Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Improving Home Improvement (or I can do it, you can help)

Well, Tyler has a pretty full schedule and a propensity to strongman pipes, so a few months ago I decided to try my hand at plumbing. That went pretty well (I did need a little help, but that's why we have a strongman in the house, isn't it?). Well, Tyler is currently working full time and has 2 pretty busy classes in his second-to-last semester of Mastering the Public, so he doesn't always want to spend his free time "build[ing] something together". Plus, he doesn't get as much time with the kids as I do...
Well, I came up with a brilliant idea to meet all of our needs: my "homey-do" (some people call it a "honey do" list, but you all know Tyler's my homey) list gets checked off, the kids get Daddy time, and I get a break from the kids. It's called "Ali's Got Skills". That's right, I am learning to do all that fun home improving and Tyler gets to watch the kids. IT IS GREAT! Really, it seems to be a win-win situation for us all. I am much more eager to get projects done in our house, probably because I am in it all the time.
In September I picked up some basic plumbing. I'm adding a few more plumbing skills to my repertoire this month. Other than a geyser in the tub, it's been going fairly well.
I did my first electrical work on Monday. That's right, I learned how to replace light fixtures with very little help (I had to call my dad to figure out what to do with the ground wire when there wasn't a green screw since Tyler was asleep on the couch while I was electricianing). I had so much fun with the light fixture over the kitchen sink that I replaced hall lights upstairs and down. They were plain old, paint-spattered fixtures and I replaced them with this kind of beauty.
I'm hoping to learn some drywall patching this weekend, prepping for removing our huntin' themed paneling in May. I'm sure I'll let you know how that goes.
In my "spare time" I also constructed curtains for the playroom and the windows beside the front doors (those front door windows were really in need of some privacy!). The playroom, as you can see on closer inspection, has some dragons in the mix. I picked up the fabric in New Zealand and am stoked to finally have someplace fun to feature it.
I also discovered a fun store in Provo called "Restore". They take donations of home improvement (both new and used) items and sell them to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Anyway, we got our sink fixture and the curtain rod finials for the playroom there. It's a place to visit again and again (Tyler's brother, Andy, would really dig that place).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Porch of Death

Between the missing side panel and the icicles which are taller than Sheridan, I would not recommend reservations on our balcony any time soon.

One is Fun

Can you believe it? A whole year has gone by?!? Yep, our little baby is now a toddler--she's been walking well for 3 weeks now, and we rarely see her crawl anymore! That is good news for her clothing--break out the white pants, even if it is before Memorial Day!
We had a little party with Tyler's family a few weeks before the big day, and then a littler party on her birthday. She really really liked the cake. A lot. Her presents were pretty good, too :) She got her first baby doll and FELL IN LOVE!
Happy First Birthday, Sheridan!
Oh, we are also pretty much healthy again. Let the social life resume!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hawaii Five-O

Well, after our first two days in Paradise (aka, Hawaii), we had 5 days of fun left.
Sunday we drove up to Laie, home of BYU Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center. The drive was breathtaking...absolutely fabulous. We attended a student ward on BYUH campus--man, that was a weird flashback (church in a classroom...haven't done that in nearly 6 years!). The people were super friendly, which I think if my favorite thing about Polynesia. Well, that and the sunshine, food, and ocean!
We stayed in Turtle Bay for the remainder of our trip. Man, it was waterfront property with more gorgeous views. They have a private little bay where we were able to snorkel (super fun once you got over the panic of trying to breath with your face in the water), hot tubs overlooking the surf-side, and great views of the sunrise and sunset.
We got oriented on BYU-H--they really do amazing things to help out students from the islands who otherwise couldn't afford to go to college and allow them to graduate debt-free (which is good, since they could never afford to return to their native countries and make a difference if they had to try and pay off loans). Tuesday we were able to spend the day at the Polynesian cultural center, which is also amazing. They have 5 different villages you can visit, with presentations from each culture and the chance to learn different skills (coconut cracking, tree climbing, spear throwing, poi dancing, anyone?). Our favorite? A big surprise for anyone who knows anything about me--New Zealand! We attended a far more authentic luau with TASTY food and saw the night show, which included the Samoan fire knife dance. Man, I was glad that Jack couldn't see that, since playing with fire is expressly forbidden in our house!
Wednesday we checked out Hali'ewa and ate at KauAina--tasty burgers and sandwiches with 1/2 an avocado on them--YUM. We also snorkeled and played in the ocean. It was the warmest day on the North Shore and wasn't too blustery, so we could finally enjoy the beach.
Thursday we visited Pearl Harbor, which was very sad but good. We saw more rainbows in Honolulu (seriously, I finally understand why they've got rainbows on their license plates--we've never seen more frequent, full, vibrant rainbows!). Drove out to Kailua beach off the Pali Highway--more amazing views. At 10:45 PM we flew out and had almost no sleep. This is what we came home to!
A fabulous adventure--I'd highly recommend Hawaii, esp if you get out of Honolulu!