Sunday, September 6, 2009

Best Husband Ever!

Okay, so I always had an inkling that I had the best husband ever, but the last few weeks have definitely solidified the title for my dear husband, Jeff. He's always been caring and sensitive, and mostly helpful around the house and with the kids. He's a wonderful, amazing father and the kids adore his every move. Audrey always hears the garage door unlocking and races over saying, "PAPA!!" Alex will run to give him a hug after work and say, "I missed you Hapuh!" (Yes, I said 'hapuh.' Alex insists on saying Papa with an 'Ha' and a 'puh') Yes, we've always known Jeff to be an overall extraordinary person. But with all the events of the last few weeks, he has really stepped out of his proverbial shell and just sort of come to life.

This trial of late has definitely been hard so far, and I don't anticipate it getting miraculously easier overnight. But we're working on it. And Jeff is ever working on the small and simple ways to make things just that much easier and more enjoyable along the journey for me. Case in point: He bought me a vacuum!! Anyone who knows me will know this has been a long time of pleading and whining and nagging and promising I'll save money in other areas to afford it to get a vacuum cleaner that works! Well, he up and bought me the one I wanted yesterday! I was so excited. Too bad it took something like cancer to get it, though! I'm not even well enough to use it yet! But it gives me that much more incentive. Weird, huh? Incentive to kick cancer is so that I can use my new vacuum cleaner?? Ha ha. Yeah. That's totally me. But hey, it's a dang cool one! Canister (so the kids can help too) bagless, hardwood/carpet, easy clean, washable filter... and it sucks! Literally! Here's my prince at work. I caught him using it on the family room when he thought I was sleeping. Thanks my man! You seriously are the best, you know. They're not the best quality pictures. Poor lighting and I think there was a smudge on the lense. But here's my prince!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

First Day of School! - NOT!

I finally got Sarah's first day of school pictures. She was supposed to start August 31. But she didn't get to go to her first day of Kindergarten!! :'( The poor girl was sick all week! She finally was well enough and felt up to going on Thursday morning. She had a lot of fun, and likes her class. She especially likes that her close friends are in class with her. Doesn't she just look so cute?

Mom has been in town the last week helping me through this chemo stuff and helping me get organized so I can continue the treatment. She's been an amazing help with the kids, the house, the yard... well, just about everything! Thanks mom! Here are a couple of pictures of what she's been doing to beautify the front of our home. Sarah enjoyed "helping" her plant some new flowers around our walkway. I don't know if she was quite as much actual help as she thought, but it was cute anyway.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day all day today. Joe (I think) caught this picture of a rainbow swooping across the mountains behind our front yard neighbors. It's so peaceful... a very nice way to sum up my day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Need A Nap?

Apparently I did! Jeff snapped this shot of Audrey and me the other day. I was already lying on the couch, and Audrey I guess just missed me while I was gone in the hospital. She came up and cuddled with me for quite some time before she fell asleep. And when she fell asleep, what else could I do? So I took a nap! I actually don't like the picture much. I've never been a fan of how I look sleeping. People say that they look at their spouse or their children while they're sleeping and they just look 'angelic.' Well I understand that when looking at my kids. But I don't think I've ever seen a picture of myself sleeping that I would consider angelic... Oh well.

Oh, and apparently, Sarah needed a nap that day too. Only this is where we found her instead. She's on top of the back of the couch in the living room.

With all that's been going on, I've been a little lacking in the blogging world lately. I almost didn't post the boys' first day of preschool! They went to Ms. Helen's 3 year old class for the first time on Thursday this week. They were so excited to bring their backpacks and wear the little nametags Ms. Helen made for them. For whatever reason, when we take pictures of the boys, they don't actually smile. We say "Say cheese!" and they actually say "cheese." This is how their faces turn out. But despite the funny expressions, don't they just look sharp?

I started the photo taking with Alex, but soon Sarah and Audrey sort of casually inched their way closer and closer into the picture. I guess they didn't want to be left out.

Show me your backpacks, boys!Fun times.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Look At Me, Mom!

Audrey is so cute lately. I mean she's always cute. But having been so busy lately, I fear I've neglected her just a little. Especially trying to get Sarah ready for Kindergarten, the boys ready for preschool, well child visits scheduled (not attended, yet), my own medical care attended to... and many other things tugging at my daily clock every day. Today, the older three were downstairs while Audrey was napping on the couch upstairs and I was in the kitchen cleaning up snack messes. When she woke up, I gave her a snack, and sat down on the computer to check some email. My back was to her. A few minutes later, I hear this amazingly cute and proud little voice say, "look at me, mom!" I looked. This is what I found.She was so proud of her accomplishment. And it was strongly reminiscent of Sarah at her age. Sarah was the founder of lining up things. Shoes, toy animals, food, silverware, cups... you name it, she lined it up.

A little while later, Audrey grabbed my pill boxes off the desk next to me and started naming the colors. She started from the bottom and worked her way up one at a time. Here are the boxes:and here's what she said: Yehyow (yellow), puhpuw (purple), guhcus (Lucas), Ahyek (Alex), me, *pause* Yehyow (yellow - naming the same yellow box as 'me' and 'yellow"), Yehyah (Sarah), and why (white). I corrected her on the orange one being orange, then she proceeded to name them again and I told her that Lucas's color was green, Alex's was blue, Sarah's was pink, etc. It was cute. She was doing that because the kids' favorite blankets are those colors, and so many of the things that we buy are color coded for them. She was absolutely right! Lucas usually likes green. Alex likes blue. Sarah likes pink. And when Audrey doesn't get purple, she always chooses yellow. It really made me smile today and I wanted to share. Our little baby is growing up! I'm looking forward to getting to spend a little more time with her whilst the older three hooligans are off at school. Love you Audrey!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese's

Since Sarah had a big party for her birthday, we went to Lagoon the day before and saw fireworks on the Alex's and Lucas's birthday, Sarah got a huge horse barn and the boys both got bikes, we decided we should do something special for Audrey since she wasn't having an actual party or getting anything real big. What else? On the Saturday before her birthday, We went to Chuck E. Cheese's! Now, we didn't actually reserve the place and have a "party" there, we just went as a family. The kids all had a ton of fun and Audrey was just in heaven. Here a bunch of my favorite pictures from that excursion.

This isn't the best picture, actually none of these pictures are that great, but I loved the expressions on Alex and Lucas's faces in this one, so I posted it anyway.

This was one really EXPENSIVE pizza! Of course, we got game tokens, drinks and a ton of fun with it. And the pizza was actually pretty good. And everyone is actually looking at the camera. That's a rarity.

This isn't just a bad picture; it's terrible! But here's Sarah and Lucas, my little TV stars! They were standing in front of a blue screen and their images were projected onto whatever was on TV at the time. At this time, it was a coke commercial.

Hugging Chuck. I couldn't get my camera to take the picture when I actually wanted to. It took 3 kids hugging Chuck E. before I got one of the actual hug instead of seconds after. This one was right after Lucas hugged him. Apparently, he thought that was pretty cool.

He was so excited about it that he went back for more later!

Sarah, doing her favorite thing. Riding a horsey!

She gave Audrey a ride with her the next time. They could steer the horse and make it jump on the screen by moving the reins and pulling the saddle hilt. It was actually pretty cool. And Sarah was in heaven, of course.


And the prize at the end! If any of you have been to Chuck E Cheese's lately, you'll remember that the number of game tickets it takes to get anything from the prize rack is outrageous! This one took 500 tickets! A simple dum dum size sucker was 10! Anyway. Sadly, this ball lasted less than 24 hours. It was deflated and had a couple of holes in it by the next afternoon.

Audrey had just finished her sucker in the car. She was so tired that it didn't even register to her that I was telling her to smile.

And she's out. Probably 2 minutes after leaving the parking lot.

So were Alex and Lucas!

We had so much fun celebrating Audrey's 2nd birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's. Happy birthday cutie pie!

Happy Birthday Audrey! - 2009

August 9th is Audrey's birthday. She turned 2! Happy birthday sweetie! Since we were going to church on her actual birthday, I decided to make Audrey a matching dress and princess hat to wear to church. Here's how it turned out. She loved it. I also made Sarah a dress to match. Hers was pink, though with the pink and white gingham sash instead. I neglected to get a picture of her, though.

I don't know what it was about squirt guns yesterday, but Audrey had one in her hand pretty much all day long. This is after her nap and before her little party we had. She's shooting Papa. "Psheew!"

And of course, the cake. Cookies for those who don't like cake, and cake for those who do! Princess themed, of course, for our little princess. This one was super easy, by the way. Not as much work as you'd think for a cake.

Here's the birthday girl playing with her favorite present: Lip Smackers lip gloss. She's such a girly girl. She got princess dress up clothes, a doll, lip gloss, nail polish, two books, a stuffed lion (from Sarah) a bubble blowing machine, two books, and a few other little things. All girl, for sure.

Happy birthday my sweet baby! My "baby" is two now! Wow.

Oh, and I almost forgot. It was our anniversary yesterday, too. 7 years. We had this little cake after lunch to celebrate. And that's about all we did to celebrate. I think we'll go on a date later. And we've decided that we'll just celebrate our anniversary a week later from now on. Audrey can have her birthday. I guess that's what I get for going into labor on our anniversary! The day no longer belongs to us. Happy 7th anniversary Jeff! I love you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chaotic Kids.

Oh, these kids! What am I going to do with them? We were all downstairs yesterday. I was working in my craft room, and they were all playing with toys and watching a movie. Sarah had a friend over, and they decided they would prefer playing upstairs instead, so Sarah opened the door to upstairs. They were all free! Or so they thought anyway. They all went upstairs. I was almost finished with the project I was working on, so I let them play upstairs unsupervised for maybe 10 minutes. MAYBE. I finished up, came upstairs and smelled pepper. Great. Here's what I found.

So sad.

Notice the stool? That was the original enabler of mischief.

They made the mess, so they had to help clean it up.

SIX bottles were empty. The last two, the bacon bits and sage, somehow survived. I think it's because the bacon bits were larger and harder to shake out of the can, and the sage because it's the one they were working on when I came upstairs, so I saved it.

In other chaotic randomness, the other day I saw this
It's where we hang our keys. Notice anything missing? The keys, maybe? Usually, when Jeff is gone at work, the key hooks are half full. It's a good thing I noticed that before I had to walk out the door! I had time to scour the house looking for lost keys before I really needed to use any of them.

Don't you just love when they document their own misdeeds? They were playing in the library before I had it all finished. Someone found an almost empty can of Dr. Pepper. Audrey promptly claimed it as her own. Probably because she's never allowed to have any when mom's watching.

All the pictures were down leaning against their designated walls before I had a chance to hang them. Nothing broken. Just lots of goopy fingerprints.Aren't kids just so much fun??

Friday, July 31, 2009

Secret Project! - Afters

Yep. I'm finally posting them! I'm taking a serious risk here that Jeff will NOT check the blog between now and when he boards his plane to come home in a few hours. Let me just preface this post by saying that this has been the least fulfilling "secret" project I've ever done! I was hoping to do it while Jeff was gone out of town this week, and he would come home not knowing anything about it. But he looked at the blog while he was gone (which was a possibility I was fully aware of when I posted. I just really didn't think he would!), then he called on Wednesday night and talked to the kids. He thinks I painted the girls' rooms since I've been painting stuff lately. So he asked Sarah what color her room was, and she started telling him all about what I've been doing! I stopped her before she said too much, but I don't know how much he heard, or understood. So I don't know how surprised he'll be when he gets home, but at least he has no idea what the colors are...

I did not paint the girls' room, by the way. I did, however move Audrey in with Sarah, and painted Audrey's old room. It's no longer a bedroom. It's a much more useful and much cooler room now.

Here's a hint.

I finally found a good place to put these framed prints! I really love where they are now. And I love this room!

Now this picture's not that great, but you get the idea.

Here's my new comfy bench. I made the big long cushion, and all the pillows.

Here's one more before picture I forgot to post.

And the after: The last thing left for this part is some magazine holders for all the Scientific American magazines, Ensigns and Friends. I wasn't willing to spend $10 per holder at Walmart, so I'm waiting until I find something more perfect and less expensive. I wouldn't mind putting a small shelf in there on the left and putting the board games on it. But I have to find one that fits first.

And here is Sarah's room (now Sarah's and Audrey's room) after. I didn't really do anything to it other than get rid of the bookshelf, and move Audrey's stuff in. I'll make it all pretty and cool later. The main change with this project was the new library. The girls really like sharing a room so far. We'll see how long it lasts before Audrey starts getting on Sarah's nerves. So far so good!

The kids love the new library. They go in, grab a book, sit at a table and read! I'd say it was a good idea. Wanna know the best part about this project? It was free! Well, almost anyway. Almost every single thing I used to change up this room came from our house. It's all stuff I already had, including the paint! And the paint only cost me $5 when I bought it ("oops" paint from Lowe's). I already had all the fabric and embellishments for the pillows. I had the boxes for the closet. They were plastic milk crates that I covered with fabric to match the bench cushion. I had the kiddie tables and chairs already. I just moved them from the basement, where they've been enduring constant abuse and misuse since we moved in. The bookshelf was in the garage with some empty boxes on it. We got it for free from one of our neighbor's family members. The paintings were hanging in the hallway, and I never liked that placement for them to begin with. Now I love where they are. The framed Proclamation to the Family was hanging in our family room downstairs, but didn't match with the other colors. Now it goes perfectly. The only thing I bought new, specifically for this project, was the plaque that says "Library, Shhh..." And that, I bought at Walmart for slightly less than $4. Then I stained it the same color I stained the tables, painted the lettering, and attached the ribbon. I even already had the hook that I put on the door. Now, the only thing left is the magazine holders. What do you think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Secret Project!

Here are the befores:

Audrey's room.

Sarah's room.
You're just dying of curiosity, aren't you? It's pretty much finished, but I want to put some last little touches on before posting the afters.

And by the way, this is what happens to my kitchen when I take the day "off" to work on a project.

"Look, Mom, Ants!"Nice...