Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Button, button, who's got the button?

I'll give you a million mad skills points if you can name the movie from which my post title originates!  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Come on...you can do it!

Okay, well if you can't, stick around til the end of the post...

To begin my story, Kyle and I always accompany each other when shopping (especially for groceries).  We hate the way the other shops.  When he goes shopping alone, he doesn't get enough.  Food, supplies, anything.  If he's in a store and about to get in line to check-out and has realized he's forgotten something, he'd just as soon add the item to the next list and get it some other time.  Even if that means coming back the next morning because we're going to need the item very soon.  He refuses to try anything on and would rather make a separate trip to return things (maybe that's just a guy thing, though).  He doesn't care so much about making a list because we can just run down the street to pick something up any time.

When I go shopping alone, Kyle says I get too much.  I set out with a list for our dinner meals but end up buying one or two extra meals worth of food "just in case."  I HATE making extra trips back to the store and ALWAYS insist on making a list so I don't forget anything.  I like to start my lists a couple days ahead of the trip, too, so I know I'll have a couple of days to think about it.  I always try things on and maybe I take a little too long to deliberate on choices, but at least when I walk out of the store, 95% of the time I'm 100% certain that I've made a good purchase (does that make sense?).

Probably our differences aren't just gender but also our upbringing.  Kyle grew up in Indy where all kinds of stores are down the street so everything is completely convenient but I grew up 10-15 minutes away from the nearest Wal-Mart (and yes, Wal-Mart is all we had).  This being said, we shop together.  I make sure he gets enough, he makes sure I don't get too extreme and buy things we don't have a foreseeable need for.  

Well guess what?

Yesterday Kyle didn't feel up to getting groceries.  I also wanted to go shopping for fabric and scrapbooking items at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's.  I could tell Kyle was thrilled when I told him he could stay home.  When I left, he made sure to tell me not to buy things we didn't need.  HA!  As if you could do that in either craft store, especially when you don't have your husband along for the ride!

I overbought, as usual, but I found something really cool at Meijer that was NOT on my list that I wanted to share with my 10 or so readers:


I love buttons.  I actually collect them.  Not like in a stamp/baseball card/memorabilia sort of way--I collect them in that if I find one somewhere and it doesn't belong on a shirt, I'll keep it in my stash for cute future crafts.  Which happen about twice a decade, so when I get around to using the buttons, I'll have plenty.

But I'm hoping for ideas....what do I use these buttons for?  I thought about hot gluing them to bobby pins, but the cutest buttons are too big for that.  I don't know that I have enough for bracelets.  Do I save them and make cute hairbows for the daughter that I KNOW we will have sometime in our lives?  Of course, if I choose this option, we will surely have all boys. 

I've been scouring Pinterest, but just have no idea yet...Maybe one will come soon and I can blog again boasting my craftiness.  But until then, I'm content to just look at them...

Wonderful, huh?!

Oh, and, by the way...the answer is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Gettin' Crafty!

So I've had a project on my mind for over a year now, but just haven't gotten to it yet.  

For those of you who don't know, this is my classroom.  I've posted pictures before, but you might have forgotten.  I haven't been there in so long, I feel like I've forgotten what it looks like, too!  This was taken after I'd pretty much assembled everything I had and put it all up on the walls.  I've collected more things throughout the year, but one thing is still pretty bare.

See that purple wall?  I'd like to put something on it.  Something cool (because I want my room to look awesome).  Something I made (because I'm cheap).  Something that hangs (because the stupid paint peels off the stupid cinder blocks EVEN THOUGH I bought the most expensive paint...old, dry blocks!).  Luckily, I have four screws sticking out of the blocks that someone kindly left for me.  Perfect!

I was looking at a friend's blog about a year ago or so and saw that she had taken old picture frames and covered them with fabric.  Some hot gluing and they looked great!  Simple enough, and I have plenty of frames from old 4-H projects and such that I'm never going to use in my house.  Yesterday I went to JoAnn's to get some fabric.

I chose this:

I liked this because it was simple but striking, bringing in my two main colors but also others.  I didn't need this much fabric, but I bought extra just in case I decided to use some for something else.  Plus, it was a steal!  Originally $19.99 per yard but marked down to $9.99.  Add to that my 20% off coupon, and I got 3 yards for less than $25!

So I assembled some frames with Keebler's help:

Although my friend covered hers by wrapping the fabric around the back and gluing, I wanted to do something different to show the frames.  I decided to cut a little more precisely and use our staple gun to staple the fabric across the back of the frame.  

You have to make sure, of course, that your frame is not too shallow to where you split it with the impact of the staples.  I did this on one of the frames by not watching where the staples were going and accidentally stapled my frame to the countertop.  Oops.  But don't worry, countertop is fine and I filled in the split with some brown marker, so you can't even tell.

After I ran out of staples and had to go get more (making this a longer process than it needed to be), I ended up with these beauties:

They're not completely perfect due to either my stapling skills or my cutting, but I'm okay with that.  I'm sure they'll look great on my wall come August!  I'm not super crafty, but this was a nice, small project that was relatively inexpensive and made me feel good about what little abilities I do have.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to Blogging!

Wow!  It feels like I've taken plenty of time off from the blog!  But...I've got good reason...I have been plenty busy over the last two weeks!  Let's do a brief recap of everything that's been going on here:

Girls Camp (a summer camp for girls at our church ages 12-17):  Lasted from Monday, July 9th through Saturday, July 14th.  Since I was Assistant Camp Director, I've had my hands full of camp-related materials, ideas, and just plain old stuff since the beginning of April.  

I'd never been to Girls Camp before, and it was a great experience!  Being Assistant Camp Director, it was my job to help get the girls at church prepared for camp ahead of time.  We were in charge of decorating camp shorts, decorating a dividing sheet for the cabin (about 70 girls stayed in the same dorm-style cabin...how hard it is to get to sleep with 70 girls wanting to chit-chat at night is a whole other story!), teaching the girls about flag ceremonies, rounding up camping supplies, working out rides to and from camp, getting camp letters for the girls from parents, getting a skit worked out for skit night, making sure the girls brought what they were supposed to for camp, and, of course, attending camp for moral support for the girls.  

My favorite part of camp besides hanging out with the girls from our unit were the camp songs.  My favorite one was called "Princess Pat".  I wish I would have taken a video on my camera of the girls singing it, but I didn't carry my camera around at camp because I was too busy making bracelets, singing, getting sweaty, swimming, etc.  I had a lot of fun singing my camp songs to Kyle as soon as I got home from camp.  

Michigan Trip:  Kyle's extended family lives smack in the middle of Michigan.  They don't do a lot of holidays together, so we don't see them very often.  On Saturday, July 14th, Kyle's younger cousin Haley and her parents were hosting her graduation party, so we decided to make the trip up with Kyle's parents to see everyone.  I'm pretty sure it's the first time we'd been together with everyone since Christmas 2008 (which was my first visit to a family function).  I'd seen all the women at my Michigan bridal shower and some of the family at our wedding reception, but other than that, we'd only seen Kyle's grandparents when they happened to be visiting Indianapolis a handful of times since then (again...should have taken pictures, but....I just didn't.  Terrible, I know).

The graduation party was a lot of fun.  Haley had a cute Hawaiian theme going on and the food was AMAZING.  Besides catching up with other family members, we got to meet Zoey, the newest cousin that Kyle's uncle and aunt are adopting.  She's such a cutie pie!  So is her older brother Zeke, who Ron and Shannon adopted just the month before my first visit at Christmas.  Such sweet kids.  

After leaving the party, we went to stay with Kyle's other grandma about 20 minutes away.  We definitely hadn't seen her since Kyle's sister's graduation two years ago, so it was nice to be there.  Grandma Evans is a hoot.  We in particular were glad to be able to see Kyle's grandpa Evans in the nursing home the next morning.  We're hoping he gets to come home from rehabilitation this week!  He seems to be making some wonderful improvements in his health :)

Power Outage:  Our power went out unexpectedly last Saturday.  This has happened before.  Our house is so stinkin' old that it's got it's little quirks about it, and the electric wiring is one of them.  We run the house on 200 amps, and the amps are split in half in the switchbox....100 on one side, 100 on the other.  On the side that blew, we have wired our bathroom, our hallway, our hallway closet, our office and all the electronics inside, the kitchen (minus the fridge), the dining room, half of the basement lights and the washer and dryer, the thermostat, and the attic closet, bathroom, and outlets.  Mostly, the things we use a lot, right?  On the other side (which, by the way, never blows) we have hooked up our bedroom, our living room, our fridge, half of the basement lights, the attic lights, the outside lights, the air conditioning, and the garage lights and deep freeze.  A serious imbalance, huh?  And the crummy thing is that we can't rewire things around because the wires are too short to do something more than just temporary.  Some of the wires were too short to stretch at all!

So in the past, we've just had power surges that have caused the heavy amp side to poop out, so to speak.  It just happened when things were overloaded, and it's happened exclusively while my sister lived with us.  For example, she would be in her room on her laptop listening to music while watching TV.  Meanwhile, I would be drying clothes and Kyle would be doing something like showering.  If I would do something small like pop some food in the microwave, the whole half of the house would die.  Then we'd have to push all the breakers in, unplug the dryer, and just continue on our merry way.  Annoying, but it happened, and it's how the house is, so we dealt with it.  

This time, the power just died for no reason.  I was drying clothes and we were both watching TV in separate rooms, but no major overload.  We found out that the main breaker pretty much just fried.  Luckily, my parents were in town and between Kyle and my dad, we were able to hook up the thermostat, bathroom, and microwave to the light amp side (although we didn't want to hook up too much or we'd have the same problem and have NO electricity).  

We searched high and low in stores here for a replacement part, but no such luck.  Menards and Lowes doesn't carry the brand we need (which apparently is so old that no one sells it anymore) and the brands they DO carry were too small to fit our box.  Typical.  After some internet research, we found that Home Depot is the only store that carried the brand, but they didn't carry main breakers onsite.  So, we resorted to having to order the part online.  Kyle ordered the part on Tuesday and it arrived Friday.  What a long week without electricity (and I was at Girls Camp for three of the days)!  I could never be Amish...I don't know how they do it.  I just got so BORED without my Internet.  Sad, huh?  

The fun wasn't over, though.  While trying to take out the old part, Kyle accidentally broke the old main breaker in half.  It was just soooo old.  In order to get the remaining piece out, he literally had to yank it out with all his might and our remaining power surged and TONS of sparks flew out.  I thought for a moment he would surely be electrocuted, but he wasn't.  Then it was as simple as his  popping the part in, screwing it down, and rewiring everything back around to the appropriate amount of amps.  While he did this, I held the flashlight :)

And then lo and behold, POWER!  It's been so nice not having to go to the library to use the Internet.  I didn't realize how much I depend on it not just to catch up with friends or watch my shows, but to read the news, send emails for my church callings, look up phone numbers, etc.  Crazy....

So that's been our week at a glance.  All in all, glad to be home and without a stressful day in sight!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

First five weeks DONE!

Well, I can breathe a sigh of relief....*HUGE SIGH*.  Today I finished the first unit for my sophomores in the first term...it's going to last five weeks!  

This was so not what I was planning to do today.  I wanted to get up early, organize some boxes upstairs, get a move on the remodel.  But after sleeping in and taking forever to get showered and looking at the temperature and noticing it was over 100 degrees, I thought that I could just forget going upstairs.  So I sat down at the computer and just sort of began doing a little thinking...and it somehow turned into five weeks!

Okay, that's not entirely truthful.  I started for an hour planning some things for a new unit that I'd never done before.  But after the first hour of gathering, I got a little discouraged.  And a lot lazy.  And I just decided to recycle one of the units I already had from last semester into the first semester of this year.  That's the nice thing about being on a modified block schedule...you can recycle semester stuff.  The only problem is that I teach this same thing second semester as well, so if I have any repeaters in class, they'll get the same material twice unless I come up with something different.  Which wouldn't be a big deal if it's just one or two kids, but let me tell you, if they're repeating, there's usually a reason (like they can't put their butts in their chairs and listen).  So it is kind of nice to keep their attention.

But I figure that's all the way after Spring Break, so I've got LOADS of time to worry about that.  And in the mean time, I get to learn even more about Kennedy!  Hurray!

So really the whole process was just a bunch of rearranging and dropping into place, making that material work with this school year's schedule and days off, etc.  I also had to add in new things like introducing the syllabus, going to the library, and other stuff that I didn't have written into the plans last year.  

I think it turned out a-okay.  I think the total process (including the hour of working on something else before quitting) took about four hours.  That's the fastest I ever planned anything!

And now that's a huge load off my chest...just have to go make copies and I do NOT have to worry about the sophomores!  Teaching the first term of the freshmen, though...well that's a different story.

And a whole other day or two of planning!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wall Hangings

We're pretty bad about putting things up on the walls in our house.  This doesn't mean I don't love to decorate...I DO!  Let me explain why I hate putting things up on the walls:

1) Putting things on the walls makes it...permanent?  I move things around too much, and I hate covering up holes.  That means if I don't have something else to cover it with, I have to spackle, then I have to paint.  And I hate to spackle and paint, so don't even get me started. 

2) When hanging things, I have Kyle help me (otherwise it won't get done) but things end up crooked.  I think Kyle might have some visual-spatial issues when it comes to making sure some things are level.  And when it's not absolutely perfect, I become disappointed, which makes for an unhappy husband, which upsets me, and then the whole afternoon usually goes to seed.

3) We don't have much wall space at all since our house is pretty little and it's fairly open, so I don't buy many wall things.  I usually just buy things to set out and around.

Well, today I got some ambition and got out a couple of things to hang up.  Kyle felt in a "straight and level" mood and did an awesome job...no mess ups today on either of our parts!  I'll show you pictures, but one of the things is a collage picture frame for which I have no photos...yet.  I've been Facebooking family members to get them to email them to me so I can make prints, but since it's up (and empty and looking kind of stupid), I figure that will give me even more motivation.

First up, bedroom:

Now that it's up, I love it!

Cute, right?
So my mom and dad got us the star to hang up at Christmas.  Christmas 2010, that is.  I've had the star for a year and a half and hadn't put it up yet!  Can you believe that?  I think I got the Dream sign a couple of months afterward from Hobby Lobby.  They've both just been sitting in our attic all this time collecting dust.  That's such a shame!  I love the colors together, and Kyle did a pro job at getting this one just right.  You might not be able to tell, though, since I stood a little lopsided to take this picture.

Next up, hallway:

These are the same frames that are sitting on the opposite side of the hallway with our wedding/engagement pictures in them.  I've got big plans for each of those photo openings, let me tell you!  I've messaged my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sister for pictures, so hopefully they come soon (hint, hint)!  I had some sconces I was going to put up on either side, but then it looked too cluttered :(

And, my absolute favorite thing about this arrangement:

See it?!  See the Proclamation?!  For those of you who don't know, I'm referring to "The Family:  A Proclamation to the World."  This is a church document that is very important in our faith that helps us to understand the importance and roles of families in our lives on earth and in eternity.  We are encouraged to have a copy in our home and on display to remind us of these values.  For more information, check out on our views on family or read a PDF of the document.  We've been needing to put this up FOREVER!  

Okay, so when I took the frames out of the Kohl's bag (stuck to the back wall in our coat closet), the receipt was dated about 6 months after our wedding.  That means we've had these frames for TWO YEARS and not put them up.  When we got the frames, we had already ordered the Proclamation but it hadn't come to our house yet.  We got the Proclamation in the mail some time later and I kept it in the envelope and stuck it in the drawer full of things we still need to put up (yes, there's even more...but I don't feel bad about those because I haven't found a place for them yet).

So I'm thinking that just having the Proclamation displayed with pictures of our family might make for a more spiritual environment at home.  It certainly did after we put up our wedding pictures (which took about a year and a half, I think.  Don't judge me!).  Our wedding pictures have been wonderful to have because sometimes in my mind I remember how awful my hair was behaving that day or how annoying the cold was and that's all I'll focus on.  Occasionally, however, I'll stop in our hallway when I make my way to bed and just look at our pictures.  When I do, I always remember how wonderful that day really was because it was the day that I was married to my sweetheart for time and eternity.  Despite the cold and my hair and the other small things that went wrong, it was still the best day of my life and I've got proof of our happiness on that day right here on our walls to look at all the time. 

This makes me feel like probably I'll stop and look at the pictures of our family every once in awhile too.  And then, I'll remember just how blessed I really am :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Birthday Fun

In June, my grandma turned 64 and my brother-in-law turned 27.  We got together this past Friday and had a fun party for them both.

We usually have some terribly fattening and artery-clogging food to tide us over until cake.  For this party we had fried chicken, pizza, chips, potato salad, and pop.  Yummy!  What a great way to gradually die.  

Later we opened gifts...

My cute grandma.

Grandma and Mattie opening cards.

Then we had some cake and ice cream...

Talking business before lighting candles with my dad.

Watch out...Betsy will getcha!

I've always fought Betsy for the huge roses on the cake...yum yum!
Then we played some games...

Scrabble game.

Talking while playing.

We also got some naps in between the activities due to fatty food comas.  After everyone left, Kyle and I spent the night at my grandparents' house...something I hadn't done since I was probably in middle school!  I accidentally left plenty of things at their house (shampoo, facewash, a bracelet) to make it a worthwhile stay!  We also went out to breakfast the next morning and hit some garage sales in Portland to find some wonderful treasures.

All in all, a great weekend!