Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Second First Day of Teaching Middle School

Today was my second first day of teaching Middle School Science. This year I have 7th and 8th Grade students. I still had bad dreams and little sleep the two nights before. It was a crazy day. I am exhausted. 

I am absolutely sure that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. I am thankful for Gods timing. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quilt Ladder

It all started when I saw this bad boy on Pinterest. In typical me fashion I wanted it  modified. Taller. Not sanded. More rungs.  
At the top of our stairs we have a landing and a corner that needed something. Luke agreed right away when I presented the idea to him. He did not agree the ladder should go all the way to the top so we compromised on 7 feet. 
I dropped him of at the airport in Spokane (Which involved me waking up at 3:00 am on my birthday!). BUT it meant that before going home I got Starbucks, and was one of the first customers in Lowe's that Wednesday morning. They practically did my shopping for me! Excellent customer service. They also, pre-cut the wood for my project!

I borrowed my friend Dani L.'s Kreg Jig for the project. These handy little tools are great for making invisible pockets for screws!

I did find that I had a bit of trouble getting behind the screws when I used the power drill/driver  to put the ladder together. For that I wished Luke had been in town. 

When finishing the ladder I used a pre-stain wood conditioner. In the photo below the top three rungs have been conditioned and just the top of the fourth rung. This is the moment when you start to get excited about staining wood. 

Then I used this Ebony Stain to stain the wood. Below you see it pictured with another project.
Back to the ladder at hand. Isn't it yummy! One coat of stain. That's all I went with. I really like how the grain showed up.

I applied this wipe on poly. I like that there seems to be fewer chances for oopses with the wipe on poly.
I let it dry in the garage being sure to leave it well ventilated for 72 hours. Some of the sites I researched on alluded to the idea that the that it needed movement of air to help it harden. Not just time. When we felt like it was ready, Luke moved it upstairs, because let me tell you, that thing is not light.

And here she is in all her glory! Wow, just looking at all those quilts there, the stories, the history. I like to sit and look at them. Plus, I can lay in bed in the morning and see them all in the mirror at the end of the hall. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Clear to Foster

We began the journey to Foster/Adopt fairly quickly upon moving to Moscow. We've felt it as a calling for a while now. Most strongly during our time in Kansas. Upon moving into our new home, we began the Home Inspection (is it safe) and Home Study(who are you.)
The home inspection meant delving into a world of cabinet locks, and child safety that I had truly never considered before. We feel like we're most in a place to best serve the needs of children 8 and up, though we did get cleared down to age 6. This means that we did not need to get a child gate for the top and bottom of our stairs. One our cabinets we went with Tot Locks which did not affect the appearance of our cabinets, could be temporarily deactivated for when we do not have a placement, and which seemed to be the most successful at preventing child access.
We installed a grand total of 4. One for stove cleaner and dishwasher detergent in the kitchen. I moved these things to the side cabinet so that we would only need one lock. The pots and pans are now under the sink. 
We also put a lock on a cabinet in our laundry room containing household chemicals. The last two went on the cabinet under Luke's bathroom sink. That's where our medicines are kept. In this locking tool box, we'll keep any prescriptions, and large Costco size bottles of meds. 
Lastly, because we're in a two story house, we got a fire escape ladder. Should you consider one in your future, know that there are one time use ladders and multi use ladders. In case we feel the need to practice. I thought this would be better. 
So yah, we've nested. We're all ready for this child (or children) we know nothing about to come into our lives. 
We pray for this child. We pray that we can show him or her love. We pray for patience and a steady calm. We ask that you keep us in your prayers for those things as well. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

In My Garden

This years garden went in a little late for my taste considering we were moving and all. We got a great variety from Luke's Aunt Kerry. The tomatoes we already have are a result of her handiwork! They are tasty, I can attest!

I also celebrated my first Zinnia bloom! Yay! I've got one on each of the other zinnia plants just itching to burst forth! 

I think we have a cucumber and I know we have a zucchini plant. Those two are going to burst forth over providing us with goodness soon! I was a bit worried for the zucchini as something nibbled off all the first round blossoms! We have new survivors and I cant wait! 
That's the really great thing about taking trips (and having automatic sprinklers.)
When you come back, all kinds of exciting things are happening in the yard! 
Luke got to mow. That's his turf now. (Pun intended.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Idaho, Wyoming, Montana Knitting- Camping- Golf Tour

We left Friday morning on our Idaho, Wyoming, Montana Golf Tour.
It was to be a camping trip with a bit of staying with friends and family.
 Our first night was spent in Boise with Luke's parents. You know you married a good family when the first thing they do when you arrive is put their son to work!
It's been a much more whirlwind summer than I anticipated and I had just bound off on two rather large projects. I didn't have any great car knitting ready to grab and go so I worked on dishcloths on that first driving segment. I did one medium and three smaller. I've learned that I really like to have a small clothes to do quick wipes, AND they dry more quickly which I also loved. Plus, them matched the lemon soda John (FiL) got for us to try!   
That night I wound some yarn for a sweater. A sweater whose pattern I still hadn't decided on, but I knew when I finally picked it I'd need yarn wound into a ball. I kicked myself for not winding it at home with Taylor the Swift and Lucile the Ball Winder. Alas, if I wanted to knit, I must wind.  
The boys golfed at The Valley Club, in Sun Valley, ID. Neola and I tromped into town. Checked out the local yarn store. (I cant believe I forgot to take pictures. Sorry folks. Its good.) We browsed yarn, got some goodies, and sat at the table and knit while I pretended to work there providing commentary and pattern recommendations to anyone who would listen. 
We explored a bit in Sun Valley but it got chillier than I expected! The whole trip was chillier than I expected. Poor planning on my part. We stopped of at Craters of the Moon. Most known to me through the fabulous Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons. If you haven't read it. You must. And then know that I was there. In real life. Its cool weird. 

We trekked to the top of this mountain and these pictures don't even do it justice.  

Here, Here We Have Idaho. (State song. BTW.) Seriously, for those of you who think Idaho is just potatoes, check yourself. Idaho has such diverse and one of a kind landscapes. They're just....great. 
My part of this trip was the camping. Sure we forgot sleeping bags and mattress pads and had to borrow enough to make it from the in-laws. Sure we went a bit longer than we should have without showers. It was great. Really. We've never been camping together before! Seriously, camping should be part of early marriage requirements. Maybe in some cases therapists should be waiting in the wings. It really challenges roles, and jobs within a marriage. (Our marriage.) We had to get better about communicating what was going on. There was no wifi, TV or electrical outlets. Let me tell you we were rationing our phone batteries on this trip. 
Luke got to use the hammock...even though he really doesn't like them....and they're uncomfortable. Can you tell?
Luke was given a slightly hard time about his "Glamping" attire. In truth, I guess we were glamping because we'd jump from car camping to crazy cool golf courses each day.
I give you: 
The perfect S'more. Yes. After that one, I had s'more. 
 As I said we were phone battery rationers. My knitting pattern for the sweater I finally decided on was on my phone and turned out to be a bit more detailed that I had anticipated. My sitting, knitting outlet time actually gave me quite a perspective on communities and their treasures.
 It was also fun to get a sampling of the hidden gem restaurants along our trip. Here I'm enjoying sliders, one in each kind of meat at Big Hole BBQ in Victor, Idaho.
At Huntsman Springs Golf Club, a golf course in Driggs, Idaho. I sat outside and enjoyed the bountiful blooms of perennials the grounds crew had skillfully coached into an artful display.

We returned again to the Mike Harris Campground in Targhee National Forest. Made more significant for knowing one very cool, and very real Mike Harris.  For a pit toilet campground, it was well maintained, clean, quiet and peaceful. 
The next day we made for Jackson, Wyoming. I went to Knit on Pearl (though no longer actually located on Pearl street.) More to come on that later.  
Luke enjoyed golf at Teton Springs Golf Resort. When he was about to be done I returned to the course and knit away while I waited.  
Lunch was at Snake River Brewery and Restaurant. We had Game Chili, an Apple Walnut Salad, and Pork Tacos. Yum!

We finished that day at Snake River Sporting Club. We had a couple minutes before the golf. Luke and I lounged in these cool looking chairs that were, as Luke said, more comfortable than they looked.
I also enjoyed these funny, bickery birds that puff up. I couldn't tell if they were mating, sun bathing, or claiming territory. They were amusing. If anyone knows what they are, please do share. 
Luke golfed with Justin, Taylor and for once I decided to go along and take my knitting with me! Take note, my sweater, knitting and Nalgene all match. 
Lets face it. Luke did most of the driving. I knit. I also took pictures. 

These little voles which vex any golfer, grounds crew alike amused me to no end. They just eat and carve these mazes in the grass. As though someone was doing it on purpose but with no design in mind. There's a children's book in the making. Vinny the Artistic Vole. Dibs! 
There's a natural spring on this course. 
Once I saw Justin drink a water bottle full, I was convinced to try it. Pretty good! 

While we SHOULD have considered just camping at the last course as some of the guys joked, we didn't. We went on and by the time we got to Jenny Lake Campsite, Teton National Forest, all the sites were full. Boo. We opted to drive on but then got too tired to drive so we pulled over for some shut eye. Only to be awoken by a park ranger. Turns out pulling over to get a few hours sleep in your car is considered camping. We explained our situation and she sent us to an "emergency site." Which turned out to have been filled. So we slept in the car in the camp ground check in parking lot with a note explaining our story on the windshield and taped to the office door. That was a good move because by the time Luke went in to explain ourselves, they had read the notes, decided to let us sleep, and waived the camping fee. Bless them.  

We meandered our way though Yellowstone the next morning. 

Preventing the hangry with a banana and peanut butter.
Our next course was one Luke had been looking forward to quite a bit. Then the rain joined our trip. It was looking dismal. Quite dismal. 
Then it let up a bit, someone loaned him a rain jacket, and off they went. 
While they did that I knit to the end of my yarn. I had already concluded I was NOT hand winding another hank of it, and opted to instead browse the weather reports and promptly arrange for a hotel room that night.
Judging by the large puddle outside our window the next morning, I'd say we made a good decision.
On our last day of travel we headed first to Rock Creek Cattle Co. which is just outside of Deer Lodge, Montana. 

I decided to ride along today too. I kept seeing these funny things on the side of the cart path. 
My first thought: Hmmm, I guess geese and their poop are a real problem for golf courses. 
My second thought: It's sure in a real condensed area. Do they plow the poop? 
I asked Luke that one out loud. He laughed and told me the pull plugs out of the grass to increase airflow to the root system. Go figure.
Here are holes left by the plugs.
Below are where they don't pull plugs out, rather they pierce the turf with a machine that has many sharp stakes.
Here you see the piercer. 
There's a THIRD machine that pokes and slices the ground then rolls it smooth.  
All for the love of golf. Speaking of a love of golf, I have a love for golf tees. They're suuuuuper useful. Especially in knitting. You've seen me use them as a cable needle. Here I'm using them to hold the thumb stitches of these finger-less mitts I started making with my yarn made in Montana that I bought in Jackson, Wyoming.
Golf stop two on that day was with Michael at the Missoula Country Club. They were having a ladies tournament so he drove us around the perimeter. There's a fun beach just off the course. 
Then he took us to Staggering Ox Sandwiches in Missoula, MT. They have this cool cylindrical bread that gets stuffed with your sandwich ingredients. There's no seam. Nothing falls out the sides or the bottom!

Plus we ate at the comic book table!

After that we drove back to Moscow to get things done and rest up for our next adventure. About to begin soon!