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So Sad

And so terrified.

When Grant and I arrived home at 5 this afternoon, we got a knock on our door from our next door neighbor.

He said "Not to scare you, but I caught four guys trying to break into your house"

Commence my heart falling into my stomach.

Apparently he is very frequently gone during the days on truck driving over-the-road stints, but he had today off. So he opened his blinds, settled onto his couch, and watched some TV around 11 AM. This gave him the perfect view of my front yard, where he spots two young guys walking alongside my house. He keeps watching them, and sees them meeting up with two guys following the same path up my backyard. They meet at the window in my garage.

They open the window in my garage. How I don't know. This scares me :(

At this moment my dear sweet wonderful neighbor Craig opens his door and yells "What the fuck are you doing?!?!"

They jump the fence into my backyard, then jump another fence into my neighbor behind us. We believe their car was on that street.

I still can't believe it. I mean, they didn't make it into our house (THANK GOD.) But still, I'm so paranoid. The see-through front door is scaring me. The holes in the blinds are scaring me. They could be watching me. Waiting. Staking out our house again, waiting for us to leave.

I feel like kissing everything they would've taken, but couldn't. My dear sweet camera. My computer. Everything deserves a huge hug and a second look.

I can't sleep. I don't want to leave my house. I feel so protective.

We got those annoying alarms, that when a window/door is opened, they're loud and so painful. I hope they work. I hope they never have to be used.

I am up at 1 am, because I can't sleep. So scared, so worried.

So thankful for God's hand in all of this.

Amy

Economy

I hate this stupid economy, can I just say that? So many of my friends and family are getting screwed over right now, and it just breaks my heart.

A good friend of mine worked at Kiddie Kandids for years and years, making her way up the chain and getting a nice job at corporate. Sunday night she recieved a dreaded phone call- don't come in tomorrow, and you won't be getting your last paycheck or any insurance. Years invested in a company that left her out in the cold without any advance notice, it really breaks my heart.

Not to mention, the amount of unemployed people. My husband was without a job earlier this year for 4 months, 4 very scary months on unsurity. I'm glad he has since got a job, but at a substantial paycut.

And my company is doing so badly. I hate working there because of the financial stress that all of us are under. But the chances I could get another job? Not great.

Really, this is just a vent. Hopefully I'll look back on this time laughing, or at least with a higher wisdom that it was all for my better good.

But for now? It SUCKS.

Amerlee

Back in the Saddle Again

So starting in July, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to lose weight. So I started to follow the weight watcher's program. I did it for free, I found all the materials online and did it on my own. The weight start slipping rather slowly, but steadily. By September I had lost fifteen pounds, I was so stinkin proud of myself! A week after I started, Grant started it too, he lost a bit more than me.

But we stopped. What were we thinking?

Luckily, I've stayed much the same. Grant has gained four of his lbs back...

But enough is enough. So I'm starting back up again. Down 14 lbs, and here we go again.

I really dislike it...

I really dislike it when you're waiting on a call from someone that could change your entire life, but they're not calling! I may be taking care of my nephew full-time, becoming his foster parent, and may become a mommy to TWO... but I need to be called to know! And now its after 9, they're probably not going to call me tonight. This is so frustrating!

Feeling a bit Melancholy

Not sure why. But isn't that life?

Things have been beyond hectic in my life right now. Besides the normal hustle and bustle, we have crazy family drama. My SIL and future BIL were accused of child abuse, they are currently not allowed to see their children. The newborn (the injured one) has been living with my dad and stepmom although we're also allowed (via background checks, etc) to let him stay here. Thats where he is currently, and although its nice having a little baby its crazy to remember how much work they are. It really impresses me to see Colby with this little baby. He is so respectful and sweet. He wouldn't even touch him, just sit quietly by his side gazing at him. And when we were on the floor and I grabbed a bottle, Colbs wanted to help me hold it. I am so proud of him. I see how much he's grown and it almost makes me want to cry! He's really going to be such a good brother, if he gets that opportunity.

I'm pretty scared to see the start of a new semester. The Christmas break was so nice and I'm very sad to see it end so quickly!

Really, I don't know what to type. I am trying to get back into blogging though! Its my pre-new years resolution. :)

Amerlee

The countertops

This was one of the hardest decisions for me. I hated our current countertops, but didn't want to spend a ton of money. I really disliked the look of tiled countertops- cleaning grout did not appeal to me. I'd have to special order the cheap formica countertops from Lowe's, and they didn't have that great of a selection. Granite would be soooo nice, but with a HUGE pricetag to go with it. For about a month straight this was such a huge stress to me. I'd chat with anyone about it, hoping they'd give me a brilliant idea.

Luckily, we brought it up with my brother-in-law. Turns out he works in a granite warehouse. He said that they often had to send back granite 'scraps' and he could probably get one of those for me really cheap. These 'scraps' are whole slabs, but since there was only one left in the bundle they're unusable unless you have a smaller kitchen. Guess what we have? Smaller kitchen!

He was able to get us a $1000 slab, for less than three hundred dollars! We did have to hire an installer so it was a bit more. When the guy came to measure out our kitchen, he asked if we had a sink yet. Grant and I hadn't even put much thought into it, but the guy offered us a brand new, undermount, stainless steel sink for $50. Of course we said yes!

So, pictures, shall we?

<------ a picture from the store's website. Its called Verde Tunas. In this picture it looks really light, in the next picture it looks really dark. It lays somewhere in between. :)

<------ installed, with sink. You can also see some of the cabinets installed, and the darker cream is our paint color!

Whew!

Things have been absolutely crazy around here! No posts for awhile because I couldn't even take time to breathe.

There has been one benefit to Grant being out of a job, and that was that he had plenty of time to finish the kitchen. We had our countertops scheduled to be put in on Saturday Sept 5, so to minimize the discomfort of being kitchenless, we were going to wait until two days before (thursday) to pull out the old, and one day before (friday) to put the new ones in. That way they'd be ready for a saturday morning countertop installation.

That WAS the plan.

Tuesday morning Grant went to (another) interview. He's had tons, they've just been rather fruitless. The interviewer spent about five minutes with him and said: You can start thursday.

Thursday. Cabinet ripping out day. There was NO other day he could start. It was thursday or not at all.

So we rallied up some family, neighbors, and the missionaries to come demolish our kitchen! I hadn't unpacked the cupboards yet, so they just chucked everything into boxes. Even now, two weeks later I still cannot find some things!  What we did have 4 days to do, suddenly had to be done in 36 hours. It was pure mayhem. We never got into bed before 1 AM.

Really, gigantic kudos to my dad and brother. They stepped up, took time off work, and almost single-handedly put in our lower cabinets.

The lowers were done by tuesday night, I had finished painted by wednesday. We could call our countertop installer, and he came over and did it on thursday, two days early!

Its really plugging along, I'll post the countertop info later today. :)

Amerlee

The story about the cabinets...

Oh, we have hideous cabinets. These things just make me shudder when I think about them. I think the worst part of it all though, is we just didn't have space to put anything! No pantry, and all our food has to fit in one cupboard. The really irritating part is that there's wasted space in our kitchen. Someone, back in the 80's decided to put a small rectangular countertop on the opposite side of the room, where a pantry would've been a lovely idea! I mean, we will NEVER prepare food over there, not when we have so much counterspace around our cooking area.(see the picture below) So I've been begging my husband for four years to have a pantry put over there. Apparently, I'm just annoying enough for him to give in!

Oh, the other problem with the cabinets. In case they weren't ugly enough, my electric veggie steamer was cooking underneath one and took off the paint. I have a white hole in the middle of my dark brown cabinets. Yuck. They were also missing random bits of pieces, like there was a gaping hole above my microwave because the middle bar was missing.

So, I started saving up, got some money set aside. We started looking for ways to do it on a budget. We had a few options- buying new or painting the ones we had. Buying new was crazy expensive! They was no way we'd be able to afford that! And painting ugly cabinets wasn't exactly the most thrilling idea either. They were boring flat doors, no raised paneling or anything. Plus, where were we going to find a large cabinet/pantry to match? Plus, it was a lot of work, and we didn't want to put our kitchen out of commission while we spent a month sanding and painting.

And then I had a brilliant(ish) idea! We bought used cabinets off the classifieds with all the appropriate sizes, paint those ones, and then switch them out. Our kitchen would be fully functional and we could do it at our own leisure in the garage.

After searching around, I found the perfect ones. They were currently a honey oak, with raised paneling. So pretty! They were also a QUARTER of the price of new. Even with the money to paint them, it would still save us thousands. I wanted to paint them white, because I've always dreamt of a white kitchen. It just seems so neat and clean.

So here we are now. We've got them sanded and primed, and we'll paint them this week. The actual cabinet boxes are ready to go, they did not need to be painted, just the doors.
 <------ totally useless countertop
<---where the steamer removed the paint, on the far right.
<----- gap above the microwave. the middle bar is just gone.
<-----close-up of our new cabinets. They have just been primed, we start the painting this week!

There's an idea!

I am thinking that I am going to, for the next two weeks, post a home remodeling project that my husband and I are knee-deep in!

When we first moved into our home, I liked our kitchen well enough. It was big enough for our needs, it was clean. But it had carpet in our dining room, and with cats and kids that became a nightmare. I think it had more black spots than a dalmation! And the flooring in our kitchen was even worse, it was this fading, yellowing linoleum. So I looked into getting some pergo flooring! We found a beautiful cherry, plank-looking floor, that I adored immediately. We bought it last April and installed it in May (A year and a half ago...)

Well, you know how projects start out. First something simple... floors. The I realized that if we're doing new floors, we need new baseboards to cover up where the carpet went up the side of the wall. And if we're doing that, we might as well paint, and ya know? I could really use a pantry in this kitchen...

And so we are going to do a whole overhaul of our entire kitchen. And its going to be beautiful!

I'll go into more detail in the next few days (you'll probably get sick of me, I know all my real friends and family are!) but I am just so excited for this!

I'll also be posting lots of pics... today I'll post befores. I can only find my dining room shot on photobucket, I'll upload more later tonight.


<------ Oh so spotted.