Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Goofy faces

What? You mean you don't take a bath and put on your jammies and then entertain everyone by wearing fake teeth and mustaches and goofy glasses?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade Hayride (minus the hay)

Lola was so impressed with the short hayride she went on at the corn maze. I assured her that PoppaBobcat could make one at his house that would last longer. She held me to that promise.

Once my birthday rolled around, I knew just what I wanted: I wanted Lola to get her hayride and I wanted KJ to get to go hunting. I could knock both of these out with one trip back home. This is KJ's busy season so between work and moving in and out of a house, this was probably his only shot to go hunting. I knew two of my favorite people would be so happy to go home and get their wishes. Lola was PUMPED for her hayride. PoppaBob didn't quite understand what all the excitement was about, but was more than happy to make up a quick hayride for his girls.

Except for Poppa didn't use hay. His big round bales were being saved for their actual intent: to feed his cattle this winter. How dare he! (just kidding, Dad.) However, he claims it was because he didn't think the kids would want to get all itchy-scratchy from the hay.

So instead he rigged up his trailer with a few blankets, his cow dog, the kids (Lola, Cal, and cousins Teagan & Payton), the moms, and Gramby and off we went. The kids loved it. Lola gagged at the smell of the diesel truck, but had fun nevertheless. It was a little chilly, but Cal, being Mr. Tough Guy, fought hard to not have to stay covered in the blanket. He finally gave in to the 30-year-old blue knitted one, though.

Good times. Simple pleasures.

Awww, that cute baby calf -- which you can't even see in this pic bc he darted off. Oh well. I love going home....
Peaceful country and homemade birthday cake. :) :) :) :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Moving Day!

Today's the day! We're closing on our house. It's been nearly 10 months since we first listed it back in January. It's been a year and a half of decision-making for our family. Through that time we've learned so much about life. Sounds crazy, but it's true.
We made our plans to buy an old fixer-upper, did all that we possibly could to make that happen, months passed, and yet nothing panned out.
Then the economy sinks lower.
Go to Plan B. Find a different house to buy. Make an offer and it's accepted. Now we gotta get our house sold. We hired an awesome realtor who lives down the street from us bc we'd seen how successful/quick she was at selling houses in our 'hood; most of them sold within weeks. Then, a few months into it, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a Christian and a strong believer, so we let her know that we're praying for her and will remain with her while she undergoes treatment. After a couple of more months, she's deemed healthy and is back to work full-time.
We had a crazy amount of showings over these last 9 months. STRESSFUL to put it mildly. The worst part of selling a house, in my opinion.
We won't even mention the number of other houses in our 'hood that are for sale....serious competition.
Finally after many ups and downs, silence, nothing happening, out of the blue I get a call from a realtor who wants to show our house in 30 minutes. Her clients are in town from Maryland and are in a crunch. Great. The kids were gone, I had planned on working on Etsy stuff all day so craft supplies are everywhere, and then a stomach bug hits me and KJ. It was not pretty. He had to work anyway, but I wanted to just get better. Not clean up a house for strangers which probably wouldn't pan out anyway. I prayed the whole time I cleaned in that mad rush that the Lord would just help them to see past whatever mess I might have left behind and that they'd love it anyway. While I frantically made it out of the house in time, I told Him I gave it my best and prayed that He'd just be all over the situation.
I parked in the Schlotzksy's parking lot down from my house while they were viewing my house. Don't ask me why I chose Schlotzsky's. I tried to nap some but couldn't get comfortable. I go home. I lay down and try to nap again. Nothing. Just icky. Then she calls back and wants to see the house again that evening. That was good to hear, but I'd been through this all before so was cautiously optimistic.
So, to cut to the chase, by lunchtime the next morning, we had a contract!!!! We immediately put in an offer on the house we wanted back in January, and it was accepted! She had even lowered the price by $16,000 so we got it at an even lower price.
We learned so much about God's provision in our lives through this journey. About halfway into it, KJ and I both knew that there was much more going on than just a house issue. There were many lessons the Lord was trying to teach us. He is our provider and when money was super-duper tight, we always had just enough. We would have never imagined we'd last as long as we did without my income. We give Him all the glory for blessing our lives. His Word promises that as long as we're faithful in our finances, He'll take care of us. We've seen it happen over and over. Wow. We've got so many close friends and family who have been praying for us for so long. It's meant a lot to us to have such a strong faith family who cares about our needs.
Let the new adventure begin!!! Can't wait to share our new house with you!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Krispy Kreme

A few Fridays ago I took the kids to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. We were still celebrating our house selling. (Okay, to be honest, we're still celebrating and it's been 3 1/2 weeks!)
This was their first visit. I knew Beezy would love to see the big donut machine, and I knew Cal would love a sweet glazed donut. I was right! Every time the machine would flip over the donuts she'd crack up. She also thought the glazing part was cool too. Cal just pointed to all the donuts on the conveyor belt thing and would grunt and show me his "more, please" sign.
And, despite how pretty all the colorful donuts look in the display case, you just can't go wrong with a simple glazed donut. I think those are the best donuts, period, no matter where you're at. Mmm-mmmm.
We all left very happy that morning. Granted, Cal used his shirt as a napkin the whole meal so there were lots of sugar flakes in the car and at home for a few days. Beezy, my sweetie, told me she really liked that place and thanked me for her donut. I love those crazy munchkins.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cal's "packpack"

Beezy has always called her backpack a "packpack." I've mentioned this before -- things haven't changed! I'm guessing that's what Cal will call it too since I even find myself calling it that out of habit. He loves wearing his packpack for school -- even though it's almost the same size as him :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harvest Party 2010 (Lolabee)

I'm a co-homeroom mom for Lola's preschool class. I wasn't even sure what all a homeroom mom does since this was my first exposure to it; luckily, a friend of mine decided we'd wing it together! This was our first party to plan and it went great. Allison really did most of the planning, I just handled the craft project. Big surprise, I know!

There was lots of costumes, snacks, colorful cupcakes, pumpkin bowling, dancing/jumping/getting the sillies out, and a craft. We were going to have a storytime and read The Parable of the Pumpkin Patch, but my copy was boxed up and the store was sold out. The kids had lots of fun anyway.

Below: The pumpkin people! I basically made all 15 kids a pumpkin person the night before and they only had to glue on the face and stem; the boys got navy boots and blue bowties to put on their people (I should have got a pic bc they were cute) and the girls got fuschia high heels and hairbows. KJ helped cut out all of the little pieces the night before with me. He was such a trooper to spend 30 minutes cutting out tiny high heels and boots for his princess's class. :) (He really wanted to go to bed.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Helping Others

"Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others." 1 Timothy 6:18-19

Every year in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, Tucker the Turkey camps out at our church. He collects donations of specific food items which will then be turned into a basket, along with a turkey, to be given to a family who might otherwise not have a Thanksgiving meal.
This season is no different than years past. However, this year we delivered almost double what we normally have given - -and that's bc of the profits from my Etsy shop.
On my shop's header, I made a note that said that a portion of all sales will go to help others in need. So here we are! I was going to wait until Christmas and do some baking for the less fortunate, but knowing that we are a week away from moving (and our new house won't be ready for a month or so), it might be difficult to make that all happen. So, to be safe, we shopped for Thanksgiving baskets.
Thank you, Etsy supporters, for your purchases! Once my Etsy shop is restocked and hopefully having a grand "reopening" I will continue to always give to those in need. It doesn't replace the giving/helping we normally do as a family, but just adds a little bonus in one way or another.
Every year I look forward to shopping for these baskets. Ever since Lolabee was 1 1/2 years old (the age Cal is right now) she's helped me to shop for the food and then deliver it to the carts at church. She's old enough now that she understands what we're doing. It's vital to my role as my kids' mom that they are aware of how blessed our lives really are and how to always look for opportunities to serve. As Cal grows, he'll begin to understand as well. Luckily, we belong to a church family where there are always ways to help others. And, for me, sometimes actually going out and buying things to give helps me to teach my kids better than simply writing a check and dropping it in the mail or offering.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Living Simply

While nearly all of our possessions are in boxes stashed at various family members' houses and our small storage unit, we've had no choice but to adapt to living daily with the absolute bare minimum each day. We've got one pot, one skillet, two kids' cups, kids' bowls, a crockpot, and our silverware. For a family who eats at home 85% of the time, it's been a little tough to not just whip up supper so easily. Paper plates have been an adjustment!
However, KJ and I admit to actually enjoying it. It's been a little liberating to be free of so much "stuff." I am not a pack rat, therefore we didn't have much clutter to begin with, but it's been kinda nice to walk into our closet and only have a few outfits to choose from; one cabinet drawer in the kitchen with all of our pots & pans; lots of empty drawers.
I get my hair cut downtown at Ooley's, which is next door to Mrs. Dehaven's flower shop. They give away lots of flowers to the salon, so I grabbed one on my way out the door. The chicken broth can was the best I could do for a vase once I got home. It's actually inspired a new craft project for me.
And, of course, since all of my bakeware is packed up, I was forced to buy chocolate chippies this morning at Panera. What kind of mom would I be if my kids didn't have a cookie after lunch?! jk Okay, so really the cookies were more for me, but I knew they'd love them too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bee's melon (not her head)

May 1, 2010
Lola plants her watermelon seeds from the kit that Uncle Just got her.

Flash forward to September and see one of her melons!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

My little gnomes
Lolabee loved her costume.
Cal barely fit into his. He looked more like Tweedledee. Ha!
He was okay as long as we didn't put on the beard.
At least he didn't mind the bushy eyebrows.

No beard = happy
Beard = sad

No beard = happy again.
This pic cracks me up. Reminds me of Buddy on Elf.

My girl and her always-mistaken-for-fried-eggs flowered hat.

He liked having one ear in the hat and one ear bent over on the outside.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Our latest Clark Grizzwold adventure....
Being that KJ has a science degree in all things grass, it has made things interesting for our yard. The first few years were spent with me dragging around a hose twice a day in the blazing hot summer so the sprinkler could water the yard. I know the neighbors probably got a kick out of seeing me in my nice work clothes on the way to a deposition, dragging this thing around and then running like heck to avoid getting sprayed. (It always nailed me, though.) KJ was still working as an assistant superintendant at Cedar Ridge at that point, so frankly, he couldn't have cared less about our yard bc he'd deal with that for 15 hours a day at the golf course. He'll tell you that himself. It was always funny that our neighbors knew he was the "grass guy" yet our yard was the funkiest on the street. Yard Man at the end of the street looked like the expert on grass; that guy's always up to something.
Then KJ installed an irrigation system in our front and back yard. Yahoo! Bless his heart, the almanac showed that weekend to be the best time to do a project, so that's what he planned for. Got all the supplies, the weather was looking great for February. Then the day before he started it got blistering cold and actually ended up snowing lightly while putting it all in.
Then last year we had pretty much brown, crunchy grass year-round bc of a simple mistake involving fertilizer and the weatherman's forecast for rain -- which didn't happen.
Then this year we didn't want to mess with it too much bc we thought our house would sell soooner, so what's the point?

The house didn't sell, so here we are in late September and he decides he's going to scalp the yard and seed it with rye grass. (Which should stay green year-round.) So, while everyone else's yards were still green and nice, our yard looked like, basically, dirt. He set the irrigation system to water several times a day and promised me that the seed would germinate in 7-1o days. I was told to keep off the grass. Don't smash it. Keep the kids off. I waited. And waited.
And he was right!! The warm weather we've had really boosted it so now it's the most vibrant green grass! So, I was laughing with our neighbor the other day that while they all had green grass, we had brown crunchy dirt grass; now that their yards are all fading, we finally have green grass.
KJ likes to think that the rye really helped our house to sell last week. It certainly didn't hurt. Now the poor guy who moves in here will have to mow year-round. LOL
I contributed the pansies :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Patch (2009 & 2010)

The "official" pumpkin patch picture.
I'm trying not to let it get to me that Lola's not even looking at the camera.
Last year it was quite chilly.
This year, not so much.
I swear it feels like this past year flew by so fast.