Friday, August 05, 2011

Lazy days of summer...

Whoever made up that term was NOT talking about my family!!!  Not once this summer did I think was lazy. People always inquire about renting out Darin to do some of the "to do" things on their list.. um, he stays nice and busy here at home!  Although our house is nearing to completion.. there are always things to be done to make it even more our own and add some pazazz.  Darin still has a week left until he goes back to school but he's in full force football now so I'll do my annual "summer project update" blog now. Watch out.. lotsa pictures coming at ya! 

First things first.. I wouldn't say we've been the most "green" household on the planet. We don't have a garden, don't eat organic or have a compost... we try to make the best decisions we can with the money we are given to make as green of choices as possible. Wow, that was a run-on sentence if I've ever written one! (Never claimed to be an amazing writer, that's for sure!)  But we do recycle, we run our air and heating as little as possible.. yeah, just little decisions here and there that are suitable for our family. 

** With that being said, this summer we invested in cloth diapers. If you would have told me a few years ago that my 3rd baby would be a cloth diaper baby, I would have laughed out loud at you!  Most of you that know me know that I'll do just about anything to save a buck.  Well.. the fact that we'll save over $1,000 in diapers with just Emery alone peaked my interest.  And the fact that Darin told me I needed to go "hear out" the consultant at the cloth diaper party I went to.  
So I went.
And I heard out.
Tried them for 10 days in the sample pack they give you. 
And now we invested in cloth diapers for the remaining part of Joya's diaper life and for Emery. 
Helps that they are so adorable. =) 
I'll probably do an entire blog post about cloth diapering just so you nah-sayers can know more about them. 
And not judge me. =)
HA!  I am no where near a tree hugger!
Lots of my friends have asked about them and I'm amazed to say that they are pretty easy.  

Anywho, the cloth diapering decision led to the new clothes line in the back yard going up...

I have wanted one for a few years now but i was being so picky with where I wanted it to go that I kept dragging my feet. The cloth diapers pushed me to make a decision (because they stay nicer longer if you hang them to dry).  Happy to say that my line goes away when I'm done with it.. I didn't want a permanent one because clothes lines aren't the most attractive things ever.. so ours hooks to a pole that is covered by our tall grass and hooks the other end to our shed with an eye hook.  It goes away when it's not in use.  Amen.. LOVE IT! 

** I've shown pictures and you all can see that I still haven't made up my mind on decorating our entertainment center...

But Darin made it and hung the TV without buying a TV mount.. yes, put that bad boy up with something he rigged out of an old mattress steel frame. And pretty much the TV will be sold with the house because that thing is not coming off the wall it's up there so sturdily!  Is that a word?  If not.. you know what I mean. =)

**At the beginning of the summer Darin and I wrote out a list of goals we wanted to achieve with the girls before we added another baby girl to the family.  Adie getting herself in and out of the car seat was one, Joya potty trained was #2 and Joya getting into a big girl bed and then moving over to Adie's room was #3.  Both #1 and #3 are complete and Joya's pretty darn close to being potty trained!  Adie and Joya now share a room.. it's actually going MUCH better than we thought it would!  Emery's nursery is now open and I'm keeping the green color but am changing up everything else.. thank you pinterest. =)

** This one has been on our list for years now.. finish the walls down to the basement. The visible side into the dining room was drywalled all the way down the stairs but the other side of the stair walls was block. Painted block but still basement-y block. Finally made up my mind in what i wanted (do you see a theme here?) and off Darin was building our new board and batten walls. We also decorated down to that chair rail of the board and batten too. When I say "we" I mean I got all the pictures around and Darin scales the wall and stair railing to get the pics up. =)

So hear it is when you walk into our door...

A view from the top of the stairs...

And a view of it looking down the stairs...

Another look.. it's done in cherry to match all the other wood in our house...

Am doing my nieces and nephew pictures differently.  They used to be on my frig but now thanks to Pier One and pinterest I came up with this frame..

(I am missing my youngest nephew, James.. all his pictures have writing on them for b-day invites.  Denise just got me some new pictures to put up)  Love the way my frig is cleared off now and also love the way this came out. =) 

And my most favorite picture of Darin ever is finally up!  It was taken in January by our Pastor Jim, the canvas given to Darin for valentines day from muah in February and then Darin whipped up a frame for it this summer.  This picture will ALWAYS be up in our home.  I just love it. Darin was having quiet time at our Elder's retreat and our pastor candidly shot this picture of him.. when he got home he realized the pane of the window along with the curtains made a cross. Darin was sitting at the foot of the cross. What a reminder to us all to take time every day and open our bible's and sit at the foot of the cross! Just love it and everything it represents. =)

** If you remember from way back up there.. one of our goals with the ladies was to get Joya potty trained. Summer is so much easier to train.. accidents aren't as annoying when they are outside. Just gotta hose off her legs and get her some new panties. 

Invested in new panties.. when I say invested I mean it.. $15 I spent!  Anywho.. cheaper than diapers, right?

Darin did most of the training.. he was the one usually outside and he had it down to a science. He gave her chips (to make her thirsty) and then pumped her full of liquids. Then figured out (by his trusty stop watch) that she went every 7-9 minutes. Sat her on the john that often and she had a bunch of successes at the get go so she was super excited.

And a big round of applause for Darin being in a shirt this blog post!  

We're on like day 10 now and she'll 90% of the time tell us when she has to go.  The poop still hasn't hit the pot yet but I'm just hoping for less time than it took Adie. Only took her 6 months but who counted, right?  

Showing off her princess panties...

She looks thrilled, doesn't she? She just woke up from a nap here...

**And another thing that was majorly on our list but we didn't have an extra $10k to cement our drive or $2k to asphalt it was re-doing our driveway (Might I say I did NOT want asphalt!)  So we called a stone place and they said that laying limestone on top of our existing 40 year old asphalt would be a great choice. For $300.  And we LOVE the results!  

Darin did a little work before they got here taking out some of the old asphalt in front of our garage so that rain water would drain properly. Notice the potty chair.  My hubs is a hard core potty trainer.

And then the big stone truck came. The girls loved watching it!  And look how ugly our drive was before.. it was the last "eye sore" of our fixer house that I desperately wanted to update. 

And here is the after...

We've even gotten quite a bit of rain since we had it put in on Monday and it drains wonderfully.  The asphalt had sunk over 40 years and was quite a bit lower than our yard.. we'd get a mote in our drive every time we'd get a decent amount of rain.  Not anymore!  LOVE IT!

**We also refinanced our home this summer to get a better interest rate.  We had to have the house reassessed and it is worth over twice as much as we paid for it. =)  That was SO FUN to know and love the equity we've built!

**Darin also put up new cabinets in our garage and in my laundry room. Forgot to take pictures of those and I've already posted 16.. I think you get the jist of what he did this summer. =)  

**We also spent A LOT of time with these two ladies.. lots of bike rides to the park and swimming dips in grandma's pool.  we love these little ladies.. love that Daddy can spend extra time with them in the summer because he's a teacher...

So there you have it! Our summer to-do list update.  Never know what will be on the list for next summer and what this post will look like in a year!


a.tonagel said...

Yea for Darin in a shirt!!!!! :)

Jewel said...

Wow, what a great summer you guys have had. And so full of accomplishments from all 4 of you!!!

Emily said...

I have had my son in cloth from birth and love it(he is almost 3 months). It has saved us a lot of money and he has never had any kind of diaper rash. I have also tried a lot of covers and found that the Econobum are the best bang for your buck if you use prefolds. FYI this is the Emily that used to work with Greg. Good luck with the cloth diapering:)

Amber said...

can I ask what type of diaper party you went to? My husband and I contemplated it for our son but decided against it because of our stacker washer and dryer and because daycare won't cloth diaper. Now that I am pregnant again I am considering it.