Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Oliver!

Oh, Oliver are certainly growing up to be a funny little guy.
(1 month)

There isn't a day that goes by that you don't surprise us with a new word...
funny sayings...
or deep questions that you have.

You are creative and thoughtful,
always trying to make something new,
draw something better,
or write a new word.

(1 year old)

You are such a kind, affectionate brother when you want to be.
(When you're not playing legos or cutting or gluing with glitter glue...)

It's fascinating to watch you build and create,
Read and write,
Run and play,
Reason and think.

I love that you came home from preschool and washed Lily's feet the other day, simply because you had learned that bible story.

(2 years old)

I love that you talk to Lily like an adult and are so gentle with her. (most of the time)

I love your fascination with worship leading and hope that someday you find great joy in playing music and can find ways to use it to bring glory to God.

I love that you talk about your (imaginary) grandma and grandpa all the time and tell outrageous tales about them. (it's like you live vicariously through those stories!)

I love that you ride your big wheel SO FAST and always turn at just the right time--before you go into the street, and ALWAYS fast enough that you almost tip. It's even funnier when you wear your Santa hat while riding.

(3 years old)

I love that you often ask me, "So mom, what have you been up to?"
when I've actually spent the entire morning with you.

I love that you come out of bed most nights
claiming to have to go to the bathroom (while really wanting another HUGE hug and kiss).
I love that you are 4. And look so big. And act so big.
And are turning out to be such a handsome, kind, thoughtful little boy.

We can't wait to see what this year brings!

Happy Birthday, Oliver!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So, you're probably wondering what our kids DO while we work on the house...

Luckily, we have some wonderful neighbors behind us who come over to play most of the time. The kids LOVE to spend the afternoon together! (And we are SO thankful for wonderful friends so close by!)

One particular day, Taylor and Mason left their bikes in our yard during nap time, so once we came back to the house, Oliver had a great time carrying Taylor's precious baby while riding around the driveway.

It didn't bother him in the least that he was wearing the princess helmet either.

Lily comes inside to ask me to hold her every 3-4 minutes...but in between those times...she entertains herself outside pretty well.

Thankfully with warm weather, the kids spend much of their time there exploring...trying to feed birds with sand, and chasing a neighborhood cat around. Lily is still learning where our yard ends...we've found her on the neighbor's back porch before.

I hope our neighbors aren't tired of us already! :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The banister is DONE!!!

Dave and Joel finished the top half last Saturday, and then my dad and Joel used SUPERMAN powers and finished the rest in an afternoon.

Hooray for safety!!! (and for tremendously talented men!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oliver's First Cooking Experiment

Oliver told me two nights ago that he really wanted to make cotton candy. So, he got out the ingredients (an apple and chocolate syrup) and went to work cutting up the apple into tiny pieces.

Then, he poured syrup on top and microwaved it for about a minute and a half.

The finished product:

He and Lily ate this for dessert that night. What a proud little chef!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Painting Party

What better way to get lots of painting done then *tricking* your gullible friends into coming over to your house and painting FOR you???

It worked! (Oh, and this was a LATE NIGHT party, so the lighting is horrible.)

(and did I mention my friends are VERY athletic and BRAVE?)

Here are some of the rooms with better light..they're a little more accurate on color.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'll Admit It...

I'm a little overwhelmed.

This house project, although we KNEW it would be a lot of work, is turning out to be a lot of work. :-)

It's nothing new, nothing big, just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

The kids are handling it all fairly well. It's amazing how easily entertained they are by a scraper and a broom. Good thing, because that's about all that's there.

I'm really trying to be intentional about giving them lots of good playtime at home, but we are up at the house more and more as things are getting done, and now that the weather's getting nice.

We ARE making progress--and to prove it, I'll post some pictures:

Stairway minus the banister (we have all the parts for the new one...just not sure how to begin tackling that...)
(oh, and I might possibly be slightly stressed (read: TOTALLY PANICKED) by the fact that we have no banister rail up that makes our adventures at the house a little more tense for me...)
*see the red paint on the wall? That will be the new bright wall when you enter!

Master Bedroom
This has ended up being the hardest room to remove wallpaper has taken us a week to get it all off...and there is still a little glue residue left to sand...
The "play room" wallpaper came off surprisingly well. Uncle Ed came over yesterday and he and Joel just pulled that stuff off with the help of Dave's steamer. Thanks Balzers!!

Oh, and double bonus: a painted giraffe on one wall. The kids frequent this room to say hi to the giraffe, and I heard Lily asking the giraffe to "hold her" yesterday.
With the exception of two bathrooms and the rest of the glue on our master bedroom, we are finished with wallpaper and ready to paint. Thank goodness!!! I have a group of girls coming tomorrow night to help out!!!

Joel finished pulling up all the rest of the linoleum flooring...

And now, he and a friend will be figuring our why our kitchen flooded this morning once our water was turned on.
It will be a beautiful house for us. We are THRILLED. And this was a sweet moment yesterday, once Dave finished pouring our new cement slab out back:

I think tomorrow, when it's 70 degrees out, I'll feel a little better.
And a vanilla Dr. Pepper wouldn't hurt, either...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A few things I've learned about couponing...

I'm two months in to my coupon-ing adventure. I've had some successes and some definite failures...and I've realized a few things:

1. It is SUPER fun and relaxing to cut coupons on a Sunday afternoon!

2. Organizing them well is key. (I haven't quite mastered this, though)

3. Going to the store with a specific list and meal plan is STILL crucial.

4. I have to really watch the prices for things--because usually I spend MORE with coupons. Here's why: I can STILL usually get off-brand products for cheaper than name-brand items with a coupon--UNLESS that item is on sale.

5. I have to really be careful to NOT simply buy something because I have the coupon--because I end up spending more.

I have saved MAJOR money on toiletries: razors, toothpaste (ALWAYS free!), shampoo and conditioner, etc. I get cereal MUCH cheaper now...(but have to stop buying it for a few weeks until we can move through our supply...)

I really have to learn the prices better at Dillons. Here's why: Most of the time, Walmart is cheaper. Even when Dillon's doubles coupons--unless there's super good sale. Case in point: I can buy Kraft Singles cheese (24-pack) at Walmart for $2.98ish. Dillon's? $4.25!!! So even when I had a $.50 coupon (which would have been $1 at Dillon's)--it's STILL cheaper at Walmart!

I'm no expert. I know there are people out there who save INSANE amounts on their grocery bill. But for me--I'm still learning the in's and out's of coupon-ing.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Someday He'll Hate Me...

But this is TOO hilarious to pass up.

Yesterday, Oliver came into the kitchen and announced that he was dressed up as a "polar bear". (I think he is using that term QUITE liberally) But with his tail and costume ready, he could go into the living room and 'dance'.

The polar bear's choice of music? Kirk Franklin. From the early-90's.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

House Progress #2

Here's what's happened the last two days at the new house:

Brand-new front door:
Window Wells:

Digging out the rotted boards from the wall in the basement (behind the brickwork):

Digging out tons of cement and steps to fix the area back here--we'll eventually pour a cement slab that slopes AWAY from the house, not TO the house (novel idea, isn't it?)
Cut out another HUGE bush. And guess what? There's a sidewalk under there!

The kids kept busy spraying water...

And putting rocks into a bucket. (Apparently Joel has memories of doing this as a child, too...)

And my incredibly productive day included picking wall-paper off the bathroom wall. Again.
Someday, when I'm old and gray, this bathroom will be painted.