Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

How I love these kids.

Although this is more representative of their true characters than the first photo.

This one is becoming such a young lady, I feel like humming a song from Fiddler on the Roof.

And I'd just keep humming it with this one.

Thank goodness this little sweetie is still little. 
She couldn't be torn away from the new barn cat for a formal Easter picture.

And bless his heart.
Can he stay a kindergartener forever?  

Because here's my oldest son on Easter Eve, looking like an Easter egg himself.  He was on a "roomie road trip", according to the text, to "The Festival of Colors", where apparently people throw colored chalk at each other.  

Yeah, kindergarteners are less stressful than college freshman.

And I'm so thankful this Easter Sunday for the amazing person I've spent the past 20+ years with.  

Most of all, I'm thankful for the promise of Easter.  
It was a beautiful Sunday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What About..........THIS?!

If you'd asked me a few days ago if my young son XiXi had any clue how to record a video on my phone, I would have said no, certainly not.  He's five.  He's not allowed to use my phone.   He probably doesn't even know that my phone can record videos.

Then I saw something on my camera roll.  Something I hadn't put there.  And now I stand corrected.  Yes, my son does know how to record a video on my phone.    And I'm so very glad that he somehow gained this knowledge because his 20 second video is now my favorite.  Pretty much ever.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hosting Prom Night Dinner

My husband is the president of the Young Men's organization at our church.  For prom, he made an offer to the boys.  If any of them got up the gumption to ask a girl to the dance, he'd make dinner.

As of a few days ago, we'd had no takers.  We weren't sure if that was because none of them were going or because they had other dinner plans.  Either way, it was fine.  Then on Wednesday, one of our seniors asked Lyle if the offer was still available.  Lyle said it absolutely was.  The young man wondered if a group of 14 would be too much.


But Lyle was undeterred.  He planned his menu and went shopping the next day.  Mercifully the group of 14 shrunk down to 6, which was perfect.

While Lyle handled the menu, I decorated.  I thought a vintage prom theme would be fun and easy.  I already had frames up in the room, I'd just swap out the ancestor pictures for prom pictures that I found on the internet.

 I quickly zeroed in on the 1950's photos as my favorites. 

They were the most glamorous,

the most elegant,

 the most romantic.

Although I'll be the first to admit that the 1960's made me smile.

This old window frame usually holds more ancestor photos but I traded those out for more prom pictures.  
Then I had a thought.

What if perhaps, I called some of the parents of the kids I knew would be at my house?

And what if they were to send me some of their own prom pictures?

And what if their kids had no idea?

My favorite part of the night was seeing our prom-goers look at the pictures when they first got here and they'd be pointing out cute dresses or hairstyles (the girls) or saying not much of anything (the boys) and then they each had a moment when their mouths fell open and they shrieked, "Is that my DAD?"  or "Is that my MOM?"  

For one young man, his parents were high school sweethearts and went to prom together.   

One girl said, "That's my Dad, but who's THAT?"

We spent many hours on the prep work, 

but in the end it was lovely.

We curtained off the kitchen and the three youngest were once again our valiant wait staff.

We were lucky that our sweet Lucy was part of the group eating at our house,

looking so beautiful on her first prom.

I felt for her date, who not only had to deal with the embarrassment of parents snapping pictures while he's trying to tie on that dang corsage,

 he also had to hear suggestions from the 5-7 year-old crowd.  
"Maybe tie it on the top," XiXi suggested.
"Just do a knot," said Cholita.

I promised to not be a presence during the dinner, but did want to get at least one group photo.
Don't they look so great?

And I might have snuck in once or twice to get photos of the little kids in action.  They decided that Cholita would take the girl's orders and XiXi would do the boys.   All of our dinner guests got the apple pecan salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and they all got the same side dishes of gingered carrots, sesame asparagus, and rosemary potatoes, but there were two different entree options.  If they picked the parmesan chicken, easy peasy.  But the filet mignon took some advanced waitressing.  Did they want it well-done, medium, or rare?  Did they want the mushroom caper sauce?  On the top or on the side?

But they'd practiced and they were ready.

Then one of the girls asked Cholita what she would recommend.

This threw her for a bit of a loop.
She blushed and said "The filet mignon is........very.......ummmm.......flavorful."
It made her sister giggle.
Not surprisingly, her recommendation was taken.
Make that one more order of filet mignon.

The group spent about two hours at our house.
I heard lots of laughter and conversation.

Now they're off at the dance, hopefully enjoying every minute of the exciting, awkward, unique rite of passage that is prom. 
Now I've got some cleaning to do.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kid's Bathroom? DONE!!

As much as I love this adorable face, I will not miss seeing it in my bathroom.

The kid's bathroom has always been tricky.  Here's a horrible photo, one of only a couple of "before" photos that I could locate.  It's a very tiny room, but one that needs to serve 5 kids.  It was so tiny in fact that the switch for the lights was located outside the bathroom door in the hallway because the cabinet went nearly all the way to the door frame, leaving no space.  It also stuck out far enough that things got lost in the back of the cabinet.  And I disliked the fact that there was so much on the counter--especially when we had more than one child using a plug-in toothbrush.

Since we had pretty specific needs, Lyle built the cabinetry himself.  Now with the shallower cabinet, it's so much more efficient.  Things don't get lost in the back and there's even room for the light switch inside the room instead of out in the hall.

AND, nothing but soap on the counter!  One of my very favorite things about the whole room is the outlet inside the cabinet with space for electric toothbrushes and also a holder Lyle came up with for the blow dryer and straightener.  I'm telling you, that holder was genius. 

Since space was so tight, Lyle built the toilet paper holder right into the side of the cabinet and left space for storing hand towels or extra toilet paper........or reading material!  Who doesn't want to read The Far Side while on the toilet?

As we were looking at pre-made cabinets, we were frustrated that the quality wasn't great and we knew Lyle could do a better job and do it cheaper.  Yes, we had to wait for it, but I think it was a great trade-off.

I love the feet on the cabinets.  I don't know if Lyle likes the word "cute" applied to his creations, but I think the feet are cute.

Before the remodel, linoleum had been peeling up at the corners and the MDF baseboards were swelling from moisture from the tub.   Obviously we also had privacy issues out the window, but I didn't want it totally covered because we have a great view of the mountains.

We tiled the floor and walls and added a cafe curtain which keeps us modest, but lets in the light and the view.

We were lucky enough to find a granite scrap for the windowsill that was an exact match to the countertop. 

This guy evidently likes it.

The paint we used was Sherwin Williams "Tradewind" and it's a great blue/green that changes throughout the day.  Even looking at these pictures, taken at different times and on different days, sometimes it's green, sometimes it's blue.

We debated over towel choices and ultimately went with a few white towels, a couple of black towels, and some blue/green towels.  How's that for being decisive?  Actually, I think my favorite is the blue/green.

We put painted wood planks on the ceiling, which match with what we'd done in the hallway.

But the real test for the bathroom was how clean the kids are able to keep it. 

It's been about a month now that they've been using it and I'm happy to say, so far, so good.

Lyle's a keeper.