A yard work morning

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I know it’s a good day when I can get this guy out working!

We spent the morning outside doing yard work. I heavily cleared the berry patch of all thing not growing berries, Eve cleaned up sticks and picked berries, and Lex swept the porch and ran the weed whacker. It was a productive morning!

The mudroom

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New floors and sunshine!

Check out our beautiful new mudroom floor!  The light shining in is from the new screen door. Alan and Amanda worked so hard on this.  Eve helped too.   I love all the love that went into making this house beautiful. ❤

Happy Saturday!

For the first time in awhile we have a pretty low-key weekend on deck. I woke at 7:30am to find Eve carrying a tray (“the shiniest one,” she said) with oatmeal and hot tea on it. She was super excited to announce that she had made me breakfast in bed! She cuddled in the bed with me for awhile while I ate. She is super sweet!

Once we were all up Alan took Lex to karate while I took Eve to track practice. She is now running in the town rec program and a local AAU program. Next weekend is her first meet!

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Running the 200m

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Running the 400m

While Eve did her practice I spent nearly an hour and a half walking/running around the track as well! She wants to run in the CHaD 5K this year and wants me to run with her, so I gotta do some training myself!

Eve and I stopped at the Farmer’s Market on the way home and enjoyed cheese and jelly samples and a few purchased cookies. When I got home Alan told me that Mandy was on her way up and they were going to tear apart the mudroom. We have leaks and the floors are coming apart so they are tearing out the floor and starting over.

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My dining room for the next few days

While they were hard at work in the mudroom, Eve and I went for a walk to meet our new neighbors. They moved in last week. They have a girl in Eve’s grade, and two boys, one younger and one older than Lex. We took them on a walk around the neighborhood and introduced them to the children in the area. It turns out the older boy is totally into Legos and the First Robotics Lego League (he already signed up for next year’s team!). He brought some EV3s over and the boys are all upstairs building some EV3 battle bots! Eve, and two neighbor girls are upstairs in her room playing dolls.

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The girls

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The boys (the two new neighbors are not in the picture)

Somehow my house is under construction and I have seven kids in it, yet I am able to talk on the phone with my bestie for an hour and now write this blog post! How’s that for an awesome Saturday afternoon! I’m off now to order pizza because who can cook when there’s construction going on!? :)

Tomorrow is a big day…

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The office is looking bare...

Look what we did today!  Guess what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?!  We moved a ton of stuff down to the basement, and also tidied and organized the basement.  It looks great!  I’m so excited.  Alan fixed the closet shelves, closet rods, and even the broken closet doors!  These things have been broken for as long as we’ve lived here and he fixed them an hour! 

I put the kids to bed tonight feeling a little sad that it might be their last night together.  For their whole lives they’ve shared a room, and I have been one door over.  This will be a big change for all of us.  They are excited, but I wonder how they will feel tomorrow night, in their own separate rooms.  We shall see.

The other fun thing we did today is…

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Chocolate peanut butter and white chocolate chip cookies!

Lex has asking for chocolate chip peanut butter chip cookies for weeks.  Today I asked if he wanted to make them.  We talked about the process and I agreed to stay near by and help, so he made cookies.  He did probably 80% of the work, including all the measuring, mixing, scooping, and oven transfers.  He was super proud of himself.  I’m going to encourage him to do it again soon, just for practice.  :-)

Check back tomorrow, if I’m not too exhausted I’ll post new pictures! 

Big changes around here…

We had a very busy afternoon! The kids had no school today (Veterans Day!) and they had a busy day with Mema while I was at work. I got home and shortly thereafter our delivery truck came, bringing us new furniture!! We were all so excited!

old couch

Get this old, ugly thing out of here!

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This is when the real fun began, for the kids anyway!

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Parrish came over to join in the fun too.

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Watching the TV in the sky. :)

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New furniture! (apparently my camera lens seriously needs cleaning!)

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It’s so cozy and comfy!

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Daisy likes it too.

We got a couch, a love seat, and bedframes for both kids. The bedframes are upstairs, but unbuilt. We will put them together just as soon as we get the bedrooms rearranged. Having a brand new bedframe, in a box, totally motivated Eve tonight and she asked if we could do some work on the rearranging process. The three of us (Alan is in London!) spent over an hour moving stuff from the office down to the basement. Step one is moving the office the basement, step two is moving our bedroom into the office, then step three is moving Eve’s bedroom into ours, step four I guess is rearranging Lex in his own room. We got a ton done this evening and got the entire closet cleared out and moved downstairs. One step closer to the grand rearranging!

evening furniture

After dinner we did some rearranging in the living room and put the tables back in place. It looks beautiful! (of course the toys are scattered about already and it’s looking a little less beautiful now!)

shelves

These shelves were in the closet. I told Eve they might go upstairs and on my next trip to the basement she grabbed the shelves and hauled them up to her room, all on her own. I laughed when I went up later and saw them already loaded up.

lexs bedframe

Here is Lex’s bedframe, not yet put together. The colored circles in the top are changeable and you can even put your own photos in there. That will be fun!

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Eve’s bed is TOP SECRET and will be unveiled whenever we get around to opening the boxes. :)

crazy daisy

I was taking pictures of Daisy climbing the stair railings today and this one cracks me up. She looks like a psycho kitty! :)

That about sums up our afternoon. Tomorrow will be another big day. A certain someone is having a birthday and her sweet hubby is flying back over the pond to join us for a birthday dinner, lovingly prepared by Mema. It will be a great day! (and the kids want to do more room rearranging!)

Two little monkeys…

jumping on the bed.

One fell off and bumped her head. I didn’t get that on video though.

Alan and I got a new mattress and the kids were breaking it in. We need to get rid of the old one, but for now we just stacked the new one on top. Now we have a huge bed! My bedroom looks so small and sparse in this video. I seriously need an interior decorator! :)

I also added videos of the kids playing in the snow and our super fun sledding outing. You can reread those posts for the videos if you care to.

Saturday afternoon

The kids were all wound up and buggy and driving us crazy today. Alan and I each made our escapes, individually of course, to get some exercise, but the kids wanted none of that, instead they fussed and argued and bugged. Typical back-to-school weekend stuff.

It all turned around this afternoon though, when Alan was able to convince Lex to help out in the basement. We are so close (still!) to being able to move stuff back in from the garage. Alan just has to get the baseboards and trim done. Today he was working on that and Lex started installing door knobs. He opened the packages, read the directions, and did it (so says Alan) all on his own! Everyone was pretty proud.

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Lex, hard at work installing a door knob.

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Proud boy! He’s wearing headphones because Alan was running the saw.

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Starting on another door.

Eve wanted to make cookies all on her own, but when she put the dough in the fridge for the required 30 minute wait, she decided to go down to the basement and work on her “project.” A project she started last weekend involving scrap wood, nails, and the hammer. She says she’s making furniture for a dog house she plans to build some day in the future.

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Eve, hard at work on her “project.”

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She choose to spend extra time in the basement and finish her cookies tomorrow.

So for awhile this afternoon all three of them were hard at work in the basement and it was quiet up here! I was able to cook a good dinner and get started on my homework. Yay! UVEI sessions start up again this week and I need to have five writing assignments completed before then. I have four done already, just working on the fifth.

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Look at that awesome workshop Alan has set up! So tidy and organized. :)

Happy Saturday!

Baby it’s cold INSIDE!

We hit super low temps the past few days. It was in the single digits Wednesday and -10° when I woke up yesterday morning. We were up to 4° this morning! A great time for the heat to go out, right?! I was out all day Wednesday, but when I got home with the kids we noticed that it was really cold downstairs. We bundled up and when Alan came home he did some investigating and determined that the circulator pump on the boiler was broken. He put in a late-night call to the heating guys who were, fortunately, able to come over Thursday morning. They put in a new circulator pump, then discovered that we had frozen pipes! The pipes are behind all the sheetrock and insulation in the basement and the guys were hesitant to tear that apart, so Alan came home at lunchtime to figure it out. With the help of a space heater and my hair dryer (that we use for everything but hair drying!) he was able to thaw out the frozen part. Luckily it was just one area, right under the front door, where apparently the wood is rotting! That will be a fun project for the spring. The heating guys left when Alan got home, but came back again to check in (they were just across town at another job) and Alan had them take the circulator pump out, since everyone thought the problem was really frozen pipes.

I had told the kids that if it was still cold in the house when they got home from school we would have an upstairs afternoon. Alan got the pipes thawed just before they got home, but they were excited to find the house still cold :) We made a cracker snack and grabbed the Sorry game and had a fun afternoon upstairs while poor Alan worked in the basement. Then Alan relaxed on the couch for awhile, until I asked, “Shouldn’t the house be warming up by now?” Apparently the circulator pump was also broken! Alan took a drive over to the heating guys office, picked up the new installed-then-removed circulator pump and brought it back again and installed it himself. Now we have a new circulator pump (and an extra new one, just in case) and thawed pipes. The downstairs part of the house got to 54° before it started warming up again!

I really can’t complain about this problem as we still had heat upstairs and we were able to fix the problem within 24 hours. We also have a healthy supply of hot tea, longjohns, and sweaters to keep us warm. However, since this blog is part funny parenting stories, part my place to vent, part documentation of what goes on around here, and a BIG part of my memory, I wanted to get this in writing.

If one has to have frozen pipes and a broken heat on the coldest day of winter, I think this was the best possible scenario. :)

Baby it’s WARM inside now!