What's another word for "update"?

Every day we live in this house, we grow in our thankfulness. We feel so blessed to be living here...And it's only appropriate that we recognize the Who, how, and why we ever got here! This has been a gift from God!

We spent some time this last weekend making some changes to the house. We look forward to spring when we'll be able to do more to promote curb appeal, so for now, we're making changes a little bit at a time.

First off, almost everyone in this neighborhood has the same exterior lights. We found two houses who had changed their light fixtures out, and another who had painted their fixtures black (which we considered doing). Nate found a great deal on some lights at Home Depot, so we went ahead and switched our fixtures out!

Stephen, this shot's for you.

This is a terrible picture, but I'm including it here to prove to some of you that I don't make Nate do all the work around here:) Often he does do the work because he's handy and can do it without any problem. But I did screw in this light bulb! And he was kind enough to commemorate the event with a photo!

Here's a better picture of the new fixtures. We're actually really happy with them. They light up the driveway a lot better and they aren't as obnoxious as the old energy efficient bulbs we had before.

The next project we worked on was...dum dum duuuuuummmmmmm...the living room curtains. Turns out we both have strong opinions when it comes to curtain decor. We visited Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Ross, and TJ Maxx searching for rods, mounts, and the right curtains. I think the work paid off, though. We made some good purchases and came away from the experience happy and still friends!

We also covered up the dinning room windows while we were at it. They're in the same room as the entry way living room, so we thought unity would be good. It's been really nice not worrying about neighbors seeing into our house.
And because of the layout of the front room, even though our front windows are covered, we still have tons of light from the window that's second level height on the front of the house, just above the now covered windows.

So that's where we're at right now! I've been THOROUGHLY enjoying the incredible fall weather these last few weeks. We've not had to turn on our heat just yet; we've been enjoying the ambiance of the fireplace. If only it burned real wood...I guess gas is better than nothing, though!

Blessings on the end of one month and the beginning of another!


Another party

Yesterday was the big MK day...I woke up about an hour and 40 minutes late, which put me quite behind in my TO DO list. I ran around in unproductive circles for the first half hour I was out of bed. I forgot to eat breakfast and lunch in light of making all the goodies for the party, but that was solved when I nibbled during the parties.

Mom was kind enough to show up early and help me set up. She was funny: my kitchen is quite lacking compared to hers, so it was quite fun to sit back and just watch her find her way through my little kitchen. I laughed a couple times. Sorry, Mom:)

Grandma Mac was my second guest during the 1pm party. Lori did and awesome job leading the class, and I think both Mom and Grandma had a good time and picked up some product that they will enjoy!

Karen and Grandma Jo showed up for the 3:30 party. That was another enjoyable 2 hours! We all had such a good time talking and working our way through all the products. It was a great learning experience as well. Lori had some awesome techniques which I hope to implement in my parties in the future.

Even though not that many people were able to make it, it was just such a good time! I'm excited to do it again...But don't worry, it won't be too soon:) Everyone is getting partied out, especially as we enter an extensive celebratory season. Can you believe it's already the last full week of October??? Crazy.

It's done!

Nate finished the bathroom! And it looks absolutely lovely... It's tough to take a good picture of it, though. It's more than a little cramped and awkward, which makes it tough to get in there and get a full shot. So here's a corner. And here are some picture from before...Yuck. We're just so glad to have it finished and be able to use it once again. The paint color is nice, although it's so much like what we've got going on in the family room, that it's almost blah. So Nate and I talked about it and made the decision to paint the family room more of a khaki color. Which is actually a relief. Right now, the family room has red, olive green, and the gray that's in the kitchen. So, we'll cover all three colors with the khaki making it nice and simple. Also, the khaki will go up the stairs and into the hallway, covering the dirty off white color and the yellow. And don't worry, Nate's excited about it! I promise I'm not working him to death!

We'll keep you updated:)


Quick Update

On Saturday, three Mary Kay parties are being hosted at my house. That's a good incentive to finish painting the bathroom! So my wonderful husband used a couple hours on one of his days off to give it a good first coat. I'll definatly post some before and after shots when it's finished just as a good reminder:]



Nate and I coerced Mom and Dad to take us to Parkdale (in the Gorge, up I-84 East) to load up on apples. We knew that we wanted apples to make applesauce...and we found some of the best tasting apples! King Davids, if you're wondering. Soo tasty! We also picked up some Elestars for yet another batch of applesauce. They have more of a cinnimon taste, so I'm really excited to see how it ends up tasting...MMM:)

I've never actually made applesauce before, so it's been interesting! The King Davids haven't required any sugar, which I'm so excited about. Nate was in the living room while I was prepping and cooking down the apples the other night. He was giving me some good advice:) As I was skinning the apples into the garbage, the skin was sailing in all directions, so he suggested a bowl. It was easier to aim into and it saved my back! I still need to mop the floor, though, since in some places it's incredibly sticky from apple core that went flying. And I keep finding apple seeds in odd places...So I made a mess. But at least we have applesauce up the wazoo to prove it was worth something!

I realize this picture is dark, but it's my little family:)


San Juans

Mom had this brilliant idea months ago that we should fly up to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. So, we did just that this past Wednesday. I cleared it with my wholesalers and took the day off...It was a nice reprieve from work (which has really stunk lately, by the way). Mom and I met up in the morning and headed out to the hanger. We took off at 10:52am, after Mom had created the flight plan and checked the weather along our route. When we got in the air, a heavy fog?mist?cloud? was over Portland, which forced us to climb up to 10,500 feet, several thousand more than Mom wanted to climb. But we got through the tough stuff just fine!

Here is a shot showing where Columbia and the Willamette meet.

The flight there went really well! Mom had me double checking our location on a map, which was just about as much navigation I was capable of. I've never been very good with topical maps, so it was a little scary trying to figure out where we were at. It was all French to me!

We landed around 1pm...We spent way too long finding a spot to eat, and we ended up in "The Hungry Clam," which made some of the best fries and calamari I think I've ever had! After eating we took our time and wandered around the little town. It was a gorgeous day, much warmer than we had anticipated.

Around 4:45pm, we got back in the plane and headed home. These are some pictures of the trip home. The sun was beginning to go down and the water looked gorgeous!

We actually had to land the plane in Chehalis due to bad weather. From the ground, the clouds looked beautiful, but from the air, it was a gloomy prospect...We would have had to detour out to the coast and then cut back home through Tillamook. Ugh. Dad was kind enough to drive the hour and a half to pick us up and take us home. It was a long day, but Mom and I had a really good time overall!


Karen's Birthday

On Sunday, September 24th, the Banks family got together to celebrate Karen's birthday! For those of you who don't know, Karen is Nate's mom...and her birthday is actually September 25th...

We ate piles of Chinese food and enjoyed a tasty chocolate cake. Seriously, it was good. And I'm not so much a fan of desert! For Karen's loved ones who couldn't join us that day, we're sad you weren't there! So, here are some pics to hold you over until next year:)