Friday, March 29, 2013

New fireplace facade and floors

Toward the end of January, we had our fireplace re-done and had the carpet pulled up and hardwoods put down.  With pets in the house, the hardwood just seemed like a better option.  So far we're loving it.
Mike's parents came when they were finishing up the floors, so it was a little chaotic around here for a few days, but we managed.  
Day 1 was pulling up the tile from the fireplace
 Putting in the tile.  It's tumbled travertine and looks a little nicer than the former plain 12" tiles.

 Grout is in and trim isn't installed as of this picture (day 2)
 What our house looked like with the carpet torn up (day 2)

 And the kitchen.  Not sure if we will ever be done dusting with all the tile they tore out

 Floor leveling in (day 3)
 Day 4 (starting the hardwoods).  It is distressed hickory flooring.
 Entry way
 Living room
 Dining room
 Study.  We chose not to do our bedroom as I like the feel of carpet in the bedroom(s).
 Fireplace trim in.  Job finished!
So far we love our flooring.  Distressed doesn't seem to show the wear like a straight finished hardwood.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Christmas 2012

This is Jolly, the Elf on the Shelf.  Jarin's teacher read the story "The Elf on the Shelf" to the class about an elf who watches over the kids by day and flies back to Santa at night to report whether or not the kids have been good.  He was hooked, so an Elf on the Shelf (he named him Jolly) somehow mysteriously (;))showed up at our house!  He had fun looking for Jolly every day and trying to spot what he might be into.  
 At his class party.  Having pizza and playing holiday bingo.
 Decorating cookies

 We were invited to Joel & Sarah's for Christmas so I made a peppermint cheesecake for Sarah's birthday.  Here it is prior to frosting.
 Their old dog, Bridger.  
 We decided to take a walk even though the temperature dipped into the 40's and was windy.  Good way to work off a Christmas dinner!
 The 4 "K" kids
 Our dog, Maddie, had fun playing with her new toys.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

December Pack Meeting

At the December Pack meeting, Jarin won a trophy for being one of the top 3 popcorn sellers.  He sold over $700 in popcorn!
 And our brave Cubmaster took one for the team by letting every boy who sold popcorn throw a pie in his face.
 And then Santa Claus showed up.  I had to laugh as Mike convinced one of his co-workers and our neighbor to be Santa this year.  He did a great job!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Brazos Bend State Park

Justin had a Ag project on duckweed (a common marsh plant that benefits the environment).  I had to work one Saturday, so Mike took the boys out to Brazos Bend in a hunt for duckweed.
 No where else (except maybe the Everglades and some places in Louisiana), can you get this close to the American Alligator.  They are everywhere and as long as you are good to give them their space, they are not aggressive.

 Looking down at Mike from the observation tower

 Younger alligators have striped tails and bodies.  The older they get, they darken up.  They look like a piece of tire laying in the swamp.
 We love the bike/walking paths there.

 I liked this picture of the boys so much, we used it for our Christmas card this past year.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Our kitty, Shadow, loves the outdoors.  She loves to explore...
If she sees us outside she rolls over wherever she is asking for a belly rub.  Her belly appears big as they fixed her at a young age, so the vet told me it will always sag a little (I can relate).
She is always very curious.  She loves boxes, laundry baskets (clothes in them or not) and bags.  She's a sweet easy going kitty who gets a lot of love around here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


In October I applied for (on a whim) and got a job at Williams Sonoma.  It's been a great job and fun to learn all about the appliances/cooks tools that they sell.  I was finally able to get a new pot/pan set with the discount.
 And I picked up this pumpkin bread pan.
 I brined a turkey for Thanksgiving this year.  It was delicious.
 The (upside down) turkey that I basted with pomegranate citrus sauce.
 And I picked up a new cranberry salad mold.
A delicious Thanksgiving!