Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

I haven't been blogging much lately--you know the old saying, "If you can't say something nice..."
No, its not that bad, it's just that I don't want to sound whiny about our life.

Here are the highlights {insert cute emoticon here}

Emily is throwing up again (yes, again. She stayed home last Monday because she was vomiting so I didn't believe her when we were at the store yesterday when she kept insisting that she was stirsty and was going to strow up.) On the plus side when your child strows up in a store you don't have to clean it up.

We're shopping today, Christmas Eve, because we haven't had time or energy to do it. We move on Monday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photo tour of our new home

Front view
Side view
Two of the barns
Dining room
The cool sink in the downstairs half-bath

Well, it's official. We are homeowners. Again. I have been through the gamut of emotions this week, but I'm finally back to excited! After the closing today I felt better than ever that we are making the right choice. 2600 square feet, four bedrooms, a music room, an enclosed front porch, and almost six acres including a small orchard of fruit trees (apple, pear, and persimmon) and a walnut grove.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I wish it were getting easier

One of the great things about the kids' school is the IRP (Independent Research Project) done twice per year. The students spend a lot of time at school and home working on their project and then there is one night when parents walk through view their work and give positive comments. Tonight was the night. Mary interviewed a nurse (her grandma Susan) and Elijah's project was about the Shawnee tribe. He made fry bread to taste and it was a big hit!

It isn't making it any easier to say goodbye. Last week it was their big music and art performance. I really liked it! Their last day at NCS will be Friday. They will start going to the elementary school that is connected to Brian's school after that. We were planning on them finishing the year where they are, but for me the commute plus dropping everyone off was seeming a little long--especially to start in the dead of winter. So, this is it for them. I know it will be fine. It will probably be even better in lots of ways, but change is so hard! There are lots of things that we have really loved about this school.

It's a little hard to prepare for Christmas with so many other BIG things happening this week. Last night we met with the realtor who will sell our Lafayette home. It will go on the market in January. Any of you Lafayette readers who know someone who might love our house--let us know! Tomorrow is our closing day on our new house. We are feeling a bit like each day has some major activity to check off the list. Tomorrow I will have more pictures to share. Some people have seen the interior house photos on Brian's facebook page, but I will get some different shots and post them here.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Well, it isn't done yet

But we're getting there. At least we have water in the sink and the toilet is functional again today.

Friday, December 03, 2010

This is what I came home to today...

I will spare the details, but Mary got really sick with vomiting yesterday. That is a whole 'nother post...Brian stayed home with her today (of course she didn't throw up at all!!) and he started getting antsy. We are going to put our house on the market soon, and he felt like the bathroom is really the weak link in trying to spiff it up. So, he started ripping up flooring and pulled the sink out. O-kayyy. We are going to close on our new house maybe next week?? The 15th is our date, but the loan officer called and said we could do it sooner if possible.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Yay for snow on the first day of December. It has been a beautiful all day sprinkling. Not much accumulation, but a nice dusting. This reminded me about something I will be so thankful for in our new house: a mud room at the back entrance. Right now, at our current home, there is nowhere to drop wet shoes or boots that are out of the way of the door. So, either you walk into the house and leave wet footprints (and end up with wet socks soon after) or drop your boots right at the door in a big pile so the door barely closes (and trip over them soon after).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Helpers

This year was very low key for us since Mary was still recovering from her tonsil surgery. Mary was shaking some heavy whipping cream to make some homemade butter. Elijah made the apple pie--as in he peeled all the apples and sealed the pre-made store crusts. It is great to have such helpful staff in my kitchen!

We got a lot of stuff cleaned out and organized at our house while we were home for a long weekend. We've started packing boxes so that we can organize as we pack. I really do not want to haul a bunch of stuff out to the country just to re-box it and drive it back to Goodwill.

We put up our artificial tree tonight. I so look forward to the Advent season and all the twinkly lights. It's a real conundrum for me to get all the decorations out just to box them back up in three weeks. I think we may just not put decorations on the tree, only lights. We want to have one last Christmas at this house, but we may set up a real tree at the new house because I am one of those people who wants the tree up all the way until new years.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Emily's 3rd birthday tomorrow

Playing yard sale
Chasing sea gulls at Lake Michigan
With her twin on our back porch
Playing with a scarf in the van
Being cozy and listening to stories on the heat vent
She is our spunky girl who loves animals especially dogs, loves to laugh, and loves to imagine. She is awfully independent and practically potty trained herself this year. She is fiercely loyal to her loved ones and has proclaimed that Jonathan is "her best friend." (totally unsolicited). This weekend she had us cracking up because she was happy about something and started jumping around and said, "I'm doing the happy dance!" She has us in hysterics all the time. It's a little hard to believe that she is only turning three. Tonight Elijah and Mary realized that we hadn't bought her a present and it was important to them to have something to give her. So they went shopping in the attic and wrapped up some toys for her. They were so busy trying to make the package look pretty. It was so sweet--we all love Emily so much.

Friday, November 19, 2010

See that really wiggly looking front tooth? Not anymore! It got removed today when Mary had her tonsils and adenoids taken out. The doctors and nurses all loved her so much. They kept gushing about how beautiful she was and how she was a great patient--although I think the worst is yet to come according to the doctor--around day 3-5. She is resting at home and seems like she will be just fine.
This was the only smile I got--to show me her missing tooth. Brian was freaking out because she was being so quiet and serious--not like the Mary we know. He was being so silly trying to get her to crack a smile.
The nurse offered her a ride in the wheelchair out to the van. Who wouldn't say yes?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day for Mary. Brian and I are off work, the other two kids are accounted for, and I am pretty much clearing the schedule (at least mentally) for the next couple of weeks. Of course, it is hard to remember that Mary is having surgery tomorrow because we're so wrapped up in the fact that WE BOUGHT A HOUSE this week. Not just any house--a house in the country with 5 acres and barns and fruit trees and a walnut grove and a chicken coop. Yes, folks, my country living dream is about to come true. It is a big 1900 farm house with 4 bedrooms and plenty of square feet for stretching out. The yard is beautiful, the surroundings are beautiful--tons of trees (including maples--one of my favorite), rolling hills, gravel road. Straight up-the country. We are set to close in mid-December and we're planning on moving over winter break. I think part of me is still in shock that it is really happening, but the other part of me is calm and collected about it because we've already been up and down this roller coaster before. It just feels right.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Who knew that being gone for the weekend would tire us out for the whole week? Man, I seriously can't believe tomorrow is Friday already. The van is {almost} unpacked. No joke. I did at least vacuum it today. The stuff that is back in the house is still sitting in piles near the door. The dishes have piled up. The laundry fairy is not doing a good job at all. Ha! It's a good thing we had such a good time last weekend.

Speaking of fairies...Elijah had to get a tooth extracted this week. I like that word, extracted. It sounds much more professional than pulled. I really wished I could've gotten the camera to focus on the little note he wrote. It said, "Tooth fairy. Leave 8 dollars."

Please. For a tooth that you didn't take care of in the first place. To a fairy that you don't even believe in.

Same day. Mary went to the Ear Nose and Throat doctor. Drumroll, please...after 3 years of strep throat again and again and again. She is finally getting her tonsils out. I had mine out when I was 3 and still remember the weird dreams from the anesthetic so that should've been a clue that this is serious business. But, I guess I wasn't thinking about it. The post-op recovery time is 10 days. No school for at least a week. Expect to lose 10 lbs. Take Lortab for pain. YIKES!!! She has already missed 8 days of school this year. We scheduled the surgery for Friday the 19th so that she will only miss school Mon-Wed of Thanksgiving week, but we can't travel to see my family in Michigan like we often do for Thanksgiving. The post-op sheet says travel is restricted for 14 days-within an hour. Boo. At least she will hopefully be better after we do this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Festivities

It just wouldn't work out this year to go to a real pumpkin patch to get our pumpkins straight from the vine, so we went to the church parking lot pumpkin patch down the street from our house. Elijah had just gotten his allowance and wanted to spend $1 of it to buy his own teeny pumpkin. It has a speech bubble on the side saying "hi!" Mary wanted hers to have both eyelashes and a mustache/beard, so try to figure that one out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

b n

My other two kids are cute and wonderful too, I promise. But this is another thing I want to remember about Emily (you know, she's the third child so this is essentially her baby book!). When I finish reading her a story, she'll turn the last page and say, "BN."

If you don't get it, say it out loud.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

lots of lessons

Our family decided to go low-carb last month to support our loving daddy who is trying very hard to shed some pounds. Little did we know how good it would be for all of us. I, who loves any goods baked, swore that I could never go more than one meal without bread or grains or chocolate chip cookies. What we've been finding out is that once you stop eating bread and sugar, your body doesn't really crave it all that much. I thought we ate pretty healthy--lots of veggies, whole wheat bread, etc., but since we cut out sugar I think I became aware of how often we were "treating" ourselves to dessert or snacks. I find it really interesting how my body feels when it's hungry now. There is no gnawing sense that

I think the most amazing transition has been in the kids. Elijah and Mary have both lost between 5-10 lbs. and their eating habits have been transformed. For one thing, they eat a lot less food. Next, they don't beg for snacks all the time. And there is no more over-eating. They are doing a much better job of monitoring what they're putting into their bodies and they look great!! When we went swimming last week, Mary's swimsuit that she wore all summer was hanging on her--it was way too big!

I really thought low-carb meant all-bacon-all-the-time (and how can that be healthy?), but this plan is a lot of veggies, lean protein, and some fruit. We've been actually enjoying it. The biggest surprise so far has been the creamy cauliflower leek soup that was dee-lish. Cauliflower is now one of our favorite side dishes. Mmm...steamed cauliflower...I can hear you salivating! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One about Emily

I really should be washing dishes right now, but I always forget to post when I am thinking of something. Tonight was one of those nights that Emily was being so cute and funny--she just cracked me up. She has got this amazing imagination and is always pretending to be a dog (it's really the only way I can get her hair washed, "C'mon puppy, let's wash your fur") or she is talking to her babies who have funny names like the one tonight on the way to the store--dumpy. I have no idea how she comes up with these things. The elephant (what elephant, Emily?) was named Squeaky.

On the way home this strange thing happened to us right off of Union St.--a pretty busy street right in town. It was dusk and I saw this huge bird swoop down. (Yes, I am turning into my mom--"Look, a hawk!") It was actually an owl. A big one. Emily already has a fascination with owls so I turned around really quick and went back for a closer look. It was only there for a few more seconds, but it totally scared some unsuspecting pedestrian walking down the sidewalk as it flew back up to a tree. All the way home Emily was telling me, "Shh. Don't wake the owls." or "Hurry mom, the owls will take our van." Which maybe sounds like she is afraid of them, but I don't think that's the case. It's more like amazement.

I absolutely love getting caught up in her imaginary world.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Most of the apples have now been turned into applesauce so I guess we're over the trauma of the apple orchard. We're all mostly healthy again and chugging along in our new fall routine. Stop me if I've said this already, but this year feels totally different so far. Different better. Much better. The kids are being pretty darn helpful as far as kids go, and that gives me a little bit of much needed breathing room on the weekends and evenings. I am not rushing out after school several days a week to pick children up and take them back to school with me while I try to work, and I think that is giving me a little wiggle room in my schedule too. Man, I almost feel like a normal human. I've been exercising and READING BOOKS. FICTIONAL ONES. Somebody stop me!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

it should have been a fun weekend outing

You know, hindsight and all that. Today was a stay at home sick day. I think if you look at our faces you can see that we tried really hard, but it just wasn't working. We couldn't figure out why everyone was so crabby. Then Mary got up at 2 am with a fever last night. Emily's is a low grade fever, but she has not been eating or sleeping well either AND GRUUUUMPY. On our way to the apple orchard she wet her pants and didn't tell anyone. I didn't bring any extra clothes because she rarely wets her clothing, but I still should've been prepared. If you look closely there is a sweatshirt tied around her waist to cover up the lack of pants. After an hour in the car we weren't willing to be the WT family with their oversized 2 year old just in a diaper (I did have an extra one of those in the back of the van) walking around picking apples and taking cute family photos.

Anyway, we got 4 big bags of apples picked for applesauce and eating. They're so much tastier when picked straight from the tree to our home. Skip the grocery store.

Unfortunately Mary won't be going back tomorrow with her class field trip to the same orchard. Her fever is still 101 tonight. She must really feel sick because she hasn't even really complained too much about not going. I took both girls to the doctor (I am getting smarter about not waiting it out anymore. That's for summer or people who don't have to take off work when their kids are sick :) ) and their strep tests were negative so this is just a lovely virus that we get to wait out. Yippee.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I wish that this photo could do justice to the size of this big daddy praying mantis. He had to be at least 3 inches long. I don't know much about the mantis species, but every year we have a lot of them in our yard/on our back porch. This one was the biggest ever. I went over to turn on the water faucet and I could see his eyes watching me. They seem really calm and friendly so I am happy that they enjoy our backyard. The kids have also been catching butterflies in mass quantity this week. The butterflies seem to be enjoying my bolting basil. I am not. It means that fresh herbs are almost done at our house. Boo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a post about alarm clocks

I don't know about your house, but at our house I am the keeper of the alarm clock. And I have very specific feelings about my side of the bed. It's mine. But last night when Brian asked me to reset the alarm for 4:30 this morning I decided to reconsider my position. We definitely get up early, but not 4:30 early. So, I heard it go off--I'm not sure if he meant to put it on annoying beep to make sure he got up or he just didn't know how to work the settings--but it didn't get me upright. I might also interject here that I did take some Nyquil last night because I just can't seem to kick this cold.

Anyhoo, fast forward to 6:30 which is when Mary came in and said that Emily needed me. I was pretty confused and out of it when I staggered into her room when suddenly the fog lifted and I realized that it wasn't 5:30, but 6:30 and I am usually showered, dressed, lunches made, hair done, coffee made, getting ready to get the girls up at this time.


I am so thankful that the kids are old enough to really help. They made their lunches and ate breakfast while I took a quick shower. Elijah took the dog out and fed him. We were out the door by 7:25, which might be some kind of record for getting 4 people and a dog ready to leave, but I think I will move back to my side tonight.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

How is this even possible?

There are about 6 pieces of jewelry here. Any thoughts on how on earth they could become this tangled? I think it is not worth my time to try to un do them. But it does make me slightly irritated.

Monday, September 06, 2010

We are just having the best Labor Day weekend! Friday night we drove out to watch the Seeger Patriots play football. Since Brian is coaching jr high, he stands on the sidelines with the varsity team too, and Elijah gets to stand out there with them, which was definitely a highlight for him!

We've spent lots of time with our friends-campfire at our house Friday night, another campfire at friends' on Sunday night. We got to participate in an outdoor baptism yesterday for some new friends, Lauren, and her son, Hunter. We are Hunter's godparents, so Brian actually helped baptize him in the creek at their family's house. We also got to ride our motorcycle out there (about a 30 minute ride) and back. It was a gorgeous night for a ride.

Today I got the veggies I'm getting in the ground for our fall garden-really basic, no tending required. Just lettuce, spinach, and a few herbs. I tried to get garlic, but they were out, so I need to get on that. We loved harvesting our own fresh garlic in July. I also got 3 red raspberry bushes and am looking forward to having some fresh fruit of our own, perhaps even a little next summer.

The weather has been cool, sunny, and windy this weekend and we've really enjoyed that too. It's nice to have the windows open for a change and be able to be outdoors again without being uncomfortable!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The time is 3:37

Emily woke up at 1:30 having taken her diaper off and soaked her bed. I have not been back to sleep since. The alarm will be going off in 2 hours for me to get up and start my day. I'm not sure it will be worth it to go back to sleep.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The setting: in the tubbie, making "tea"

The character: Emily

The script

Emily: "Mommy, I'll be the gramma, and you be the sweetheart."

{hearts melting}

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I don't know what's come over me!

Last night, we had a sitter.
A night out on the town.
What did I want to do?
BW-3's for chicken wings and beer.
Not just any beer. Budweiser.
We sat out on the patio (which is part of the bar. Which is the smoking section.) It cracked Brian up.
Then we watched ultimate fighting on the big screen.
IT WAS REALLY FUN! Who am I?????!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's a little hard to believe that our little baby is growing up into a young man! Eight years old today. Elijah got karate lessons, new arrows for his bow, and a skateboard. Yup, definitely growing up.