Monday, May 31, 2010

The Down Side of Summer Vacation

We have all been enjoying our summer vacation so far! But there is one down side...
We no longer see Foxy every morning and every afternoon at the bus stop.
Two of us in particular are very sad about this change of schedule. I guess I need to arrange a Foxy playdate!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Came home from the Temple last night and checked the mail from the weekend... and a very nice surprise was inside! The refund check from the Escrow account from our townhouse arrived. We knew it was coming, but we had no idea how much it would be- we were hoping around $200, but it was much, much more, and we can now buy an oven!!

Take a moment to dance with me!

I think it will also be enough to buy a microwave to be installed above the oven!

Woo Hoo!

There are still some things that need to be done- we have to rip out the cabinet, patch the flooring, run a gas line, and move an a/c vent, but at least I feel like we can get started and we aren't sitting around waiting!

I think of all the four months since my oven went out, the past two weeks have been the hardest. Mostly because we had finally paid off every cent of debt that needed to be eliminated, which meant that every penny that came on my paycheck would go toward the kitchen remodel- starting with the oven. I was all set to go to work, earn some money, and order an oven. Unfortunately, I got called off both of my working nights, so therefore the money went down to zero. After that, I was just so annoyed with the whole situation, and it felt like it was going to be forever until we would be able to make any progress.

Kydon wanted to just finance it with the offers of 0% interest, but I was adamant that I did NOT want to go into more debt for it. My parents also generously offered to loan us the money, but again, I felt like we were not just avoiding debt, but also learning a lesson about spending habits. And, believe it or not, an oven is not a NEED. We ate just fine for a good four months without one. Yes, it was a pain at times, and yes, there was a lot of food I couldn't make, but overall it was something that we could wait on.

Now, after an unexpected check (a blessing from above), I have been doing the happy dance all day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Old Switch-er-oo

I heard Aidan and Jack whispering upstairs a few days ago.

"Jack, let's switch pants, and then Mommy won't know who we are" [giggles]

A few minutes later a boy came down the stairs. At first I thought it was Aidan, but he had Jack's pants on, so I called him Jack. Then the other one came down, so I called him Aidan.

And two boys were dying with laughter at pulling a fast one on Mommy!

The funniest part (besides the fact that they look NOTHING alike) is that these two share everything- pants, shirts, undies, toys, EVERYTHING. The only thing in the whole world that has any kind of ownership is shoes. They will never, never, ever wear each others shoes. "Mommy, if I wear dat shoe, everyone will think I'm Aidan". As they were switching clothes, I hear them arguing about the shoes. Aidan said they should switch shoes because then I would really be tricked. Jack disagreed, because he just can't bring himself to ever, ever put on Aidan's shoes! They came down the stairs with no shoes! I am still laughing about them thinking that switching pants would really fool me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's in a Name

She wants to be Abby. Not Abigail. A-b-b-y.

I'm not really opposed to it. We quite often call her "Abba", which is very close to Abby. But it feels strangely odd to call her Abby. I can't quite get used to it, and I'm not sure I want to.

So far, she has only corrected me once from calling her Abigail. I hope she soon forgets all about it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Abigail and her friend have been trying to arrange a playdate for several weeks now. Today was the event of the century and we finally made the connection to have her over.
I have heard nothing but giggles since the moment she arrived!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Different Monday

Today feels very different! A new kind of schedule, a new feeling in the air, and it is great so far!

Kydon is usually pretty happy to head off to work, but I could tell he very much wanted to stick around today! It is hard for him to have us doing fun things while he has to work.

We started out with a bang- I revived our work plan from last summer with a few tweaks. They each do "morning work"- get dressed, brush teeth, put on shoes, and one quick job- two of them empty the dishwasher and one clears and wipes the table.

I handed out the TV tickets. They each get 4 tickets. One ticket for a regular show, two tickets for a movie. And every once in a while we can have a "Mommy Choice" show!

We also added a new feature this week- weekly work. Starting out with 3 jobs each (I may increase it as the summer goes on) that need to be completed by the end of the week. Abigail and Jack jumped right in and finished their whole list this morning. Aidan wasn't feeling up to the task, so he will work on his throughout the week. One of my personal goals for summer is to teach them how to do some of the jobs that they are old enough to do, but I haven't ever had them help because it takes so long to teach them. So now they are working on vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. So far, so good.

And, of course, there are many fun things planned as well. Today Abigail has a friend from school coming over, and we will do some swimming in the afternoon. Tomorrow is the train museum, Wed we are heading out for a hike, Thursday we will head to Stone Mountain, and Friday we are heading out of town to visit the Temple, since the Atlanta Temple is under construction. Should be a fun, busy, fabulous week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Last Day

Friday was Abigail's last day of school, and it was also the last day of Sports Class for Jack and Aidan. They have LOVED this class! They have learned some basics of baseball, football, basketball and soccer. And it was taught on their level. Just right for this age!
Here they are getting instruction before starting to chase their balls all over the gym!
Getting ready to try some long kicks. I think we will sign them up for soccer in the fall- they are actually pretty good, and are excited to start.

Before and after each sports class, we head over to the other gym and shoot some hoops. Jack could shoot for hours. He just throws it up over and over and over. Last time he actually made a few shots, and this time he sunk maybe 10 baskets!! Pretty amazing for a shrimpy 5 year old!
He uses a kind of modified Granny shot where he throws it from the side to get it high enough.

This one went in! He gets so excited when he makes one! I was pretty surprised to see him get so many!

I told him to smile for a picture, and instead I got "You goin' down!" He already has the trash talk ready!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The very last day

Yesterday was Abigail's last day of Kindergarten! I had her pose for a picture, since we always make sure to get a first day picture!

This is a wall where we hang some of the artwork that she brings home. I am going to clear it off this summer and get it set for the next year!

She had the best teachers and friends this year- we absolutely loved Ms. M! I hope one of the boys gets her next year! The little blonde is a sweet girl in our neighborhood- we have constant playdates with her!
Ms. Z was also great! Abigail loved them both!
Tons of games and party time on the last day! I was mostly trying to help Jack and Aidan not feel too left out of all the fun! We came early in the morning and started the party, then the boys and I left to attend their last day of Sports Class, we had lunch at CiCi's Pizza for our "pre-k" party, then came back to Abigail's school for ice cream, cookies, and more play time!
More of her little friends... this one is moving this summer- we are going to miss her!

Such cute friends this year! I can't wait to see if any of them are in her class next year!

Although I think all the excitement, party time, candy, cookies, and sugar in general was just a bit too much... after crying for a couple of hours, she sacked out on the couch and slept the rest of the day! She is going to miss her Kindergarten!

More Summer Fun

I've been updating my list of summer time activities. Thanks everyone for all the ideas! Please keep them coming!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fishing game for a little boy

With two little nephews turning 4 this month, I decided to make them each a little fishing game. This is a really simple project, and really fun for the kids!

Just layer the fabric wrong sides together, put batting in the middle, add in a magnet or metal washer, and top stitch a little fish shape. Then cut close to the seam line with some pinking shears.

Grab a dowel threaded with ribbon, glue a magnet to the end, and you are finished!

We had to try it out... just to make sure it really works!
Caught one!
"Gone Fishin"

All packaged and ready to go. I hope they like it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Time Fun

I've been making a list of ideas to keep the kids busy this summer. If you can think of anything else, leave me a comment! (each asterisk indicates that we've done it already!)

  • Dollar movie
  • IKEA (free child care for 1 hour, then eat lunch with Kydon)
  • Hiking
  • Swimming *
  • Stone Mountain
  • Free movie
  • Host a cousins party
  • Train museum *
  • Piedmont park
  • Telso museum
  • Sprayground
  • Slip and Slide down our backyard hill
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Play-Doh
  • Visit the beach at Lake Lanier
  • Walk to the park
  • Art projects *
  • Grade-level workbooks, sight words for Jack and Aidan
  • Grandma's house
  • Play with neighbors
  • TV *
  • Teach the kids how to do some of the harder cleaning jobs (showers and tubs, vacuum) *
  • Paper dolls and light saber fights

I'm adding to my list everytime an idea pops into my head! I know I will need some creative ideas in about 10 days!

Updated with more ideas:

  • fly kites
  • paint with water on deck
  • sidewalk chalk *
  • riding bikes/ scooters
  • puppet shows
  • library *
  • take doughnuts to a friend
  • PLAY
  • Kennesaw Mountain

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Morning yet again

Today is a little strange. I was supposed to work all weekend- two 12 hour shifts. Kydon took the kids to visit his parents, letting me sleep in peace. Sat. night they cancelled me. Sunday night they cancelled me. I was supposed to be asleep right now, with the boys at their favorite jumping place. So I feel a little out of sorts, when my schedule isn't what I thought it would be.

Plus I am that much farther away from my kitchen remodel, since it is being funded by my work.

So, instead of working all weekend, I was alone... and did absolutely nothing! And I really do mean nothing. Food network and I became very well acquainted.

This is the last week of school. Abigail has planned out every outfit for the week. And changed each one at least 3 times. She is so adorable. I remember doing those same things. I have been thinking of summer time. What to do. How to keep everyone busy and happy and having fun. And not driving me crazy. It will be a large task!

I really, really want to buy these paper dolls for Abigail. As soon as she gets home from school, I will see if she likes them as well. They remind me of my childhood. I remember getting paper doll books with my sisters, and carefully cutting out each tab. I love them! If she likes them, maybe we can delve into this world...

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Five? Since When?

One minute you have two boys hanging on your legs, not letting you walk...

The next minute, one of them learns to "pump", and suddenly he wants to spend time outside, and when we go to the park, he no longer spends his time begging for a push. He just goes off and swings. What nerve.

And, before you know it, they think they are ready for kindergarten.

I don't know when this happened.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Birthday Photos

A few photos from the birthday celebration!

Jack blowing out candles. And look- their zombie friend came! Store bought cakes, because, you know, no oven. And while I really don't enjoy making and decorating cakes, I even more don't enjoy paying buckets of money for them. So, good to know.

Birthday cake round two. Actually, I tricked you all, because *really* Aidan blew his candles out BEFORE Jack, but the way the pictures are, it looks like Jack went first. I'm tricky like that!

A small part of the crowd that came! It was so fun to see everyone! I love this style of party, because I actually enjoy myself as well, instead of the all-kid party where I just want it to be over!
Jack with their primary teacher. This woman is a saint! You would not believe the tantrums and bad behavior she has put up with! She has been their teacher for 2 years now, and she can work some serious magic in getting them to do things! And she even came to their party! A saint, I tell you.
There was weaponry from all different time periods. From the revolutionary war...

To a galaxy far, far away. They love it all! I would never have guessed that I would not care at all about buying them toy guns and such! To quote the song... "If it makes them happy, it can't be that bad"!
Abigail carrying on the family tradition of "Heavy, Heavy Hangover".
All in all it was a great day, and they have been happily playing ever since with all the fun toys!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Hundred and One

Today marks one hundred and one days since I've had an oven. Last night I got desperate and made a mexican lasagna AND banana bread... in my toaster oven! It only took an hour to heat up the loaf pan sized lasagna, and, you know, one small loaf pan to feed 5 hungry people does not really work out all that well.

I started the banana bread after dinner. It took a little figuring out- like don't fill the pan too full, because the top of the bread will literally hit the top element as it rises. But, once I figured it out, I was able to bake some decent banana bread- one at a time. It only took until almost 10 pm to finish it.

Must be nice to have an oven that would fit more than one loaf pan at a time.

I am waiting to save up the money for all new kitchen appliances, and then I will get my oven.

Kydon is pushing for buying the appliances on credit, and paying it off instead of saving up. But it has taken us several years to get our debt back under control, and I really don't want to get back in that situation! I am pretty adamant to pay cash for what we buy!

However, as I have been writing this, the dishwasher is making a very strange knocking and grinding sound.... it does not sound good!

I can pretty much promise I won't be living without an oven *and* washing dishes by hand!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Birthdays and Camping and Celebrating... Oh My!

If I wait to post pictures, the post may never happen. Jack and Aidan's birthday was a great success. They had more fun than expected, and they had very high expectations! Now they are busy trying to figure out the hierarchy of weapons... a sword beats a bow and arrow, gun beats sword, light saber beats them all. There are more complexities, but they are greatly enjoying all the weaponry they got for their birthdays!

We went camping this weekend to celebrate Kydon's birthday. I surprised him with a "camping quilt"- a denim quilt we started together more than 12 years ago. I finished it and we took it camping and got it good and dirty! The past several trips we have taken we have noticed something different- and we noticed it again this weekend. Our kids are SO easy to do things with! On this campout, I sat my hiney down in a camping chair, and honestly didn't have to move it too much! They are at an age where they travel pretty easily, and I don't have to be after them every second! When it was time to go to bed, they all just laid down and went to sleep! It was heaven, I tell you!

Mother's Day was awesome. It is all in the attitude! I love the little cards they fill out at school and church that are filled with interesting facts like that I am 99 feet tall and weigh 25 lbs. Jack and Aidan assume that I am 5 years old, and then there is a little gem here and there about how much they love me. It melts the heart every time.

Jack only throws a fit about once every 6 months, but when he does, it is a doozy. He threw one this week. He was mad that he didn't have the right kind of clothes... bad mommy didn't do laundry fast enough. He ran out of time to choose and I threw him in the car in his underwear. When we got to the store, he decided to get dressed before going in. But then the joke was on me when he revealed that while at home he had taken out my wallet and hid it in the house. Let's just say that it was a loooong time before he saw his favorite clothes again!

This week is crazy, as usual, it seems. Monday I have meetings and places to be all day, babysitting in the afternoon. Tuesday I have kindergarten testing for the boys, sports class, and a quilting project for church happening at my house. Wednesday is the "Kindergarten round up" to show the boys the school, book signing night for Abigail, and a date for more celebrating of Kydon's birthday. Thursday a baby shower, Friday a "girl party" while the boys in the family go on the Father and Sons campout. Saturday morning is the CF walk, and then I just have to go to work Sat. and Sun. Should be no big deal, right???

In the midst of all the business, I am having the pleasure of witnessing a metamorphosis. The kids found a caterpillar and put him in a jar. Amazingly, he didn't die! He actually ate all the leaves stuffed all around him, and then a few days ago, he started spinning a web. It has been amazing to watch him spin the web and form the coccoon! I can't wait to see him emerge as a butterfly!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Best Mother's Day

Last year, I had the best Mother's Day I've ever had. To read about the changes I made, click on over to Deep South Moms to read all about it.