Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Homemade Chocolate Cheesecake and Cinnamon Rolls...

The night before Thanksgiving, Savannah and I put together some homemade goodies. I had said earlier that day that it had been sort of a slow blogging week. She asked me to take pictures of our treats in the making and then post them to my blog. Yes, it has taken a week to do that, but my living room, dining room and kitchen all got painted during that time - more about that in another post. The first recipe for the Chocolate Cheesecake came from my sister-in-law, Jessica. I think it was several years ago when she was here on leave from Korea. She wanted to make something for all of us and she knew how very much I loved chocolate. It was a really simple recipe she found on Hershey's website. Warning... it is VERY RICH, but oh so good! We actually make a homemade graham cracker crust to go with it too. Yummy! The second recipe is for homemade cinnamon rolls. This comes from a very nice homeschooling mom that goes by the screen name of Quiverof10 on The Well Trained Mind Message Boards. They are a huge hit for those of us that frequent that board. Again... these things are RICH and YUMMY! Here are the recipes.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/4 cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs (one individual package crushed up)

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup margarine of butter, melted

Place one individual package in gallon size ziploc bag and crush or use food processor.

In small bowl stir crumbs and sugar. Add margarine or butter. Toss until combined.

In 9-inch pie plate evenly spread crumb mixture. Press onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. (Or, bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Cool.)

No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened

2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Set aside to cool.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and butter in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Gradually add melted chips, beating on low speed until blended. Fold in Whipped topping until blended; spoon into crust.

Refrigerate until firm. Garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. About 8 servings.

Cinnamon Rolls


1 T. Dry Yeast

1 Cup warm milk

1/3 C. white sugar

1/2 C. melted butter

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

4 C. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Knead into a ball. Let rise until double in size. When ready, roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread with filling.

1/4 C. butter, softened

1 C. brown sugar

3 T. cinnamon

Spread butter on dough evenly. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over dough evenly. Roll dough up. Slice roll into 1 inch slices. Place on greased pan. Let rise again until doubled. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

1/2 C. butter, softened

1 1/2 C. powder sugar

1 oz. cream cheese

2 T. whipping cream (or milk)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Beat until fluffy. When rolls are hot, spread lots of icing on them.

To make these the night before needed, skip the final frising step. Let rise overnight in the fridge. In the morning, bake.

To make slicing easier, I use dental floss. Just slip it under, criss cross and pull and you have nice, even slices.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Our tree smack in the center of our front yard...

As the "Kari C in FL" suggests... we live in Florida. We don't really get fall color. Well, except, for a few trees here and there. We just so happen to have one of those big trees in our front yard. Between my parents owning this house and us buying it - we have been here for 16 years. I always liked the big tree in the front yard. When we moved away for about 2 years, our new house didn't have ANY TREES! Not a one! I tried to get Tim to plant one smack in the center of the front yard, but he never did do it. Yesterday and today when I drove into the neighborhood and up to my house, I found myself thinking how pretty our tree was. Sure, we have leaves EVERYWHERE and not many of out neighbors do. The leaves get tracked into the house every year without fail. I find myself grumbling since I just cleaned the floor only to find more crushed leaves. But, the last few days I saw the lovely yellow color. Sebastian and I crumpled them under our feet each time we took something to the big trash can or checked the mailbox. (Yes, he MUST accompany me on any trip to the trash or mailbox.) Then I started to think that this will most likely be the last year that we look up at our Florida tree that changes colors and loses it leaves. That made me want to take a picture of it and then I knew I just had to share it with all of you. Enjoy our pretty tree that is smack in the center of our front yard!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving...

Ohhhh.... what a nice day we had today. We got up to homemade cinnamon rolls courtesy of a very nice homeschool mom's recipe. Then we headed to the park up the street and took family pictures for our Christmas cards. My sister in law, Jessica, was nice enough to take the pictures for me and she did a great job. I am not going to post THE family Christmas photo on here in case you are on our card list, but I will put some of the others. We came home from there and my mom and I got dinner on the table. We had a relaxed afternoon of eating and visiting. Tonight, we rented The Lake House and watched that. I really enjoyed this movie! Now, I am going to sit and read my After Thanksgiving sale ads since the little ones are in bed. I have thought about a lot of things I am thankful for today. If you know me or read my blog, you know it has been a crazy time right now. Job loss, house renovations, preparation for a move to who know where, etc. Still... I can look at how incredibly blessed we are. I have said it before on here, but since it Thanksgiving, I will say it all again. I am so thankful for my family. My husband has been AMAZING. He always was amazing, but right now - during a time when I feel quite lost - he has just held me up. My kids keep me on my toes. They let me know that I can't for a moment wallow in my own self-doubt. They show me that I always have to look forward to whatever God has planned. My mom is always there for us. She does whatever I need, whenever I need it. She gladly moves to who knows where, who knows when... without so much as a wimper. I am so thankful to have her in my life. I am thankful my niece, Joanna, came to visit with us. It is nice to see her happy face and just hang out with her. I am thankful that Jessica came down to Florida even with all our family drama and I got to catch up with her. There are some little things I am thankful for too... my digital camera that took all these great family pictures today. The beautiful park right by my house to take these pictures. The homemade chocolate cheesecake I made! I am thankful for my dishwasher to wash all the dishes! I am thankful for my really comfy jammies I am in right now and the newspaper just waiting to be read. Those are all little things, but they sure make me happy. I am so thankful for all the kind words from people like my sister-in-law, Karen. She has sent me so many inspirational passages these last few weeks to show me that God is in control and I just need to put all my worries in His hands. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Here are some of our pictures from today.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More bathroom woes...

I am hoping this is my second to last post about our hall bath. You all know what I did to the wall... Tim ended up cutting that part of the wall out and putting a whole new piece of drywall in. While he was repairing that, he fixed a few other rough spots on the wall and then he reprimed and repainted. Yesterday, we decided to head to get a new light fixture for the bathroom. While we were at the store, we decided to get a new toilet too. They have this deal with our county water that they will pay you $100 towards replacing an old toilet. Basically, we could replace it for just about free. We had done this in our master bath a few years back. Tim proceeds to take the old, nasty toilet out and he actually chips apart of it. No problem, we are throwing it out, right? He makes the drywall behind the toilet nice and paints. Great! He takes the NEW toilet and sits in in place. FINE! Then he takes the tank and puts it on. It will not fit! Huh? We have done this before. Why is it not fitting? We decide to quick run back to Lowe's before they close. We opt to not pack this toilet up first and just will return it later. We get there to find that all the toilets are standard 12" inch rough in. We call Timmy and ask him to measure. Ours is 10" inch rough in. The Lowe's guy tells us he can order one, but it will take a month. Remember that I said the old toilet is broken now. Then the Lowe's guy says he is not supposed to tell us this, but there is a plumbing place that has them in stock. That is nice, except it is Sunday evening around 7pm. Not going to fix that tonight. On the off chance, Tim calls Home Depot (isn't it great that I put these phone numbers in his cell phone?). The DO have ONE that will fit a 10" or 12". Woohoo! Even better, Home Depot and Lowes are literally a block apart. We drive over there, pick up our new toilet and we are home free, right? You are so wrong, wrong, wrong!!! We get home, take the new toilet out of the box to find that it is chipped! Tim quick throws it into the car and heads back before they close and exchanges it. He gets that home, gets it installed and then it won't stop running. He dismantles the whole inside and puts it back together and then it is working! Perfect, right? You are wrong, wrong, wrong!!! He sees a tiny leak coming off the back... there is a small hair line crack the whole length of the tank that is leaking a tiny bit! They are closed now, so we have to wait. I ran out this morning and bought a new tank. Let's hope this one is fine. All this and we weren't even really planning on replacing the toilet! Ugggghhhh!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Packing, painting, and stuff...

I know you all are anxiously waiting for more bathroom details. The truth is that Tim cut out the section of wall that I tried to patch, then he fixed it, primed it and repainted the entire bathroom. He fixed a few other rough spots in there. I will take a picture when the new light, baseboards, and those blasted towel bars are up. Meanwhile, he asked me to take some of the living room/dining room pictures down. He wants to put a coat of mud over the rough walls in there too. This sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! I have moved exactly 4 times in my life. The first time I was 2 - I don't really remember it. I vaguely remember doing somersaults in the living room when it was empty. The second time I was 18. We moved from IL to FL with my parents. Now I did pack things. I remember unwrapping wedding and shower gifts and putting them right into a packing box. I know I helped pack the house, but honestly I think my mom was the one in control. The third time I moved, I left this house I am in now. My parents used to own THIS house. We rented the in-law apartment from them. We moved a few blocks away. At the time, we had a beat up pick-up truck. So, we did what any really cheap person does and made several trips with the truck. I don't think I wrapped everything in paper, etc. I think we took it over little by little. I do remember Tim saying he felt like Sanford and Son loading his truck up with all our junk. That brings us to our fourth move. We bought THIS HOUSE moved BACK to THIS house. So, again, it was only a few blocks. This time we had acquired more furniture (junk), so we got a rental truck. Again, I don't think I packed really well since I knew it was only a few blocks. What does all of this mean and why am I typing it? Well... because... because... I am completely overwhelmed! I am packing for a definite out of state move - where for sure - I don't know. When for sure - I don't know. Really, I am just supposed to be getting the living room ready to paint. If I am going to take stuff down, shouldn't I just pack it and be done? Yes and no. Depends on if you are staging your house for sale. Some say bare walls are a no-no. Others say absolutely no family photos of any kind. Then there are the people that say a few family photos are good. This leaves me looking at all my stuff and wondering WHICH THINGS should I plan to put back up and which things should I pack? Okay, since I really don't like to write whiny posts without finding some good to write in it... here goes. The really bright side of this is that my house should be painted BEFORE I put up our Christmas decorations. All the stuff I usually have to take down to put up Christmas stuff will already be down. The other good thing is I am super cleaning as I do this. I have dusted places I know I haven't dusted in well... let's just say a really, really, better make that really long time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sleeping with the manatees...

This past Saturday night, we had the fun chance to go spend the night at the zoo. Our particular sleeping trip was with the manatees. They have several you can choose from and our brownie troop chose this one. I have to admit that I was very excited because I love the manatees. Every time I go to the zoo, I just want to sit and watch them. I attended as the co-leader chaperon on this trip. We arrived and checked in. Next we dropped all our sleeping stuff at the manatee exhibit. Then it was off to feed the stingrays. This is always so much fun to do. I tried to get some good pictures, but it was a little crazy with all the excitement. After this, we gathered in a show area where they brought out a baby alligator, opossum, porcupine and a kinkajou. We had never seen a kinkajou before. She is this cute little fury thing that sorta looks like a monkey, but isn't. It is actually related to a raccoon. The kids got to touch the alligator and the kinkajou. Next we got our snack and headed for the chow hall. After the kids ate, they got to do two manatee crafts. They were pretty cute and simple to make. Then we went back to the manatee exhibit. They turned off the lights so we could see into the tanks better. During this time, our guide shared all sorts of interesting information about the manatees. For instance, Lowry Park Zoo is the only non-profit manatee rehabilitation facility in the world. All the manatees they have were in danger in one way or another. Some were hit by boats, some had red tide illness, and some came from other zoos because they weren't eating enough. I always thought they just had the same manatees there, but actually they are always moving them out when they get better. They even have a month old baby manatee that they are bottle feeding every three hours! I really wanted to see that, but we couldn't. I really enjoyed this part because it was quiet and we got to just sit and watch the manatees and fish. Very relaxing. Then we were up again and toured the holding pools where they put some of the sick manatees. After this we went to the food building. We got to see some of the things they prepare for the 1800 animals that live there. We learned that there is only ONE person that coordinates all the diets and ordering of food. Of course, many more people actually get the food ready. Our girls got treated to a monkey biscuit that was basically a very dry all grain cookie. Yuck! They got to see some frozen mice and chick popsicles. Yummy, yummy! Finally, we learned that it is just over $400,000 a month to feed all 1800 animals. Manatees are the most expensive to feed because they eat so much and the price of Romaine lettuce varies greatly. We left there and got to make a detour to where some bats live. Our guide told us that we can only see them fly on these night time trips, so we had to make a stop. There was only one to see, though. Shhh... I was happy about that, but the girls were not! After what was a very full and fun evening, we made it back to the manatee exhibit to set up our beds. It was midnight! We got the girls set up in front of the glass window and they got to lay down watching the manatees until about 12:45. Then it was off to dreamland - for them at least... I am a really light sleeper. If you ever get a chance to do something like this, I highly recommend it... it was so much fun!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

For Debi...

Today is a tough day... it has been 3 years since Debi passed away. I spent last night sleeping with the manatees at the zoo with Savannah's brownie troop, but early around 1am - I was laying there thinking that today was the day it had been 3 years. Some of you who read know me and know who Debi was, others don't. Put in few words - she was my best friend and my sister-in-law. The thing is there aren't just a few words to describe our friendship. I met Debi when I was 16 and she was 18. She had recently married Tim's brother and moved to Illinois where we lived. We were both expecting our first babies. At first we had sort of an awkward friendship. I remember decorating Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas tree with her that first year. They hadn't put up a big tree for many years, but Debi and I volunteered to put it up. We did it rather quietly and probably a little tense for not really knowing each other well. Over the next 6 months, we both gave birth to our first sons and a friendship was born. Soon she moved away, but we kept in touch with real letters and real pictures. We did Bible studies together through the mail. Occasionally, we would get to make the expensive long distance phone call - like when they bought their first condo and she called just bubbling with excitement. Debi went on to have more babies, but I still just had Timmy. I was working in outside employment and she was working on being the best homeschool mom. We had pretty different lives, but we still wrote letters and kept our families in touch. Then something wonderful happened... America Online. All of a sudden, we could send our letters instantly. We could im with each other and our lives changed. She would send me an email each night and each morning I would reply. We talked about everything. Soon, I was wanting to have that next baby. Before I knew it we were both expecting baby girls. Next I was homeschooling. All of a sudden our lives were very similar and we talked all the time. Email, im, and cell phones. She was my life line. She was who I turned to whenever I needed to talk, she was my dearest friend. Some people would not understand how we could be so close and live states away. We would im at lunch time or late into the night. We would call each other when we were out running errands. We talked everyday. All those talks made our friendship. Then it happened... Three years ago tonight was the worst night of my life. I have had a miscarriage and lost my dad, but hearing the words on that night stand out as the worst thing I have ever gone through. It was just a typical day like any other day. I had taken the kids to the dentist and then ran to the new Super Target. I came home and wanted to tell Debi about the Super Target, but I made myself clean my tub and shower before I sat down to type an email. While I was cleaning my shower, I heard one of my pretty wall hanging plates fall off the wall and on the floor. I came out to see what had happened. As I stood in the doorway, I felt the most horrible angry feeling inside of me. I yelled at Timmy for breaking my plate. I yelled so loud and so mean and it was just not me. He told me it just flew off the wall. He started crying because I was so angry and it scared him. I went in my bedroom and sat down on the floor and cried as if I had lost my best friend. I sobbed. Timmy called my mom because he was so upset and wanted to see if she knew how to replace the plate. He didn't understand and thought if he could find me a new plate, I would be fine. I talked to my mom and I cried. She kept asking me why I was so upset and I told her I just didn't know why, but I felt so, so sad. I finally got myself together and finished up this housewarming gift for my neighbor. Debi had given me the idea. I took it across the street to her and talked for awhile. I remember feeling odd the whole time. Then I saw Tim pull into the driveway. I went over to see him. The first thing I told him was that it had been a bad day and I started crying again. I tried to shrug it off and we got on with the rest of the evening. It wasn't till later that the phone call came and I knew. Later I would find out that at the same time my plate came off the wall and I sat and cried - Debi had been killed by her adopted teenage son. All of a sudden I knew why I felt so sad and so lost. Now it has been three years and I still miss her everyday. I had read that it can take seven years to fully get back to daily life like before. I remember being terrified I would feel this bad for seven entire years. The truth is that each year is a little easier, but I don't think the pain ever goes away. Some days may be better than others, but just as soon as you think you are better - you have a day where you miss her so much all you can do is cry. My best way to think of it is this... when Debi was here on Earth she did so many good things for so many people - just think what she will be capable of doing as an angel. I also remember that I was so lucky and so blessed. I was given 15 years of a friendship some people never, ever get to experience. I was given the gift of knowing her and loving her. I learned so many things from her and I am absolutely certain I would not be the mom I am today had it not been for all the things she shared with me. For today is hard to know that it is the day she died, but I will try to stay focused on all the other days we had together. One last thing, say a prayer for her family. We all can use prayers. I am absolutely certain the strength all those prayers have gotten us through.

My old friend, I recall
The times we had hanging on my wall
I wouldn't trade them for gold
Cause they laugh and they cry me
Somehow sanctify me
They're woven in the stories I have told
And tell again
My old friend, this song's for you
Cause a few simple verses
Was the least that I could do
To tell the world that you were here
Cause the love and the laughter
Will live on long after
All of the sadness and the tears
We'll meet again, my old friend
Goodbye, goodbye
~Tim McGraw

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go...

I hope you are not already tired of the "working around the house" posts. If you are, I am sad to say, this is the very BEGINNING of them. I sure hope you will all stick around and go through this "wonderful season" with me. This past weekend, Tim finished all the pavers and concrete in the backyard. Savannah and Sebastian helped by beating the heck out of some extra ones to fill in the concrete blocks before the cement went on top. They really thought that was some pretty fun work. I say he finished this project only to decide that he wants to put some rock down at the end where the yard sloaps. Uggghhhh... I am happy he wants to make it look nice, but we have so many things to do! I keep telling myself that I can count a lot of calories on Sparkpeople if I move each of those slate rocks from the front to the back. How is that for incentive? Next, he worked on the screens around our pool. He got off early on Wednesday and we did 3 of the great big ones. We still have like 9 or 10 left to do, but not all big ones. I think he truly hates the screening job. We even offered the teenage boys a free pay-per-view wrestling party with pizza if they would finish the screens for us. So far, I haven't gotten a huge response to that offer. Today I went to the Albertson's liquor store! No, no, no not so I could drown my home projects in a bottle of whiskey - so I could pick up boxes. Tim is going to start packing up the rec room/garage room so he can have some more room to work on things. Sebastian was engulfed in boxes while we road home. He had quite a perplexed look on his face. That brings me back to painting the bathroom. I just finished one coat of paint and I have great faith I will get another coat done before Sebastian is up from his nap. At least I hope it will be dry enough. (Karen, I don't want to know if I am supposed to wait X amount of hours to do the second coat - I am a mom painting the bathroom, not a painter painting the bathroom! LOL!) My mud job doesn't really look all that great, but my thinking is we are putting the exact same towel bars only newer ones up. They should cover, right? Please humor me here... I still have to paint the living room, dining room, kitchen, 6 six-panel doors, 9 closet doors and help Tim paint the ENTIRE outside of the house. Please be kind and tell me it looks great when I post pictures even if you have to bite your tongue to do it. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten...

Hooray! I can count! Really, I can, but that isn't the reason for this post. The other night at dinner - Tim and Timmy were talking about something. I don't remember what exactly, but Tim said "seven, eight" and then Sebastian said "NINE". We all sorta looked at him like HUH??? Then he went on to say, "Free (three), four, five". I am sure there are those of you out there that think - so what... my two year old did that too. I absolutely know there are two year olds that do that and even three year olds that read. Just not my kids! I have plain, old, typical, everyday type of kids. I remember when Timmy was just about two years old and his cousin, Sean, was 3 months younger than him. We were visiting and Sean was showing me his mommy's shoes. He told me one pair was taupe and one pair was beige. I sat there completely astonished. I mean we hadn't even gotten brown down with Timmy. So, yes, I do know that this is not really a huge thing, but it sure took us off guard. Gotta love NOGGIN because I can tell you that this mommy hasn't really been working number or letters or even potty training with this baby. I have been doing all that other house stuff from my other posts and doing 3rd grade with Savannah. NOGGIN - it's preschool on TV as the commercial says.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day one of painting the hall bath...

How did I go the whole weekend and not post a thing? I don't know and I can't even remember what we did this weekend... oh... I remember now - Tim and I went out on Saturday night. We went to this Chinese/Asian buffet. I liked it, but he wasn't as happy. It took forever to get them to put crab legs on the buffet. I loved it because we were there for a long time and nobody called me MOMMA the entire time I was away. It was like heaven. We left there and decided to run by Walmart. Wow... what an impressing date, you say? I wanted to go there. I wanted to pick up some things so I could start painting the bathroom this week. You know, drop cloths, brushes, square painty thingies, etc. We also desperately needed Life cereal. We got a movie and headed for home. It was a nice date. So, back to my title. Today, I decided to tackle the hall bath. I went in last night and decided we would need to replace the towel bars. I thought that would make it easier to paint since I wouldn't have to tape them up. I got up this morning and did 4 loads of laundry, ran to the store, cleaned up, did school and THEN it was time - time to work on the bathroom. Here was my first mistake. I took a handheld screwdriver to remove the towel bars and rings. I am twisting and twisting and twisting and well you get the idea. Okay, I head back to get the drill. It works wonders on ONE screw and then the battery dies. That always happens. We have two batteries. You would think we could keep one charged at all times, but we never do. Plan B - pop the battery into the charger and go do some history read alouds for Savannah. With a charged battery, I tackle this again. Most of the screws come out with no problem, but there are two that are a pain. I get one of those two out and decide to focus on taking the towel bar down now. Yes, the screws are out, but it is stuck to the wall like glue. I took my utility knife and scored the edges. One bar came down. The other would not be so nice. I got a plain old, flat NON-SHARP butter knife. I wanted to slide it down the back and get leverage. It slipped and I SLICED my hand with a BUTTER KNIFE!!! I mean really sliced! It is deep and it scared the heck out of me. Breathing and breathing and whining I ran into the kitchen for a bandage. Got it on and had a piece of chocolate because at this point I NEEDED that darn piece of chocolate. I now contemplated leaving this battle for Tim to wage. He would certainly come right in and pop the darn thing off the wall with no problem. But... I couldn't. I was determined this was my project. He has so many things to do around here that I can't do for one reason or another. I could do this and I was going to do this... even if I did mame myself with a butter knife. Bandage on, chocolate eaten, I went back to the war. I finally got the second towel bar off along with quite a bit of drywall. HORROR!!! If Tim saw this, he would not be happy. Panic!!! What to do? Mud stuff - we must have some somewhere. He always has that kind of stuff somewhere, right? Sure enough - I found a big bucket of it. I took that flat tool thingie and smoothed it on. Whew... it worked. Okay, there is one circle towel bar left. It has a stripped screw. I pulled and pulled and pulled and finally the bar came down but left the screw. Who put these things up and did they mean for us to hang from our toes on them everyday? Back to the garage for those locking plier thingies. I begin to twist and twist and twist and you get the idea. Success! All I really wanted to do today was tape up the bathroom, take the towel bars off and prime. I had to prime because of the faux finish already there. The prep took way longer than I thought and honestly I thought about putting my feet up and watching Oprah at this point. I didn't do it though. I kept going. Got the primer going and finished one coat - except where the mud has to dry. Did I mention I made homemade lasagna during all of this. Okay, okay, it was homemade awhile back and we froze them. Thank God for those types of things in the freezer or I think I would have cried when it was time to make dinner. We ate, Tim took Sebastian outside on the porch swing and I went back to do another coat of prime. The end of day one. You know after looking at the pictures I took - I didn't think the BEFORE bathroom pictures looked half bad, but the paint really was dingy. It has been 7 years since we painted in there. The after looks, well, like PRIMER. I sure hope it looks better with paint and finished. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween 2006

Halloween was a particular busy one this year. Most years we just go to the city celebration on the weekend and then Tim and I would take the younger ones trick-or-treating. NOT THIS YEAR!!! We were super busy! I have written about the great group of homeschool friends we have made over the past year or so. We have joined our kids together for lots of things and Halloween was no exception. Saturday night our city does a Halloween carnival sort of thing. Lucky for me it is walking distance from our house. We had everyone meet here and head on up to that. They have trick or treating for the kids and then you get an armband for the jumping air rides. It was a full night and my friend took pictures, but I haven't gotten them emailed to me yet. When I do, I will post some. It was sure fun. The next night - Sunday - we went to a Trunk or Treat event at a local church. The kids went round and round and round getting candy. Savannah won 10 free games of bowling in the raffle. We are going to take her brownie troop with that. Sebastian had a blast! He soon figured out they were putting CANDY in his bucket. He was so excited. He held my hand and walked around like a trooper. Monday night, Savannah had a friend over to visit and then Tuesday night was Halloween. We carved on pumpkin on Halloween afternoon. Some teenage boy, who shall remain nameless, let the rechargable batteries for my camera die completely. So, I couldn't take pictures of Savannah carving her pumpkin. We had everyone coming to meet in our neighborhood to go out together. By the time we set out the door, we had something like 18 HOMESCHOOLED kids ages 2 to 17 and 5 adults. How it that for poor, undersocialized homeschoolers? It was slightly overwhelming, but fun. Sebastian walked the entire neighborhood the first time around one side, then he stayed home with daddy while we finished the rest of the houses. Candy, candy, candy!!! We have so much of it and I have been doing so well with my Sparkpeople. I think I may have to make my kids eat it all up so it will be out of my house. I know, I know, I could throw it away, but it is chocolate... that seems so very wrong. It was a busy, whirlwind of doing and going, but oh so much fun! I am sure a Halloween that will be remembered for many years to come.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

Tim and I sat down and wrote up a list of house projects room by room. We have been here for 7 years and done a TON of stuff. New kitchen, bath, torn out wall, new roof, fence, carpet, paint, landscaping, tons of shelving, windows, koi pond, etc. It has been a lot of work and we actually are seeing the end to most of the major projects. Funny how that works... you work and work on a house and then when you are close to being done... you move. We still have a few bigger things to do - drywall the walk-in closet and move the plumbing and electric for the washer/dryer. Finish stucco around where new window went in and then paint the whole outside of the house. And, of course, paint the whole inside living room, dining room and kitchen. We are also going to put new baseboards in there too and then six paneled doors for all the bedrooms/bath. Those are most of our big projects left. The rest are pretty small. Fix a few odds and ends, but when you add them together - they sure take a lot of time. Before my job ended, I had asked Tim to put pavers in our backyard where the grass does not seem to want to grow. Sebastian has been playing out there and he has to walk through the dirt area to get to the rest of the yard. Tim decided to go ahead and do that project because it will make the yard look better from a sales angle too. I thought it was as simple as throwing pavers on the ground and calling it a day. Ummm... I was mistaken! There is a whole lot of leveling, digging, evening stuff that goes on with this. He got a lot done this weekend before we ran out of pavers. Even though it is not done it sure looks a lot better than it did. Unfortunately, I didn't take a before picture. These are the in process pictures. This week I have been finishing up sealing the floor. Yes, we started that awhile ago, but it still isn't done. I should be done by the end of the week, I hope. Like I said - busy, busy, busy.

Wacky Hair Day at Co-op...

I have a few things to post about, but I also have a lot of things on my list to do... so be patient... I am going to get them all on here over the next day or so, I hope. First thing on my camera was pictures from last Friday. Savannah and Tim II go to a homeschool co-op on Friday. It was Wacky Hair Day last Friday. Savannah asked me on Thursday what we could do to her hair. The first thing that came to my mind was when my mom helped me dress up as Bride of Frankenstien when I was like 12 or 13. She teased my hair to perfection and then added the white powder to get the perfect look. That is what popped into my head, but then I quickly remembered that Savannah is 8 and not 13. The amount of whining that would come from teasing her hair that way was really not what I wanted early on Friday morning. I guess we will have to keep that idea for Wacky Hair Day when she is older. On to my next, much easier idea. I told her I could put pony tails all around her head. She didn't like that idea very much, but it was the only one I was telling her... I didn't tell her about the other one. I told her that was fine and she could ponder it until morning. Friday morning came and she woke up to say, "I would like pony tails all over my head, please." Smart girl! This was the finished product!