Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here are a few shots of our overnight to southern Indiana. First of all, a hilarious liquor store near French Lick. We couldn't help ourselves. It was awesome. Unfortunately their selections were not. We left and found a CVS to purchase our wine.

Next, a stalactite formation at the Blue Spring Caverns underground river tour. It was amazing. No picture could do it justice because it is completely dark down there, only lit by flashlight. Beautiful. 52 degrees all the time. Out in the middle of a field; you would never know it was there. We will definitely go back again.

Last, we stayed at Spring Mill State Park. SO FUN! and SO BEAUTIFUL! The mill is still operational and we watched a demonstration of grinding corn. There is a whole village of historic sites. We didn't have time to explore the caves there at the state park, so we will have to go back for that as well. We also spent some time in Bloomington. Brian keeps asking me why we don't pack it up and move there. It is such a fun town!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

a big day

We went and picked up our new (to us) van today! We love it. On the way home we christened it--after um, about 2 minutes of driving, Mary dropped her blue gatorade and it spilled all over the inside of the van. We also hit a very large bird on the way home (this has never happened to me before!!) and it got stuck in the grill. There were feathers flying for miles. Brian, who was in front of me, pulled off and inquired about what was stuck to my van because he could see the wing flapping. Ick.

While we were at the car dealership Brian pulled out Elijah's second loose tooth. He now has a rather large hole in the bottom of his mouth. I told him he could start sharing Emily's baby food.
: )

Tomorrow we are going away for the night WITHOUT children!!!!!! We are going to southern Indiana to go caving. The kids are staying with grandparents Greene.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

wrapping things up

There is nothing I like better than completing projects and having everything done. The porch now has very nice wooden steps that lead up to our back porch. They are no longer treacherous and they are even wider than before so we could put some potted plants on them. It looks so nice out there! The rails are done, the steps are done. It is such a nice space to hang out in. We got a hammock last night to try hanging up between a couple of the posts. Last night we both said, "Well, now we can't move!" Which is what we always say when we spend time working on our house. Then we remember that almost daily there is inevitably someone who busts in on our showers to use our only bathroom. But, we do have more space to use in the attic. We just keep going back and forth about how much money we want to put into this house. We probably won't get it back.

We also made a decision about a new van. We are getting a Dodge Grand Caravan. The dealer faxed the paperwork to the bank this morning and we will probably go get it on Monday. It will be fine. It isn't anything special, but it will meet our needs. We definitely almost got sucked into buying something newer, nicer, more bells and whistles. For a couple of days we were like if we are going to spend x amount of dollars, we could spend just this much more and get something even better. But the bottom line is that we really don't need anything more than this and it would be more than we could really afford. So, we will take what we can afford and be happy that it gets us where we need to go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

3 hours

The amount of time that Brian thought it would take to build new stairs for our back porch. That was 4 hours ago and did not include the use of a jack hammer. Van shopping is on hold today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

...and then I found $20

It's a funny little tag we sometimes put at the end of a story when you are finished telling it and people are looking at you waiting for the punch line. But today it really happened! I was just taking the clothes out of the washing machine and I found a $20. I guess it's not technically like finding it--it wasn't like I found it on the street. And in reality we were kind of looking for it, but thought we might have spent it on vacation. Nonetheless, it brightened my day.

We are going to test drive vans today. Woo-hoo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Attack of the fruit flies!

Man, I cannot seem to get rid of the fruit flies that are in my kitchen. I thought they were gone since we weren't home for a week. Instead I think they multiplied because as soon as I put some new fruit (even wrapped in the plastic store bags), they were back with a vengeance. My kids must think I am crazy because I seem to be randomly clapping my hands while I am at the sink.

Today I had to go to school to help interview two applicants for a kindergarten position. Mixed emotions. There were lots of teachers there working on their classrooms and photocopying!! I do love the beginning of school, but I am not ready to think about school that closely yet. I guess we only have 3 more weeks until we start, so it is time. To start thinking about it. I decided today that I need to buy a planner for my purse or a pda. Brian, Elijah, and I will all have different school schedules and I can't even seem to keep track of our lives while we are on summer vacation let alone when I start having to take care of 25 kids that are not mine.

Tomorrow I will register Elijah for kindergarten. I guess it is really happening. This summer I have really noticed him growing up. I feel like we are about to open to the next chapter of our lives: the school aged child. He will be six at the end of next month!! He's already talking about next summer when he'll turn seven. Whew, I do not want to think about that!!

Mary went in for her 4 year old check up today. She is still in the 90th percentile for height and weight. We just don't know where she gets it from. After her appointment, she and I went to visit my friend Kerrie who just had a baby last night. He was so cute!!!

Brian is gone tonight, working on the rails for the back porch. He realized he needs to get his butt in gear on some house projects that we were planning for this summer that have yet to happen. Hopefully we can get the rails up and some kind of lattice or something around the bottom, and maybe just maybe new steps built (I think I am just now getting used to the ackward length, now I'll probably trip if the steps are right.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

We're Home!

We got back today from our beach vacation in Michigan. This year we rented a house right on the beach in a small private community. The house was a beautiful old (1896) house with a huge wrap around porch that we spent much of our time on. We went with Brian's parents, aunt, uncle, and cousin, and his sisters, brother-in-law and nephew. There were 14 of us including the babies. My mom and dad also visited for the weekend (but stayed on their boat in the nearby marina). The weather was about as good as you could ask for. It was sunny and warm during the days, cool at nights. We had 2 really amazing thunderstorms over the lake at night. We spent almost all of our time at the beach, which was so close to the house that I could take the monitor if Emily was asleep. The kids (okay, the adults too) had tons of fun splashing around in the waves and building castles in the sand. There was a volleyball net right outside the porch and sidewalks all around where Elijah and Sam rode scooters. Taking a vacation with your family is the best way to go with small kids. Stop me if I've said this before. It is so nice to have so many extra hands for slathering sunscreen, holding babies, carrying stuff, reading books, and generally entertaining them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our last voyage

It's hard to believe that the damage caused by our little wreck on the way to Cleveland has impacted our lives in such a big way. Due to the fact that our van was older and not worth a whole lot of money, these damages totaled our vehicle. So, over the last few days we have been spending a lot of time and energy dealing with the insurance company and starting to think about a new van, buying new car seats, and haggling over a rental van for our vacation. Today or tomorrow a tow truck will be taking it to the salvage yard. We took the van to Indiana Beach yesterday for it's last trip. It was so fun!!! My in-laws went with me and the kids. Brian had to stay home because he hurt his back earlier this week and was in bed for Monday-Wednesday. Elijah is big enough to ride the big rides so he and I were buddies and rode lots of the spinning rides together. He says his favorite is the scrambler, but we also liked the falling star and the log ride. (That's he and Grandma Susan in that log on his first time on the log ride.)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Today is the day

I am supposed to be getting work done since the kids are at the sitter. Here it is 1:04 p.m. and I have nothing on my list completed. WHY am I sitting at the computer??? I ran yesterday and walked today and my leg is acting up again. I need to do laundry, go buy the kids' birthday gifts and start packing for vacation. Mary went to gymnastics this morning and Elijah will go to t-ball tonight. We are back in the world of sports again after my hiatus. Alright, I'm going to get the laundry.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The stories from last weekend

We started out on Friday night going to Fiddlers'. Just as we were pulling into my in-laws' house to get our tickets, the tornado siren started going off. So we piled out of the van and went inside to wait it out. Soon Laura came home and then her friend Kayla, and then The Mills'. So we drank some beer and watched the storm. So Fiddlers' got an hour and a half late start (9:30 p.m.). We had a great time listening to great music and mucking around the wet Battlefield. We got to visit with our favorite Seattle band, Foghorn. But we didn't get home until 1:20 a.m. And the kids were still awake!!! We then slept for about 3 hours and got back up around 4:30 to leave for Cleveland to see Brian's cousin receive his black belt. The kids did great all things considered. They slept most of the six hour drive and we only stopped twice. The second stop was hard. We pulled off just about 20 miles before their house and we got in a wreck!!! Just as we were getting ready to pull into a gas station a van pulled out in front of us and stopped-- we t-boned them. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the front of my van is wrecked. The other guy's van had to get towed away because it was really bad! We still made it in time for the black belt ceremony. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and hanging out with our family. It was cold and rainy for much of the weekend, so we didn't do a lot of outdoor things. But we did go hiking (and we got poured on!!) and we went shopping. We watched lots of movies and ate LOTS of delicious Italian food. Brian also made yummy pizza and a cherry pie with hand picked cherries from their yard!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A few pictures from our weekend in Cleveland

Stories to follow. Thanks to Laura for being the photographer.