Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wild Life

Now with that title you could suppose that I might be talking about my wild kids.  They have been rather ornery lately but that's not what today's post is about.

As I was eating dinner I was thinking about what I wanted to shoot today.  I could have taken a picture of my brother and his fiance at their shower but I didn't take the camera.  I could have taken a picture of the boys in the tub but there weren't any bubbles.  We were just about to sit down to read our scriptures for the day and I saw something weird out the back window.  The first thought I had was ostrich.  I knew that wasn't right.  I looked again and it was a wild turkey.  I grabbed the camera and shouted "There's a turkey in the yard!"  Everyone ran to the window to look out.  I opened the door as quietly as I could but that thing took off.  This was the best I could get.

Turkey on the Run

I think the turkey is faster than a goose, at least on feet.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lilac Bushes


I finally got around to planting my lilac bushes, my mother's day gift from 2009.  I brought them from the old house and they have definitely seen better days.  The one on the left was drowning in its pot.  For some reason it wasn't draining well.  That's what urged me to finally dig the holes.  I hope it comes back now that it can breath a little better.  Now I'll have to smooth out the extra dirt and get some landscaping fabric and some kind of ground cover.  You know, I could really use a gardener.  If anyone has some free time let me know.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The child swap from yesterday resulted in lots of fun and four tired out girls.  To make the swap back we went to Jan & Doc's house to swim for a while.  It was fun to be back at our temporary home and visit with Michelle and Jan.  The kids enjoyed playing with the neighbors' dogs and splashing around in the lake.

Swimming in the lake

I never got a picture of all five kids together.  This will have to do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Handyman's Apprentice

Kade was a little bummed he didn't get much at IKEA over the weekend.  We did find him something at Target though, but ordered it on line.  It arrived today instead of next Monday like the order confirmation said.  Kade was whooping and jumping around with excitement.  He and Mickey had a project to work on together.

In the meantime, we had a rather busy day.  This morning Joey and Evie (my nephew and niece) came over to play for a few hours.  Then we went out with our Virginia cousins to see "How to Train Your Dragon".  The movie was much better than the book.  Probably because the screen writers only used bits and piece of the book.  Then we decided to do a child swap.  Meg went to spend the night with Abby while Emma came to spend the night with Mat.  We'll meet back up to swap again sometime tomorrow.  I'm sure we'll have some tired girls tomorrow.

Back to the apprenticeship...whenever Mickey is working on some project that requires tools Kade gets as involved as he can.  Today he helped put his headboard together.  Tomorrow they'll do the nightstand.

Building a Bed

I'm sure these hands will have loads of experience by the time he's a teenager.  Especially with the way we buy furniture requiring assembly.

Added the next morning.  Kade:  "Mom, sleeping in my new bed was awesome.  And I didn't fall out."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Clean Room

All of our kids are messy.  Is this the norm?  We have one pack rat, one that likes clutter, and one tornado (making messes and leaving them).  One bedroom has never been clean since we moved in 2-1/2 months ago.  The job finally got done today so I thought it deserved to be the podt.

A Clean Room

Now that Mat has cleaned up her mess maybe we can start adding some personality to this bland room.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26th

Three things of note happened today.  At least these are the three that I can remember.

1.  The van came back home.

2.  Kade lost his second tooth.

3.  I got to deliver a super soft rag quilt to a new baby.

Baby Rag Quilt

I love how it turned out.  The baby's room is done in pink and green with lady bugs on the wall.  I was so excited to find that lady bug print.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nana's Chocolates

Dove Chocolates

Pretty much every Sunday after church the kids meet at the church library waiting for Nana to show up with her chocolates.  In the beginning they got 2-3 each but now their pushing for 4-5 each.  Little piggies.  Our kids aren't the only ones lining up for the sweets either.  A few other kids show up as well as a few adults needing a fix.  Someday she'll be supplying the entire ward.

Last night we had an amazing, I guess you'd call it, sunset.  The whole sky was a pinky orange.  Mickey and I went outside and it felt like we were on another planet.

Night Sky

No colors were changed in this photo.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

IKEA... where we sent most of our day.  After a yummy breakfast

Homewood Suites' Waffles

we were going to let the kids swim but the pool was outside so that didn't happen with all the rain/storms during the night.

We looked, thought, picked out lots of stuff, had lunch,

Ikea Chocolate Cake

(The remains of dessert.  Everyone loved the chocolate cake.)

and finally paid the bill.  Yikes!  It took Mickey about 45 minutes to get everything loaded either in or on top of the Jeep.  (I entertained the kids with ice cream cones and a visit to the bathroom.)  We took 294 home instead of 80-90 hoping it would be faster.  It was, at least faster than the previous day.  There was one area of congestion, but it wasn't too bad.  With all the rain last night an exit was closed due to standing water.

Closed Exit

I wonder if the Jeep could have made it through.

We got home just in time for the kids to shower, snack, and go to bed.  Mickey and I both had work to prep for tomorrow.

We had a nice little trip together.  But I think next time we go to IKEA Mickey and I are going alone.

Last Minute Get Away

I took the day off yesterday because we decided at the last minute to go to Chicago for the night.  Therefore I couldn't really blog.  I'm making up for it now.

The short version:  It took four hours for us to get to Schaumburg because of this.  It was backed up going both ways.


We choose a really hot day to go.  While waiting in traffic the temperature hit 100.

High Temps

The Jeep has a thermometer.  How cool.  (Yes, we still don't have the van back.  Monday.)

We finally got to the hotel and dropped our stuff so we could get some dinner since we were starving.  We went to Gino's East.  I think that's the last time we'll go.  It's just not our favorite pizza (we've had both the stuffed and the thin) and it's not cheap.  When we left it was raining.  We decided to stop at IKEA and do a little pre-shopping.  The sky was really dark and stormy.

Dark Skies

Several lightening bolts lit up the sky.  We looked around one floor and decided to call it a night.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Will Power

The last few weeks I've really been getting on everyone to eat better.  I've stopped buying all the unhealthy, but oh-so-tasty, snacks.  Instead I've been buying more fresh fruits and veggies and insisting that they get eaten.  The kids have not been too happy about that.  Meg made sure she gorged at the birthday party Saturday to get her fill of junk for the week.

I would really like for our family to be a little healthier.  Is that so bad?  Up until about a month ago this year had been rather stressful for me and I have not made the time to exercise, which I really do enjoy doing.  I've been trying to make myself get in a routine.  This week I told myself I was getting up at 7 a.m. to walk/run.  I walked/ran once.  I have been woken up at 7 only to turn off the alarm because I'm really achy or have had 5 hours of sleep.

Since I haven't been getting my exercise in I've been trying to eat better.  (I try to eat better when I'm getting the exercise too.)  Tonight for dinner we had salads.  Not everyone was thrilled about this but they ate it.  The kids and I picked up a few things from the store this afternoon to make the salads.  Somehow I let them talk me in to getting something that should be on the naughty list.

Sweet Treat

Why is it when you're trying to be good the bad is more tempting?  I had two tonight.  Help me, please.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Busy Hands

I love it when my hands are busy.  I think it has a calming effect on me.  Yesterday the girls learned a new skill to keep their hands busy.

Busy Hands

Crocheting.  The girls learned at Activity Days.  They both seem to enjoy it.  I don't really know how to do it but I can fake it somewhat and help when mistakes are made.   They were making all kinds of chains and bracelets last night and today.  It's nice to see them walking around with a hook and yarn instead of a DS or iPod.  And it's something quiet they can take along in the car.  Mattey wants me to teach her to knit.  I think she needs to experience crocheting for a little while longer before I introduce something new to keep her hands busy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Endorsement

There are not a lot of products on the market that I love.  But today I have one I'm going to share.

WP Chomp!

WP CHOMP! is fabulous for removing wallpaper.  After peeling off the top layer you spray WP CHOMP! on the backing, wait a minute, and then the backing peels right off without any scraping.  It can't get any easier than that.  I bought the concentrate today because I used most of the spray bottle for the kids' bathroom.  I have three more rooms to do and one border.  I'm not too stressed about removing it now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weedy Wilderness

Our yard has some landscaping that I'm sure was done when the house was built.  There is a nice garden area that has strawberry plants and I think some parsley growing in it.  There are also a few scraggly shrubs, a rose bush, a few unwanted mulberry trees, and lots of weeds.  (The neighbor said the previous owner didn't do much with the garden.  Big surprise.)  I went out sometime last month and picked a garbage bag full of weeds.  I guess weeds grow faster than anything because now the garden is very overgrown.  Mickey spent some time out there this afternoon.  Kade was assisting, handing him the shovel or loppers.


Meanwhile I tackled some bushes before Mickey could use electric trimmers on them.  (I didn't want them hacked up.)  I pruned until my thumb was numb.

This morning I took off all the wallpaper in the kids' bathroom.  I can't wait to paint!  It's going to be a fun bathroom.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unconventional Sleeper

Kade still wakes up in the night.  He's a lot better than when we first moved into our house but Mickey and I find it annoying to be woken up in the middle of the night.  I've told him repeatedly to just come in our room with his pillow and sleeping bag and sleep on the floor.  He finally learned to do this without waking us up.  (I was going to use that as a potd sometime but Mickey beat me to it today.)  Last night he came in, I don't know when, and woke both of us.  He had brought in his bedding to sleep on the floor but said something about bugs being in his sleeping bag and his bed so he wouldn't sleep there.

When Mickey woke up this morning (he's up before anyone) he couldn't find Kade anywhere.  Not in his room or the family room playing video games or watching a movie.  After searching the entire house he finally found him in our room, sleeping in the recliner.

Chair Sleeper

Through the foggy middle-of-the-night haze I was in I remember Kade climbing into the chair.  I guess Mickey didn't see him.  The chair is right by his side of the bed.  I don't know how he missed him.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Water Balloons and Birthdays

This afternoon we went to my brother and sister-in-law's house for a double birthday party.  My nephew is 4 and my niece is 2.  The party included a water balloon fight (where Mickey was a frequent target),

Water Balloon Fight

a pinata was beat to death by 13 children, and there was rowdy swimming in the pool.  We were also fed dinner and delicious cake and ice cream for dessert.  You can't really beat that on a hot sunny Saturday.

The best part was Mat voluntarily donated her non-played with Barbies for my niece's present.  I think she ended up giving away about 8.  That made E. very happy.  Mattey is such a sweetie.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tasty Dinner

Mickey called me around lunch time today from the College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival.  (It's only a few minutes walk from work.)  I was so excited I rounded up the kids and headed out the door.  Yeah, right.  He said they were having a ribs cook-off and wondered if I wanted him to bring some ribs home for dinner.  Um...YES!


They tasted so good.  I made corn on the cob, fries, and baked beans to go with.  It was a really yummy dinner.  There's a few ribs left, I'm sure we'll have a good lunch tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gift from Turkey

We had our little friend Finn over to play today.  He loves coming to Kade's house.  The girls love having him over to practice their babysitting.  This afternoon when I took him home his mom, Melissa, had a little gift for me from her trip to Turkey.

Turkish Pottery

Isn't it beautiful?  It's hand painted by little Turkish girls.  (I'm trying to overlook that part.)  I love it!  Thanks, Melissa.

This may be the inspiration I've been looking for for the kitchen/family room.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Shopping Trip

As I mentioned yesterday I took the kids shopping to spend their hard earned cash.  We spent about an hour and a half at Target this morning.  We looked at all kinds of things.  We all picked up some clothes and the kids found something to spend their money on.  Mattey got a Bella Sara horse.  Megan bought a Pokemon book.  Kade found an action figure from Mighty World.  (I just ran back to Target and got four different MW sets.  They are great little play sets and they were on clearance!)

This afternoon Tia came to play with the kids while Mickey and I spent about an hour in the BMV getting new driver's licenses.  The sad part was we waited over 30 minutes in line just to check in.  Once we were seated we were out in about 20 minutes.  One more joy of moving.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pay Day

The kids did their job well.  There were no emergencies or deaths.  The neighbor said her dog was in better condition now than when they left.  Dacie, the dog, must have really loved the kids coming over.  As thanks the neighbor handed Meg a fat bank envelope and told her to share.

Pay Day

Inside was a lot of one dollar bills.  The kids are very happy.  I'll have to take them shopping tomorrow or something.  I'm sure they're working on plans to spend it.

I'm proud of the kids for doing their summer job.  Maybe it won't be the last time they get asked to dog/house sit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Ride

The other driver's insurance company finally got around to approving a rental car and the repair of our van.  It's only been what, 10 days, since the accident?  They move fast.  I have all kinds of bad things to say but I'll try to keep it to myself.

Anyway, I got a phone call from Ryan at Enterprise today saying I could get my rental.  He was out of mini vans but he could get me a Jeep Commander that seats 7.  Cool.  He offered to pick me up but I didn't want to subject him to the kids and I didn't have a booster for Kade so we waited until Mickey got home to go over and get it.  Here's what I get to drive until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

New Ride

The kids were so excited to have something with a little elbow room.  The Elantra is nice but it's not really made for more than four people.  I'm happy not to be stuck at home anymore.

I've only driven the Commander a little bit but it's not something I would ever buy.  We stopped for some groceries and there was no place to put them unless I put the third row of seats down.  I don't want to mess with that.  The other thing I really don't like is that I can maybe see 6" out the back window.  Backing up it going to be stressful.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Yesterday on our date Mickey and I set out to find a new refrigerator.  We didn't find what we wanted.  We also had to make a stop at Sam's for a few necessities.  Before we even got in the store I had to stop because some potted plants were calling my name.  They were so beautiful I just had to get some for the porch.  I couldn't pick just one color and that's the tale for today too.  Just imagine a large pot spilling over with these.

Pink Zinnia

Orange Zinnia

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pool Party

Our friends, the Stones, invited us to their pool for a party.  They have a son Meg's age and a son Kade's age.  I took the camera thinking I would get at least one good picture for today.  Well, I couldn't decide so there are four.  Eventually when I learn how to edit photos (I have a free class waiting for me to take) I will put all four together to make one.  Since I'm tired and clueless right now they're all be separate.

Flying Man

Here we have a flying man.

Glowing Boy

Kade looks like he's glowing since he's in the sunlight.  (He was so pale compared to all the other kids.)

Diving In

Meg diving.  If you look closely you can see she's taking a big breath.  In the next shot her cheeks were all puffed out with air.

Water Bug

Mattey, actually happy in the water.  Check out those cute freckles.

As for me, I stayed dry and took pictures.  I got some chatting in too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

One Down...

..a dozen or so to go.

I finished painting the laundry room this afternoon.  I got most of it done on Monday but I had to get a strong man to pull out Lulu.  I couldn't budge her.  I love the color.  When the sun shines in the door (all morning long) there is a lovely pink glow coming from the room.

Laundry Room

What do you think?  I think it looks great with the oak trim and cabinets.  Now I just need that strong man to push Lulu and Gertie back into place so they can enjoy their freshly painted room.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Job

Two days ago a new neighbor, whom we had not yet met, came over and asked if our kids would like to dog sit while they're out of town for a few days.  What?  Who is that trusting?  The dog's staying in their house and we've been given a key.  We could walk away with quite a bit.  But since we are honest and trustworthy people I suppose they're safe.  The kids were so excited to have this opportunity.  We went over this evening to let her out.

Summer Job

(This is not the best picture but neither the kids or the dog were cooperative.  You get the idea.)

The kids were also asked to bring in the mail and paper and water the three pots of flowers outside.  They've decided to take turns doing the different jobs (hopefully not fighting about who's turn it is to do what).  With a little parental supervision this should be a good little job for them.

The dog is really old.  The owners left a note on the table saying if she dies to "call this number and they'll take care of it".  I sincerely hope this doesn't happen on our watch.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We got an unexpected gift today from a friend of ours.

Unexpected Gift

Five pounds of blueberries.  Yum.  I'm thinking I'll have to make this.  (The second recipe, although the first sounds good too.)

Many thanks to our friend.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Activity Days

Two nights a month the girls go to Activity Days at church.  Tonight was one of those nights.  Here they are rushing up to the door to be let in.

Activity Days

A note for posterity:  Notice their clothes.  Mat is in her normal everyday wear.  Meg is in her nice clothes.  (This is the third outfit she tried.  I half heartedly approved.  You can't see the front.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

The National Pastime...

...Neighborhood Style

The kids ran through the sprinklers in the early afternoon while I painted the laundry room and Mickey cleaned out the garage enough to get both cars in.  Yay!  Mickey then remembered that he was supposed to be giving blood so off he went.  I was thrilled the neighbor girl, B., was over playing with the kids.  She's 14 and very sweet.  That meant I only had to check on the kids while I continued painting.  One time I checked on them I could hear them (obviously, they're rarely quiet) but couldn't see them.  I followed the voices and found them doing this.

Wiffle Ball

They had organized a little wiffle ball game in the yards between our houses.  (Kade had just hit the ball when I took this picture.)  They played for a while.  Then they wanted to show B. our house.  They gave her a tour.  I'm sure it was fascinating with three tour guides talking at the same time.  Then they all ended up watched Alice in Wonderland and then got a tour of B.'s house.  The kids were so excited!  They had a great afternoon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The 4th

4th of July

Here's the patriotic shirts we made.  (Mine didn't turn out.  Second year in a row.  Maybe I shouldn't have a tie dyed shirt.)  They are ready to party at Jan and Doc's house with a ton of family.  There's sure to be good food, lots of fun, and great fireworks over the lake.

Happy Independence Day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In Training

Today started way too early for me.  For some unknown reason I woke up at 6:20!  (I'm not a morning person.)  Now it's noon and it feels like it should be about 3 p.m.  It's going to be a long day.

This morning we went to a pancake breakfast at church.  They had a flag ceremony and then a fundraiser (the pancakes) for a youth trip later in the summer.

We came home and Kade started his training, as he calls it.

In Training

He is ready to ride without his extra wheels.  Mattey thinks she finally is too.  She's reluctant to give them up but she doesn't like riding with them either.  What do you do?  I'd like to get one of these to put on my bike but which kid gets to use it?  And we're not going to buy two.

We have yet to go for a bike ride in our awesome new neighborhood.  Mickey pumped up my tires this morning, Meg and Kade just got new helmets, and I got a new seat (hopefully it's comfy).  We really have no excuses except for the two little people in training.  Anyone have any advice on how to get your kid to ride without training wheels?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fender Bender

What a day!  I took the potd this morning (tie dying patriotic shirts) only to change it after having an accident.  We are all fine and it wasn't my fault.  Only the blue bus was hurt.


Not too badly.  It made it home.  The driver's door won't open and a hard right turn makes the tire rub something that's been dented in.  I sincerely hope this doesn't need to be the potd ever again.

On a happier note, today is Mickey's 20th anniversary at Press, Ganey.  WOW!!  He celebrated by taking the day off and went golfing this morning.  Congrats, Babe.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The First Make Over

Here it is July already!  Wow!

For the potd I had to put myself to work.  I didn't have anything to shoot today.  Well, I could have gotten a few things but they've already made an appearance.  So I got to work to give you something new.  (Well, new for this house.)  Then the pictures of the work didn't turn out.  You'll have to wait for the finished project.  Wondering what I'm talking about?  Lulu and Gertie are getting a make over for their (laundry) room.  I love the color I picked out.

Deep Bloom

This is a pretty good substitute for the real thing.  It's called Deep Bloom by Behr.  I've only done two walls but it's so much better than the light tan it's covering.  It feels cozy instead of sterile.  The pink also looks great with the oak trim.

I've been itching to paint and add some color to this house.  I chose the laundry room because it is the first room we see when we come through the garage door, it doesn't have wallpaper that needs to be removed, and it's probably the smallest room in the house.  With all the eyes that will see it I think the room needs to be beautiful and welcoming.  I'm in there a lot doing one to two loads a day.  I'm considering painting polka dots or stripes in a lighter and darker color.  I'll decide once all the walls are painted.

Stay tuned for a look at the finished project.  Maybe next week?  Can't make any promises.