Thursday, February 26, 2009

We are organizing!

Well, sort of organizing. We had a warm day for February in Iowa, in the fifties yesterday. Todd was home, no doctor/dentist/hair you name it appointments, so we worked in our garage. One of the pitfalls of moving every year is that you tend to pack up things you are in a hurry to pack up and never getting around to unpacking them, because by the time you get to them, you are packing again. Since we moved in our house the end of October, we didn't get much done in the garage before the cold and snow hit. We could park one car in the garage, but the other half was all kinds of random stuff. Todd thinks we need to have everything where it is going to go before we start any more projects, and he is probably right. I tend to be a little bit of a scatter-brain, well maybe a big scatter-brain. I jump into stuff when the mood strikes, making more of a mess as I go along! So, with Grandma and Grandpa coming next week to help with projects, it was time to get stuff where it needed to be. We are blessed in this house to have a basement and an attic, we've never had both in one house before. We are determined to not have them become black holes of junk. Todd has big plans for the basement, most of which involve the colors crimson and cream. (Oklahoma University colors, for our northern friends=)) I have big plans for a garage sale the first Saturday of May. One whole corner of the attic is dedicated to garage sale stuff. It is growing by leaps and bounds, and I am ecstatic. It has been hard to get rid of things when we move so much because you think you may need that in the next house. Never mind that you probably won't be able to find it, or that the cost to just get a new one is not enough to justify keeping it. I read in one of my many organizing books that the space you have is the space you have. Don't try to cram stuff in it or keep stuff for later that you just don't have the room to keep. Now that we have finally bought a house, I guess it is easier to get rid of all this stuff.

My Grandma, mom and aunt had a garage sale every fall for as long as I can remember. They only quit a few years ago, I guess they finally got rid of all of their junk! It was so fun. I loved going over to Grandma's the night before and setting up. I loved going after school on Friday to see what was gone and eat a Daylight Donut leftover from breakfast. I loved that if we made enough we would get to order pizza or get takeout food for dinner. (Yes, I am old enough to remember the days when this was an exception instead of the rule!) This was no ordinary garage sale either. Grandma knows how to do it. This was like the Von Maur (fancy, for our Southern friends) of garage sales. She had departments. I am surprised my mom did not craft some sort of signs, a map of the store, etc. to make it easier for the customers. I think about the people that came every year, they knew where to look for clothes, housewares, etc. She had hangers, sacks, you name it, she was prepared. She had the perfect desk for the money, and muffin tins to make change in that just fit in the drawers. She always let me help do the money, even though I'm sure I tried her patience. I was real into money and calculators when I was young. I am so fast on the ten-key that a few years ago I even had someone ask me if I would like a job doing ten-key something at their office, I don't even know what it was now, but they were impressed. Anyway, it's nice to have a talent! I don't know if our garage sale will be that fancy. I don't have any metal poles and chain to construct a hanging rack for clothes (like Grandma always did), but I do have the layout already done in my head. Todd, of course, thinks this is crazy. His favorite saying when we clean and organize is "Throw it away!" I can't do it. I think at the very least we should take stuff to Goodwill, which we do quite often. But, I don't see why we wouldn't want to make a little extra money with all this junk and maybe help people in the process. Plus, it's fun. The boys love it. And, we could use the money to redo our bathrooms, asap. They are forever stuck in the seventies and I can't take it anymore!

It is supposed to rain today. I love rainy days, always have, especially with a little thunder mixed in. I really love them now, it reminds me of home. Oklahoma gets it's share of thunderstorms to put it mildly. Hopefully it won't turn into snow or ice.

Please pray for Todd's Grandma, Edith. She fell Monday and broke her hip, broke a rib, and punctured her lung. She had surgery yesterday and is doing well, all things considered. She has a long road with rehab and such, and I don't think she is going to be too happy about it:). Pray as well for Todd's parents, Roy and Charlene, as they rearrange their lives to take care of her. She lives them already but there are of course will be a lot of doctor visits, therapy, etc. that comes with this kind of thing.

Nanny Edith and Callie in March 2008.
Grandma Lanier, me, Callie, and Grandma, four generations! (March 2008)

One 1975 bathroom, yes red counter, and what used to be a white floor, I think.

Another 1975 bathroom, black tile and this lovely gold and black floor. And, you can't see it, but someone got crafty and painted the grout in the shower black. Don't know what they painted it with but everytime I clean, more black runs down. This is a lot of fun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happiness Is A Choice

I really do believe happiness is a choice. This morning I am repeating it to myself over, and over, and over... I woke up in not such a great mood, so bare with me while I preach to myself! It's my own fault, I didn't get enough sleep and had a waaaay to long to do list this weekend that didn't get done. That is always setting myself up for failure, I should know better than to even have a to do list! But, I really do think happiness is a choice. So, today I am going to choose to be happy. This is not hard when I look at all that God has given me! OK, I'm better now=)

We are on the countdown to birthdays. Kellen, our resident calculator, calendar, timer, anything time-related person, is counting down to his twelve birthday. And, in case you didn't know, he was born on his daddy's birthday. So, Todd is counting down to his fortieth! Well, I don't know if he is counting down, but he knows it's coming! (Thanks to Kellen:)) March 8 is the big day. Kellen has decided he wants a laptop computer. OK, no problem. Actually, he has decided he is going to buy himself a laptop, that is all he wants so he is using his money from Christmas and his last birthday and allowance to buy one. Of course, he also is counting on money from certain people this year to help=). He found one at Sam's that is not expensive, but it also has an 8-inch screen! I keep trying to tell him he'll be sorry, that he'll have a headache after about ten minutes of use. I am also wondering, do you let a twelve-year-old have their own computer. I know there are millions of children who do. But, we tend to be a little old-fashioned, so it's not sitting right with me. He is a good boy, responsible, and pretty good at disciplining himself for an almost twelve-year-old boy. (He's up doing his math in his pj's before his brothers get up, because he knows he can't concentrate as well when they are up. Wish I was this disciplined!) I just worry about him disappearing in his room and us not seeing him until he's eighteen. I know, this is coming with or without the laptop, but I'm in denial, so don't remind me. Kellen in a great saver and has been diligent in looking for the right "deal", so I almost feel like we should reward that behavior. We'll see what happens....

A box of fabric came this weekend that included the materials for Callie's Easter dress. Poor thing, she is going to be the guinea pig in all of my craftiness! At least until she can throw a fit about it, which probably won't be too long! I can't wait to start on it, I need to get busy in case I need to go buy her something when it doesn't work out. I enjoying sewing, embroidering, quilting, all of it, it just doesn't always turn out the way I think it is going to! Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

We got the little table out of the basement for Callie to sit at. Kellen got this table and chairs for his second Christmas and it has survived all the moves and garage sales. Callie has taken to wanting to get up at the big table and sit in the chairs, or stand in the chairs, or climb onto the table, or any combination of these things. She falls or a chair falls on her at least once a day. I thought she would like to sit here while we are trying to do schoolwork. She likes it if someone is sitting with her, but the rest of the time she wants to be with us at the big table. You would think I had never had kids before. They want to do what the "big people" are doing, not the miniature version! She was pretty proud of it though!

Kellen teaching Callie to draw.

Gannon being creative with shapes.

Garrett working on math. The kid can't sit down and work at the same time. Luckily his teacher allows this. (If she didn't, I don't think he would ever get done!)

Kellen sitting at the computer. I'm sure the smile is because he is done with his schoolwork! He is wearing his haversack. His Uncle Ryan made it for him for Christmas. It is something they used in the Civil War (and probably other times!). Yes, Ryan made it by hand for him, Kellen loves it and still marvels that Ryan made it. Ryan used to be a Civil War re-enactor, so is full of all kinds of info. I keep trying to get him to come visit us and give them a history lesson, but for some reason he thinks Washington DC and Boston are more exciting places to visit. He doesn't know exciting until he's lived with four kids!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reinforcements are coming!

We are slowly but surely getting work done on our house. We were really gung ho in the beginning, then we realized how looooooong everything takes. Times that by four kids and two parents that really don't know what they are doing, and it really takes a looooooong time! My biggest problem is that I can't make decisions. I have lists, books, magazines, websites, visions in my head, all competing to win in our house. Then there is the budget. Even if I could go in pick anything I wanted, I don't think I could. I was raised to be frugal, it's in my genes. Even Grandma Lanier, who, lets say, could be a little less frugal and be able to pay her bills, is still frugal. I'm glad it's in my genes, I think it is called being responsible and being a good steward with your money, as God intended. But, it does add another dimension to the decision making. And, unlike Grandma, we really can't be less frugal!:)

Let's take toilets for example. This is what we shopped for yesterday. Did you know there are million choices of toilets? It is really stressing me out! Todd and I were discussing our to-do list last night and I am wondering why anyone would get a toilet with a one-star flush rating when you could get a five-star flush-rating. Yes, they have flush ratings. Do you think the same people test them that test the cars for crash ratings? (Just kidding.) I also read that elongated toilets are better for boys, round toilets are better for potty-training girls. Who knew? Do you think in the past there were big discussions about whether to did the hole elongated or round? Then mother put her vote in, she likes round. She does go to the bathroom a lot when she is here, so should her vote count? The next problem is that at Lowes, for example, all the toilets are mounted above your head. I would think it would be nice to sit on them, if it's not comfortable, cross it off the list. They do have a few on the floor, for six hundred dollars! I'm not paying six hundred dollars for a toilet. And then the toilet also has to look right. Another area I'm not good at. But, I'm not hiring a decorator to help me pick out a toilet. I know what I like, but sometimes it doesn't come together like I think it is going to. I really don't want to have to do this twice, because the icing on the cake is shopping for toilets with four kids. Especially when three of those kids are boys. Enough said.

So, back to my title, reinforcements are coming! Mom and Dad, AKA Grandma and Grandpa have tickets to come the first week of March. Yeah! They said to make a list of things we need help with. I think they will realize it is never good to volunteer for something that broad. The things we need help with are too many to even list, and are not limited to home remodeling, which is what I think they were referring to! I really feel bad for them to come visit and they feel like they have to help. I really try to treat our family like guests when they come visit. But, with parents, it's hard. There is that comfortableness (is that a word?) that comes with knowing you are taken care of around them, even when they are in your home. It's easy to let your guard down. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can do some fun stuff too. Although redoing houses is fun to them, I don't think I got that gene! I like to shop for all the stuff, just not do anything with it!

They boys have been talking about baptism some lately. I have to laugh because their inner thoughts have really come out in their conversations, those deep thoughts that define them as people. Garrett, 8, asked me how old you have to be to be baptized. I told him it wasn't decided by your age. Before I could go into my speech about it all, he said "oh, is it by height?" Bless his heart, he is so used to being to small for things, like rides and such. He probably never thought he would be tall enough to get into Heaven! I'm sure he was imagining one of signs with a cartoon character and a ruler telling you if your were allowed into the baptistery. Kellen, of course, is worried about what to wear! He asked me if he were to be baptized if he would have to take two outfits to church. I guarantee he has outfits already picked out! He is always all about what he is going to wear. Luckily, he is pretty good at matching and things, for a guy. But, I did tell him that what you wear is not what the focus should be on. I think we have some more studying to do!

Wish someone could give her some proper training!

The following are us trying to get a picture for Valentine's Day cards.

I think she wanted you to see her shoes in the picture! They are cute though!

I had a frame that said hugs and kisses, that is why they are trying to kiss Callie, they do love her, but it's not usually a big kissing fest!

(love Gannon's face!)

What we ended up with, gave up on the kissing. Aren't they precious!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Not anything special about today, but we all slept and the people with colds seem to be getting better, not worse. So, Happy Thursday!

The boys had an Old Testament feast last night in their Bible class. Kellen was King David, Garrett was young David. (Just in case you couldn't figure it out by the wonderful costumes!)

Gannon thought he and Callie should be in the picture as well:)

Callie and daddy. It is a little disgusting how much she likes him! Either that or she knows who pays for the shoes!=)

Callie working hard on some sort of woodworking project. I think we will have to go shoe shopping now, she doesn't have any steel-toed boots!

The following will be categorized under TMI, or Too Much Information, so don't read the rest! Unless you've ever been a mom, then you will be unfazed. I am trying to add Gannon comments when I can because there is nothing like a conversation with a four-your-old boy, and I am almost done with four-year-old boys. (sniff, sniff) To put this in kiddo words, when Gannon goes, well, number two should we say, he still calls me for assistance (wiping). I told him a few weeks ago I thought he could probably handle this job and he looked at me with a shocked look on his face and said "no way, that's gross!". I said "yes, yes it is".

The following will be categorized under PSA, or Public Service Announcement. On a serious note, we have three friends of friends that have lost children in the past week. One was an eleven-year-old boy and one a twelve-year-old boy, both to flu related illness. Both were too quick to even realize what was happening. So, WASH YOUR HANDS! Around here, the sicknesses are just beginning. One school system that has 800 or so kids, had 400 out on Monday with illness. It is scary to think about what could happen so fast. We have to trust in God that he will take care of us, but I think he expects us to do our part. So, wash your hands, eat healthy and get your rest. OK, enough preaching. Have a safe and healthy day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm. So. Tired.

This is going to be a long day is all I can say. Why do I have kids that don't sleep? Callie woke up at her usual 3:00 am. No biggie. Then I get that tap on the back at 4:30. Nothing like turning around to glow-in-the dark skeleton pjs, who bought him those!? (It was me.) Gannon said he had a nightmare. He was pretty calm for having a nightmare, not sure he even knows what that is, but he thought he did. I just put him in our bed, I was too tired to get up. Well, Todd's alarm goes off at 5:00. Gannon needs a drink, he's never gone back to sleep, so I send him with daddy and just get up. Luckily Tuesday is our home day. Todd usually closes on Tuesdays but he has meetings today, so he left at 5:45 and won't be home until 7:00. Your probably wondering, "why don't you go back to bed?" Well, I started a new organizing system for our family, Managers of Their Homes. It works great, except that I feel guilty if I stray from it. Once I worked out everything we have to get done in a week, I have to get up at 5:30am. I know me, and if I don't stick with it, our house will be shambles, kids running around everywhere. Well, maybe not that bad, but it's not good!

OK, enough of my pity party. I don't have any new pics so I will add some older ones. Since I am a little behind on getting pics out, no one has probably seen them! I remember when Kellen was a baby, I went to the one-hour photo all the time and sent out a billion pictures. That has obviously quit happening. I sure most people are glad, I don't know what to do with pics of my own kids, so I'm sure other people don't need shoe boxes full of pics of my kids!

Also had to had another Gannon quote. During our Bible lesson yesterday we were talking about the lineage of Jesus, which led of course to Jesus being God's son. Gannon said "I know Jesus is God's son". I asked him how he knew that, he said "because they both have beards". Of course Kellen and Garrett started to laugh, but he did not deter. He very adamantly said he had seen pictures and he knew they both had beards, then he drew a picture for us. Our scanner is broken or I would scan the picture. He drew them with fig leaves like Adam and Eve, again he's seen pictures.

Who knows, we are very into costumes at our house. Gannon 2007

Gannon's first and last ride in the jeep. We can't get it to work anymore. Too bad, he obviously loved it! Poor guy, it was officially Kellen and Garrett's jeep, and I'm afraid if we ever get another one it will be pink! 2007

Children of the Corn. Not really, this is at the Field of Dreams movie sight. More fun than I expected, of course the kids loved it, lots of room to run around. Madison, Mallori, Mason, Gannon, Garrett, Kellen, 2007

Here are the big kids enjoying the corn. Clay and Todd, 2007

Visit from our Tulsa cousins. We went to the Mississippi River visitors center. Poor things, I was so excited to see the barge come through the lock and dam we stayed forever! We enjoyed their visit, and other than this excursion, I think they did too! Jack, Garrett, Taryn, Kellen, Gannon, 2007

A visit to our cousins house in Yukon. I'm pretty sure we terrorized Mazzios during this visit! (We miss you Mazzios!) They always have so much fun together. Karlee, Gannon, Garrett, Kymree, Kellen, 2007

Enough reminiscing. None of my kiddos are up, which is a good thing.

Tired kids + tired mama = usually not so great day!

I do love my kids, I am blessed to have them and be home with them. Focus on the good stuff right!:)

Have great day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just Had To Add...

Sunday is over. I know I shouldn't say this about a Sunday, but I'm glad this day is over, it has seemed upside down all day!

I just had to add Gannon's comment from dinner last night, it has made me chuckle all day. After we had finished eating and were getting ready to clear the table, we turned the lights on. He looked down at his plate and said "there is something yellow and orange in my potato!" Well, it was a double baked potato with butter and cheese! Of course he had not seen this by candlelight. It was so funny. I am thinking we should eat all our meals by candlelight, then no one would complain about the food!

Tried to shop for myself today at Kohls. Just a tad bit depressing. Apparently they don't have those "skinny mirrors" you read about. I decided I really must be turning f***y this year after reading the tags of the things I took to try on. The bra had a big sign on front, and I mean big, that said "Lift it up". The jeans said "secretly slimming". The workout pants (I guess that is what you call them, I wear them when my jeans are too tight) had a list on the tag to let me know what I could wear them for, like I would be too old to know what to do with pants! I decided to buy the jeans, I thought if I hung them in my closet, maybe they would give my other clothes the secret, then I wouldn't have to buy new clothes! I did buy some running shoes. I don't enjoy running, but I felt better just putting them on.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Party #2

Quick pics of candlelight dinner. We had a nice time, just hanging out. Then is was off to get ready for church and bed. If we don't start the night before, we never have a chance of getting there on time!

Gannon is ready to eat!
Callie is ready to party!

The whole crew!

Happy Valentine's Day!

One party down, one to go! We had a great time with our friends over this morning. It seems like a while since we had seen them, even though it was only a couple of weeks. But, they were our neighbors before we moved, so we saw them all the time:( I'm looking for houses for them in our new neighborhood, we just have to convince their daddy that this is the place to be! (Josh, you know you miss clearing snow off our driveway!)

There are several pics in this post, the only way I can see them all is to click on Feb 2009 at the right. Don't know if it is that way for everyone or not. Just wanted to mention it, I know you don't want to miss any!:)

The boys playing "Army Guys". Check out Garrett's new glasses. I've been trying to get the obligatory new glasses picture and none of them look very good. We're thinking about taking them back to get others, long story. What do you all think? Honest opinions only!

The girls, having a very important conversation I am sure.

"Let's try and escape!"

"Look six goofy people trying to makes us smile!"

"Emily, if you really want to annoy your mom, lay down like this with your feet in the air while she is trying to take your picture!"

Best friends:) Callie, 14 months, Emily almost 5 1/2 months.

"Excuse me, all eyes on me please."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Good-Bye Grass:(

We've been enjoying seeing our grass for the first time since November, but looks like that is about to change. Todd thinks the snow will be here by 11:00, I think 2:00. The weather says 4:00. I know, who cares, but thats how it is in the north! You plan your day around the snow storms. Of course Todd is worried about sales more than anything. We are supposed to go to Bible study at 10:30, hope it holds off until after that. The girl that hosts it wanted to serve lunch for Valentine's Day. I would hate for her to go to any trouble then no one be able to come.

We are excited for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Our friends Laura, Ryan, and Emily are coming over for lunch, then we'll do our family candlelight dinner when Todd gets home. The boys have been looking forward to this since we moved into our house because our dining room has a dimmer switch. I always have so many candles no one can enjoy the dinner because they think the house is going to burn down! Now, we can have a couple of candles and dim the lights and see what we're eating! I wonder what Callie will think?!

Callie getting ready to sweep. She loves her broom. Our friend Ryan let us use his since there is not one to be found in the Quad-Cities. Thanks Ryan!

Oldie but goodie. This was in 2005, who knew they would get so much use out of those jerseys!

Another oldie but goodie. We drove across the border to a Wisconsin rest stop so MMM could say they'd been to Wisconsin. Good times! (Hi Madison!)

Video from Callie's Birthday, she wasn't too thrilled with her cake!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random pics:)

Callie enjoying "reading night". She got her own book and got in her chair all by herself! Never mind that it is a book about trucks. It was warm enough for her to wear a mini-skirt! Wish I would have taken a pic of her standing up, so cute!:)

Callie in another mama creation. Sorry Callie! (It has little hearts on it for Valentine's day, just hard to see!)

I can only imagine what kind of wisdom he is passing on!

Some have inquired about our lastest house projects. So, here it is! We have a microwave/vent that we have had since November. We thought you could just take out the old vent and put up the microwave. Guess what, you can't! We got the UGLY vent down, than had no electricity. So we called our handy dandy home repair service, AKA Grandpa and at least got the electricty to work, hence the plug hanging from the ceiling. We called our electrician and he said we needed a cabinet, I wasn't here to talk to him, so I'm really not sure what that means. So, we'll figure it sooner or later. We did go to the home show this last weekend to get ideas for our kitchen and bath. No ideas but Direct TV is coming back today to get us set up again. Who knew they would have a big booth calling Todd's name!

Hope all is well. We are enjoying warm temperatures for Feb. It was so nice to get out and walk yesterday, the first time in our new neighborhood. We are so lucky to have lots of boys around, I can't get used to the door bell ringing and having kids wanting to play. We've never had that! Poor Kellen! He's been stuck with me all these years! They are going to have to learn how to watch their watches though, they have a tendency to not come home when they are supposed to.

I got an email today from my homeschool yahoo group talking about a study to encourage kids to play. I just have to say I think that is sad. Why would you have to encourage kids to play? (As I said, I will have to give my two cents occasionally!) I am working really hard to teach my kids to work, but playing we have no problem doing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome! I am starting a blog to help keep in touch with our family and friends. Since moving to Iowa it seems like I am having a hard time keeping up with people and keeping them informed about what is going on with us. I figure our moms are the only ones who will care, but that is fine! This will be about what is going on with us, with a little of my two cents thrown in! I will try to add lots of pics, as the kids are changing so much every day. So, thanks for looking, have a blessed day!

Callie and Gannon enjoying a box and a recorder, who needs toys! Callie loves music and is quite good at playing the recorder!

3-D glasses for the Super Bowl commercials.

Callie playng Peek-A-Boo with Daddy during the Super Bowl. Only she could get away with that!


Guess she needed to cheer a little louder!