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Friday, December 28, 2012

This old (quirky) house

Good morning friends. Hope this post finds you well and getting a breather after the holiday rush. My household is slowly on the mend from the mixture of flu, strep throat, and the sinus infections that plagued us.

I am off work until next Wednesday and am enjoying resting at home. Since I've been ill, sleeping til 9 am (vs. 6 am) is such a blessing.

Well, this old house of ours is keeping us busy. It certainly has some quirks (which old house doesn't?). Jarred it seems, is constantly replacing the doorknobs that fall off. Or trying to stop the faucets from dripping. Or plugging up the cracks in the windows and doors to keep us warm. I spent all day yesterday in the cold garage rearranging my daycare supplies and textbooks as our garage floods....yes, floods with about 3 inches of rain in a heavy downpour. Jarred thinks its an easy fix but I was panicked wondering if all my stuff was wet or damaged. Thankfully, everything I opened and checked on yesterday was fine. I am gradually going to sort and organize my daycare items into Jarred's nice, dry, SAFE shop.

Another quirk about this old house is the doors....some of them simply won't shut. Or you shut them and they open up instantly. I had a battle with a a hall closet door on the first night we moved in. I'd shut it and turn around and it would pop open. I'd shut it and bam, it would open up the instant I turned my back. This went on for about 2 minutes when I finally gave it "a few light slams" (it tends to be stubborn and you have to show it you're the boss). Ashleigh's door also refuses to close.

Doors aside, the sink is a big gripe of mine (not that I actually use it to wash any dishes...I am dishwasher spoiled, I admit it. Besides, Jarred loves to do dishes and I love to cook, so we kind of have a 19-year deal in place). Back to the sink-it's a single sink. A really big, deep SINGLE sink. What man thought this contraption up? And why on earth did the former owner not complain, really loudly, til it was replaced? How are you to use one sink to both wash and rinse your dishes? Someone in the know please explain.

The last quirk is our lovely pantry. You know, the one with the chalkboard doors that is huge and spacious and partly organized? The one I adore? Well, it's location is in the breezeway to our garage. Which means the situation goes down something like this:

    It's 10 PM and I'm a little snacky before bed. I feel the urge for a bowl of cereal. So I go to the pantry. I   open the door from the nice, toasty kitchen into the cold, drafty, Arctic-like environment of the breezeway. Brrrr.....no way. So I gear up. House shoes, check. Fleece bathrobe, check. Now I can dash into the freezer, er, I mean, pantry, to grab my cereal.

Yes, that's about the way of it in this old house, which I still really like, by the way. Most women can find something about their home they'd like to change. The breezeway is no. 1 on my Bob Villa list.

Another idea I'd love to check  into is to build on a preschool/daycare room onto the back of the house someday. I'd also really love to finish the basement out and since the ceilings are too low for an adult, use it for a daycare gym area, with a mini trampoline, ball pit, tricycles, bowling, basketball, etc. I am set to graduate in 2014 and even though it would seem logical for me to run to the school system for a job, I'd really like to stay home and have a nice preschool. That has been in my mind for about ten years but I've just never been blessed with the right circumstances in which to make it happen.

Ok, I guess I need to scoot and get something accomplished today other than blogging.

Blessings for a safe New Year,

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Foster's new dwelling,
Everybody was coughing; "Bring the Nyquil!" Dad was yelling.
The children were nestled with tissues, pills and more pills galore.
Mom made many trips for chicken soup at the store.
Oh no, what is this...now Mom is complaining
of an itchy throat, then a tickle-- a new cough she is gaining.
Not a present was wrapped or put under the tree;
dust covered the furniture, how can this be?
The laundry was in piles and the house needed to be cleaned.
A Christmas day dinner menu was only a dream.
The oven sat empty; not a turkey nor a ham.
No hashbrown casserole
(though in the pantry there was Spam).
Mom was in tears just surveying her clan.
How to hold it together, she had not a plan.
"Dad is wheezing, I am coughing, Nick has flu;
Ash has strep throat and now it seems like pink eye, too.
But Dear Lord with Your help, we will get through it all
and thank you for the blessings You send when we call."
The clan was still aching, the coughing still bad,
but Mom had been reminded of all that she had.
From the family all around her
to the pantry packed with  food,
from the love of her neighbors and dear friends too,
Mom certainly knew she was blessed by the Lord up above.
The nativity scene on the coffee table showed her His love.
Mom knew right then it would somehow work out.
That first Christmas in Bethlehem is what it's about.

But the children were worried; Ash started to fret.
"It's Christmas Eve, and we haven't done anything yet.
How can it be that it's only one day 'til Christmas?
We're not even ready. Do you think Santa will miss us?"
"Of course not," Mom assured them with hugs and with kisses.
"Being with our family is the best of Christmas wishes.
Yes, we're under the weather, but there's no need to be blue....
take a turn with the inhaler and have some more Thera-flu.
We are thankful for a roof over our heads,
comfy pajamas, and warm, cozy beds.
We have what we need and that's more than enough.
All of this other stuff is....well.... just stuff.
The presents are here; just not under the tree.
And in a few days we'll be healthy, you just wait and see."

So everyone took their meds and drank hot tea with honey.
And all took their nasal spray  (to stop noses so runny).
And they pitched in together and got the necessities done,
then curled up under the afghan for some Christmas movie fun.
As they sat there all snuggly Mom exclaimed with a sigh,
"Merry Christmas, and get well. I love you, you guys."

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

 It's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in our new home.
Since I am off work with sick ones today (who are all sleeping or waiting to see the doctor), I thought it seemed like a good time to do a little blogging.

Now on to the holiday scene....
 Jarred spent a small fortune and a few hours getting the outside spritzed up while I took care of the inside.
It would be so nice if the photos were grouped a bit but sometimes Blogger's photo features and I bump heads. So the photos may jump around some.

The entryway.

Our faux fireplace in the dining room.

The living room (which required a moving of the furniture to fit the tree in).

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...."
(on the mantel is my Christmas village collection started on our first wedding anniversary 
with a church given to me by my mother-in-law)

One of the easiest homemade ornaments to make if you keep craft sticks handy...ta da! It's the North Pole. Cut a skinny stick up with pointed flag ends and paint it to resemble the sign. Then glue the sign onto a candy-stripe-painted jumbo craft stick. Add a little pile of glitter glue "snow" and glue on a hook.

Another easy craft....cut out felt shapes and arrange them on a felt rectangle. Cut an asterick shape in the top of the felt so you can hang your decoration on a doorknob. Easy for kids if you can have felt pieces pre-cut. Hot glue works best for holding on the trims. Embellish with fabric paint or whatever your heart desires.

This candy jar was made by my friend Tracy B. using terra cotta pots, a terra cotta saucer, ribbon, and a mini fish bowl. So cute! I want one for every season. Note to self: if  planning to make these for the holidays as gifts, go to Lowes before summer is over.

Another shot of our living room.

Sorry for the blur. This is one of my all-time favorite ornaments...little elf shoes! They crack me up every year when we hang them. Makes me think of our little daycare elf on the shelf that our class named "Sneaky Charlie Snowflake".

Ash decorated her ice pastel colored tree by herself.

The entryway window at night.

The same window in early morning. It's a bit dark.

The outside of that same window. The light-up bow was a steal at Big Lots.

Got a beautiful Christmas card that you can't bare to throw out? Frame it for a holiday decoration. I love all things gingerbread and sweets and this card comes out for inspiration each holiday as I "get my bake on".

The side of the house.

Front door.

The afghan on the couch belonged to Mrs. Womack.

My sewing table relocated to the dining room when we had to move stuff to fit in the Christmas tree. Now this area is a bit empty.

Adrian turned 13 on the 13th. :)

The kids were a major help. Ashleigh especially enjoyed
decorating the tree this year.

Holiday Blessings,