Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Progress Report

Usually if Luke gets quiet, it means trouble. But on this occasion, I found him, "I feeding my baby!!!"

 Katy, David, and Luke did VBS last week. Our church doesn't do one, but we went to one this year where we knew lots of other families participating. They LOVED it. It was such a great program, the people were so friendly and gracious, the theme was applicable and age appropriate, the music was awesome. I cannot say enough good things. Luke got a little nervous at drop off but was always fine within a few minutes. And I sent him in a pull-up and he was dry every day. Shew!

Wacky Wednesday at VBS. Backwards shirts and mismatched shoes and wild hair. Love. Also notice it was so humid that my lens was steaming up. Good week to be inside the church in the AC.

So: Garage Sale Report!! It was a huge success. We were super busy both days with just a few dry spells and we had great weather. I felt like I worked like a horse and earned every penny! We sold 90% of the big items that we had. My mother-in-law brought her truck and that was really helpful for delivering some furniture to people and taking stuff to Goodwill afterward. My mom met tons of new neighbors so that was fun for her. Between Melanie, mom and I, we made over $800. My share of that, including a few things that I sold at the consignment shop or on craigslist afterward, was over $350. I figured out that when I calculate how much time I spent on it (prep work included), I made about $8 an hour. Which isn't great money, but it's more than I would have earned if I hadn't done it at all, right?

Oh, and Katy and David made $50 at their lemonade and cookie stand. They loved it.

Now my basement is SO SO SO SO SOOOOO much better. The kids can play down there and it doesn't stress me out to walk down the stairs. I got motivated after the garage sale to do something to pare down and organize all of the kids' clothes in the basement. I have all the girls clothes in sizes between Katy and Anna (6.5 years!) and boys' clothes between David and Luke (2+ years!). In two seasons, that is a ton of clothes. (Not to mention in Katy and David's closets I have hand-me-downs that people have given me that are in sizes-yet-to-come). I went through every box and picked out stuff to donate and reorganized into bins. 

So before the garage sale, I couldn't even get TO these boxes of clothes. This gray floor space in the front did not exist. But here is my previous clothing storage area.

After! More floor space, much more organized, easy to get to if I need to add or take from something.

Fancy labeling with masking tape.

I donated 7 boxes of clothes. At a certain point it's more than one person can handle.

Finally, the patio project. Brian has made some progress where he can. He used his mom's truck to get the rest of the gravel and level it again. He rented a tamper to tamp it down. This coming weekend, he will have the sand and the stones and try to finish it up. (Then he'll have to level the ground and plant grass seed, etc).

It was raining hard this morning so he wanted me to take a picture if there were puddles so he could see any uneven spots. 

Speaking of the hard rain, I dropped Katy off this morning for her week of Girl Scout day camp, and it was pouring pouring pouring down rain. I felt so bad for her and all the girls and leaders. I got an email from her unit leader an hour into camp saying they were safe under the shelter at headquarters. (Gotta love technology - we are so spoiled with communication these days!) So I hope she wants to go back tomorrow after such a soggy day. I expect her home any minute...

Monday, July 08, 2013

Busy, busy, busy!!

Luke's new room. He's hosting the guest bed - which will be his bed when he moves out of the crib.

But he's sleeping well in his crib and is happy there for now so I am NOT messing with it.

Melanie's old room/former guest room becomes Anna's nursery! I have been so blessed by friends. My friend Shelly gave me this crib (I've always wanted a white crib!) and my neighbor Lisa loaned me the mattress. My friend Sarah gave me all the girly decorations (she had two girls and then her third was a boy).

I just love the room - so comfy and cozy with warmth and pink.

My view while I'm nursing...

Back for Katy's birthday in May, my mom gave her my childhood desk (Mel used it for many years, too). She LOVES having her own space for all her books and school supplies and crafting stuff and personal items. It makes me happy.

Huge project: Brian's building a paver's patio. He did a big push this weekend (after previously rerouting plumbing and doing the measurements). He spent one whole day digging by hand and leveling.

And of course wheelbarreling the dirt away.

David was a huge helper - never left Brian's side all weekend and really worked! With his own wheel barrel!

Then they delivered 9 tons of limestone gravel. (Brian had to dig this trench because the rain was flooding the street).

Opa came to help for day 2: moving 9 tons of gravel from the street to the backyard, one wheel barrel at a time.

Tada! One more weekend (hopefully) to lay the bricks and the leveling sand.

We started Anna on cereal because she seemed like she was reaching for our food and moving her mouth. But she hasn't been digging it much. We'll keep trying, but I'm not sure if it's the taste or if she's not interested.

Katy lost one of her two front teeth! It's kinda sad - I feel like her baby face will change so much with those big front teeth. But she is loving missing the one. I hope the other one comes out soon because I love that toothless grin!

And to top it all off, I'm preparing for a garage sale with my mom and sister this weekend. I am giddy with excitement because I LOVE getting rid of stuff and I LOVE garage sales. Fingers crossed that we get some good traffic.

Kentucky trip 2013

It's our kids' equivalent of going to Disney - they look forward to Grammy and Papa John's Cousin Swim all year!

Our 3 swimmers did SO well in the pool this year - it was awesome to watch. Katy and David were regular fish - Katy can swim around in the deep end without any problem. David dives head/body first off the side and will easily swim in the deep water with a floaty vest. And even Luke was doing really well - feeling very comfortable in various flotation devices. They literally swam until they dropped for 3 days (and we avoided rain!).

LOVE this picture of Anna smiling up at cousin Kim!

So many extra hands to hold her this week.

There's always lots of good to food to be eaten when you get out of the water.

Roasting S'mores was a new treat this year.

Waiting on marshmallows...

Cousin photo!

Leah and Anna were good buddies, too.

Root Beer floats for David and Carrie. Another first...Katy and David saw their first full movie in a theater - Monsters U. Katy really liked it. David was a little scared and wanted to leave about 10 minutes before the end .

This picture is going in every family photo collage for the next 10 years - I never get a good photo of these two!

Another good one of another great couple.

Smoky sparklers. The local fireworks were postponed due to weather, so Mark and Brian went old school and went and bought some. As a girl who grew up in the burbs of Ohio, I have never done anything beyond sparklers and poppers.

It was an experience that the spectators enjoyed. Except for Luke - the poor kid was traumatized and I had to take him inside and calm him to bed. Should've listened to my gut which told me to put him to bed before we did them. Hopefully he will forget by next year?

On the way back home, we stopped in Lexington to visit some friends. Mark and Anne just had their first baby - adorable little Thomas. It was also really fun to see their house, as well as Brandon and Melanie's new house. Big changes for everyone!

Such a nice picture of everyone! Too bad I forgot to pack a patriotic shirt for myself. Even Brian remembered? That's what happens when I'm packing for 5.

We took a bunch of photos of our 4, but this is the best we got. Always a challenge.

Brandon holds baby Thomas.

Melanie with Anna - the kids are drawn to Brandon and Melanie and ask about them in between visits. It was nice to see everyone!

Big Week for Bubs

The last week of June, David had a big week. He passed Level 2 swimming lessons which including jumping off the diving board. I was so proud of him because in the past he would have been terrified but he didn't even hesitate! Here's a clip:

After that, he got to camp out in his friend Frank's backyard for his birthday. Brian and Frank's dad Dave slept out with them. Between rain in the overnight forecast and being overtired from a week of swimming lessons, I was certain that they wouldn't make it. Brian sent me a text at 10pm saying the boys were asking to go inside. But in the morning....

....they made it!! He was SO proud of himself. The best story was that the dads (in a moment of wishful thinking) were sitting outside the tent around the fire to see if the boys would go to sleep on their own. They overheard the boys praying, "Jesus, please don't let any animals with big sharp teeth come into our tent tonight. Amen." Good prayer!  Needless to say, the dads had to lay down with them to get them settled down.  I'm betting this is the first of many campouts for the boys.