Monday, September 15, 2014

BlondieChell's How To Paint a Room

Looking to Remodel?? You're in luck! I just painted our bedroom this weekend and have I got some tips for you! Here is BlondieChell's How To for painting a room: 
     1. Pick your paint (if you're lucky you'll get free cans with your house! And if you take them to a store that sells the brand they can add tint for you!)
     2. Clean your walls...cuz who knows the last time they were cleaned??
     3. Drop cloth & blue tape everything. Me? I recommend this fantastic product called "Tape and Drape"- you tape it on and the gently pull at the think plastic-!viola! It's a magical drop cloth!

     4. Get a sworn confession from your significant other that they will not hold anything against you or be mad if something goes wrong while they're away at work an you're left to paint...
     5. Grab your long, extendable pole (also free with the house), paint roller & start painting!

     6. Coffee. Constantly refuel.

     7. Step in paint.
     8. When you've finished, paint the trim and edges that you missed with the roller
     9. Take a 2-3 hour break to refuel and regroup with food & tv shows.
    10. Re paint the entire room. 
    11. Step in even more paint.

   12. Forget that the handle on your paint roller is super long and launch your coffee mug across the room. Remember that this is why you've drop clothed everything.
    13. Rest your back on the freshly painted wall.
    14. Finish retrimming.
    15. Clean up your coffee and paint mess. Hope for the best.

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Possessing the Land" Part 2

   Like the title?? I may have stole it from the sermon series the pastor of the church we've been attending is doing...but I like it. It fits.
    So on to our tale of woe. (Or 'whoah'). The silver lining?? Right before closing of business Friday, our realtors discovered a possible loophole: getting an engineer and some other folk to sign off on paperwork, deeming the septic system as "community" instead of "shared". Then some finger-crossing and prayers.
   An entire week passed. Pins and needles were sat on the entire time. moments of worry, moments of hope. God had brought us this far, why would we lose faith now?? How could we lose faith now?? 
   And Thursday came. Along with a text from our realtor. The loan company (not to be confused with the mortgage company. In our story, they are two different entities) decided that the "community septic" thing wasn't cool. Loophole closed. Greeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttt... Boom. Our world was shattered. Again. We felt stuck. With no other options (literally-all of our $$ was tied up in this deal that was apparently going nowhere) we cried. 
   And then someone, somewhere had sent our realtors another reply. Apparently they would be open to accepting the "community septic" if some more information was filled out. To hope or not to hope? We were on the fence. All of our hope, excitement, faith had been washed away by all of the desparaging news (I cannot say "desparaging news" without hearing the Veggie Tales character say it) we had received. Our faith had been yo-yo-ing and the string was about to snap. 
    All of our faith rested once again in a small chance. Slim chance. A chance of a chance. And here I was faltering. My faith in God, in God's plan for our lives had fallen so far that my friend Christina (with whom I moved to Alaska a year ago) wanted to slap me. According to her, my faith and hope that God would work everything out for us is what kept her going last summer when we had no idea where we'd be sleeping from week to week. So, I bucked up. And I told Hubs to buck up too.
      Actually, I told Hubs to say "I believe God is giving this house to us". And we said it together. And again. We were taking back our faith. And possessing the land we believe God had given us. No matter what the next day would hold. No matter where we would go. God had always been there for us. Always had a matter where we were. He hadn't left us yet, so it was our job to not leave Him.
      And then Friday came...And we got another text from our realtor. God's got someone in the loan company's ear, because they approved the paperwork....which meant that we could finally sign closing documents on the house! The house would be ours! (Well, really the bank's, but we could paint the walls and decorate!!!)

So here she is:

Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Possessing The Land" Part 1

 *Disclaimer: This story is filled with drama, hope and tears. As you know, I try to draw humor from my stories, so let's see what we can do with this...

       Really this tale started over a year ago...when God mysteriously called us and our friends to move to one of the most random places on earth: Alaska. None of us has a reason, just a direction. An order. So we obeyed (because, in our experience, God had never left us-He called us all out to Colorado and He hasn't given us a reason to doubt him since). And because of our obedience, we ended up living with our friends (read as "Eleven people, one bathroom") for a year. No one died. And we're still friends.
      A few months ago, our friends bought a house. Yay! We started the process of buying and somehow ended up gaining "early occupany" (where homeowners let you move in prior to closing and you pay them rent). This was going well. Paperwork was going well. The mortgager assured us that we were 95% in the clear. 95%.
      Turns out that five percent was actually higher than we thought. The company who the loan was through took a few weeks to decide that they didn't like the fact that the house shared a septic tank with a neighbor. Bad juju and all that. Hoo. Ray. we were 1. devastated and 2. stuck with "where do we go from here?".
       We were heartbroken. Shattered. See, we didn't choose this house. It was more like the house chose us...or God chose the house for us...We knew from the beginning that it was too good to be true-it was one of our favorite layouts. A house we've wanted, with just about everything we were looking for....a wood stove...oval tub...garage....fenced in yard...raspberry for the for us...
       So we held our breath while renting...knowing that things could change in an instant... and we'd pack up and go...well....we weren't sure where...but we were sure that this house was too fantastic. It was a dream for us...and the dream finally ended. Apparently we had misread God's path for us. Somewhere along the way we lost it....
       So we mentally prepared for a weekend of packing...and then there was a thread of hope...

Monday, August 25, 2014

BlondieChell and Family Go Blueberry Picking In Alaska For Real

   That's right, folks! This time we piled into the vehicle and went looking for REAL blueberries, not the crow berries we had picked (and lost) the prior weekend! So here's how we did it *right* this time:
   1. Leave a little earlier than you think you should.
   2. Remember how to get there from last time. Get there.
   3. Allow Hubs to follow a whim and park at a different spot. Get out and discover there are no blueberries. WHATSOEVER. Take cute pics of the kids instead.

   4. Fire Hubs from decision making process.
   5. Park at same location you parked last week. Hike up "trail less travelled".
   6. Rejoice in finding mass quantities of blueberries. Rub it in Hub's face. Take more pics. Actually pic bueberries. Throw in some crow berries just because you can.

   7. Make it down the hill with the blueberries still intact.

        I'd say we completely rocked this "Picking blueberries in Alaska" thing!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Loves Me... Loves Me Not...

   I think I'm falling in love with you...My breath quickens and my pulse races whenever we spend time together... I love the feelings of euphoria and pleasure I experience when I'm in your presence...
   And even though our love is still fresh...and new, I am starting to realize that things just may not be working out for us...
     Lately, I've been leaving you with feelings of regret...Disappointed in a way...Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the time we spend together, but I'm beginning to wonder if blisters and callouses are really my thing...
     I didn't think they were part of the deal...So even though I love you and I want to work things out...I think you need to get your act together...Or I will not be visiting you anymore...So, sweet Rowing Machine, although you've got a good thing going, it just may not be with me....

Monday, August 11, 2014

BlondieChell and Family Go Blueberry Picking In Alaska

                Our family decided to go on our first berry-picking adventure! And like all things #BlondieChell, there's a here is how the BlondieChell family picks blueberries in Alaska:

      1. Leave really late. Way later than you anticipated. (This is always Step 1.)
      2. Get vague directions from a friend. Realize how vague they are while enroute to your destination and out of cell-tower range. Remind self to ask better questions next time.
      3. Keep driving, because nothing's going to stop you from having your adventure! Stop and take scenic pics, because at this point, you're sure that's all you're getting out of this adventure!

       4. See a crowd of people stopped, and apparently picking berries. Jerk car around into parking lot so you can join in on the hunt too.
      5. Run/fast walk on a random trail, screaming like Guster when attacked by branches and mud.
      6. Lose part of the crew when they're too weak/slow to make the trek.
      7. Spend five frantic minutes picking berries, knowing you have to leave soon so Hubs can go to work. That's right. Frantic berry picking with the kiddos.

      8. Run down muddy 90 degree-angle trails back to the vehicle. Of course, the responsible adult is holding the berry basket.
      9. Slip. And fall. Hard. Wonder what in the world happened. Wonder where the berries went.
     10. Sadly explaining to the children that the berries vaporized.
     11. Continue running to the vehicle with empty basket and mud-plastered clothes. Discover that the 5yo somehow managed to salvage two berries. Toss those in the basket.
     12. Later discover that those may not have actually been bluerries that you had actually picked, but crow berries. Good times.

So...who wants to join us on our next adventure??

Monday, August 4, 2014

We Were Table of 11 For a Year

        A little over a year ago, we moved from Colorado to Alaska. Because God told us to. We spent the past year living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with our friends. Eleven people. One bathroom. Do the math. Living together for a year was never in anyone's plans-it just happened.
       See, my friend & I each took a kiddo (I have 3, she has 4) and spent almost four weeks living in hotels, trying to find suitable places for our families to live...and then this place popped up for us, and we saw it as a temporary fix...then winter set in, and apparently no one moves in the winter in Alaska....and then spring came...and finally, we found our own places to live...
       Living like that for a year creates attachments and detachments of here's what I miss, and what I don't.

        What I miss: 
            The socialization. People to talk to. All the time.
            Seeing our friends when I get home.
            Sharing cooking responsibilities (Okay. so Mike cooked a lot. That was nice... but I'm also sure it's because my "blackened vegetables" are an aquired taste.)
            Shared childcare responsibilies. We raised 'em like siblings.
            Having a medic in the house. Now who's going to glue my kid's heads when they rip them open??
            Some of the furniture that belonged to the house. ::sigh::
            The plush carpet.
             Easy access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
             Walking the kiddos to/from school.

        What I don't miss:
              Lack of space.
              One toilet.
              Not being able to feel like it was "home".
              Not having to call "dibs" on the washer.
              The small, non-fenced yard.
              The recurring windowsill mold.
   Amazingly, we all survived without any seemingly permanent damage. Because God knew we were strong enough. I'd love to hear your questions about our experience! Comment below!