PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Farmhouse Fotos

I was able to capture some photos yesterday of my dream. It's probably not a dream come true, but I can still dream, right? So here she is in all her glory - a traditional wing-and-gable farmhouse with a shed front porch. It appears to be 1.5 stories. I have not had the chance to go inside because the realtor who owns this property will not return my realtor's phone calls. I was, however, able to peek in the windows. Wow! It's rough. The property is absolutely amazing though. The house would probably require at least $70,000 in renovations if the foundation was actually solid enough to salvage. The house appears to have 3 rooms downstairs (not including the very small single bath) and probably 2 or 3 rooms upstairs. One of the rooms downstairs is a large kitchen. It appears to have plumbing, electrical (although it's brought in through a window), no heating and air, and very rough floors, windows, siding and roofing. Almost everything would need to be replaced. That's so unfortunate.

Front/side view

Front view

Large barn beside house

Side field with view of other small barns

Back field that's fenced, including a pond (you can see it at the bottom of the hill if you look closely), and a clothes line (look closely in right side of photo near the fence).
Isn't she beautiful and amazing?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fun New Publication

I found a fun little publication on the racks at Walmart called Fresh Home. It's full of easy ideas for hands-on people just like the tag line says. My favorite articles in this edition were how they broke down a room's design and showed why it all worked so well together, and when they explained in simple steps how to propagate a plant. This was very much on my elementary design level.

The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

I saw this commercial last night while watching the Olympics. I laughed until my belly hurt. And then I asked BJ if it made him want to use Old Spice body wash. His response: "I'll pour it in my eyes if it'll make you want me more."

A Little Overwhelmed

I've felt a little overwhelmed recently. Particularly this week seems to have compounded that overwhelmed feeling. With BJ in school, and teaching Bible Fellowship, not to mention working a full-time job and coming home to 3 (make that 4) needy people, and the time that's required for for all of that. Well, let's just say, we haven't been getting a lot of quality time together lately. And BJ has not been feeling very well with the RA causing more pain recently, which makes BJ feel more tired at the end of the day. I can only imagine how joint pain all day long could leave you feeling exhausted.

In addition, Griffin has not been sleeping well. I suspect its the eczema that covers him from head to toe that's making him very uncomfortable. I'm glad we had his 9-month well-check on Tuesday. Dr. F wants to do allergy testing because Griff's skin has been so itchy and inflammed. Maybe that'll reveal the culprit and we can begin to make Griffin feel better. If it's a food allergy, the responsibility will fall on me since I'm still exclusively breastfeeding. I finally got more than 3 hours of sleep the past two nights since we got a refill on the antihistamine that brings some itch relief for him. But of course, it's not that easy. During the well-check, Dr. F was concerned with Griff's lack of babbling (he doesn't do it at all) and the fact that he doesn't tolerate solids of any kind (he gags and vomits). So that means Dr. F is sending Griff to speech therapy. This will be my 3rd child in speech therapy (we're batting 3 for 3), but they've all needed speech for different reasons.

Well, I wished it stopped there, but it doesn't. Lily had her 5 year well-check yesterday. She did so great with doing everything they asked her to do, and she was so brave when they gave her 3 shots. But unfortunately she failed the vision screening "quite significantly" (Dr. F's words). If I had not have been there I would not have believed it. But I was there and I knew that she was failing the screening while she was doing it. She could not see past the first line on the chart when she was standing at a distance, but she could see the chart perfectly when the nurse brought her close to make sure she could actually identify the shapes. I was not even wearing my glasses and I could see to the 4th line at a distance. Dr. F is sending Lily to a pediatric opthamologist. We're scheduled for March 18. If she does in fact have vision problems it will explain a lot of things: why she always stands 2 feet from the TV, why she is often anxious about things out of place or specks on the ground, and why she often mis-labels things that I know she knows. But it's all so difficult to decipher on top of her sensory issues because those things are also symptoms commonly associated with SPD due to visual integration and tactile defensiveness.

I'm just so grateful that my children are generally very healthy, happy and smart. All of these things are so minor compared to other very serious problems that parents face every day. I just want to get through all these appointments with my sanity in tact.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Goes Around, Comes Around

My grandma (my dad's mom) was way ahead of her time...or she was ultra hip in 1950! Check out these dishes that she collected for her family's everyday use:

Now check out these images from 2010:

What will be the hottest color for 2010? You guessed it:

I've always loved my Grandma's dishes. Unfortunately they've been boxed up since we moved to our current house. I displayed them in glass-front cabinets in our previous house. I enjoyed seeing them, but I was always afraid to use them for fear they'd get broken. If I understand correctly, she used stamps that she earned from the grocery store (like a rewards program) to aquire them. I cannot even locate the pattern name or find any online like them. If you are familiar with this pattern, please let me know. I'd love to learn more about them. I have a huge collection: dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, glassware, cups, saucers, and some serving pieces.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear Farmhouse, I heart U!

Admitting a problem is the first step to healing, but I don't want to be healed. See, I have a serious infatuation with farmhouses, and one in particular that I cannot get out of my heart and mind. I'm certain I'm driving BJ nuts with it. We drive past this farmhouse frequently. It has been for sale for a long time. I'm sure it's still on the market because no one in their right mind would attempt to restore such a money pit. But maybe I'm just the girl to do it (probably not)! See, I'm so full of contradictions (that's another sign of a real problem). We drive past the house and I make BJ slow way down so I can take it all in. I guess I can overlook the rotten wood siding, the rusted tin roof, the sagging front porch, the leaning brick chimney, and so much more. I guess I'm not really overlooking it since I'm keenly aware of every single detail of that house and the property with the 3 barns, rolling fields, stocked fish pond, hardwood trees, and gardens. I've driven up the long winding driveway through the tall hardwoods to get an up-close view (it's vacant and has been for a long time - my family knew the previous owner). My heart almost stops beating when I get up close to it. I'm nearly sweating right now as I write this. My entire being was meant for this farmhouse, and it was meant for me. I can picture our family living there, the kids running through the fields, chasing after the chickens (am I really saying this?!), swinging on the tree swing hanging from the tall shade tree, sipping mint iced tea on the porch, hanging sheets to dry on the line, picking green beans from the garden. See what I mean?! It's quite near heaven on earth.

Tomorrow, I get to take an official look at this vintage treasure. We have an appointment with my realtor/friend to view it. I'm fully aware that I'm in a dangerous spot. I cannot be objective with such strong emotions. It's like the first time BJ and I went on a date. At that moment I ceased being objective. I knew I'd marry him. Lucky for me, my emotions did not lead me wrong and I married the best man that has ever lived besides Jesus. I'm hoping my emotions won't let me down this time. That's why I'm hoping to see the farmhouse up close and personal - sort of like a first date - so I can either fall in love more or realize that this relationship is not going to work.

Dearest Farmhouse, I heart u! Please return the love or let me go.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Wardrobe Option for the Princess and the Pea

Nearly 3 years ago, while on an SPD web support group, one member was seeking feedback for a potential business idea. The idea? Make completely tagless, seamless, Soft Clothing for all children, and especially for those kids with sensory sensitivities. I thought it was brilliant! I gave my words of encouragement and support because dressing our sensory sensitive daughter has always been a struggle. Her ever-growing list of clothing that don't make the list include those with tags, embellishments (glitter, rhinestones, ribbons, lace, etc.), buttons, denim, seams, itchy fabrics (anything that's not cotton), and binding elastic. Well, that pretty much eliminates every thing except sweat pants, T-shirts, and some leggings, shorts and skirts. The older Lily gets the more difficult the task to find clothing for her. Girls' clothing seems to be getting more complicated and embellished - not as many cute all-cotton outfits. The most popular pant designs right now are jeans and cargos. This past fall, I was actually forced to buy sweat pants in the boys' section in order to get the right fit and comfort level that our little "Princess and the Pea" requires. This is not exactly what I had in mind for dressing my little girl. I want her to embrace her femininity. Periodically I have visited the Soft Clothing website to check on the status. And finally, today, I visited their site to see if they are up and running and taking orders. Yes! At last. Even though they offer a very limited selection, their clothing is simple, classic, easy to mix-and-match, affordable, and most importantly guaranteed to be soft. Thank you, Soft Clothing! I will be buying one of each.

(Other places where I periodically find acceptable clothing: Old Navy, The Children's Place, Hanna Anderson, Target, and Wal-mart. But never have I found one place to guarantee cute sensory clothing until Soft Clothing.)

Welcoming a New Blogger

I would like to introduce you to Treasures from the Path. Welcome, Girlfriend, to the wonderful wide world of blogging. You are off to a great start. I can't wait to 'stalk' your blog.

Warshing Up

Lily just keeps me laughing lately. Griffin, Lily, and I were sitting in the living room floor singing a variety of songs. One song we began singing reminded Lily that she had sang it in her church class. She said, "Mom, we sing that in class with Mrs. Cindy! We sing it when we are warshing up God." I held back my chuckle. I wanted to make sure that I had heard her correctly so I asked, "When do you sing this song?" To which she replied again, "we sing it at church when we are warshing up God." Oh yes, of course, 'warshing up' is a very important part of church.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Funny, Funny Little Girl

Yesterday Lily gave me a little chuckle. So we were sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack and drinking hot chocolate in adult-sized mugs with little floaty marshmellows on top. Lily and Schaeffer both wanted a straw to see if they could suck up the marshmellows through the straw. Schaeffer took the opportunity to make a mess with his hot chocolate, marshmellows, and straw. I said, "Schaeffer, please don't make a mess. Look. You are getting hot chocolate all over the table." Lily then explained to me, "Mom, it's okay. It's just a mistake. Mistakes are good. We learn from our mistakes."

Back in January when we were all sick as dogs, and when Lily was feeling much better than the rest of us, Granddad and Grandmama took Lily on a hike with her two eldest cousins. Check out the photos here. She had a blast!