Saturday, November 17, 2012

Why I love being Aaron's Mom.

A:I'm hungry
Me: What do you want for breakfast?
A: You (pretends to eat me)
Me: Now I can't get you breakfast!
A: Bleeach! (pretends to throw up)
(I start to tickle him)
A: Yuck! You have goop all over you!
Me: Now you have goop on you, too!
A: No, because I have a force field!
A: I'm hungry.
Me: What do you want for breakfast?
A: You (pretends to eat me again...)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Venting

Moving is incredibly stressful and completely self-inflicted (For us, at least. No one is making us do this, aside from our own desire to move on).
The stress of the last few weeks has killed my sense of humor, at least as far as blogging funny stories, but for the sake of venting, here's a *quick* run-through.
Christian got his new job offer at the end of September.
We immediately started repair/replacing windows, new flooring, painting and fixing up the exterior, refinishing our countertops, cleaning carpets, massive de-junking, replacing the cracked glass cooktop on our nearly new stove, replacing baseboards, landscaping (including new mulch and planting a tree), power-washing algae off the roof...
Took two trips to Pittsburgh to go house hunting, and found a place we'd love to have.
We listed the home on October 22nd.
We had a showing that afternoon, and by the early evening, we had a (low) offer. By Monday, we had what we felt was a really good signed deal.
We kept showing the home, just in case. In the last three weeks, we've had nearly 15 showings, which is pleasantly shocking, since its totally the wrong time of year to show a home. I've become really good at making good vacuum lines.
Last week, we had two appraisals (for the relocation company) and an inspection. The inspector *accidentally* shut off my hot water heater, leaving me in the cold for 2 days. He also gave an extremely over-reaching report to the buyer, who then asked for us to replace the roof, windows, and hot water heater (Apparently power washing the roof took a few years off its life). No, thanks. As of Monday morning, we lost our buyer.
We made a few mistakes with the repairs/replacements to our windows, and they still need help but I've run out of time to do anything about it.
We are supposed to close on our new house in 2 weeks. Now we are rushing to get the company buy-out so we don't lose the house in Pittsburgh.
Oh, and the two appraisals were too far apart, so I have a 3rd scheduled for this morning.
I feel like all I do lately is clean, eat, and watch tv. I don't dare do anything messy, and I don't let my kids to much around the house, either. It's hard to celebrate the holidays like this, so I really, really hope we get this resolved soon.
(The kids are still asking to paint pumpkins, and I'm still saying, "No!")
And I'm excited to go to Ohio for Thanksgiving so I can get away from this stinking stressful house for a while. Hey, DeAnn...my kids will probably vent all their pent-up mess-making instincts on your house, but I promise to clean up after them. I'm getting really good at keeping things clean.
At first we felt like everything was working out way more smoothly than we ever expected, and felt extremely blessed. Now that just about everything has gone wrong, we're holding on to the belief that the Lord is watching out for our family. We're changing our perspective from , to . We should have learned by now that every move becomes a lesson in faith and patience.
The count-down is on...Two weeks to go, and then all I'll have to worry about is reassembling my life in a new place. At least I've had a lot of practice doing that....Oh, and if anyone is passing through Pittsburgh, please stop by, because we won't have friends there for a while, but we will have an extra room for you:)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Can't we just stay put? No, I guess not...

Forgive me for by absence from blogland--its due to a combination of WAY TOO MUCH TO DO, plus some technical difficulties getting photos off my phone, which I'm using now way more than my camera.

Big news---(that those of you on facebook already know-sorry)
We, who can never seem to stay put. In September, which is historically the month for new jobs in our house, Christian accepted a new job (still with Eaton) and we'll be moving to Pittsburgh, PA. This past month, we were in a hurry to get this house ready to sell. We FINALLY finished work on the kids bathroom, we replaced carpet, got new laminate flooring for our entry (to cover up the bad refinishing we attempted on the existing hardwood), painted a room or two, got some help with landscaping and some repairs around the house, and did some major dejunking. The house is seriously the cleanest I've ever had a house, and it just goes to show how much better things look with less stuff. The listing officially went live Saturday morning, and we've had 2 showings since. We alternate between despair that it will never sell, and hope that it will sell quickly because it looks so much nicer. Christian said that he's worried we'll really start to love the house just as we're leaving. We also found a house we love in Pittsburgh, where the housing market is very different (expensive) than it is here, and we hope to get an offer accepted this week. I leave the negotiating up to Christian, because its scary. Oh, and Christian got in a car wreck, so in the midst of all this, we had to buy a new car. RIP, Ford Focus. Its been a good 7 years. We bought that care when we moved to Baltimore, on our first move away from family and familiar places. Now it lives in a dump.

My mind feels like its heading in 7 different directions at any given time, so my calling and Halloween costumes have been sadly neglected. I have 2 days to come up with something cheap and cool for me kids (but they've been warned that they might have to go as 'kid in pajamas'). I still have a few projects around the house to finish up, and Christian starts his new job this week.

And I still don't really have pictures. I'll work on that this afternoon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Must Read--

While I've been a bit absent on my blog, I remain an avid blog-reader. Here are a few of my favorites funny posts (believe me, these are worth a read--if you're in the mood for a laugh)

10 ways to annoy your husband

10 ways to annoy your craft blogging wife (Christian especially liked these)

The fart that almost altered my destiny

Enjoy.




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

5, 3, 2..pre-K!

Back to school happens a bit early around here--we started on August 15th! Thankfully, my kids really love school and are happy and ready to go back.
Hannah started 5th grade...(which totally blows my mind...I REMEMBER 5th grade!)

Rachel is in 3rd grade...

Nathan is in 2nd grade....

And Aaron missed the Kindergarten cut-off date by just a few weeks, and I decided to keep him out of preschool this year, so he wasn't very happy. Its hard for him to watch his buddies go off to school. I have big plans for this year (my last year with kids at home during the school year!), including play dates, a zoo membership, and at-home preschool using Kindergarten curriculum so he will be completely ready for next year. So far, so good--he enjoys "School time", he's been good about going into child watch at the Y so I can get back into exercising, and he's had a ton of playtime.






And then, of course, they had to get silly...





After a bit of debate, Hannah decided she wanted to join 5th grade band. Last night we went to try out instruments. Hannah wanted to play the trumpet or trombone; I was rooting for the flute or clarinet. Hannah had a hard time with instruments that required blowing (we'll blame it on the braces), but fell in love with something different...something I wasn't crazy about...until we finally agreed to let her play percussion. (Or, as she calls it, the "whack-a-mole"). I'm not thrilled about it , but it will give her band experience and might even help her keep the beat while playing piano. We'll see.

Friday, August 10, 2012

5...4...3...2...





The official back to school countdown is T minus- 5 days. We start pretty early here in Indiana (but a week later than last year, when we were rushing back from the family reunion to get the kids back for school the 1st week of August). In a few ways, this has been a *special* summer.


Firstly, we made a conscious decision to stay mostly at home and have no big trips. We wanted to be cheap-o. But looking back, we still packed a lot of fun into the summer, and even ended up travelling more than we expected. We took two trips to Ohio in June, and one of those trips included another jaunt across to border into Pennsylvania to Waldameer, a fun amusement park.
 Plus, with Marc and Marcy in Tennessee now, we just had to go visit them, too. Funny how a trip across three states doesn't seem like that big of a deal compared to the thought of visiting them in Texas...Our summer-staycation also included a few trips to the zoo less than 20 minutes away, which we somehow avoided checking out for the 1st year and a half spent living here, 
plus the occasional trip back to Michigan for my birthday, frisbee, a few trips to Silver Beach, 
and Rachel's cochlear kid day-camp and speech evaluation.
Rachel and her good Michigan friend, Madison
Oh, and we squeezed in a Tin Caps game (Daddy and the kids), a few camping trips (including a backyard camping night),

a day watching go-kart races,

and a 2 day Mom-only trip to Indy for a Deaf Educator's conference (where I felt vastly out of my element and hugely motivated to get my act together). Plus, I actually hosted a girls' night here in town and Christian started a local frisbee group (Wanna come? Its Saturday morning at 8...)

Secondly, the kids are old enough now that they understand the routine for the most part. I can say "Go clean your room," and while they might whine and complain sometimes, they usually get the job done. I love feeling like it isn't quite so much Mom vs. Entropy around here...I have some allies on occasion.

On that note, I have also noticed a big change in their ability to entertain themselves. While there is still too much tv going on around here, they also are really good and playing together. I really love those rare times when all 4 kids play together without bickering. Hannah is sometimes too cool for pretend play, but every once in a while she forgets to act like a teenager. Plus, Hannah is just now starting to make some friends in the ward, which I've been praying and hoping for since moving in. Nathan and Aaron are such tight buddies that I dread back to school because I know Aaron will miss him desperately. I really worry that as they get older, especially with a bigger gap grade-wise than they are age-wise, that this may not last and I want to enjoy it while I can. I love the imagination of little boys.

Over the last year or two I've seen a huge change from previous summers--In the past, we've sort of limped through the end of summer, desperate to end the boredom by sending the kids back to school (Don't hate me--they love school). This summer, more than any other year, I could keep them around a bit longer. Back to school means expenses, busywork, and a very lonely almost 5-yr-old boy who really ought to be starting kindergarten (but he sadly has to wait another year).

With just 6 days left, we have all the school supplies we need, I've paid for their books and joined the PTO, visited their classrooms, and Hannah has already packed her backpack and decorated her binder. (I can't believe this is her last year of elementary school!) The kids are ready. I think the best way we can use of the last few days of summer is to be as blissfully lazy as possible before the madness of the school year comes back full-force.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Cake Queen

Hannah is our little chef-in-training. She can already make tasty smoothies and omelets, plus pasta and creative sandwiches. After watching nearly every episode of Cake Boss ever, she decided to try her hand at creative cake-making. For a Family Home Evening treat, she designed and decorated a cake that consisted of a brownie layer, a layer of blueberry muffin, covered in whipped frosting and decorated with fondant.

She did all the design, baking, and decorating herself, with just a bit of direction on how to use the fondant. I tried to tell talk her through the steps of frosting a cake and she said, "Mom, I know what it means to 'dirty ice' a cake. I watch Cake Boss, you know!"





Sunday, July 29, 2012

My kids are sure funny in their nightly prayers. Here's another one:

Nathan: Thank thee for snow days.

Remember--its July 29

Way to look to the future!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

After a busy, full day at the beach, and a long drive home, this is what the boys had to say in their night-time prayers:

Nathan: Heavenly Father, we thank thee for all the fun things we did today, and please bless that we won't have quite so much fun tomorrow.

Aaron: Heavenly Father, we thank thee for water, broccoli, and all the things that makes us strong.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer So Far

Yikes! I occurred to me that my kids have passed the 1/2 way point of summer…Less than 4 weeks until they head back to school. We’ve had a fairly simple summer—no big, amazing trips, but lots of close-to-home stuff to keep us busy.IMG_1301-001
In June, I filled in as Activity Day Leader and did a fun outdoor gameboard with the girls. We used a tape to make a gameboard on the sidewalk, which included spots that said, “whip-cream pie in face” or “30 seconds with a water gun” or “3 rounds of duck-duck goose”. I think everyone had a blast, and everyone needed a shower by the time we were done!IMG_1296-001
When the cousins were hear to play a few weeks ago, they decided to play pirates and kidnapping. Rachel was kidnapped, and wrapped up in tape!IMG_1318 



IMG_1339We ventured out to the Three Rivers Children’s Fest, where the kids got to sit in a real firetruck, jump in a bounce house, and collect some free stuff. They even had some cute mini-amusement park rides, but only Aaron was small enough to go on them:)IMG_1340

IMG_1331We made the 2 1/2 hour trek to Silver Beach, our favorite spot on Lake Michigan, for a fun day at the beach. The weather was warm and calm, and the water was perfect. Only problem? We forgot to bring towels. Yikes.
   2012-07-13 17.41.59 2012-07-13 17.43.012012-06-28 09.48.59  Marc and Marcy (Christian’s brother and sister-in-law) recently moved to Nashville—7 hours away. We drove down at the end of June to spend a few days together, and letting the cousins get to know one another. Here’s Hannah, being the awesome big cousin, with Jackson, Aaron, Liam, and Emma.

2012-07-10 12.12.37 2012-07-10 11.05.47 After living here for a year and a half, we finally made it to the zoo that’s less than 20 minutes away. I was impressed—its a really nice zoo! We only made our way around about 1/2 of it, but we met up with some friends and had a really fun day.
And lastly, I worked on a few simple home improvement projects. First up—I cleaned up my bookshelves and switched out the handles from the dated brassy ones to the old kitchen ones, spray painted oil-rubbed bronze. A simple thing, but it made a big difference. I also finally finished up painting the bannister, which we started a few months ago when Grandpa was here for a visit. Next, we’re gearing up to use a week of Christian’s vacation to start work on the kids’ bathroom.
I have to document everything we do, so at the end of the summer when the kids asked why we didn’t go anywhere, I have proof that we were busy having fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Adventures~

We made the trek to Ohio a few times in June—1st, just because Christian was out of town and I didn’t want to be alone. We left Hannah to stay a week with her cousins while I went home for a week (and a Deaf Educator’s Conference, which I still want to blog about). We drove back after a brief mishap involving Rachel (which I ought to remember, but don’t really want to blog about). Our special activity this summer was a trip, with the Ohio cousins, to an amusement park in PA—Waldameer.

2012-06-15 16.58.14

This was my answers to the kids constant plea to actually do something FUN this summer:)

Waldameer collage 2 

Waldameer had a bunch of kid-perfect rides, like these awesome big wheels, a train that took us on a tour of the whole park, and a sky-ride for the bird’s eye view.

3 buddies-2

These boys were good buddies all week.

Our favorite ride was the log ride (forgot the real name). Basically, it was a water rollercoaster while riding in a big fake log. Terrified me at first, and scared me again when I saw the little guys riding it without a parent, but we all had a blast…and no one got hurt:)

2012-06-15 15.19.15

 2012-06-15 15.19.18 

Too much funnel cake…

 funnel cake 2

Big smiles as we wait in line… (This girl had so much fun with her cousins!)

H smile 2

N-go kart

Right before we tried the scariest ride of all—the Swirling Vortex of Terror!

 scary ride-2

 Waldameer collage

Thanks, guys, for a fun summer adventure…and from saving my reputation as a fun Mom:)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nathan is 7!

Tank.

Bug.

Stink bug.

Just a few of our nicknames for this crazy, sweet boy. So hard to believe he is 7 already! I’m used to being a Mom of toddlers and babies, but I had the realization the other day that my kids aren’t so little anymore. And that’s a lot of fun! I love seeing these kids become people:)

Nathan’s birthday this year fell on Wednesday (the 20th), but since Christian had a long work day, we decided to celebrate on Monday. We had a lot of fun doing Put Put golf as a family (I won).

kids1 put put  2012-06-18 20.52.09A-put put 

Nathan enjoys his new Skylanders  Wii game (and so does Daddy…). Rachel made him a cute wallet made of felt—the idea came from a sewing book she checked out from the library, and it turned out really cute.

On his real birthday, we celebrated with some of his favorite foods—donuts and eggs for breakfast (Hannah made a breakfast-in-bed tray that he ate at the kitchen table), mac and cheese for lunch, and pancakes for dinner. I let him chose a family activity for the day, so the kids and I went to the Science Central. Hannah wasn’t very happy about it (“it’s so BORING!).

 H- science central

They had a cool new 3-D moon exhibit,

  Aaron on the moon

and the kids always love the water table,

  kids at the water table 1

slanted room, and seeing the lizards and chinchilla.

Nathan is a super easy kid—He’s happy, plays really well with every kid he meets, and doesn’t require a lot of toys to stay entertained. Its actually hard to shop for him because he is so happy making up games and doesn’t really need stuff. He was like that as a baby, too.

 000_1149

Happy birthday, Nathan!