Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parade of My Home

Dear Grandma Carpenter,

Well, I promised to show you what my house looked like ages ago. I thought I would finally keep my promise to you. This is what my house looks like from the outside. We had it painted about a year ago to a little bit darker shade. It turned out really nice and we were happy with the results. The cage you see on top is to protect our two air conditioning units from pigeons. They like to build nests underneath it. It can be a real pain.

When you stand on the front step with your back to the door, this is what you will see. It actually rained today. It only rains in Las Vegas about five times a year. It is very unusual to see this ground the wet, so enjoy the moisture.

Behind the front door, this is the room that greets you. It is the living room. I think this room has come together very nicely. The futon at the back of the room was moved there out of desperation. It was the only place I could put it so that I could make room for a little schoolroom for my kids upstairs. I am actually very happy with it in this location. It makes for a very snuggly reading nook.Turn your head slightly to the left and this is what the rest of the living room looks like. I moved the piano over into this corner and it is great. Now all of the couches surround the piano and the kids will gather around it to play their violins also. Since I adjusted it, I still have not moved the mirror over center of the couch. I really need to put that on my Honey-Do list for Rinar. (Get the drill out, honey)

One of my favorite spots is right in the center. This is my original painting of Jesus Christ by Dan Lewis. It is wonderful and now that I had an extra end table, I put it right under the picture. What a great additon, huh? The flowers are from Rinar for our anniversary yesterday.

And this is the view from the futon looking at the front door. I love the stars on the wall and my faux-Monet painting.
The red bureau here is from our 5th anniversary. It is one of my most favorite pieces I have in my house.
And a look from the couch to the stairs. I still have not finished getting current family pictures up on the wall there. I need to put that on my list of things to do.
I made a little "mud room" for coats and shoes here. The thermostat i underneath the coats. There is a closet to the right that goes under the stairs. That is where I am keeping a lot of my food storage. Now...on to the kitchen.
We remodelled this kitchen when we first moved in and it is still not completely finished. I need to tile the backsplash and make some touch-ups to the ceiling. But it is a huge improvement over what we had before, which was akin to a hole in the wall. What I love about the design we came up with is that the kids or visitors will sit on the chairs at the island and I can stand in the kitchen and get stuff and they don't get in my way. It works out really well. They will eat breakfast and do crafts and read. Whatever. But the important thing is that they are with me but not in my way. I love that.
Turn around from the island and here is our ping-pong table/pool table. We have lots of fun having friends over and playing games. The ping-pong table is also a great place to cut fabric and do sewing projects.To the right of the refrigerator is a little pantry with pull-out shelves and a desk for a computer. I also have a radio here that I like to listen to daily.
And if you keep looking to the right you can see where we put our kitchen table. There is plenty of room to make the table bigger without encroaching on the kitchen. It enables us to have lots of guests over to our house for dinner and other things. The door to the left goes into the laundry room and a half bathroom. To the very left is a bay window with french doors leading to the backyard. Yep, this is what my laundry room looks like right now. Can you guess what I need to do before we go out of town tomorrow? The good thing is that the front-load washers can hold really big loads. So it doesn't take me quite as long to get all of the laundry done.

Our half get a half a picture of it. It is a bright cranberry color. Oh, why not?

A picture of the french doors. My friend and neighbor Elaine so kindly spent an entire day helping me make the window treatment for the door. It turned out great.
Here is the backyard. We have yet to actually landscape it. When we moved in there were only rocks. That was it. Rocks were everywhere: and some very poky African shrubs. The first thing we did when we moved into the house was put grass in the backyard. Rinar installed drip irrigation and it has worked out really well. He must have done it right. We rented a CAT to remove the rock and on his last trip to get rock out, he hit the water line and by the time we figured out how to turn the water off, there was a mini swimming pool in the backyard, behind where you see the basketball hoop. Yikes. But we fixed that too, so no big deal.
At the stop of our stairs looking down, this is the view. I still have not decided what color to paing the wall to the right. Green or cream? What should I do? I am leaning towards green.Turn to the left and you can see what the hallway looks like. I still have not put any artwork on the wall to the right. Come to think of it, that would be a good project for next year.
Now I have my back to the stairs, and you can see our little schoolroom. There is a table, desk and a bean bag. Behind the bean bag is a map of the world.

To the right of the room is a book shelf we put in a few months ago. I haven't really organized it yet, so it is pretty disastrous.
Now if you turn to the left of the stairs, this is our little hallway playroom. Can you tell? To the right are french doors going out to the porch we built a few years ago. Rinar built it with his Uncle Bruce. It is totally awesome.
Here it is. It provides great views of the neighborhood.
Look at our beautiful yard. I wanted to plant a tree where that dilapidated swing is, and then I realized how lucky I am. There is a palm tree growing there in the perfect spot. It looks like Heavenly Father took care of it for me. Yeah!

Our swimming pool. We added cement around the pool. Our yard is pretty abysmal, but I am fortunate that my neighbors yards are very beautiful. I sit up on the porch and admire theirs. I just try to ignore mine right now.
See? The grass still looks great after 4 years.

Now I am standing in that playroom looking into our family movie room. We built the seating on the back row. It is a great place to watch a show.Down the hall and on the right is the kids bedroom. I put the TV in their room this week for the holidays. It goes in and out of their room when I deem it necessary. Mostly, it is out of their room. I need to get those kids to make their beds.
I just told them to make their beds. Got to teach them responsibility, right?
This is their bathroom. This room drives me nuts. I swear it gets filthy five minutes after I clean it. Darn kids.
On the other side of the hall is my room.

And our bathroom. When we bought the house, the shower was a lot smaller, so we changed it. We also made a laundry shoot, which I am standing right next to as I took the picture. Hence, this bathroom is directly above the laundry room.
I still need to add curtains to the windows in the bathroom.
The toilet is to the left and the walk-in closet is on the right. I won't subject you to the frightening closet scene behind that door.
The only thing I didn't take a picture of was Eli's room. It is at the very end of the hall to the right. It is blue and there is a bed and crib in their.
I hope you enjoyed a tour of my house. I tried to clean it up mostly before I snapped these pictures. I realized my house would never be perfectly clean, so this is what you get. We look forward to seeing you soon. We love you tons.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Happy Anniversary honey. 13 years is just the beginning of our wonderful life together.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory...Nuff Said

After a leisurely morning, I fed my baby, checked my email, and then put on my running shoes to get a nice run in while the weather was so nice. I opened my front door and this is what I saw.

It was like peeling an onion. Everytime I turned around there was another one.
And another one... And another one... And you guessed it...

Rinar decided to redecorate so he added a UTAH to the front door and Cuba to the sign "Brigham for President of Cuba" and various other things. He also parked the black car in the garage and put our beautiful red tahoe in the driveway instead.
Later in the day, we watched the game with our friends. They are all BYU fans: Jared and Melanie, Stan and Amy, Dwan and Elizabeth, and Dennis H. It was a lot of fun. Mainly because Rinar and I could watch all of their sorry faces and sorry excuses as Utah walloped them. YEEHAW! Victory is the sweetest revenge of

Poor Jared, amazed at the quick, unfumbling moves of Brian Johnson, stellar kicking of Louie Sakoda, and in-your-face defense of Utah's front line.

And this is Jared later in the game.

And here is our head-decorator Melanie. She is my good luck charm, now.
A room full of losers, minus Rinar and Eli, of course.

Final score...

BYU 24 - UTAH 48

We are going to the BCS. I hope it is the Fiesta Bowl.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mom...Don't Rec Me!

Continuing my post from yesterday...

Zach has become my first victim.

As you can see, he is familiar with the camera because he plays with it a lot. He was begging me not to rec (record) him. The camera does say "rec" when you shoot a movie. He is exactly right.

And five minutes later...

This poem is entitled, "Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore" by William Brighty Rands. It is number 13 in Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization. I think he is ready for number 14, don't you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Blog is Better Than a Spanking

I have just created a very effective weapon for prevention of excessive crying in my house. It is called --- THE BLOG!

Yep, you heard right. The blog is an effective anti-crying mechanism. Now, it does not work on humans younger than six-years old. But it most definitely does work.

Why, you may ask? Well, let me put it this way. When you have a child who cares what other people think and you can create a world-wide audience to publicly humiliate them, they dry those tears very quickly.

We played Apples-to-Apples this morning.

(yes, this was their "school" today...and I am completely satisfied that it covers grammar, reading, logic, and spelling)

My kids apparently don't like to lose. So when Zach had accumulated quite a few more green cards than Raef, and it was looking pretty grim for Raef and his chances, he started to ball like a little baby. He couldn't stop. He couldn't help himself. I was disgusted with his poor-sportsmanship. Then with the next game, Zach was lagging woefully behind and he started to cry profusely. I just started laughing so hard and realized I had to get it on the camera. Unfortunately, the battery was dead! I missed the moment. But I charged it and then got it ready for the next explosion. The kids realized what I was doing, and then surprisingly enough, they were very happy when Mom was winning or when their brother was winning. I didn't even have to tell them I was going to put it on my blog. Raef just assumed that is what I was going to do-so he straightened up quickly.

I had harnessed a new, untapped power and I began to realize the implications of it. Because about 30 minutes later it was time to practice the violin. When Raef gets frustrated, he completely collapses backwards on the couch arm and it makes the practice drag on and on. It is so frustrating...but not today. He did it one time and screamed in protest because the part was too hard. I calmly got up and got the camera.

It was magical. He decided he could conquer the tough section of the violin piece and that he really didn't need to collapse.

From now on, the camera is going to be a faithful partner at all violin practices...and any other activity where it might be useful.

I may catch them acting ridiculous somewhere, and you will get to enjoy the spectacle. Don't worry. I am sure it will be coming very soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eli's First Sick Day and a Rant!!!

Yep, it's official. Eli is sick today. This is a first: in spite of two brief runny noses in the past, Eli had a temperature today. He was a lot fussier than normal, and wanted to be held all the time. He also took 3 naps today, instead the normal two.

Luckily, Amy saved me today and took Raef and Zach to our co-op. I stayed home and did stuff around the house while Eli slept.
Can I hear a big aaaaahhhhh?

Eli says thanks in advance for all of your sympathy. I think he is starting to feel better, so hopefully tomorrow he will be on the road to recovery.

We also drove through the The Gift of Lights at Sunset Park. It was exceptionally lame, but very free. Therefore it didn't bother me... much.

ATTENTION: Rant is coming your way.

Is it just me or does it bother anyone else that every year Christ is taken out of Christmas more and more in favor of Santa, Reindeer, and an annoying little snowman named Frosty. Don't believe me? Turn your radio station to the Christmas channel and listen to about 5 songs. Not one of them will be about Jesus Christ. Lots of stuff on snow, lights, santa, reindeer, chipmunks, and that Beatle dude that just put an X right through the most important part of the word Christmas.

I remember sitting in my bedroom window, when I was a teenager, staring at the Christmas display across the street. It completely fascinated me. My neighbor had a very simple Nativity scene. Oh, how I loved it. I would listen to beautiful, sacred Christmas music and dream about the presents I would give and receive. It made me feel so good to be alive, and for a little baby in a manger.
What message do we send to kids these days? It's all about the toys and no matter how much you have, there is always more stuff to get...more, moRE, MORE!!! I get exhausted just thinking about it.
It isn't even Christmas and the santa music is annoying me already.

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, Happy Hannukah.
But, but, you hear Merry Christmas?
No, {gasp}, how could one utter such a scandalous phrase? So, unless you are Jewish, I am not accepting any greetings except Merry Christmas this year. If someone says, "Happy Holidays" while I am checking out at a store, I am putting them in their place. It is all nonsense...absolute nonsense. And even if someone is Jewish, why in the world would they be offended if I said Merry Christmas? It certainly would not be offensice if they said Happy Hannukah to me. Big deal.

News flash people...Christmas is about Jesus Christ.

Yep, this man right here. He, who has saved us all.

Not Frosty...

Not Santa...

Not Rudolph...

Or that annoying Beatle guy.

So let me be the first to tell you this holiday season...


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