Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Update of Sorts

What's new with the Dressers?  Well, not much. After buying our first house about a year ago, Michael and I have been busy keeping up with all the home-owners responsibility.  You know... cleaning, gardening, maintaining, painting, decorating and all sorts of other things.  Most of the time it's a lot of fun to be able to make choices about what color the kitchen walls should be or where we're going to build our little vegetable garden; but sometimes the reality of adulthood sets in.  There's a little water coming in through a kitchen window, the master toilet makes funny noises, and ants show up in the weirdest locations. Once you solve one problem another one pops up. Through it all, however, we feel really lucky to be living where we do.

We also keep busy with our teaching jobs.  I'm teaching fifth grade again this year and still enjoy this "pre-attitude" age group.  In a couple weeks, we'll be going on the infamous Age of Sail overnight field trip again (scroll down to see what it was like last year--- eek).  I also am always reading a new children's novel.  My latest read?  The Giver by Lois Lowery.  I'm also totally excited for a new literature unit on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Michael is teaching high school geometry and just finished up coaching the JV basketball team.  Though his team didn't have the wining record he planned on, he still enjoyed working with the boys.  It was a big time commitment and wore him out, but he says he'll coach again next year.  Basketball is, after all, his first true love.

Soon I'll post pictures of some of latest endeavors:  a laundry room make-over, a garden bed installation, a snow trip to Lake Tahoe and finally a vacation to St. George to reunite with some roommates with a little Vegas time tossed in.  Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. There coming soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bathroom Reno

First of all, I apologize for the order of the photos below. After I waited for the pictures to load, I tried to re-order them, but it just wasn't working and I was losing patience. So, you'll have to scroll up and down to see all the steps I took while doing my little bathroom renovation.

I wish I had a before picture to show you, but I guess a quick description will have to do. The vanity was a typical, builder's grade orange-yellow oak. On top of the vanity, I had a single vase and some soap. Kind of sad looking. The mirror was frameless. You could see the brackets that hold the mirror in place. The walls were the same color, but totally blank. So, overall pretty bland bathroom.

I found this neato wire rack at Marshall's for only $30. I've added some accessories to it, but still haven't filled in all the available space. They make it look so easy on HGTV, but I really struggle with accessorizing.

I think the corners of the mirror turned out fairly clean. I used a handheld miter saw and box plus some caulk. I was worried that the corners would look very "first-time DIY-er", but I think they look pretty good.
I got a little brave and drilled holes into the vanity. I think it was well-worth the risk (Even if it was a small risk).

The bathroom is so small that I couldn't really get a good shot of everything. Notice the color of the vanity... painted black, not orangey oak.

Filling in the gaps with caulk.

After several hours of work and just a little bit of money, I think the bathroom is much improved. Humph!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Age of Sail

Recently, I went on an overnight field trip with my lovely fifth grade class. After having finished a super-cool unit on world explorers, we made our way to the bay area to experience first hand what it was like to live on a boat. The program, called Age of Sail, is organized by the San Francisco Martime National Park.

Once on the boat, the captain, first and second mate, and cook/doctor took over. The adults were not allowed to interact with the kids at all... no talking, no non-verbal communication. The kids were split into crews. Each crew was trained to take responsiblity of a different part of the ship (yes, we were on a real ship, docked of course). Once given directions by the officers, the kids had to figure out how to accomplish their task without any help from adults. It was amazing to see the kids really step it up and meet the officers' very high expectations.

While the actual program was really neat, the overall field trip was "dampened" by one thing... the weather. Oh, the weather was the worst. Literally, it was the worst. The age of sail people told us that it was the worst weather they have ever had during a field trip.

It was rainy. It was windy. It was cold. Everyone was soaked to the bone. We changed our clothes a few times, only to be soaked through again within 15 minutes. I think the pictures below speak for themselves.

(This was taken right after we got off the bus. Within 30 minutes, all the students were covered in bright yellow rain slickers. We had some time to burn while waiting for our program to start. We walked up to Ghiradelli Square in a line. It looked like a row a little duckies walking around San Francisco.) (Our ship, the Balclutha. Once used to ship goods around Cape Horn to San Francisco. It's since been restored in order to be used for the Age of Sail program.)

(My little duckies.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

Michael surprised me this past weekend by whisking me away to Lake Tahoe. On Saturday, Michael took me to a very nice resturant. We heard that it had a view, but it was so dark that we couldn't see the view. Maybe Michael will just have to take me back some other day.
The food was delicous! But even though it was a fancier resturant, Michael ordered his favorite cheeseburger and fries meal. He's so easy to please. We ended the meal with the famous Hula Pie. Micheal and I first ate Hula Pie together on our honeymoon in Hawaii. We were totally stuffed by the end of the night. The next morning we took a walk down to the lake shore. We found a spot of beach where dogs are allowed off leash. Cooper didn't interact with too many dogs (they're just too big for him), but he had a great time sniffing around and playing fetch.

We wandered our way up the road the dog park we usually visit in the summer. There weren't any other dogs around, but there was a lot of deep snow. Cooper had to practically leap in order walk around the snow.

That afternoon we set out to find a good sledding spot. The first place we stopped at was so crowded. Michael took a couple rides down, but it was a little scary. I was a nervous wreck. There were so many people that you had to dodge people and stop quickly. We saw a few people get taken out by sledders. After just a few minutes at this spot, we left to find a less crowded sledding spot.

We stopped along the highway that wraps around Lake Tahoe and found this more secluded spot. We had to work for a few minutes to get the sledding trail just right. Afterwards, it was a great ride. Everytime I went down the hill, Cooper would chase after me. You can see him trailing after me in this photo.

Cooper was quick to fall asleep on the way home. Two days later and I think he's still recovering from the day. He's asleep as I type this right now.
It was such a fun weekend!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The New House

Michael and I became homeowners at the beginning of December. We got the keys to the house in mid-December and got right to work. After a few days of work, we were off to Olympia, Washington to visit my family for the Christmas break. Then with only four days left of our break, we returned to the house got right back to work. We've spent the last few weeks putting the last few touches on the house. Now we're finally ready to unveil it.

There are a few problems with the pictures below. First, I took them. That's probably the biggest problem. I tried my best to take pictures from the best angle, but I'm afraid they still didn't turn out that great. Many of them are much darker than the room was when I took the picture. Something's up with my camera settings. The second problem is that they are in backwards order. When I loaded the pictures up on blogger, they went in the wrong order. Hopefully, you can still get an idea of what our new abode is like. We love it!

The exterior (taken on a much sunnier day). Our backyard.

Michael's sports/office room. Decorated by Michael himself.

The guest room.

The upstairs hallway.
The hallway bathroom.

The family room (contains our DVDs, video games, and other such media things).

Master bathroom.

The master bedroom.

The other side of the upstairs hallway.

The stairway.

View of the living room from upstairs.

Frame grouping on the stairway landing.

Living room, dining room, and kitchen. (Sorry it's so dark!)

Laundry room and fort (that's what we call the storage room under the stairs)

The dining room.

Thisis the view when you walk through the front door.
The living room.

Looking into the kitchen.

Eat-in area of kitchen.


The white dishwasher will be replaced once the countertops are changed... the dishwasher is stuck. Even though we have the new dishwasher ready to go, we cannot have it installed since we can't get the old one out.
These pictures don't do the house justice. I think it's a pretty cute house, so I guess you'll just have to come and visit to see for yourself. :)