Monday, August 12, 2013

Shadowhero Book Review

Ninth-grader Jared Brooks is tortured by the shadows of his life. The shadows distract him during tests, they keep him up at night, they bring out the worst in him. And they give him so much power that he almost never loses in a fight.

Sadie knows what Jared is and what he can do. When she invites him to join a group of high school students who carry out questionable tasks for the secretive Shadowcouncil, Jared begins to hope he can use the darkness inside himself for something better.

After discovering he’s a Shadowhero, Jared thinks there’s nothing he can’t do. When his brother offers him a chance to go boxing, he can’t say no. But one bad choice leads to another as Jared’s shadow takes him down a dark path.

When Sadie gets hurt, Jared must choose between the darkness offered by his shadow, or the new life that Sadie has shown him.

Every Shade does something they regret...

I read this book and I really liked it!  Bonus, the author is giving away a Kindle Fire HD to someone willing to read his book and review it on Amazon!  How cool is that?  So, go pick up an e-copy of Shadowhero on Amazon, read it and go to Jacob Dunn's website to enter the contest.  Good luck!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homework 'Station'

 This week, my boys started school!  I quickly realized that they needed some school supplies at home (I'd sent everything to school with them and forgot to buy extras), so I headed to Walmart to pick up some colored pencils and such yesterday morning.  I found these cute little buckets for $1 each and thought they would be so cute for holding our school supplies.  So, I bought them, came home and totally rearranged my downstairs! 

Last November, I decided I want to create a homework space in our playroom upstairs and picked up a 6 ft long desk at Ikea for that purpose.  For the last 9 months, it's been a pile on spot in the upstairs and never used for homework, like I'd originally thought.  So I moved it to the dining room and I love it there!

 In the left corner, I have a magnetic whiteboard for my kids to display any art/school work they like.  Next to that, I have some wall files, one for each kid in school and folders for them to save any important school work throughout the year (journal entries, artwork, important tests, what-have-yous).  The little orange nightstand stores extra school supplies (paper, art supplies, etc.) that I either don't need on the table or that I want my cute 2 year old in the corner to not find (she ignores some furniture in our house and that's one of them).  I've got crayons, markers, scissors, glue, pens/pencils and colored pencils in the little buckets and baskets on the table top. That may change depending on my daughter. The teal frames on the far right hold my kids' chore charts.  Each day, they are expected to make their beds, do a single chore, play outside, read books, and practice the piano before they can play video games (the carrot at our house).  They check them off as they do them each day.  This is a new thing and we'll see how it goes. 

My boys loved the homework 'station' and sat right down and worked harder and faster than ever yesterday.  I think it had something to do with them facing a wall and not their little siblings playing in the living room.  I hope this continues to be a good arrangement.

Speaking of arrangements... I had to rearrange my downstairs to accommodate a huge desk in my dining room. I had to move my new buffet to make room for the desk and I thought about floating it on the tile (it's completely finished - moulding included - on the backside), but I didn't like that idea since it stores all my china and my kids like to run around and would likely bump/move it over time.  So, I moved my couch and put the buffet against the back of it!  I really like the current arrangement, though I'm a little nervous for my antique green glass lamp in the picture below.  My boys like to do head stands on the couch and I can see them kicking it off the buffet accidentally.  So, it might not stay there. 

Our TV has in the past been on the blank wall in the picture above, but I wanted to move it to what used to be our gallery wall yesterday. Sorry about the bad lighting, we needed to wait for the kids to be in bed before taking our TV down and moving everything around.  I filled all the holes in the wall and thought out wall looked like it had acne! 

Possible future changes: We might move our piano into the living room to the empty wall in the photo above.  If we do that, the little bookcase next to our TV will likely be moved to the office (where the piano is currently) and the office will get a rearrangement.  I'm super excited about that possibility, but because our piano has a cast iron back, it's heavy and we're only going to move it if we REALLY like everything else we've done so far.  So we'll see.

Kitchen hardware

 We had one of our kitchen drawers break recently. I reglued the cracked part and all was mostly right in the world.  I decided that part of the reason the drawer broke how it did was due to pulling the drawer open unevenly and that hardware would fix the problem.  I found these beauties on Overstock for cheap and used a 15% off coupon to make them even more inexpensive.

 We installed them together one evening.  I asked my oldest the next morning if he noticed anything different in the kitchen.  In a total deadpan voice, he said, "Yeah, there's stuff on the cabinets and wood shavings everywhere."

Backyard progress

The backyard is not trenched and ready for our sprinkler system!  Last weekend, we rented a trencher and my hubby got to work.  My husband sister and family came down for a surprise visit, so my BIL helped David with the trenching.  I know it doesn't look that hard in the picture, but that thing was HEAVY and it was 100+ degrees out.  I spent the day helping where I could, running ice water out to the working men and taking care of kiddos.  

The orange lines in the picture below are now trenches.  We're putting the trampoline in the ground (that'll be fun!) in the middle of the grass, so the sprinklers have to run around the frame.  

It was a long hard day, but will be worth it in the end.  This weekend's plans: laying the sprinkler system! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Back Yard Before

We've got a goal of finally putting in our backyard this summer.  Not sure what's possessing us to try doing this during the 100+ degree weather of a Tucson summer, but hopefully, we'll still get it done.  We've hired out the patio extension.  We decided to do a cement extension with a pavers border.  We're planning on using the same pavers to outline each area of the back yard. They came a week ago to lay the paver border for the patio.  They're coming back on Saturday to pour the concrete.  You can see the patio border in all the pictures below. 

Here's what our backyard looks like today.  Standing by the back door looking left.  You can see the box that our new trampoline is in.  My oldest wants a tether ball set for his birthday and we're debating putting it right off the patio in the picture below.
 By the back door looking straight out in the yard.  In that empty corner, we're planning on a fruit tree and an in-ground trampoline - all surrounded by grass. 

By the back door looking right.  We'll be building a raised garden box here. 

The left side of our house, looking toward the gate. You can see where I started digging on the right.  It's a pretty steep 'hill' in our yard.  We're going to put in a retaining wall there and hopefully grow berries in it. 

We're hoping to get all our projects done by September, but we'll see if that was too ambitious or not.

Recent home changes

 While my husband was in Japan on business, I made a lot of changes in our house.  I really like how everything turned out!

I repainted our foyer.  I know it looks like a bright blue in the pictures, but it's teal.  My hubby finished framing out all the windows in the house just before he left, so I got them painted while he was gone and when he got home, he installed our new 2" faux wood blinds.  Still need to make a valance for the window. 
Here's the other parts of the foyer.  I found the brown chair at the Habistore in Tucson.  I asked if they would negotiate on the price and so I got it for almost half what they were originally asking. It's in pristine condition and I LOVE it!  The table, we've had for a while. It's an Ikea Hemnes table that I painted a bit before putting it together. I got a babysitter one night while David was gone and went out with a friend.  I found the fun green and white rug at Lowes.  It's so fun!

The white furniture with the fabric drawers is our new shoe cubby. I bought it for my birthday in March.  Everyone has their own drawer to store shoes in.  The picture makes it look like I matched the wall color to the drawers, but there's a bigger difference in person.  The orange mirror I bought on a yardsale page and painted.  I finally hung it up and LOVE it.  My husband gave me the gumball machine for Christmas last year.

 While my husband was gone, I looked through our builder's information and found the company that made our home's cabinets and ordered a new one for the left side of our kitchen window.  He installed it with the help of a friend a couple days ago. Love it!

I sold our china cabinet, again, while hubby was out of town and bought this new lovely off Craigslist for half what I sold my old one for!  It holds everything our china cabinet held and I love that visually, it takes up MUCH less room.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Super Craft Night!

 I decided to do another craft night before I have this baby.  Since it's been so long since I've done one and will probably be a while before I can do another one, I thought I'd go all out, so to speak.

 When: Wednesday, November 28th
Time: 7pm to whenever
Where: My house
What we will be making:

Countdown Blocks:
 You can choose to do Christmas or Birthday blocks (I'll be making both).  Please specify which kind you would like so I can have the right type paper for you.  For available vinyl colors, see below.  Cost for the Countdown Blocks is $7. 

Families are Forever Boards:
 This is just a picture of the design, again, I'll be making this one, too!  Boards will be roughly 6 inches by 24 inches.  Great as a gift or for your own home.  Please tell me the last name you would like on your board when ordering. You'll also need to pick 2 vinyl colors (see below).  Cost for the Family Boards is $12.

Christmas Tree block:
Ok, so this is a pumpkin.  I haven't made a Christmas Tree one yet but it's the same concept.  Again, I'll be doing this one myself that night.  If you like, you can do a pumpkin instead.  Each tree or pumpkin will be $3.

Joy to the World Nativity Board:
Lovely Christmas wall hanging. Each board is 6 inches by 24 inches. Vinyl options listed below, the colors used above are Silver metallic and black.  Each Nativity board will be $11.

Give Thanks Board:
1 Thes. 5:18, great scripture and perfect for a Thanksgiving wall hanging.  Vinyl options are below, the colors used above are Chocolate Brown and Copper metallic.  Each Give Thanks Board is $9.

I will have a variety of paint colors available that night for each craft. 

Vinyl colors I currently have available: Black, White, Dark Gray, Light Gray, Chocolate Brown, Nut Brown, Beige, Dark Red, Christmas Red, Spring Red, Dark Pink, Baby Pink, Orange, Yellow, Dark Green, Green, Mint-ish Green, Dark Blue, Cobalt Blue, Baby Blue, Lilac Purple, Silver (metallic), Gold (metallic), and Copper (metallic). 


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