Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bye-bye, Bathroom!

It's that time of year again! The time of year when Evan suddenly runs out of work mid-December. No matter how much work looks like it's lined up, he always runs out of work at this point.
So, when we don't have income coming in, we might as well spend money and gut and refinish our lovely bathroom!

We'll miss the original salmon pink wall tiles from 1960, though.

The medicine cabinet isn't so bad, but I'll miss the lovely drywall patch job around the outlet and switch to the left of it.

The real tragedy will be losing the pink tub, though. Mostly because that black stuff you see around the rim is not there because I'm a horrible housekeeper that never washes the tub (although that's pretty much true, too), but because someone tried to fix the leaks around the tub surround by sloshing a tube of silicone caulk around the rim. Now the mold just grows BEHIND the caulk, where you can't get it! Very nifty.

Lovely stuff!

One of the many cracks in the wall of the tub.

Hey, tomorrow we'll be able to pull the towel rod down that's been on the verge of falling for the last three years! (And that's not even the towel rod that Owen used for chin-ups.)

A moment of silence for the ceramic pink toilet paper holder. It tried to die years ago, but someone repaired it, making it look lopsided ever since.

This the back wall of the homemade vanity. Highly classy. Anyway, we've been wanting to re-do this bathroom since we moved in, and we've been trying to save enough money to do it this winter during the down months. It's a little bit scary, though-- this is by far and away the most invasive project we've done on our house so far. We're sacrificing our closet to give us enough room for a double vanity and a WINDOW! It will be so exciting to have natural light in the bathroom. Especially natural light that isn't reflecting off all that lovely salmon pink!

We've been planning this bathroom for ever, but we never seemed to have enough time to really sit down and make hard and fast decisions. We decided before we ripped the whole thing up, though, we better make sure the floor plan was at least feasible. So Evan blue-taped the whole thing out on the living room floor. Here, Elliott enjoys the convenience of a toilet in the living room.

Rilla, in the bathtub. She had to have a chair like Elliott.

A nice double vanity!

The bathroom isn't the only remodeling gig around here. Cheyenne's bureau is one of those unfinished ones that you're supposed to paint or stain right away. Well, we bought it second-hand off a friend of ours in Alaska 8.5 years ago. It was looking a little worse for wear by this point. So, for her birthday, Evan helped her sand it...

(Evan sanding, using his new Festool HEPA vacuum to collect dust! Oh, the excitement!)

And paint it! We used up the Fabulous Red paint that was left over from the kid's kitchen (Unemployment Project from February 2009.) Then she got to go to Home Depot with daddy and choose new knobs.

Rilla on Saturday-- this is kind of blurry, but I love the Evil Genius look on her face. I'm not sure that she had bad intentions towards the sweet little paper dolls, but it doesn't look hopeful for them.

A much nicer picture, holding Lincoln.

I love this picture of Dad, the Hardcore iPod Touch user. I plunked it in his hands and told him to read a funny article, ("Fancy Man Enjoys Tea,") then took a picture. It might be the only time I ever see him hold it.

Cody and Dad were here because they had gone to Rochester to pick up Cody's Sweet New Ride. It actually runs nice and looks decent, so I'm not sure why Cody bought it, but it's a bee-you-ti-ful truck. Evan is offended because I think it's a better looking truck than Evan's truck.

What I DON'T have a picture of, because I am a thoughtless moron, is our visit from some of our Alaska friends. Tanner and Amy Smith were here Friday night and Saturday morning, en route to Vaughans'. It was awesome to sit around and talk with them. That's one thing we miss about Alaska-- all the hours we sat around the living room, just talking. Even if we had stayed in AK, we probably wouldn't have as much free time to do that, now that we have 4 kids, but we do miss the friends there.

Although we still have some pretty nice sitting-around moments with our snuggle bugs. This was were the kids were curled up this evening.

Cheyenne coloring, sitting between the (not pictured) Auntie and Angela.

Lincoln has the best grins.

Proudly displaying his two teeth.

Saturday, December 11th, was our 11th anniversary! We were busy thinking about bathroom remodels, and entertaining company, so it didn't rate as our most romantic anniversary ever, but it was a nice day! It's great that, eleven years later, we have four beautiful kids, a nice little house, and lots of friends. And I still kinda like that tall guy pictured above!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snow Day

It's getting dark now, but I'm loath to turn on the lights because I love the look of the house when there's snow on the ground, reflecting light in here.

And boy, is there snow. This was yesterday...

And this was this morning. By this afternoon, there was 25 inches of (compacted) snow on our back deck. (You know you live in a snow belt when you keep a yardstick by the patio door so you can measure the snow purely to brag about how much snow you have.)

Cheyenne had a one-hour delay yesterday, and an actual snow day today! I'm all for her having snow days, since I found out last year that they don't give the kids extra time off at Memorial Day or anything if they don't use their snow days. Might as well use them all!

We've had a cozy day inside. I made six pie crusts-- four to freeze for later, and two for a raspberry pie for Evan. Unfortunately, my living room looks like four active children have had a screen-free indoors day. There are Little People enclaves, blanket tents, Lincoln Log towers, excess pillows, and more. We're going to have to bustle around a little before Daddy gets home so he can walk up the stairs! We're going to be rather glad to see Daddy after an absence of 52 hours. Not that we're counting.

These are the only pictures I took of Lincoln the day he turned six months. (What day is that? It isn't a birthday, maybe a "six-month anniversary".) Notice how he's getting up on his knees, thinking about crawling.

He's a little optimistic, since he hasn't even figured out the forward speed to creeping. He's pretty good at scooting backwards, though!

My four luscious kids after meeting Sunday.

Silly babies.

We went shopping Saturday, and despite the fact we don't have any weddings or glamorous occasions in the forecast, Evan and I couldn't pass up this suit for Elliott. It was on sale, so it was practically obligatory that we buy it. Especially after he tried it on and we saw how cute he looked.

Stylish children.

Cheyenne and her buddy.

Hmm, time to start that aforementioned whizzing around so Daddy doesn't come home to a madhouse!

Friday, December 3, 2010

November 2010

It is insane how long it takes me to assemble a blog post these days. Unfortunately, the blazing upload speeds I somehow stumbled upon last post were not around for this one. I uploaded all the pictures Friday night, and it is still taking me until now to write on here.

Part of the reason is that Evan is working out of town, so the Amazing Bedtime Daddy isn't around, and getting four kids into bed is MUCH harder by myself. And I hadn't noticed lately how often it's only after Lincoln snuggles in Daddy's arms for a while that he falls asleep. At the moment, though, they're all sleeping. Hopefully, sleeping peacefully. Cheyenne came into my room when I was feeding Lincoln tonight, and her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes were huge. She'd been reading the book, "The Happy Hollisters" which is a MYSTERY, and apparently a fairly scary mystery to an almost-seven-year old. She had to tell all about it, and put in a bid for sleeping with Mommy. I squashed the co-sleeping idea, since Lincoln takes up enough room in the bed many nights, but I loved seeing her so into a book. Makes me proud!

As always, when I put up pictures from a while ago, I'm probably forgetting everything that I didn't photograph. My photo-taking speed is quite different than the childless Clover's speed was. So, probably leaving out lots of November happenings, but here's some of them...

Our neighbors, the Laceys, generously drive Cheyenne home from school every day with their son, getting Cheyenne home about 45 minutes earlier than she would otherwise. They also hit the after-Halloween sales and bought outfits for the kids to use for dress-up.

A beautiful little butterfly.

This is right after nap, so Marilla has "messy hair" as Elliott says with disgust.

Cheyenne as a cat.

She had to accesorize the outfit with her current favorite thing-- "high" heels!

We used some washable black marker to complete the look.

Elliott the pirate.

Giving the ol' stink-eye!

Lots of dancing around in their costumes!

HOW can this child be so kissable??

Three friends.

My little baking helpers one day.

Looking so grown-up with her ponytail.

This boy's cheeks inspire paeans of praise.

Dressing up again a couple of days later.

I usually crop pictures so there's not a lot of extra floor or wall showing-- but lately, pictures of bare floor are so rare and treasured, that I'm leaving it all in!

Cheyenne making sure that Rilla's boots are visible.

Cheyenne's portrait of the two kids and I-- need to work a bit on framing the picture! Sure captured the crazy-eyed look in Mommy, though!

Lincoln is enjoying his exersaucer.

He also enjoys his sister. Usually.

We hit up the children's museum again over Veteran's Day weekend. This time, we took Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie and Angela.

Rilla, enjoying herself.

Cheyenne is still fascinated with being the cashier.

Elliott with his cart.

Rilla in the television studio. I don't think she noticed the cameras, she just loves playing in the kitchen.

Our good little buddy. It was funny to notice, though, in the month that elapsed between our visits, how much more he was NOT happy to just be strapped into his stroller.

Airline pilots are getting pretty glamourous these days.

We went into the butterfly garden, too.

The light was a little funky, but when I tried to mess with the white balance, my battery died.

Turtles, too!

I don't know what plant this is, but it was beautiful in the late afternoon sun that was coming in the windows.

Rilla with the kids' favorite thing in the world, currently-- Grandma's iPod Touch.

I have the iPod Touch Evan won at a trade show this summer, but I'm more selfish with it than Grandma. I love having it, but it's one of those things that I could never justify buying, so I need to keep it safe. As I tell the kids, "It's I touch, not u touch." I crack myself up.

Evan and Justin decided to build a sugaring shack at Mom and Dad's place the week of Thanksgiving. They are pouring the slab here.

Of course, it's 28°, instead of the 58° it was the day before.

Owen must be the foreman here.

Cody, full in the throes of No-Shave November.


Olivia took this picture on my camera. It's a viewpoint I've taken pictures from many times, it's an encaspulation of the farm for me.

Then, Thanksgiving! Or, as it's known in our family, Stuff-yourself-silly-with-28-other-people-in-a-smallish-house.

Connie feeding Gilbert sweet potato before the meal.

Three Vaughan girls.

Daddy carving the turkey, and Ashley bringing one of her contributions in.

Elliott, sort of keeping out of the way.

I was helping Dad carve the turkey-- I transferred it to the platter as he cut it. Which means I got to pop bits in my mouth occasionally.

Cheyenne, being goofy.

Dear, dear, such disrespect. She must be practicing up for Perry's arrival.

Yup, this is definitely the look she kept in store for Perry. She just completely HATED being teased about her red hair and missing front teeth. That's why she stayed close to him the whole day.

Gilbert with his daddy, and his ever-present friend, the thumb.

You think these two are related?

The somewhat civilized section, Cody excepted, of course.

Five Vaughan girls.

Hard to get a good picture of all of us. At least in this one, Bethaney's only biting her lip funny.

Lincoln was wearing a mechanic suit that Tyler Vaughan wore when he was a kid.

Music, Friday night.

Cheyenne, the Skip-Bo queen. Cheyenne and Orianna beat the pants off Lindsey and Bethaney. We played Skip-Bo, Progressive Rummy, Scrabble, Garbage, Settlers of Cataan, Word Thief, Labrynth, and lots more.

Gilbert likes Uncle Cody.

The pho-tog.

I wanted some pictures of my handsome little dude, so Rilla jumped in, too!

She was concerned that he wasn't facing me.

Man, they're both cute!

And speaking of heart-breaking adorableness, here's Gilbert when he fell asleep in Justin's arms.

I know there's lots of other things I'd like to pontificate on, but by the time I get ready for bed now, Lincoln will probably be ready to eat again! Cheyenne had a one-hour delay this morning, and it hasn't stopped snowing all day, so we're hoping for a snow day tomorrow! Although there's nothing like living in a snow belt to bury your chances of getting a snow day-- I think we could get three feet and they'd still keep the school open!