Saturday, December 29, 2007

...The Things They Say....

So, my kids were full of personality today...

Henry jumps down the steps and says, "Momma, can you jump down the stairs?"
Me: "Yeah, but I don't want to right now."
Henry: "Yeah, 'cause you would break the floo-oor."

Phil decided he wanted to watch the old Star Wars movies with the kids, so he tells them he's going to take them to the video store to rent them. Addy promptly says, "Are they rated PG?" I told her they were and she said, "Then I'm NOT going to watch them!"

Sorry, don't have a good one about Kate today...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We hope you all had a great Christmas! I picked my favorite shots of the kids from the day. Our favorite thing was watching Henry in his new football uniform, complete with football and helmet. He wore it all day; so cute! I've never really been that impressed with the outfit; I much prefer baseball uniforms, but he changed my mind! I think Henry may have enjoyed the free reign of sweets yesterday even more than the opening of presents! He certainly took advantage of the slack rules!

I just love this picture of Kate - huge smile. She was the first to be done opening presents. I was the same way when I was young...well really I was that way until I had my kids. :) This picture is so "Christmas" to me...complete with messy hair and PJs.



Addy still had at least six gifts under the tree when everyone else was done. She was happy to play with her gifts and didn't have that burning desire to KNOW what was in the rest of the still-wrapped boxes. We received two handheld games as gifts, Yahtzee and this Rubik's cube game. Phil, Addy, and I switched back and forth with the two all day. Even Kate and Henry played the Rubik's cube game - great gift, Dave and Bev...much better than the paint ball gun for Henry, DAVE!!! :)



This may surprise you, but Minot really doesn't get that much snow; it's just that once we do get snow here, it doesn't go away since it's so cold. Anyway, we were all REALLY hoping for a white Christmas and thought we weren't going to get one until around 7pm we were blessed with a fresh blanket of snow - I think that counts as a white Christmas...at least we're going to count it!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Cookies


Addy made these awesome gingersnaps. Why would anyone make sugar cookies when these taste so good and are so easy, comparatively?

And here are the kids making those green wreath cookies, akin to Rice Crispy treats...I was so busy taking picture that they cooked the marshmallows to hard crack stage and the wreaths were hard enough to crack teeth. They looked pretty, though!


...and the sugar cookies...so fun for kids...such a pain for mothers...



This is my mother. She likes to wear blue dresses (and skirts), has salt and pepper hair, is very beautiful and sweet and even well-read (notice the newspaper behind her?)...

Nearing the End

Wow! The basement looks like it's a part of the house now! The carpet was installed Wednesday and Thursday, the electrician finished up on Wednesday and we painted and installed trim work before all that. These pictures were taken on Friday and now there is paint in every room except the studio. We need another gallon for that, so it will get done tomorrow, most likely. Next pictures you see will be of a finished project...SO exciting!!! We are going to work on moving Addy into her room today, but Phil has to put a final coat of paint on the trim work first.



This view is of the area we finished underneath the steps. We'll keep toys here, but it will also make a great play house or fort. Right behind me in this picture is the utility room - an unfinished room with the furnace, circuit breaker and big shelves Phil and his dad built in their spare time...


This picture shows a doorway on the right that leads to the utility area and the play area. On the left of this picture it shows the bathroom door and Addy's door.



This is a shot from right inside the door of my studio.





View from the window in my studio





Looking out of the studio into the family room.


Our lovely tree...




The bathroom. It now has a cabinet, counter top, trim work and paint. The plumber comes on the 26th to finish up.





This is Addy's room. I'm standing in front of her closet.



Addy's room from the window's perspective



From the sliding door...I just wanted to give perspective for where things are...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

About Addy



I was just telling my Mom the other day that Addy is the daughter she always wanted. You’d have to know my Mom to know what I’m talking about, but the point is; we are very different.

Addy will be 10 in March and thinks any enhancements you may try to make to your appearance is lying, i.e. makeup. She says she’s never going to wear any, especially because, “Why would you want to put it on every day, just to wash it off at night?” Yeah, why?

Addy LOVES geography, the presidents, cooking and lots of other nerdy stuff. She also gets very frustrated when she is supposed to learn something and it’s actually a challenge. She wants to just know. Well…don’t we all?

Addy is intensely loyal and when I say intense, I mean it. If she thinks you are wonderful, you are WONDERFUL. If she thinks you are bad, you are BAD. There is no gray, there is no middle ground with Addy. I’ve never seen black, blacker or white, whiter.

Addy is one of those kids that wants to learn by being told, not by watching. She asks me questions ALL THE TIME and if I say she asks too many questions, would I be a bad mom? She thinks commercialism is one of the worst sins. For instance: we were standing at a cash register, paying for our goods and she says, “what’s this?”... (me) “a gift card holder” ....(A) “WHY would you want to buy something to put a gift card in?!?!” “Addy…BE QUIET!”...(me, obviously)

Also, one day in the shoe department she says, “You’re not looking for more shoes for yourself, are you? You have WAY too many already.” I had a super response for that, ala my Grandma Barb, “I’m ALWAYS looking for new shoes, Addy.”

She is the child who told me that I should put half of the wrapped gifts away until next Christmas and really meant it. The other kids were very disturbed at the mere suggestion and so I suggested to Addy that maybe we could just put half of her gifts away until her birthday and she said, “Okay!”

Addy is the world’s best police officer and, sometimes, prison warden. That aside, she’s an extremely sweet girl. We are so blessed to have her as our first; she’s like my left arm and, most of the time, my mouth.

All About Kate



Kate turned 6 last month. She’s reached that all-important age where she realizes she has a natural sense of humor and now she isn’t funny anymore because she tries too hard. It’s a sad thing…

Kate loves people. She likes to listen to what they say, watch what they do and mimic everything. It’s a scary thing. She is forever asking me if she’s allowed to say things that she’s heard from actual humans or from movies. Things like, “Can I say ‘what the devil?’” Umm…NO! “where did you hear that, anyway?” I can always count on her to remember details about the appearance of things, but just don’t ask her where anything is because her immediate answer (without any time for thought) is “I don’t know.”

If you were to ask Kate about the most important things in life, one of her answers would undoubtedly be: beauty. I wonder what God has in store for her with that…She thinks that Addy is among the most beautiful in the world and we can sometimes catch her staring in adoration at her older sister. It’s a sweet thing.

Kate has been counting down the days until Christmas for over 30 days and remembers every day how many are left, even if she skips a day, but ask her to remember what you JUST told her to do and you’re out of luck. I guess it’s a kid thing.

Kate always, always has a huge smile on her face and that’s a good thing.

All About My Kids...starting with Henry



Instead of going into detail about each child in my Christmas letter, I decided to post on my blog. That way, if you’re not interested, you can just look at the pictures! I decided to start with Henry first…

Henry will be four next month; he’s my baby and when did that happen? Henry makes my days fun and awful, sometimes simultaneously. He is constantly vying for control, annoying everyone in his path, and trying his hardest to make us all lose our patience. He is also a “lover,” I think it’s the Italian in his blood. I have had to tell him so many times not to kiss my rear end and he smothers me with kisses, sort of a mixture between Pepe Le Peu and Gomez Addams.

Henry is going to be one of those men who grabs a book before he heads to the bathroom for #2. He likes to sit for so long that he looses circulation in his legs and then complains that they hurt. The other day he was sitting, and I asked if he was done. He says, “No, not yet.” I said, “Your legs are going to hurt” and he says, “Oh, okay, actually I’m done.” Just today he gets off the toilet and goes “Ohhh…my legs hurt again!”

Henry loves superheros, football (because of what they wear, duh! helmets!), baseball, guns, Diego (it’s a TV show), and anything his sisters are currently playing with or think is wonderful. He eats all the time and charms everyone. He makes me laugh out loud all the time and it’s a good thing because he makes me yell (out loud, of course) more than I care to admit.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Drywall

The drywall is up in the basement and the taper/texturer guys are here today....progress!!! Phil and his dad put in five FULL days on the drywall and did an excellent job. Next we have to put in all the trimwork, i.e. moulding, doors, window sills and then paint and then get the flooring installed and then paint again...(colors)
It looks like everything MAY be finished around Christmas, or a few days after.

Addy's room (you can see her closet on the right)

Addy's window

Family room...behind the plastic is the bathroom on the left and the stairs on the right and straight through is Addy's room. The closet you see is where my craft stuff will find it's home.

Window and door in the family room



Lame picture of my studio...


The bathroom has to have special drywall because of the moisture level

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thankful

We have so much to be thankful for every day, but this Thanksgiving it was especially easy to think of our blessings, since there were so many recent ones. It was wonderful to be in our new home, to be back in the US and to have family visit for Thanksgiving.



Kate turns SIX!!!

Kate had the special honor of being the first in our family to celebrate a birthday in our new home. She also had the privilege of having her grandparents for her birthday and our friends, the Evans'. She got to choose her favorite dinner (pizza and corn), chocolate cake, Oreo cookie ice cream and the frosting colors. I was an extremely cool mom that night and allowed all the kids to have a bit of each color of frosting...it's the little things...



One Big Hole


Here the kids are looking at a big, huge hole that the plumber provided for us. There is a shower tub/shower over that hole now, not to worry! The framing and electrical is done now and Phil and his dad will start with the drywall tomorrow...it's coming along!




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Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Snow, First Tooth, and a Lamp?

I knew it was coming...I was just waiting for it to happen...the first snow. It's only a dusting, but I think it's just the first of what's to come. Next week it isn't supposed to get above freezing after Monday. It's not a winter wonderland, but it certainly is winter!

Our first night in the house Kate lost her first tooth. How cool is that? I had to snap a picture, quick, because the other tooth was already halfway through...


Henry came to me with this outfit and said, "I look like a lamp." I'm not sure that's the descriptor I would have chosen...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Things My Kiddos Say...

Kate – “Mommy, are you fat or skinny?”
Me – “What do you think?”
K – “Well, when you wear that sweater you look fat.”

Henry – “Mommy, can we ‘gree’ on another movie?”
Me - “Okay, as long as you agree.”
Henry – “Kate, let’s ‘gree’ on Diego!”
Kate – “I don’t want to watch Diego; let’s watch Paddington.”
Henry – “No, I want to ‘gree’ on Diego! ‘Hememmer,’ (remember) you like Diego!”
(do you think he gets the concept of agreement?)

Addy – “Mommy, I saw this big, huge tumbleweed yesterday. It was as big as you!”

- by the way...finding tumbleweeds is our new form of entertainment

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Painted House

Welcome to our new home...we closed on the house last Tuesday and painted for 23 hours over a period of two days. Thursday morning the first set of movers came with our largest shipment, which was VERY overwhelming. We spent all weekend working on the house, just in time to get two more shipments on Monday, which sent me into panic mode all over again. The house is fairly in order at this point, but the garage is another story. The first floor of our house is 1500 square feet and the basement is a nice, walkout basement with lots of windows and another 1500 square feet, roughly. Addy's room, the family room/school room/craft room, bathroom and my studio (5th bedroom) will be down there. For now, we are all squeezing into the first floor...thus the messy garage. Phil's parents arrive on the 18th to help with the basement and I hope it will be done by Christmas. The temps are getting cold here already and the wind makes it colder. It is beautiful and sunny here every day, though, and the lack of clouds is a welcome change from Germany and, before that, western Washington.





In this picture you can see the kitchen, living room and out the front door. I'm standing in the dining room and behind me is a sliding door that will eventually go out to a deck.




I am absolutely in love with this house. Everything is exactly the way I wanted it and I'm so happy!!!

the door to the right of the front door is the garage door and in between the garage and the kitchen is the laundry room (I didn't get a picture of it, but it's the same color as the main bathroom, green).


This portion down the stairs is all that's finished. If you go through the doors or around the corner you see only studs and concrete.



so, the kitchen and dining room are a yellowish color. The living room is medium taupe and the entry/hall/downstairs/Henry's room are just two shades lighter than the living room.


Main bathroom...



master bath...same color as the stripe in the master...


Phil wasn't so sure about this chocolate brown color. Brown is my "signature color" and I was VERY sure about it. I absolutely LOVE this room and Phil is fond of it now, as well. The furniture in the room makes it look AMAZING, if you're not sure, just ask me! :)






Kate's room...the wall with the window is a very light green. I'll update all this later once the basement is finished and we're not sardines in the house...

Henry's room...