Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Projects: House to Home

This year for The Nester's 31 Days, we are doing 31 house projects in 31 days. This should be an interesting challenge for us because October is shaping up to be a crazy month. We are determine to this this year. I am also determined blog for all 31 days this year. 

We do have some MAJOR projects for these 31 days. We are really going to challenge ourselves to get everything done. As always, we have a list much longer than 31 projects, and we are aiming to knock out as many as possible. We even made a spreadsheet this year to track them by room (thanks Ashley for the idea)!

This post is going to be my guide post to all my other post. I will link each one as I post them back to this post, so follow along daily, or just browse them when you want to.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Drew has been going to gymnastics for a couple of months now. It has been an overall positive experience. The rough part is I have to keep up with him. He is fast and doesn't always want to sit and listen to stories or do the exact thing they are asking, especially when there is lots of fun equipment to play on. 

Today was one of those little attention span days. He just wanted to run and jump and climb. I chased him a lot back to the circle and so did the instructor.  After class the kids have to put on shoes to get stamps. Drew didn't want to do this and I was holding him in my lap because he had to leave. The instructor makes a joke about me having lots of patience with him. I made a joke back to him about it and he and the other instructors kinda lost it laughing.

It really made me think though. I am the last person who has patience with anything. I have never been a patient person. I spent most of my childhood hearing, "hold your horses", "patience is a good thing", and "you can do that when your time gets big" . I wanted instant everything from everyone, myself included. Needless to say, that didn't work the way I thought it should have, my time to get big was always much slower than I thought it should have been.

Fast forward to being Drew's mom. He is just like me. Everything is new and exciting, and needs to be explored as fast as possible. I spend a lot of my day chasing him, reminding him, and trying to mold him in to what will one day become a civilized member of society. I frequently feel like I have no patience for him. I want him to "get it" now. I need reminders like today to show me how much patience I really do have with him.

Yesterday was a patience day. He found a black marker (yay for washable markers) and colored on everything in our living room. Himself, the chair, the floor, the fish tank, the fish tank, and his toys. I kept my calm. He helped me clean it up. I got him cleaned up. Unfortunately, the fabric chair was not as lucky. It still has a little bit of marker on it. That is when my patience started to run dry. It has been a trying day up to that point, and I couldn't take anymore.Thankfully, AJ came home about then.
It is easy to get lost in the shuffle of rough days, busy days, and every days. I get frustrated and tend to take it out on others or myself. I feel like I bubble over. Those are the moments that I need patience and grace with myself. I need that grace, too.

Luckily, I  know that God looks at me everyday and sees me covered in "marker" and has overwhelming grace and patience with me. He sees my tiny hands making messes with everything and just helps clean them up. I know that because of this, I need to model grace and patience to Drew every day. I just wish it wasn't something I struggle with, but I think that is what makes it sweeter when it happens. In all of my flaws, I can live and model something I am not good at because God has grace with me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Disney Day - Polynesian Breakfast

Drew and AJ waiting for breakfast.

To start out our Saturday at Disney we went to the character breakfast at the Polynesian. AJ is the one who wanted to do this, and pushed for it. It is one of his favorite affordable meals at Disney. Everyone else was in agreement, so we took six adults, a six year old, and a toddler. What a fun meal!

Courtney and Eric

Jenn and Luke

We got seated early and were very thankful for that because we were all hungry. We were all excited to have Mickey waffles and all the breakfast items we could eat, including the best breakfast juice ever, POG juice.

Drew loved the POG juice, too. It is passion fruit, orange, and guava juice. It is so yum! The reason it is a big deal Drew is drinking it is because he isn't a big juice kid. He normally wants water or my coffee.

Luke waiting for breakfast.

After we got our food the characters started showing up. This breakfast is themed after Lilo and Stitch (plus Mickey and Pluto).  It is all about Ohana, which means family. I like this concept, because the people at this table are my family by accumulation. They are friends that have become so important to me that I consider them family. I am so thankful to have people like this in my life.

Drew, me, and Mickey

Luke, Stitch, and Jenn

Luke and Lilo

Luke and Pluto

I love Luke's faces with Pluto. It was some of the best character interaction we had. I also love Courtney's reaction to Luke playing with Pluto in the next picture. It makes me happy.

Courtney, Pluto, and Luke

Chad, Drew, Pluto, me

Drew was weird with the characters this time. He has seen them since he was 9 days old, but this time he was only interested in them if they were on the other side of the table. Mickey was the only exception. He calls Mickey "Oh No Meet", and even kissed Mickey on the nose. The other characters needed to stay on Luke's side of the table.

All in all, it was a great breakfast. I am so so so glad we did this as a group and had a yummy meal to start our day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Guest Bathroom Update

From the house tour.
It seems inevitable that the moment I post the house tour, I want to change stuff. I knew that the guest bathroom was next on the "chopping" block, but I just didn't know it would happen this fast. I think it was something about seeing the rest of the house pictures that made me really want the guest bathroom to fit in more.

The bathroom had these oversize lights that just didn't work size wise in the room. We had painted it a neutral beige color and we reused the decor from our old house (well, what Drew hadn't broken). I loved the decor in the old house, but it just didn't fit in with this house. So, time to make some changes.

To start with AJ took down the "spaceship" lights. And we replaced them with new lights from IKEA. I will admit, I had almost no hand in this part because electricity scares me.

First stripes of new paint.
I thought I was going to paint the room white, but when I went to start this project fairly randomly I didn't have any white semi-gloss. I didn't want to go buy any. I dug through our paint collection, and we had almost enough of the same grey our kitchen is. OK. I like that color. 

The last corner.
I said I had almost enough. I ran out for this last corner above the toilet and the ceiling. AJ made a quick run to Home Depot and got a pint to finish it off.  We plan on making some changes to the kitchen soon and the pint will come in handy for that.

I got some new storage baskets for the cabinet and they work as bookends, too. The new fun red light from IKEA. I wanted a blue version, but that wasn't an option in this light. That is ok, I like the red one.

I found this single window curtain at a garage sale. It works great as a shower curtain because it isn't bulky like a normal shower curtain is in this door way. I also reused some of the bunting from Drew's birthday party. I am in love with bunting right now and it makes me happy.  I found some fun pictures online and framed them in really thin frames from IKEA. These frames are great! They are really affordable, and they have a plexiglass front instead of glass and I feel much better using them in areas where Drew is. I also love these new towel hangers I picked up. 

I couldn't find a picture I liked well enough to replace our "thermodynamics of a pine cone" picture. In comes fabric. I picked this up a while back and I had meant to make some pillowcases out of it and I just never got around to it. I like the fact that it has all the new colors of the bathroom in it and it gives me just a hint of something dark in the bathroom.

I love the guest bathroom now. It was probably one of the cheaper total overhauls I have done. I also think it is the first total overhaul of any room I have done. Yes, most of the stuff came from IKEA, but that is ok. All total the room came in under $80, including two lights, light bulbs, and paint. I am so excited to tackle our master bathroom now. It will pro bably be a while before I get to it though, we have a MAJOR project coming up in October.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Celebrating Luke!

Luke is the son of one of my good friends, Jenn. I have known Jenn since before Luke was born. So, it has been fun to watch him move from babyhood, to toddlerhood, and now into First Grade! Luke turned six this year, and Jenn had told him that there wouldn't be a party. Well, Courtney and I had other plans. Courtney got a great deal on a campsite at Disney and we started planning.

When Luke found out he wasn't having a party, he did ask if he could come to Orlando to see AJ, Drew, and I. Well, Jenn knowing what we had planned agreed they could come down for a little while and visit. Well, Luke kept pushing and said maybe they could get distracted and spend the night here. We all thought that was funny, because we knew what was coming.

The story evolved into that they were coming down to visit us, and before they came to our house they were going to stop and visit Courtney at work at Disney....

When they pulled into our site, here is what they saw:

This is the sight that greeted them!

We decided to do a Minions Take Over Disney theme. Needless to say, we had to get really creative with this one. Thankfully, Courtney is awesome and took on the bulk of decorating and that side of things. I just did the camping side of stuff.

While Courtney was making all the decorations, I went to Ocala and picked up all of Jenn and Luke's camping stuff. This way, Luke knew nothing of the camping adventure, and Jenn only had to pack  normal "overnight" stuff for them  to sleep at our house. It was so much fun sneaking around to do this.

Courtney and Eric hanging Minion lanterns.

Minion lanterns.

I loved these lanterns. Courtney did a great job making them and they were a fun welcome back to our campsite every time we came "home".

Courtney made cupcakes that looked like a campfire. They were so cool, but unfortunately, they did not like the Florida heat and started to melt. They were still yummy. We wound up eating them for a pre-breakfast snack on Saturday morning.

Courtney also found this great sparkler 6 candle. It was really cool! With all the fire fanatics we had in our camping crew the sparkler candle went over really well.

Luke's Minion with birthday button from Disney. He was roasting marshmallows over the cupcake fire.

The minions even took over our tents. It was a fun little touch, and when Luke arrived he ran around checking who all was coming to his party. The bigger minions had the names of the people who were sleeping in that tent. We did have one person who wasn't set up when Luke arrived, and when Luke saw his minion name tag he did a giant happy dance. Chad is one of Luke's favorite people.

These minion hats that Courtney made were just awesome! She took an idea she found to make minion hats and added Mickey ear hats. I loved them!!!!

Drew, Eric, and AJ waiting on Jenn and Luke.

We just barely got everything set up before Jenn and Luke arrived. The boys took a moment to catch their breath while Courtney and I finished up those last little things.

Finally, Luke and Jenn got to the campsite. I think it all took him by surprised because he didn't have the reaction we expected, but he slowly warmed up to it and finally got into the party spirit.

Luke wearing his minion hat.
Drew in his minion hat.

AJ wearing his minion hat, with three eyes.

The minion hooded towel!
Luke opened his presents. He got his minion towel from us. A minion mug and the stuffed minion from Courtney and Eric. He also got a camera from my parents to take his own pictures at Disney, because Jenn always forgets her camera (or forgets she has it with her), and a Superman shirt that my mom thought was perfect for him. He loved it all!

Jenn showing off the towel.
Courtney, Eric, Drew, Luke, AJ, and Jenn
We had to take two pictures to get us all in the picture under the birthday banner. Unfortunately, Chad wasn't there when we took these pictures. He got in to the campsite really late, but he shows up in the rest of the adventures.

Eric, Drew, Molly, AJ, Luke, and Jenn