava went off to the schoolroom and got started on her daily assignments. Like big sister, like little sister. 

Mom and the littles went to meet up with friends at Bubble Land again for a large portion of the day. Usually this means Kate takes really, really good naps. That didn't happen. She decided a nap-strike was in order and only took one. BUT she was very happy, played wonderfully well in her bed for a long time even though she wasn't asleep (which meant I got to be productive), and the one nap she did take was over an hour. 

During Kate's last not-going-to-sleep-even-though-I'm-in-bed-and-it-is-super-quiet time of the day, Christian and I got to play a game of Scrabble. It was a monumental event because he completely and utterly, no doubt about it, for sure beat me won for the first time while challenging me. 

Wednesday was the most fun/eventful/exciting day this week. 

In the morning Ava asked if she could teach school for the day. 

In her words-

So first I made them open some things that had money in them and then count the money and write down how much money was in them. Then I put a blindfold on Gabe and put the money in the bowl and made him identify the pennies that were in with the other coins. Then I gave them a window math-sheet and I gave them each one and they did that. And then I read to them one of the stories from the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. And then they did some spelling words. And I think that is it. Mia didn't like it so much. And Gabe had trouble spelling 'drum.' I think I would have liked teaching better if the kids had like it better. I did enjoy not having to do a math lesson myself! Gabe didn't really want me to teach them, but Mia was the one saying "Gabe, it'll be fun, lets do it!" 

After I came home from work we had another Princess Bride practice. Christian was at the neighbor's working and next week I'll have opportunity to practice all of my parts with Wesley, so we focused on all the other scenes. It all went pretty smoothly, no Batman this time, I wasn't acting much so not too much smiling, less giggling, people are doing better with lines and staying in character, etc. There was instead some tickling, furniture moving, and extra time to play a game called "Signs."Here is a link to how to play Signs.

Random facts-

 If you tickle a dead-guy it will revive him. 

When you have four, strong, teen-age guests over, moving furniture is easy. 

Playing "Signs" with 10 people is crazy. 

If you say you have never been "it", the next few turns, you will be. 

This time Chloe only took pictures of one scene- Miracle Max.

Humperdinck, Humperdinck! 

I will fix tickling!

No, no, no you have to press on his chest like so. 

Right before our friends left, Christian, "Wesley", and I raced. It was more like a 100 foot sprint. The one in cowboy boots won, the girl who was bare-foot almost won, and the person in running shoes fell behind. And that is why I've been super sore the rest of the week.

That night we watched "Little Boy" and all sobbed our eyes out as a family. There was most definitely popcorn and ice cream involved. A bit soggy, but still good. Also kind of salty... 

Thursday morning I left for work while EVERYONE was still asleep... and was greeted with this breath-taking view outside the door. Who would see this and not want to shout praises to the Lord?!

That afternoon Mom took Chloe, Christian, and I to our Speech and Debate club orientation and meet-and-greet. We already know a lot of people in the club, so it was really fun to get to see them. Plus we were able to get questions answered and be inspired by speech ideas. (At least I was...) Christian isn't too sure about all this yet, although I know he is going to do a fabulous job. Chloe is kind of excited and I and thrilled! 

Chloe and Christian will be a Team Policy Debate team, Chloe and I will likely to a Duo Interpretation Speech, and everything else is yet to be determined. 

Dad came with Gabe and Mia to meet us at the church where club is held. Then he and Mom went out for a really long time while. I drove the kids home and we did normal evening things. Meanwhile Ava ran some errands with Nana and Grandfather and got to eat out. 

Friday was mostly normal, I think. I have been kicking back into school gear this week and after work came home to take a test. 

Gabe had a personal monolog going during his playtime in the afternoon basically telling a story about his actions. It sounded something like this, "I fired my gun, ran 50 paces, fired again. Even though 50, no, all, actually like, 200 men were dead all around me, I would never surrender. Though the-the-um enemy came closer- er -approached still, I pressed on steadily." All the while he was acting out his story. 

That evening we tried astronaut ice cream. I mean, ice cream that astronauts eat. Not ice cream made out of astronauts...

The general consensus was that it tastes like ice cream-flavored, dried up, marshmallows which get stuck in your teeth. Aka, we are most likely not going to choose to switch over to eating this instead of the real thing. 

So we pulled out the 12 few containers of real ice cream that Mom and had picked up while on her Town Talk run that afternoon. There were also some brownies that showed up on the counter. 

The sunset was STUNNING. 

Chloe took some pretty cool pictures. 

Christian, Chloe, and I viewed "Guardians of the Galaxy." Yeah, science fiction, not really my thing... I followed pretty well and the others thought it was AWESOME. (The movie, but also the fact that they didn't have to pause it to enlighten me as to what in the world was going on.) I think I much prefer things that are at least slightly realistic. 

The Herd: Quoted 

“Ava, I need you to help me with these energy balls.” -Mom
“Help you eat them?” -Ava
“No…help me form them into balls.” -Mom

“They are made with coconut so you probably won’t like them.” -Mom to Dad.
“But I can’t taste the coconut.” -Chloe
“Yeah, people who like things rarely can taste them when they are in things.” -Dad to Chloe.
“Hey, I made you a coffee pie, I know you hate coffee, but I can’t taste it!” -Me joking.
“Here is some lemonade. You hate lemons, but I love them and I seriously can’t taste the lemons in this!” -Dad continuing the joke. 

“When I have kids I’m going to make school a game. And they aren’t going to have any toys.” -Ava making grand plans while Mom, Dad, and I all make our tongues bleed. 

“That moment when Gabe accidentally drops his gum on the floor of the bowling alley and promptly picks it up and puts it back in his mouth.” -Mom in a text to Dad and me. 

“I just realized it’s only Monday.” -Me

"Yeah I think Dad is just built for it because he is all strong, muscle man, super hero, good father, guy." -Mia 

"Growing pains are destroying me!" -Gabe 

"I'm sorry, I forgot the answer, did Michael Bay direct the new Tinkerbell movie? Actually I don't think that is what I meant to say..." -Me 

"Chloe-logic: I'll wear my boots so I can put my knife in them." -Me 

"It literally hurts just to lift my leg over to the brake pedal, I am so sore from exercising." -Mom

"So you know that race I had yesterday? That's why I'm super sore today." -Me 
"That was like a 100 foot sprint!" -Chloe
"Yeah...I know." -Me 

"I think your mind is broken." -Gabe to Me

"I am not hungry for love, I have plenty of that, I'm hungry for food." -Gabe 

"I wish I had the stuff to make computer generated images." -Chloe
"Oh is that what CGI stands for!?" -Me getting really excited that I finally figured it out!

"I don't think I've actually ever seen a gun shot in real life..." -Me

"Hope the freeze-dried ice cream is good." -Ava
"Probably isn't." -Christian
"Then why do astronauts eat it?" -Chloe
"Because it is better than freeze-dried spinach." -Christian 

"We have plenty of vinegar for you, Christian." -Mom
"Oh good, I could drink it if I wanted." -Christian 
"Hey! I want some too!" -Chloe 
"What?" -Me

"Those guys with the AK-47 were looking at Lydia, though." -Christian 
"And that's why I carry a knife around." -Chloe