Friday, January 31, 2014

Bathroom Crashers…Runchey Style

Okay, so maybe it didn’t happen in 24 hours like it does on HGTV, but it did go fast.

A couple months ago I shared a Pinterest pin with Rob about how some people have redone their bathroom oak vanities using several coats of gel stain.  Both of us are very tired of all the oak in our house.  It’s okay, but it’s everywhere!  He was intrigued and did some research of his own and ordered a can or two to try out.  Meanwhile, I got back on and Pinterest and looked up some more ideas and decided I wanted to tile from the vanity up to the ceiling.  It’s a very small powder room so I didn’t think it would be too time consuming or costly.

Fast forward to last week.  Rob finally just bit the bullet and started staining our vanity.


This is also our only “before” shot of the bathroom.  Grey walls, purple and white butterflies stamped as a border, contractor mirror.  It was fine, just needed some sprucing up.

I think he ended up putting 2 or 3 coats of gel stain on and followed it up with a couple coats of poly.  Either he made it look easy, or it was easy.  I can’t say.  I had no part of this.

On Friday I went to Lowes and found some mosaic tiles I liked for half the price of all the other styles I picked out.  I was sure it was a mistake so I decided to just go for it and buy everything we needed before they raised the price.  Saturday I called my dad to see if I could borrow his tile saw and we were on our way!


And lucky us, look who came along with his tile saw:


A tremendous help!

And, because we didn’t have enough going on, my dad and I also tackled taking apart our dishwasher.


Got that all fixed up good as new.

Tiling always takes a little longer than I think it’s going to take.  Especially when I do these little mosaic styles.  I really should pick something more straight forward.  It started to get a bit crowded up there towards the end and my neck was getting stiff but we did get it done in a few hours.


The whole wall:


And then one more trip to Lowe’s for a new faucet, towel bar, grout, and other accessories and we were done!  I told my dad my faucet installing skills were not quite up to par.  I got it done, but it probably took 30 minutes longer than it should have!  (And it probably shouldn’t have taken 30 minutes to start with).  The final product:


Rob and I are pretty happy with our results.  Makes us want to refresh the rest of the house.  We’re accepting donations.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Arm Knitting

I am hoping we are on our last round of sickness in this family, as Rob is wrapping up his second bout.  I sort of feel, as a microbiologist, that I have failed to pass on the importance of hand-washing in our house.  I will work on reiterating that lesson.

In the meantime, everyone (but me) is either in bed by 8pm or earlier so I have some downtime at night and last night I decided instead of playing Candy Crush or watching some lame TV show I was going to knit a scarf.  Earlier in the day, during preschool drop-off, I heard another mom saying a person can knit a scarf using their arms.  Since I don’t own any knitting equipment I thought this sounded promising and I was off to Michaels to purchase my first ever skein of yarn.

Armed (ha ha…get it?!) with some yarn and YouTube I was ready.  After a 20 minute video, and then 5 more minutes of practice, I had this:


It kind of looks like a hot mess but the video warned me it would so I continued. 

Sure enough, in another 40 minutes I had my completed project and since no one was awake I had to rely on the ol’ “bathroom selfie” to get a picture:


I’m not sure how similar it is to real knitting but I enjoyed it.  Plus, it was easy and quick.  My kind of project!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Plague

Something has settled in our house and it’s time for it to go.  For the last 10 days someone in our house has been sick.  First Austin got the flu.  On the day of the big sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s no less so that was doubly painful for him.  1

Rob followed with two days home from work.  Ellie missed school both Thursday and Friday.  Thursday she might have broken some sort of sleep record.  She dozed on the couch in the morning from 8-12, went to her bed and slept from 1-7pm, woke up and went back to sleep at 8pm until the next morning!  We found out Saturday she had strep.


Sunday both Austin and Riley got fevers (again). 


Monday no one had school and today Ellie is the only one who went to school.  Austin is fine and bouncing off the walls a bit but with the “no fever for 24 hours” rule he didn’t go to school.  Riley still has a fever but seems to be improving.

I have been living on Emergen-C and bathing in hand sanitizer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reasons to Dress Up

In December the kids had a couple reasons to dress up.  Right after we got back from Cancun, we all went to see The Wizard of Oz at the Orpheum.  Rob and I had purchased the tickets from the state fair back in August and I think we were nervous about the whole thing right up until intermission.  First, our kids were already exhausted from the Mexico trip, second, the show didn’t start until 7:30, and I had already picked up both kids from school on Tuesday because they were both too tired to function.  Also, musicals can be long, and if it turns out you don’t really care for them, they can be excruciatingly long.  In hindsight, we probably should have taken them to a local high school musical for their first introduction into the art, but Go Big or Go Home….that’s what we say!

Thankfully, all three really enjoyed it.  Even the scary witch.  And they all made it through their Fridays at school without falling asleep at their desks.


And they were so well behaved and adorable (from their biased mom).

Later on that month they all got dressed up again, but this time to meet someone of great importance to them.  Santa.

I got a couple tips from friends and family that the Bachman’s on Lyndale has a great Santa with free pictures.  Perfect!  I was shocked at the size of that Bachman’s!  Ellie wants to go back just to shop!  Anyway, Santa was indeed wonderful as was his elf.  They put on a 20 minute play, then all the kids were invited on stage to sing Christmas carols.


Luckily, one of our tipsters told us to stand on the right side of the stage where the line for pictures starts.  So, Rob set up shop over there and we only had to wait about 8 minutes to get our picture….others were not so lucky.


We spent another 20 minutes or so touring the store decorations and I snapped this photo because they’re cute.


These kids all have their dad wrapped around their little fingers.  As he should be.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cancun–a couple more

While we were there we hired a professional photographer from the hotel to take pictures of the whole crew.  It was a nice deal because you didn’t pay for the photo shoot, just the images you wanted to keep.  He spent a good amount of time with us taking pictures of individual families, the whole group, and just the grandkids.  The hotel also had various creatures come to the pool each day and you could get your picture taken with them.  Here’s our favorites from the professionals:








Monday, January 6, 2014

Cancun 2013

Our kids have had a really rough end of the year travel schedule.  Disney World in October, and a month later, we headed to Mexico over Thanksgiving.  Rob’s parents treated the whole Runchey clan to a trip in sunny Cancun.  Rob planned out the trip for everyone, 22 in total.  We stayed at the Gran Royal Caribe and it was awesome!

Our travels there went pretty well for as many kids as we had.  Our family, Bob & Patti, and Kristin, Jeff and their three kids all left out of Minneapolis.  We had quite a caravan.  My parents and Kerry all got up at 4:30 and took us to the airport.  We were at our hotel by 1pm and ready to check in.  Unfortunately, they were not ready for us and we had a couple hotel room problems, but those were all straightened out by the second day and everyone was ready to relax!


First one the kids’ agenda was the beach!


My kids love the water and it’s even better with a beach attached.  Riley and her cousin Kaitlyn would have been content on the beach from sun-up to sun-down picking up every scrap of seashell they could find.  On our final day we took the kids down to the beach one last time and Austin and Riley learned how to body surf the waves.  They were getting pretty brave about it so I was glad that was only on our last day!

The hotel had a “Kids Club” that the girl cousins loved!  We dropped Ellie, Riley, Claire, and Kaitlyn off there regularly.  Their favorite part was the nightly parties the kids club had.  There were puppet shows, dance parties, magic shows, and pizza parties. 


The kids always had a chance to participate (that’s Mckinley and Ellie testing out their puppeteering skills).  And if the Kids Club wasn’t entertaining enough, there was a pirate ship splash pad, 2 water slides, and mini golf.

Austin’s favorite activity was painting the pottery.


Grandma Runchey bought each of the grandkids a piece to paint.


And their favorite part was getting the pieces back because the man running the stand jazzes them up a bit.


Austin ended up going back and using his spending money to make a fish platter for Grandma and another piece, a shark, for himself.  I’ve never seen him so interested in an art and craft project!

It was an all-inclusive resort so we had our fair share of great food and drinks (especially Mojitos!) and the pool usually had some activities for us as well.  I’m pretty sure we went undefeated in pool volleyball and the adult guys had a pretty hardcore game of water polo that was their favorite (but it was ruthless and not for me….or any other woman that I saw).  But it was equally fun to just relax in the sun and chit chat.



As I sit here typing up this post, it is –48 degrees (with the wind-chill) and the governor has closed all MN schools.  I wouldn’t mind jumping into this picture where it was probably 135 degrees warmer.

Thanks Bob and Patti!