Friday, June 24

The Girls' Room

This is not HGTV and I am no design star, but this has been a fun project!  Our home is nothing you're going to see in a magazine, but it is home and we try to make it nice within the parameters that we have as renters.  So...if this project had a sponsor, it would be 3M Command Strips! ;-) Anyway, earlier this year we flipped the girls' room for the play/craft/music/other stuff room.  At that point we considered lofting their beds and they latched onto that idea.  They have spent hours browsing the web for loft beds, designing them to build themselves, dreaming, shopping for desks to put under the know...being little girls with a dream.  When they were gone in May Scott and I said, "Hey, we should do this project while they are gone!" but it was the end of the school year and he had guests in town and we were just too busy, so we penciled it in for this week.

We had planned to build the beds ourselves, but I hopped onto Craigslist on Monday and found this set of beds that someone else had already done all the hard work on!  They are very nice and well made, so we arranged to pick them up on Monday night (this is a highly simplified version of this story--I've left out the numerous emails to people with loft beds that were already sold/too big/unanswered, etc.--Craigslist can be so great and so frustrating at the same time!) If you look closely in the pictures you'll see they have the other girls' names routed onto the side.  The guy we bought them from is making new name plates with our girls' names on them to cover up.  When we arrived to pick up the beds we found out that Scott actually knows the guy!  His company is doing some work at the tunnel, so he'll deliver the new name plates next week when he's out working at the tunnel.

So.  On to the room.  Scott and I assembled the loft beds on Monday night and I hauled the old bunk beds out on Tuesday and hauled borrowed desks from school over.  We stored all of our desks last year and used folding tables from Costco and we loved it!  No sense in buying desks that we can borrow indefinitely for free!  I grabbed some cans to store writing implements in from the dollar spot at Target yesterday.  I also grabbed these fun wire baskets to hang as shelves up in the bed.  Credit for that idea goes to Pinterest.

You need a spot for your book, glasses, clock, etc.  I bought these battery powered clocks for them and they both got clip-on fans too.  Their room gets the early morning sun, so it can be uncomfortably warm, but no one wants to have the sun shining in at 3am either!

What they wanted most out of this whole project was a space of their own, so I grabbed some cheapie flat twin-sized sheets yesterday and some cafe rods and made them curtains so the under loft part can feel like their own space.

Nothing fancy.  I thought about cutting and hemming the sheet so it would pull apart in the middle but decided against it.  If we decide we want to later we can, but for now we'll try it this easy way.  It's nice and private under there when you close the curtain!

The only other thing I made was this additional seating spot/stuffed animal/doll storage.  I grabbed a couple of sturdier totes from WalMart and added a cheapie pillow into shams we already had and voila!  Storage and a seat in one!  If this was HGTV I would have tried harder to hide those cords. Have you ever seen a cord on one of their shows?  Oh well...this is real life over here!

I am sure the girls will work to further personalize their spaces, but I am also excited for them to come home to this surprise.  They had no idea what Scott and I were planning, so they are going to be shocked at the changes!

Tuesday, June 21

On Church Camp

Church camp.  What a flood of memories.  Not all of them are good, but the vast majority are.  There was one year where I had some MAJOR separation anxiety--I am sure my mama remembers more about it than I do. 

What stands out in my mind though, is the feeling of acceptance that came at camp.  I went for several years, grades 3-6 maybe.  Longer?  I don't really remember.  I do remember the many campfires, morning chapel in the woods overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the giant cross that marked the trail back to camp from the beach, the cabins, the shower rooms, the old rec hall, the people.  Oh the people.  As a kid you have no idea how much planning, preparation, and prayer cover a week like that.  As an adult you know it is a tremendous work of love and energy.  I am so very grateful for those people who poured their efforts into us and covered us with prayer.  Church camp for me was a place that felt familiar and safe.  I don't remember my first time being scary--my mom had attended some event there at some point and that allayed my fears.  Adolescence is a tricky time--figuring out who you are, friend drama, becoming more independent, etc.  Church camp for me was the antidote for all of that.  For one week each year there was none of that.  Just friends, laughter, and fun. 

As I was preparing to write this, I checked out the website for the camp of my youth.  It's still going strong, Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center.  The logo is the same too--I had a baby blue t-shirt with that logo on it!  Although it has grown and added lots of things (an indoor recreation center!  a zipline!) the good old cabins, rec hall, etc. are still there.  Makes me want to go back...


Scott and I dropped our girls off at their first overnight camp on Sunday night.  When I was a kid I don't remember there being "day camp" and "overnight camp".  I lived in a rural area, so there wasn't a Boys and Girls club or any of those organizations.  As a parent I have come to learn that day camp is a very common option!  I digress...the girls have wanted to go to camp for a couple of summers but the desire increased exponentially last summer.  The trouble was that the scheduling didn't work out.  This year, we signed up for camp in the early spring and planned our summer trips and visitors around it.

We narrowed our choices down to two that we had heard good things about, Solid Rock Bible Camp and Birchwood.  In the end, Solid Rock won because they have horses and we have little girls. ;-)

The girls wanted separate experiences, so they chose different camps.  Since they are close in age, their camps were at the same time.  Kelsey is at 'Lakeside with Horses' and Stacy is at the 'Wagon Train' camp. 

Dropoff went very well--the girls were so excited they could barely stay in their seats!  We helped them get their stuff to their cabins, meet their counselors, then they hugged us and said, "See you next week!"  It was so sweet!

Meanwhile...Scott and I are working on a surprise bedroom re-working while they are gone.  They've really been wanting loft beds, so we are working on that this week.  I'll share pics when we're done!

Sunday, June 19

A Visit From Moo Grandma & Grandpa

Scott's parents were here for 10 days and when I look back at all we did in 10 days, it's pretty impressive!  The girls and I picked them up at the airport (towing a trailer no less!) and we headed north to Amber Lake.  Scott met us up there later that evening and we enjoyed four days of fun and sun at the lake.  The first day was the best weather, so we spent as much time on the water as we could.  The girls and I skied, all three of us finding success in slalom skiing for a bit.  Scott bought the kids a wake board, so they also had fun on that as well as the inner tube, the paddle boat, and just playing in the water.

We returned to Whittier and went fishing the next day.  It was a beautiful day!  We went out into the gulf, which didn't really agree with my sense of equilibrium, but meant good fishing.  I was sick for a bit, fell asleep, and was just fine when I woke up.  Go figure!

All in all it was a good day.  We brought home a pile of fish, including Fred, Stacy's 80+ pound halibut!!

We labeled all of the bags of fillets from her fish "Fred", so we'll know when we're eating him all winter long!

We also took Grandma and Grandpa to Palmer for a day.  We visited Williams Reindeer Farm, the Colony House, and the Musk Ox Farm.  We also played for a short time at the Amoosement Park, but since it was 78 we didn't last long.  The girls were hot, so we hit DQ for some frozen treats on our way out of town.

Grandma getting mobbed by hungry reindeer
holding chickens at the Reindeer Farm
Colony House Museum
Colony House Museum
original colony barn at the Musk Ox Farm
Pioneer Peak from the Musk Ox Farm
It was a fun 10 days!  Thanks for coming, Grandma & Grandpa! 

Thursday, June 16

Low Tide

We went out to catch the extra low tide the other day.  It is interesting, having done this for several years now, the different things you see every year.  Last year there were TONS of starfish.  This year, fewer starfish, but lots of other things including a clown nudibranch.  I would have never known what a nudibrach was a year ago, but thanks to a visitor we had at school this year, I do now!

We headed out with a friend of ours and her 4 year old daughter.  It was such fun to watch her excitement and hear all three of the girls exclaiming, "Look at this!" and, "See what I found!".

The weather worked out perfectly...rain was forecast for the day and it arrived by the bucket-full, just after we finished up!  We headed down to our local coffee shop to warm up.  We took our little buddy with us and it was so stinking cute to see them choose a table of their own and listen to them chat over bagels and hot chocolate.  The three of them spend lots of time before and after school together since their moms are both teachers, but it was fun to get to really listen in on their conversation.  It was sweet to watch my girls in the 'big kid' role!