Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Scout Stuff All Around

I won't lie, I've been having Clark work on a lot of scout stuff lately. He's finished two merit badges already (his first ones--go Clark!) and has about four more that will be done in just a couple of weeks. He does a lot of stuff with Lee and some with me.  When I talk to Clark about all the scout stuff he is doing, he seems on board for the plan to hit it hard for a year and a half, and then the rest of scouts he can enjoy the activities and helping the younger scouts with their Eagle.  We'll see how it pans out, but right now he is doing a great job.

So it won't surprise you that Clark has been busy with some merit badge projects, along with Cal too.  First off, Cal.  He is almost done with Webelos and will be an 11-year old scout in just a couple months!

Cal had to do a three mile hike for one of his requirements.  We picked possibly one of the worst Saturdays to go on a wise anyway.  It was windy and in the low 40s.  Shanna wasn't feeling super hot, but it was just me and the kids so she needed to come.  Found out a couple days later she had strep.  Sorry Shanna! We hike 1.5 miles in on the Kaylors Knob trail near here, then turned around.  Our pictures look great with happy kids.  There were some not-so-happy kids later on in the hike though.  It was sweet because Shanna asked, what do they say in Cinderella again?  And I love the phrase: "Have courage and be kind".  She seemed to be the happiest on the whole hike.  I think she was trying her best to follow that mantra.
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Now on to Clark's scout stuff.  One merit badge he is working on is Citizenship in the Community.  All of the require special work, and this one kept him busy.  He had to attend a town council (or like meeting) interview a government official about an issue our town is concerned about, volunteer 8 hours at a local charity, make a presentation about our town (he did a power point), among other things.  Lee has been so gracious and kind spending lots of volunteer hours with Clark. A few weeks ago they spent 6 hours helping with an Eagle project for service hours needed for Star Scout.  The same day the kids and I were on the hike, Clark and Lee were at the county fairgrounds helping with a "barn yard sale".  All the proceeds went to our local charity here in town, which was awesome!  They spent five hours there working the register.  They were pretty cold all morning.  Then afterwards, they went on a 2 mile mountain bike ride for the cycling merit badge. (They actually rode just over 3 miles.)
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In between that scout stuff, more random pictures for you! Shanna geared herself up to do jobs one weekend.  I think she might have been trying to waste time in the process...
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Cal posing so the kids could save the picture on my phone and color on top of it. Too funny.
April 10 2016

Although not a scout hike, I was able to go on a hike with Clark.  Opportunities to chaperone are few in middle school and it was great I could go on a field trip to Shenandoah National Park with them.  They did different things, one of which was hiking to Dark Hallow Falls.  I'm glad Clark still likes me to come along on things like this!
April 11 2016 Clark Field Trip

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The many faces of Elden....
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April 13 2016

We've been test driving different vehicles lately. 
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One more scout thing.  To finish off his hours for citizenship in the community Clark and I volunteered at the food bank a local charity runs (the same charity that Clark volunteered for manning the cash register at the sale).  There are many needs in our community, but I'm glad that our community in turn is also to help with those needs.  I think I want to make some repeat trips with other kids.
April 15 2016 Food Bank

There will be an end in sight someday with scouts....AFTER my two other boys go through, ha ha.  It has been great though that Clark can be involved in this great program.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Side Table Makeover

I did a little project around here.  It's been awhile!  When Lee bought the optometry "practice" from Dr. Downey, Lee also purchased some furniture.  The first three months that Lee's practice was open was at Dr. Downey's old office building.  Lee switched locations and when he did, he left some of the things he purchased at Dr. Downey's office building.  Recently we met up with Dr. Downey at his building to get our things out of his building.  One of these items was this table. 

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Lee has it in the back of his van and brought it into the house one day.  I wanted a side table in between our sitting chairs.  I found an expensive one online that I was going to buy, but it was sold out. When I saw this table I got an idea of what to do with it.

April 5 2016
My idea came from Jen over at iHeart Organizing when she made some lazy Susan's for her corner cabinets. Click here to see.  We bought a common round at Home Depot.  With tax, this piece of wood was just over $6.  Sweet! I thought a circle top would work best for a side table as the space between the chairs is narrow.  Also, it would mimic the circle patterns in our rug. 

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It was easy enough for Lee to unscrew and remove the old top, then mark and screw on the new one. I should have stained it off of the base, but I thought it would be easier to stain the round if it was on something, so I wouldn't have to hold it.

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Shanna loves jumping in and helping with projects.

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I have three different colors of stain.  The first coat we put was Walnut.  I think there is a tad of red in this stain, which I didn't want, so the second stain color I put on was Jacobean.  Both Minwax colors. Maybe too matchy matchy, but Jacobean is the stain color on our floor too.

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I then put on four coats of polycrylic. I love how it turned out! I love the base too.  So unique.

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I found this cute candle holder in the Target dollar area ($3).  I thought it would work great to set a pint jar inside, then fill with flowers.

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So to do a little reveal of this space, I tried to find a picture of our old couch that we got rid of last November. It was hard finding a decent picture!  But here is a general idea.  Just an old couch, no rug.  Plus in the meantime, Lee re-hung the curtain rods so they are even higher.  (I then had to add extra fabric to the curtains too.) This is Christmas of 2014.

And....ta-da!  Our new sitting area!  Well, it's been in the works for the past few months.

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The candle holder worked great for flowers!

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I loved how it turned out!

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Also, a little change I made was to some vent covers in our family room.  This one looked horrible.  You can't really tell, but it's dented and a bit rusted. I found one on Amazon and loved it. Look below.

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Ahhh, so much better right?  I went online and bought one more that same day because I forgot that the family room had two vents.

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I haven't replaced the ones on the wood floor yet, but figured I would go ahead and see if I liked the look.

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Oh yes. Love it.  I am going to order four more next month to replace the old ones.  I think I will keep the old vent covers on the tile though, because the colors go together really well.

April 8 2016
So many more things to do to our house, but little updates can add a lot!  Oh, and isn't this picture so cute?  Haley drew this for Rhett.  And if you look under the BYU packing tape, she did spell his name correctly.  Rhett and Haley have a special bond.  So cute.

April 7 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Conference Weekend

It's that time of year again!  Conference Weekend!  Twice a year our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a world-wide conference where we can hear uplifting messages from our church leaders, and most importantly, our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.  My kids look forward to this weekend, as do Lee and I.  We don't have a lot of traditions during this weekend, but we do repeat of couple of things.  One is to have candy during each session of conference.  Since I was out of town the Saturday before Easter, we never had an Easter egg hunt.  It worked out to buy candy half-off after Easter, and hold the egg hunt in between the sessions of conference on Saturday.  Lois and her kids were still with us and Jeff joined us as well the night prior.  We filled over 300 eggs.  I love having lots of Easter eggs!  It took us longer to spread them out on the lawn than for the kids to snatch them all up!

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We let Rhett get 10 eggs first, then let Blake and Elden grab some eggs.  Finally, after an eternity, the other kids were allowed out and about.
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The beginning of the second session.  Our family room looked like this pretty much the whole time during conference.
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We enjoyed some yummy eats that weekend too. A lady in our Financial Peace University class made guacamole for our class celebration and I asked her for the recipe.  She told me the ingredients and made some for us on Saturday.  Yum yum!
April 2 2016 Spring Break
Another tradition now is to order pizza for dinner after the second session on Saturday.  By the time the Priesthood session rolls around it seems like there isn't much time do to anything dinner wise. 
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I guess our conference traditions revolve around food, because one more is to have a dessert when the guys get home from the Priesthood session.  Priesthood session is for the guys ages 12 and up.  Lee gives me a report of the session and we have a treat and watch a movie.  I made homemade dark chocolate ice cream with homemade brownie chucks.  I have a yummy recipe for homemade brownies, and I'm telling you, they are even that much better when made with Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Heavenly! So, for Clark to get in on the homemade treat (everyone else was in bed...Lois had her kids in bed around 8pm...mine took much longer...) he needed to give a report about the Priesthood session.  It was one of the best reports ever.  Loved his humor and how he reported.  So fun.
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Oh, one more of food.  We're not consistent with this one, but we've done it before: homemade wheat waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.  Deliciousness!
April 3 2016

I love hearing from our Prophet.  He talked about choosing the harder right than the easier wrong.  He himself is such a great example of this. 
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We rarely have jello at our house, but the kids love it.  We had it for dessert Sunday night.  With all the other goodies that weekend, I thought our tummies might thank us.
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We had a lovely weekend with conference, as always.  I have already gone through and listened to the talks from the General Women's meeting.  They were so good!  We enjoyed have Lois and family here for several days too. 

We've had little sicknesses here and there and last week Haley was home from school.  A benefit of having twins is that the other can bring home the extra school work AND give instruction!  Shanna didn't even need any prompting from me.  Right away she went and found Haley and told her all about the assignments she needed to make up.
April 4 2016