Subscribe: Much More Than Keeping House
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
day  finally  fun  good  home  house  jesse  kids  kitchen  love  miriam  much  new  pretty  room  school  time  week  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Much More Than Keeping House

Much More

Than Keeping House

Updated: 2018-03-07T12:52:10.926-05:00




Hello from the frozen north!  It's polar vortex part IV this week.  So coldie outside.  It makes me want to cry.  But then my tears freeze to my face and my glasses freeze to the bridge of my nose.  So I've stopped crying about the cold.

Each winter I find new ways to cope.  The first winter, I used medication to snap me out of my funk.  The second winter, we got a dog that I had to walk twice a day.  She was my therapy.  This winter, I'm taking chemistry.  I have to go to class four mornings a week, so I can't sleep in.  I have to at least shower since I will be sitting incredibly close to teenagers for over an hour.   I took my brain out of deep freeze, bought myself a graphing calculator, found a couple of study buddies, and am currently in the A-/B+ range.

I don't think I'm hearty enough to last too much longer here.  Wisconsin is pretty brutal.  I'll survive and check the class listings for next winter.(image)

Quick Summer Recap


Summer was amazing.   We saw friends and most of our family.  River trips, hiking, surfing, water parks, camping.  This may have been the best summer ever.  I love the order and predictability of the school year, but I'm already looking forward to June 6, 2014.Cousins at the beach houseMiriam on TimpAll the Tano cousinsRafting the Provo river with TenneyMount HoodWindy Oregon Coast with Ben's kidsRafting the Deschutes in Oregon[...]

2013-2014 School Year


It's so blissfully quiet.  I have a huge list of things to do, so I'll just blog instead.  It's been long enough and I finally have my computer back.  These two are off to new adventures today.
First day of school


Miriam's Concert


Just to let you all know, Miriam has a choir concert Sunday March 24 at 7 pm central time.  It will be webcast here on wlfm and on itunes here.  She is in the first group, so set your alarms! (image)

And Home Again


Coming in the back door, my first thought was "thank goodness there's no funk!"  After six weeks, it was highly possible that something horrible could have happened.  Or worse, nothing.  And my house just stunk on its own.

My second thought occurred when I opened my top drawer.  "Who the hell needs so many socks!"  I had gotten by with two pairs the previous month.  (One sock was sacrificed for my poofy Christmas Eve  bun.  Does that even count?)  There are over fifteen pairs of socks in there right now.  Four of which are snowboarding socks.  I don't even snowboard.  Is our house really that cold?  Could we just turn up the heater?  That many socks seems excessive.

My third thought, and I should explain that there were really only these three thoughts as we had taken a redeye from San Francisco to Chicago, which is no joke.  Red eyes from less than three hours of sleep.  That third thought came after opening my third drawer.  "Who the hell lives here?  A depressed hipster?"  Every piece was brown, cream, white, or black.  Do I not believe in color?  I finally found a turquoise summer shirt to pair with a black scoop necked sweater.  I am currently wearing my only other piece with color, a dark blue green sweater.  I'm not even sure it counts.  I don't know what I'll wear tomorrow.

As much as communal living with 20 or so in-laws is educational, so is coming home.  I'm a little shocked at who I am here.  My bathroom is nice.  The renovation we did looks awesome.  My room is kind of a mess.  I'm pretty sure that I haven't spent enough time/energy/money on making it restful and organized.  Or, I should clean it more often.  My clothes are depressingly ugly.  I really need to find somewhere else for fashion, besides Target.   Who knew that six weeks away would clarify who Bekah is better than weeks and months of self reflection. (image)

Ah, October


This morning was the first real frost of the year.  Crunchy white leaves and grass.  The pumpkins got carved last night for pre-fhe.  We're getting ready for trunk or treat and the chili cook off on Wednesday.  Thanks to Enoch, I have the awards ready for the winners.  We should see how far and wide his design has spread.  You might be surprised to hear that the girls are going as...Fairies!  Again! For how many years in a row?!

School.  Miriam is at home going to on-line school.  The learning curve for me has been a little steep, but I think I kind of have the hang of it.  It's not ideal, but it is what it is.  Gwyn is in second grade.  I have a whole new appreciation for the simplicity of seven.  Jesse is so close to being done with this trimester he can almost taste it.

This last year I spent a lot of time with the youth at church.  Sunday school teacher and girls camp director.  F-U-N!  I was a super awkward 15 year old, but I sure love hanging out with them now.   I was pretty sad to be released from those calling last week.  I'm in primary now, a little lost, but the kids are happy to tell me where I'm messing up.  Miriam was pretty appalled that I forgot to have the kids give the theme and scripture.  Who could forget that?  Obviously, Me.

The countdown has begun for December break.  The kids are motivated to work hard so that they can play hard with their cousins.  A whole month of Palmer fun in the Aloha state, I'm jealous of me.  How did I get so lucky? (image)



A beautifully cool Wisconsin Monday.  The girls are on their fourth week of swimming lessons.  Miriam really is a Mermaid!  She is fun to watch.  So swift, she overtakes the other kids in her lane.  Gwyn is also improving.  I love watching her jump off the diving board.  Absolutely no hesitation.  Climb, walk to the end, jump.  Love it.
allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />


Meet Maggie


Jesse said that I really have to blog about Maggie. I think she makes up for not blogging for the past three months (or more)!

I went to Santa Barbara to help out Kaity while Danny was on a research trip. While I was gone, Jesse and the kids found Maggie at a shelter, paid for half of her (probably the friendly, non-aggressive half), and let me know I could pick her up the day after I flew home.

We've been looking for a companion animal for the family and especially Miriam. So the fam chose Mags. She's a Cairns Terrier, the same breed as Toto.  The shelter thinks she's around two, but who knows. 

And guess who Mags loves? Just call me Alpha Mom. Finally, some respect!  Although having a small dog at your feet all day can be kind of crazy.  I do a bit of tripping over her a couple times a day.  She has run with us in the morning.  She goes my pace and never complains when I want to walk.  Not incredibly motivational, but it's fun.

Maggie was a breeder for a puppy mill, so she has quite a few hang ups. Strangers, cars, trains, other dogs, children who try to leash her... Um. Should I go on? The ASPCA has some great pages on training, disciplining and taking care of your puppy mill dog.

It has been a challenging four days. I will be so excited when she poops outside, I'll probably brag about it more than when my kids potty trained! Her aggressive behavior towards other dogs is very challenging. She has little (wo)man syndrome plus puppy mill (un)civilization so we have out work cut out for us.

Despite all the challenges, we're super excited to have Maggie in our home.  She is very affectionate and loving, wants to please, and is happy to eat all the rest of the turkey bacon as treats that the kids thumbed their noses at.  We can't wait for everyone to meet Maggie!(image)



We can actually live in our living room now! Last Saturday, we brought home a piano and that groovy yellow chair. It may get reupholstered someday, but for ten smackaroos, it's perfect.
Jesse couldn't believe that I finally found my piano. He would scour craigslist for me and be baffled when none of them interested me. Then we saw this one. It's an older Baldwin studio piano, pretty good tone and pitch. Best of all, it was under budget.

I think I'm finally getting used to a mostly finished living room. For awhile there I felt like I was in the wrong house! I'd still like to find the perfect area rug, hang something over the mantel, put in some sort of heating unit (pellet or wood stove? Fireplace?), and wouldn't an antique umbrella stand with mirror look great next to that window? For now, it is pretty delightful having a mostly finished space.

Come visit us!  We'll hang in the living room!(image)

Double Digits! 1-0


Miriam at about a year

It's hard to believe that my little baby is growing up so fast.  We love her so much and can't imagine life without her.  Miriam is so sweet.  She is so even tempered, kind, and helpful.  She keeps Jesse company on hikes and kayak trips while we wait for Gwyn to get bigger.  She loves her sister and is intensely protective of her.  She is probably the best older sister ever. 

We love and hate that she is growing up.  It's bittersweet to realize she won't be ours forever. 

Miriam this Christmas at Judd Memorial
We love you Miriam.  Thanks for letting us be your family. (image)

June's Fabric


This is my favorite place in Kalihi.  Ok, so Kalihi isn't on my top ten places to visit, but June's Fabrics is!  Cotton Poly blends start at 3.50 a yard.  100% cotton is 5.50 a yard.  I stocked up on fabric for muumuus, skirts, a shirt for Jesse, and lots of fun projects to be decided.

I was a pretty upset when I thought that they might have closed since they are no longer at their school street location.  (Yikes!  When I asked, they said they moved 5 years ago!)  I found them next to Kaiulani Elementary school on Austin Lane.  Jesse might freak, but I kind of want to go back and get even more!!  Or, we can just come back to Hawaii more often.  Hmm.  I like that one better.
If you are planning to go:
June's Fabric
938 Austin Lane
Honolulu, HI  96817
Open 9-6 Mon-Sat

Happy Birthday Jesse!


So glad you were born.  So glad you married me.  So glad we have two great kids.  Hope your birthday was Awesome!

Heavenly Seven


Our baby girl just turned seven.  Can you believe it?  I can't imagine our lives without her.  Who would we play boardgames with?  Who would make us get shave ice?  Who would play with Miriam?  

We love her sassy spirit.  We love her salty looks.  We love that she lets us know that our idea of fun is not everyones.  We love that she keeps us social with her playmate demands and insider knowledge of everyone on the block.  

We love you G-wyn.  Love your smile.  Love your hugs.  Love your mafioso kisses (one on each cheek while grabbing your face.)  Thanks for letting us be your family. 


We are in Hawaii


(image) And I'm finally updating my blog!  It has been a crazy couple of months.  Once we finally got settled in Wisconsin, we came on an extended vacation to Hawaii.  We're loving our time here with friends and family.  The kids love Pounders.  Miriam has made two trips to Wailele already.  We had so much fun with Kaity and family.  And we stopped by to see the turtles at Lani's.

I had an exciting week applying to grad school.  I've been thinking about it for a couple of years but this trip cemented the deal.  I'm going to library school (if they accept me!).  I'm hoping to study academic librarianship and music librarianship.  Did you know they even existed?  I'm planning on studying full time.  It should make life totally crazy, but in a good way.  I'm pretty lucky to have such an awesome supportive husband.

It's good to be back in blogland!  More updates to come...(image)

Guess What We're Doing This Weekend



The First Week of School


Recycled some folders from previous years.  A little washi goes a long way.
School started on Tuesday!  Oh, the thrills of a new school year!  First grade is dreamy perfect, complete with  teepee, hermit crab, and teeny tiny desks for each little pupil.  Fourth grade appears to be just right.  An in class library, dreamy!  

The beauty of a neighborhood school is at 8:05 am.  Little legs pumping bicycles, scooters whizzing by, groups of three and four walking by.  Four crossing guards situated around the school helping the little ones get there safely.  I love it.  

Here's to months more of educational bliss.


The Kids' Room


Finally took some pictures of the girls' room.  Jesse has been so handy downstairs in the basement.  He creates these amazing pieces out of very ordinary pieces of wood and not wood.  I've been redeemed for hauling around my loads of fabric.  The curtains are from 2 meters imported from Japan.  Three years ago.  The carpet is an Ikea as is find of years past. 

The best part about this room is how functional and roomy it is.  The kids actually play in it!  Yay!(image)

The Kitchen


I love our kitchen.  The first few days after we moved in, Jesse and I found ourselves sitting on the kitchen floor at night.  It was the most put together room in the house, and we just loved how it felt.  I will love it even more on Friday when Andy our trusty plumber comes to install our dishwasher.Our sink is huge.  Jesse really wanted a farm sink and they are super expensive.  Unless you get this one from Ikea.  Then it's just super huge.  I wanted the smaller one tub version, but this one does make a statement.    I sewed curtains for the two windows and our doorless cupboard from this cute fabric.  Gwyn insisted that I get the floral as well as the circle pattern.  I think she was right.  I like the different designs but same colors.   You don't even really notice that they are different (especially if you're Jesse!).This is our delightful new slide in range.  It's fun having gas again, and the convection oven really does cook things evenly.  It's a little weird having to cook things at the low end of what the recipe calls for.  In this picture you can see the curtain cupboard.  We didn't have enough space to do a lazy susan, but we wanted to get the most out of what space we had.  So we left the cupboard open, and it goes all the way back to the wall.   I'm not sure if it was the best way to do it, but oh well!Jesse made this open shelving for what we use everyday.  We found the wrought iron shelf brackets at an antique mall, though they are definitely not antiques.  We wanted to keep the kitchen looking open, so that's why we opted for these shelves instead of a traditional cabinet.This picture is a little wonky, but it's what we ended up with by the fridge.  At the last minute, we realized we didn't have a junk drawer or a place for the microwave.  With this arrangement, we have a little bit more counter space, and a cool cupboard up top.  I use the counter all the time for making things right out of the fridge like sandwiches.So this is our way too fancy for us kitchen.  It's awesome, but I feel like I'm in a time share, y'know.[...]

The Dining Room


Finally!  Here's the hardest part about taking pictures of our house.  It's only clean at night when the light is bad.  In weighing the options, flash seemed better than never posting again.  So....Here they are.

The previous owners let us have this dining room table.  It's beautiful, and with benches we'll be able to squeeze in 8. 

We got the credenza off of Craigslist for $30.  Finally, I have a place for the obi I've been carting around for years.  The credenza was an essential addition, as our kitchen space is so limited.  Inside are all my crazy Japanese ceramics, table linens, extra plates, etc. 

The color of the room has much to be desired.  It's also a flat paint, so it just sucks up light, making it the darkest room in the house.  I guess that might be nice if you were into intimate dinners, but that's just not us.  Unfortunately, after painting my mom's house, I know how much prep would go into painting the room and I just can't get myself motivated to make the change yet.  (See all those moldings, plus the window, and three doorways.  Eeeek!  Can  you imagine how much tape that will take?)  Also, I'm not sure where to go with the color since the kitchen is so vivid.  Even more, we are contemplating opening up the kitchen into the dining room even more, so that would have a huge influence on the color. 

What do you think is a good wall color for a dining room?(image)

The Garden


I hear that one of the previous occupants of the house didn't have any children.  She spent her time on the garden.  On our first spring visit, there were numerous columbines.  When we came in June, the irises were spilling over everywhere.  Before that, we hear that crocuses and tulips pop up along the path.  Now it's lilies.  I think there are about ten different varieties in the front and back yard. 

We will need to make some changes to give the kids some more room.  But for now, we're enjoying the beauty.


A New Home


We're here, we're here!  At home in Wisconsin!  I'll take some pictures tomorrow in the sunlight and show you our new house. 

But for now, here's the quick and dirty version.

We moved in last Monday after signing away our children's inheritance.  Good news is that our payment is affordable.  Yay for low interest rates! 

Especially since the a/c broke on Wednesday, the hottest day of the year.  If you live in Verano, give those maintenance workers a wistful smile from me.  I miss them.  So much.  I like our guys here a ton.  But I'm not too fond of the check I have to write whenever they come over. 

We love the house.  It's really perfect for our little family (and whoever wants to come to WI for a visit).  Not loving the mice in the basement, but hoping that if there are any more they'll either move on or meet their end trying to get that last lick of peanut butter off the trap. 

Everything else is of course perfect!  Well, not really.  But we're working on it.  We should be old pros at moving.  Instead we're bumbling around forgetting important things like feeding our kids (thank you new neighbors who took care of that not once, but twice.)  Enrolling the kids in school, registering our car, putting up pictures.  All in good time.  For now, we sit in the sunroom (because it's the only room with enough furniture to seat us all)  licking our popsicles (since the a/c only got fixed yesterday), staring at a blank wall (no pictures up) or reading a book (we did get library cards!).  Perfect!(image)

Happy Father's Day


The girls at Badlands, SD

When I was around Miriam's age, my dad would take us on road trips with him around the west.   Badlands, South Dakota.   Wall Drug and Mount Rushmore.   On other trips we drove to Tulsa or Rosebud.  

Last week, I felt as if history was repeating itself.  We didn't stop at any reservations, but we did stop at Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore and Badlands.  I don't remember much about those trips with my dad.  We may have been complaining all the way.  But as I showed these places to my kids, all I could remember was that my dad brought us along with him and made business trips into adventures.  So thanks Dad.  Happy Father's Day.

G's Grandparents


Ok, I lied.  One more post.  These are Gwyn's Grandparents.  There's a bit of Mimi and Austin to them.  Gwyn says it's Merv and Kay.  Okeydokey.  Well, here's to visiting the grandparents this summer so next year their portrait will be a little more accurate.  

For the Birds


Our neighbor's birdhouse is the most happening birdhouse I've ever seen.  One day I had to scare a crow away.  He was trying to get some eggs, I believe.  I hope I was successful.

House Update


Looking good, no?  Don't you wish  you had a blue tarp on your roof?  It's so chic.   And it's all the rage my home fashion forward thinking friends.  We are considering a mattress in the front yard.  But we're not sure if it's the look we're going for.  What do you think?