Monday, June 28, 2010

Pops's House in May (Yeah I am behind)

For the summer Noel and I wanted to make sure that we say all the grandparents on a regular basis. We try to get to Pop's house at least one weekend a month, even though he thinks that is not enough. The "safari" love Pops's and his dogs, named Yager and Bosco. Well the "safari" have renamed Yager to Lego, because that is easier to say. They do not want to be in the same room as the dogs or on the same side of the fence as the dogs but they love the dogs.

When we do see Pops we try to go to the park that is close to his house. Every time I have to remind myself that my "safari" is not normal and that they are going to climb on everything way too early and that I just need to put my trust in God that he is going to keep them safe and that my husband and Pops have good response time if something goes wrong. Hannah is no exception to that rule. As you see in the slideshow she is climbing up a ladder that is meant for "big" kids.

Pops also got the "safari" a inflatable pool along with a slip n slide. On Friday night the "safari" did really well and had a blast but on Saturday the girls decided that they were going to have a meltdown and so they did not swim in pool but were taken inside and the boys played with daddy and Pops. Hannah fell asleep inside.

On this trip we stayed two nights and we came up with new sleeping arrangements. In the past the girls have slept in pack n plays in the bathroom and the boys have slept on the king size bed. Well with the girls getting taller that is not working so well anymore so the new sleeping arrangement is that daddy and girls sleep in one bed and the boys and mommy sleep in another bed. Noel can have more room if he sleeps with the girls then with the boys because Jacob loves to sleep horizontally. It went really well and everyone got some sleep.

We look forward to seeing Pops twice in July since we did not get to see him in June because of schedule conflicts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lake House in May

In April Noel and I started to plan our summer weekends because we knew that we would have a full schedule with monthly cooking, Pops house, lake house and anything else that we had going on, like date night, etc. So we had a date for the lake house in May and we were totally excited to get the "safari" out to the lake house this year.

About a week before we were scheduled to go to the lake house I decided to watch a little girl so her mother could go and see her husband before he left for the middle east. We agreed that it would be okay to take her with us; she had never been to a lake house and all the adventure that goes with that. So on Friday I picked her up and we headed to the lake house. On Friday night we ate dinner and played outside for a little while, fished and then we went to bed. The girls slept in one room and the rest of us slept out in the living room.

Noel got sick in the middle of the night and was out of commission for the first part of Saturday. Noel's mother and step-father were there to have a blast. Now Papa Bobby bought Elijah a fishing pole about a month before this trip and we had been practicing throwing the line and getting the fish. You see, Papa Bobby decided that he was going to make fishing as easy as possible for his grand babies. So he has a fish feeder that feeds the fish three times a day so the fish stay close to the dock. So Elijah caught some fish and Jacob caught a fish and the rest of the "safari" just wanted to touch the fish in the bucket. On Saturday afternoon while everyone was sleeping Papa Bobby and I went fishing. We caught 16 fish in about an hour and one of them was a catfish and the other where blue gill. The fish were fantastic and I loved eating every single one of them.

The highlight of the trip for the "safari" was touching the fish, looking at the fish, getting rides on the riding lawn mower, and playing in the dog kennel in the house. We are glad that everyone had a great time and that the "safari" loves the lake house. We are going in July for another trip.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Nana

I thought it would be nice for Nana to hear from her grand kids on her birthday. They are so cute and just want to see the video camera, but it only took one shot to get them to all be in the same place at the same time, saying the same thing.

Mom, we love you and are very glad that you near. We hope that you enjoy your birthday even though we are not there with you. As the "safari" stated we will see you on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Floor Remodel

I know that most of you have been waiting for this post, so here it is.

About a year ago our house plumbing line decided to get clogged and to flood the kitchen and parts of the playroom and dining room. After cleaning it up and replacing the wet carpet pad, Noel and I started planning for what we were going to do. Also the fact that my carpet went from beige to zebra kool-aide stripped carpet did help in the decision as well.

Noel and I decided that it was a good time to change the carpet. Then we decided that if we were going to change the carpet that we wanted to do some things to the first floor before the new carpet was put in. The list went like this:
1. Remove Popcorn ceiling
2. Paint walls
3. Tile the fireplace
4. Tile in front of french doors and fireplace
5. Replace the carpet on the stairs with laminate
6. Sand half-wall and triangle by stairs
7. Run wires through the ceiling for the surround sound, and the new speakers in the future.
8. Fix holes and bad patch jobs on the first floor.
9. Replace the ceiling fan in the playroom, move it to the kitchen
10. Replace ceiling fan in the TV room.
11. Paint column
12. Replace baseboards
13. Wire for future light fixture above the sink

We started with one thing, replacing the carpet and it turned into a huge task; which is not different than any other project that Noel and I have done to our home.

Scraping the ceilings was not that bad and we did that in about a week. Once the ceiling were scraped Noel and I started on our own projects. I was in charge of the painting and Noel was in charge of fixing holes, running wires, cutting cement board for the fireplace, tiling the fireplace and entry-way from the french doors, putting up molding, moving ceiling fans, running wire for future electrical needs, and doing the stairs.

I was motivated to get the painting done and I did. I even painted the electrical outlets. My arms hurt pretty bad after I painted the ceiling and all the walls, but my house was looking great.

Noel wanted to know what was under the half-wall landing. It was painted white but we thought that there was a nice wood underneath. After sanding it we found that the wood was fantastic and that we wanted to stain it to match the entertainment center. Noel also wanted to sand the wall that our projection screen beams on to a smooth surface. All the sanding caused a lot of dust to fly through my house. So every night while we were cleaning we just kept telling ourselves that when it was all done we would feel fantastic and it would look great. There was a lot of dusting and washing of all items. When we did the stairs we contained the dust for the most part but we had to disconnect the fire alarms because they were going off because of all the dust.

The demolition was the fun part. We got to destroy the fireplace Sheetrock and rip the marble off the fireplace. I had fun with the hammer, wonder bar and my hands. Then after the demolition then Noel cut the cement board for the fireplace and he started to tile. Now Noel has become a great tile man because of all the other tile jobs that we have done in our home. He impressed me greatly when he started cutting tiles at 45 degree angles for the edges of the fireplace. Also his tile work was great on the floor and the thought process that he went through to make sure that the floor was smooth and uniform. Also the "safari" helped by removing the tile spacers every morning after Noel tiled a section of the fireplace.

The hardest part for me was the holes in the ceiling. Noel thought it would be a great idea to run the wires for our surround sound through the ceiling instead of under the carpet. It sounded fine until he started to cut the holes in the ceiling. He promised me that he would fix the holes.

The stairs were a challenged. We were not going to do the stairs because we were not going to pay the installer of our carpet what they wanted to charge to do each stair and the laminate was not in our budget. When we went to pay for the carpet install there was laminate of clearance and the manager sold me each box for $15 if I took all nine boxes. SOLD. You see each box was normally $54 a box. The only thing was that there was underlayment on each piece that I had to scrape off so that we could lay it on our stairs, but the savings was worth the pain and suffering of scraping the underlayment off the laminate. Also we had to cut off the front sides of the stairs as well; so I got to use the router to get the fronts off and then Noel used a chisel to remove the remaining pieces off. Noel spent a lot of time cutting each piece to make sure that it worked and when we were finally done nailing in our final piece of the stairs and we looked up at our gorgeous stairs it was well worth the time, pain, suffering and energy we used.

The carpet is a wonderful color and we love that but we have some issues with the carpet that will be another post, and all the drama of that situation. Stay tuned.

All in all Noel and I had a great time with this project. We like to make our home better and we love to do it ourselves. I think we appreciate it more because we know how many late nights we stayed up to finish it. There are a few things that we still need to do, but we had to stop because Noel starts his travel season again and so we will pick up on weekends and do what we can. Please enjoy our slideshow. The first couple of pictures are when we first looked at the house and I was pregnant with Elijah.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Helping Daddy

Having children is a beautiful thing and it is a blast to see them grow and learn. But really it is great when they can help out around the house and outside. The "safari" has been learning more and more things lately that have helped Noel and I. Now if you really want to know it takes at least 3X more time to do the chore but the "safari" love to help.

The "safari" help by, setting the table with plates, spoons and glasses; then there is the undressing and dressing themselves and putting dirty clothes into the washing machine. They pick up their own toys and love to help with unloading the dishwasher. Trash day is fun, because the "safari" love to do the bulky items that we keep on top of the dryer until trash day.

Lately the "safari" has been helping outside with Noel more. They love to pick up rocks and put them in the rock pile, and they love to help him with branches. Noel and I feel that we are building character with each new learned task. We want out "safari" to know what it is like to work hard and that there is a payoff at the end of the task. I captured a picture of them all helping Noel in the backyard the other day that just made me smile.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gift from mommy!

When mom and I were in Arlington for the homeschooling convention we stopped at Wal-Mart to get some snacks. While I was there I stopped in the toddler section to get the boys some more underwear. Then I saw it, Toy Story pajamas, and they were on clearance. So I decided to the "safari" a new pair of pajamas for being good while I was gone in Arlington.

The "safari" was more than thrilled to receive a new pair of pajamas. I had to get a picture of them in their new pajamas. Esther and Hannah received frog and butterfly pajamas even though they wanted Buzz Lightyear pajamas.