Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Grand Day

My day began by playing with Benny. While everyone else worked. 
Very cool light. 
I am ending the day by playing with Bella and Gideon. 
Gideon combs and styles my hair 

Bella was not to be left out 

BreZaak are at a big launch party for True North Recovery Inc and Alive Alaska. Izaak and Bre are planting Alive Alaska Recovery Church. A Christ-cenetered, recovery focused church. They have a heart to walk the recovery journey with those coming out of various addictions. 

Between the grand bookends of the day I did some laundry, visited with Dad, helped Stacia launch an internet presence for Happy Hats (her micro-business), and picked up pizza to bring to BreZaak's.
I'll post a link when the Etsy and Paypal store is up. 
Why did I bring pizza to BreZaak's? Because Michael, Nolan and Alex are next door working at CoRielle's. Youth group is tonight. It's the only way we could make all the parts of the schedule work the available vehicles. LOL

Michael enjoyed a dinner break with the grands.
Papa and Bubbie!

Bella wants to play too. 

Bella and Papa. 

BreZaak and Annie got home at 9:30 or so....a successful community party. Friday night is the soft launch for the church.

*The pitsy selfies are because I dropped my new phone on the asphalt before the case arrived and cracked the screen. 

Benny the Contractor

Benny has watched so many contractors  he KNOWS the routine. He wandered around the house saying, "2....2....2....yeah, yeah window."
Photo by Arielle
Cory painted  ceilings, ordered cupboards and counters, and patched walls.

Arielle continued washing walls and started painting.

Nolan patched walls and helped paint.

Michael and Alex put in light fixtures and finished the power outlets. They are nearly done with the light switches. This involved a trip or two to the attic.

I watched Benny -  until I watched BreZaak's children.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Tribe Goes to work for CoRielle

You may remember CoRielle closed on their first home in August. They are still living in the basement apartment. WHAT? It was a rehab loan. The home needed work. The bank required even more things to be upgraded than CoRielle would have done. They hired a contractor and began to wait to move into their home. All the paperwork clearly noted this was a rehab loan and work had to be completed by Oct 31st.  They KNEW they wouldn't move in in August...but they also KNEW that all the work would be done by Oct 31st - as required by the bank. 

As the weeks went by and work wasn't started, Cory began to do all the demo work himself. Anything to speed up the process.....he took up flooring, removed insulation (moldy), removed baseboard, doors and frames, removed all kitchen appliances, cupboards and counters, removed all bathroom features, removed a wood-stove and hearth that wasn't up to code....In the end they have the bones of a house....empty, cleared and ready for a contractor to zip in and finish by Oct 31st.  It was obvious the contractor would NEVER get it all done by Oct 31st and he hadn't done anything by mid Oct.

It became apparent...even with all the demo done....the contractor was not going to make their home a was not going to be finished by the bank's deadline. So....the contractor is out of the picture, the bank has extended the date for the work to be done, and the  tribe has moved in to "get er done" under Cory's direction. 
Cory has spent an incredible number of  hours working
alone at the house - while working full time. 
Cory took Tuesday and Wednesday off. Michael and Alex cleared their schedules. Arielle goes over after work. Jamin and Nolan have both shown up after work.....Cupboards, counters, appliances, bathroom furniture, paint,  carpet and flooring are waiting. It WILL get done. 

Arielle is ready to get it DONE. 
They worked long and hard today. I love the way Benny shadows his Daddy and Papa.  He should know how to build a home before he's 2 years old. LOL 

I've been told the plumbing is ready for the tub and toilet to go in....3 electrical fans are up and 15 plugs ins are wired and connected. Arielle washed walls so they can begin patching and painting.

Viva la Familia! Go tribe go. I'm proud to belong to such a big group of peoples.

*Note all photos are from Arielle.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

This and That

Wednesday's are our day to keep Benny at home while Arielle works. We noticed Phoenix was up to his usual tricks. He jumps in and out of the chicken yard all day. We couldn't help but open the door and point out to him that his girls were all on the other side of the fence. 

He seemed to watch us with disdain as we continued to tease him. "How are you going to protect them from THIS side of the fence, Phoenix?" 

He stretched big and let loose with an "Uncle EARL" loud enough to scare off any predator in a mile range. LOL  Uncle Earl is what his crow sounds like to us. It makes us smile. 

This afternoon Bre and the kids came by for a quick visit.  I was far too focused on grands....and fixing dinner so the olders could make it to youth remember to take photos. It was a fun visit.

We had rice bowls for dinner and headed to town for church.  Alex drove and after the drop off at church I spent 2 glorious hours of SILENCE in the library. Self-care.  We came home and discovered the first fire of the year. It's time to start burning when the furnace kicks on repeatedly in a day.

Michael is the master of the fire. 

Please note, while there is frost in the a.m., bare trees and falling temps...there is still NO SNOW ON THE GROUND and therefore it IS STILL FALL!!!!

I hesitate to share this. I know weight loss can be polarizing. I was stuck at a 22 lb weight loss for 10 long weeks. While the world screams,  "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results," or "Nothing changes if nothing changes," 10 weeks is a long time to hold the line. ::snort:: I KNEW I was doing what my doctor wanted me to do, I was working out, gardening, hiking, bike riding, eating clean, watching portions, establishing a healthier lifestyle with no sugar and very few refined carbs....eventually....a couple of weeks ago I began losing again. I'm now less than I was when Michael retired...nearly back to my BreZaak Wedding weight (Passed JaRissa and CoRielle wedding weight weeks back)....I'm less than a lb away from a 30 lbs loss....half way to goal...and this came in the mail today! A nice little charm for my key ring.

My loss is  slow...but I consul myself with the thought that the loss is  sustainable as the focus really IS on making choices which are resulting in long term health....and which I can maintain for a lifetime. For me it's become fairly clear and simple: I can track food for a lifetime or I can track blood sugars and insulin for a lifetime. Tracking food isn't too much of a hassle. ::wink::  I went off the sugar wagon pretty heavily in Aug/Sept so I'm hoping my A1C hasn't gone back up....of course the A1C only measures 3 months at a time, so I'll likely be fine by the testing date in December.  There you have it - I belong to the Turtle Club of weight loss...slow and steady wins the race. ::snort::

No - I don't go to Weight Watcher meetings. I'm already committed to 3 nights of activity a week and we are fighting for margin in our schedule. If I could go to a daytime meeting- I would consider it.  I DO use the WW ap and have found it to be full of helpful tips, tools and such.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Surprises

I was finished with Bible study;  the house was still dark and quiet. I decided to do a bit of computer work. It wasn't long until I heard a little whisper, "Bachan, moo."  Benny had crept up for a visit and discovered the new puzzle I bought at a thrift store. Benny was a great morning surprise. We enjoyed a bit of playing, some snuggles and then he was off to work with Arielle. Cory's mom has been in town and we've not seen much of Benny the past few days. 

We rushed through school and three of us headed for the church. We spent the day setting up a carnival for GLOW night. (IF I had finished blogging from last year, I would link to last year's fun). GLOW night is a community outreach we do each year at this time.  We were so busy I forgot to take photos. 

We got home and discovered Michael working on  the RV. SURPRISE - the girls moved into the house tonight. We needed to clear boxes from the study and set up stacia's bed....then bring their things in from outside.  They got it done while I fixed dinner.
A nightmare for the claustrophobic - a dream come true for a bibliophile
Stacia's dresser fit in the study and is OUT of our entry way. This will help her feel more settled since her room was cleared for Dad.

Stacia's  yarn stash.

Finishing details....

The guys, not to be outdone, rearranged their room so they could set up a computer which had been stored in the study. 

The day began with a surprise visit and ended with a surprise project or two. It's going to work well.  We'll use much less electricity and propane with the girls inside,  we can winterize and not worry about hauling black water in sub-freezing weather. LOL  We had put this off to give CoRielle privacy downstairs...but they'll soon be in their own home and for peace of mind it is better to have the girls inside now. LOL 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Manic Monday

Look at how close I am to being "current" on the blog (except for the stuff from last summer and the stuff from May and July). ::snort::  Sorta current! LOL

Sunday is worship service for us....and lunch together afterwards.  We headed to the one place in town that ALWAYS has a table big enough for all of's back in an alcove and works well for Dad to hear and us to be able to talk loud without disturbing everyone. They seem to like our group.'s a secret but the waitress DID say we are her FAVORITE big group.   I was SO focused on talking with Josiah and Nolan when we walked in I didn't even NOTICE the big, furry, animated spider that attacks legs...or the skeleton with a bowl of candy on his lap.  I was a mama on a mission - talking with two of the man childs I don't get to see all the time. ::snort::  An added bonus to lunch was Krista's friend, Brittany, joined us.

After lunch Alex, Michael, Krista and Josiah went to the shooting range.  Dad fell down our three inside steps on the way to church and opted to stay home with a heating pad. Stacia and I stayed with him and watched some Netflix...well...OK I slept. It's probably a good thing I didn't end up watching Bella and Gideon - I had no idea how tired I was. LOL

Monday -  today!

Michael is feeling under the weather. I'm hearing this "bug" manifests as flu symptoms and/or as a killer sore throat, headache and dizziness. Well - shoot! Michael had the flu-like stuff first....and then Krista and I got it....and now he's got THIS. We are hoping the bug is on the way out of the house.

While Michael slept and the kids worked on school.....I compiled their first quarter's work samples and sent them off, did a ton of catch up book work for us, checked on some things for dad....

Krista and Stacia are rock stars. They came in at 5 and I hadn't started dinner. I usually begin at 3 or 4 depending on if it's an "at home" night or a "churchy night."  I was still working on bookish things. I'd pulled out chicken in the morning, but had forgotten all about it as I kept pushing to clear my desk. They pulled dinner together - saved my bacon.

Unwelcome Guest

A strange knocking on the side of the wall outside of my nook signalled the arrival of an unwelcome guest. He flew back and forth all day. We are in the process of making our home less appealing to him.  

He did not approve of the plastic window frames. 

I fancy he wanted in out of the cold temps......

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Unexpected Fun Finale

My phone was ready to try out....I do like the photos on this one a lot more than the other one. I'm sure the almond butter inside the previous camera had something to do with the fuzzy photos. 

Michael found more lights and took them around the corner of the house and down along the deck. 

Krista had invited the girls from the youth group over for dinner, games/movie and spending the night.  As the day went on, it became apparent only one gal could make it - Allie. Stacia and Allie had plans to meet up this afternoon anyway.....rather than cancel....we invited the whole family over for dinner. 

Now THIS was God. We'd been trying to find the "right time" to have the D family over for a YEAR.  One thing and another kept getting "in the way." Spur of the moment...."Would your whole family like to come over for dinner and Allie can still spend the night?"  Their oven had JUST was great timing.  Nolan was home. Everyone was well.  Josiah dropped by and joined us.  AND...I didn't have any time to worry about the whole "what can I fix?" thing. Saturdays are "breakfast for dinner" at our home....I'd planned fruit and a couple of breakfast casseroles for the youth girls....and that's what we had. 

We're so glad they were flexible and came over for the evening. We visited while the "kids" played games....
Jessie, Josiah, Krista, Alex, Stacia, Allie
 It's a serious game of Nertz when everyone is on their feet! 

Yikes- we realized it was nearly 10 p.m. and the D family had a drive home.  This was an unexpected fun finale to the week.

Friday, October 11, 2019

First Snow and Much More

Michael stayed up and caught photos of our first snow of the year. October 11, 2019. I certainly wasn't up at 2:36 when these were taken. 

I did notice the white and cold at 8:00 a.m. LOL 

Stacia and I couldn't make it out for our Brave study....and we didn't make it out for breakfast today either. We DID sneak away for a bowl Hungarian Mushroom soup and a table in the corner. LOL The soup was yummy. Yummier still was the sugarless brownie!  The shop next to the coffee shop is one of our favorite spots to browse.  I think THIS would be the perfect lunch box for a person working in the local high school - Krista hasn't taken me up on it.
No one would mess with this lunch box. LOL 

Note that snow is now on the sheer face of the mountain...winter is coming soon.  We're watching the snow come down to our level. 

We got home to find Michael cleaning the chimney! YES. 
Krista's a great helper

When the clouds lifted - they left behind quite a bit more snow on the face of our mountain. 

A couple of days ago I bought a new phone. It was TIME - I've still not blogged about all my phone mishaps but I really thought this phone was a goner a year ago. LOL  ANYWAY - while we played Farkle tonight I let the phones exchange data. 
Photo via Krista 
Benny (and his parents) have been out all day. Cory's Mom is in town for a visit. He came up when he got home and heard a game going on. I am SURE they will be happy to be in a home where they do not have neighbors playing games above their heads. LOL  
Mike, Alex, Stacia, Benny, Krista, GG
 Benny models one of Stacia's hats - we're hoping it will fit the little one she made it for. 

It's been a full week....I spent Monday and Tuesday pretty much DOWN....and most of the week lounging....but the rest of the family got a LOT of things done around here.

BTW, while this was the first didn't stick around all I'm still proclaiming fall.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Benny, Bunny & Chickens

Wednesdays are most often "BENNY DAY!" CoRielle go to work and GG gets to play all day with Benny. ::grin::

Benny seems to think if he holdd the lid to his head he can talk to "Cor" and "Mommy."   

After I got Benny dressed, our first project of the day was to go on a walk - to get GG's paper. It's always fun when Benny accompanies me. 

He enjoyed throwing scratch over the fence for the girls.

GG's day begins with the paper - so Benny's must too....

...and coffee and milk....

He was not too full to have 3rd breakfast with Papa. He even shared. 

Phoenix, our rooster, does NOT appreciate when Road Runner flies the coop. They pace up and down the fence line; her clucking and him crowing. LOL 

We keep Petunia, our lame chicken, in the greenhouse. So far she has been enjoying it. Today was cold enough that Stacia didn't want to play outside with Dash. The greenhouse was the solution and all three had a good time.
Dash and Petunia