It's been awfully quiet around here, I know. Do you hear the crickets?
It's mostly because I came across the fact that an URL I wanted for so long became available last month and my SUPER husband has been helping me design a blog home that would allow me to have a more creative design. I don't much get html and css and Internet coding, but it's nice to have some help nearby when one embarks on that. So a special thank you to Andy for working on that with me. I love you, honey.
Roll out the red carpets, sound the horn and come visit me here:
I am holding onto these photos for a special wall project, but I just can't keep them to myself, these images just make me smile. Matilda Jane has been a favorite clothing line for awhile, but I've never had access to a Trunk Keeper until recently. I just love how girly my daughters look- like little dolls. I'm hosting a Trunk Show in October to help showcase this gorgeous line of girl clothes and will be using some of these images to promote the party. Until then, you'll have to wait for the invite ;)
For a couple of months, we have known that we were going to begin Sarah in piano lessons this fall. A nice gal from our church offers lessons in her home and she came highly recommended. It seemed like a good time, since Sarah is excited to learn to play an instrument, but one thing has been weighing on us- we don't have a piano. Nor do we have a savings fund for one. And a piano and lessons kind of go hand-in-hand.
So, we've been looking at ways we could fund it- sell some photography equipment, pawn our good China (which doesn't exist, so it wasn't a viable option) or sell my overpriced, but adorable Ugg boots. Actually, in order to get the digital piano, we would need to have done a combination of all these things.
Do you remember that last week I mentioned we had a Jeep for sale? Andy had put his beloved first car on Craigslist a few weeks ago and hadn't received any bites. Not even a little critter nibble. So each week, he dropped the price about $500 or so until we got a call this past Saturday.
Thank you, Jesus.
Because that one call led to an appointment that led to a test drive that led to a sale. Did you hear me? The Jeep is SOLD! See ya, old friend. And guess how much we sold it for? Just $100 more than the price of the piano we wanted to purchase for our girls. Which covers most of the taxes.
You know what's so cool about God? He cares so much for us as well as the minute details of our lives. We could have called it a great day with being able to purchase a piano, right?? No, He desired to knock our socks off today!
Three more ways God made things happen today:
1. Andy had been sent a bill from the California Tax Board a couple of months ago- he sent a letter off to tell them we were exempt and then another request came. Arg. So Andy called and guess what? It had been taken care of- no $$ was owed. Hallelujah!
2. We had to switch Ashleigh's speech appointment time since Bible study is beginning next week and the schedule allowed Ash to not only keep her SAME speech therapist that she is currently head-over-heels with, but the same time slot on a different day. Who does that? God does.
3.On our way out the door, I checked the mail quickly to see if MAYBE one of Sarah's new piano books arrived- but with doubt since I only ordered them on Thursday. But one of the two had. Which is unheard of on Amazon!
Deuteronomy 28 reminds us that, "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God..."
Here's a shot of three more blessings that put us on our knees before Him for protection and guidance each day:
And let me tell you- today we are counting our blessings. Thank you, Jesus.
1. My (okay, our) truck got demoted in the sharpest-looking-vehicle-we-own department to this little creature:
2. Which leads me to this: Jeep for sale!
3. After just about losing my marbles the other day, I took a hint from Lauren and helped her get acquainted with the toilet. She has been doing remarkably well with being potty trained since Saturday- quickest kid yet! Be encouraged!
4. I have been one crafty machine over the past few days- my current project is actually for a felt swap with the talented & very crafty Katherine Marie. Her little ones can look forward to loading some freight very soon!
5. This past weekend, our neighborhood had a "Back to School" Cookout- and I have to say we live in the most creative neighborhood ever! Amy put together a baggie of crafts and stickers and smartees while Lisa made these super cute cupcakes with a small apple and chalkboard on top (I'll update if she sends a picture). I was in charge of the adult goodies. Since we have two students and two teachers, I put together a 'bouquet of sharpened pencils' (can you reference the movie?). The container is simply a decoupaged wood piece purchased at Michael's, filled with beans and pencils (crayons for the preschool teacher:
6. I went to give a hug to a nice lady at church the other day and she had a bug on her shoulder that was the size of a mini-bread loaf! I thought it was a pin, but it turns out, it was some cicada playing off a little hitchhiking action. She just grabbed that thing like no tomorrow!
7. Speaking of, I keep forgetting how many little toads are around these parts during the summer months. I"m too girly to touch them, but my kids are all about holding them. Proof they have some of Andy's genes in them.
8. I made a meatloaf ring for dinner tonight. It was like cooking something straight out of 1972. Just for the record, I still have to eat my meatloaf with barbecue sauce to down it.
9. I mentioned that I was going to be running the Air Force 1/2 Marathon this month, but I had an injury to my foot that sidelined my training schedule for over a month now. I've had a bone scan and an X-ray done and nothing seems to be coming up, but my foot is still in pain. I'm a little peeved about the whole thing, if you want to know.
10. I will be leaving typepad by the end of the year. Andy is helping me with some coding to get my site the way I would like- as in, combining all three sites I have. I'm very excited for this big move, so stay tuned!
Ashleigh's first day back to pre-school was yesterday- and while she may not have been as excited at the whole idea of me leaving her, you wouldn't have known while she was taking a first day picture for me :)
See, Ashleigh has been pretty timid about going into classrooms for about, oh, a year. She becomes really shy and somewhat tearful, and then clingy.
But when I pick her up, be it preschool or Sunday school, she's her happy joyful self and you wouldn't know how hard of a time she had had going in.
Before we entered her classroom, she stopped to say hello to the school's floppy-eared rabbit, Angel.
Both Lauren and Ash are enamored with this thing. Heck, all the students stop to say hello before check-in.
I'd like to say there wasn't a tearful good-bye, but there are no more pictures of this morning's event to post, because, it was a tearful good-bye. True to one's word, though, she was a happy little bee when I picked her up and she had a great time on her first day back at preschool!
Another day, another afternoon to add to the very long list of Lauren's Antics.
In a matter of ten minutes, she managed to pull down the newly hung bathroom towel downstairs, saturate it with water and dispose of it on the floor which was followed by her being sent to her room. Whilst upstairs she took off her diaper, deposited it on the carpet and proceeded to pee. ON the carpet. Ew. She then got a very loud verbal instruction plan on going potty on the TOILET and got placed on there. As I walked back to clean up the second part of a mama-testing exercise, Lauren managed to take the body wash and squeeze the bottle up and down on her arms and legs and the upstairs bathroom floor.
I. Was. Done.
Started whispering to Jesus- why? WHY? Why would she do all these things?
Then it came to me- in all cases, the floors did need to be cleaned.
It's a good thing she's cute otherwise I'd send her packin'!
Sarah has been pretty savvy with the Internet lately- she's had a drop down menu for some favorite online kids' sites and recently joined in on the magical world of googling. I had to block a couple of things, just to be safe on what games were coming up (my six-year-old doesn't need to be dressing Nicole Richie's cartoon baby, I think), but we're mostly smooth sailing around here.
It shouldn't surprise me, then when she had opened my e-mail and called me over to share that she had sent a note to one of her friend's moms. What?! Oh no, I thought! I didn't check it, first. Luckily, she just added a note to my inbox, but I could see she was really excited about this newly discovered form of communication she has access to. So, I showed her how to compose a message and she got busy.
The old hunt-and-peck method worked like a charm (pssshhhht-pay no attention to the dust, no one really sees that here):
She verbally composed her message, asked me to write it down and then I thought it might be a good opportunity for her to work on some spelling, so she had to finish it off. So this index card is what she was typing from- seriously, SO cute!
Andy asked me if she was going to get her own e-mail account now... um, no.
On that note, some pet shop game is beeping at me right now. It's hungry. Which makes me wonder: Is feeding virtual pets like the epitome of a time waster?
Do you remember trying to fall asleep the night before the first day of school? It was always the worst night sleep for me (until I had kids, of course) all year long. I would toss and turn and think and think. Did I decide the right shoes to wear (okay, the older version of my student-self)? Was my teacher cool or strict? Would I sit next to my good friend or a new face in class? And mostly, how long until recess?
Well, Sarah experienced that very same night-before-the-first-day-of-school-restlessness before she finally fell asleep downstairs on the small sofa. Andy and I busied ourselves in the kitchen filling out what seemed like a thousand forms (Mom, I appreciate you more for the time you took to fill out those stinkin' emergency forms forever ago), sharpening 12- #2 pencils before the mechanical pencil sharpener's motor gave out, and labeling EVERY little thing. But no matter how much preparation and busy work you give way to, it does not stop the time from passing and the morning to come.
And she couldn't have been more ready for her first day in first grade. Look at this girl, my six-year-old with a fresh new bob, her sassy high-tops (that we are still need to learn how to tie) and a trendy little dress ready to impress. Or at least for the early morning bus.
Here's a side-ish view of the cut for Grammy:
Her little sisters were inside peeking out while I took a few pictures. They crack me up.
Well, then they came out to see her off.
Last one, Mom, it's time to go!
I barely got a kiss and a wave and she was off.
Sarah had a fantastic day on her first day of school and was greeted off the bus with fresh cookies from one of our neighbor friends. It sounds like her first day was a success!
Thanks for sticking around from the camera happy mama!
The town just north of us hosted its annual Sweet Corn Festival this past weekend. We were sure to put it on the calendar since we missed it by two weeks last year! We went on Saturday afternoon, which happened to be record breaking temperatures for our mild Ohio summer we have been having. Seriously, when the sweat is running down your back, you know it's hot.
Forget about how hot we were, what about the guy behind the mask?? This is the Dayton Dragon mascot, our local minor league baseball team. Good thing that smile is plastered on the costume, I had some major sympathy for him:
Everyone was pretty much cranky. I think I was the only one having a good time looking at marshmallow throwers, bow and arrows and Beavercreek American Girl Doll Cheer Uniforms (those booths sure do have some random things, don't they?), and their was a couple of smiles as we approached the big bouncy houses. Ah, relief, I could almost hear my kids shout.
Look at Andy pulling out the wallet. Dads are awesome!
The other highlight for the girls was free popcorn from one of the church sponsored booths. We should have snatched some free water, too, but I was feeling too guilty for having just charged $1 a bottle at home.
I was most excited to buy fresh sweet corn- and come home and learn how to shuck it. To be completely honest,as with most of my new experiences, I like to figure things out on my own and skip reading the how-to (insert Andy rolling his eyes). Now I wouldn't necessarily do that with hang-gliding, but it wasn't too hard to figure out. At least the festival had corn, otherwise, it would have been a total flop.
I asked Andy to hold one up and this is what I got:
Just about a year ago, we signed Sarah and Ashleigh up for gymnastics. Little did we know that Sarah would love love love it and Ash would rather dance. Sarah was doing pretty well at her regular session classes and not too long after beginning, the coach approached us and asked if she thought we might be willing to try Sarah at the pre-team practices- which added another weekly 2-hour practice, plus a little adjusting of the monthly budget.
It's a funny thing, this gymnastics thing- on one hand Sarah has become very strong and bendable, on the other hand, I am convinced that it's
also two additional hours of social time for her (you should see her giggle and laugh and joke around at practice. I have to remind myself she's 6). Andy and I had a long talk and decided that we would like to have Sarah try out other sports before she settles on gymnastics for the rest of her extra-curricular career.
I can't be sure that this is the right decision, but I'm glad that for now, she won't be breaking her back
on the high bars.
Here's a quick look at some of her (albeit short) gymnastics career:
Headed to Gymquest one afternoon. Realized I didn't have the right lens and didn't bring the camera in.
At Gymquest with the wrong lens and the wrong leotard on, but realize this is our last opportunity
to get a few shots of her doing her thing at the place. So whatever, here is my bendable 6-year-old:
(she actually does this at home without her coach, which really impresses me!)
Ta-Da! Whatever she finds her niche to be, I hope she excels tremendously!
Since our sub-division was having a community garage sale this weekend, I thought it might be a good idea to bring out the lemonade stand that the girls and I keep talking about doing for months. So a few nights ago, I made a little sign from this idea here (thanks again, Martha) and also decided that selling a snack and water bottles might lure in non-lemonade types.
It totally worked! Of course, I was just hoping that the girls would make $10 to make them all happy, they got lucky and brought in $35!
Our first customers right at 9:15!
The older girls were very social during our lemonade stand hours, I don't blame them, we have a fun neighborhood!
I'm really proud of my sign, I have to give it a closer look for you:
I tried my darnedest to keep the goodies from the girls, but Little Lolo somehow weaseled her way into a bag of treats...
There you have it, an easy breezy way to create a fun-filled Saturday morning!
This past Friday, the girls and I set out to Young's Dairy for a little miniature golfing fun. This is the same place we went last fall to pick out pumpkins, enjoy a hayride and their famous ice cream! I meant to take the girls earlier in the year, but you know how plans have a way of shifting, so...
I opted for the easier course. With three kids in tow, I was sure some balls would escape, so I thought I'd go light for our first go-around. It was a good decision- I could really only handle two putt-putters trying to hit the straight and narrow.
Everyone had a blast- Sarah's swing is not shy on power- perhaps just a little more control and polish and she'll get those balls in under par!
She got a little warm out there and improvised:
Ashleigh had the hang of gliding the ball on the course and then chasing it around the carpeting. I showed her at least half a dozen times how to hold her club with her thumbs up, but I had to keep reminding myself that she is 4. She has time to perfect her game before we keep score for REAL.
Speaking of keeping score- we had the cutest little volunteer that was very happy to do her job.
So was the picture lady in the cowgirl hat:
A good first putt-putt day- highly recommended and the reward: ice cream of course! You'll just have to trust me, we really enjoyed the latter.
I. The girls became owners of a new craft table a couple of weeks ago. Thank you, IKEA. Andy cut a few inches off the legs of a regular sized table to make this one fit Sarah's sitting height as well as Lauren's sitting height. Genius.
II. You may have heard of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? They took over a neighborhood not too far from here this past week to renovate a very deserving family's home. I just couldn't manage a day to get down there with the girls, so this is the closest I've been able to get. We're going on Sunday to see it in person- I heard the episode will air in October!
If you want to see some behind the scenes (and my friend Susan!!) check out the builders' site here.
III. We finally took advantage of the once-a-month Home Depot Kids' Workshop last weekend. If you're paying close enough attention to our festival fever, you'll see we fit this activity in among them. Home Depot was out of cutie orange aprons, but we'll be back. Sarah and Ash loved making these memo boards.
IV. I finally got around to posting our double stroller on Craigslist. We received five calls in a matter of two hours. Why did I procrastinate this for so long?
V. The girls and I went to putt-putt today. More on that later, but here's a shot of our little score keeper to tide you over- delicious!