Friday, July 13, 2012

My New Project - A Dresser for the Dining Room

My husband just brought home my newest project! I had only seen a fuzzy cell phone picture of it so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but it was free for the taking and I had just enough info to know it would fit my space in size, if not color.

We are in the process of trying to make our dining room a functional space for both homeschooling and dining and the Ikea dressers we had been using for storage the last four years are falling apart from continued use. This redo has to be done on a frugal budget, so I really couldn't see myself passing up a free dresser! It easily offers enough storage to replace the two plain white, Ikea dressers that are going to either be repurposed, donated, or tossed.

Now, we have to figure out what to do with this piece to make it my own. It really is gorgeous and I am thrilled that it has "feet." The rest of our furniture (mostly also from Ikea) all sits flush to the ground, so I am really counting on this piece to break things up for us.

I've pretty much already decided that I am not keeping all of the drawers and am currently leaning towards only keeping the bottom two (the long yellow ones below). My Pinterest has been busy tonight looking for some inspiration pieces both in color and design. Since this dresser will go in my dining room, I don't want it to look like a dresser.

Then, of course, is the color decision. After going back and forth and back and forth while I waited for it to arrive, I'm thinking about painting it a neutral on the outside (or keeping the current yellow), and then using a bright pop of teal and/or red on the inside (like this dresser redo).

But the issue of what neutral color to choose is hard for me. I don't want a neutral shade of brown... but I also don't want a darker neutral like navy or black. A neutral yellow really does appeal to me, which is why I might not do too much to the outside of this piece.

I really love the curves in this piece... such a nice change from all of the lines and angles in the rest of our furniture!

What do you think? What changes would you make to this dresser to make it more fun and modern? Any suggestions for drawer pulls or baskets?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Charlotte's Nagarote Photos

My best plans to teach Charlotte about taking pictures never really happened. But she does know how to turn the camera on, zoom in, and take a picture... here are some of her better ones.

The  first sunrise Charlotte has ever seen. This was taken from the bus on our way to Miami.

Hanging out on the front porch of our hotel.

I guess when you are short you are more likely to cut people's heads off in photos. There were several like this.

This is Mary Ruth, a very good sport for letting Charlotte take so many pictures of her.

Our trip leaders, Steve & Angela. This is the couple who bought the farm.

 This is Carlos. He is the main, native interpreter for our trip. Today, he is interpreting for Bruce's seminarios with the local pastor's alliance.

Mission Nagarote: Monday Recap

Monday included two visits to a local school called Dream of Louisa. While public education is free in Nicaragua, uniforms, books, and supplies are not, so many children are shut out from educational opportunities. This school exists to fill that gap. 

For some reason, my photos from our morning visit uploaded in a random order... This first one is Mary modeling for the camera in the older student's classroom.

Charlotte finally had a chance to ride in the back of a truck. And to take a picture of mommy taking a picture of her. :)

Our family is grateful for Stepanie and the other teenage girls on our team. They are willing to help out and keep the girls occupied when we need a rest or have something else to do.

Here, Charlotte is encouraging the students to dance during the Chicken Dance song.

And here she is working on the fishing game. During the morning session she quickly bored of her job, but towards the end of the afternoon session, she was practically running the whole thing herself.

Mary has been typically shy this week, taking a while to warm up to each new situation. Here, she was meeting a family that lives next to the school.

Do you have any questions about Nicaragua? Our trip? Our team? If so, leave them in a comment and we'll try to answer them soon.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Like A Weed

They say mission trips can change lives. Apparently, that is true even if you are 4 years old! We've seen Charlotte take risks she never would have taken in the states. Some of it is just fun to watch and are things we already knew she could do, but other things are really surprising to us.

She freely walked all over a farm we visited today. Even going so far as to venture off the beaten path to find her "walking stick." There was a big hill to tackle and she did it cheerfully too.

While she normally freaks out at the sight of most unleashed dogs, it didn't take long for her to get up close to this one.
Her love of the bixi ride has far outweighed any fear of strangers she might have had. Fortunately, this is one of our trusted drivers and Bruce was following close behind while she and Antonio (about 3 years old) rode on his daddy's bixi.

Maybe it's just me... but I had to include this picture because she looks so darn grown up in it!

If you have ever visited a play ground with us and seen Charlotte attempt the monkey bars, you'll understand what a big deal this is. The bars were about 2 feet away from the wall and she was just freely jumping to them and swinging! This is something we knew she could do, but she never felt brave enough to try.

Other things that have surprised us include her response to seemingly random adults picking her up or stroking her hair. I was a little concerned about how she would handle this part of our trip, but it hasn't seemed to phase her at all.

Finally, tonight at Alfa y Omega Church, she made fast friends with several of the little girls. Next thing we know, Charlotte is climbing trees in the dark, climbing on logs, and leading them in all manner of "spy games." I'm not sure how it happens, but she always manages to get the older girls to do exactly what she wants them too!

It sure is fun watching her grow... I love each stage of life with her more than the last! Can't imagine how much I'll love her by the time she is in college!