Monday, December 29, 2008

Next on the Agenda...

After Doug and Tricia's wedding - (we are all so excited)! We are going to tackle a little (!) remodeling project - the kitchen! Even though the kitchen in this house has been remodeled at some point, there is still a lot of wasted space and it is too crowded for our family. Stacy and I both like to cook and Shane has been known to make some yummy food himself - so we're just too crowded. It is also 'cut off' from the rest of the living area, so if you want to visit with the cook (who doesn't!), you have to be in the kitchen and it's squishy and not too comfortable.

So - here are the before pictures:

Wasted space and nowhere to put the trash can. This area by the back door is generally just a place to stack stuff that is 'going'. The bar is too small and too low. (It's outta here!)

This section is going to look pretty much the same, so we can save money by not moving the plumbing. (No "appliance garage" - it keeps getting wet!)

This whole section will be moved to the wall that currently has the back door in it. (There will be no 'decorative' glass fronted cabinets - you can tell I'm not really into 'arranging' the interior of my cupboards)

This opening is going to be moved to the left and the back door is going to be moved into the dining room at the top of the stairs (there is currently a coat rack there). This will cut down on some of the congestion in the kitchen.

This taped area shows where my new walk-in pantry will be, on the left - at an angle. My range will be to the right.

This wall will be pretty mostly gone! There will be a big open bar into the kitchen - and I am going to be able to use my bar stools that I have saved for 5 years from my old house!

We are getting all new, chocolate brown (stained) cabinets, quartz countertops - green, of course, a new convection oven that has a regular sized oven, plus a small one too. That is the plan so far - but I know that things will be changing as we go! I would LOVE to hear your ideas/wishes/loves/hates about your kitchen, to help me plan mine. Also, We are starting demo Jan. 12 - feel free to invite me to dinner!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Happenings...

Things that have been going on in our house this past week:

Cleaning the house for Santa (Shaun LOVES this floor sweeper, every time I turn it on, he comes running, saying "My turn, my turn!")

Making Tamales for Christmas Eve Dinner:

Making Christmas Gifts (Doug made a fun apron for Tricia - all by himself!)

Doug - balancing a chair on his fingers. (When he filled out his mission paperwork, it asked what his talents were (music, computers, etc.) -he put down "balancing things on my fingers")

Dancing around because Santa is coming...

Shane - waiting for Santa in his Silky Pajamas - a Christmas Staple around here. He also bought himself a plasma screen tv and wrapped it up to add to his present pile, he begged me to tell the other kids that I'd bought it for him, so he could brag that he is the favorite!

Tricia with the quilt I made her... and other gifts, etc.

(Amanda's new squeeze - Jeremy)

Digging Shane's car out of the snow (several times!!)

The best part is that Christmas is all cleaned up and put away - so we can ready for Doug and Tricia's wedding next week!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas To Me...

This is my beautiful new "Grandchildren Table", I found it at Costco last night and Stacy put it together for me today. I bought it with the Christmas money my mom sent me. I love it, the babies love it - sweet deal! (I wonder if Shane realizes he will be at the new 'kids table' for Thanksgiving next year? Ha Ha Ha Ha)

Gingerbread Party...

Is it possible to 'cheat' at Gingerbread house making? Yes, it is, just ask Shane who was frustrated with the frosting's drying time, so he busted out the glue gun!

Mitch, before the plane crash...

And After...

Christian was much more interested in the toy bus than building a house.

Doug kept frosting smarties for 'The Boy'

Austin was thrilled with the whole thing.

We had a "Gingerbread Party FHE" the other night (I know, you're thinking, do the Sommers EVER have an actual lesson???? - Not really, now that the kids are grown, if they didn't learn it yet, it's probably too late). Several of our own kids couldn't make it, so we invited the Macfarlanes to join us. They brought some candy and their cute kids and got right into making their masterpieces. Mitch was making an Eiffel Tower, it was gorgeous, until the plane crash (or until it got too heavy to hold all the candy he was piling on!). Megan's was so nice, it had perfect icicles and everything, we don't know if she is going be invited back. Ben made a quite a passable imitation of "Big Ben", of course. Shane just couldn't get his to set up the way he wanted, so he zipped downstairs and grabbed the glue gun - and 2 sticks of glue later, he was finished. He had a wall of smarties, a "hot tub" filled with hot glue - it actually melted the gummy bears he popped inside of it - and other features that would be physically impossible with only candy and frosting. Everyone else made a cute house (mine collapsed early in the game and became a sleigh, sort of). Since we have very little counter space around here, they are lined up on the carport wall outside, but I don't think the snow is doing them any favors. If you happen to see them on your way to church and want a taste - don't eat Shane's, you'll break your teeth!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


( You'd think we'd have a clue as to how big that tree really is!!!)

"Dear God, So far today I'm doing all right, I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, nasty, grumpy, selfish or self-indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed or eaten any chocolate. I have charged nothing on my credit card... But, I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think that I will really need your help then." (From a quilt store class schedule)
Things that make me laugh...
Will Farrell as "Elf": "Son of a nutcracker!"
Stacy: "Fandango".
The Boy: "Hi Gramr" (Grandma)
Every time I hear or think about those lines, I crack right up. Humor is one of my favorite things. It can be so subjective, or so all-encompassing. Sometimes, you really "Had to be there", sometimes, it's funny years later to perfect strangers.
I'd love to hear what's funny to you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sommers Family Christmas Party

Cutest sideways grandchildren ever!
Babygirl discovers the bag of marshmallows

Benjamin P.

Brooke and the famous Uncle Randy

Danny and Desirae

Shane and Becca, in front of the pile of White Elephants

David, in the 'good' chair!

Brady and Jessica

Melanie, Denise and Miranda
Nate and MC

Danielle and Mike with cute baby Macy

Every year we have a big Family Christmas Party with Stacy's family. He has 6 siblings, so it is getting bigger every year. This year, someone had the brilliant idea to hold it at the Sandy office, since we have pretty much outgrown everyone's house (thanks, Danny!). There were even 5 of the great granchildren there this year. We bring snacks to munch on and people let grandma know about what they want to share in the talent show, and, of course, the infamous White Elephant Gift Exchange! I think it is a true, but sad, commentary on our family that of the 45 or so people who attend, there are only 3 talent acts, one of which was The Boy, doing a somersault! We don't really mind though, since then we get to the main event - the gift exchange! The funniest thing was that this year, Brooke brought a special gift for her kids so they wouldn't cry when someone 'stole' their gift in the game! Mind you, this is Brooke, who one year brought a pound of See's candy and carefully opened the box, bit each candy in half and carefully resealed the wrapping paper. This was a hotly contested item and the recipient was half way through opening it with a great gloating smile, but when they got it open and looked inside, they got very sad, (much to her delight)! This year, she brought an 8"x 10" close up picture of Uncle Randy, in a frame. It got passed around quite a bit, especially after Uncle Randy autographed it! Danny was the funniest, he was propping it everywhere and taking pictures of it, with the kids, sitting on it, etc.! At the beginning of the game, Stacy explained that the Babygirl and The Boy, had their own special presents and got to go first and weren't really playing the game, "Because they wouldn't understand and would cry". The most hilarious thing was that he (and Brooke) were serious! Some people grumbled that the game had made their kids cry for years and many times it was Stacy or one of our kids (like Brooke!) that made them sob! So, this year, there weren't any tears, or big fights, and I think I missed that! By the way, several people who usually start the fights weren't there... Jeff and Rose, to mention a couple of the culprits... as there is still somewhat of a disagreement on where the big red vibrating garage sale chair belongs, even after 4 years...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Decorated - Finally!

Well, we did manage to get the tree decorated for FHE this week - hooray! Thanks to Brooke and Ben and those cute grandbabies! Doug and Shane suddenly had 'other' plans and we couldn't pry that Amanda off the computer! (Doug actually had ridden the BUS to Primary Children's Hospital to meet Tricia after her shift and drive home with her - he got a bus pass for $5 with his UVU ID and wanted to 'practice' riding it places, it took him close to 3 hours to get up there, this was after he rode it to the library and back to pick up some reading materials for the bus ride!) Thank goodness for Ben and his 'tallness', he was great with the lights and trimming that last little bit off the top so the angel would fit. The kids were fascinated with my nativity sets, which, by the way, are all glass or ceramic. They did really well, being 'soft' with them, I just love to see them play with the baby Jesus and the little animals.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Fun, Old-Fashioned, Family Christmas...

We thought it would be fun to take the whole fam up to the mountains and cut down our own Christmas Tree this year, and - take the family photo while we were at it. We went up out of Wahlsburg. (Thank you to Doug and Tricia who went someplace at 4 a.m. last month to get the permit) Our family numbers 13 plus Brooke's dog, so we drove 3 cars, then when the road got bad, we crowded Jeff and Halie into our car for the last couple of miles. We got the picture taken, then Jeff and Halie walked back to their car, while the rest of us (with 4WD) continued up the road. We got to a tiny turn around/dead end and decided - "we're here". We tramped around a bit, then the menfolk spotted a tree that they thought would do. Stacy got out the saw and he and Ben mostly sawed it down. (Shane was trying to start a fire to get warm). It was a pretty tall tree, but the first 4 feet or so was bare, so after they cut it down, they sawed that off and it went to Brooke and Ben's for firewood. The men put it up on their shoulders and hiked back to the car with it. After some huffing and puffing and consulting, it was tied on semi-securely and we loaded back up and were off. We kept checking to make sure it wasn't sliding too much and made it safely home.

Well, you can see that no one had stood it up in the mountains after we cut it down and it was a LITTLE taller than it had looked surrounded by giant trees! Keep in mind that our ceilings are 8 feet, max - we have an old, grandma house! So, there was plenty more sawing to do, to get it to fit into the family room. (We probably should have gotten a clue when it was pretty much the entire length of my very large SUV!) We then enjoyed pizza and hot chocolate while watching "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", our family favorite.

P.S. The tree is still undecorated, since I went out of town the next day -we're hoping to do it for FHE this week!