Tuesday, August 30, 2011

House Tour - The Downstairs

I've been wanting to do a pictorial house tour for some time...but I kept telling myself I should wait until I fix something, or decorate something... Well, time keeps passing, and I really haven't done any of those things, so I decided I might as well just go ahead and show it like it is. So...

Welcome to our house!
(the peach colored house in the middle is ours)

The entrance way: my book corner and a small bathroom through the door.

The living room.

The living room/dining room is one of the places I haven't done a lot of decorating. I just can't decide what I would like, or what would look nice. Any suggestions? I've thought of maybe a small country quilt to hang behind the love seat with a shelf above it...

In the living room looking towards the dining room and desk corner.

The grand kitchen! =)

If I was rich, I'd love to completely tear the whole kitchen up and start from scratch. It has a terrible layout for such a small place and upper cabinets would be nice (as well as a non-tile counter top...)! =)

I've also thought of painting the cabinets white to make everything feel fresh and clean, bright and cheery! What do you think?

Our family wall. This is in the hallway that runs between the entrance and kitchen (also at the bottom of the stairs and across from a small pantry).

And our small pantry under the stairs. Since I don't have a lot of cabinet space, a lot of food items gets stored in here, and it's also a catch-all kind of storage space. Unfortunately, this space is always in a battle of ownership between the mice, cockroaches, and me!

And, that's the downstairs. I hope you've enjoyed the pics. I know I love to see photos of other people's houses, so I thought my blog readers might too! Check back next Tuesday for a house tour of the upstairs of our place! (Update: just click this link to see the upstairs pics.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A New Experience

Well, that day has finally come! The day I had to go find a dentist and get some major work done.

You see, I had braces when I was younger, and was always being warned to brush my teeth well, because cavities have a greater chance of appearing while wearing those metal brackets that can trap food real well. So, I was quite surprised when I had the braces removed, and I had no cavities! I thought that was exciting! And then every year after that when I would have my teeth cleaned...still no cavities! So recently, I thought it would be really neat if I could make it to my 30th birthday without having any cavities. Unfortunately, my teeth had other ideas, and I didn't quite make my goal (by a few months).

For a couple of months now, my lower, left, back molar has felt like a piece had broken off of it, but I had no pain, so, big deal. Apparently, another piece broke off this weekend causing a severe tooth break and a constant tooth ache. Of course, I didn't really know what was causing the pain, so we began asking around for a good dentist in town.

We finally found this really nice place that is similar to what we're used to in the States (receptionist, clean waiting area, good equipment...).

That Thursday when I went in, the one dentist lady cut the nerve to the molar to help with the pain and also sanded the molar down and put in a temporary cap. Today I went back, and another dentist lady performed the actual root canal and then put on another tempoary cap. I was very pleased with my experience. The best part about the day, was since the Novocain wore off, I've not had any pain!

I'm to return to the office again on Thursday for them to reconstruct the tooth/make a crown for my molar. I have no restrictions on eating/drinking (yay!), so I'm good to go.

The only other bad news, is that I have a cavity on the upper, left, back molar that they're going to drill and then fill at some other time.

So, that's my new experience in life and I'm guessing it means I must be getting older! Next thing you know, I'll have a mouthful of false teeth!!! =)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

Today was the first day of school here in the Mason Academy! The picture below shows our first grade student with his two teachers! This year, we decided to split things up a little. Michael will teach math daily, plus history, science, health/manners, and music once a week, while I (Crystal) teach phonics/reading, writing, spelling/poetry daily. Today went very smoothly, so here's hoping the rest of the year will go the same!

Thanks to Taylor for the above photo!
After about three tries, he finally got our heads included in the picture! lol

Happy Birthday, Brenda!

Today is my sister's birthday. Since we aren't able to be with her, we thought we'd send a special birthday greeting, something kind of like this...

Happy Birthday, Brenda!
We hope your day is extra special!
We love and miss you!

Crystal, Michael, Kyle, Taylor, and Parker

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

I went to the store today, and this is what I saw...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Celebrating 10 Years Together!!

Yesterday we decided to do something special for our anniversary. We planned to drop the kids off with some of our church people, and after visiting a store grand opening, we would head out to the beach. Great plan. Unfortunately, anytime we plan something special, it seems that L-I-F-E happens, and makes everything more "interesting." That's just kind of how we roll. And yesterday was no exception!

Beautiful roses Michael gave me on our anniversary.

The day started out fine. We dropped the kids off as planned, then drove to a brand new superstore here in town. It took us forever to find a parking spot, and once getting in the store, we decided we were crazy. Michael described it as, "black friday on steroids!!" It was wall-to-wall people! After trying to navigate through the store, we gave up and headed for the doors.

We decided to stop by their other store in town (there was hardly any one there) and grab a few items. Then we headed home for a quick lunch, packed up some stuff, and headed to the beach.

Now comes the, ummm, "interesting" part. We arrived at Playa Linda and headed down the lane towards the beach. (Please note, this part of the story may sound a little different if you ask Michael.) That lane takes you right to the sand, not too far off the beach. The last time we had been there, I remember us remarking to each other that the sand was really firm and we could have probably driven out onto it instead of parking at the end of the lane. Well, after some discussion, Michael didn't think we should try it this time, and I though we should. I was driving, so I just gunned it and headed out onto the sand. Only this time, the sand was NOT so firm!!! Oops! I managed to get ourselves stuck good and proper in the sand!

Well, Michael was not too much "in like" with me at that moment, but thankfully, LOVE still remained! =) After several attempts at digging out around the tires and using our 4 wheel drive (which didn't want to kick on), we finally had a plan that worked! Both Michael and I dug long trenches in the sand behind both back tires. We found a wooden plank and some driftwood that we wedged under the tires, then while Michael pushed from the front, I put the truck in reverse and gunned it! Thank the Lord, we got traction and I was able to back up all the way to the lane. Whew! That wasn't quite the relaxing day we had planned, but at least we weren't stuck anymore!!

After all that, we were finally able to get set up on the beach and take a few deep breaths and drink our coke! It was a beautiful day...

...and I even got a few pictures!

What do you know? He could still kiss me after I exasperated him!

And the story continues, although not as bad as the sand episode! When we went to leave, we saw that a wire had punctured our back tire sometime during my wild, backwards flight out of the sand. We were able to leave a piece of it in, as a plug of sorts, so that we could drive into town and find someone to fix the tire for us.

After that was accomplished, we drove to our favorite little restaurant down by the beach...only to find that the owner had something scheduled in Tapachula and had closed the restaurant for the day! We drove back to the city and thought to try out a Chinese restaurant, but it was closed too! Grrrrr... We finally got sandwiches from Subway, went home and gulped them down, then went to pick up the kids.

All in all, we still had a good day and were able to enjoy some relaxing time alone together.

"And through it all - love remains."
-taken from the song "Love Remains" by Collin Raye

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happily Ever After!

Today we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary!!!

When you first get married, you're all wrapped up in that one event, and you never imagine how quickly the coming years will fly! But you know what? It's all been good. Oh, don't get me wrong. We've had our ups and downs, our disagreements, our financial struggles; but the good, the happy times, and the LOVE we share together, outweigh everything else.

Our prayer: That Christ will always be the center of our union and that our love will continue to grow deeper and more abiding through the years to come.

If you're interested in seeing a cacophony of pictures from the time we started dating, including our wedding, until now...just click on the picture below.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

[ Just a Glimpse ]

I'm starting to think we live in the castle of creatures! About the time I think I've seen (and taken pictures) of them all...another one comes for a visit. The other week I was out in the laundry room (outside our house, in a separate little room) and I saw something flying around over my head. I assumed a bird had gotten inside and didn't realize he could fly out the door to freedom. After this "bird" landed on a lightbulb right outside the door, I realized he was no bird, but a bat! So what did I do? After informing my husband, I grabbed the camera and tried to see how close I could get to him. I must say, this bat sure looked like he was giving me the "evil eye!" What do you think?

And just so you don't think all I ever blog about is creatures...here's our littlest guy taking a snooze in his highchair. I love how he props his feet up like that!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kyle's Birthday Party

Yesterday, we held Kyle's birthday party. Nine boys (and one adult) showed up - what an exciting time! They were anxious to play some soccer, but the rain had other plans. They played for a couple of minutes in the drizzle, then it started pouring...and it continued pouring the rest of the day! No problem. They (and their mud) came trompsing into the house and Michael played a (quiet) game with them.

And then things got a little loud and crazy! Michael set up chairs in a row and decided they could try playing volleyball with a balloon! :-)

We had a New York Yankee baseball themed party. Here's a look at the invitation I made to pass out.

And here's the table set-up. I served grilled hot dogs, mac-n-cheese, chips, and fruit punch.

A close up of the cake. And yes, I have another story for this cake! I think I'm going to give up cake decorating for real this time!!

On Saturday, I went to the store and totally forgot to get eggs. Oops. So early Monday morning, I run to the store and grab the eggs. I run back home and mix up the cake and pop it in the oven. Hmmm...I look at the clock and realize time is running out! I still have to let the cake cool, and then decorate it! I managed to ice the cake before Michael walked out the door to go pick up all the kids. I was still needing to tint the icing and then get my decorating bag ready. I finally got going, and right when I was finishing up the NY logo, my one and only decorating bag popped open at the seam and icing squirted out onto the cake! Grrrr... Now what? I try to fix the extra-icing-on-the-cake issue, then slap a piece of tape on the bag and wrap some paper towels around it, hoping I can keep the icing in the bag so I can finish the job! I did. But it was after everyone had arrived! Thank goodness they played outside for a couple of minutes! So you see, I'm quitting the cake decorating business...or maybe I'll except donations to buy new decorating bags...and then try to plan ahead a little better and maybe not procrastinate?! :-)

Kyle's mordida!

Here's an excerpt about birthday mordidas that I found online. "Another great Mexican Birthday tradition is not just the eating of a birthday cake but the tradition of the first bite. As everyone stands around the one to have just completed another year of life, they all chant Mordida, Mordida, Mordida! Yes, Mordida is the same word used for a bribe but that is because it means to take a bite. The birthday person is expected to take their first bite of the cake without any utensils with their hands at their back. Then of course customarily one of their best friends or family is sure to push their face into the cake or lift it up into their face for the same affect. With this all being done in great fun; I have seen people with many completed years that just love getting their face in the cake."

And here's the group of kids posing with Kyle's piñata. Because of the rain, we actually did not break open the piñata...we decided to wait until Wednesday night after church.

I think I can say, "A good time was had by all."