Friday, April 25, 2008

Well, I guess it's about time I put up a new post. I don't have exciting pictures or video clips or anything... but I guess I could put together a LIST(!) of recent projects, since that's mainly what we've been doing for the past three weeks.
-- We replaced both exterior doors (front and back) with salvaged glass doors from the rebuilding center! It is SUCH a huge improvement, we get so much more light in the living room and kitchen. It was quite an undertaking, but also a big educational opportunity, and the next time we have to do it will no doubt go more smoothly...
-- We got the perfect rug for our living room, and now we're done with the room indefinitely, until we decide to attack the walls-- but we're in no hurry.
-- Jeff's parents moved to a smaller house, so we had to take back the things they'd been storing for us. It was exciting to realize that some things we had needed to find for a specific purpose were already ours, once we figured out how to make them work. We also had to do some more serious purging, but made some substantial dough on Craigslist-- not to mention meeting the interesting people that wanted our stuff.
-- I now have TWO work spaces! I have started doing billing for my brother's business, and will soon be managing the booking for my parents vacation rental, and needed a niche where I could keep that stuff organized and available. Now there is a desk/ paperwork area in a corner of the dining room! Our spare room was a mess where guests could stay and Amelia could keep her books and toys. With CL funds, we gave it an overhaul, painted it a super- cheerful color, and made it a sewing room for me-- hurray! Amelia also has a little table and chair and shelf for her things in there, so the hope is that she can play there while I get something done (we'll see...)
-- We've been working out in the yard as the weather has permitted, but are still not technically gardening... There has been snow and hail in April, and I have been rather disgruntled. But the weather is beautiful today, and I planted several mammoth sunflowers in a row along the back fence. Our lilac trees are just about to bloom, too!
-- In the next few weeks we are going to enclose our yard with a fence. I am really excited, because right now working outside is pretty inefficient, since I am constantly getting up and checking on Amelia as soon as she is out of my sight. Also in the plans this summer is painting the outside of our house! I can't wait, since our paint outside looks really terrible, and the color is just awful, and our whole yard will look so nice with a freshly painted house.

There is nothing like fixing up your own house. It is so rewarding to see the differences. We've never had the freedom before to change our home environment so much to our liking, and are at the point now that we feel really good when we come home to our house, and just enjoy looking around. We know we won't be here for more than 2- 3 more years, but it is all more than worth it, and we are always happy to find that we can do a lot with very little money. Of course, my list of projects is never-ending. And our bathroom is just plain embarrassing. We'll get there... Sometimes I fantasize about hiring a contractor to come in and just transform a certain space, but when it comes down to it, I like knowing that we have our fingerprints all over this place, and it is very satisfying!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

But don't just take my word for it...
(Really sorry it's sideways again.)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hurray for Family Day!

Ever since Amelia was in my belly, I've been looking forward to her being old enough to enjoy going to museums with Jeff and me. The day finally arrived last Thursday! We went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI.) They have a really big play area for little ones, most notably a big sand box enclosure and a cool water play area. We also played with flubber and looked at some exhibits about human anatomy and stages of embryonic development. It is right on the river, and there is also a submarine there that you can take tours of (maybe in another year,) as well as an IMAX threatre. Amelia loved every minute of our time there and periodically recaps: "Sand. Water. Play. OMSI. Kids. Fun. Fun OMSI!"

To make the day even better, we went to a Swedish cafe for breakfast that morning, where we ordered Amelia her very own side of bacon-- what could be better?
On the way home from the museum, we stopped by a friend's house to drop off a birthday present for their son, a little boy that A seems to have a special kind of adoration for. She always gets the silliest little grin on her face when we say his name, it's really funny. Anyway, rather than just dropping the present off, the family invited us in and our proceeded to whip up some crepes and for us! I love those impromptu social times, especially when they involve good food.
The days ended with bunnies bounding around the yard while we got into the dirt up to our elbows.
We had such a great time together as a family, and Amelia was extremely happy all day the next day-- which is especially a gift, since she'd been very sick for about a week prior to Thursday.