Thursday, May 28, 2009

Home Sweet...Demolition?!?

Here is a picture of our dinning room Elizabeth took 2 weeks ago. Our dinning room has looked like this for the past 12 years, and sitting around our table as a family has been pretty snug for the past 4 years :) Good thing Wesley still sits in a highchair because once you get 10 chairs pulled up to our table there isn't any room for Wesley.

This picture is of our dinning room looking back towards our kitchen. Our kitchen has been functional over the years, but times have changed. Over the past few years as we have added children we have also had to add more dishes, and lots more food. A couple of years ago we bought the bakers shelf you see to hold some of our food and kitchen gadgets. The open door you see in the background goes to our laundry/mud room, we just put in new attic stairs, the new addition has been sheet rocked and now ready to week :)

The china was brought out the day after Mother's Day, but not to serve a meal on.

It was placed ever so gently on the table to be packed away for safe keeping.

This is what happened a few days later, Arthur began tearing out our dinning room.

The walls were taken down piece by piece.

After the dinning room walls were removed, they worked their way towards the kitchen. We live in an older home and under our dinning room and kitchen walls was paneling. We will be putting sheet rock back up, and painting... no wallpaper.

Arthur is great at cleaning as he goes. For those of you who don't know him I'll let you in on a little something Arthur is a clean nut, he has taught me a few things over the years. We have laughed at times talking about how we are making our kids just like us...sorry kids :)

This is the kitchen /dinning room a few days into the demolition, with a lot of work ahead.

Arthur and Amanda are taking down the center set of cabinets that divided the dinning room from the kitchen (I meant to place this picture before the one above). By removing this center set of cabinets it has opened up the whole room, and it seems so big.

Not only did we decide to remodel the dinning room and kitchen, but also the hallway bathroom...remember the one that I just did a little make over to at Christmas...HERE ! Arthur is cutting through the 2x4 to pull out the tub, it's cast iron and we couldn't get it out through the door and hall.

He pulled off the old tile and then the drywall, it all came off really fast.

It took Arthur, the 3 girls, and myself to get the tub out of the bathroom. We placed it on a furniture dolly and off they rolled it to the street for the city to pick up...thankful that was the next day and we didn't have a mess in our yard for long.

So now you can be in the bathroom, dinning room, and kitchen all at the same time...the mess just keeps growing. We are going to finish the kitchen/dinning room before we start back working on the bathroom. In the end all the tile will be removed from the bathroom. We will put in a new vanity, shower, floor, and sheet rock the bathroom.

We decided to put can lights in the ceiling, and do away with the ceiling fan and fluorescent light. Arthur taped everything up so that the ceiling dust mixed with attic insulation didn't go everywhere. This was a "big" job and very nasty, Arthur was a mess! I have a few pictures I'll try to post those. In the end the can lights are going to be beautiful and Arthur said it was worth the hot/dirty job that took him a over half a day. We kept the plastic up over the area where the wall to the bathroom goes, so it doesn't look so funny.

At the moment our kitchen is in our living room, in very tight quarters. These are all pictures of what we have done over the past 2 weeks, it doesn't even look like this now. I guess that means I need to update this post, like by tomorrow! I'm so far behind on the blog I'm trying to catch up with myself :)

Now you can see why blogging has been placed on the back burner, between the pool mess, our house, store, school, kids and life in general I can't seem to find time. I'm not complaining I'm very excited about all that's taking place in our house, and all so quickly. I can't wait to cook in our new kitchen!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...OK, a few words :)

Elizabeth and Wesley going for a "little" bike ride. While on mission trips to Nicaragua Elizabeth saw many people travel this way. Now that we know she can travel like this and take a passenger, she may never need a car again :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Don't forget what
Memorial Day is all about!

We salute those who fought and
those who gave their lives for our freedom!

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another folder!

I learned a few years back that laundry helpers come in all ages and genders. William has been a laundry sorter, and carrier for the past couple of years. Just last week he added one more thing to his job description, he is now an official "Laundry Folder"!

After a little folding 101 with Elizabeth, William is now well on his way to King of the Towels!

He was very proud of his stack of towels :)

Amanda also worked with William on pants, shorts, and socks which now he folds like a pro. I guess shirts will be next. Now I officially have 8 children who can fold laundry. Folding time seems to always be a down time, and a time for some good old chit chat with the children.
If you are wondering at what age one starts to be a laundry helper, it's around 2 years old. Wesley is now doing one of William's jobs, Wesley pushes the baskets of folded clothes to the rooms in which they go. This may seem like a small task, yet it's a great help to me. It is also a start in teaching Wesley about chores, and character traits....even if he doesn't understand right now.
I love that our daily life has so many teachable moments. We may start with the simple task of teaching a small child to fold laundry, truly it's so much more. It can also be having a servants heart, and being a good steward with your belongings.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 18, 2009

Memories Monday

I was thinking about Memories Monday and also thinking about summer. When we purchased our house almost 17 years ago we had no idea what joy our pool would bring us. For more than 9 years our pool served as our only vacation for the year....each day of swimming was a wonderful break a mini vacation :)

This is William summer of 2005, he was 10 months old.

Here is Madison summer of 2006, learning to scuba dive. We have some wonderful friends Wes and Amy who brought their gear to our pool for the kids to learn.

This is Elizabeth taking a turn with Wes close by to help.

Now this unsightly pest is a black widow spider one of the many we saw last summer, the bad part was this one was behind the pool lined next to the foam wall...UGH!!

Here are Arthur and the girls checking the situation out. We knew last year that we would need to replace our pool liner by this summer, as you can see the pool wall was patched. That's the same place the black widow made it's home. Arthur killed the spider and patched the pool better in this area to hold us out the rest of the summer, this was in late August.

Now this brings us to April 2009...preparations for a new liner are underway. Elizabeth is pressure washing the fence, to help give the pool area a clean neat appearance for when we get our new pool liner.

Here you see we have drained the pool and had it measured for the new liner...the liner should be here any day. This was just going great and we were getting everything done without a hitch :)

Then came some rain, that filled in the deep end of the pool, but not to much. Not a big deal with a pump and a little time we would be back on track. Rebekah got the job of cleaning the leaves off the pump when it slowed down. Within a few hours we could see the water going down, but also a few more areas that may need a little face lift. This too wasn't a problem because Arthur has worked for a pool company we are still happy :)

After much of the water is drained Arthur goes down cuts out the bottom of the liner and drags it out. Here were the next steps... we knew the pool liner would be delivered in a few days, this gave Arthur time to resurface the bottom of the pool for it's face lift. He would then put new foam on the walls of the pool, place the liner in, and start filling it up...YAY then we have a new pretty pool for Summer 2009!
Well all that could have happened BUT it didn't! The day after Arthur cut the liner out of the hopper it began to rain...DAILY! Now 3 weeks have passed and the pool is full of water....RAIN WATER! The pump has been pumping non-stop for 3 weeks, but it can't keep up with the rain. We have water not only coming in from the rain but through the ground, because the water table is so high...we also have an underground spring. We have a beautiful new pool liner sitting and waiting to go in, foam for the walls, and more pool base for the bottom of the pool. Arthur has a big job ahead of him now, because the base of the pool now has a few deep spots from the water leaking in. The first week of rain was just frustrating, the second week we all just sighed and Arthur would remind us not to be in a hurry because it needs to be done right, this week we all just laugh and wonder what month the liner might go in?!
The water did go down a lot the end of last week, but the rain from this week end made it worse than before. Today was beautiful cool but beautiful, it's suppose to be pretty the rest of the week with only scattered thunderstorms a couple of days. We hope those don't hit us, our hope is to have the liner in this coming week end....none of us are holding our breath :)
This is one of our many projects we are in the middle of...more to pictures and stories to come!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

As I say life is NEVER dull !!!

This is what I felt like I was driving yesterday evening.
OK, maybe not this old of an ambulance!

Remember my Memories Monday post from this past Monday? Well I spoke of how time goes to fast! That now Wesley is in the toddler stage, but in the blink of an eye he will be heading to the rough and tumble boy stage...well he is testing the waters early. On Tuesday he fell in the laundry room off his push toy and busted his chin wide off to the ER 40 minutes away to children's hospital we go. Now Wesley has 5 stitches!

They put the numbing gel on it first but because it was so deep they still had to give him 2 shots in the chin...not fun! He was 3 large stitches and 2 small, they are the kind that dissolves.

Wesley was a very brave little boy while they stitched him up. He cried lots and was pouring sweat but sat very still, they didn't even have to strap him down. It's never fun to watch your children get stitches.

Today Wesley showed us all his boo boo 100 times, but still was his active rounder self... not even a few stitches can slow him down for long :)

Wordless Wednesday

(Photo and the yummy chocolate covered Elizabeth)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Memories Monday...TIME?

Time seems to be going by faster than a blink of an eye....and I'd like to catch up with it. Looking at my children I see how fast time and things change....they are becoming young adults, teens, preteens, rough and tumble boys, and toddlers before I can soak in all of the ages they just were. My greatest love was the baby stage, then I thought "no" it's the toddler stage. Now I'm having to rethink both of those and I'd have to say I love all stages...even the awkward preteen stage. Each stage brings joy, tears, laughter, hugs, fun, learning, (as they become teens) long talks (and teens love to talk late at night) but as a parent what I have learned I need to do most is PRAY! Prayer and Gods word is what keeps our family together.

TIME, has kept me from posting "many" things over the past month, but much has been happening. So, I was trying to get my head together on what to post because I have so much still to post on our trip and from this past month...I will finish our vacation post! I love to sit and go through pictures of the past from our computer and I ran across these, a true example of time passing in a blink of an eye.

Here is a picture of Wesley sleeping in his car seat, he was just a few days old.
March 2007

Here's Wesley sleeping on the couch, look how much he had already grown.
May 2007

Now Wesley is sleeping at lunch time in his high chair and eating solid foods.
June 2008

Finally you see Wesley again asleep in his car seat. This time he is a much bigger a boy of 2 years of age. A boy who is now a toddler and growing quickly into the rough and tumble boy stage...see the boo boo on his eye a mark of the stage to come!
April 2009

All of this to say that TIME goes to fast to waste it on things of this world. So watch your children play a little longer, read them just one more book, rock your baby while it sleeps, sing just one more song before bed, give your children an extra hug and kiss, listen to them giggle and soak it in, sit on the couch at night (when your tired) with your wide awake teen to hear just one more story or dream they want to share....because TIME is like a blink of an eye! Cherish ever moment you have with your children because it goes so fast!

New blog post

Our store blog has a few new post, you can go HERE to see them. When we started the Great Doggie Doos blog back in July of 2008, I thought I would get some help on writing post....well I didn't! So, until this past week the only thing posted on that blog was the slide show I created almost a year ago. It was very obvious I wasn't going to be capable of doing 2 blogs, I always seem to be behind on our family blog....I still have vacation pictures to post...sigh* Anyway, last week Elizabeth took the initiative to write a few post for the Great Doggie Doos blog, now she will be posting something new each week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Road trip...for what?

For those of you who guessed we were going to the Nashville Zoo today you were right, but only half right. Our main reason for going to the zoo wasn't to see Gods amazing animal creations, but to attend an awards ceremony.

This was the 15th year for Tennessee to be a part of the Jr. Duck Stamp contest, and this year Nashville Zoo hosted the recognition and awards ceremony.This contest is sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Friends of Tennessee national Wildlife Refuge.

So what is the Jr. Duck Stamp Contest? This is a contest for school age students from kindergarten thru 12th grade in the area of art. There are 4 age categories and awards are give to each group for first, second, third place, and honorable mention. There is also a best in show which then gets to go on to compete at the national level in Washington DC. The stamp chosen at the national level goes on the wildlife hunting stamp for the year, 98% of the money spent to purchase the wildlife stamp goes back into the wildlife services to help care for the birds that are endangered.

This was Elizabeth's second year to enter the contest and she placed honorable mention. She was very excited and we are very proud of her, there where 555 entries. Before the awards were given out a man from the Tennessee Wildlife Services spoke, and the caretaker of the birds from the zoo came and spoke. He gave a slide show presentaion on the endangered birds that zoos are trying to take in to breed before they become extinct. He also spoke about how hunting is still something that helps keep the cycle of birds in order as not to over populate. His presentation was very educational and interesting....Amanda our animal lover ate it up :)

This is the duck Elizabeth entered in the contest, this species is a Female Gadwall.

As each of the contest winners were called up for their awards they placed their picture on the screen for eveyone to see. This show was put together very well.

We all had a great time this morning and the children sat so well through the 2 hour ceremony. It also helped that they served a large variety of donuts and drinks. We found out after the show Madison ate 7 donuts, and he paid for it later. His tummy was upset and he had to skip lunch.

The picture above shows what was going on the whole time during the show and after....RAIN!!! We have had rain here for 1 solid week...sigh* So, we decided that touring the zoo while it was raining didn't sound like to much fun. Instead we drove on to Murfreesboro to visit Arthur's sister Karen and her family. We had a wonderful time of fellowship with them for a couple of hours, this also gave the little boys time to get their energy/sugar out of their system before we headed back on our 2 1/2 hour drive home. This was a great day!

Our prayer is that Elizabeth continue to grow in the gift the Lord has given her with art, and that she will use it to glorify HIM!