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School room done!

Yay!! Fresh satin paint--reflects so much light on the ceiling.  
The black furniture was originally bought for Kristen and Jake's school room in  2006.  It was from Target, and I am thrilled at how well it has held up.  Now the black desks belong to AJ and Avery.
Wes gets the window seat, and Emmi sits in front of the "draw bridge".
My desk is in the middle......
there's Waid's.
Jenna get's the closet this time.  DH still has to wire it for a light, so she's using a floor lamp for now.
As much as I enjoy painting, after 3 coats in the closet, 3 on the trim, and 5 over the murals.....I am so glad to be through.

The walls and the ceiling were the only "normal" part to paint, requiring the normal 2 coats.

This means only the kitchen is left....and I am getting very frustrated waiting on our granite guy.
I hung some China artwork....
and one of Kristen's blue ribbon pieces from 3rd grade.
This cabinet hides all the junk.......but also contains a few things that make me smile.  A Jake drawing from when he was 9, and a Kristen paper from when she was 5.
And just for the record.....it's 71 degrees, Feb. 15th, and I just walked 3 miles in shorts; I'm hoping the groundhog was wrong!!!!

Happy Valentines Day

Two dozen roses, and chocolate covered strawberries for me =).
DH did good.
The two of us got to go out to eat last Saturday night.
We went to hear the Alabama Symphony, at Samford  University.  I am the only one who had ever been to the symphony.  DH has been wanting to go for a while.  None of their performance dates lined up with his off days, except this kid version.  Today is the first day this month that he has not worked....and most of those were night shift =(.

 The kids enjoyed it, and it was neat how a narrator tied a history lesson in with the music.  We received a study packet ahead of time, so the kids were familiar with the history, the music, the different instruments, etc.

 Afterwards we ate at Jim and Nick's.  We picked up the boy's new glasses, and my new phone.  Tomorrow Waid gets his cast checked, and DH will hang the closet shelf in the school room closet, so I can finish putting the room back together. 

Our castle


This room deserves a post of it's own, not just a before and after picture.
It won't be easy getting the paint to cover these high-gloss murals.

See the castle, complete with draw bridge?
It's a murphy bed.
I have already taken the blinds down, because they were very dirty.  We brought the school room curtains from the farm house, and will paint the walls the same yellow we had before.
Of course the ceiling must be painted too, and with so much stuff in here to work around/move, it will be a two day job.

We gave the guy a new face for now.
When we need the bed, we only have to move a desk and plastic drawers.
The legs rotate around; whoever built it did a great job.
Air shocks for raising/lowering the bed.
Some kind of ball bearing mechanism on each side to raise/lower the "draw bridge".
This queen sized bed will be perfect when we need it!
And it only takes up a few feet when not in use.  Jake will be happy to have a bed instead of a sofa when he visits!

I painted the ceiling, and 3 coats of white in the closet today.  I also put 3 coats of white over the murals, many of the lines still show through.  I'm praying that the 2 coats of yellow will cover it.  If not, I guess we will have some strategically places artwork ;)  .

Thankfully, No flu........

but we had to go to the doctor for this instead.
First to urgent care for a temporary cast, and a referral to the orthopedic guy.
Imagine the puzzled looks we got when a legally blind kid, white cane in hand, was telling that he wrecked his bike.
Waid's wreck was Tuesday afternoon. He never cried or screamed.  DH (formerly licensed EMT) checked it out, and we thought it was fine.  Waid still didn't complain much that night, I did put a wrist stabilizer on it overnight, just to be safe. When I unwrapped it Wed. morning, I knew it was broken.  
The doctor gave us the choice of setting the arm under anesthesia at the hospital on Friday, or giving a numbing shot, and setting it in the office.  Waid is pretty tough, so we tried the easy way.  After the numbing shot and a percocet, two guys proceeded to pull and twist Waid's arm under the x-ray machine.
He STILL never cried or screamed!  Waid was the bravest of them all:
Jake--broken arm at age 5,
Kristen-- broken arm at age 14,
Avery--broken leg at age 10.
We hope Waid heals well, and on the normal 6 week plan, so his cast will be off just in time for a little trip we have planned in April!

February 5th ...WOW....not where I thought I'd be today

(Random pictures of what the girls did the past few days.)

Can you believe it's already Feb?!  I'm amazed at how much our lives have changed in the past 6 months.  Different cars, different home, different way of life.  We are blessed with far more than we deserve.
It was 6 months ago when we decided to sell the farm.  Within a few weeks, the majority of the animals were gone, and we had a contract.
At that time, I never saw us ending up here.  God is amazing!
After deciding NOT to play financial roulette with the "perfect--but in  a flood zone" house, we found this house.  It's in an area we never considered looking in, but we really like it. We were both raised around B'ham.  My college years, the first 9 years we were married, and 9 years in Trussville (before the farm) were all in the B'ham area.  In all that time, I  had only been to this area a handful of times.

Living here, means using a different  interstate than in the past.  I find myself having to stop and think how to get from point A to point B when we go into B'ham.

This house is not a perfect fit for us, but a blessing, none the less.  Best of all, it's price tag  was $100k less than what we were looking at in Trussville.  We did a 15 year mortgage, and are making extra payments; so it will paid off in no time.  And instead of around $200 a month for property taxes (in Trussville for the price houses we were looking at), they're about $50 here.
All of this has led us to start talking about **gasp** retirement.  But wait--I'm just 30 years old, right?!?!
This most likely will not be our last house.  Hopefully when we decide where we want to live, we will buy a house, move at a leisurely pace (for the 1st time ever), then sell this house.  The most shocking thing for these two lifelong Alabamians, is that we are looking at moving to another state!

Of course what I'm talking about is a little over a decade away.  I know that we are not promised tomorrow, but it is kind of fun thinking about all of this!

A different kind of weekend warrior....

This week I've been working on taxes. 
 I go at the end of the month to the accountant.  
Random question:  Who else meets their family insurance deductible by the end of January?
All my stuff was neatly filed away in a file cabinet in the garage; but I also cleaned out some old file boxes.
 I had check carbons dating back to 1993.  I found a 1987 W-2.
 The 1987 salary would barely cover our groceries these days.
                          We have been richly blessed with DH's current salary!
I am thankful for his wonderful job everyday.
 I had 3 of these file boxes with each year's tax returns and all supporting documents, as well as closing papers and mortgage papers for 11 houses.
 I kept 2010-to  present, which whittled my 3 boxes down to 1.  And since the farm books were closed this year, the file cabinet goes in the yard sale, and I will only need one of those skinny 6" file boxes for our normal stuff.

I did do a little of the other kind of weekend warrior......
Painting trim, progressing like a turtle.
The arched window had a pleated shade on it, which of course had to be taken down to paint.  I love the window uncovered, but it gets afternoon sun, which will really heat things up in the summer.
I'm checking with a guy who did some tint work for us at another house, to see if he has some kind of tint that would be sufficient to block enough heat out.
I'd really like a wooden louver, plantation shutter style "fan" up there, but probably will be  shocked at the price.
Happy Weekend!

Healthy date snacks

Here are two of our faves that use dates instead of sugar.  These are not particularly low carb, but not too bad on the carbs either.  Both are quick and easy.  

My "larabars":  Pulse in food processor:
8 oz. pitted medjool dates 
1/3 c pecams
1/4 c almonds
1/2 c coconut
5 T cocoa
1 T coconut oil
1/2 t vanilla
dash of salt
Line large loaf pan with plastic wrap.  Press mix into pan.  Refrigerate.
Makes 16 squares; 13 carbs each, or 8 bars; 26 carbs each.

We love the traditional peanut butter ball (1 c honey, 2 c peanut butter, 2 c powdered milk), but here's one that's a little different.  The honey version or the date version both have about 10 carbs per ball.  The original recipe called for cashews and peanuts, but because of high lectin content, I changed it to pecans and almonds.

1/2 c pecans
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c peanut butter
16 oz pitted medjool dates
1 t vanilla
Pulse in food processor, scoop out with teaspoon, roll into balls.
Makes about 36.  These do not have to be refrigerated.

Let me know if you try them!
Now me and Big Daddy Weave (my music) are off to the treadmill!
Walking, walking, walking; and lost 3 lbs in 6 days!
The 6.5 miles shown above is the most I've walked since moving.  I checked the history on my app, though.  Since I started using the app in July, I've walked 768 miles.  Averaging 3.7 miles per day (moving, cold weather, and holidays killed my average.)

Since I started walking last April, it's probably safe to say that these shoes have about 1,000 miles on them.  
So Saturday, I paid a king's ransom for the world's ugliest shoes.....but they are comfy, and that's what counts.
On a side note, I gotta tell you that a big kid laughed at this pic, saying "if leggings pool around your ankles, you know you're short!"  I'm not THAT short; she just got her daddy's height.
Moving on..... I made two of these for the kids.  
I practiced extreme self control and only ate the little pieces that fell into the pan as I served it to the kids.  Yay me!
Accidentally stumbled onto a new drink.  I make different teas at home, but needed something to take in the car, to refill my Yeti cup after all the water is gone.  Interestingly enough, the citrus has aspartame, the peach does not!  It definitely pays to read labels, even within the same brand family.
It's a gorgeous day, so besides getting to walk outside, I think I'll spend some time by the pool in shorts and a T...... 60 degrees today, then down to  27 tonight.