Help. This is the color of my house now. We need to paint, badly. And before that I have to get my colors approved with the HOA. Fun! (You can click on the pics to make them bigger) (Oh, and don't mind the orange tree in the front yard that's falling down)
I worked on some different color combos in Photoshop, I want to freshen it up and make it look a little more modern, but now playing with it I'm not so sure which direction to go. My color choices are limited because of the stacked rock around my entrance (which I love, don't get me wrong) - - because I need to match it, obviously.

Feel free to comment which is your favorite. What house are you most drawn to, and why? And it's okay to vote for the original color too!

SO what to do? Do I stick close to the original, dark taupe and keep the trim light (cream?) ?? I'm thinking the stone around the entrance pops more when there's a light color around it, versus dark?? I think I lean toward Option #4, which is funny because that's the one that's most similar to the original color - - Oh, I don't know. I like a lighter garage door color, slightly different that the body of the house - and I want a front door that pops. Blue? Red? (But this would only work if I could lose the security door, but my husband's not too keen on that idea...) Unless I went with black, which would be awesome - then we'd just spray the security door black to match as well.

Oh, and one more thing? That iron fence, in front of J's upstairs window? It's a gaggy rusty pink color at the moment. Do we paint it the same color as the trim, or black to match the front door??

Call us up, if you want gangsta

I love it when my kids play dress-up. But there ain't no princesses in this house.

Time for School! Time for School! Update.

My kids have started in their new schools. (Okay yes, it's been 3 weeks, and I'm barely posting this...) I think it's going pretty well. Both A and M are up to their usual tricks, getting 100%s on most assignments.
M's teacher left me the greatest message today, just wanted to let me know how well M was doing, excelling academically, adjusting really well socially, she's a joy to have in class... she went on and on about how much she liked her. The message made me very happy, considering we have such rough mornings getting to school sometimes.
A has made lots of friends of course, and has become a regular in the school library. We went and rented a violin from Milano's, and she started in the school orchestra... which she LOVES, but I can already tell that if we're really serious about wanting her to play, we need to get her private lessons. The green eyed monster rears its ugly head each time Daddy takes A to the early bus for orchestra, because a certain second grader wants to go so badly too, and be in orchestra. (hence the rough mornings 2x a week)
Both girls dig riding the bus - and I like it too, as I only have to drive 2 miles to the bus stop - - and I think it's awesome that there's an early bus for A twice a week just for orchestra! Franklin is a good fit for us right now (and will be even better when it cools off and it's not so unbearable wearing long pants every day) and though M always says it's so much WORK, and she gets SAND in her shoes every recess, the girls are getting to do fun things; aside from orchestra, A tells me every day about the books that her teacher is reading to them, M is learning poetry - - pretty cool!
I don't have a picture of J yet (charged camera and me haven't been in the same place at the same time lately) at preschool. I wish I could show you how excited he was to be there the first week! He was mad all day that Friday because there was no school... (he goes T, W, Th) A was identifying parts of a sentence on some homework yesterday and the word "sense" was used as a noun, and J piped up and said "hey, that's in my school!" because they're learning about the 5 senses. Good to know he's paying at least a little bit of attention!



makes me want to start scrapbooking again!!!
Check IT



Oh, what do you DO in the summertime when vacations and trips are finished, summer reading programs are long gone, we don't live close enough to friends anymore to have playdates, library events have ceased, you've seen all the kid movies there are to see, it's one-hundred-and-crazy degrees still outside, mom is completely out of money and it's still a week til school starts??????? We've completely devolved over here. The kids have watched more DVDs and old cartoons on hulu than I can count, and spent hours playing computer games. Projects in the house have stalled for one reason or another, mostly because Mommy has no motivation to do anything when it's so hot...

Kid Update:
J and M are doing pretty well today - they've dressed up like astronauts (which for some reason includes baseball hats, swim goggles and superhero capes??) and are exploring space and killing aliens upstairs (who knew we had such an infestation??) Have I mentioned what great big sister M is? Love her.
After a doctor appointment and chest x-rays last week, A turned out to have pneumonia (I know, right??) but she's been on an antibiotics for a week now and has all but stopped coughing. Still a little bit when she's going to bed at night. One thing they found in her chest x-ray, though, is scoliosis (like mother, like daughter!) and we have an appointment on Friday to figure out more about that. Hopefully hers isn't as severe as mine was, and she won't have to have surgery.
A's room has been a wreck for the past three weeks, and she's been a really good sport about it. We're still needing to paint a whole 2nd coat on her paint and get her furniture in there. THEN we can put the blinds back up!

House update:
We've spent a lot of un-fun money on the house this month- - new pool vacuum, A/C tuneup, and a plumbing repair. I was really hoping we'd be able to afford to get the house painted soon after we moved in, but it keeps dropping on the priority list. Last week we had a panicked moment when our dining room ceiling started leaking during M's bath... I had nightmares of having to rip the bathtub out and pay for a huge repair, but it turns out that we got a home warranty (THANK GOODNESS). Plumbers came this week with only a $55 service call and fixed it, (it was some kind of drain issue) and now we just need to get two small holes in the drywall repaired. Whew.
Our to-do list I made TWO months ago is still pretty much that - a to-do list. Little has been accomplished on it - but here's where we stand:

Projects finished:
Kitchen pantry painted, New garbage disposal installed, R/O system taken out, New sink cabinet floor cut and put in, Pool drained & acid washed, Rose bushes trimmed
Holes in the drywall patched (but now we have new holes to fix!), Doggie door removed, New programmable thermostats installed, Built-ins ripped out in craft room, Furniture left in the house sold on Craig's List, J's room and closet painted, master bedroom painted, Shutters installed in J's room and master bedroom, Block fence/gate repaired, M's room painted, J's ceiling painted, Laminate floor in craft room finished, Craft room painted, Most of upper cabinets installed in craft room, A's new ceiling fan installed

Projects in progress:
Painting A's room
Getting A's furniture (TONIGHT! Yeah!)
Installing rest of craft room cabinets
Figuring out new craft room countertop situation...
Building shelves in J's room niches

Projects on horizon:
Getting craft room unpacked
Finishing J's quilt, or giving up and buying one
Getting garage door fixed
Getting garage door opener wires installed
Spray painting several light fixtures
Buying new ceiling fans (finally made a decision on those)
Buying and installing water softener (okay maybe this will be moved down on the list - I had no idea they were so expensive)
Buying and installing a new microwave
Dead tree ripped out and taken to dump (I think we're going to hire someone to do one big cleanup instead)
Somehow weather-proofing all the windows and doors, and getting the broken/missing screens made and installed
Getting a functioning latch/lock installed on J's window
PAINTING the exterior of the house
PAINTING the interior main spaces