Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

Sweet Christmas memories.  Somehow, it all seemed a little less excessive and stressful this year.  We kicked off our family party marathon at Mike's grandmother's home.  Here are the cousins together.  

Here are Grandma's amazing pies!  I saw a wonderful idea in an old house that I'm planning on replicating.  They took their grandmother's prize winning pie recipe and put it in a shadow box along with some related memorabilia.  When I inquired about her recipe, Grandma dug out a yellowed and faded handwritten pecan pie recipe that she wrote in home ec class in high school--about 67 years ago!!  She still uses it to cook.
 We love going out to the country for some fresh air and pretty scenery

The next day was my side of the family's party at Melody's home.  Below is the littlest grandkid...7months old Nora.  Shoot that child is ADORABLE!

All the grands so far....there will likely be a couple more in the years to come.  My crazy parents are the ones photodiving behind them.

I worked Christmas day so we had our family Christmas time the morning of Christmas Eve...Santa knows mommy works at the hospital ;)

I let Hudson and Dillon wrap presents this year.  You really can't see the full effect of how much tape Hudson used!

That evening, we went to our church's Vintage Christmas service for the first time. We played hookie and skipped my aunt's Christmas party...felt so guilty missing it for the first time in 20 years and yet we enjoyed our church so very much!   Our church is friendly, fun, funky, and so sweet.  Happy Birthday Jesus(even though the Bible does not say when you were actually born).  What a sweet gift of salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ!
On Christmas Day, I took care of sick people and ate 1500 cookies.  Mike took the children to his mom's home.  They had a great time, but apparently the camera was dead.  Drat!  I have no pictures of that time. Sorry Nana!

And, it is over, for one more year.   Can't say that I'm sad.  On to a new budgets to write(and not really follow) exercise goals to write(and only follow for about 2 months) To Do lists to post on the calenders to fill in.  I love New Year organization.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

1983 wants its kitchen back! makeover is going well

It has been 2 months since I last posted a picture of our kitchen.  Yes, I realize it is the day after Christmas and I should be doing the obligatory Christmas post.  However, I worked yesterday so Mike took the kids to his mothers and they spent the night (whoohooo alone time, I slept until nearly 8am and no little voice is begging me for food or to play checkers at 8am, but I digress!) ...along with my camera full of pictures.  Back to the kitchen.  In case you need refreshers on what it looked like, go to the October 28th post. We have been debating about what to do with the backsplash.  Certainly, glass subway style tiles was what we originally planned.  We bought some and looked at the process and returned them!  We just aren't that handy and we sure don't want to spend money hiring someone.  Plus, for the time being, we can't replace our golden oak colored butcher block laminate on the counter top.  It made little sense to put up pretty tile backsplash and keep ugly counter tops. A great solution came up.  Heavy duty kitchen wallpaper.  We got beadboard-look wallpaper.  It is really thick and textured and paintable.  My parents showed up a few days ago for a quick visit.  After 1 hour of work with them showing us what to was done!  We painted it the same as the cabinets.  It isn't perfect. There are some tiny bumps and seams that you can see if you are looking for flaws.  But, I think that generally people will walk in and be like "Wow, that beadboard looks awesome as a backsplash!" Cost us 20 bucks for 1 roll and looks great.  The best part is that it isn't a permanent solution.  In a few years, we can get new counters and new back splash with out wasting dollars.

The wall color has been a stumper!  Previously, it was seafoam green.  I did not want a country looking kitchen, but a simple, clean, traditional yet with a slight funky twist.  We started painting the walls a gray color to help it look more modern and sleek.  Ugly!  It looked like silly puddy and too washed out with the off-white cabinets.  Mike suggested a darker green.  I was very nervous about darker green.  Until I saw this picture on Pinterest. So, a darker green is what we went for.  It looks so fun and the color is really rich.

We are copying this kitchen pretty much exactly (minus the beautiful glass front doors, the non-popcorn ceiling and the modern and super expensive appliances). 

Next up:  take down the 2 long fluorescent tubes that are the light fixtures,put up lovely and funky light fixture maybe like this one

and get a new sink, sand and stain the existing wood parquet floors from orangy oak color to a darker brown, and install the over the stove microwave we bought on sale the day after T-giving.
Let's see, judging by our current progress, it will be 2015 when we finish :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mean racial remarks still happen

First mean racial experience: at Target tonight our son Dillon (11 years old chronologically but about 6-7 developmentally) was 2 aisles over from me. I heard some giggling and looked over. Three other boys, looked about 12 years old, came over and were playing around. I kept waiting on Hudson a few more minutes. Pretty soon Mike and Dillon came walking up. Mike had rounded the corner of the aisle where Dillon was. The other boys were close in his face saying fake Chinese words "Ching Chong Ching Chong". When they saw Mike they took off running!! Poor sweet Dillon had no idea what to do or really what they were doing. He was bothered by them being in his face. Mike walked all over that store looking for the boys(they should be glad he didn't find them!). I was fairly surprised at these boys making fun of a Korean child. Our adoption agency(the best ever...Dillon International) teaches parents that children who were adopted and are of a different race than the parents don't struggle so much with adoption issues as they do with identity and race.  We've just never experienced this type of negativity before.  
The most distressing aspect of this was not the stupid racial remarks.  We are most concerned over how defenseless Dillon is and that he can't relay a story because of the speech disorder.  If something more serious happened and we were not around, I shudder to think of it!  I'm seriously considering putting him in Tae Kwon Do or Karate to learn some self defense and confidence.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Transracial nativity scene

Hudson's kindergarten class colored pictures of Mary holding baby Jesus.  I gasped when I saw his....He colored a light-skinned momma and a dark-skinned baby!!  Just so wonderful I grinned ear to ear!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Icepalooza of North Texas 2013

  I really hate being cold. My hands are freezing (I'm like Elsa in the new movie "Frozen"...which is a wonderful movie!).  Texas is the greatest place to live during the winter. We have 1 or 2 days of really cold and some light precip..enough to get some use out of the neglected winter gear, slip around a bit, take pretty pictures, have a fire, and by is melting and sunny.  Perfecto...for me...65 and under is cold!
So, for this crazy winter storm that blew in last Thursday evening leaving us in the 20's, we are all crying Uncle!  Where is our beloved sunshine?? Life screeched to a halt.  School was out for 3 days because so many people live out in the country and the buses cant travel secondary roads.  We don't have snow plows around these parts...really it is embarrassing the way the world shuts down for 2 inches of snow/ice

As it happens pretty much every year, the ice/snow blows in and I always have to work.  I'm so blessed that Mike is a school administrator and can be home with the children.  Nurses have no excuse for not coming to work in bad weather and roads.  I'll spare you all the drama of the nightmarish Friday/Saturday experience.  But, I was one irritable, tired witch and it took me 2hours and 45 minutes to get home Saturday night (usually a 23 minute drive)!  This is the entrance to our neighborhood.  The city barricaded it due to ice.  We are very seriously considering my next car being a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  I'm not scared of driving on ice, I've been driving to work in it for the last 17 years (shout out to my parents...I'm so thankful you raised me to be a strong, fiercely independent woman!), but being trapped up in our neighborhood is kind of freaking us out.

This picture cracks me up!  Clearly Hudson needs some work in the preparing for winter play department.  Note the sandals and socks ;)

Our backyard has a fairly steep slope that ends in cedar brush and a fence.  The kids had a blast sledding down it on a skim board and in a plastic kiddie pool

Monday, December 2, 2013

holiday mantle reflects memory lane

Mike and Abby surprised me Saturday night with the most delightful holiday mantle decor!  Our new home has a big brick fireplace and mantle.  We have an old Dickens Christmas village that my mother-in-law gave us.  It looked pretty but lacked height and uumph.  We have lots of handmade Christmas crafts that our children have made throughout the years.  So,while I was at work Saturday(and it stunk it up to high heaven that day!), Mike and Abby created this:

They took wooden clothes pins and spray painted them red, green, and gold.  Then the hung fishing line across the mantle.  Years of treasures are now hanging up for me to smile, laugh, and tear up at. I tell you, when your oldest is talking to colleges(in Kansas no less) and talking about moving out....looking at Christmas crafts he made as a 2nd grader is pretty emotional.