6 Months Later

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Wow, do I know how to take a break or what?!

First off, I’ll tell you that I’ve tried every diet on the planet since I last posted.  Yep, every single one.  And I’ve lost 10 lbs!  And gained them back.  AND LOST THEM AGAIN!  WOO HOO!  And gained them back.  This is my life right now.  (and I believe this is the destructive pattern to which dieting will usually lead.)

In all fairness, my life has been a bit of a shambles these last 6 months.  Serious health issues for a friend, who is very near and dear to my heart, have led me down some pretty heavy, emotional paths.  My number one crutch is food.  I’ll come around soon.  I always do.

There’s been stress with the new mountain house, now going on 10 months of construction.  We were told 6-8 weeks for completion.  There were weather delays.  There was work done incorrectly, that had to be re-done…  Nothing that should have extended the job 8 fucking months, though!  I think the builder just got in WAY OVER HIS HEAD.

The good news is they’re about a month away from being done with their part!  Then we can get tradesmen in there to do plumbing, electric, geothermal, insulation, final excavating.  We’re doing a majority of the interior work and we’re dying to get our part started!

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Scott just found this antique door that’s going to be the door leading up to our loft bedroom.  It needs some work (and a crystal door knob) and it’ll be perfect!

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He’s also been working on perfecting the finish for the lower kitchen cupboards.  The uppers are going to be natural wood against white shiplap walls.

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In other news, homeschooling is going along at a weird pace.  We’re trying out 4 day weeks again and have enforced a rule about video gaming not being available until after 4pm.  So our 4 days of school every week, are very long.  Top that off with new, challenging, online classes and you get something that seems suddenly quite overwhelming.  There have been tears and frustration.  We aren’t abandoning the plan yet though.

Since writing the previous paragraph, we’ve had to tighten up the rules so that our boys would give it their all!  It’s tough to be a teenager.

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Currently our school day looks something like this:

  1.  Online Writing Class – Essays
  2.  History – usually a documentary or historical fiction film on Youtube (we’ll probably do something more structured next year.)
  3.  Math – we’ve started doing two lessons each day
  4.  Online Science Class – Physical Science
  5.  Treadmill/Cooking – health requirement
  6.  Duolingo – online Spanish
  7.  Reading – Will just finished Of Mice and Men and Scotty will finish this week.  We’re going to start on Animal Farm next.
  8.  Also currently spending additional time on study technique and note taking via a series I found on Youtube that I like a lot.
  9. Then there are always additional things like this:

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They’re working on the kitchen cabinets and island for the new mountain house in the above pictures.

And then there’s this:

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So, let me tell you about the poor, little chair that they’re rebuilding in the pictures above!  This little chair was in the upstairs family room of the house in Big Elk Meadows WHEN THE LANDSLIDE CAME THROUGH THE HOUSE.  An interesting part of the landslide was that whole, entire Lodgepole Pine Trees were arrowed (archery style) into the upper level, pinning beds to walls, shooting through walls.  A tree narrowly missed this little chair but did scrape up against it and left mud all over the bottom.

Poor, little chair…  Here you go – I was able to find a picture of how we found the chair, after the landslide:10046777076_ab9f309d93_o (1)

After we had it professionally cleaned, we put it in Will’s playroom and it looked so nice…  until one day I went down there and the chair was sitting weird, all sideways and just weird.  Someone (to this day we don’t know which one of them)  ran and jumped in it and broke several supporting boards underneath.

They were required to assist in the repair of my little chair and it’s either going in the living room of the new mountain house or in mine and Scott’s bedroom. Still have to decide.  All I know is that it doesn’t belong to boys any longer.

I hate even looking at those old landslide pictures.  They bring back dreadful feelings.  And almost as painful as it was to see all our stuff destroyed was the thought that we couldn’t get any of it out.  We had to tarp the gaping holes in the house and wait until next spring.  The flood happened in early September 2013.  All the roads were destroyed.  We got in via atv.  When we got back next spring, it was clear there had been animal activity in the house.  Everything that was salvaged had to be professionally cleaned and, as you can imagine, they’re all family treasures now.  Boy, I’m good at rambling.  I got WAY off topic here…

So, that’s what’s been going on mostly.  I have not given up crafting.  I’m up-to-date on Project Life and One Little Word, I just completed another season of Get Messy Art Journal and, well, I haven’t picked up the knitting needles in weeks but that spark will come back again soon, I’m sure.

I’ll catch you up on crafty stuff next time.  Peace.  Gotta go get another coffee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s My Plan

I’ve looked, for two weeks, for a group to join on Facebook to diet and exercise with like-minded women for the next  few weeks.  I found several, but only one that didn’t cost $100.00 to join.  (Gee, how helpful…  NOT!)

I thought about creating my own group but I’m not a leader.  I much prefer following in things like this.

I wanted an accountability group, somewhere I could discuss goals and check-in everyday. Another catch with some of these groups were that they wanted daily weigh-ins and I don’t want to weigh until I’ve been doing great for 2 weeks.  (I’m a little neurotic about my weight.  My husband would laugh that I said “a little”.)

So here’s my plan:  I’m going to eat 1200 a day for 6 weeks, starting November 1st.  I’m going to do my treadmill 3 times a week, starting at 20 minutes and working up to 40.  I’m not eating refined sugar.

I may have mentioned before that 2016 turned out to be my year to eat!  It’s been so much fun not worrying about it, not counting, baking and cooking all the comfort dinners that I love.  It has taken a toll on my weight, but WHATEVER!  This is life.  Now it’s time to get it under control, to be kind to my body by eating better, get a few pounds off so that I don’t feel guilty about baking at Christmas.  (I’m very much looking forward to another Bake-Off, doing gingerbread at Christmas time!)

Maybe this plan is the beginning of a healthier life!  (I can hope, shut up!)  I know that if you eat healthy 90% of the time, you can get away with eating birthday cake and sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas cookies.  I KNOW THAT!  Maybe my current plan is the start of living that way!  Could be, you never know!

So it all starts tomorrow.  My Mom has already joined me.  If you’d like to play along, you’re more than welcome.  We could check in with each other, weigh or not, discuss meals we’ve eaten  or meal plans.  Tell what we did for exercise or how many steps we got in today.  Or, just, “I managed to drink my water today.”  There’ll be no judgement.  We have it in ourselves to do this or not.  It’s a choice and it’s an individual choice.  If you choose to eat, more power to you.  I chose to eat all this year!

If you’d like to play along, just let me know and we’ll talk about it.  If you’d like to play along with the gingerbread Bake-Off in December, let me know that too.  The more the merrier.  

Mid October Already?

I get so tired of hearing people talk about how they can’t believe it’s October already.  BUT IT’S TRUE!  How the Hell?  When did that happen?

Life continues moving along at a pretty good clip, except for the mountain house construction.  (more on that later)

I think my current Project Life spread will catch you up pretty nicely!  (I used mostly Brandi Kincaid’s Gather the Good mini kit.  It can be found here:  http://kellypurkeyshop.com/products/gather-the-good-mini-kit-by-brandi-kincaid and a few Ali Edwards Story Kit things too.  You can find out more about Ali’s Story Kits here:  http://aliedwards.com/how-it-works .

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The weather is finally cooling off and the boys and I are enjoying walks outdoors instead of doing the treadmills.  Boo is loving the back door being constantly open and being able to come and go as she pleases.

Homeschool is moving along fabulously right now.  The boys are really stepping up with their first online class and we’re still working on more independent learning in Science.

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The mums are in full bloom and the veggies and herbs are all past now.  Trees are still changing.  We need to do some toasty, wine drinking around the fire pit soon!

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I went on a girls’ shopping day in Fort Collins last Saturday with friends, Katherine and Anja and had so much fun!  I was very thankful that Anja was doing a photography project and wanted to take pictures of fall leaves.  I took them to Roland Moore Park.  (the park I visited last year that stole my heart with all the fall colors!)  It was so much fun, relaxing and playful.  By far, the park was my favorite part of the day!

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I got the fall baking bug some time ago but had been holding out.  Last week, however,  I caved and baked a spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was so yummy!  It’s been a week and now I’m ready to bake something again…  but I won’t…  probably.  We’ll see.

I just realized that my friend, Jackie, makes two appearances in my Project Life this week!  On the first page, there’s a picture of her birthday box and on the last page I documented having gotten my December Daily shipment and waiting to open it with her.  We video-chatted and opened our shipments together.  It was great fun.  I’m so thankful for our friendship.  We have so much fun sharing!  I included her take on our Christmas video chat and mine!

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As for the new mountain house…  building is going very slowly but we’re currently being blessed with lots of warmer-than-normal weather.  This was the view yesterday:

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We were promised a team of 4 guys would be working on it this week.  We’ve seen 3.  And there was no one there today.  Not sure what happened.  We’ll just be so happy when the skilled workers are done with their parts and they turn it over to us!!!  We’re far enough along now that we can really SEE it and we’re dying to get our hands on it!

So you’re all caught up.  Feels good, huh?  I’m off to play while the husband has dinner with Google tonight!  Ta!

Life, in Project Form

I’ve loved concentrating on family members these last few weeks in my Project Life book.  I haven’t done anything like this before and it’s really been fun.  I think the subjects of these pages have kind of enjoyed it too.

So first, we get to see Scott’s week:

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I thought twice about breaking up his pages with a print out about homeschool, but I wanted to include it now.  It still flows fine.

Took pictures of my honey, got him to fill out an interview card and searched the internet for pictures of things I know he likes.  Will’s idea was to take a picture of Cabela’s and it certainly is a big part of our lives!

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It’s so convenient to print out a blog post to keep in Project Life and it goes into depth that I might not find the room or time to do otherwise.

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Took a picture of his truck and his newest game obsession (Pokemon Go). It was a lot easier to put these pages together than I thought it would be.  Let’s face it, he’s VERY used to me taking pictures of him by now…  He’s always willing to play along with me.  Love you, baby!

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Next up is my Mom:

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Her favorite colors are pink and blue and I’m just now realizing that I didn’t use any blue…  Oops.  I’ve got to take her interview card next time we visit (Daddy’s too).  I like the interviews filled out by the person.  Gets them involved in making the pages.

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Just a pretty something to include as an insert that reminds me of a fun shopping spree in Estes Park with Mama!

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I included pictures of her doggy babies, our love of gardening and the excitement about building the new mountain house.  I had to include our shared love of John Denver and his music.  I wish I had included the knit socks that she and I are currently working on…  I’m sure they’ll come up in another spread though.

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And finally, to share today, Daddy’s pages!

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His favorite colors are dark purple and gray.  I just noticed he’s wearing a vest in every single picture!  He’s on medication that makes him cold all the time.  We tease him about it.  He’s 82 years old.  He’s been through LOTS of very serious health issues but he’s a very strong man! (with a very deranged mini labradoodle, pictured upside-down here.)

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Daddy and I share a love for pizza and excitement about following the Broncos!  He really is a “man of few words” these days and we wish he’d come out of his shell more…  but the priorities are health, happiness and love.  He’s got all of those!

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I’m currently working on a week about my doggy daughter, Boo-berry, which is proving to be lighter and lots of fun, with girly colors and frilly things.  I’ll share soon.  She’s loving all the attention!

I love Project Life!

Sometimes time goes by so quickly, it’s shocking!  And when I look back at these weeks in my scrapbook, all I feel is love and gratitude for the little, happy things in life…  things that I would have forgotten by now.

It’s already the end of August!  The cool mornings already feel like fall and I have already seen red leaves…

I love this project.  I love taking the pictures.  I love writing the thoughts.  I love making it pretty. I stay inspired and enthusiastic also because I’m not doing it alone.  One friend, in particular,  has swapped cards with me several times and discussed weekly themes and kept it so much fun!  You know who you are!  Thank you, friend!

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Without further delay, here’s what the last few weeks have looked like around here.  First up is a week when both the boys stayed in Colorado.  I did a whole lot of nothing – played with paint, smooched on a dog (and maybe a husband), watched the garden grow.  It was awesome.

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Jennifer and I went out for just drinks this time and discovered why our husbands always enjoyed “beering” together!  We had so much fun.

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The next week, the theme was drinks or coffee or both…  Used some of my favorite mugs for the first time in a long time.  (I exclusively use a travel mug these days because I hate to keep returning to the kitchen to reheat my coffee.)

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Used Ali Edwards’ Stuff Story Kit and a few miscellaneous pieces.

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This was a simple theme but so much fun!

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Next was a more normal week.  I made a point to create something for an insert.  I like inserts and I haven’t been doing them much lately.

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That dryer full of doggy stuffies was the result of having to bug bomb our house for fleas, which I realize now, only got one, small journaling card…  It was kinda traumatic, I must have repressed most of the ordeal!

I really should have put a small picture on that story cork thingy…  But oh that deer!  Isn’t she beautiful?!

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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at 6×12 pages and I think these two turned out really nice…  I’ve grown to love mixed media pages with paint sprays and splatters!  The more the better!

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And never before in my life have I loved pink as much as I love pink now!  I have no idea what’s gotten into me…

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I included a screen print of a couple text conversations on this page because I have such cute and clever friends and such a sweet husband!

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Next up is Will Week!  It’s all about our Dood! (and his interests and his stuff)  He didn’t mind.  Believe me, my children are used to this kinda thing!

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Included a short interview:

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Had to include silly selfies!  And HAD TO DOCUMENT, “Love you more.”

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Next up?  It’s Bee’s turn!  I asked them what their two favorite colors were and those are the colors I went with.

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I made these journaling cards ages ago.  They were supposed to look completely different and when they turned out bright and primary color-y, I didn’t like them.  Instead of throwing them out, I held onto them and wouldn’t you know it – Scotty says these are his favorite colors and the polka dots look like a playful young man!  Right?

I had to paint the date card because I didn’t have any cards or paper these colors.  But we had purchased paint for some arty project Scotty had done earlier in the year.

This boy’s catch phrase these days is, “Love you too bad.”

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Another interview and a selfie:

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Oh, I love those boys something awful!

I’m currently doing a week about my honey.  And I’ve already filled the pockets the next two weeks with my Mom’s favorite colors and then my Dad’s.

Oh, you know what?  There needs to be a Boo Week, doesn’t there?  I’ll work on it…

 

Homeschool Update Aug. 2016

Nope, they are not looking forward to starting school again…  I can’t relate.  I never loved school when I was a kid, but I did love buying all the school supplies and the new clothes and going back and getting started again.  Maybe it’s a gender difference?  Maybe it’s a homeschool/traditional school difference?  I dunno…

These days I look forward to starting up again because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating lesson plans and finding exactly the right materials and I’m excited about sharing it all with them!

So, go back, we shall…  on September 7th.  I fret a little at the thought of all my time being taken up with school again, but as they get older, I’m really trying to be more hands-off and encourage independent learning.  It still takes most of my days, but it’s so worth it and I still love doing it for them!

So, here’s the plan for the upcoming year:

For math, Will will resume his work in Math U See Zeta and Scotty will begin Zeta!  (Almost forgot to order Scotty’s new book – he was in a tizzy…  NOT!)  Math is one subject that I’ll be learning along with them this year.  They’re beginning decimals and algebra and I just don’t remember that stuff.  In order to help them, I’ll have to take the class too!  (I’m actually looking forward to it.  In high school, I thought I hated math – I think I have a more open mind about it now.)

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For Science we’ll continue Exploring Creation with Physical Science.  We should finish this before the year is up, so we’ll fill in at the end with Youtube/internet research studies of subjects that interest the boys.  This book contains lots of hands-on science experiments that the boys really enjoy!

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For Literature and Language Arts we’ll be returning to Easy Grammar as a refresher course and Introduction to Literature for reading and writing.  I have mixed feelings about our Literature book – if I remember correctly, the “classics” that we’ll be reading were some of my least favorite reading ever!  They are “classics” however, and as such, students are required to read them…  God only knows why…

We’ll also be using http://www.insidestoryflashcards.com for SAT vocabulary word exposure.

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For Health – I never found anything I was terribly excited about.  I bought the book below, even though it’s written for a younger audience.  It goes over some pretty complicated stuff about nutrition and metabolism.  The problem is…  it’s written in the metric system.  Suggested amounts of certain nutrients that people should eat  are given in metric measurements.  I don’t want to spend time changing them…  So, this book is out.

I’ve since found a good, free resource online, written specifically for teenagers at http://www.healthychildren.org   Along with reading from this website and possible additional research, the boys will resume cooking family dinners and doing treadmills three times a week.

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Also had a bit of a quandary with history…  I could never find exactly what I wanted…  I wanted to continue our studies chronologically but couldn’t find anything I liked about contemporary times.  I had settled for an expensive, online program that did NOT cover what I wanted.  But when I gave it time to percolate, I found http://www.teachwithmovies.org .  Not only does it list relevant movies, but it also has learning guides and discussion questions.  We’ll spend two days watching a movie and then the rest of the week doing research on the time or characters. The website has other activity suggestions as well.  I found a timeline that I like a lot that will help me decide what to cover.

I hear there’s a new Assassin’s Creed video game coming out in January, I think…  It’s set in ancient Egypt.  And although we’ve done ancient history already, we’ll probably delve back into it when the game hits the shelves.

Not required by the Department of Education but necessary, we feel, for a foreign language study, we’ll be returning to Spanish at Duolingo!

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There’s been talk, among the family, of a computer programming class this year.  I haven’t heard any concrete information yet and I’m not sure it’s actually going to happen.  We’ll see…

We’ll be doing standardized testing in October too.  Wish us luck!

For now we have 2 more weeks left of summer break to do whatever we want!

Big Elk Update – July 2016

Things are getting really exciting up at the mountain place!  The REAL living space is going to start on August 1st!  (and should be completed by early October…  Hopefully before any REAL snow happens up there.)  Keep in mind our builder is only doing the outside walls, doors, windows, roof, stairs.  (there will be plumbing and electrical wiring already but still more to do when we get started.)  We’re doing all the interior work ourselves – Scott is VERY HANDY and has done all this kind of work before!  Wow, it’s so sexy, having a husband who knows how to do EVERYTHING, isn’t it?!  And something else awesome about doing it ourselves?  The boys are going to be very involved and learning the whole time!

So just because I think it’s interesting, below is a before and after shot of the land directly behind the original house.  You can see on the left, before the landslide that it looks like there had been a previous slide…  you can already see a path between the trees…

And then on the right, 3 weeks after the landslide.  It took out a lot more trees and made a huge canyon.

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And then here’s how it looked last weekend, almost 3 years after the landslide, below.  Beautiful again, isn’t it?  Our geological team assured us that where we’re building now is WAY safer than the old house location, having been right in the middle of this pre-existing landslide path.  They’ve told us, for continued safety that we have to keep this path well-defined.  Water follows the path of least resistance…  So our canyon is a permanent landmark.  My hope is that the seed dispersal will continue and I may augment with poppies and more wildflowers next year!

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So let’s talk about what’s done already!

The drain field:

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The picture below is looking up at the drain field…  The retaining wall was built from rock all located on our property.  (*more on that later.)

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The septic tank:

(which I hope is going to be completely buried when our excavators leave…  Scott?)

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The ground floor:

The front is walk-out.  The back is below grade.  It is unbelievable all that goes into building a cement foundation:  radon mitigation, plumbing, electrical, drainage, structural considerations for the above portion – I had no idea!

On the front right, will be an 8 ft. Egress window where the boys’ bedroom will be.  Where my Mom and Scott are standing is where there will be a large bathroom.  And on the front left will be a den/playroom with french doors leading outside.  Staircase in the back middle and back left will be a storage room.

We’re going to stain and polish the cement floor and put a few rugs where we want a cozy feel.

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Below is a picture looking down.  You can see how the  whole structure is set into the side of the mountain from this angle.

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Lots of work has been done on our lone survivor.  This poor, little garage lived through an awful, scary ordeal and stayed standing.  It was, however filled with 3-4 feet of mud, debris and boulders and a couple boulders went through the ceiling, but IT SURVIVED!

Scott and the boys have done a lot of the work on this building, including replacing all that siding, installing the new doors, installing proper waterproofing.  We’re going to lose the beaten up gutters and it’ll eventually be painted red to match the house.  White door will be the tan trim color.  And we’re looking into some stone accents for around the bottom.  It’s going to look brand new when we get done!  (our happy, little garage!)

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The picture below shows our patio area in the lower portion and the dog run will be on the upper portion.  There’ll be stairs on the far right, leading up to the dog run and the patio area will be cobblestone or flagstone – haven’t decided on that yet, I don’t think… *All these rocks were already located on our property.

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The picture below shows the cement posts for the upper deck.  We’ll have cobblestone on the ground level.

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Cement posts for the back deck/sunroom:

Most of what was going to be a back deck is now going to be an enclosed sunroom, leading to the dog run, on the far end, where Scott’s standing. (you have to have a fully enclosed dog run up here.  Mountain lions can jump 15 ft!)

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Below is another retaining wall being built to carve out a parking place.  There’ll be pretty steps leading up to the back door that will enter into the back of the kitchen.

*So, I mentioned that all these rocks were located on our property already.  When we first started talking to builders, they wanted to quote us a price for bringing in boulders because they didn’t believe we’d have enough.  We tried to tell them that the whole house was destroyed by boulders coming down the mountain…  There are rocks EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE!  So far, they’ve built three retaining walls, we’re giving some boulders to the neighbor to build a retaining wall and there’ll be a mountain of them leftover at the foot of the old driveway…  Needless to say we didn’t have to pay to bring in boulders!

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We’ll be ordering beautiful wood floors in a few weeks that we’re going to install in the main floor and the loft, which will be our master bedroom.

The lower section of the fence is up and looking beautiful too.  Thank you, Jerry Dickinson!  Just a little more work and the fence will be done!

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As soon as we have a working bathroom, a Keurig and the dog run is complete, we’re planning on staying overnight!  We’ll be on air mattresses but it’s going to be AWESOME!  Then the REAL work begins!

WE CAN’T WAIT!

 

(Project) Life Update

It seems busier and busier times are upon us.  We knew it would be this way while we’re in the thick of building the new mountain house.  And I’m not complaining.  But things have to give and blogging is a few items down on the priority list, sadly…

I’m using the Project Life updates to do the real life updates here…  So let’s get started, shall we?  First off, I’d like to thank a sweet friend for this week’s journaling cards! (you know who you are!  xx) I love them and had to use them immediately upon receiving them!  These pages are already 3 WEEKS OLD.  It feels like yesterday.  Time is really flying!

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It’s full blown summertime around here!  It’s hot, there are almost daily afternoon thunderstorms, things are blooming everywhere, pollen is killing Scotty and me and we’ve picked the first few squash and tomatoes!

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We spent 10 days in Colorado this time, the boys and Scott getting some serious work done up at Big Elk!

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The wildflowers are at their peak on our mountain and they look a little different every time we go.  It’s so much fun to see each time we arrive!

The dog run has been leveled and we’re now considering roofing and windowing it to use it as a greenhouse as well!  It’s still in the “figuring it out” phase but if it’ll work, it’s pretty exciting!

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Decided to join a friend and do a Project Life week spotlighting food. (Word dies are a Tim Holtz set that I found on Amazon.)

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Not much to talk about here, except that I’m doing better, overall, than I thought I was…

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We ended this week back in Colorado – which changes the eating habits quite a bit because we mostly eat at restaurants there.  It’s fun but a little more difficult to make the healthiest choices…

(Used another cute journaling card from my friend here:  LOVE that little coffee cup flair badge!)

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The last week is a lift from the brilliant Ali Edwards.  The journaling cards were all Ali’s design idea and I loved them.  This week was a mix of being home and ending the week in Colorado again.  But this time, we left the boys there and came home without them!  HA!

So the week that I’m currently working on will be mostly boy-free…  it’s just weird!

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I picked my first zucchini this week!  It’s always so exciting when the garden first starts producing.  There were 3 tiny little tomatoes and 2 Crookneck squash also (that I gave to Mama – because she loves them too.)

All the washi tapes used on the journaling cards are the navy collection from Heidi Swapp.  It was too pretty to pass up last time I was in Michael’s.

 

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First time wearing a hair piece out in public is documented below.  I was so pleased that it stayed in place on a very windy day – it made me more confident to wear it more often.

Sorry about  hiding a face on this page.  I wanted to document my feelings but it isn’t my story to tell.  I clone painted her fur collar and it looks really odd but it gives her some privacy.

 

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We were very excited to see that our new fence is finally going up!  We love the way it looks and it’s wildlife friendly!  I’ll have to do a Big Elk update real soon.  Things are going to be moving very quickly the rest of the summer.  We should have an enclosed house by October!   Then things will really get crazy, with most of the interior work being done by us!  We’re all talking about what we want to do to celebrate…  I’ll keep you posted.

Also on the plan is a blog post about the upcoming homeschool year.  I just received approval from the state to homeschool for the upcoming year and I’ll be sharing what we decided to do.

Right now, I’m still enjoying the Hell out of summer break, art journaling, gardening, traveling, dreaming, being thankful and loving  my family, my friends and my life!

Have a fabulous rest of your week.  I’m hoping to check in again before 3 weeks pass!

Peace.

Get Messy + 12 x 12s – First in a Very Long Time!

I’m really loving my new art journal community at http://www.getmessyartjournal.com  They supply prompts and you supply the creativity.

I had already watercolored this galaxy and didn’t know what I was going to do with it…  I’ve done that a lot, lately – playing with paint on loose paper, not sure where they’re going to end up but if I can use them in my journal, that would be awesome.  I have a whole stack of them at this point!

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I’m still working in my altered book.  In the picture below,  I glued three pages together for more heft and Gessoed them, then painted them black to mount the galaxy.

I read somewhere to photograph artwork on a white background so that you can see it better…  I’m giving it a go here and I really like how crisp it makes everything.  Who knew?  (well clearly, lots of people knew – just not me…)

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My first wild background!  Finally letting go and getting free with the paint and collagey stuff.  Encouraged heavily by Adele Toomey‘s “Journal by 5s” Youtube series.  It’s so much fun to finally be seeing things on paper that I like!

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In our Get Messy Art Journal community we were asked if we’d like to team up with other members as mentors or mentees.  YES PLEASE.  We were lucky to get teamed up with Zinia Amoiridou.  She’s an art student in Greece and a very creative and talented artist.  If you’d like to check out some of her work you can find her here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi9GfBAFqrtBOGxjDj4yk1w on Youtube and here:  https://www.instagram.com/abstractinspiration/ On Instagram.  She encouraged me to paint this cherry blossom tree and I used it in my art journal this week!    (white background makes it pretty too!)

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Ok, so I’m completely new with collage.  This being the first one ever!  The assignment was to determine what your first thought in the morning is and cut words and pictures out of magazines that remind you of that thing.  My “thing” (sorry honey) is Scott.  Love you, thing!!!  xxoo

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While I’ve had all my paints out playing everyday, I thought I might give 12 x 12 Mixed Media Scrapbooking a try.  I’m just including these pages in my Project Life book.  I don’t want several books going at the same time (like I have planners…Geesh…)

Mostly I’m just playing with paint here!

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The layout below was also inspired by a layout that Zinia did.  My colors aren’t as exciting as the ones she chose but I still like it.  Soft, pastel – yep that’s my thing. (not until this year – I still have no idea what’s gotten into me…  I’ve always been a rich, dark, autumn color person.)

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I think I’m all caught up on the sharing portion of the program.  Still really enjoying all the arty stuff.

I’m still knitting in the evenings and finally talked my Mom into a knit-a-long, but we haven’t been making the time for it lately.  I’ll share when I get to the heal turn!  (my favorite part of sock knitting!)

I’m done for now…  I’m in serious need of coffee.  Have a beautiful day!

 

Project Life – scrap bin challenge and Ali’s Tough Story Kit

I LOVED the idea of using only scraps from your left-over bin for a Project Life spread.  I’ve done it once before this year.  If you could see the abundance that is my scrap bin, you’d know already that I’ll be doing this challenge again.  The formal challenge (and I can’t remember where it came from, sadly)  was to use scraps and stamps.  I don’t have a history of using my stamps very much but I’ve always wanted to and love the look so this challenge is just perfect for me!

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The first week that I’m sharing was a great balance of staying home and traveling.It was also a very exciting week for our Scotty, who was extremely happy to get his braces off!

We are officially on summer break now, so the kids are in Heaven – with lots of free time to do what they like! (and Will’s getting rich again, cutting the grass every week!)

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Documenting my Alopecia journey and taking a GIANT step in the process – buying wigs.  The areas of my scalp that are active are red, inflamed and itchy – they’re easy to see even before the hair lets loose and knowing this, I know that the end is not in sight yet.  There will be more hair loss before this episode is over.  That being said, I was stressing out a little about how I was going to approach this.

Head scarves don’t look like me, hats are cute but very casual.  This is where wigs come in.  There’s a learning curve involved with wearing wigs and the wig shop was wonderful, helping to find wigs that look good on me, but there wasn’t much education on how to take care and how to secure it to your head and how to hide  your real hair.  I’ve learned a lot from other ladies on Instagram who have Alopecia and are a little further on the journey than I.  I’m really thankful for their input.

And although I wasn’t real stressed out about this whole situation any longer, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders when I made the decision to stop steroid injections.  They really weren’t helping enough to justify the cost and the pain and the potential side effects.  Also INSTRUMENTAL IN MY ACCEPTANCE OF THIS SITUATION was my friends’ advice on Facebook last week.  I posted all these pictures and polled family and friends: “Is it time to start wearing wigs?”  The overwhelming consensus was to do what makes me feel good.  What a wise bunch they are!

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The second week I’m sharing was indeed TOUGH.  When Ali Edwards announced that she was releasing a Story Kit  with “Tough” as the theme, I thought I’d never use it…  Sadly, it felt right this week.

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We lost a sweet friend on June 20th to…  we don’t know.  She was admitted to the hospital and was put into an induced coma and the doctors were not able to find anything wrong with her before her organs failed and she passed away.  She was 55 years old.  Vicky was fearless and strong and one of the most generous people I’ve ever known.  She will be missed for a very long time.

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The rest of the week was spent trying to stay busy and trying not to think about the loss of another friend.  The memorial service was on the 25th and it finally felt like we could start recovering.

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After this sad time and this sad documentation, I asked a friend to help me think of a fun theme to do in my Project Life book this week.  It’s something new, I’ve never done before and I’m having fun putting it together.  I’ll share soon!

Have a great day!

Peace!