Sunday, October 28, 2012


27 Oct 2012: Sarah opens her birthday presents
while her little brother Dylan (age 15) looks on.

Yesterday my little girl, my firstborn, celebrated her 23rd birthday.  Where does the time go?
Sarah's husband Chris loads the cake up with candles after they arrive.
It was kind of a busy day.  I started with laundry and dishes and giving the kitchen a good cleaning before going grocery shopping.  Chris had to work until 2:00.  So we invited them to come over at 3:00 for a little family party.
Sarah's birthday cake, baked and decorated by Chris and his mom, Brenda.
After we visited for awhile, Sarah opened her cards and gifts.  She received two gift cards, as well as a DVD (from Ed and me) and the new album by David Archuleta (from Dylan).  Chris also planned to give her flowers and a massage later (he is a certified massage therapist).
27 Oct 2012: Sarah prepares to blow out her candles.
We thought we might have to call the fire marshall for all the flames!
Once the gifts had been opened, we enjoyed chocolate cake and cookie dough ice cream.  It was great to be together and celebrate that evening 23 years ago, when sweet Sarah came into our lives. 
Happy birthday, my darling daughter!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Let the Cleaning Begin!

No school today!  Nor on Monday and Tuesday!  It's a 5-day weekend for Fall Break, a short respite between the first and second quarters of the fall semester.  I am SO ready for some time off.
So how do I plan to spend this short break?  Why, deep cleaning the house, of course!
Ed's elk head is newly installed on the Game Room wall.
It's the only wall in the house with a ceiling high enough for the antlers!

I began this morning in the "Game Room," so-called by my son Dylan because that's where he plays his Xbox every day but Sunday.  I suppose the name is especially appropriate now because Ed finally hung his elk head in the Game Room.  It has hung in his mom's Colorado house for years, but we finally brought it home with us when we passed through on our way home from New York in July.

Looking into the Game Room from the kitchen.

This is the room that used to be Jacob and Dylan's bedroom.  Once Jacob left on his mission and Sarah got married, we moved Dylan into Sarah's old bedroom.  After Dylan vacated this room in January, we moved in the piano and he essentially took over this space as his Game Room.
Our long-term plan is to use this room as a cozy, Southwestern-styled family room with a couch and a recliner and maybe a big-screen television.  For now, though, there's no room for a couch because we're also using the Game Room to store boxes of supplies.

Around the corner in the Game Room, out of sight from the entry, are stacks and stacks
of boxes filled with future yardsale items and emergency supplies.
Someday the couch will go here under this window.

Back when we first converted the room in January, it was clean and organized and it stayed that way until late June, when we began preparing for our New York trip. Then it became the catch-all. All the stuff that we usually store in the fifth-wheel trailer--extra bedding, Ed's hunting gear, and so on--got dumped in this room. Piles and piles of it. And there it has remained until today.

So Dylan, Ed, and I labored all morning to haul those things back to the fifth-wheel and then reorganize the Game Room.  In fact, we rearranged the furniture altogether.  Someone told us it was bad for a piano to be against an outside wall, which ours was.  With the weather turning chilly and winter on its way, we decided we'd better move the piano to an inside wall today.  Which meant also moving the TV and Xbox, as well as rearranging all those boxes (which seem to be increasing in number!).
And so the autumn cleaning has begun. Tomorrow...the office!
30 March 2012- Dylan is thrilled by his new bedroom.
It's cozier, but really rather nicer than the old room.
I just realized I never posted about Dylan's new bedroom like I meant to do, so I'm going to close with some pictures of his new room, taken back on March 30th.  He is actually pretty good about keeping his room clean, so he won't be getting his deep-cleaning until next weekend.  The rest of the house needs it worse!

Sarah left the shelves (and fan), so Dylan filled them with his stuff.
The perfect shelf to display Dylan's soccer trophies.
A shelf on the opposite side holds his baseball trophies.

I especially liked how we were able to put these shelves
(which were built by Dylan's dad in junior high)
inside the deeper closet for more storage space.