Friday, September 20, 2013

Lookin' Good, September.

September has been pretty good.  Lots of fun, friends, and projects!
We cut our Projects Budget back, so I had to figure out how to get storage for next to nothing.
This is one wall of the Toy Room/Sam's Room.  I was dreaming of some awesome built-ins--cabinets at the bottom for hiding whatever we don't want to display, a long flat surface for drawing/computering/whatever, and then bookshelves to the ceiling.
And then I priced it out.
And laughed because there was no way that was happening anytime soon!

So it got my wheels cranking as to the available materials we have and remembered Brooklyn's closet doors just sitting downstairs, taking up space.
And I started Googling and Pinteresting.
In no time we went from this... this.
(Sorry, too lazy to swap out camera lenses.)
Six shelves for a whopping $5 or so.  Yeah!
Well...that was the plan.  Until I tried to put weight on our floating shelves, and immediately went out and bought L-brackets, which brought the grand total up to $25.
Can you guess what the shelves are??  Doors.
Yup, nasty beat up old interior doors that we got for $1 a piece at a thrift store.
Woot!  Love my new library!

The kids were happy to get their dress-up box unpacked.

We added yet another member to our family!
Meet Shimmy.

"Please sir, can I have some more??"

I have never had a hamster, and while she's fun to watch in her cage, when she's in her ball I cannot.stop.laughing.

"Look Mom, she went under my legs!!"

We also got another order of chickens--42 to be exact.
15 layers and 27 meaties.
When we got them, they were the exact same size (at about 3 days old).
This photo is taken at 1 week old, and you can already see the size difference!
They are now over three weeks old and are in the not-so-cute-anymore stage, but it is amazing how fast those meaties grow!!

You can't see it very well, but Brook wrote CHEEPS CHEPS on the wall of their pen (and yes, it too is made out of $1 doors, ha!).

After having to order organic peaches from Washington, and our squash plants stopped producing, we rotatilled them up and went and got some fruit trees.  Sooo excited for these!
This is the dwarf nectarine, and further in the background we have a Bartlett pear, a freestone peach, and a Honeycrisp apple.
Grow babies, grow!!

Looks like I should have bought the bigger tomato's a forest of tomatoes!
And if you look closer, under those tomatoes, you'll find...

Ellie The Chicken, who has deemed the tomatoes her nesting ground.
She was from our last round of meat chickens, but she was so small we thought she might be a layer so kept her around.  She's been pretty wary of us up until recently.  Now, she will follow us around the yard, "help" me pull weeds, and will even sleep next to the back door...crazy chicken.

Another house project!
I really wanted to do something drastic to the kitchen--I like it alright, but I want to love it.  I wanted to paint the walls, or the cabinets, or both.
But I have a husband who likes the cabinets.  And the wall color.  So, those are out the window.
I like the look of stone backsplashes, but tiling was not in the budget, nor was I excited about it.  Tile is so permanent.
Thank you Pinterest, for the idea of painting one!
After a trip to Joann's Fabrics to pick out acrylic paints, some cheap foam brushes and a roll of 1/4" quilters tape (oh, and later I picked up some Polyurethane to protect the paint).
Beforehand, I tried out my idea behind the stove and was so excited, I started taping.  And then painting.
3am comes along and I start excitedly ripping off the tape and was so bummed out that I just went straight to bed.
My grout lines were orange.  DUH.
So the next morning, I started taping off each "tile" so I could get a nice line in-between...after hours of that and then pulling the tape off, I decided to just go for it and carefully freehand the damn lines.

So, all in a I really really like my "tiles," even against the orange (please excuse the bright blue tape, was prepping for Poly...which, in complete honesty, didn't happen for another 2-3 weeks, ha).
I like it so much that it made those SIXTEEN HOURS (not counting Poly) worth it.
Oy vey.

Alrighty...on to the next project.
Yup.  You read those titles right.
Well, at least we're prepping.  We're thinking maybe next spring we'll give some of these a go.

I actually remembered the Homeschool Gymnastics Open Gym this month, which Brook and Sam LOVE because they are free to explore anything in the gym.
Sam was pretty stoked to find the rope!

On the way home, ice cream was requested.
I have never seen anyone enjoy their ice cream more than Sam...

Our weekend adventures usually involve the Eddy's at some point, and this month has involved lots of cheese.  LOTS of cheese.
The first weekend was a cheddar weekend--Russ did 2 gallons made from regular ol' Costco milk, while Steph made hers from organic free-range Whole Foods milk.
It took NINE HOURS from start to finish (from warming the milk to pressing the cheese), which means we didn't leave until after midnight!  Oy.
Oh, and there was definitely a difference in the cheeses--Steph's was much more yellow, creamier, the curds were far more squeaky, more also cost seven times as much.

The following weekend, they ended up making FOUR different cheeses (cream cheese, cottage cheese, gouda, and ricotta), AND waxing the previous week's cheddar (well, most of it...we ate a good hunk because it was sooo good!).
Anyway, it's been a cheesy month.
And here is a photo of Russ with Robin's awesome cheese press.
We're so lucky to have friends who are just as insane as we are.  :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Camping We Will Go...

We don't just love Albuquerque for it's weather, the mountain, the availability of things to do, the cost of living, a great job...a BIG part of why we love it is because we quickly found so many good friends here.  We play with our homeschool friends, but don't get nearly as much time to play with our work friends.
So we decided to take a long weekend and go camping!
Talk about fun...

In total there were 7 adults, 6 kids and 4 dogs...all in one campsite.
One gorgeous, riverside campsite in the Carson National Forest.
There was a lot of hanging out fireside (thanks to Russ for keeping the fire going nearly-non-stop).

LOTS of good food (we ended with FAR more than we needed).

Plentiful firewood and lots of helping hands.

Baby snuggles.

Kid snuggles.


Great camaraderie.


Dirt sliding.



Puppy-dog playing.

Rock skipping.

Stream crossing.

Sunshine soaking.

Swimming (intentionally or not).





Puppy mediating (some pups got along better than others).





Puppy loving.

 (I had to get two of Emmit (sp?) because I couldn't resist his exhausted-self)

(You can't see it very well here, but yes, we took Brin camping with that damned Cone of actually worked fairly well in alerting us to where he was located as he crashed through all of the brush and trees like a mad man!)


"Animal shelter" playing.



More snuggling.

Flower picking.

Flower eating.
("Okay, now take a picture of me pretending to eat it!")

Dinner prepping.
Joe (on the right) caught all 4 of these!

Puppy spoiling.

Midnight goofing.

Exhausted, ready for home.

We had so much fun, we are really looking forward to doing it all over again!