Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amanda's New Haircut

Amanda gets offended if I post pics of the little girls and not of her AND I actually meant to post a photo of her new haircut. Which she got for free from Dion's South because she agreed to let her hair be cut for a class by apprentices. I think it looks cool.

It's Amazing the Difference a Few Pansies Make

Pansies. I love the color for fall and for winter- especially with the dreariness of it in these parts. I considered planting mums in the urns at the front of the house but since I know that pansies last the whole winter and they have a greater variety of color than the mums I planted them instead. Actually I'm a bit disappointed in myself because I didn't do enough research before I hit the garden center at Home Depot. I put some of the cheap pansies in the cart but was concerned that they wouldn't be tall enough to actually be able to see them from the road so I searched the aisles hoping to find something to give the planter some height. I thought about ornamental grasses but I didn't see any that could handle winter here. Then Chloe came up to me with her hands full of a package of Karma Blue Butterfly pansies and they were perfect, or so I thought. I'm usually pretty good about researching flowers and seeds *before* I make a purchase but I thought that a pansy is a pansy, right? Well apparently not. The Karma Blue Butterfly is a perrennial instead of an annual that blooms in the fall and spring. Which is very cool because they're beautiful (they're the tall violet/blue/yellow flowers in the middle of the pot) but they're also the height in my planter. I know that regular pansies survive the whole winter even with snow on top of them so the shorter ones will survive (assuming I'm able to avoid killing them) but that sort of defeats the whole purpose of buying the KBB. They are really pretty though and if they bloom for the whole fall then that will buy some time for me to figure it out. I don't imagine that I'll be too terribly stressed out about it though.

I also somewhat straightened out the big planter that's attached to the house. I thought I needed a new liner-thingy but it turns out it was just mashed down and I was able to unfold it and mostly fix it. It doesn't come all the way up the sides though and I didn't have quite enough potting soil to fill it out. So there are a few pitiful looking little pansies that can't quite peek their heads over the top of the planter. At least it doesn't still have those awful silk flowers in it.

Potty training here is at a standstill. I've never met such a stubborn child in my life. Sometimes she puts herself on the potty and says, "I need to go potty". She'll even sit on the potty every two minutes- and then she pees in the floor. I'm ready to just put her back in diapers. I can't imagine having a three year old that isn't potty trained since I've never been in that boat, I just really don't know what to do. Oh and she didn't actually "go" in the hat, I just thought it was cute.

On the other end of the spectrum I've got my little Chloe who decided she wanted to help me sand the walls. I think I'll get a bunch of pictures of all of us remodeling the house a make a little scrapbook out of it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pictures That Chloe Took

Well, she took the first three anyway. The other two are of the fall wreath that I re-worked for the season (it was really fun; I haven't done that in a while), my black-eyed susans that I was so worried that I'd only get a couple of flowers from, and a bird feeder that was made by my Grandpa.

So in the interest of finally blogging about the visit with my M-I-L, I'd just like to say that we had a great time- especially Chloe. We visited lots of places and stayed at home and she played with the girls. Chloe slept with her every-single-night in a twin size bed and loved it! Joyce was so patient and didn't seem to mind at all. Travis had to work quite a bit while she was here but he did have two whole days off to spend with her and that was nice for all of us. Then we went to B'ham for a visit with my parents (we hadn't all visited there since April!) and had a really nice time as well.

And now we're heading off to Home Depot-in the rain- to get some things to repair fun stuff under the house. The termite guy came today and said that a pipe is leaking, the dryer hose is broken and is pouring out lint (which mice and other vermin like to nest in)and warm wet air into the crawl space, we have a fungus because of the warm wet air and leaky pipe, we need a new vapor screen, and we need some kind of extender thingy to attach to the gutter spout to move the water away from the house. I guess I'm glad that he checked the crawl space in the rain. Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's a Picture-Palooza!

I don't think it's possible to sum up the last two-ish weeks without driving myself crazy trying to remember it all so think I'll hit a few highlights over the next few days. So for starters...
I'm sure you remember that I decided to tear the bathroom up just a few days before she got here and as per usual it took much more time and was way more involved than just putting some paint on the walls. Originally I wasn't going to patch the weird lines-up-with-nothing hole in the wall*but* Travis was dog tired one night but was still willing to put up the new storage cabinet we bought. Due to his tiredness however I have two brand new holes in the wall that have to be patched and no cabinet on the wall. So, since I still must patch holes and re-paint I might as well go ahead and fix the other hole- especially since I can borrow all of the tools from Eric and Tisra. And I decided to paint the oak vanity which turned out OK (it needs another coat) but *somehow* all of the cabinet hardware has been lost. I put it all in a Ziploc bag and set it on the island and now it is mysteriously gone and nobody has seen it. I really do want a new cabinet but I promise I didn't do that on purpose. So I'm going to go to Gallatin to check out a warehouse that supposedly sells cabinets for cheap so I'll see what they've got and maybe I'll have a new vanity to go with my new cabinet. The current one is less than 24" wide so it is really too small to house the bathroom stuff for 5 people so I am hoping for a new one. If I can't get a new one and I can't find the hardware I was thinking that I can just put up a little curtain temporarily- you know a little "shabby chic" look. Oh, and I need a new mirror but I won't know what size to get until the cabinet is on the wall- it's big and I don't know how much room I'll have left. I also think that the room needs another color to ground the whole thing. It almost seems stark to me. I thought about some little black accents but then I thought it would be too stark with the pale green and now I'm thinking about a shade of brown. We'll have to see. So what started out as a can of $5 oops! paint is now turning into the money pit. But at least I'm not completely grossed out every time I walk into the bathroom.

This is what the bathroom looked like before my M-I-L came.

And this is what it looks like now-

You'll notice that I still have a turquoise bathtub- but the green actually looks nice with it. Not that you can really tell what color I painted it in these pictures. I still need to paint the trim though and the door. Which I don't want to paint because we'll have to replace the door eventually and I just hate to have to do work that is just going to get thrown out anyway. The jury's still out on that one.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is beautiful this morning- and quiet. I need to go shower and get dressed because I have tons of things to do today but Halle is still sleeping (because Life Group went late last night) and I haven't had a quiet morning to myself in such a long time I thought I'd just enjoy it for a while and let you know about something great.

For the last six years I have suffered from a weird illness. I first noticed it after I had Chloe. I was working out to get back in shape and after just a few days of working out I'd feel like I had the flu. It took several times of that happening for me to put it together and it didn't seem to make sense that working out was making me sick. Working out is supposed to make you stronger, healthier, & less stressed. I-was-baffled. So I tried supplements like crazy looking for "the wonder pill" and still I got sick. I was tired but not the drowsy-can't-stay-awake tired but an aching tired that went through my entire body. It wasn't normal and I didn't know what it was. Sometimes I would tell Travis, "I have that weird sleeping sickness again" but it was more than that. If I wasn't dealing with the weakness, achyness, ungodly tiredness, and low grade fever then I had trouble sleeping- especially in the last year and then there were the headaches every-single-day. I thought that stress had just shut down my immune system and that as soon as things get better for us I'd be fine. Less stress = no more sickness. I've worked out in the way we think of working out for 16 years and for the first ten of those I never, ever had the symptoms I'm describing. I went through a divorce, being a single Mom and working my way through college without ever having more than the sniffles and then there was this craziness that was rapidly taking over my life and was starting to become debilitating. I've never missed so much church in my life. Sometimes I would be sick for three days but I could be sick as long as three weeks and if I tried to push through it my body pushed back and I ended up in bed for even longer.

I was praying a couple of months ago and asked the Lord to change things for us so that I could be well and He spoke to me and said "You're circumstances don't have to change in order for you to be healed." I didn't know what to do after that but at least God knew there was something wrong with me and it wasn't just me being crazy. So a couple of weeks ago Travis and I were praying about something (I don't remember what) and usually when we pray one of us prays first and then the other one prays. It was my turn to pray last and as I did I felt strongly that I should pray about my healing. I don't think that I prayed a spectacular Billy Graham style prayer but I just asked God to heal me and then I thanked Him because I *knew* He was going to do it. But I didn't realize right away that I was healed. There were no thunder bolts, no electric shock feelings running through my body- I just felt at peace knowing that my creator was taking care of me and that He would heal me. So sometime in the next couple of days I mowed the lawn. Travis told me not to (sorry honey!) but Amanda was whining incessantly about how hard it is, etc. Now, I have to give it to her that mowing Mt. St. Button is difficult with our little push mower- especially mowing the ditch. Move over squats because it kills your thighs- I'm just sayin'. So I mowed it and I'd done it before a couple of months ago and I was sick the next day but this time I did-not-get-sick! I think I realized at that point that God had healed me so I wanted to really test it out so I did cardio on my exercise bike that I've hardly been able to use in the last year and then I did a complete weights routine- upper body-lower body- crunches. I'd done that about a month ago and I was sick the very next day but again- I DID NOT GET SICK! So the next day I worked out AND tore the bathroom apart. Over the next few days I stripped wallpaper, spackled, sanded, spackled, sanded again, and painted the room with 3 coats of paint! My legs and back were sore the next day from all of the getting up and down on the stool I was using (I always take one huge step up so that I can get the strength benefit- I'm really not obsessed!) but I did not get sick! Then my M-I-L was here and we were busy from sun up to sun down it seems and I worked out and I did not get sick!!! So I went from barely being able to run errands without being sick on the couch for days to conquering pretty much everything I want to! I know that I am healed and I'm so incredibly greatful.

So after I realized I was healed I was describing all of my symptoms to my M-I-L and she said, "Amy, that sounds like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Funny, I'd been to the Dr. and he did a blood test to check my thyroid and to see if I was anemic and he said everything looked fine, I just had a virus and had most likey trashed my immune system from stress. I guess I could have been checked out more and been poked and prodded and MRI'd but the end result would have been the same and I would have spent a ton of money for them to tell me there was nothing they could do. But my 6 year mystery illness has been healed by the one who knew me before I was ever born. I don't care what you call it I just know I was sick and now I'm healed. Praise to our amazing God!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Super Quick

I'm leaving in a little while to take my M-I-L to the airport after a 6 day visit. Chloe is having a really tough time so I called the office at her school and asked if I could check her in late so that she could go to the airport with us. The lady that I talked to said "absolutely" she could. I love her school and the ladies that work in the office. This is an excellent school district and I'm so thankful that they aren't just "by the book". They excell academically but they're also concerned for the kids well being- even if that means being late for school.

The week has been full- very, very full. And we're thankful. Today is probably going to be very emotional but hopefully we'll get back in the swing of things in the next couple of days. I have much to post about- including pics but I'll have to get to that later.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Update Post

I haven't been on the computer much lately and that's probably a good thing but in the interest of not completely falling off the face of the earth I thought I'd drop in for a bit and let you know what's going on.

* My Mom-In-Law is coming in Wednesday morning and is staying until the following Tuesday. The girls are too excited!

* Since my M-I-L is coming in town I finally quit waiting on Travis to install the bathroom light and did it myself. It was very simple to do and I'm thankful because when I read directions I get confused and irritated.

* Since I installed the light I decided to *paint* the bathroom. But as with all things house related it has turned into a big ordeal. When I stripped the wallpaper that was behind the bathroom mirror I found a large rectangular hole in the wall that I'm assuming was previously for a medicine cabinet. But it is completely off center for the light fixture and for the vanity so putting another one in is not an option. So now I have to find a mirror that is big enough to be centered for the fixture and vanity and cover the hole. We actually need a larger vanity and I hate, hate, hate that it's oak. Yes, I'm an oak hater- no offense to those of you that have and like your oak cabinets- but I prefer maple or well, most things that aren't made of oak. I found a guy in Gallatin that sells new cabinets inexpensively but he's only open on the weekends and I didn't get there this past weekend.

* And since I took down the mirror and am working on getting off the rest of the wallpaper I had to take down the space saver that we put over the toilet. And I broke it. So I'm headed to Lowes today or tomorrow to get a new wall mounted one. Actually I want to check out the Habitat for Humanity store first but they're closed today.

* And while I'm at it I think I'm going to call Bathtub Fitters, Re Bath, and Home Depot for estimates on fixing the tub- just in case the dings and cracks go all the way through and we're leaking water into whatever it is that goes under a bathtub.

* So the bottom line is I'm going to do a lot of work and the bathroom will still be a work in progress- like the living room- but I'm sure it will at least look better with a coat of paint.