Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Farmhouse Renovation: Part Six, A Brief Update

This is Jennifer with the latest, up-to-the-minute news here on Hilty Sprouts. Yes, yes I'm a geek, this is well established territory... ;0). I was just emulating Bridget Jones on "Sit Up Britain", she's my role model you know. Anyway, I digress...

1. Looks like red won at the polls (thanks to all 8 of you who voted! I'm grateful, not bitter. Nope, not at all. Too many cooks in the kitchen, you know, not a good thing!). If you checked the comments at all you will have discovered that recycling man leaked the final result of the Great Paint Debate...RED. It is actually quite lovely and vintagey and by golly, I like it. There I said it. Pictures are forthcoming. Someone (me) forgot to bring the camera all weekend long.

2. What's done:
a. rooms painted, check (the door and window trim has primer, WHAT a pain).
b. bathroom counter tops and vanities installed, check, check.

3. This week's schedule:
a. Wednesday: vinyl flooring (kitchen & bath).
b. Thursday: the oh so important plumbing! No mo' "po' potty"!
c. Friday: master bedroom carpet.
d. Monday: final seal on wood floors.
e. Ta da! Then we move in!

The End (for now).
Jen

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Idol This Week

Well folks, I'm a day late and a dollar short (one of my dad's favorite sayings) to give you my take on AI. I did think that Brooke was going home this week but I was WRONG again. My AI radar is way off lately. Instead of giving you my expert opinion I'm going to to link you to the most creative AI blog post I have encountered so far right here. I'm a regular lurker on this girl's blog cause she's so stinkin' funny. Her husband even has his own blog with AI posts. Enjoy!

Jen

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Has Sprung...

...except the weather forecast calls for snow tomorrow. But it sure was beautiful this weekend!

Farmhouse Renovation: Part 5

Look at these GORGEOUS, SHINY, BEEYOOTIFUL wood floors! Hooray! It is the coolest thing to start with a house that has the nastiest, cat pee smelling carpets you can possibly imagine and then find the beauty within. These floors were there the whole time just aching to be revealed!

This is the area that had to be replaced. You might recall the mysterious holes drilled in the floor. I have no idea why they were there but they're gone now! Decisions, decisions. Okay, here are the colors we chose. Very light blue called "breathless" (hee hee, that just sounds funny) in the bathroom.
The office is chocolate brown. We were craving chocolate pudding when we painted this room. Really, I could almost taste it, I felt like licking the walls. This color is a diet killer.
We cannot decide what to paint in the living room! We had reached a compromise with yellow (I wanted to stay neutral like a sand, tan, brown, etc. and Joel wanted red or orange. Now neither one of us likes yellow in this room. Ugh! Back to the drawing board. We had some friends come out to visit us on Sunday and they sided with me on the great paint debate. What color do you think we should choose?

We tried two shades of green in the master bedroom and we went with the lighter shade. It's a very happy color. I felt good every time I walked in there. About ten minutes before this picture was taken we noticed the telltale signs of a poopy diaper when Z walked by. However, he insisted that he get "one more minute mommy" to finish up so we let him wander off to do his thing. This is how we found him. It must have taken a lot out of him! I swear the kid will do anything to avoid a diaper change. Potty training has been temporarily suspended out at the farm because Z is scared of the "Po' potty" as he calls the portable throne outside. I prefer "po' potty" over "honey bucket" which is my husband's charming term of choice. Boy, I never thought I would talk this much about bodily functions in a blog post but I have covered cat pee, poopy diapers and porta-potties in one fell swoop. Please forgive me. ;0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Farmhouse Renovation: Part 4

It's all one color! Woohoo! The stucco isn't done yet, this is just the first layer. I guess it's kind of like a primer coat.

New french doors.
Family Project!
This captured my good side, don't you think? Ha ha.
Break time!




Hope Has Returned: A Giveaway!

Hope Has Returned: A Giveaway!

Check out this giveaway! My friend Tonni makes the cutest hair accessories for little girls and you could win a $20 gift certificate if you check out her site www.4princessbows.com and leave a comment on her blog.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Idol This Week

AI list of the week... Most to least favorite and why:

Kristi Lee Cook: I can't believe she's at the top of my list but that performance gave me shivers up and down my arms that wouldn't quit. I love that song and she did a great job.

David Archuleta: His voice is "like butter" (think "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman", you know, Mike Myers, SNL skit, etc., I hope someone remembers this or I'm going to start feeling my age, ugh.).

Jason Castro: My favorite version of that song ever. I have it on my iPod. If you have never heard it sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (do not ask me how to say it) you are missing out.

Michael Johns: He rocked that song. I love me some Aerosmith!

Brooke White: Very good but not her best. She was also rather fashion-challenged tonight, but Paula wasn't as much so it all evened-out.

Carly Smithson: The judges were right, she did seem a bit disconnected, angry even. But you can hardly blame her after last weeks criticism.

David Cook: Weird.

Syesha Mercado: Boring. She is on her way out.

The End.

Now you can go to bed because I know you were waiting up for me to finish this.

Jen

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

American Idol This Week

Okay, I'm about to watch the results show tonight and I just had to get my two cents worth in before I do. I predict Ramiele will leave tonight. Performances that ROCKED last night: David Cook (of course! I think someone is coaching him on how to look more humble, don't you?), David Archuleta (his voice just hits me in the gut, he literally brought me to tears and as some of you know it takes a lot to do that), Michael Johns (very cool customer), and Carly Smithson (as I've said before I swear she is going to be the next Celine Dion). One more thing, what in the heck is Simon smoking? He was just a little difficult to please. In fact all the judges have somehow intensified their "act". It's almost as if the producers have instructed them, "Hey yo dawg, Randy you gotta be kick it up a notch, you're not mean enough. Tell 'em it's pitchy a few more times and that it wasn't great for you", "Paula dear you need to be as spacy and ditzy as possible because you are like a shining star and and you're just YOU, you know and you're in your element and you're so unique and you look just beautiful tonight and you're just staying true to who you are" (ad nauseam ad infinitum), and finally "Simon, we think you need to be extra cranky tonight and we don't think you are using your catch phrases often enough. Really Simon, it's all a bit cabaret, I mean we just don't get it, SORRY, you're going to have to do better than that! Where do you think you are on a cruise ship or in some seedy lounge? Really, Simon tsk, tsk!".
I don't know, maybe it's just me!

**Post Results Show**
Things I fastforwarded through: the group performance (double blech), the viewer call-in portion, and Dolly Parton's song (Joel couldn't handle it anymore), and I wanted to fast forward whoever the band was that sang "This Little Light of Mine" but Joel liked it and he had the remote (I plugged my ears).
Things I watched: The results of course, Idol Gives Back promo (absolutely heartwrenching), the silly Ford commercial, AI alumni (I forgot how much I liked Phil Stacey last year), and Ramiele's final performance (she sounded better tonight but Joel thought she looked like an Ewok from Return of the Jedi).
Things I wish I could erase from my memory: Paula's shirt. Enough said.
Best thing about the show tonight: Jesus got some serious air time!

Jen

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Recommended Authors & Books

My friend Becky has invited me to join her "blog carnival" to recommend Christian books and authors to read. The focus was on fiction but recently I have been reading a non fiction book that I highly recommend called "Hope Rising--Stories from the Ranch of Rescued Dreams" by Kim Meeder. The author and her husband run a ranch to rescue abused and/or neglected horses in Bend, Oregon. Their program also ministers to children who have suffered neglect and abuse. When the horses and children are put together beautiful stories of healing and hope emerge.

As far as Christian authors who write quality fiction, Becky is right, there are slim pickings. There are far too many cheesy, mediocre "christian" novels out there that frankly aren't worth the time you take to read them. That may sound harsh but I think the publishing companies need to raise their standards. The authors I return to again and again for entertainment, comfort, and hope are C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), Catherine Marshall (Christy, Julie), Jan Karon (The Mitford Series), Brock & Bodie Thoene (historical fiction), and Francine Rivers (also historical fiction).

Other favorites (not necessarily Christian)--

At the top of my list of course, the classics by Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, etc.) & L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables).

I still prefer to read what is considered "Young Adult" fiction. I truly believe that the best fiction is written for kids not adults. I'm not sure exactly what that says about me! Perhaps that I am still a kid at heart. I love fairy tales, sci-fi/fantasy and historical fiction. I enjoy escaping into a completely different world and seeing it through the eyes of children who have hope and an adventurous spirit. I relate so strongly to the coming of age stories in which the character who initially lacks opportunity or self confidence transforms into the hero. I think that type of story probably appeals to many of us because we all want to feel unique and special in some way. The ultimate example of this story is the one we live out when we embrace the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. How glorious is it to find that you are special and beloved, daughter of the Lord of all creation, the most High King. To know that you were beautifully and wonderfully made and though the rest of the world may not see your value and never care, you will always matter to the one who made you. God is the ultimate storyteller and his works of art are each one of us.

A few of my favorites are Madeline L'Engle (A Wrinkle In Time), J.K. Rowling (please don't send me hate mail if you think Harry Potter is evil ;0), Shannon Hale (Goose Girl & Princess Academy), Karen Cushman (Catherine Called Birdie & The Midwife's Apprentice), I could go on and on...someone please stop me!

Bottom line, I LOVE to read and I wish I had more time to do it!

I'm looking forward to seeing what others recommend!

Jen
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