Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dinner's Ready!

It's kind of scary buying an older house. Not that ours is ancient, but it was built in the 50's. That's old, right?

Here's old for you: We were given copies of the homeowner's agreement a few weeks after buying the place. Our realtor dropped them by and one evening, when I had time, I read through them. I'm kind of thinking that the two men responsible for drawing up these things are no longer around. Do you know that, according to these papers, black people are not allowed anywhere near our neighborhood? Times have changed!

We paid for a home inspection before buying of course and I guess I thought all inspectors were as picky (and that's a very nice word) as the inspector we had when we sold our house in The Falls. We've since learned that man was over the top, unnecessarily picky (and annoying).

Our inspector here? Not so much.

As a result, there have been a number of little things we've learned since living here. No deal breakers, just annoying little things.

Now with a house this old, I got to wondering if indeed our yellowed smoke detectors worked. Well, let me tell you. Friends, I cook at home every night and, well, we don't need a dinner bell for this big old, three floored house.

When dinner comes out of the oven you know it.

I think the neighbors know it too.

Smoke detectors. They can double as a dinner bell.

Who knew?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tribute to My Three Year Old

There’s no arguing that this child is sweet as can be……

Easter '09 049

april 007

april '09 007

sort 092

sort 101

messes 006

messes 004

march 002

march 008 …….but seriously, let’s keep things in perspective, shall we? Just to recap the above pictures (which is a small sampling of her love of life!), she likes to make toothpaste art, she thoroughly enjoys coloring on herself with pens or markers, she adores undressing and redressing herself frequently, she’s been known to slather herself in various creams, she eats butter, tries to give herself her own medicine, she loves to wear Dora panties (only God can help you if there aren’t any clean ones), and she very much likes to draw on anything but paper – doors, walls, furniture, body parts. It’s all game.

Is she following in her sister’s footsteps? A little, but Julia has some pretty big shoes to fill! After all, she has TONS of postings in honor of her mischievousness!

Funny how all those things make me smile. I love my kiddos, but there’s a reason I’m tired at night! And on that note, I’m going to bed……

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Amish Acres

Last weekend we made our way out to Amish Acres for the second time. The first time was with amish acres 002my family and this time was with Gran, John’s mom. (John and his dad and brother were enjoying some guy time at the Notre Dame football game.) The place was decked out for fall (be still my heart!) and there were pumpkins, huge squash (squashes?), gourds, and scarecrows everywhere. I wish I had more pictures and better pictures, but I was kind of busy keeping up with kids!

We got to watch a live demonstration of amish acres 005an Amish man making apple butter. (Yum!) That poor man had a really hot job!

amish acres 019

Look at this cute scare-crow! He was a delivery guy and it made me think of Doug from King of Queens.

4 Kids on steps

I really wanted a cute picture of all four kids. Hmmmmm…. I guess we get an E for effort. Next time I’ll take some Gorilla Glue and glue their little hineys to the steps! I also wish I had known how fallish everything was going to look – I would have dressed them in fall colors for pictures! Good grief, La, get it together, right?

shopping with gran

Of course, there was shopping with Gran. That’s always fun because everyone knows that Gran buys you whatever you want! Woohoo! In this case Julia got a Hawaiian looking Ty bear (because that has everything to do with the Amish farm we were visiting!) and John David got a bow and arrow (which I suppose is a little bit more Amish?). Aulora got a stuffed horse (definitely Amish) and I don’t remember what Joshua got.

(In case you’re wondering, this was a working Amish farm until about 25 years ago. It’s now owned by a history buff who has made sure that it is an accurate representation of the People. You can take tours of the house buildings and the old school house and the restaurant is in a super old barn. Many Amish people are employed there.)

amish acres 005

amish acres 009 amish acres 009amish acres 037

amish acres 051

Love you babies!!!

(edited to say: I'm trying out some new blog tools. My post isn't supposed to look like this, but I need sleep so this is how it stays!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bad La! Bad, Bad, Bad!

I've got pictures and I've got stories. Have I posted anything? No.

(Hence the post title.)

I don't know why, but I HATE downloading pictures from my camera onto the computer. It's not even a big deal, but I can't convince myself of that.

So the pictures stay on the camera. (Pictures of the opening Notre Dame game, the Amish farm we visited, projects I've been working on, and messes that have been made.)

And the stories stay in my head. (Stories of progress reports, and more of "THE TALK", stinky boys, and messes that have been made.)

May I blame the non-posting on the "messes that have been made"? I do think that if I owned one of these my posting would be more frequent......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things Like This.......

only happen when you are youth pastors. Such a lifetime ago it now seems.

I wonder how much money these three girls might pay me for this picture? Hmmmmm.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Behold, My Son

This just really amuses me......

Teacher Birthday Ideas

At the PTF meeting a week ago I signed up to be in charge of celebrating teacher birthdays and doing the teacher appreciation stuff. I received the birthday list on Friday and there's a birthday this Thursday!

Does anyone have ideas? I'm probably going to call the school's secretary in a little bit to find out some favorite things. I'd like to include students, but I'm not sure there's enough time for this one. It also seems that this first birthday will set the precedent so I need to do it right. Not too big, not too small. Sweet, thoughtful, useful, fun, budget friendly. You know.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Airing Dirty Laundry Via Homework

John David is currently doing a science section at school about our senses. One homework paper was all about hearing and it wanted him to list five things he could hear right at that moment. His list?

  • The TV
  • Babies screaming
  • My Mom
  • Birds
  • My breathing
How bad does that sound? Could he not have specified that the TV was tuned into PBS? Educational programming? Should I just be thankful the list doesn't say, "Mom screaming", instead of "babies screaming"? That would have earned a superb grade, I'm sure......

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Aulora!

We've loved you since you were being formed.

And then we met you and loved you even more:

Before we knew it you were turning one!

And then two!
(Somebody has sleepy nap time eyes in this picture from school!)

And today you turned three!

I really mean it when I sing the words, "You are my sunshine!" My days are crammed with hugs and kisses and smiles from you. You, little girl, are sweet to the core and I will always love you. I love watching you play with your doll house and taking care of all your babies. I love how you care for your brother and how you follow Jupie around. It makes me smile to watch you snuggle with your Bubba. I melt when you run to Daddy's arms. When you ask for one more song at night, how can I say no? When I ask you to come here and you respond, "Why? What're you gonna do with me?" - well, that's just stinkin' cute!

Monster, Boo, BooBoo, Baby Girl, Pappy the Puppy - no matter the name, you are my precious girl! Forever and ever and ever!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Mom, Bad Mom

Yesterday evening, all the kids were playing in the den while I did some housework. John David was suddenly hollering my name in a slight panic, so I ran to where they were, my mind busily running through a multitude of scenarios.

I had not considered what awaited me. At all.

There was Joshua, sitting on the hearth of the big fireplace, covered from head to toe in soot and ashes. Oh, for a picture!

I think he was very content, playing with this new found medium, until he tried tasting it. That's apparently where he drew the line.

I was frozen just staring at him trying to figure out what to do next. He was filthy! Currently, the only bathtub we have is out of commission (it's the next remodeling project! yea!), so baths have been happening in the big kitchen sink for the babies. BUT, the big kitchen sink was still filled with the crusty pot from dinner last night (hey, back off - it was soaking) and all the dishes from the dinner the kids has just eaten.

So with one hand I held him (getting my own clothes filthy in the process) and with the other hand I cleared out the sink. After a good, long scrubbing, he was finally kissable and squeezable again.

My question to you.....

Was I a bad mom for letting that happen in the first place?


Was I a good mom for handling it so cool?

I'm definitely leaning towards good mom. Don't you agree???

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Here's a Recipe for Tonight!

I tried a new recipe last night that was so good (and super easy!) and I just knew that all of you would want to try it too. I found it on the Taste of Home website and it's called Almond Chicken with Apricot Sauce. It reminded me a lot of the apricot chicken served at Olive Garden - one of my favorites! I'll definitely make this again.

By the way, Home Depot is running a $5 off of their Behr paint special through tomorrow so if you're planning on doing some painting soon you should get some! I've used Behr and it's good stuff. Maybe I should get some to redo our bathroom with the yellow tile on the floors and half of the walls. I painted it a chocolate kind of brown in there and John informed me it looked like a banana fudge pop......I think he's kind of right this time. ;)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Great Goodwill Find!

One of my favorite things to do is go to garage sales, thrift stores, and second hand shops for kids. My heart seriously beats faster!

A few months ago I made the mistake of taking the older two with me to Salvation Army and it was not a good one. I never went back to that particular location, but ever since then the kids have thought very negatively about thrift stores. I just can't have my offspring thinking thoughts like that!

Soooooooo, when I was at a neighborhood Goodwill earlier this week and out came this sand and water table in brand new condition, I grabbed it right up! I was determined for my kids to see that you can find great things without spending lots of money. It even came with the play accessories and the umbrella was still in the bag. All for $10! They LOVED it!

Of course, you have to have popsicles when you play outside.
Aulora likes to share hers with John David.

And with Julia too.

And with John David again.

This was such a great bargain and it has been worth much more than $10 already. (Joshua loves it too but he was napping when these pictures were taken. He gets incredibly messy when playing with it - like he's been at the beach!)

BTW, I've heard that Goodwill will be launching a blog soon featuring things like before and after projects with thing purchased at their stores. I'm looking into it and will post more details as I hear about it.....

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Summer (?) Attire

This is John David riding his bike a week ago, when it was still August. Do you see what he's wearing??? Yes, that is a ski coat. It was cold outside. In August.

I'm scared!

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Dining Room Nightmare

I previously mentioned that I was enduring quite a trying time getting our dining room painted. I'm happy to say that it is finally behind me. Whew! Let's see if I can recap it all so you can, ahem, enjoy the transformation as I did.

Here's the dining room before we ever moved in.
Who are those children in my picture???

After hours and hours of messy and tedious work, the wallpaper was gone. There was also chipping and peeling paint that had to be scraped.

I meticulously taped off the floor and then primed the walls with two coats. I'm not sure from this picture if I had painted the wainscoting yet or not. That was no small task either and it took several coats to get it pretty and white.

After priming twice with one coat primer from Valspar, we saw that the places underneath were still showing through. Using plaster, I filled in lower spots where the paint had peeled and attempted to copy the existing texture on the walls. Once dry, I sanded it all down lightly.

I primed the walls yet again. And here goes the red.. Not so sure I like this color but the man really wants it.....

Bad lighting (it was the middle of the night - when else is a mommy of four supposed to paint!?!), but I think you get the idea. The red is intense (!) and the areas I re-textured are still showing through after multiple coats of one coat coverage.

Look at this next picture. Have you ever seen anything so ugly when painting??? These walls are totally dry and this is what they look like.

Here's the paint I used from Valspar (Lowe's signature paint).
I took both the primer and the paint and returned to Lowe's where they gave me exceptional customer service. My money was returned and after they saw the pictures and heard the story they said they would contact Valspar to see what we needed to do.

Valspar said that because it's a thick paint and fast drying you really have to paint a small section of wall and cut in. Then move to the next small section. You can't go back later and cut in around your trim. (???) They also suggested a flat paint. Valspar and Lowe's hooked me up with everything I needed to redo the room (on their dime) and I got right to work.

First I sanded the walls down. So ugly!

I didn't take pictures of all the next steps because I just wanted to be done! Next I primed it all again with a green tinted primer. I took this opportunity to change the whole red plan and go with my choice - green. My "Mark Twain House Olive" flat paint from Valspar went on beautifully. I did not use the one coat coverage again, nor will I ever!

I can't replace the light fixture just yet, but Home Depot was clearancing out their shades so I replaced those and took off all of the gold berry vines that were wrapped around the light. Some of the bulbs are too bright, but you get the idea.

I can't wait to make/find curtains and hang things on the walls.

So happy now.

P.S. John did admit that he does like the green better than the red. He really wants something to be painted red, but I've just had to explain to him that I do NOT like that color and it makes me unhappy. It also greatly disables me when it comes to decorating. I think he understands now. =)