Sunday, February 28, 2010


One of my 50 in 500 items was to go on a mission trip. This was accomplished last fall when I went to Kathmandu, Nepal with my church. I've never actually blogged about the experience. If you've been on a mission trip, you know that words can't really describe the joy, exhaustion, and awe that you come to know. Instead of writing a lot about the beautiful children or the awesome landscape, I thought I would share the videos I made shortly after I returned.

:), Jenny

Blog Muse

Technically, this isn't on Saturday, so I semi-failed my daily blog if you want to be technical. I'm not at all technical.

It's late, and I have had a full day. A new kitchen update is coming soon! It was going to be today, but I spent my evening playing the worst game of poker I've ever had and hanging out with friends.

Blog, I have a question for you today. Do you keep the glasses in your cupboard bottoms up or down? Why?

:), Jenny

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mice and Collections

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Kelly is hosting "Show Us Your Live: Collections" this week. As a teacher I have to be super careful mentioning that I collect things otherwise I end up with 50 glass penguins or 34 angels at Christmastime. The kids have good intentions, and it means a lot to me that they remember the things I like, but really, who needs 21 different apple plaques?

I do have a few collections, though. When I was in high school I started collecting tin lunch boxes. It started on a vacation when I bought one as a souvenir, and has taken on a life of it's own. I have just under 30 of them. Last year I realized I did not want to display them in my house, so I took them up to my classroom. The kids love them and they add an element of fun to our learning environment.

I also collect aprons. I'm not sure how this one got started, so there really isn't a story to tell.

I've thought about collecting old cameras. I only have this one right now, but if I see one at the right price, I might not be able to stop myself. :)

In other news, I had to face my worst fear tonight. No, my hair did not suddenly turn brown, blonde or gray, nor did I have to choose between The Office or LOST. This is worse. I found a mouse. In my house. In Kody's food bowl to be precise. Thank the good Lord above it was dead. He really was looking out for me. I might have fainted had it been alive.

As it was I screamed, ran into my living room, dialed my mom's phone told her the terrible story, dialed my dad's phone, told him the terrible story, dialed my brother's phone, told him the terrible story and announced it on Facebook. Dad told me to throw it out into the yard. I told him to get real. I was not going any where within 25 million feet of that thing. Josh (my brother) told me that it was probably in the dog food and I accidently scooped it in there when I fed Kody tonight. I told Josh that Kody was going to have to starve unless he feeds him if that is the case. So finally, I mustered up the courage to use one of the cabinet doors to cover the bowl so Dad could take care of it in the morning.

I know, Internet, I'm pathetic. I am a capable 25-year-old-girl who is terrified of mice. I'm considering getting a boyfriend just so I have someone to kill mice for me. Maybe I can get my BFF Craig to put out an ad on his list for me. I have to tell you this started for me at a young age. When I was 3, yes 3, I remember a mouse running out from under the entertainment center. I jumped onto the coffee table and wouldn't move. Mom says they caught 3 mice that day. In college my roomie, Kathleen and I had a mouse in our apartment. We named him Harley. She trapped him under a casserole dish. Bless her heart. I owe her big for that one.

I blame the movie Princess Bride and those freaky mice things. I mean, how can one not be afraid of mice after seeing that? Or how about The Nutcracker and the humongous mouse on there? Or Micky? He's cute and all, but if you really think about it, a dressed, talking mouse is a bit creepy. See, it's not my fault I'm afraid. It's the media.

:), Jenny

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  • Snow! - Only because I got a snow day Monday. I love the stuff, but I'm ready for Spring!
  • Paint - It is currently transforming my cabinets from ugly ducklings to swans.
This is shaping up to be a really lame Thankful Thursday post. I wouldn't be surprised if all of you blog readers began throwing tomatoes at me for this one! It's late, I'm tired, I have a ton of excuses, but in the end just know that I love Thankful Thursday, and will try to do it better justice next week.
This daily blogging is harder than it looks!
:), Jenny

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Warning: Extreme Cuteness Ahead

Monday my mom was supposed to watch my nephew, Cash, while my sister-in-law went to the school to work. The good Lord blessed us all with a snow day, so Momma was terribly worried that she wouldn't get to see her precious grand baby. She lucked out, because my SIL still wanted to run some errands, so she still needed a sitter. Since I live down the street, they brought Cash to my house. Since he is the cutest thing since baby Uggs, (Have you seen those things? There is a little girl in my Sunday School class who always wears them, and they are sooo cute!) and he has a shutter happy aunt, we had a mini photo shoot.

In case you're wondering what I look like behind the camera after I've been painting cabinets, here is the photo for you:

Turns out all you need to get a cute baby shot is a blanket, great window light, someone to hold the baby, someone to entertain the baby, and someone to actually take the photo! Seriously though, for all you moms out there: put your baby in its bouncy seat with a cute fabric covering the bouncy, then set him just to the side of a wide open window. Turn the flash off your camera (you can even keep it in auto if you like) and shoot away. I promise you'll get something cute. If you try it, be sure to leave a comment so I can see your results!
:), Jenny

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Daily Blog

Day 3 of blogging daily. I have a lot of ideas of things to write about, but I'm running short on time today. Maybe I should write some extra blogs on days when I have time, and post them on days like today. That would be in a perfect world. You know the same one where chocolate cake has zero calories, my house dusts itself, and everyday would be a perfect hair day. Since I don't live in a perfect world, and I only have 26 seconds to write this post, I'm going to leave you with a YouTube video. "When I discovered YouTube, I didn't work for 5 days. I did nothing. I watched Cookie Monster sing Chocolate Rain about a thousand times." - Michael Scott (The Office)

I saw this on the following video on this blog a few days back. (Which is by far the funniest blog you will ever read.) She wanted opinions about whether you loved or hated it. I loved it, so I'm posting it.

I'm still working on coming up with a clever closing. It's all I think about in the car and shower. You know, the usual best-thinking-places.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Day!

I love my job. The kids are fun, I work with great people, and it is different everyday. Regardless, I love, love, love snow days. I spent the day cleaning, playing with my nephew, Cash, running errands, and relaxing. I also snuck outside to capture a few ice images.

Kody was outside with me. He chews on the lower branches to get the ice.

I should have closed my aperture a bit to get better sun flare. Oh well, I still like the image.

The two images below are the exact same settings and location, just different focal points.

As pretty as the ice is, I'm ready for Spring!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

50 in 500 Update

At the beginning of the year while everyone else was busy creating New Year's Resolutions, I decided to post my 50 in 500 list. The date for completion of the list is late Nov, which is approaching faster than I realize! Luckily, I have completed a few...

#4 - Create a New Logo for Jenny's Lens -- Done! I created this a few weeks ago.

#25 - Solve my Rubik's cube - Not Completed. I'm thinking about deleting this one. I have a couple of kids in my classroom that can solve it, so it looks solved. As long as it looks like I reached my goal, I get to cross it off. I know it's just a pattern that you have to keep repeating, which I think is the definition of insanity. Pretty sure it is in everyone's best interest for me to give up my Rubik's cube dreams.

Okay, so all in all I have hardly completed anything. I know what you are thinking, internet, and I am a hot mess. I need to focus and my mom would tell you that I need to clean my bedroom, which is probably true. I kind of enjoy my crazy, messy life, but I have a list and time is running short,  so I'm going to work on goal #9 which is to blog every day for a month. Maybe this will motivate me to cross other things off my list. My goal is to blog something every 24 hours until March 20. (What's that? Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that February only has 28 days which means there are only 28 days instead of the usual 30 or 31 between now and then. No, that is not cheating.)

I wish I had a cool send off to put at the end of each blog post. Like, "stay classy, internet"or "Until we meet again." Maybe I'll try out some new ones in our blogging month saga.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Kitchen Episode 5

Don't get too excited, because this is not a complete before and after post, but I wanted to remind you of the before:

Remember old kitchen? Cute, Quaint, and a little too banana-like for my tastes.  Thankfully, my kitchen currently looks like this:

There has been a lot of change since last episode! Let's start with the appliances. I came home last week to find a dishwasher installed. Apparently my parents had ran across it at Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. The racks look brand new and it works perfectly! Woohoo!
The stove is from my best friend, Criag and his giant list, same with the microwave. The fridge came with the house. Cost for all appliances = $185.

Speaking of Craigslist, remember this sink from last time? It has found its new home. Happily nestled in my wooden countertops.

My favorite change has been the crown molding and the shelf under the cabinets. It gives it all a nice finished touch.

And my favorite view:

Feel free to pretend like you don't see how dusty my light fixture has become. It's staying that way until we done sanding the walls and cabinets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  • Habitat for Humanity Re-Store - My parents found a dishwasher for $35 there! It looks perfect and saved me a lot of money. (Kitchen Episode 5 is coming soon with all the appliances in place!)
  • My Family - On Superbowl Sunday we had a fun family gathering. It just reminded me of how lucky I am to have them.
  • Skype - I've always had Skype, but I've just started using it. It reminds me of college days and AIM. So much better than Facebook chat.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Hall Bath

Green is my favorite color; all you have to do is walk into my house to figure that one out. My entry way is pea-soup-green. I love it, and so does Kody.

I have to say though, the teal-ish green tiles that were originally in my bathroom when I bought my house were not my kind of green. I didn’t hate them, and was fully prepared to work with them, but they weren’t what I wanted. Thankfully, I was able to score a ton of tile at a construction auction making it a lot easier (and cheaper - less than $30 with enough to do my mud room and bathroom) to say good-bye to the bathroom that hadn’t changed since 1952.

I actually didn't realize there was no shower, and just a bath tub the first time I walked through. Dad pointed it out to me when we were there for the inspection. I was just looking at the potential :) 

This was the first room in the house we finished. We started it mid-September when I bought the house and Mom put in the finishing touches in mid-October while I was in Nepal as a birthday gift.

Dad drew my plans for the custom vanity right on the wall. 

See the border that was around the room in the mirror's reflection? Classic 1952.

My grandparents and I both worked on tearing out the tile. We were careful because we weren't sure if we'd want to re-use it later. It is currently in my attic, but there are no plans to reuse it right now. It may be on it's way to Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. This is what a wall looks like after all the tile had been removed:

After we tore out the tile, Dad re-sheetrocked, and it was time to re-tile. I had this idea for built in cubbies in the shower. As he was working on them, Dad informed me that this made me high maintenance. Apparently they weren't the easiest thing to create. Luckily, he had my Uncle Wayne to help him.

Now time for the big reveal....

A friend of my dad's made the cabinet, then Dad painted it and made the formica top.

I brought in some green-glass-tile to compliment the white tile I got at the auction. I love green.

We used black hammered paint on the mirror and light fixture. I got the light fixture for free from Craigslist and the mirror was in gma's basement. They were both originally "builder's brass," but now they are boldly black.

One of my favorite things about the cabinet is the deep drawer on the bottom right and the width of the other drawers.

Yikes! That's a lot of make-up, especially for a girl who hardly even wears make-up. I guess I like the security of knowing it's there if I feel the need to use it. The front basket is all make-up brushes. I love my make-up brushes.

Grandma got this faucet at a garage sale for $5! I love how tall it is.

We got this shower curtain at a garage sale too, then had the "C" embroidered to give it a nice custom touch. 

So for about $500 and a lot of man hours I got a whole new bathroom that I love!!
On another note, Kelly @ Kelly's Korner recently posted this post about "cardboard" testimonies. Here's the video she posted:

The video is powerful, but the comments on Kelly's post spoke to me even more. People who had experienced cancer, infertility, doubt, depression and many other valleys in life still praising the Lord for the great things He has done.  I encourage you to read through some of the testimonies written there. I love how to the point they are. In just a few brief words, the power, grace, and love of Jesus is shown. 

Feel free to share your own here or there. 

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Kitchen Episode 4

Lean Cuisines have become a way of life for me. I can tell you which ones are good (Did somebody say Baja Quesadillas?) and which are cardboard. I have come to appreciate plastic ware and paper plates. Kitchen items no longer need cabinets in my house, they live on top of the fridge, and in the buffet in the dining room. As well as I've adjusted to life without a "real" kitchen, all of this is coming to an end. No, my kitchen remodel is not finished, yet. In fact, it still has a full season of episodes left, but the end is drawing near. Much in the same way as LOST. (What? No, I'm not obsessed with the show LOST or The Office for that matter.)

So what's new in my kitchen? Last time I discussed the countertops. Since then, they have been stain, sealed and delivered. (I'm not sure what they were delivered from, but I've learned to copy song lyrics as much as possible in my writing.)

Who's that cutie modeling the unfinished bowling alley countertops? His name is Kody, maybe I'll write a post about him on here soon. Notice the sink. :)

Holy diamonds, Batman! Those counters are shiny! (Okay, I'm lame, might as well just own up to it.) The sealant isn't quite finished drying here, so there is still a fairly high shine.

Remember that sink I pointed out to you 2 photos ago? That is another of my dad's amazing Craigslist finds. For $10, I got a kitchen sink. Not too shabby. Pay no attention to the random stuff in the garbage disposal side of the sink.

Speaking of cheap, for the last few weeks I've been debating about what to do under the counters on the dining room side of the kitchen. My dad had the resourceful idea to use the original upper cabinets as shelves under the counter. They needed to be shallow since the countertop was not a full 24 inches, and I'd like the option to put bar stools there. The cabinets fit perfectly, all I had to do was yank off the doors. (Which is much easier said than done. Hinges that have been stuck for 58 years don't come off easily.) So this shelf was once an upper cabinet in this exact kitchen.

Oh, and internet, I must apologize. Last time I told you I'd be updating you about this wall. Well, life and laziness got in the way and the wall is still pretty much the same. You can see some paint samples I'm playing with, though.

In case you need recaps, here are Episodes one, two and three.