Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Birthday Festivities!

My youngest just turned six years old. It's hard to believe it's been that long since I drove myself to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning fully convinced I wasn't having contractions. Greta has been a little blessing in our lives ever since. She's such a happy, caring and kind child. Happy Birthday my not-so-little one!

Greta and my father have the privilege of being born on the same day so we got to celebrate both of their birthdays this weekend. Aunt Betsy and Uncle Blake came down and Aunt Jessica was there with Alex, Abby and Evie. It was a great time! Happy Birthday Dad!

The hat has been with us the whole time. Although she hasn't always loved the hat.

Greta wanted to go to Build-A-Bear in the mall and make a stuffed animal so we did that this week. She picked out a cute stuffed yorkie dog. She was ecstatic.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Aquariums, Siding and Minecraft

School has been going for a month now and I'd like to say I've fallen into a nice routine but alas I haven't. I've been sculpting a lot and selling a lot but I forgot how long it takes to package up sculptures and ship them out. Some days I spend the whole day doing that. And then there are days like today where I don't work at all. Today I did something I've never done before. Today I boiled driftwood in a big pot on the stove.

You might be asking yourself, why would anyone boil driftwood? Well apparently if you are wanting to put a big lovely chuck of driftwood in an aquarium you should boil it first to kill anything living in it and to release the tannin in the wood. This is all great if you happen to have a ginormous pot big enough to put the whole chunk of wood in. I do not. So I had to periodically rotate the wood so all chunks were boiled. Then it went into a Rubbermaid container with water to leech out the rest of the tannin. I will change out the water daily until the water stays clear instead of tea colored (because nobody wants tea colored water in their aquarium).

See look! You learned something new today, as did I. This is all being done so eventually I can place the wood in a 35 gallon hex tank I just bought off of craigslist. It's been cycling for a week now and I'm thinking it might be time for a couple of fish to help the cycling. My parents were kind enough to bring me driftwood and rocks from Colorado, thanks guys! Since the driftwood will take weeks to be ready I put some of the rocks they brought home in the tank. I can hardly wait to fill it with schooling fish.

Sean has been busy working on the siding in all of his spare time. It's coming along. I think he's more than ready to be done with it.

The kids are enjoying school. Greta's anxiety seems to have gone away for the time being. She was having a pretty rough time when kindergarten started but we've been working on it and she's coming out of her shell. I'm super proud of her. Each day they come home from school, do their homework and then play Minecraft together. They build some pretty fascinating stuff. That's about all that is going on around here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home Repairs

Our house is slowly falling into a state of disrepair. I assume everyone's house slowly falls into disrepair just like ours, I just don't realize it. It also doesn't help to move into a (then) twenty year old house. At twenty years old most things are in need of replacement. For our house it was siding. We moved in knowing we'd be replacing siding.....we just didn't know ten years later we'd still be doing it. Sean has been doing one side of the house about every four years. We started with the east side. You can't forget that side. It was not pleasant for him. Then we did the south side before putting in the new deck. Now it's the front of the house's turn.

As the years go by the motivation wavers. Could be we're getting older, could be we're lazy homeowners I don't know but neither of us want to do this project. And when I say "us" I mean Sean. I do what I can but this is his project. I paint the siding and hold what I can but he's doing the brunt of the work. Poor guy.

We had to special order the twenty four 4X9 foot sections of siding and they were delivered last week. Now we have the pleasant task of laying them all over the yard and painting the fronts and backs.

About a year ago our lovely dog Sophie was left outside in the fenced in yard while the neighbor was shooting. She goes nuts when this happens. She does everything in her power to get into the house, away from the gunfire. In this instance she jumped up on the bay windows and scraped and clawed until she broke the window. We came home to this and weren't too thrilled to say the least. It didn't break both panes, just the exterior pane. And so it's sat like this for a year. I haven't been too interested in taking the window out and driving around town finding someone to fix it. But with winter coming I felt it was it's an eye sore. Bugs were starting to go in between the panes and make nests and it looked bad. So Sean took the window out and replaced it with a piece of pink foam insulation.

The kids though this was highly entertaining and pulled up a chair to watch.
I drove to the local Andersen window store with my four and a half foot broken window in the back of my SUV. They told me they don't do that and gave me a phone number to call. I called when I got home and I must admit it was a wonderful experience. They asked if we had an account with them to which I replied no, so they looked up our address and sure enough the former owners were listed. They were able to tell us the windows were installed in 1996 and all I had to do was read off the engraved number in the corner of the window for them to order me a new one. It was manufactured and shipped UPS to our front door. Now that's some customer service!

The installed window is SO clean! Made me realize how dirty the others were.