Archive for the 'house' Category

Dec 21 2007

better now

Published by under amy's head,daily,house

I’m out of the funk. Too bad. I could have joined George Clinton!

Mailed about $5 worth of stuff today overnight that cost many many times that. But what’s the fun of christmas presents not arriving on christmas? NONE AT ALL! So oh well.

Jocelyn turned up a 103.9 fever yesterday at school. James went and fetched her and took her to the doctor who confirmed my fear, strep. I’m glad we got it diagnosed quickly. I’m home with her today, and no fever, so that is nice. We’ve been wrapping presents, watching movies, baking cookies, watching movies, packing boxes to ship, watching movies, and also, some watching movies. I figure she’s sick! So it’s ok! We’ve gone through Cinderella, Toy Story 2 (hello! JESSIE!! The sequel is the obvious choice here!) and now we’re on Totoro. We haven’t seen Totoro in such a long time and I just ADORE it. Little girls being girls, and wonderful fantastical myth creatures. I 3> Totoro. I have an idea now to make a little black soot sprite softie. It would be super easy, flat with pokies and white, round eyes.

Our house is quite the wreck, and I know that James will come home with disappointment in his eyes that I didn’t manage to tidy ANYTHING up, so I’m going to go have a go at that now.

I WISH OH I WISH I had taken some pictures of the wooden clothespin doll cuteness I sent to my nieces Clara and Avery, but I could not find the camera. Woe is me. I’ll be making more for Jocelyn (and myself) so pictures are still in the crazymokes future.

I am feeling OK, my toes are cold, and I have realized that probably some of the funk? Reason #4, if you will? Was the messy messy house. So I really need to tackle that to fill in the hole, so to speak, rather than fall back in it.

I’m off to sort piles of magazines and mail.. wish me luck.

– amy sings, “let’s go walking you with me!!”

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Dec 11 2007

SHOWER MOLD. (or) wouldn’t it be nice…

Published by under amy's head,daily,house

… if i like, wrote things on a regular basis? Things that were not just the progress of the mold growing in my shower (a topic i have considered, so consider yourself lucky) but funny and cute and kid filled and craft filled and funny-amy-thoughts filled?

Yeah, I thought that’d be nice too!

Unfortunately, *I’M* the one running this blog so there’ll be none of that HERE, mister! and missy!

I was looking through the archives and it struck me that hey, I did used to be funny! And even kind of prolific! And you know what else? I took pictures of stuff! And of kids! And then I’d post those pictures here! HULLY GEE! I think that the 2006 Amy was more bloggy* than the 2007 Amy, but we’ll see how the 2008 Amy does.

Let’s see if the 2007 Amy can pull some blogginess out of her ass already even though 2008 Amy is just hovering right over there around the corner waiting to take over.

*bloggy: the turning of something mundane into interesting blog reading.


HA! You thought you were saved, weren’t you? Yeah, me too, but this is about all I’ve got. HOW in the world does that mold get UNDER the caulk? Around the shower door the caulk isn’t actually white caulk (like it is in the corners) but CLEAR, and so as I’m showering, I can look right through this clear caulk and see this dots of black mold. Black mold is much scarier than just the orange normal shower grout mildew, which you can just scrub right off with James’ and old toothbrush. Black under-the-clear-caulk mold can’t be reached. So how in the world did it get there? But what is even scarier is the WHITE caulk in the corners? It’s turning a kind of dull gray. Which makes me thing that the black mold has infiltrated over there too, and not just in dot-form, but in “LET’S GET IN THERE, MOVE MOVE MOVE!” kind of form. The sad thing is when this house was built and they tell you, “write down all the issues you find and we’ll come fix it after 30 days, I WROTE DOWN MANY ISSUES ABOUT OUR SHOWER. I have this belief that someday, I will be an expert tile-layer, and in my efforts to make that dream a reality, I’ve watched many a tile-laying show in the DIY and HG networks. I examined the grout and saw pin holes. I looked at the wall and thought it looked like it was curving (and if the wallboard that the tile is on is curving, doesn’t this mean that proper cement backerboard wasn’t used? They didn’t just lay tile over drywall, did they? And if so, does that mean one day my shower is going to just fall apart?) I saw globs in the caulk, and I thought the shower leaked out onto the floor a little bit and I WROTE ALL THESE THINGS DOWN.

But they brushed me off. They said, there’s no curve, and they said, pinholes are fine, and they said, your shower isn’t leaking.

So now, 3 years later, the builder long gone (ie: no longer available for me to give lists to and for them to scoff at me and not fix things) there are black spots under my clear caulk and my white caulk is going gray. And the wall still looks all curvey to me. OH, and the leak? The molding just outside the shower in my bathroom has mold growing behind it from the leak.


So now I think, ‘I’m going to have to redo that caulking,’ which I can do (not as well as I do in my dreams, though of course) and have done (ditto) but I have this fear. This fear of stripping away the gray caulk and finding grossness beyond my wildest dreams. Grossness that I fear has crept behind the tiles themselves and that once I strip that caulk away I will then have to hire someone to come in and re-tile my entire shower, and they will shake their heads and state in a southern drawl, “these walls are all curvey, they didn’t use the proper backerboard! sorry miss, we’re in for a bit more than we estimated..” And since I wouldn’t want to pay all that money just to put in the same boring 4″ white tiles that the builder used, I would have to pick beautiful new tiles and do the bath surround as well and of course the floors and then we would simply have to paint as well and the sinks could use updating and suddenly I’d be digging into the home equity loan for a new bathroom and we would still be paying it off three years later when the white caulk in my shower corners would start getting suspiciously gray…

Do you see my dilemma here? Obviously, I need to just leave it alone. If I do recaulk, I’ll be instituting a “dry off the shower with your towel before you exit” rule.

Was that bloggy enough you think? I even have some pictures for tomorrow. Hold your breath.

ps – james has a final today. everyone go wish him luck!

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Dec 10 2007

new december banner

Published by under daily,house,photos

december 2007 banner

new banner 🙂

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Nov 15 2007

things I have NOT purchased…

… since I’m feeling a little bit guilty for spending recently (nothing major*, but amy ruppel christmas stuff at target, martha stewart stuff at kmart, more martha stewart at michaels, some stuff off of ebay (christmas is coming, get off my back!) and let’s just say that’s not the end of the story and leave it at that, ok? i do have a marriage to sustain here, and you know the key to that is SECRECY AND LIES AND HIDING THE EVIDENCE SO MUM’S THE WORD), I would like to show you some things that I managed to NOT BUY, even though the item(s) BEGGED me, LEAPT into my cart (online or physical) and yet I DID NOT PURCHASE.

First off, this was actually in my target cart, and I DID NOT BUY IT. I got to the checkout, and put it aside. NOW THAT’S WILLPOWER PEOPLE.

flor at target

FLOR at Target is just so mean. I mean, they KNEW it would be SO HARD TO RESIST. Poopyheads. *pout*

The aforementioned Amy Ruppel print over at ReForm School.

expedit bookcase

the white 5×5 expedit bookcase from Ikea. I’ve been watching for this sucker on craigslist for the last 4 months and there’s been birch, there’s been black-brown, there’s been 4×4 but NO 5X5 IN WHITE. I admit, I would own this now if James hadn’t have talked me down off the ledge. I can wait. It will show up on craigslist. I CAN WAIT– she says testily.

Now if you have a 5×5 white expedit bookcase and are ready to move it along.. please contact me!

Oh and then there’s the fabric…

I add it to my cart, but then never check out.

even though i want them..

nay.. I NEED THEM..



And finally,



I am kind of sort of hamming it up with all the other stuff, but I seriously had to bite my tongue down.. HARD.. to not order these. And I may give in. Alicia from Posie Gets Cozy is selling these sweet “Santa Lucia and Attendants
Clothespin Dollmaking” kits for only $20, and they would a) be awesome fun to make with the kids and b) look great on my mantelpiece (along with my martha stewart snowy village from michaels *cough*) I am aching for it a little bit. I only have a little while longer to waffle about it though, before they’re gone for good – so you go get some now, won’t you?

The sad thing is there is more that I have managed to not buy that I’m not telling you. Some things which sound kind of crazy, like polyfill in bulk. It’s hard, but I managed to not buy it.

I just want credit for my amazing will power for these things! Is that so much to ask??

that is all.

-amy is a huge talent. she’s kind of a big deal**

*a SKRUVSTA chair off of craigslist for $50 isn’t major, right? RIGHT? RIGHT?!!? I need it to put my yvestown cover pattern to use! Which I’ll of course need to buy fabric for! At least the pattern was purchased some time ago.

**isn’t that guy on Project Runway just WEIRD?! I can’t tell whether I love him or hate him!

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Nov 14 2007

i was doing so good there

Published by under amy's head,daily,house

… posting .. not every day, but quite often. I guess I haven’t really blown that yet.. (have I? I’m not even sure. You have no idea how often I look at my *own* archives, how sad is that?) I had kind of an eye on nablopomo .. like a “if it happens it happens, i’ll try to post a lot” sort of an eye. I knew it wouldn’t really happen on the weekends, but I’d see how I could do. Seriously though, don’t you think there’s a better month than November? There’s SO MUCH SHIT going on in november! They should pick .. you know… february for this. when we’re all winter blah and need more blog posts than normal just to get us through the month! Ahh well.

So Jocelyn’s blankey is a big big hit. I finished it and then laid it on her before I went to bed, and she came into our room the next morning dragging it behind her with a big grin on her face. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS. the grin part. Not the coming to our room part. She does that often. She is OFTEN a sour grumpy puss in the morning, so it was a pleasant change. She likes it a lot. I must say, I do too!

So next week is Thanksgiving. Holy Cow. I mean really, how did this happen? My brother James and his family just moved to Virginia (as in, they arrived 3 days ago) and this is the first time I’ve had family on this side of the mississippi since I first moved out here (here=east side of the US, not specifically VA) (which has been…. oh.. 11 years now! Leapin’ Lizards!) So this is very cool, and they will of course be coming over for Thanksgiving. Not just arrive on the day and eat politely and leave by 5pm.. I’m expecting them and their 4 boys (all between the ages of 4 and 13) to descend with sleeping bags and voracious appetites and running and playing and possibly some bones breaking in there and OOHHH I JUST CAN’T WAIT!

Except that yes, I can, because there’s a zillion things to do before now and next week! OMG 1 week exactly! Scary! We still need to get the basement situated with the final details, the guest room needs some help, and then there’s the general cleaning and tidying and decluttering and do you think they’ll mind if we have candycorn decorations up still? Actually, I know they won’t, but *I* will and hey, that’s what matters so there’s another thing on the list. And that’s not even counting the food planning that needs to happen!

Well I’m off to freak out some more and maybe get some stuff done.


carry on,

ps – yeah, i’m silly in the head. i havent’ blown it. i just posted 3 days in a row! go me!

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Nov 09 2007

christmas itch

Published by under amy's head,crafty,daily,house

Ahem. Hi.

While I am still swimming in a blue sea, my head is firmly above water now, and only dips back down occasionally, which makes the previous post very embarassing to me. Not that it’s not real, or not true, but just in that morning after, “Did I really put underwear on my head and dance around on the table last night? Did anyone see??” sort of way . . . So now I have this “must post something so it’s not right there” blogging urgency, and so here goes.

I have to admit, I am getting all Christmas itchy. And it’s no use to just refuse to acknowledge Christmas until after Thanksgiving, because by then all the good stuff (hello Amy Ruppel window clings at target!!!) is gone and you mourn not getting them the day after halloween because hello! it’s a day after halloween and i refuse to acknowledge Christmas yet! and then you finally acknowledge it already and the amy ruppel stuff is gone and you are bummed.

So yes, that’s a long way to tell you, I got the Amy Ruppel window clings yesterday at target when picking up new shoes for Ethan. They are BEAUTIFUL. I feel a deep need to run back and buy 5 more to never ever open and just look at longingly and then maybe sell on ebay in 50 years. I mean seriously. AMY RUPPEL! I saw them and I had kind of heard an amy ruppel + target murmur on one of the crafty/design blogs i read, but I feel like this was not given the appropriate trumpeting it should have. AMY RUPPEL is doing the illustrations for the Target 2007 season — those little decorations on the website – Amy Ruppel. The in store decorations – Amy Ruppel. The window clings, and I beleive there are some gift bags (which my target didn’t have, and I am going to go HUNT SOME DOWN) – yes yes, that’s right, Amy Ruppel.

Apart from the sweet little holly leaves and ornamentation that is on the website itself (all amy ruppel) i can’t find any actual PRODUCTS, which then i can snag and post here to show you, so let me just show you this mural she did on the wall at the newly opened Rare Device store in San Francisco:

amy ruppel village wall mural at rare device

Amy Ruppel wall mural at Rare Device, via design*sponge – she posted more rare device photos here.

Amy Ruppel’s paintings go on sale on her website about once a month, in the range of $90-120, so as far as art goes, this is very reasonable and we should definitely have some in our home. My excuse – I never get to any of it in time to buy some, and even though as far as original art is concerned, it’s very afforadable, it’s more money then I really want to spend.. There are some even more affordable methods though, for example, she is Student of the Month along with Sally Shim over at ReForm School, where you can get this print for $35:

amy ruppel tree factory

They have got some other really cool stuff over there too, so check it out.

So I digress – Amy Ruppel at Target! I’m going to get a gift bag, and then i’m going to freaking FRAME IT!

OK, so yes, I’m a little excited. Just like I was last year over all the Tord Boontje stuff at Target. If I was delicate, I would SWOON!

Tomorrow we have our last soccer game and then the awarding of the kids there soccer medals. Jocelyn is VERY EXCITED. Last spring when Ethan got his, she wanted one SO BADLY that we went home and I covered a circle of cardboard with tin foil and ran some ribbon through it for her. This year, she can’t wait to get her hands on her own REAL medal.

Monday is a day off for me, but not for James or the kids, so I am going to have to decide how to spend my beautiful day all to myself. Sewing pillowcases? Sewing a quilt for jocelyn (haven’t even started yet)? Seeing a movie? Going and checking out the newly opened Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture exhibition at the National Building Museum? Sleep in until noon and wear jammies all day?


-amy swoons anyway.

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Nov 08 2007

Things I must make for the holidays

Published by under crafty,daily,house,kids,likes & irks

Pillowcases for the kids using this fabric from reprodepot:

Lollipop cookies from Me and My Girl:

An advent calendar from allsorts, which I know realistically I won’t ever make, but isn’t it lovely? I can dream can’t I!

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Nov 07 2007

Things I am digging lately:

Published by under amy's head,daily,house

(or otherwise known as, Not So Veiled Christmas Present Hints)

Urban Outfitters, $32

Etsy seller skinnylaminx Eep teatowel $11/each (I would have to have 2!)

Etsy seller joom‘s Brown Hummingbird Art, for $35.

And I still am wishing for a turquoise (or I’d settle for red) cuckoo clock, but these are starting to look good (maybe I could paint the green one? It’s cheap enough if I screw up I won’t feel too bad..)

Urban Outfitters:
$10 (also comes in pink)


And lastly, with the holidays upon us, I saw these in Target recently, and tossed them in my cart. is selling 12 piece sets of each, but in the store, they are all separate. I bought 4 large tumblers, 2 small tumblers, and 4 salad plates (the dinner plates were huge). I liked the idea of having some fun winter plates to eat off of for the kids (oh, all right, and me too!)

Target – Snowflake Acrylic tumblers, set of 12 – $23.99

Target – Snowflake Melamine 12 pc set (12 dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls) – $27.99

I can’t wait to check out some of the other christmasy stuff out there. I’ve averted my eyes (hello, when it’s out before halloween!) long enough!


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Nov 05 2007

the ikea weekend!

Published by under amy's head,daily,house,kids

oh boy. oh boy oh boy oh boy.

What a weekend. Let’s do it in list form, shall we?


  • 6:45am woke to the sounds of ethan and jocelyn frolicing on the main level. Could not go back to sleep.
  • 7:15am ethan & jocelyn walked into the bedroom while i was laying there reading my book. managed to sneak it under the covers and pretend to be asleep and they went back to the play room. SHEW.
  • 7:45am finally got up and, you know, parented my children.
  • 8:30 woke up james.
  • 9:45am jocelyn soccer game in the FREEZING FREEZING COLD EARLY MORNING COLDNESS.
  • 1pm ethan soccer game which jocelyn and I skipped and james took him to because THE COLD ALREADY IT FREEZES.
  • 1pm amy costco trip with jocelyn
  • 3pm amy ikea trip with jocelyn and ethan. (did you see that? I went with the kids A-LONE. NO BACK UP. THIS IS HUGE.)
    managed to get everything PURCHASED and put into the car before the pager buzzed to get teh kids out of smaland. (oh how they love smaland.)

    For the record, we went last weekend too, except that was with james.

  • 4pm had ikea ice cream (the main reason the kids love to go to ikea. the ICE CREAM payoff at the end.)
  • 8pm kids in bed.
  • 8:15pm Jocelyn wandered down the stairs in search of mommy and daddy in order to inform them that she is thirsty.
  • 8:17pm Jocelyn pottied (again) and drinked (again) put back into bed, where she thankfully stayed the remainder of the night.


  • 6:45am woke to the sounds of ethan and jocelyn frolicing on the main level. drowsed until…
  • 7:30 .. somebody hit somebody else because somebody took toy a away from somebody else and everyone involved came to bedroom to tattle.
  • 7:32 told everyone that i didn’t want to hear it, they need to work it out, and hey, hop up here you, you look chilly!
    7:33 cold feet on warm skin is better than any coffee. sleep gone baby gone.
  • 7:45 BED PARTY!
  • 9:30am amy put together several trofast toy storage units. Ethan helps and accidently breaks a cross piece. wood glue and clamps come to the rescue. mommy does not raise her voice even once! PARENTING MOTHER OF THE YEAR award somehow does NOT magically fly through the window in recognition of this feat. Go figure!
  • 11am carrying of tall trofast units downstairs, general running around in the basement by small people, scrubbing of paint spots on floor by grown ups, entirely too much playing with the glass doors on the new tv console for grownups to stomach before finally abandoning the basement for the upstairs again.
  • 12pm lunch and then an attempt at quiet time. grownups discuss the need for another ikea trip.
  • 1pm lots of cleaning ensues, with promises of a ikea trip as the carrot at the end of a stick
  • 3:30pm amy checks her children into smaland, and the timer is set. She has 30 minutes to get all her stuff before she is required to get her children again! Can she do it!
  • 4:00 BZZZZT! She can’t. She is still picking out bins when the pager buzzes. She is in the warehouse, finishes picking her bins, stashes the cart near the checkout lines, and dashes to retrieve said children.
  • 4:10 amy is in the checkout line, PUTTING HER ITEMS ON THE BELT.. when she notices that a piece is missing from one of the kitchen items she wants to buy. Kitchen item. Kitchen department. one floor up and in the MIDDLE of the floor. SHE WAS ALMOST HOME FREE, but now she must RETURN, with TWO KIDS IN TOW, to get the item with all pieces intact.
  • 4:25 one would think that by now she’d have that item and be back in the checkout line, but no. she’s not.
  • 4:35 letting the kids play in the kids section before heading downstairs.
  • 4:45 nope not yet. She has however, started using that hissing mom voice every time a kid clings to the side of the cart and then jumps off, which sends the cart careening to the side into other shoppers.
  • 4:55 HAHA – not even close. Every “kid-house” in ikea must be played in, you see.
  • 5:05 there are approximately 247 “kid houses” on teh bottom level, even taking the short-cuts (and i know them all, baby).
  • 5:15 we’re in the rugs. the end is in site, but mommy is about to lose it and her feet are killing her and she sits both kids on the rugs to give them the rules that will ensure mommy’s brain doesn’t ooze out of her right ear (probably due to the fact that she is shoving something sharp in the left ear). #1: no jumping on the cart. #2: no jumping off the cart. #3 no running ahead. #4 no lagging behind, and #5 no, we can’t buy that. Any infractions will be counted, and if mommy gets to 3, then no ice cream.
  • 5:25: finally in the check out line. So many bins to dig through. Gates to swing on. And of course, there’s the cart to jump on and off of. Mommy curses the designers of those damn ikea carts where the back wheels which swivel in all directions instead of staying forward like any normal cart for fuck’s sake
  • 5:35 check out completed, but now no one is allowed to even TOUCH THE CART OR AS GOD IS MY WITNESS WILL BE NO ICE CREAM. EVER. IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
  • 5:40 nearby man nearly jumps out of his skin from the mommy bark of the above order at both children.
  • 5:45 ice cream obtained.
  • 6:30 home sweet home! and look, james has laundered and put away every single dirty item in the house. amy knew there was a reason she married him.

The rest of the evening is a blur, but you get the jist. Will I attempt Ikea alone in the future? Probably. That smaland russian pager roulette is just to scary good to not try again. I will probably wear better shoes though.

The basement is shaping up nicely. Hopefully if i get the camera on a tripod the lack of good lighting will be ok and I’ll have some pictures to show. All major pieces have been purchased, and now I’ll be getting into the smaller details. The only problem is now I have no budget left for any smaller details 🙂 Ah well.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

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Oct 28 2007

weekend basement, basement, painting basement.

Published by under crafty,daily,house

last week was not a good week for blogging, and i’m not going to make any guesses about how this coming week will go, so i thought i’d better jot a few words here, on sunday night.

it was a busy weekend. the rain rain rain that washed the DC area from wed-fri in a gray drizzle, brought a shiny clean saturday morning, with lots of puddles and also – cancelled soccer games. James and I were secretly relieved. Jocelyn’s game was scheduled at 9am. Big relief there. I saw it as a sign, and started the big basement project: PAINTING!

But first, I managed to go out furniture buying – a craig’s lister was having a mid-century modern storage unit sale (in lieu of a yard sale, get it?). I wasn’t sure the guy ACTUALLY wanted to sell anything, because whenever I asked how much something was, he would have to check with his wife (who invariably said she didn’t want to sell that one), talk about how it needs to be cleaned up and/or refinished, or tell me how much he could get it on ebay.. OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it was disorganized. There weren’t any deals to really be had, as he knew exactly what each piece would fetch and stood firm, especially on the designer pieces. I did get 2 end tables that didn’t break the bank AND that James said were tolerable (he basically hated everything there (!!!)). Ooh, and a super cool retro lamp. I love them all, and they’ll look great downstairs.

So yeah. Painting. That was the real project of the weekend.

I had picked out the final paint color and purchased 4 gallons 2 weeks ago, which is so long ago that I couldn’t really remember what it looked like. The lighting down there is sooooo bad, that as I worked, it looked more and more like muddy, concrete gray (and I’m not dissing gray, gray can be very lovely) – not pretty at all, but then when I stepped back, or popped upstairs for a drink or a break and came back down and saw it fresh, it showed it’s true color, a lovely misty gray-green that just makes me giddy with happiness. The lighting situation however, will have to be remedied. It’s BAD.

I always put a DVD on my computer (laptop) whenever I have a big project like this, as boredom is my biggest opponent in finishing the project. Lesson learned: don’t put in an action movie (I put in The Rock). Because you’re working and half the time it’s just dramatic tension music – not good for boredom. Before the movie had ended, I gave up, as I felt kind of dizzy and naseaus and had a feeling the paint fumes were getting to me. The next morning I put in something with less action (first The Little Princess, and then Red Dwarf I) and a little more talking, and coupled with an open window, I got on quite well. So well, that after seeing the end well in sight, we packed up the kids and headed to Ikea, knowing that we didn’t want to have to wait until next weekend to get some of the furniture we want for the basement. I finished the painting and pulled a scant 5 feet of tape before I called it a night.

I must say though, even with the tape still on, it looks gooooood.

So here are the basement “tv area” items so far:

camden sofa


ikea shelves

red rug

James is getting excited about picking out a TV.

I still have some final decisions to make about the kids’ area, mostly, WHICH corner of the room it will be in, and so I put off buying anything for that until I am more certain what I’m going to do.

Can’t wait til all the painting is cleared up and we can put everything where it goes.

We’ve got Halloween school parties and pumpkin carving and of course, halloween itself, so it’s going to be a busy week.

-amy is tired just thinking about it.

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