Saturday, August 11, 2012

An Awesome Thing That Happened in July

So yes, the last month has been rather uneventful around here, but there was one awesome thing that happened to me in July.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email in my inbox and I was so IMPRESSED, inspired, and flattered when I read it that I had to share!  First, I called my husband at work to tell him the news, then I shed a tear of awesomeness for this newlywed couple, and finally, I chuckled to myself a little bit when I thought about the "Marriage Bed" comment I made in my Farmhouse Bed post (sometimes I crack myself up). And now I have to share it with all of you:

Hi Jenny,
I just wanted to say thank you for your blog and great ideas.  I recently got married but before we got married, my husband sent me a link to your site of your farmhouse bed and in the header of the email he wrote "do you like it?  I can make this." 
I was somewhat skeptical, but as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, our first stop was to Home Depot to get all the supplies to make the bed.  Sure enough, just a short time later, my husband got started and made the bed for us.  It really didn't take him that long, waiting for the coats of paint to dry was the longest part.  Here is a picture of our bed. 
So anyways, I just wanted to share that with you.  Thanks for your blog and thank you for being partially responsible for me having the coolest bed ever.  We love it! 
Angela D. 

Check out their beautiful bed (and the bedding- isn't it great?):

How cool is that? You totally made my day! Thank you Angela for the email, I hope you don't mind I shared your awesome bed with the entire world! It turned out lovely, you should be very proud.

Props to your new groom for a job well done!

Prayers for a blessed marriage and may Christ abide in your hearts and in your home forever.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yes, I have a pulse.

Hey there, it's been forever. I always tell myself, I am going to post _ many times per month on this little blog, and I swear, the moment those words are off my lips I seem to disappear for awhile. I should try some reverse psychology on myself and maybe I will get better results!

We've been working on our kitchen project of course, and I can't believe that it's been almost two months since I've posted anything! I look back and honestly, can't say I've accomplished a ton. I tiled and tiled until my hands were sore and blistered and bleeding, then decided to give it a rest. This is what happens in the world of "doing it yourself," I'm afraid. Trying to save money on the labor is a good thing, however, there is no contractor to call and complain to when the work doesn't get done. I understand how people who build their own homes end up living in a construction zone for 10x longer than they planned.

We had a ton of progress on our place before the 4th of July. So close to "finished," but just couldn't get it done.  Every year, we host a barbecue and have our neighbors and friends over for fireworks and good food. We have about six neighbors who do the same, so it makes for a great 4th of July. This kind of derailed my kitchen renovation, as I wanted to focus on the party and menu planning- I love a good party! We took a few days off and had a great holiday.

Ava, Lyla, and Ashtyn baking patriotic treats

I love the 4th of July! 

Always have.

I love that my husband loves the 4th of July. It's second to Christmas for him, I think. You should see his eyes light up when he recounts his ten-year-old self...saving up his money, riding his bicycle down to the local stand, counting out change and buying all the "Pop-Its" he could, carefully choosing each little firecracker. He would take all of his bounty home, dump it on the floor, and arrange every firework in the order they were to be set off. This ritual would go on daily for a week leading up to the Fourth. On the big night, it would take so many hours to set them all off, eventually he just had to give up and go inside to bed.

He still gets like that. Before we had children (and disposable income) we would drive 45 minutes out of town to the "Fireworks Superstore" and load up. Rockets and mortars, mortars and rockets; less fountains, more shells. I have certain fireworks I have to get every year. The "Bumble Bees" are my fave, and also the ground blooming flowers.

 They are the exception to the "Bigger is Better" rule. And again, this starts about a week before the Fourth; you can pin-point the exact moment "the fever" sets in when Sam gets that look in his eye.

Ahhh...the smell of sulfur is in the air.

He's passing down this passion to his children too. Check out four-year-old Ava with her very own, kid-sized backpack, chock-full of fireworks.

 And who doesn't love the 4th of July when it includes a Glowing Lantern just like Rapunzel in "Tangled?"

Sam and the giant glowing lantern. These were everyone's favorite.

 If he wasn't bad enough on his own, there's Robert, our next door neighbor who likes to stoke the fire as well. The camaraderie that kicks in between these two and their bottle rockets is hilarious! There is something about grown men and fire that brings out their inner child; before you know it we find ourselves making several trips back to the stand because it's July 1st and we have no more fireworks.

Since we don't have the enormous budget we once had, it has forced the guys to become more inventive. Instead of mortars, the boys watched youtube videos and learned how to make sparkler bombs. Does that sound scary, or what? So that's how they spend their Saturday afternoon; taping sparklers together in assembly-line-fashion and testing out their handiwork. It's a little nerve-wracking, and I'm usually yelling "Don't blow your hand off!" out the back door a couple of times, but that is what summer is made of around here.

He's so proud of himself.

It kind of makes me think of the movie "Steel Magnolias" when the men are trying to get rid of the birds for the wedding reception...that would be them.

Well, we made it through the Fourth with all body parts intact. We had a good time with family and friends.

Manuel's "Secret Recipe" chicken

The food was awesome ( I think I have to dedicate an entire post to my neighbor Manuel's chicken, it is amazing!), Sam made his award-winning smoked ribs and pulled pork, my bro-in-law followed suit with his own version of meaty goodness as well.

 The kids had lots of fun eating cookies and candy for dinner, washing it down with Sprite, and vibrating their sparklers till the sugar wore off.

Ava and her buddy Isaac

Our little block put on a great show, and I think this year's was the largest display to-date. Some Fourth-of-July-Loving-Freaks like us must have moved in down the street because we witnessed an amazing fireworks show!

Ashtyn and Kaetlyn yucking it up

And the rest of July? I don't where that went. I can say that it's been around 100 degrees every day in this Idaho high desert, and I am just not the trooper I used to be. There have been a lot of days spent doing N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I've really wanted to finish my kitchen, but haven't mustered up the energy to do it.

I am really struggling with having 1,987,234 projects going on at once. Can any of you relate? This seems to be my pattern; I pile 'em on heavy and I function well enough until I just don't anymore. Most of July has been the "not functioning well any more" part of the cycle. But guess what? August is now TEN days in, we are officially starting our first year of homeschooling in September, and I've got a house that needs whipped into shape!

Rally the troops! Give me some tips! And pray for my sorry self because I need it!