Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Zoo and Other Things

Last week we were able to go to Southern California to see my husband's brother, his wife and their three children, ages 4, 6 and 8. Our kids are 1 1/2, 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. They played well together and my boys are still tired!

We had a great, low-key Thanksgiving together. The kids played all day, the adults got to hang out and we had plenty of time to cook a yummy meatless Thanksgiving meal which we ate outside. It was almost 80! Sadly, I took no pictures.

On Friday we avoided the stores and took the kids to the zoo. (I've never participated in Black Friday! Do you? I just can't imagine that a few good deals are worth the loss of sleep, fighting crowds and potential loss of dignity! Maybe I'm wrong.) The zoo was pretty crowded anyway, but we enjoyed a few hours people-watching looking at the animals. Check out this gorilla posing for me!

We didn't leave until Sunday and had really bad traffic. It took us almost 12 hours to drive 400 miles. Usually it's about 7 hours, but in addition to the traffic we stopped a few times to eat and let the boys run. They're wonderful little travelers but 12 hours is pushing anyone's limit!

Now we're back at our temporary home with two weeks on the clock until the program here is over. Gary's graduation is tomorrow night! (There's another week of classes after that.)

The question we keep getting--and rightly so--is, Where are you going after this?  Can you believe we don't know? It's like being past your due-date with your first child and you feel like a ticking time bomb and people keep calling and asking, Did you have your baby yet? like you might have just forgotten to tell the world!

There are possibilities out there. Gary has had interviews, there have been call backs, there is still potential of being hired as a Bible worker. There's also the possibility of more classes somewhere. We really aren't sure.

We are sure that it will become clear as we work through the options in the next few days. I'm certain that God brought us here. He has provided for us and we have not only survived here, we have thrived! It has been such a good experience and we're so grateful we took the plunge and did it!

Do you remember the story of when Peter was in prison? King Herod had accepted the Jewish faith and was trying to impress the Jews so he had James killed. Next he arrested Peter with the same intent. But it was during a Feast, so he left Peter in prison until it was over. The new followers of Jesus met together at someone's house, praying and fasting this whole time. It's the.night.before his scheduled execution and Peter is still in prison. There are 16 men guarding him, two at each of three doors and two more chained to Peter inside his cell. And what's Peter doing the night before he's slated to die? 

He's sleeping. Totally at peace. God waited until a mere hour or two before the execution before sending an angel right into the cell to awaken Peter. The chains fall off, Peter gets dressed, the angel is beaming his heavenly light and the guards are sleeping. The creaky doors open quietly and Peter and the angel walk right out of the prison. 

So who am I to doubt! I'm anxious, yes, and excited about the possibilities.  I know God won't stop leading us now, he's just doing it in his timing.

So if anyone is still out there reading this, I have to admit I'm frustrated with this whole blogging thing! I'm honored that you still follow me. I wish I had better content to offer you, but I'm rather limited!

(I had to include the pretty, decorative elephants, because the real one was hiding! It did have huge tusks though, as you can almost see with plenty of imagination to fill in the gap!)

Ok, the blog thing. I've been better about balancing my time here. I exercise. I get laundry done before it overwhelms me. Town is 15 minutes instead of 50, so we go more often, and my boys have stopped napping as long. My exercise program (walking with a friend-best ever motivator!) starts at 5 AM, so I don't stay up late either! That doesn't leave much time left for coming up with creative blog posts!

Not to mention, we came here with a few boxes of necessities, not pretty things. I can't re-do furniture, I'm not decorating an ugly dorm room--at least, not spending money on it! I didn't have anything to put up for Thanksgiving, and besides, we were gone for most of the week. Now it's almost December and we're needing to move in 10 days. I do have a couple Christmas crafts planned, but that's it! I'm also a firm believer that Christmas starts December 1st, not the day after Thanksgiving...

So, with some rather harsh lighting and plastic smiles, here's hoping you had a great Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my little hobby of an outlet, this here blog and my family and friends who read it. Thank you for your time! I'd appreciate your prayers as we get ready to transition into another unknown. Hopefully I can paint and decorate the next place we live!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Moodboard Monday: Shared Bedroom

Sammy and Abby are two children I haven't had the privilege of meeting, but I've seen their pictures over the years on Facebook. Their mom, Lisa, is a friend of mine from camp and college. She contacted me recently about putting together a shared bedroom for her two children. This presented several challenges: Sammy is quite a bit older than his baby sister Abby, they live in a rental and can't paint the room, and the children have different bedding and colors in their current spaces! They do have a sage green color in common, so that's where we headed.

Let me break it down by the number.
  1. Anyone who reads my blog knows I love maps! I think a big blue one would look great by Sammy's bed and it has Sammy's existing blue and the shared green. Maps also look more "school boy" and less "baby".
  2. I'm not sure if Lisa plans to get Sammy new bedding, but you can't go wrong with a navy duvet or bedspread. Notice the green pillow too!
  3. Most children like looking at books in their rooms, and these shelves would look great near Sammy's bed.
  4. Name plaques or initials or monograms give ownership to each child's space.
  5. An easy way to add color, drama and whimsy to a space is to hang colored paper globes from the ceiling! If Sammy isn't thrilled with the idea, they can just go over Abby's crib. 
  6. The children have a tall white dresser that will be in their room. One child's clothes will go in there while the rest of the clothes will go on shelves (existing) in the closet. Lisa didn't tell me much about the layout, but the dresser could act as a division between the beds and each child's "side" of the room. It's also a great surface to display photographs of the children or favorite trinkets of Sammy's that Abby shouldn't get into. 
  7. Another easy way to distinguish between the two spaces is different area rugs for beside each bed. I chose a bold green and white striped rug for Sammy and a whimsical pink one for Abby. Lisa could choose two similar ones in different colors or two exactly the same, depending on what looks best to her.
  8. Since sage is the common color and the room will be white, colorful curtains would be a great choice for the window. Lisa could find some light-blocking pre-made curtains, or make some with fabric she likes. The ones in the example even have contrasting trim and a different color at the bottom. So fun! 
  9. Abby's white crib has pink, brown and sage bedding that she could continue to use.
  10. The children have a toy storage shelf that will be in the room as well. I had to include this one because it's a great example of something colorful and very full of toys, bins and books, yet it's not cluttered. 
  11. The closet in the room currently has mirrored glass doors. Lisa said their landlord wouldn't mind if they replaced the doors, but my suggestion would be to add corkboard (which you can get by the roll) to the top section and chalkboard paint to the bottom. Chalkboard paint is available in many colors too! Lisa could also put a layer of magnetic paint under the custom-colored chalkboard paint and skip the cork board. Just a thought!
So there you have it, a shared boy-girl bedroom that accommodates a school-age boy and a toddler girl. Do you have any thoughts, ideas or solutions to add?

For some reason I can't access Polyvore anymore! Does anyone know why? I used Olioboard instead and liked several things about it! Most of the inspiration pieces for the room come from the Land of Nod.

Good luck, Lisa!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Sometimes when you're living in temporary housing some things are ugly. Like both of these linoleum floors. Especially when two colors and patterns meet down the middle of a room!

But sometimes there is an easy, free and temporary cure out there! Say, for a boring white wall in the boys' room? 

I took two lengths of twine, tied knots at the ends and stuck 'em on the wall with clear thumb tacks. Then I used tiny clothespins to hang up the masterpieces my little artists create. The boys love adding to the display wall, and I love seeing their artwork on the wall.

Sometimes you like an idea so much that you use it again! I used the mini clothespins again to dress up my super-ugly lampshade with cards I've received lately and a few pictures of my kids.

Sometimes having something a little prettier to look at helps disguise the other uglies. Like the lamp base and the bedside table, both of which are begging  for makeovers!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Field Trip! Part 3

Last month our family took a little trip with Gary's class. You can get caught up to speed by reading Part 1 and Part 2

This post is photo-intensive and short on words. Hope you enjoy!

After spending two days at the coast, we headed back inland. The first part of the trek was a beautiful, windy road through a redwood forest. At least on the way back it was beautiful--on the way there Josiah got sick but we didn't know why he was so fussy until Jonathan alerted us to some, um, barf.

Anyway, this time was pretty! And I got to stop and take a few pictures. Yay!

We drove through the hills before coming to a valley full of wineries. 

We stopped at the Navarro Winery for a couple bottles of grape juice. 


We popped over to St. Helena to see my aunt and uncle and cousin, the latter of whom we got a family picture with. 

I hadn't seen this guy since our wedding and in my head he's still a little kid! Jonathan was pretty enamored, mostly because he thought Ian was so funny!

Jared liked Ian too--you gotta like someone who will push you on the swing!

Meanwhile, Josiah got to play on the equipment with Daddy! (This is him saying "weeeee!" and his hair sticking up from static electricity. Gary was holding his hands so he wouldn't fall back and hit his head.)

Meanwhile, I sat with my uncle, a photographer, and picked his brain for beginner photography tips. He took this picture of me (straight out of the camera). 

We bid our farewells and headed up the hill to Angwin.

Why would we want to go there? That's where my college is!

I'm a proud alumnus of Pacific Union College. Class of 1999. Best four years of my life! I also got my master's degree there through summer school classes, so this place is full of fantastic memories. I didn't take many pictures but enjoyed telling Gary about things as we took a part-driving-part-walking tour of campus.

This is the Ed Department where I spent many an hour. Good times!

Our tour over, we headed back down to St. Helena for a nice birthday supper for yours truly where we ate delicious Italian food on the patio with views like these.

We had to hurry back home to Weimar because it was getting late. I hope you enjoyed our trip!


Related Posts with Thumbnails