Monthly Archives: June 2012

what it is now… and what it will be soon(ish)…

here’s davey doing jumping jacks in the grass in the back yard of our “almost home.”

before the end of september, there should be a pool behind him. yep. a pool. a giant in-ground body of water in which to cool off on hot summer days. and hot fall days. and hot spring days. ‘cuz you know all the seasons here in arizona are just “hot.”

 

and here’s davey performing MORE jumping jacks in our back yard in the gravel area:

HOPEFULLY before the end of september THIS area of the yard will be grass and will have a play structure. i love that we’ve taught our kids “play structure.” the term  ”swing set” makes me think of what i had as a kid: two giant metal “As” with a bar across the top and a swing and a teeter-totter hanging down and a slide on one end. i LOVED my swing set. i used it DAILY. i still remember parts of it quite vividly even though we moved out of that house when i was 6 years old. but we want a play structure for our kids. made of wood (metal gets far too hot here!) with swings and a (plastic) slide and maybe a little “fort” area and we plan to have some kind of canvas awning on it. ‘cuz you need that here in arizona.

 

i know you’re wondering why we don’t put the pool where the gravel is to save time, energy and MONEY but based on where the back door of the house is, where we want to put up the fence (to block off the pool from the rest of the yard and from wandering children), we have to flip the gravel and the grass. total bummer, we know. but it is what it is.

 

i don’t know about you, but i think davey was a FABULOUS back-yard tour guide!

 

 

[we also have plans to add a storage shed to the back yard – likely on the side of the house – and some citrus trees. in order of preference, we say LEMON, LIME, GRAPEFRUIT, then ORANGE. not sure how many we’ll plant or exactly where we’ll plant them, but over the next few years, at least two citrus trees will go into the ground!

 

and then around front, this space:

will be perfect for our porch swing (against that back wall – which is the 1/2 garage bay). the swing we’ve had since we got married. it was a wedding gift, in fact. many, MANY thanks to Ken & Ann Kovalik for that amazing gift (they were like my second set of parents throughout my teen years). we will, however, have to build a frame for the swing (or buy one) b/c we’re not sure how we would hang it from the “ceiling” out front.

the stormerator

a few months ago we pulled out davey’s legos (many of which used to belong to dave and his brothers when they were much younger!) and while he would build a few things, he mostly just made a giant mess with them. so back up on the shelf they went. but last week (or was it the week before) when davey was feeling fine but his sisters were still sick, i pulled them out again in an attempt to enjoy a QUIET and UN-INTERRUPTED rest time. it worked. i didn’t hear a peep out of him for an hour…. and then he popped into my room to show me the airplane he’d built. or was it a jet. it was VERY cool and actually VERY impressive (he used some Lego pieces in ways i didn’t know they could  be used! dave later explained to me that they were “advanced” uses for legos).

 

his imagination has taken off over the past week. tonight he showed us this:

 

he called it “The Stormerator.” dave and i were impressed. and davey, oh-so-nonchalantly explained it to us. that angled blue lego you see in the front shoots out rain clouds and makes it rain/storm.

 

 

i LOVE this kid! i LOVE his inventions. and i LOVE his imagination!

 

 

almost

when we pray at bedtime and at dinnertime, this is what she does:

she decided one day she would start folding her hands while we prayed. she melts our hearts. she doesn’t close her eyes. not even a blink. but she folds her hands and it’s ridiculously cute.

 

 

on saturday, we took some time to visit our new ALMOST house. i call it that b/c it’s not ours. not yet. we’re under contract. we’re in escrow. but it’s not ours. not yet. not officially. but we stopped by the house to measure the back yard and then go pool shopping. only one child would cooperate for pictures out front.

she’s a goof ball and a sweet heart and i love her.

(unrelated, don’t you LOVE those archways? i do. and they’re everywhere inside the house, too. ahhhhhhh.)

 

and as we were leaving the house, we decided to drive to what-will-be davey’s school. it’s right down the street. dave says it’s 150 yards down the street. it’s pretty close. davey and i hopped out of the car and ran across the field to the school’s sign to take a few photos:

next week i’ll visit the school (with the kids) to pick up the paperwork we need to get the registration process started. but we can’t finish his registration until he sees the doctor for his 5-year well-child check. for insurance purposes, we can’t do that until AFTER his birthday (july 15). but we’re on vacation on his birthday. so his doctor’s appointment is scheduled for monday, august 6th. then we can officially register him for school. and school will start two days later on wednesday, august 8th! i can’t believe he’s so grown up!

 

so there you have it.

an ALMOST one year old who can ALMOST assume a great prayer position.

an ALMOST four-year old who loves our ALMOST house.

an ALMOST five-year old who is ALMOST a full-time kindergarten student.

 

 

working hard

dave has been working VERY hard lately. on sunday he had a baseball game (work function) to attend. and for the past few days (monday through today) he’s been spending ALL DAY (8am to midnight-ish) with 11 other Development Leads (from Logos) at the Logos house. would you like to see proof of his hard work? ok. here’s a photo another one of the guys sent to me this morning:

 

i’m pretty sure this photo was taken yesterday. apparently some of the guys were busy “working” on their flips. back flips. front flips. whatever flip would get them into the pool. so there’s dave, mid-air, flipping his way into the pool.

 

this computer coding stuff is hard work, huh?

 

thankful

today i am thankful for

- healthy kids

- a sun-filled, bright blue sky

- Target (we have to pick up a few things)

- the pool at the YMCA (b/c we plan to spend a couple of hours there this afternoon)

- pizza for dinner (what better way to make an evening without daddy fun?)

- our new house (photos to come, i promise…. the home inspection is later this week so i’ll be able to measure rooms and windows AND take photos!)

- a (thus-far) scorpion-free home (my friend has found two scorpions in her home in the past 24-hours)

- my brother is going to visit us for a few days!

- we know where Davey is going to school this fall! i can’t get him fully registered until 2 days before school starts (based on his birthday, medical insurance, needing 5-year old/kingergarten immunizations, our vacation dates, etc.) but we know WHERE he’s going and i can get all the paperwork started as early as NEXT WEEK!

- packages from nana (b/c they contain clothing my kids love and the most recent one even included a cute skirt for me!)

 

 

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR TODAY?

picture this…

picture this:

6 weeks (at least?) of house-hunting.

[at least] 36 houses.

3 offers made (well, 4 offers but only 3 houses – we made two offers on 1 house).

 

then it all came to a screeching halt.

 

davey got sick.

then alex got sick and even went to the doctor

then sam got sick and SHE went to the doctor.

then alex started cutting a few new teeth.

then davey got sick again.

 

and finally, yesterday, the kids were “healthy enough” for some more house hunting.

we got to the first house and our realtor (mike) and i were overwhelmed (that’s an understatement!) with the decor in the home. and samantha was terrified when she almost got eaten by a dog (slight exaggeration).

 

house #2 for the day (#38 overall) was a good house. one story (not quite what we want but willing to consider it). but it was one bedroom short for us. but good. possibly workable. no, wait, maybe not. but… okay, maybe. no. well, i don’t know.

 

so on to the next house. we pulled up to the third house  (#39 overall) and alex threw up. a lot. an awful lot. [in retrospect, i think she gets motion sick]. i think i used about 25 wipes to clean up the worst of the mess AND i removed her dress and put a beach towel on her car seat. mike asked if i wanted to bail. [um, nope! i was home with sick kids for 7 days and i was finally out in the fresh air (well, the air-conditioned car) and i was doing my homework/job (house-hunting).... would YOU have bailed?!?]

 

so wearing her diaper and wrapped in a beach towel, we checked out the house. i remember nothing about it. nothing. good thing i took notes on all the houses we’ve looked at. too bad they’re downstairs while i write this!  :)

 

so back in the car and off to the 4th/40th house. i immediately fell in love with the guest room (just to the left of the front door). i did NOT fall in love with the carpet in the dining room. i like the carpet. but not that it’s in the dining room. and i like the kitchen. well, not the ACTUAL cabinets. the color is fine. but they have that “flap” on one door for each “set” so you have to open and close the two doors for a cabinet in a specific order. i HATE those kinds of cabinets. (my apologies if that’s what you have and you like them. it’s a personal preference and it’s my personal preference to NOT like those kinds of cabinets). the laundry room leads to the garage and it’s rather large (the laundry room, not the garage). and then there’s a full bath downstairs and the hallway leads into the second door in the guest room. the backyard looks large (for this area) and it’s large enough for a POOL (needs to be added) AND a play structure (what we’ve been promising davey for over a year)!

 

since the house is unoccupied and my arms were tired of carrying alex around (in her diaper and a beach towel, may i remind you), and the house was CLEAN (brand new carpet) so i put her down and headed up the stairs. the master and the loft are to the right. down the hall there’s a cluster of three bedrooms and a bathroom. and i knew it was the one. well, maybe not THE one, but the NEXT one that was worthy of an offer. yep.

 

so i called dave and he and mike agreed to see the house together later in the day. and i headed home with the kids.

 

and several hours later (though it felt more like DAYS later) dave finally texted me to tell me he was at the house (the kids and i were getting ready to head to the Y to go swimming). and then i saw i missed a call from him so i called him back. and then we decided to make an offer on the house.

 

and two hours later our offer was finished, submitted and a counter had been made. SERIOUSLY. after WEEKS of searching. after walking through filthy pig-sty houses and some beautiful houses. after THREE other offers. it was that easy. that quick. that…. settled.

 

closing is set for July 25 (while we’re on vacation in Washington). we’ll move in sometime in august. so i’ll have to drive davey to school for a few weeks until we move into the house, but it’ll be worth it.

 

to say i’m relieved and i’m thankful and i’m blessed are all understatements. thank you for all your prayers. i’ll share photos soon. or later. but sometime. definitely sometime. but for now, HERE is a link to the redfin listing of the house. what do you think?

 

or if that link doesn’t work for you, HERE is a link to the zillow listing of the house.

 

can you imagine what would (or would not) have happened if i had let (a lot of) Alex’s vomit stop me from seeing houses?!   :)

 

 

so you may have heard…

… that we’re a house filled with sick kids. it all started last week wednesday night with davey. and then thursday morning with davey. and then thursday day and evening with alex. and then friday day with alex. and then friday night with samantha. and saturday morning with samantha. and on sunday everyone was doing “okay.” not great, but it seemed like we were in recovery mode (hooray for recovering on fathers day). and then that night samantha got sick again. and then she was having a rough monday. and then as samantha seemed to recover on tuesday, davey declined. so along with two doctor’s appointments (friday for alex and tuesday for samantha), alex is currently cutting not one, NOT TWO, BUT THREE teeth.

 

so when we left the doctor’s office today and we were already loaded up in the car (as ridiculous as that may be since the doctor’s office is about 0.25 miles from our house), the pathfinder magically found it’s way to a starbucks drive thru where my “i’ve-purchased-15-drinks-so-now-i-get-a-free-one” coupon card was used to buy this exhausted, frustrated, house-bound, stir-crazy, tired-of-hearing-the-whining mommy a special treat:

 

that, my friends, is a VENTI mocha frappacino with whipped cream. and had it not been so hot outside (well over 100*) and had it not melted so darn quickly, it would’ve been SOOOOO worth EVERY SINGLE way-too-many-millions-of-calories. as it was, it was only “worth” the calories. but hey, it was free. ‘cuz you know me – if it’s free, i’m getting the biggest size possible!

 

and in other news, Dave’s car was in the shop (FINALLY) to get a few things fixed. like his a/c. yes. it’s been COMPLETELY BROKEN since we moved here. not such a big deal 4 months ago. kinda a HUGE deal now. we also got his brakes fixed (i HATE that grinding sound of metal on metal!), a new timing belt, an oil change and we had the electrical system looked at. yeah. not fixed. don’t get me started. it wasn’t a pretty bill but his car should DEFINITELY drive better now. next up for the WRX: getting the big dents and scratches repaired (remember the ones I put there that fateful night in January when Davey stuck a piece of cooked rice in his ear as i was on my way out the door to Zumba and it was really dark and i had started to set up in the garage for the garage sale so when i backed out of the garage crooked, like i always did, i scraped his car pretty badly? – yeah, THOSE scratches and dents are FINALLY going to get repaired).

 

this girl is cute, but also quite the handful when she’s teething. she likes to whine (especially if mommy is in sight but is not holding her) and going to sleep is very, VERY difficult. in fact, when she’s NOT teething, we have a new routine: dave puts her in her crib at night. and if she wakes in the middle of the night, HE goes in to calm her down. see, if I have to put her to bed or calm her down, it involves AT LEAST 20 minutes of snuggling and sitting in the chair together with a LOT OF PRAYER that MAYBE she’ll stay asleep when i lie her back down. for dave (or anyone BUT mommy), however, she just drifts off to sleep.

 

 

with all the whining for the past few days, to say i’ve been getting frustrated is an understatement. as an act of desperation, i put her at the kids’ table the other day. on a chair all by herself. her feet don’t even come close to touching the floor. but she sat there, VERY content, and ate a snack and then “colored” in some coloring books (what she REALLY did was eat crayons and try to do it without me catching her – she failed at that part).

 

and since it went so well on Monday, on Tuesday i did the same thing:

she’s really growing up!

 

and finally, alex has gone PACIFIER/BINKY-FREE since saturday. or was it friday?

yep! ALL DONE!

when she was recovering from whatever virus attacked her but the teething started in earnest, she gave it up. wanted nothing to do with it. (she has this REALLY CUTE head shake for “no” now… it cracks me up every time i see it). so her yellow pacifier is in a drawer in her room. her purple one is lost in the house somewhere. and her pink one is in her diaper bag.

 

 

new to us….

a couple weekends ago we ventured to some new parks in Chandler. this one was pretty cool. they had a splash pad (that wasn’t as cool as we had thought/hoped):

 

and a GIANT play ground:

see what i mean? giant. really, really cool. and b/c we were there in the heat of the day, it was pretty deserted.

 

the kids weren’t as excited about the splash pad as we had hoped (alex spent the MOST time there – about 15 minutes) but they LOVED the playground!

 

this little girl CRASHED in the car as soon as we were heading home, but it was worth it. she’s pretty darn cute, even when she’s spitting at me:

 

 

swim fun!

right now we have some nasty bug(s) going around our home so we haven’t been out doing anything FUN in almost a week. last tuesday, the kids were THRILLED when they discovered i had purchased them some kick boards to use in the pool at the YMCA. and then when we GOT to the pool that afternoon, they were even MORE EXCITED that the mushroom was running!

 

we’re praying, praying, praying that we can be back at the pool on Wednesday. but we need ALL THREE munchkins to be healthy!

re-stocking and new designs

about two weeks ago my friend Julie let me know that my pacifier strap stash at The Dutch Market in Lynden was running low. she said there were a few options still for baby girls but there were only frogs left for baby boys. that just would not do! i set about IMMEDIATELY (within the hour, i believe), to make some more! i made some grey and blue and brown monkeys.

 

and then i created a new design: basketballs:

 

and they came together so quickly and easily (even the newly designed and created basketballs) that i tried my hand at a baseball:

not too shabby, if i may say so.

 

so i dug through some drawers and found a few other little felties that had been made but never used for anything. i dug out my ribbon stash and the next day i ventured to Hobby Lobby (without children!) for some new ribbon and velcro. and then i had this:

a pile of ribbon strips, felts and suspender clips.

 

and a day or two days later, i had this:

that, my friends, is a POOR photo of 34 (yes, THIRTY-FOUR) paci straps ready to be packaged and sent up to Lynden! [and i found 5 more ready-to-go paci straps in another drawer].

 

i posted the above photo on Facebook and before i could even get them all packaged and ready to mail, i sold two to a friend from church here in Arizona! earlier this week i packed them all into a priority envelope and shipped them up to the shop in Lynden. i suppose it’s possible that they’re already out on the floor ready for you to purchase! at $7 each, they make a great gift!

 

and in case you’re wondering, i AM working on some MORE new designs. late this week i created some lady bugs:

(you can see my sketch and then the finished product in the above photo). next up (in no particular order): footballs and butterflies.