Monday, March 31, 2008

Officially a Soccer Mom

Well it is official, I am now a soccer Mom! HJ had his first game on Saturday. It was really cold! HJ had a blast though and played super hard. He takes it so seriously. He was so happy his team won! Next time, I will bring my telephoto lens. It was all super cute to watch, shivering on the side lines.

My Baby Boy is Missing!

Has anyone seen my baby boy? I seemed to have blinked and he was gone and I can't find him anywhere.

There is a little boy that lives in my house but he could not possibly be MY baby. My baby boy loves to be cuddled and rocked. This little boy has no time for things like that, he is too busy to sit still. My baby boy loves to play peek-a-boo and patty cake but the little boy in the house has no patience for games that do not involve skill and fast pace. My baby boy loved to hold my hand for support when he toddled and walked but the little boy in the house never walks, he runs! My baby boy loved to babble to me and make up words for things he could not say. The little boy in the house talks so grown up and without trouble he could not possibly be my baby. My baby boy was such a mama's boy, he loved to be comforted and held by his mama. The little boy in the house identifies so much more with his Daddy and now wants to do everything like and with his Daddy. Where is my baby boy?

As I watch my baby bow grow into a little boy, I am so proud of his accomplishments and can't help but be charmed by his absolute boyness, but I can't help but miss the baby that is disappearing in him so fast!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Bathroom News

Well I had hopes to have the finished kids bathroom to proudly display by now. However, we have run into a few minor glitches (I knew there had to be some.)
Glitch #1: The refinished cabinet doors have to be redone. When Drew was refinishing the cabinet, he showed me each individual door before they were finished drying to get my approval. They all looked great individually and I was happy and blissful. Then the doors were hung on the refinished base and then I was not too happy. All the sudden the doors no longer looked antique and Old World but they looked dirty. I felt awful and did not know what to do as I had approved the doors before they were dry. Individually they looked great but when put together in a big picture they become dirty looking. So we decided to live with it a little while and see if it was just me not used to looking at the cabinet in its new form. Nope, every time I went up there, I was disappointed. So being the picture of adult maturity, I made KJ call Drew and tell him (even though I am in the house with Drew most of every weekday.) Drew very graciously said that he would redo them when he refinishes the guest bath cabinets. He also chastised me and told me to tell him from now on if something is bothering me.

Glitch #2: The mirror. At Lowes they have this great section of mirrors that are really medicine cabinets. They are all very current looking (forget the ugly medicine cabinets that we grew up with) these are really pretty and the draw was they can be hung without cutting into the wall. This is how they are all hung at Lowe's and they look great. You can't really tell they stick out.
Well, let me rephrase this, you can't really tell they stick out at the store because they cleverly did not hang any vanity lights above them. Drew hung the mirror and I loved it and then Drew hung the light and I hated it! The mirror stuck out further than the light and looked stupid So the mirror has been removed and is waiting on Drew to finish the tile in the guest bath and then he will recess the mirror into the wall. Yes, I realize the mirror could be returned and a normal one purchased but I now have my heart set on the cabinet storage behind the mirror and would be very disappointed to lose what I had for one day! So my darling, sweet husband is allowing me my storage indulgence and paying Drew extra to cut a big hole in the sheet rock to hang my precious mirror! Gotta love a man that will keep his wife happy (or keep his wife from throwing a hissy fit to get her way), either way he is a keeper!

Glitch #3 The light we bought is too big to go above my wonderful mirror. Even when the mirror is recessed in the wall, the light is to big. We are going tonight to get a new one with a coupon we got in the mail. (Thank you Lowes!) So I have no light in that bathroom to even take pics.

In other news, the tile work in the guest bath is almost done and looks incredible. I will have pics soon!

Running Challenge

I have know for sometime that God has been calling me to better fitness and I will tell you something else I know what he wants for me for my cardio workouts. I have felt Gods call for me to start running. But you see what God seems to have misunderstood about me is that I HATE TO RUN! I have been having this little argument with God for some time and he just doesn't seem to understand that I HATE TO RUN. I even tried at the beginning of the year. I got out there in the morning and tried real hard for about a week and then I noticed the flyer for the spinning classes at the YMCA. I thought that sounded a whole lot more fun than running and so I went and continued going as a bargain with God that maybe he would stop bugging me to run if I went cycling. No such luck! You see when you are running it is just you and God. It is a time when I am forced to rely solely on him and talk to him and pray to him and gasp at him and yell at him as to why I have to be running when I hate it (among other things)! It is also a time when I have to confront my shortcomings and sinful nature (while gasping for air and making my body move in a way it doesn't find natural). I wonder why I gave it up!

I have always admired runners. I have always wanted to be one of those people that just could not get thru a day without a run. However, the few times I tried it, I realized it is not as easy or graceful as experienced runners make it look. It is a lot of very hard work! So anyway, I am going to be obedient to God and run. I know that he will bless me in countless ways but I am not happy about it right now!

I also realized that I needed a better plan than to just get out there and run as it was not working for me. I was getting to frustrated and burnt out (thus the switch to spinning which involves lots of people, an enthusiastic instructor telling you exactly what to do and encouraging you on, and rocking music.) I have also found that running takes a whole different set of endurance skills than spinning. After 2+ months of spinning you would think I might be a little more in shape to get out there and run. Maybe a little, but not so much! I felt a little vindicated Monday in spinning class when a girl who started a couch to 5K program in January came to a spinning class for the first time and couldn't make it thru the class. However, it illustrates the different endurance level needed for running that I just DO NOT HAVE, oh and I HATE RUNNING! So anyway, in my effort to set myself up for success I got a program for couch to 3K in 9 weeks. It gives me a little more direction that putting on shoes and going for a run. It is still not easy. I started today. The goal was to walk briskly for 5 minutes, then run for 60 seconds, and walk for 90 seconds and repeat for 25 minutes. I finished but it was really hard.
Wow, I am really letting everyone know how out of shape I am by telling you that running for a minute at a time was really hard!
However, the blessing in all of this was getting out there while it was still dark and seeing the sunrise! It is really breathtaking. Being outside all alone, gasping for breath, and telling God how much I hated it really put me in a good mood (I am not being sarcastic, it really did!) The moral is that when you do what God tells you to do, good things happen. However, I still have to keep running which is a little disheartening!
All that to say, the reason I am telling you this is to ask if anyone wants to take this couch to 5K challenge with me? It is a 9 week, 3 times a week, 30 minute challenge. I would love to have someone to email encouragements and frustrations with! If not, no biggie but I thought I would throw the challenge out there to see if I had any takers. I am planning on running in the mornings before KJ leaves for work.

12 Week Challenge

You are probably wondering where I have been. Since getting back from Ktown, I have again been battling the moving blues. I have been trying to combat Satan's lies to my heart with truth and prayer. It is slowing getting me back in good spirits.

Anyway, in other news, on Monday I started a 12 week Body For Life Challenge. It basically combines eating super healthy (but allowing for the occasional indulgence) with cardio and weight training. You are supposed to see amazing results in your body and mental strength. Since moving, I have felt Gods call to me to get healthy and active. I am such a lazy person! However, I really have felt the motivation come from above and so hopefully this will help me stick with it more. I have so many reasons for doing this but God's calling is number 1. I also want to get healthier for the sake of it. Cancer is so prevalent in my family (every generation on my Dad's side has seen cancer in at least one person if not multiple). By eating healthy and exercising I will reduce my risk and if I do get it I will be in a stronger, healthier place to fight it. I also want to set a good example to my kids of eating good and exercise. HJ has really been putting it all together in his head: the connection between healthy food and exercise with growing and being strong. He asks me all the time what would be the better choice in terms of food. He asks me to include leaves (as he calls salad greens) in his lunch. He also will ask about my exercise and what it is doing for me. He also asks me if it would be healthier for him to walk or ride in a buggy at Home Depot. It is neat to see him put it all together in his head and want to make healthier choices and move his body more (now if I could just convince his father of the same!)My kids are stuck with double whammy genes from both Mommy and Daddy. Unfortunately from me they inherit a pretty bad predisposition to cancer and some heart disease and from KJ some pretty sever heart disease. If I can get them thinking about the relation of all of this to food and exercise and give them a good example to follow that would be great!
Lastly, I am motivated by wanting to look better. I know I am not fat or obese but I am soft. There is no real muscle definition to me and basically I am soft and squishy all over, instead of trim and toned. This does not lead me to feel great about myself. I know if I looked a little trimmer and toned, I would feel more confident and better about myself.
Okay, however, with all these great reasons, I still struggle! My flesh is so weak. I am a stress/emotional/boredom eater (that is super lazy and doesn't like exercise.) That is the reason I am in this predicament. I like junk food and I do not like to exercise (although I don't mind spinning to much, but would still prefer lazing around to it). With God's continued whisper to my heart, I have made the commitment to up the ante and have set a twelve week goal that I hope will lend itself to a complete lifestyle change. I like goals and having an something to work towards with a structured program/routine to follow. I need someone to tell me this is what you do, instead of having to rely on myself to do it. I have been pretty good about going to spinning at least 3 times a week and I have started resistance training with my personal training class. With this program, all I have had to add in is 2 more cardios and one more weight training day, oh and yes giving up 99% of the junk food in my life.
I have been turning to scripture and some inspirational reading to prepare for this journey as this is a spiritual journey for me. One that I am convinced God has called me on and through him I will rely on to break my flesh of its laziness (both physically and spiritually). I need to fortify my will so I can let it guide me instead of my emotions and feelings. So I will leave you with these three things that struck a cord with me.

Romans 12: 2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind...

Romans 8: 5-6
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.

"It is sometimes thought that the emotions are the governing power in our nature. But I think all of us know, as a matter of practical experience, that there is something within us, behind our emotions and behind our wishes, an independent self, that, after all, decides everything and controls everything. Our emotions belong to us, and are suffered and enjoyed by us, but they are not ourselves, and if God is to take possession of us, it must be into this central will or personality that He enters."
-Hannah Whitall Smith

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Meet Uncle Brent

For those that do not know, yes, I have a baby brother who was a bane to my existence while I was growing up. His name is Brent and he was a pain in the butt while I was growing up. I imagine that all little brothers are a pain to their big sisters. However, somehow he and I managed to grow up without killing each other.
Brent has been missing from our life for awhile now while he went off to find himself. He is back now and dare I say all grown up, mature, and responsible. I almost don't know who this man is. (Did I say he was a man? That is weird to think about, much less say!) I guess for the most part I will always think of him as a little brother and not a grown-up man!
The kids think he is super cool because he does neat things like rock climb, drive a pick-up truck, work with big tools, and he used to play football on a real team, not just in the yard! HJ is in awe of his Uncle Brent because of all of this and the fact that Uncle Brent is taller than Daddy.
So when we sat down for an early Easter dinner, Uncle Brent joined us. My Mom made a great dinner of roast, baked potatoes, homemade bread, and a strawberry spinach salad. She also made chicken nuggets for the kids because she does not believe the kids should have to suffer with eating anything they don't like at Grandma's house. So anyway, Brent was talking to HJ about how good the salad was. He offered HJ a spinach leaf out of his salad and said lets eat it together. HJ looked really skeptical about the whole thing after all it was green, in the shape of a leaf, and looked suspiciously healthy. I went on to tell HJ that Uncle Brent is taller than Daddy because Uncle Brent eats a lot of veggies and they make him grow tall. HJ was sold. He and Brent popped the lettuce leaves in their mouth and HJ chewed it all up and proceeded to eat about 8 more leaves with Uncle Brent! That is just amazing for my little boy, who gags when I make him eat anything green. HJ wants to grow tall so bad that having an example of someone eating veggies and being taller than Daddy was enough in his little mind to make him eat. It didn't hurt that after dinner Grandma measured him again and he had grown 1/4 of an inch more than the last time he measured. He is now 40.25 inches tall! He is on quite the growth spurt. Anyway, he attributed this growth to eating spinach and has said that he will continue to eat spinach leaves now! What a wonderful thing for Uncle Brent to do! For someone not used to being around kids he is turning into a great uncle.
However, in my effort to keep it real and give everyone a clear picture of my life, I feel like I should include this story about my little brother. After all, I am still the big sister and it is my job to torment him (and I don't think he reads my blog and this is pretty funny!)
Anyway, years ago, when my Dad was sick, he enjoyed making all of us sit around with him and watch old home movies. You can imagine how much fun this was for my brother and husband. However, they were both such good sports about it. We all sat around and pretended to be as fascinated with these old home movies as my Dad was. Anyway, we never knew where Dad would start with these historical videos. Would he pull something recent like Brent's football days or would we have to watch endless videos of babies? You could hear the inward grown of the men (again I say that hesitantly about my baby brother!) when the video started and on the screen there was a young woman holding a baby and talking to it. Now in all fairness, in the typical style of the 70's you could not tell whether this baby was a boy or girl because of the beautiful and fashionable dress used back then. I think the baby was dressed in harvest gold or burnt orange or some other awful color. Anyway, the lady caught Brent's eye and he looked surprised and blurted out the first thing to come to his head "Wow, she is hot! Who is that lady holding the baby?" At that point in the room there was a stunned silence as we all collectively whipped around to look at Brent. I can't remember who said it but I think it was me that said "That is Mom holding me!!!" At that point Brent turned the reddest I have ever seen anyone turn and then the red turned to green as he fought down the sickness upon realizing that he had just been attracted to his own mother and thought she was hot! We were all on the floor rolling laughing. That one cracked even my stoic Dad up. Brent has still to this day not lived that one down. It is a classic!
So there, now you have a more fair picture of my brother. The super uncle/sporting champ and the bumbling boy. All together they make for a man I am proud to call my brother!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Red Meat

We don't eat a lot of red meat in our house. I will almost always substitute ground turkey or chicken for any recipe calling for ground meat. I usually don't ever miss it and haven't eaten any red meat since Valentine's Day. I have even stated I am not a big steak eater. However, yesterday I was craving a burger in a big way! Not just any burger mind you but a Chili Dog Cheeseburger. I wanted one so bad I dragged both of my children to the grocery store to buy some ground beef, never mind that I had the makings for 3 other dinners at home. I wanted myself a burger and golly I was going to have it! Just so you know how much I wanted a burger, HJ pretty much makes my life miserable when I take him shopping of any kind. In the typical male fashion, he would rather have his teeth pulled than shop and is not at all afraid to let me know this any way that he can. I avoid shopping with him at all costs. Yesterday though my need for the burger overrode my vow to avoid shopping with my son!
Now I am sure you want to know what a Chili Dog Cheeseburger is and I am going to tell you (even if you don't care and don't want to know, I am going to tell you because it is my blog and I want to!)
The recipe for this unique burger comes from a great little fun cookbook by Rachel Ray, titled, Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats. It is a great fun cookbook. I love Rachel Ray and her simple, fun, fast (usually all can be prepared around 30 minutes) recipes. Her writing style is fun and matches her personality. There are a lot of great recipes in this cookbook! But I digress, yesterday the one I wanted was recipe #174: Chili Dog Bacon Cheeseburgers and Fiery Fries. (I am baconed out so I left out the bacon on ours.) Here is this fun recipe that is a super man pleaser!

8 slices thick cut bacon
1 sack crispy style frozen french fries
1 lb lean ground beef
2 hot dogs cup up in small pieces
2 TBLS chili powder
1 TBLS grill seasoning such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBLS plus 1 tsp hot sauce
2 TBLS ketchup
Oil for drizzling
4 deli slices cheddar cheese
2 TBLS unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 cup chili sauce
Hamburger buns

Cook the bacon until crispy if using it

Bake the fries to package directions

While fries cook, make the burgers. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Mix the beef with chopped hot dogs, chili powder, grill seasoning, Worcestershire, 1 tsp of the hot sauce, and the ketchup. Form 4 large patties. Add drizzle of oil once around the skillet and add the patties. Cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side. Then top each with 2 slices of bacon and one slice of cheese. Turn heat off and cover the pan with a loose foil tent and let the cheese melt for a couple of minutes.

When fries are extra crispy remove them from the oven. Place the butter, the remaining, TBLS of hot sauce, and garlic in a small dish and microwave on high 20 seconds. Transfer fries to a large bowl. Toss the fries with the butter mixture and season with salt.

Slather chili sauce on top of the split buns and put burger on the buns. Serve with fries and enjoy!

Note: I thought that the 1 TBLS of hot sauce mixed with the fries would be to much for the kids. I used about 1 TBLS chili powder in place of the hot sauce for the fries. I also just brushed the mixture over the fries using a pastry brush and then just stirred them in the baking pan as I did not want to dirty up a bowl. It worked fine!

Anyway, this is a really different way to do burgers and dogs but they are a really good treat!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tractor Time!

The very first purchase KJ made when we bought our house was a John Deere tractor. He was so excited to have a huge yard that required a riding lawnmower. I really think one of the reasons he wanted this house was so he could buy a John Deere tractor.
Well since we moved in, the tractor has sat in our garage only to make a rare appearance to amuse the children by giving them tractor rides around our yard (what can I say, we are a little weird, as I am sure the neighbors now realize!)
Well for the first time, it was time to get the tractor out for some legitimate reasons! KJ was so excited to seed and aerate the yard because it meant he could use his tractor and some of the many attachments that were purchased for it (who knew a tractor needed so many accessories/attachments, not I). He was so excited to tell me exactly how long it took to do each job and exactly how much faster it was than doing our last house by walking around. He knew down to the minute the time differences.
HJ was also excited to help Daddy with this manly pursuit! Now that spring is making an appearance, I am sure the tractor will be used many times. I am also pretty sure the novelty of using it and doing lawn maintenance will wear off as the spring and summer go by.

Oma'd Out

Oma and Opa came down for the day and night yesterday to see HJ's first soccer game. However, the soccer game was not meant to be due to the rain. As disappointed as we were, Oma and I decided to console ourselves and head to the mall. CG and HJ benefited greatly from this impromptu trip to the mall. As you can see, CG is decked out in her new stuff all compliments of Oma. I am not sure this is exactly the look Oma was going for when she bought the clothes but this is how CG thought it should all be worn, and of course no outfit is complete without silver, sparkle princess shoes!


Do you know that until we had moved to Nashville, I had never really made waffles from scratch??? Isn't that insane? I have always used quick and easy Bisquick to make waffles. We all love waffles in our house and years ago KJ bought me an awesome waffle maker from Williams and Sonoma that I love. It makes waffles super crispy and fluffy and it is a normal waffle maker not the belgian kind.
Anyway, as much as we love waffles around here you would think that I might have tried branching out and making them without Bisquick! However, it wasn't until I decided our eating habits needed to change that I went for it and tried making them from scratch. We will never go back! These waffles are so good and I use whole wheat flour for at least half the flour and have done the whole thing whole wheat. However, KJ prefers it to be half and half. These waffles also freeze wonderfully and you just pop them in the toaster frozen to reheat! What could be easier on a weekday morning for a certain 4 year old who prefers a hot breakfast? Anyway, I thought I would share my wonderful waffle recipe which is from: How To Cook Everything Cookbook by Mark Bittman.

Quick and Easy Waffles

2 cups all purpose flour (I usually use half white and half white wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBLS sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk (I usually use buttermilk if I have it, but have used regular milk and it tastes fine but the buttermilk is best)
2 eggs
4 TBLS butter melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat waffle iron up

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together milk and eggs. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. If the mixture seems to thick to pour, add a little more milk.

Spread a ladle into the hot waffle iron and bake until done.

Now what could be easier?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bathroom Update!

Well we are almost done with the kids bathroom facelift! The countertop is in now and it looks amazing. I had such a hard time picking the counter out. We could not afford granite or solid surface for the bathroom and I wanted something a little nicer looking than the standard white cultured marble. There are a couple new counters out that look like solid surface but really are a cultured marble with stone flecks in them. These are a lot more cost effective than going with real stone or solid surface. The kicker is, I had to choose my counter top from a tiny little square the size of your palm and imagine what it would look like counter size. It was really hard!
At Lowe's I had the chance to see their version of this in a big size. I freaked out because what I thought I wanted looked pinky peach in the full size counter top (it looked beige in the sample size). Therefore, we decided to go to Home Depot and get our counter top. They had more colors to choose from and their sample sizes looked a little nicer, however, I couldn't see any of it in a full size just the little palm size sample.
Needless to say, I was holding my breath when Drew took the counter top out of the box! I was so tickled with how it turned out. It is so beautiful and rich looking! We love it! I really like the new sink for the kids too! It is all coming together so nicely. Now all that is left is to refinish the cabinet, hang the beautiful new mirror that is really a medicine cabinet (more storage!), and set the toilet. I will take more pics once all that is done. I was just so tickled with the counter and sink, I had to share!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why is it...

that the day I am so tired and KJ won't be home until later my little girl decides to take the initiative and go potty all by herself with no coaxing in her little potty? You would think that would be a wonderful thing. As an isolated event it is great. However, when you combine that with her tripping over the little potty and spilling the contents all over the bathroom floor and then her deciding to wipe at the big potty with the wet wipes and taking the whole tub of wipes out of the box because she can't get one to come out, wiping with it, and throwing the huge wad of wet wipes in the potty and flushing the potty only to have it clog, it is not such a great thing. Oh, and then she waltzes out of the bathroom and goes on her merry way without telling me any of this!
This was the scene I came upon when I entered the bathroom to use it tonight. Needless to say, I was not overwhelmed with joy that CG chose tonight to start the potty training process by herself!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


When reading a friend of mine's blog, I noticed that she had this neat map on her blog that showed where people who have read her blog are reading it from. I thought that was so cool that I added one to my own blog. If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog you will find my cool little map. I was not surprised to see the large cluster of viewers from the south that view my blog. Considering pretty much everyone I know lives in the south this is what I expected. However, I had a big surprise when I saw that someone in Australia has viewed my blog and someone in Russia (I think) has viewed my blog!
It makes me wonder how they found it and what they thought. My best guess is that my post about Barbara Mandrell wiping CG's face is what got me those viewers. Anyway, I think my new little toy is pretty fun and interesting and something I will be checking frequently!

A little boy and his Indian blanket

Once upon a time, there was a little boy. The little boy was like every other little boy in that he lived with his Mommy and Daddy. However, when the little boy was too sick to go to school, he got to go to a special, magical place: his Grammy's house.
At his Grammy's house, his Grammy would fix him special foods to make him feel better. She would let him watch TV to help him feel better. She would read him stories and sing to him just like every grandmother would do for their grandchild if they were to be sick at their house. However, there was one difference, you see, Grammy's house was a magical place. A place with a magical blanket called the Indian Blanket. Now the Indian Blanket only came out when the little boy was sick and only at Grammy's house. The little boy would be wrapped up or covered up with the Indian Blanket and would immediately feel better cocooned in it's magical warmth. It was a feeling of magic, safety, and wellness the little boy never forgot even as he got older and needed the blanket's magic less and less. So when the little (now grown-up) boy's Grammy gave him this magical Indian blanket when she cleaned out her house to move, the little (now grown-up) boy put the blanket in a special place in his own house, only to be gotten out on the rare occasion he is sick. And when the little (now grown-up) boy does get it out he is instantly transported back to the safety, magic, and wellness found only at Grammy's house, wrapped up in a magical Indian Blanket.

Our Easter Tomb

As the season of Lent is well under way, I thought I would share some of what we have been doing and talking about to prepare for the celebration of Easter.
Easter to me is the most holy time of year. I can deal with Santa Clause for some reason but really can not tolerate the Easter bunny infringing on our Easter celebration. I am not even sure the kids know who/what the Easter bunny is. This is really the first Easter that HJ is, I think, really understanding the sacrifice Christ made for us and why it was necessary for him to do so. We have been reading a lot of different children's stories and Bibles about Easter and the meaning behind it. Almost everyday we talk about the sacrifice Christ made for us.
HJ and CG even gave up candy for Lent in an effort to help them remember the sacrifice Christ made for us in dying for our sins. Really HJ came up with the idea of giving up candy and CG just went with it because her big brother was doing it. I am not quite sure she gets it all yet.
My friend Aimee did a wonderful blog about making an Easter tomb with her kids. I loved the idea and last week the kids and I set out to make ours. We decided to plant little purple and white flowers around our tomb. We did a nature hike to look for a big rock and sticks to make the crosses out of. We never quite found a big enough rock but I think the kids got the picture of what it was supposed to look like. Now, I have never, ever, ever been known to have a green thumb! I am sure my mother is laughing at the idea of me planting seeds and them actually making it to blooms! In fact, I was pretty sure I killed my little seeds by not bringing them inside during the big winter snowstorm of '08 we had here (insert sarcasm). However, I will have it known that when I went outside today to get the mail, I noticed lots of little green sprouts around our Easter tomb! That means that I did not kill them (yet) and is another reminder of the wonderful rebirth that we receive through Christ's sacrifice for us!
I am so tickled with my little Easter tomb project, I thought I would post pics! Thanks Aimee for the idea!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow Princess

This morning the kids were so excited to see the snow. This is the most snow Nashville has gotten since 1993 and the most snow the kids have ever seen! So I began the long process of first getting HJ dressed for playing outside in 20 degree weather. We don't have very good snow playing clothes. I have not bought the kids snowsuits or real gloves since we just never really get any real snow. So we improvise with lots of layers. All I have in the way of gloves for HJ is a pair of fleece mittens. By the time I got HJ dressed and sent him out with KJ and then got CG dressed in her many layers and out the door, HJ was crying that his hands were too cold and that he wanted to come in. To be fair, his little fleece mittens were soaked and his hands were bright red and freezing. Only my son goes out and immediately soaks his mittens!
CG is a little more timid so she did not immediately get her fleece gloves wet. She much preferred Daddy to hand her snow and let him make the snowballs than she do it. Smart girl! As she says "It's cold, you do it!"
There fore, I only have pics of my girl playing in the snow. In the first pic, she is carrying around a bug net. She was convinced she would catch some kind of snow bug. We couldn't convince her that there really weren't any snow bugs. In the others, she is playing in our little fort. She makes a cute snow princess!

It Looks Like a Christmas Card Picture

This is a picture of our house taken this morning. The snow is almost all gone now! It was fun while it lasted.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Peeking at the Snow!

Yes you read that right! It is snowing very heavily here and we are under a Winter Storm Warning until noon tomorrow! I can't even see the grass now. The kids are so excited they could barely go to bed. They are dreaming of sledding and building a snowman tomorrow! Everything is closed down here and the roads are pretty bad.
The pics above are of CG peeking out the window and door at the snow falling. She was so excited to see it she kept running over to me and giving me a big hug and kiss and then running back to look at the snow. I don't think either of our kids have ever seen this much snow as I know it has been years since I have! Even I, a die hard fan of spring, have little tinges of excitement about playing in the snow with the kids tomorrow!

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

As everyone knows there is a huge difference between boys and girls! This picture taken tonight of the kids playing really emphasizes it.
CG loves shoes. The gaudier, sparklier, shinier the better! She loves to prance around the house in her princess shoes as she calls them. It is so cute to hear the little click clack, click clack of her shoes as she moves around on the hardwood floors. Knowing her love of shoes, Oma bought her a whole bag full of an assortment of dress up princess shoes for Christmas. CG loves to go thru it and pick out the perfect pair to wear with whatever she is wearing that day. Tonight she decided that the silver pair with a big silver bow with sequins on it was the perfect pair and she pranced around the house all night in them.
HJ loves sports (and has no interest or patience in princess shoes, he can barely tolerate CG asking him if he likes her shoes and thinks they are pretty)! He is super excited that soccer is starting next week. (It was actually supposed to start this week but we did not make practice due to illness and the game was cancelled tomorrow due to weather.) He loves his uniform and is now wearing that all the time around the house and kicking his indoor soccer ball around. (His indoor soccer ball is a stuffed soccer ball). He puts on his soccer shorts, shin guards, and socks and runs around playing a game in his head and coming to tell me who scored, who is playing what position, and what the score is (I am not sure where he is getting the names of all the players but I think they are from school as he plays soccer at aftercare with a whole age range of kids.) We don't have his jersey yet so he likes to wear a white shirt because it could be for any color team as he says.
Anyway, I snapped this picture of the kids being uniquely themselves tonight and thought it was to cute not to share! CG with no interest (yet) in sports and HJ with no interest in princess shoes!

*Sorry for the small pics, the local internet is jammed because so many people are on it tonight, more on that in the next post!*

Bathroom Progress

Can you tell I am just tickled pink with my bathroom remodel? I am loving the progress. It is so exciting. Today Drew got done laying the tiles. It was a long day for him because he had to make all the intricate cuts to fit around corners and crevices. He did such a good job and was a perfectionist! He will start grouting on Monday. Even thought it is not grouted, it looks great. I am posting a picture of before everything began again so you can see what a difference the bigger, richer tile laid on a diagonal makes. It makes the room looks so much deeper and bigger (even with all the dust and tools). We love it! We are now seriously thinking about doing the same thing in the hall bath because it makes such a difference. The tile we got was only $1 a sq.ft and we really like it and the richness and overall depth it gives the kids room that it will be really hard to turn down doing that in the guest bath. I'll let you know what we decide!

A personal training experience

Back in January, I noticed these flyers around the YMCA talking about a class called Lean Motion. Basically what it is, is a class with 4 people in it, who share the cost of a personal trainer. It is a one month commitment and you get 8 classes with the personal trainer (and 3 other people). It sounded great to me and a great way to get the knowledge of a personal trainer without the high cost. I have really wanted to work with weights but don't really know how to go about it. When I went to sign up, the classes were already booked through March. So I signed up for the March class.
My first class was on Wed. I knew I was in for a world of pain when the trainer introduced herself as the hardest personal trainer the YMCA has to offer. She said we were paying good money for the class and she would be working us very hard to develop the lean motion and better fitness levels that we need. She also said that she would not be offended if I decided she was too tough and requested to be moved to a different trainer. Oh Boy! Now it should be mentioned that I am pretty horribly out of shape and haven't lifted anything resembling a weight (other than my kids) repetitively in years! I have more endurance than before due to cycling but nothing to prepare me for this. I am pretty sure this sweet lady who is my personal trainer takes great satisfaction in hearing all of us beg her for mercy! The other three women in the class have been in it since January. All of them are really pushing themselves to be fitter. One of the ladies since joining has lost 30 lbs and hopes to lose 30 more! She weighs more than me but could probably run circles around me.
This morning I was feeling so much better and did not want to miss my torture class so I went on to the YMCA. All I can say is that my abs may never recover from the torture they underwent today and I may not be able to walk tomorrow because my inner thighs may be too sore! The best part is I paid for this grueling torture (I mean workout session!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bathroom Remodel

The bathroom face lift is moving right along. I thought I would show pics of the progress. The first day the guys got the whole bathroom dismantled and the second day they started the laying of the tile. However, we had to tell them not to come today due to my illness. I just can't have people I don't know in my house while I feel so bad.
The guy who is doing the work for us came to us highly recommended from a friend from KJ's young life leader's days. KJ ran into him in Nashville and somehow they got to talking about bathroom remodels and he highly recommended this friend of his breaking into the business.
We gave him a call and really liked him. He did young life in college and then went on to pursue a career in drumming. He was doing pretty well with it when he met his future wife and did not want to have a traveling job when he settled down. So he gave up professional drumming and is pursuing his second love of remodeling. He grew up around it. His dad made his living flipping houses. He said until he grew up he had never lived in a finished house because they always sold them once they were finished.
He is a really Godly man, very passionate about the Lord. He has a great work ethic and always shows up when he says. We are thrilled to have found him! Especially since the first company we called came in 3x over our budget (for all the bathrooms) for doing the master bath only.! Drew has been great and a wealth of knowledge for finding the budget places for finding supplies!

The pics are from yesterday.

A Little Visitor

*Warning* This post is not for the squemish or faint of heart!

Yesterday, we had the wonderful fun of welcoming a little visitor into our home: the 24 hour stomach bug. Now this little "friend" once welcomed into our bodies, decided to convince our bodies that every single food source and water molecule must be evacuated from our bodies!
I got a call from HJ's school yesterday to come pick him up because his stomach hurt and he was really lethargic. I was already on my way out the door to pick him up when they called but by the time I got there he had already thrown up all over himself. I commandeered a plastic bag for our long (and it seemed to take forever) ride home from school. Along the way, HJ threw up twice. Once in the bag and once out. Lovely!
By the time we arrived home he had no energy and was getting sick about every 20-30 minutes. It was so sad but he was so good about it. At first, he would go to the potty and get sick but after about an hour he did not have the strength to do so. Therefore, I set him up with a bucket. He was so good and always made it in the bucket so there was no mess to clean up. (This is good because I don't handle throw up very well. Just the smell makes me gag.)
Well around 7:00 my stomach started to feel funny and I knew just where this was headed for me. I have been down this road quite a bit as I seem to be super susceptible to the stomach bug. I just knew the fun was going to start soon for me. The kicker is that last night was KJ's night to work super late (he got home at 2:30 am) so I was on my own. I quickly got CG put down to bed and left HJ laying on the couch. I figured he would sleep there tonight as there are no doors separating the kids room right now due to the remodeling. I didn't want CG to wake up every time HJ got sick. Well by 8:00 HJ still had not gone peepee since we got home nor was even able to keep a tsp of fluid down so I was getting worried about him. He was super lethargic and listless. I also was moments away from my date with the bathroom throne. Therefore, I wound up alternating
getting sick and getting HJ up to take a tsp of liquid. At around 11:00, he was finally able to start keeping very small quantities of liquid down.
Now let me tell you about the liquids I ended up giving him around 8:00 because I was becoming desperate for him to improve a little. We had none of the recommended liquids in the house to combat dehydration. KJ had told me he would stop and bring some home but I really was desperate to get some electrolytes in him and it was still a long time before he was coming home. Now I noticed that there was a Gatorade bottle in the fridge that was not ours. I knew it belonged to the workman working on our house. It had been opened and about one sip taken out of it. Can you guess what I did? Yes I gave my son the opened Gatorade to drink one tsp at a time. I figured the guys working on our house are good Christian guys and I was running out of options and HJ looked so bad! (Are you guys completely grossed out yet?)
Well I was up most of the night in the bathroom purging every water and nutrients in my body. It was super fun. It finally stopped for me around 4:00am. When I woke up this morning I had lost 4 lbs since yesterday! That is an enormous amount of water weight. You can imagine how I feel today. I feel like I have been run over by a truck. Every bone and muscle in my body is sore and I have no energy (add that on to the soreness I am feeling from my first work out yesterday morning with a personal trainer bent on transforming my body like a dictator and you will have some idea of the pain I am in!). And my son, how is he feeling after going thru the same thing, he is feeling fine. He is full of energy and seems to be experiencing none of the body aches and lack of energy I am. KJ is staying around this morning until nap time to help with the kids since I have no energy and am so weak. It is all I can do to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen and forget the stairs. It ain't happening!

Oh, and this morning, CG threw up twice. I was like wonderful, however, I don't know if it is how young she is but she hasn't gotten sick since then so maybe she only got a touch of the little bug going around! That is my prayer!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Face Lifts

Nope not for me or KJ but for the upstairs bathrooms. Today is demolition day for the kids bath. We have been planning and planning our bathroom face lifts that I can't believe the day it is starting is finally here!
We love our house. It is 17 years old and for the most part came to us completely updated and remodeled. There was a beautiful new kitchen, new flooring thru-out the house, and new fireplace surrounds and mantles. Even the banisters for the stairs and cat walk had been refinished. The house was beautiful!
However, the bathrooms remained untouched. The kids bathroom really isn't that bad except for one thing, there is carpet in front of the sink area. Their bathroom connects their rooms and is broken up into two rooms. The first room off of CG's room is the sink area where there is carpet (whoever thought that carpet in a bathroom was a good idea had never lived with young children!) Now the carpet in this area was new but it is still carpet and is now stained with lovely toothpaste gobs! The other room in the bathroom is where the tub/shower is and the toilet. It is tile. It is a very basic tile with a hint of grey in it. However, trying to find that tile again after 17 years is not possible. Therefore, we are having the old tile and carpet ripped up and new tile put in. The beat up vanity will be refinished in a distressed old world style and we are getting a new cultured marble top for the vanity to replace the stained and abused one that is there! We are also taking out the old mirror and replacing it with a framed mirror and new lighting. Oh and a new sink faucet! Can I just say that I did not know sink faucets could get in as bad condition as the ones in my house are. All are loose and wobbly and when they wobble too much a lovely black dirt flakes out!

So anyway, the kids bath will be started today! I am excited but a little apprehensive about the process. The kids won't be able to use their bathroom for awhile and nap time will be moved around but hopefully that won't be so bad! The picture above is the kids bath as it is now. I will post pics of the finished project when it is done!

After they finish the kids bath, they will move down the hall to the guest bath. That bathroom is having the vanity refinished in the same old world style as the kids and a new vanity top put in. It is also getting a new mirror and lighting. We had to go ahead and install the new faucet as the faucet that was in there completely gave out and was leaking everywhere and causing the black flakes to turn into black oozing goo. So we went ahead and put the new faucet in but it will be removed and put in again with the new vanity top. The tile in that bath will remain the same.

From there we head to the master! The master bath is getting a complete and total overhaul. It will be gutted and completely redone!
All of this is being done on a very tight shoestring budget but we have found that living in a big city has its perks because there are tons of places to get discount tile, fixtures, lighting, etc!!!

When the other projects get going, I will post pics of the other bathrooms before their demolition!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flip Flops!

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day! It got to 74 degrees and was sunny. After church, we put the kids down early to nap and woke them super early to hit a local park. It was packed.
I broke out my flip flops today for the first time this season. I absolutely love flip flops and will wear them pretty much every day in the spring and summer, just look at the toe marks worn into the shoe! I have quite a collection of them. They are the perfect shoe! (Please excuse my ugly toes. Obviously I spend a lot more time grooming and maintaining my daughter's toes than my own!) It is going to be really hard to put them away this week, when we are due for more snow. I want it to be spring for good, so bad!