summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Friday, November 30, 2018

november, where in the heck did you go?!!!

It seems that just when I get used to a month, it's on it's way out. It goes from being way too early to think about Christmas to OH NO, I better get going on this thing, in no time flat. 24 days. That's almost tomorrow. Yes, from having all the time in the world to oops, I better get shopping, planning, wrapping...

I have shopped, and I have wrapped. But in my red notebook next to my chair, next to my list of names, some have...nothing written..yet. Oh, and I do this thing where I write things really code-like, abbreviating or giving the item a nickname that only I would understand...then I scan the list a few days later and have absolutely NO IDEA WHAT I MEANT.

I do not believe in fairness. How could I? That would be madness! I mean, if I picked up a cute pair of socks for Sonja on a random Monday in March, would I have to give the fifteen other kids a cute pair of socks too? Same goes for the last cupcake, or the extra slice...yes, you can cut it and share it, but you can't mangle a cupcake into a dozen chunks. So it's not going to be fair, in a big family. So I don't stress about having the same amount of gifts, but still, I have to be careful. A teenage girl has enough angst in her life without thinking mama doesn't love her as much as her sister because she only got two things. Some kids are just easier to buy for, and each year it seems there's a kid who gets more. Of course the three youngest will get more, but the older ones still are enchanted by Christmas, and I want to make it as nice as I can for them. But not too nice, ha.

It IS more about being together, it really is. But I have always felt that since I do happen to have so many kids, I want them to know they're individually special. When they were little, yes, there were a hundred Barbies in the house, but that didn't mean that each little girl didn't deserve her own brand new one on Christmas.

Tonight, there's a family dinner here, homemade pot pie. I haven't made it yet, I hope I have all the ingredients. but rolled out butter crust, with hot bubbly chicken, potatoes, carrots...mmmm. Dessert, maybe some brownies.

Sunday everyone is coming over for dinner too, I have a nice spiral sliced brown sugar ham. I'll roast some red potatoes and sweet potatoes, and maybe make some green beans. And rolls. (Suri and Sunny got the brown and serve rolls from the counter last night, bad dogs!)

Lydia spent the night last night. I told Mali that she could do that on Thursdays, so she is only getting her out of bed and bringing her here so early, four days a week. She is still sleeping!

Today, I plan to stay home. Yesterday I took two trips to the small city, for doctor appointments for two different kids. I went to the craft store on the first trip, and to Walmart on the second. I found too many good things in Walmart:), but got a few good Christmas gifts to put on my list.

A day at home, while the snow falls gently, and the fake fireplace hums, the dogs snoring on the couch, a second cup of coffee steams in my hand...what could be better?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

out and about times two...

In a small city fifteen miles away, there are things to do, and doctor's offices to go to.

Today, I get to go there twice. I cannot combine the trips, because of girls in school.
So in a little while, we'll pack up and go, then come home, and go again, as I will pick the school girls up a little early.

I hope to stop into the craft store while I'm there, because why not?

Out the door in a bit, but first, ahh, my feet up and my coffee...I bought gingerbread coffee from Aldi, and the magic formula is two scoops of regular coffee, and a half scoop of the gingerbread, in the pour-over. mmm, just flavored slightly but not overwhelming.

It helps that I have heavy cream in it this morning.

In other news, I am finally back to my pre-thanksgiving weight, so down a bit over five pounds. In order to lose weight, I really have to cut back, basically to two meals a day. Like eggs at noon, then dinner, meat with veggies and no carbs. Sometimes a spoonful of peanut butter as brekky or a snack. Then nothing in the evening. It's hard, but after a bit it becomes mostly habit and I feel so much better. I take my vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil, too.

Anyway, last night I had one square of Trader Joe's Belgium chocolate. It was good, but nowhere near what Norwegian chocolate tastes like, or Swiss. It was super sweet, and almost chalky, but I still could have wolfed half the 17 ounce bar down if I wanted to. And shh, I did want to, but I had one square. It would be good with crunchy peanut butter, but I'll just stick to the peanut butter.

Does anyone else wait until the last minute to get ready to go somewhere, then run around like mad so they're not late?

Also, does anyone else love the childrens' show, "Martha Speaks"? It's so cute. (Lydia is watching it. We don't really do any television during the day, but she gets here early, plays, and watches a few shows...then it goes off for the day.)

Ah well, off I go to wash my hair and change out of my around-the-house clothes and into bye-bye clothes. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

beautiful, beautiful snow!

This is taken from my chair, this fine morning. I had to get up extra early to shovel the driveway, because Lydia was coming by seven. The kids had a two hour school delay because of the snow.

It was still a little dark when I went out and found the shovel.

The Labs like the snow, but they also like coming in the house. They absolutely don't last long out there. Suri, the black one, sitting on the steps, with her hind quarters on the top one and her front paws on the lower one, and Sunny looking worried...

I am not exaggerating that I shoveled a foot deep of snow from the end of that driveway. The snowplow goes by and wham, lots of snow. Heavy snow, this time, too. The lake (Ontario) is still so warm, this cold air moves through and picks up all that moisture, and Lake Effect Snow!

Back in the house all warm and ready for coffee, and look how pretty the back yard is!

I got super chilly when I got back in the house, because I had worked up a sweat with the shoveling, blah, so I wrapped Lydia and me up in a blanket and had that hot coffee, cocoa for her.

So it looks Christmas-y in here, every window like a framed pic of winter's beauty. The branches are just LADEN with snow, and it keeps coming down.

I made a nice dinner last night, chuck roast...I dredged it in flour, salt, and pepper, then browned it up in olive oil on the stove top, then added it to: potatoes, carrots, and brussel sprouts which were tossed in olive oil. In a few hours, the house smelled yummy, and we had a good dinner. Oh, I also added a packed of brown gravy mix to the top of the whole thing...mmmm.

Tonight, I did not make dinner yet. I have lots of things to make, but today Anne was here, Ashley was here with Elise, and of course Lydia is here. So I haven't wandered into the kitchen and blah, decided what's for dinner. I mean, heck, I just made dinner LAST night, and I have to make it again? We never even finished all the turkey. And there's blueberry pie I have to throw away. That's sinful! I LOVE it, but decided I wasn't just going to keep eating pie every day, and now it's a week old anyway.

I could though, eat pie every day. Pumpkin for brekky, lemon for lunch, and maybe chocolate or blueberry for dinner. Coconut cream, for dessert. And apple on Sunday.

Whatever. Cutting out sugar is no fun, but alas, it's my life.

I've been doing online shopping. It's so fun to get the packages! The other day one arrived from Walmart, and the box was huge. Paul just raised his eyebrows, but it was one small thing in a huge box with tons of those big poppy bubbles. I've already wrapped some things, yay me! We did it yesterday, Char and Cam and Lydia and me.

Let's face it, 16 kids + spouses, five grand kids, and friends, it's a lot of stuff...even two things each. Then we do Secret Santa, and I have to help a few kids with that. It's fun, but sometimes it's a lot. Now throw in a Christmas feast at church, which I am buying the food for (80+ people), and helping with the cocoa/coffee bar and desserts, a Friday night cookie bake coming up, and then Mali is getting married! She's getting married December 12th at Ben and Ashley's house! I am making the cupcakes.

Kathryn's fiance is coming for a visit from Oregon soon (clean the house!), then Sam and Grace and baby Grant are coming again from Virginia, for Mali's wedding. (clean the house!). It's a busy season. We buy gifts for some of the kids at church, too, have to remember that. I make lists, and I check them twice, then I forget to bring them when I go to the store, ha. I am trying to keep track of what I have bought for whom, so far so good.

Having Lydia here every day is such a pleasure. She is excited about all the things that are getting meh for my little girls. She revels in the decorations and the candy canes! joy! Going outside to play in the snow!!! She was outside for an hour today, first with Kathryn, then with Charlotte Claire and Jonathan, she built a snowman with a carrot nose, as she tells everyone.

Little kids are joyful to have around because their joy is contagious. Lydia sings and twirls and chats, she cuddles and listens to stories, and follows me around. She helps me clean up, which shh, isn't always helpful, and she asks all day, "Grandma, what are you doing?"

She hides sometimes when Grandpa pulls into the driveway, and I have to tell him that he needs to look for someone. She shrieks in delight when he finds here hiding between the coffee table and the couch, in plain sight. Sometimes he walks in the door and she runs away yelling, "You can't catch me, Grandpa!", which is obviously an invitation. So it's joyful.

Right now Lydia is sitting on the couch with Suzanne eating Triscuits and reading a book, Anne is napping, the dogs are snoring and I have laundry to do, and dinner to make.

Tomorrow I have to take Suze to a dr. appointment, and get my passport renewed. Yay for passports, right!? Shh, I might just be going someplace warm....:)

Monday, November 26, 2018

what are YOU thankful for?

We always go around the table and say what we're thankful for on Thanksgiving, but this year we thought we'd try something different. We still ended up going around and saying something, and it was absolutely so encouraging.

It was a freezing cold Thanksgiving, really really cold, like 19 (-7.2), and windy, but so snowy and pretty.

One of my favorite things is to just sit back and watch the kids together, with the grandchildren, and each other. I love that they all get along, and we have a peaceful time when we are all together.

Adrian with Grant, Emily in the back, Jonathan, and Mirielle with baby Wulf.

Paul, Abigail (our second oldest), Mirielle with Wulf.

Camille, Aunt Char with little Anya, Suzanne crocheting, and little Elise.

The three smallest grandkids, Grant, Wulf, and Elise.

Sweet Aunties Sonja K. and Kathryn with baby Wulf.

Auntie Kathryn with Grant, in a hat made by Auntie Suzanne.

Camille and I...who wore it better? The funny thing was that I also had a jean skirt on before I changed into comfy around-the-house pants...

Anyway, we had a nice weekend here.

Black Friday: I went out and about with some of the girls...there wasn't much left in the afternoon, but we had fun anyway. Starbucks was having buy one get one free frappuccinos, they liked that. I splurged and got two pumps of white chocolate in my coffee, yummy but too sweet, I could only drink half.

So. I HAD been losing weight, but oh how derailed I got! The good news is that this morning I was only up a pound and a not too bad, considering all the pie I had. The crust, just butter and flour, ice water, and shh, some vinegar, it was flaky and buttery and mmmm. The blueberry pie was my fave, but the pumpkin wasn't far behind, and the apple, oh dear, so good.

I didn't go completely hog wild, I was rather careful. But over the weekend our house was Grand Central Station, and there was Norwegian chocolate, there were some Sam Adams seasonal beers (I had one with ginger, oh yum). I didn't have one single cinnamon roll, or any cookies, so it could have been worse.

But alas, holidays come and go, and now it's time for Christmas!

And this is little Lydia, my sweet three year old granddaughter. Today is day #1 of five days a week, Monday through Friday, her mama is finally on a normal schedule after years of days/nights. Lyd has to get up super early, so she was so sweet about lying down on Sonja's bed with some books, she sang herself to sleep. We actually woke her up after two hours so her mommy can get some sleep tonight, ha.

Well, Camille NEEDS to go to the library....:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

pies and more pies...

Today is pie baking day at my house. I am not happy that it is also a fundraising for church basketball day at the college in the city, and my girls won't be here to help me make the pies. Jonathan is out hunting with Paul, and Kathryn has to work. But, Samuel and Grace are here with baby Grant! They arrived in the night, and are each sleeping on a couch in the living room. I crept out there looking for coffee, and shhh, they were asleep. We worked so hard to set up a nice room for Grace but I don't know what happened.

I want to start on those pies. I mixed up three quadruple batches of pie dough, so there are 12 disks of dough all wrapped up in the fridge, ready to be rolled out and filled with chocolate, apple, pumpkin...blueberry.

I am out of plastic wrap, and forgot to get milk yesterday. Dollar General, here I come.

It's snowy here in New York, and more snow is coming this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow, Thanksgiving day, our high temperature is going to be....20 degrees (-6.6c). brrrrr!

Our dinner tomorrow is going to be at Benjamin's house. He has a HUGE house. There will be around 40 for dinner. Our family, a few friends...we're going over in the morning, so we can help with things all day. 15 pounds of potatoes, which I am questioning, we may need more. 5 cans of cranberry sauce, a 21 pound turkey and a turkey breast...but there will be snacks before dinner, salami and cheese and chips and dips and veggies.

We are also having a thankfulness board, which Evelyn designed, so we can all write what we are thankful for. Our tradition is to go around the table and say what we're thankful for, but with so many at the table...

The kitty was gearing up to meow and I didn't want him to wake anyone, so I scooped him up and brought him to my room with me, along with my computer, but NO coffee!

The cat needs to chill and stop attacking the keyboard. He is a purry little guy though.

I think I'll sneak out there and see if they're waking yet...I need coffee and to start those pies...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

in perspective...

Oh the things we can get all worked up about! I find as I get older, I am not more relaxed, but tend to feel more pressure than ever, to get things done. Ha, I recognize that I do need that, or I would be super lazy, but there has to be a middle ground. That's what I strive for. When your own kids tell you to relax, that means you are getting too edgy about stuff.

Yet, we are down to the wire on this bedroom reno here! Sam and Grace and baby Grant will be here tomorrow, actually in the wee hours of the morning, needing a place for Grant to lie down and sleep...and the bedroom has like ten square feet of laminate down. Paul worked on it last night and was having trouble getting the pieces to click together. He said he'll work on it again tonight, and I was like, "What's the hurry?" but I didn't say it. I'm glad he's on board and helping, he's been out hunting a lot and we've done most of the stuff around here without him.

You know how when you concentrate on one project, the whole rest of the house goes to heck in a handbasket? blah.

And, both vacuum cleaners are clogged.

There is stuff in the washer AND the dryer.

There are still toys all over the living room. (but shh, I think it's kind of nice.)

I need to move the furniture and hair and dust and lost hair bands galore...

Christmas is approaching quickly. I need to take inventory of my present closet, and see who needs what. I did order some things from Kohl's yesterday...I already bought gifts for the grandkids, that's the easiest because I love toys. But they don't need too many, so I will restrain myself. We have our little chocolate calendars to mark off the days, it's so exciting.

My little girls are awake now, and little Lydia, who spent the night...all sweet and morning-y in her bye for now...

Monday, November 19, 2018

what?!!! no post on monday?!!

'tis the season for busyness! This fine Monday has been like Romper Room in my living room. Besides Char and Cam and Jonathan, we have Davian and little Anne, Lydia, and Anya came for a few hours, then Ashley picked her up and stayed for a coffee and some playtime for Elise.

Jonathan's new room is all moved into, not entirely organized yet, but passable. The room he vacated has been worked on for half the weekend...we sanded and wiped walls, painted the ceiling, painted the trim, then two coats on the walls. And alas, we painted the trim the lovely sea-salt color I painted the bathroom, accidentally. It was supposed to be white, the cabinet paint from the kitchen. It was bright outside, the snow brightening the colors, we painted away blissfully, then Sonja noticed the closet door looked green. Well, that's because it WAS green, wrong paint, oops. So we left the doors, and the bottom trim, and she repainted the trim around the window, the closet, and the door.

Now she and Jonathan are installing the underlayment for the laminate. Jon won't be here long though, he is going to get his hair cut, bless Mirielle's heart. Then he's going to Norwegian class, then hockey. So tomorrow...we need to get it finished because tomorrow, late at night, actually in the wee hours of Wednesday, Sam and Grace and baby Grant are arriving, and we would like that room done for little Grant to sleep in with his mama.

So on Saturday after we worked on that room for half the day, we went out and about after Kathryn got home from work because it was only us:

Evelyn and Kathryn, Suzanne in her new hat that she crocheted herself, me, and Sonja K.

Paul and Jon were hunting, and the little girls were in New York City with Abigail. Emily and Abigail and Mirielle were having Friendsgiving at their house. So, we went to Chilis. And to the store. It was rather fun.

Anyway. Today was a busy one. I passed out bananas and popsicles, and made pancakes. I fed Anne yogurt, and Lydia yogurt, and they had fruit snacks when they colored at the table. There is waffletown all over the floor, and Jenga blocks, and books and hotwheel cars and dollhouse, and the food and dishes bins are spilling out everywhere.

Lydia wanted to have a picnic, so we found her a place where the sun was shining in, and Sunny thought it looked like a comfy spot.

Tomorrow, a trip to Costco with Emily. The kids don't have school.

I don't know what's for dinner tonight, but am thinking bacon and eggs. I should get a better meal plan. I feel like I am so busy all the time, but I do have time to sit here and blog sometimes.

Well, I have things to do and toys to pick up...

Friday, November 16, 2018

snow day!!!!

First a two hour delay, then school was cancelled. Paul still had to go to work, and of course there wasn't gas for the snowblower, so he had to shovel out. I went out and helped, but oh dear that snow is deep and heavy. The kids are going out there later and we'll get it done.

Abigail is taking Charlotte Claire and Camille to Connecticut this weekend to visit friends, and they're taking a train to New York City tomorrow. So this afternoon, I have to bring the girls to Ab's work, so she doesn't have to backtrack. I do not like driving in the snow...

Let's see...Lydia has spent the week here, pretty much. Her mama had a root canal done yesterday, and is working her last night shift tonight, then starts regular Monday through Friday next week. Yesterday, Kathryn took her to McDonald's to play on the playground there (indoors!), with Char and Cam. She also brought her to Walmart and bought her a Barbie:)

I picked Sonja up from school, and brought her and Jonathan for physicals. We then went to Home Depot for light bulbs, a door knob for Sonja's closet, and new drawer/cabinet handles for the bathroom, although I think I got the wrong ones. And spray paint for some door knobs.

Then to Aldi, for a pizza to put in the oven when we got home, and for some fresh chicken wings, as well as a few Christmas countdown calendars with chocolate behind the little doors, eggs, milk, cheese, bananas, and a cute little trash can for the bathroom.

Here is my tale of woe, concerning trying to lose a few pounds...a few, as in fifty or so, ha. So, I give up sugar, work out every day, mostly, avoid carbs like the plague, and slowly by slowly, lose five pounds. Up a little, down a little, down a little more, and wow, five pounds down. The, last weekend happened. Now, I'm not going to lie, I could have eaten much much more. I was careful, but here's the thing: my metabolism does not allow for cheating anymore. I had tortilla chips with my healthy Chipotle food, and with my healthy Moe's food...AND I had some Norwegian chocolate, as well as that yummy bakery visit. I had a small molasses cookie, and tastes of lots of things, equal to like a second cookie. That's it. No ice cream, no sandwiches. Oh, and I had one slice of pizza on Saturday night, the smallest one in the box. Five pounds came back. A lot must have been water weight, because this morning, four of it are gone. I'm the same weight I was three weeks ago. Ugh. I know this isn't the weight I'm supposed to be at, but oh dear, it's a battle. It seems like I give up so much for so little change, but then I think of how I would be if I didn't do that...:)

It's my lot in life, I suppose. All those pregnancies, and all the things I craved: oatmeal, Cheerios...toast. Tomato sandwiches. Pizza. The morning sickness, the fatigue. I would get one small child to sleep through the night just in time to welcome a new baby, and the total lack of sleep that came with him or her, and who cares about not eating a stack of cookies when they're exhausted? I have good excuses! Really good ones! Here's another one: I don't like to waste food, so I would eat things the kids didn't want. What? You can't throw away that ice cream cone! Give it to me!

Anyway. Here I am on a Friday morning, a snow day, no kids up yet to celebrate it.

Jonathan is all moved in to his new room. The room he moved out of has the carpet torn up, and the walls spackled and sanded. Today, paint the ceiling, the walls, the trim...then put down the new laminate flooring. We are having company next week, and really want to get the room done. A snow day will be the perfect time!

My bathroom counter...oh dear. I asked Paul to caulk around the sinks, and it looks sloppy, but when I caulked along the back of the counter, I realized how hard it is to do it neatly, and I apologized for critiquing him. After I put all of our junk back on the counter, it isn't as noticeable, and it IS nicer than the burgundy, but I am no picture-perfect DIY-er.

Although it is swirling through my mind to do the kitchen counters sometime...

And spray paining the bright gold door knobs black: I can't wait! It's too cold out, and I don't want to do it in the house, but yay, what a good idea!

Shelves to put up, and flooring to put down...the kitchen is on the list...and the foyer, new carpet on the stairs and new flooring, and the ceiling painted, and Paul is going to take the brassy gold chandelier down so I can clean it up and paint it...not sure if I'll do it a chalky old fashioned white, or a bronzy-black...the walls painted, it's going to be sweet.

See, I figured I'm not going to win the lottery. I'm not going to move into a brand spanking new house. I'm not going to hire the Property Brothers or Joanna G. to come here and VOILA, turn this place into WOW. So, I choose to make the most of things, and work on doing what I can to make it nice here. Not magazine nice, but comfortable nice.

There are so many exciting things going on around here. Thanksgiving at Ben's next week! Making pies! I am making apple, blueberry, and pumpkin. Tell me, how on earth am I supposed to lose weight? I will gain ten pounds just looking at those pies. And Grace's dad is making us a pecan pie, Margaret and Evelyn are making chocolate pie. Homemade whipped cream. Then the dinner...mashed potatoes with gravy? Stuffing? (with gravy, of course!) The rolls with butter? I am doomed. But nope, I'll drink a huge glass of water before dinner, and be a good girl. Oh dear....

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

pictures of a really nice weekend...

The baby cousins see each other for the first time since June...Wulf and Grant. (my two grandsons, and Wulf had on overalls that Benjamin wore, and Ben just turned 30! All of my baby boys wore them!)

Little Grant fell asleep in my arms...precious.

Babies crawling on the bed at our hotel...we spent a lot of time there, the pool was fantastic, and the babies loved going swimming. They were then wrapped in warm towels and got their little feetsies splashed with the warm water of the hot tub.

Grant with his daddy, Samuel.

Sweet baby Grant.

It was lovely in Virginia, warmer than here. We went to a little town called Occoquan, circa 1734, just parked and walked around. It's on a river, so it was a pleasant walk. I spotted this...

Mom's Apple Pie Bakery. "We're going there!", I told everyone...Sam and Grace, Grace's sister Georgia, little Grant who was done with the stroller and was in his daddy's arms, Margaret and baby Wulf, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Camille...with a larger group, there's always the indecision, no one knows what they want to do or where they want to go, and if someone does have an idea, someone else is sure to sigh and roll their eyes. But when I saw this place, we were going.

It didn't disappoint.

The minute I walked in the door, my new diet went right down the drain. I wanted all of it, but we chose only: a black and white cookie, 3 molasses cookies, two apple donuts (huge and dense, these probably weighed 6 or 8 ounces, drizzled in maple-y glaze...), and a million dollar cookie, which was oatmeal chocolate chip with pecans. We found a table in the sun near the river, and started passing things around and breaking off pieces. Evelyn also had a gingerbread cookie, and Grace and Georgia had some was amazing. In retrospect, we shouldn't have even gone in, but oh dear it was yummy. I didn't go totally hog wild, I saved most of that million dollar cookie and the second apple donut, and stuck them in Sonja's lunch today, she can share with her friends.

Suzanne, Evelyn, and Camille

Evelyn, Suze, Cam.

Have you ever stopped at a Crispy Creme bakery? They fry those donuts up right behind that glass, and the conveyor belt glistens with fresh yummies, and the smell is simply heavenly. We were traveling back from Virginia yesterday, and I was talking to Sonja on the phone, asked her if she wanted some donuts, and yes, she did. We had to stop anyway, so why not in Clark's Summit? The whole town smells like one big donut, to me. We picked out a dozen beautiful donuts, but I didn't eat any. I just got a coffee. We stopped at Moe's and got some healthier food...:)

Will I ever grow up?

Anyway, it's a long trip, we left at 10:30-ish, and got home around six. Evelyn is an amazing driver, she drove the whole way there and the whole way back.

So here's my bathroom renovation was a rush job, because that's how I operate. Give me a deadline, I'll start dangerously close to it, and forsake all else to get it done. I had it in my head to get the resin/topping on that countertop by Friday before we left for the weekend, because so few people would be at home, it would be easy to let it set and dry. So all else had to be done before this final step. So:

Ceiling washed and painted. (ceiling paint)
Walls spackled, sanded, washed, painted...edged, rolled, repeat. (Sea Salt in eggshell, Valspar Signature)
Cabinets primed and painted. (Zinser 1-2-3 primer, Sherwin Williams Pure White for cabinets, leftover from kitchen)
Wood trim and door primed and painted (Zinser and white enamel, which I went over with the Pure White because I was using too many different paints)

So I was juggling all these projects at the SAME TIME, washing out brushes in between because I didn't have enough for each different paint. I did have Paul get me some extra rollers so I could ditch the ceiling paint ones and use new ones for the walls.

Painted the countertop...first primed it, then painted it pearl essences white, and was going to glop it with some bronze and gray and try to make it look like quartz...but the white didn't cover it well, so I re-primed it and just painted it gray. I was running out of time, it was Friday and I hadn't packed yet, hadn't washed my hair, and the rest of the house was getting messy. I needed to just get to the point where I was ready to do the final topping, so I just found a jar of sample paint, and rolled on a coat, waited half an hour and rolled on some more. I NEEDED to top it off, so I did, 45 minutes before I had to leave to pick up the high school girls, so we could pack that van and leave, I poured on that resin.

If you've never mixed up Envirotex Lite, you haven't experienced anything. I was stressed, and in high gear. Jonathan, bless his sweet heart, told me to relax. You have to measure it perfectly, and since I had crossed "Outing To Town" off my list, I didn't buy anything to mix this stuff in, so I had to sacrifice two tall coffee travel mugs, and two nice plastic pitchers. You mix it together for two minutes, then transfer to a second container, mix for one minute, then pour! It's clear and thick, and you have to use a piece of thick paper or a flat sided object to spread it, and work fast! In retrospect, I had more time than I thought I did, and I should have done a better job, but I get frantic, and I am one of those I'm-cleaning-the-living-room-but-also-washing-the-dishes-and-wait-the-laundry-needs-to-go-in-the-dryer-but-I-still-have-a-broom-in-my-hand-which-is-soapy-from-dishwater kind of people, scatterbrained and doing all sorts of stuff at I didn't know where to start, and I should have had a better method of spreading it. Jonathan's side came out way better. He wasn't as emotionally invested, ha, he just calmly spread it on, while I spread it here and there and went over parts that I should have left alone...I ended up missing a few spots, and the backslashes aren't covered very well. I don't love the color, and overall it isn't great...but hey, it's better than the burgundy! It has to be caulked before we can use the sinks, but here's something:

It actually hardened! It's clear and glossy with only a few dog hairs in it.

(Sonja texted me on Saturday night right as I was falling asleep...Mom, there's a huge spot on the countertop. (I was concerned it wouldn't harden up, because that's one of the issues a lot of people in the reviews had...the measurements were supposed to be so exact, and I rather tend to eyeball things, ha. So I was asking frequently for updates about whether it seemed still sticky. So Sonja sent me this pic:

Oh how frustrating! A spot, after all that work!

The next morning, I woke up and thought about that spot, and it seemed ridiculous to get so worked up about a spot on the countertop, in the big scheme of life, of all things that are important. So I let it go, and decided to just be thankful, and not silly about it.

Fast forward to last night...I got home, and yeah, went straight to that bathroom to take the plastic off the sinks and see how things looked. The counter was very nice and hard, and not too much dust in it, and then Camille announced that she had wiped that brown spot right off. ha.


I wish I had taken a true "before" pic, with the old unmatching chrome faucets, all chipped and corroded, covered in hard water stains. (These will be wiped off more often, hopefully won't get like the old ones did.) I am home again, bathroom almost done. I need to get new hardware for the cabinets and I want to remove the doorhandle and spray paint it, but other than that...phew.

Lydia is coming over later today and staying until Saturday, her momma has some night shifts then a root canal. Next week she'll be here Monday through Friday, which will be our new normal. If it gets really snowy she can just spend the night.

REALLY SNOWY? Yes, it's snowy...

The quiet morning kitchen, piles of dishes to do still, but so peaceful.

We never did cover the pool...oh well.