Wednesday, August 27, 2014

last blast of summer

At the last minute we decided to visit the Western Idaho Fair this year. A fun way to send off summer, as it was the Sunday before school started.
A friend's sister Instagrammed this caption: Nothing like a $60 dinner with farm animals and strippers. #gottalovethefair
Matt and I joked about the same thing the entire time. This was his face after a remark he made. He was quite amused.
Parker and I were there for the food. Deep Fried Snickers!
This sleepy sheep was all I could capture. I lied to the kids, saying there was a 3 headed goat, just to get them to look at an exhibits. #awesomeparenting
Kaleb was spending the weekend with my parents, that is why he is not in any photos. (they were actually at the fair at the same time!)


  We sent this handsome guy off to high school this week. I am loving his stage of life right now. It's the teenage stuff but without so many raging hormones and moodiness. He is pleasant to be around. He is thoughtful and insightful and turning out so great. I write this because I was terrified and it turned out fine. (Like everything in my life, I get worked up about nothing.)
  Parker is attending a charter high school and the other 3 are enrolled in an online school this year, more on that later. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

just do it

  The new house post at last. I have a busted computer and more boxes still packed than unpacked but here goes. It is a split level home built in 1980, just like Matt and I. (ha!) We are loving living in Boise and sharing some our favorite places with the boys. (mostly food spots, hello Delsa's!) The house is a little more than 1800 sqft. in a great layout for our pack of wild animals children. 2 bedrooms up top and 2 bedrooms below with a huge family room.

  The house was remodeled by the seller so we have new siding, new paint, new flooring, etc. All of his upgrades were in very neutral choices. Kind of great to move into a blank slate and make it something more personal. Wonderful timing too, because as much as I love a fixer-upper, we have had an overwhelming summer. (The heat! And Matt is working a new job. And kids! Did you know they sometimes get bored and whiny in the summer?)

And that is all the house I felt like cleaning. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

perspective shift

We moved! The last week in May we closed on a house in Boise. The home buying process really started for us in January. When we came back from Seattle we were living at a home that Matt's mom owns. It was a great fit temporarily but we wanted something more permanent for the boys, especially because our oldest is starting high school next year. (!!!)

After almost 6 months of house hunting, I thought we should just throw in the towel. We had put in offers and had the owner decide to rent it out instead or raise the price $20,000. Seriously, so many crazy stories to tell. Finally we found a good fit and fought through the closing process that was again, the hardest we have experienced in 5 times buying a home. We are getting moved in to the new place and I will share it on the blog, but I wanted to share the space we created in our "temporary" home first. 
I was having such a pity party. When I would fall in love with a house and it fell through, I would freak out. It felt like, even though it was only a few months, we would never find and close on something that could be home for the 6 of us for the next season. 

Then Matt's mom asked me to take photos of the house we had been staying in, so that after we moved out she could list them for future renters. Total perspective shift. I cleaned everything and staged it like a house showing and snapped away. I was feeling so good about what we had done since August to make the place feel like "us." Love the one you're with. Or something like that.
 Our bedroom.
 Half bath.
 One of the boys bedrooms. (random side note; I regret not setting up the boys beds straight away. It felt very sloppy for all those months. Matt and I set their beds up right away in the new house. Lesson learned.)
 Front room as you enter the front door.
 Front room looking at the front door.
 Bathroom. Matt hung old fence pickets as towel hooks and shelves in here and I cannot wait to do it again in another space. I don't care how modern the trends go, shabby chic has my heart.
The back patio with some plant I don't know going nuts. There is also a wisteria that is monstrous out there. A decade ago there was a sewer leak so all the plants are real happy out there ;)

It was so interesting to me that such a simple practice could give me a new outlook. I have already been doing that at the new house. When I get stuck with something about a different set up, I will clean house and start hanging pictures for the now. The perfectionist has got to go, after all, we will probably be moving again soon. Ha! (laughing out loud, crying inside)

master chef

Here is a fun thing we did this last year with homeschool. Our very own Master Chef mystery box challenge. I gave the 3 oldest boys a plate full of the same ingredients and Matt, Collin, and I judged their creations on presentation, taste, and creativity. I gave them angel hair pasta, sausage, parsley, shallots, heavy cream, pizza dough, romano cheese, artichoke hearts, lemon, and a very limited pantry. Most of the items did not have labels so they had to smell or taste or just ignore it if they did know what it was. They did not have to use everything and they had a small bit of help with the stove and blenders and such.

I was blown away! They did so great and got really into it, not to mention the food was really good. Aden made his own marinara and added carrots for presentation. (I thought this would be gross but the carrots were really good with it.)

Collin was very articulate and tried everything, giving feedback to each dish and writing down his score.

Kaleb opted for the pizza rather than pasta and it was delicious.
Parker did a pasta dish with lemon and even used the lemon peel in the boiling water for the noodles, very smart!

As for the scoring, each judge could give up to 10 points for the three separate categories and in the end a dish could earn a maximum 90 points. (up to 30 from each judge.)

Aden had the best looking dish in our opinion, not as creative but the taste was surprising and real good. He earned 79 points total.

Kaleb's pizza won us over in the taste category, we all finished every bite. He came in with 79 points as well.

Parker was the most creative, we thought. He used more sophisticated flavors and Collin hated it. In the final tally he earned 76 points.

Everyone was happy though. For about $30 in groceries, it was enough for 3 meals. It was cheap and fun and I love that these guys are developing this skill. Collin has already said we need to find another judge because he wants in on it next time.