Monday, January 24, 2011

To be Continued...

I just edited and saved a bunch of pictures from the Vaughan/Cotten/White trip to the children's museum in Rochester, but since I'm fighting a sore throat and ear infection, I am going to go to bed instead of putting them up. Just know, that nestled on my hard drive in their own little folder, are some stinkin' cute pictures of seven children and various aunts and an uncle/daddy.

It is bitterly cold here, I'm thankful for my electric blanket in our un-insulated room. And I'm also thankful that Lincoln is sleeping peacefully in Evan's arms, so I might have a bit of sleep. Last night, he nursed all. night. long, but it popped Tooth #3 through!

My poor house still hasn't recovered from the fact that Lindsey, Bethaney and I played a ridiculously long round of Garbage on Friday and let the kids run amok. But, hey, it isn't every day that my sisters are snowed in with me (Lindsey's flight was canceled and Bethaney didn't want to drive through the snow belt and its usual blizzard conditions)-- and the kids did have fun strewing Polly Pockets and dolls in a blaze of glory that day.

Here's one picture, so this isn't a totally boring post.

The kids still love Berenstain Bear Land best. I love how Lily is helping poor left-out Papa Bear feel better.

As Evan just said, "Tomorrow is going to be a very productive day." Let's hope.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Bathroom, More Winter, More Cute Kids!

I don't know why Evan hasn't been able to finish this bathroom as fast as he finishes bathrooms for his customers.

Rilla, chilling on Evan's back, while Cheyenne and Elliott helpfully point out tile joints that need cleaning before Evan grouts the floor.

The tiles on the right are grouted, the tiles on the left are not. I haven't ever really watched a tile job before, and I didn't want to tell Evan, but the floor just looked kind of dirty. Then he grouted it, and I realized it was the gray mortar in between the tiles that was making it look like that, and it's completely hidden by the grout.

Some grouted, some not. The color of the blue tiles isn't showing up well here, but I really like it! Evan is using urethane grout, which is a new kind. Supposedly it doesn't stain, which should be a bonus in this house!

The male Vanna White, demonstrating the installed toilet-- and its handy built-in kid seat.

The shower, half grouted. You can't see it in any of the pictures, but there's another thin band of blue almost at the ceiling. (It is impossible to step back far enough from the shower to get a picture of the whole thing altogether.)

The two niches. Pretty fancy, eh?

Close-up of the border that runs through the middle. Evan did an awesome job!

Lincoln, smiling at Mommy from the family room.

A little closer. (Surrounded by empty carpet, which makes this picture doubly exciting to me!)

Elliott still loves playing with his cars.

Especially on lazy mornings, when he is still in his jammies!

Miss Marilla, putting hair elastics back in their container. She loves sorting them by color while I do her hair. (When she isn't screaming blue murder over every stroke of the brush.)

Cheesy grin girl!

Cheyenne taking her dog and two lambs on a walk with yarn leashes.

Can you tell that Marilla chose her clothes this day?

She loves her "ball" skirt from Aunt Bet. It drives Cheyenne nuts that she says "ball" skirt instead of "polka-dot" skirt.

I don't think I've put up pictures of the quilt my mother-in-law made for Cheyenne's bed. The blue and red go great with the room. They don't match as well with the green bed we got as a hand-me-down, but maybe Evan will make a different bed sometime.

I love the bargello pattern that she used for this quilt.

Elliott's little bed. This quilt, also a Marilyn creation, is made from stitching bandanas together. What a perfect quilt for a little boy's bed!

We are still getting lots and lots of snow!

I'm amazed how long those skinny little kids manage to stay outside, although I am grateful that they do-- it burns some excess energy up!

Hmm, Crayola crayons are non-toxic and washable, right? This is a position Lincoln is in, often-- crawling back and forth THROUGH his exer-saucer. I'm not sure what the fascination is, but I remember Cheyenne at this age doing the same thing with a little table at Mom and Dad's. He often gets stuck trying to climb out the bowl-shaped bottom, but he heads right back for it when you set him down again!

I love how the crayon lines he made on his face while trying to eat the crayon make him look like he has cat whiskers!

This is a page from Cheyenne's notebook. Swoon.

The two girls eating cookie dough tonight. Cheyenne's teacher helped them make cookies-in-a-jar for Christmas, so we were mixing them up tonight. Actually, Cheyenne did the whole thing, from breaking the egg to measuring the vanilla. She'll be able to cook dinner in no time! Also, notice how she is twisting her legs around like a pretzel-- I used to watch the Earl girls do that in meeting, and marvel at how their legs were able to do that-- and now I have my own pretzel-legged girl!

I'll leave you with a literary effort by Cheyenne:

"In a house made of logs a woman has a lot of books. She is a librarian. Her name is Kate. Kate has a boyfriend. His name is Nathan. They are nice. The End."

She'll be writing my blog before I know it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Mid-day Thoughts of a Stay-At-Home Mom

  • I'm thinking of having a hip operation. If I permanently grafted Lincoln onto my hip, then he might be happy.
  • I don't think Elliott has maintained 3 seconds of silence in the last half hour. I have been asked 567 times whether I can skip/jump this high/run this fast/make this noise. I have also been asked whether I like everything from frogs to oatmeal to big houses. This kid gives new depth to the term "verbal processing".
  • I just made bread using my Kitchen-Aid mixer, and I decided to double this recipe I'd never tried before. I don't think it's going to work, so I made my poor Kitchen-Aid motor smell like Cody's tires after a particularly spectacular burn-out, all for nought.
  • Some guy just came and tried to sell me "beef, pork, or seafood" out of the back of his pickup. Am I the only one who would find this slightly fishy? Am I the only one who smirks at their own puns?
  • I need to find a voice-recognizing dictation system so I can type with two wiggly babies on my lap.
  • Will there ever be a day when I don't have a huge pile of STUFF stashed on/under/around my desk?
  • Evan is roofing a commercial building today in a very snowy, icy area. I am spending the day trying not to visualize his funeral and the ways I will be able to make a living afterwards.
  • Lincoln is highly offended that I don't consider the contents of the trash can an appropriate toy.
  • Will I ever drink a cup of tea that isn't ever-so-slightly (or just flat-out) too cold?
  • Why did I think it was a good idea to write on my blog instead of folding laundry/tackling paperwork/cooking supper/sweeping the floor?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

La Salle de Bain

(Is it kind of pathetic that using pretentious blog titles is as close as I get to speaking French in my current life?)

Anyway, the bathroom! I built up the suspense with what the bathroom used to look like, than didn't post any pictures of all the work Evan has been doing on it. It's still not done, but it's well on it's way!

This was the day Evan tore out our closet and annexed it to the bathroom. It was nice and spacious with the wall down between the two rooms, and I argued for having a lovely master suite and letting the kids tromp downstairs when they needed to go to the bathroom, but Evan was all boring and nixed that idea.

Mostly demolished bathroom. It was very interesting, seeing what had been remodeled in the past (there used to be a window, then it was torn out at one point!) and just what someone had thought about insulation (apparently, it is very important to insulate the wall between the other rooms, but not the walls that actually separate you from the frozen outdoors.). Evan had a lot of fun, tearing down the ceiling where had had carefully blown insulation into the attic a few years ago. Weeks later, Lincoln still has little pieces of blow-in insulation in his mouth every time I check. Even after Evan took care of the insulation displaced by the ceiling being torn down, there was still open walls into two different attic areas, so anytime he swung a hammer or moved anything in the room, more insulation would sift down from there. Fun times in housecleaning history, let me tell you.

Okay, then apparently I was horrible and didn't take pictures for a long time, because here he is with a window!! The kids were hugely interested in the process of cutting a whole in the wall and putting a window in. As I told them then, "Come quick and see, kids! Since you don't live with Uncle Tyler, you don't get to see a window being put in a new place every day!"

This is to the right, from the doorway. The two niches with blue foam insulation are for the medicine cabinets. Note the different heights-- short people AND tall people live here! The other niche is a project sometime down the road. That wall back onto the attic over our kitchen-- it's not a big enough attic to use for anything, but we could have a large storage shelf that is accessed from this wall. Evan framed it in, and then drywalled over it. (This is what we did beside the twin bed in our guest room-- used dead space for a niche.)

The new tub, and the framing for two niches in the shower area. Evan is going to tile the walls, and the niches.

From inside the bathroom, looking back towards the door. The toilet will be there on the left, which is why there's a little half wall there for a privacy screen.

Okay, than another REALLY long space without taking pictures. Because here we are with painted walls, and lights and medicine cabinets installed. We're going to have a chair rail where the paint changes color. The vanity will be under these medicine cabinets.

The shower area, still waiting for tile. Evan has put the waterproofing membrane up (Schluter Kerdi, for those freaks like my husband who would care what kind of membrane it is).
The tub has a board on it, to protect it. And to store Evan's stuff, apparently.

The toilet area (and a glimpse of my bookcase, Lucky Reader!)

The Throne Area. This was when Evan was getting ready to tile the floor.

Here is Evan's concession to my hatred of tile floors. It's a warming system that is under the tile. One of my few demands for the new bathroom was that it did NOT have tile floor. Ha! My husband yearns for opportunities to tile. He did, however, get this system so it wasn't so cold underfoot, even if it is still hard. Installing the warming grid was interesting. Evan painted the wood floor with a special primer, stapled the warming grid to the floor, than mixed up lots of buckets of self-leveling floor mortar. (He mixed up the mortar in the middle of the living room floor-- oh, my, the DUST!) Anyway, the self-leveling mortar is very good at finding the lowest spot-- even if that involves draining down a tiny little hole beside the heating duct, into the downstairs bathroom! That was a late night, let me tell you! Anyway, the mortar holds the warming system in place and is a nice level (except for that little dip by the heating vent) surface for the tile.

Our bathroom fan. I had never seen one like this, it's a light with a fan integrated!

Starting to lay tile yesterday morning.

This morning, the kids checking out the new tile floor! The tile color is "Biscuit" with accent tiles in "Galaxy" blue. The paint in the room is close to the biscuit color on top, and Pittsburgh Paint's "American Anthem" on the bottom. Evan's not sure that the blue paint is going to work, but we're going to wait until the vanity and trim are installed to decide for sure.

The kids are standing where the vanity will be.

Like the little tile "rugs" throughout the room? This was Evan's first time doing a whole floor in little one-inch hexagonal tiles, it's quite labor intensive!

So, what's left? Evan has to grout the tile, tile the whole shower area, install the tub fixtures, build a vanity, install the (still on order) vanity top, install the toilet, put up trim, build a linen cabinet, hang towel rods, toilet paper holder, hooks, etc. Yeah, he's going to be busy with this for a while. Especially since he has steady work for the next couple of months! Which is great news for us financially, it just means we'll be using the downstairs bathroom for a few more months!

Okay, bathroom pictures put up. Still to come are Cheyenne's birthday pictures, and lots more pictures from our Christmas/New Year's at Vaughans'! And maybe a FEW pictures of my kids...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Plethora of Pictures

Don't get too excited when you see that blog title-- I have a plethora of pictures residing on my hard drive and camera memory card, not actually uploaded to my blog. I have been feeling overwhelmed with trying to sort through the number of pictures I have from our bathroom re-model, Cheyenne's birthday, Christmas vacation, etc. Tonight, I told myself I could manage just putting up ten pictures. I started with the family photo session we had when all the Vaughans were together, and managed to get up 30+. Better than none, and maybe I'll be able to get up a few a day for a while!

This is the first time we've all been together since Owen and Ashley's wedding 2.5 years ago. It was awesome being together, and I'm amazed at how well the cousins got along!

The whole shooting match. Although no one actually shot anyone else, despite an unsuccessful coyote hunt. This is one of the first pictures we took, so the kids weren't in 100% compliance, but the adults were still smiling sincerely.

We took about 400 pictures this evening, so combing through and finding the "best" one could take weeks. I've decided to hang perfection and just put some of these up.

The Oregon Vaughans. (It's still weird to think they're not the Alaskan Vaughans anymore!) Andy is quite excited in this picture because he's getting to hold a tractor, his favorite thing in the world (next to Mommy and Daddy, of course.)

The White Family.

I like the time lapse photography here. Evan tells Marilla to smile...

Marilla goes into her classic "The World is Conspiring Against Me!" pose...

And Evan laughs at the futility of trying to get an overtired two-year old to smile on cue.

Pretty decent!

Cottens! Little Gilbert is clapping in every picture. He likes to clap.

Mom and Dad with the grandkids. Not all of them (i.e. Andy and Marilla) are necessarily pleased at being in the picture.

Someone's finger in the left is trying to straighten the picture up via the Power of Point.

Cheyenne and Breanna had an awesome time together. They called themselves The Twins (until we realized poor little Orianna was feeling rather left out and put the kibbosh on that.)

Mom and Dad with their eight WONDERFUL children.

The Mater and Pater. I like them.

Girl Cousins.

Boy cousins. (Before Elliott lost his grip on Lincoln and Lincoln took a nosedive.)

Lining up by height. Miss Cheyenne BARELY retained her title as the biggest cousin, and Elliott will be psychologically scarred for life over the fact that two of his younger cousins are taller than him.

Rilla is still convinced the Universe hates her.

Aunt Lindsey trying to convince her otherwise.

The "L"s-- Lisa, Levi, Lincoln, Lindsey, Lily, Livie and Lee!

The "B"s were jealous-- so here's Breanna and Bet.

The "C"s were just plain crazy.

Out of the spotlight, and holding her favorite person in the world, Wincoln, Marilla was happy.

An oh-so-tender (well, maybe on my part!) moment. Posing in front of the same wall where we took all our wedding photos.

Tyler and Lisa.

Justin and Bet. I like how they stood right in front of the picture so it looks like a fancy backdrop! Actually, I made them scrunch down to get it to work, so it was a little exercise to see how strong their thighs were! It was fun to make them hold the pose and watch their muscles tremble!

Owen and Ashley.

Tyler holding Andy and Gilbert, who are only 6 days apart.

Wearing the silly hat Uncle Cody wears.

Then, the sofa got moved back, and the normal ten-kids-in-a-small-house chaos returned.

Some more posing.

I'm not quite sure which ones were obeying the "Look goofy" command and which ones were just doing what came naturally!

There, pictures up! If anyone reading this wants to print a quick picture from here, just click on the picture and it will take you to a larger picture that should be a decent enough size to print a 4x6. I can e-mail hi-res pictures to anyone who wants them. I think Mom and Dad might send out some pictures, too.

*Disclaimer* Any Vaughan person who feels they were wronged by the posting of a picture that wasn't the best possible option for themselves or their immediate family-- get your own dang blog and put up any pictures you want! :-)