Category Archives: house

synopsis of a summer


Oh my.  Where to start?  Where did the last two and a half months go?  Nate has 3 short days of summer break left and then it’s on to first grade!  Let’s see.  We survived tball season.  I’m still not convinced we are cut out to be a sports consumed family.  The kids loved attending VBS this summer.  They still sing the songs and continue to remind each other to “trust God” on a regular basis.  We traveled down to my parents and spent a week.  My Grammy was still with them, and I was super excited for Nate and Jilly to get to see her again since they weren’t part of my February trip.  We’ve enjoyed our splash pad, but with the extreme weather, we’ve not been there too much.  Jilly is beyond excited to start preschool on her birthday.  I’m still in disbelief that she’s about to be four!  We’ve been hard at work on our basement.  Framing of the walls is done.  Plumbing is run.  Electrical should be in sometime in late September, and then it’s on to drywall!  I’m sure there’s much more, but I’ve been putting off blogging longer and longer because of being so super behind.  Now I feel at least a little caught up.


our gallery


This year has provided us more “artwork” than ever before between Nate being in Kindergarten and Jilly doing various projects on Tuesday mornings.  Since our stainless steel refrigerator won’t hold magnets, we quickly ran out of room on the one side of the fridge that shows and holds magnets.  Sometime this winter I decided to use our big, blank, white door to the garage to be our art gallery.  It has worked well, and I’ve enjoyed the constant changing of it with all that comes home with the kids.  I’m definitely going to miss it all this summer.  I suppose I’m going to have to draw out the teacher in me and have them do some projects over the summer to keep it changed from time to time.  What do you do with all the artwork that gets brought home?

(And, no, the giraffe has 4 legs and a tail, not 5 legs.  Not that I would have had to spend time trying to figure that out.)

garden glimpse


We’re a few weeks into our veggie garden adventure, and we’re starting to see some filling in (and some gaping holes).  We knew we were planting early, but we had plenty of seeds in each package to be able to replant later if necessary.  Sure enough, soon after we planted it got plenty cool and at times cold again.  This weekend we’ll go back and replant some things and hope that this time they will take and sprout.  Even with it still being early in the game, we have quite a bit coming up and some of it is growing quite nicely.

Here’s a peek:

{tomato plants that will hopefully soon be able to go in the ground.  the tallest is getting its first few flowers!  yay!}

{carrots.  i’d almost given up on these guys coming up and thought we’d have to replant them all.  but this week we have almost all of their half rows coming up and filling in!  don’t think we’ll need to replant any of these guys!}

{onions.  these guys are slow and sparse.  we’ll probably replant some more of them.}

{spinach.  we have about half of a row of these guys that come up and half that didn’t we’ll probably go in and fill in the empty spots with more.}

{peas.  these guys are my favorite.  they’re adorable.  no?  well i think they are.  we had about a quarter of these guys come up.  since they are what Brad is most excited about we will definitely be replanting some of these guys this weekend.  oh, and do they need some sort of thing to grow on.  i’m assuming they do with they’re little curly grabbers that are growing.}

{lettuce.  salad anyone?  we’re are having major success in the lettuce department.  we have a full row of these guys.  i’m hoping everyone is ready for some greens!}

{strawberries!  i’m not much of a veggie eater, but fruit – more please!  our first strawberry is ready to be picked.  i figure it’s not fair if i snag it so we’ll pick it tomorrow and split it amongst us all!}

{here’s a picture of the garden as it looked this afternoon.  i’m definitely looking forward to when the flags aren’t needed to mark the rows!  soon!}

Now, if I can just teach myself to like peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, and tomatoes.  I’ll do the growing, y’all can do the eating!!!



This is my last Little Rock post.  We had 3 more days of fun following this, but it was apparently too much fun to take an pictures.

Mom had seen that Laman Library had a train exhibit going on for the last 2 weeks of 2011, and she thought that the kids would enjoy getting to see it.  Dad woke up sick that morning so we did our best to get the kids ready and out of the house for a few hours so he could get some rest.  Although it took a couple of minutes for the biggers to warm up to the noise level in the room, they loved the trains.  Even more they loved that there were certain buttons they could push to do different things in different places.

By the time we finished up there, it was lunchtime.  We skipped the trolley ride we were going to do (guess we’ll save that for next trip down) and headed over to the All Aboard restaurant.  This was seriously the best idea for a restaurant.  The kids LOVED it.  What could be better than having your food lowered to your table after being driven to you by train (the website has a video of how it works)?!?!?  Does Omaha have something like this that I’m just not aware of???

Our trip to Little Rock was definitely one of my favorites.  The kids are already asking when we get to go back and are disappointed when I tell them it will be a long time.  I owe a big thanks to my parents for putting up with us for nearly 2 weeks.  I am also so grateful for my siblings and their kids for hosting us at their houses and traveling over to Mom and Dad’s a ton so we could enjoy so much family time.  We are definitely excited to be back as soon as possible!

We’ve been back home for a couple of days now, and the house is still out of sorts.  I’m anxious to tear down the Christmas tree but am waiting a few more days.  We also have been rather sickly gang (lots of various coughs – wet, dry, croupy; stuffy noses; tummy issues) and are doing our best to get better quickly.  Brad headed back to work today, and school starts back up for Nate tomorrow.  It’s back to the normal routine of things.  Yay for routine, boo for earlier mornings!



One of Nate’s favorite, yet seldom viewed, shows is Wipeout.  We’ve happened to catch it on tv a few times just by chance, but I actually have no clue when or what channel it’s on regularly.  (I like the fact that we’ve majorly cut back on our tv watching so I’m okay with continuing to not know when it’s on.)

One of Laurel’s favorite activites is to be let up onto the furniture to crawl around.  She’s beginning to show understanding of the proper way to get off the couch which makes me feel better about letting her up in the first place.

So, what do Wipeout and Laurel’s couch obsession have to do with each other?  Yesterday I used the ottoman as a sort of bridge between the couch and ottoman and it kinda looked like an obstacle course.  Watching Laurel attempt to go back and forth over and over, slipping off a several points, made me think of it as a mini Wipeout course.

Laurel makes a valiant effort to enter the course, but it comes down the the mommy-boost to get started.

She makes it across transition point one with just a slight wobble, almost as if she’s been practicing this afternoon.

Oh no!  Transition point two seems to be giving her a little trouble.  It seems as if she’s got an eye on the paci rather than the tight corner she’s cutting.


And our champion of the day is . . . LAUREL!

a case of the mondays


usually i am a pretty pro-monday kinda gal.  i actually love ’em.  since most weekends are pretty busy for us, monday has always been such a nice relief.  prior to school starting this fall you would 9 times out of 10 find the kids and i hanging out in our jammies the entire monday long.  it’s the perfect reaction to an on the go weekend.  school has some what changed the pace of our daily life, and mondays are quite so laid back anymore.  i still tend to enjoy them though since the girls and i are able to maintain a pretty low-key monday existence.

then came today.

it’s bound to happen.  we’re all going to have one of “those” mondays from time to time.  i guess i had finally come back around in the rotations of handing out cases of the mondays.

i decided i would help myself out a bit by bathing the girls this morning since i knew brad had a meeting at cornerstone tonight.  only having one child to bathe tonight would definitely be easier than three.  laurel is first up so i can get her bathed and down for nap before needing to get her up in time for our stroll intense walk around walnut creek at 10.  all is great until i spy it.  i had let her have 3 toys in the tub, but now there were more than 3 objects in the tub.  yup.  poop in the tub.  every mom’s dream nightmare.  out of the tub comes laurel and out come the bottle of cleaner.  scrub tub.  (yay for a clean bathtub!)  refill and reinsert laurel for a second attempt at a bath.  transition to nap goes smoothly.  jilly is bathed with no extra drama.  yay for two clean girls.

fast-forward to lunch time.  laurel and jilly are both happily eating lunch.  i’ve just begun working on my sandwich.  jilly (as is her norm) announces that although she absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt had no need to go potty before lunch now must use the potty.  i send her off and add cheese to my turkey sandwich.  then screams of “mommmmyyyyy!”  i don’t even have to move to know what’s happened.  as i enter the bathroom, i find that yes, the contents of all 5 great lakes now reside in a puddle on the half bath floor.  jilly’s bath is now null and void.  i take the easy route and give her a baby wipes thorough wipe down and scrubbing.  jilly is now redressed and back at the table finishing lunch.  i soak up the great lakes and figure a clorox wipe floor scrubbing will have to do until naptime.  back to fixing my sandwich that by now i should have finished eating.

fast-forward to nap time.  you know, i’m thankful for my scrubbed tub.  after working through my bsf day 5, i decide it’s time to mop.  if i’m going to pull out the mop, i’m going to go ahead and mop the kitchen, dining, entryway, and the peed in bathroom.  i’d been wanting to mop yesterday and am now so thankful that i ran out of time before small group came over.  so, i mopped.  and felt good about now having mopped floor to go along with the scrubbed tub.

fast-forward to post dinner.  we hit fazoli’s for dinner.  in all my unplanned cleaning efforts, i forgot to pull anything out for dinner.  a nonchalant mention of fazoli’s to my fazoli loving family, and we had our minds made up.  (oh, and i decided to wash my van real quick between brad coming home and heading out for an early dinner since way too soon it’ll be time to pay for car washes once again.)  jilly always requests lemonade when getting a kids meal.  she’d had her milk at home already because she will only drink skim and most places serve 2%.  she never finishes her lemonade.  it always comes home with us.  (i think this is intentional.)  after the happenings of the day, i’m a little leery that next up might be nate getting sick and throwing up all over the carpet or furniture, well, because that would just fit in with how the day had gone.  then i hear a strange noise.  laurel is missing.  laurel is in the kitchen.  sitting in a big pool of lemonade holding a fazoli’s kid-size cup which had been left too close to the edge of the kitchen table that our littlest is now big enough to reach things placed close to the edge of.  yay.  now, a kid and a floor i’ve already washed today are both a sticky mess.  (can i crawl in bed yet?)  clean kid with baby wipes.  clean floor with clorox wipes.  pray that bedtime come very, very soon.

let’s hope my turn at a case of the mondays doesn’t come around again for a long, long time. (and that i don’t get awakened during the night to find vomit somewhere in the house!)



a couple of new tools for Christmas led Brad and I to attempt tackling another wall in the basement.

after seeing how easy and quick the new tools made it, we picked up some more wood and did this:

so here’s what we’ve got now:

if only the rest of the basement would look as neat and picked up as the other pictures . . .

good deals


Earlier this summer we learned, while sitting at the park just a few minutes walk from our house, that there were plans to build a splashpad next to the playground before the neighborhood is officially annexed by the city.  To say we were thrilled would be an understatement.  Free water fun within walking distance which does not require filling of a pool or any cleanup – yay!

Fast-forward to this Tuesday while Jilly and I were at our summer play-group’s last play date.  A mom I don’t know really well came.  She happens to live in the neighborhood which HOA is taking on this project.  She told me that grading the land was suppose to begin this fall, and construction would take place next spring.  All of that means it should be up and running by next summer!!!!  She also offered to send me the plans and some pictures of what it will look like.  To say I was eager to check my email later that day would be a huge understatement.

Here’s what we’re looking forward to:

Here’s how close it is:

(our house is where the purple marker is and the splash pad will go in where the red marker is)

We’re pretty excited about the good deal we didn’t know we were getting when we decided where we wanted to move last fall.  We already love where we live, but next summer we’ll love it even more!

To top off the good deals, I love Target at this time of year.  Such good deals.  I got Nate 2 bathing suits to be used regularly at our splashpad (and anywhere else he’d need them) for $3.48 a piece.  If I find another I like for that cheap, I might just pick him up a third!