Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Overtaken by THE WIGGLES

Our house has been invaded and overtaken by The Wiggles. We were outside today and Aliza found a branch that had some pine needles on it. It quickly became Captain Feathersword's feathery sword. Captain Feathersword tickles people with his sword so Mommy got tickled and Josiah got tickled. Then the game intensified. Aliza said, "Mommy, you Greg. Josiah, you Anthony. And Daddy, you Maurry." She has referred to us by our given Wiggle names off and on all evening. The funniest thing to me is that she has consistently called us the name she gave us. No switching.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What are the Chances?

I actually won the 2nd place prize for the scrap challenge! It was a drawing after we completed a virtual scavenger hunt this morning. I get a free kit and a set of exclusive Life Preserver stamps. I was so excited when I saw my name!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Challenge Completed!

This is the last week for my scrapbooking challenge. I did the last layout tonight. There is some sort of twist on Sunday. I'm figuring I'll have to do another layout. But, hey, if I finish my name is put in a drawing for a 3 month free subscription of scrapbooking kits. I'll do layouts for that!

This is last week's layout. My Gramma in her wedding dress--57 years later. The journaling is thanking them for leaving a legacy of marriage and showing us what commitment really means.
The challenge was that our supplies were limited. We could use 1 piece of cardstock, 1 patterened paper, 3 brads, 1 yard of ribbon and 2 flowers.

This is the last layout. I LOVE how it turned out. The challenge was to follow a sketch. I scraplifted the title and inspiration from Christie. The title is Toby Mac's song, Made to Love, and the journaling is the lyrics of the chorus.

I was made to love you, I was made to find you.
I was made just for you, made to adore you.
I was made to love you and be loved by you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Eventful Day

We cleared the way for our addition today. Literally. But someone is trying to stop us. You'll hear about that later in this post!

Before. The 3 trees you can see clearly are the ones Brian, Jeremy and Grandad cut down.

It was hardest to see the first one go. This tree has grown so much since we moved here.

My nephew. Everyone helped carry branches to the burning pile.

Even Josiah got in on the action. Most of the time he was on my hip while I dragged branches.

The first half of the last tree is down.

And it was hollow!

The second half was a little tricky. It was definitely leaning toward the house. They attached a rope from the tree to the truck and when it started falling Jeremy was to back up the truck and pull the tree away from the house.

It missed the house and landed on the deck.

While all this was happening our "friend" from the Health Department stopped by to do a perc test. This is a test we have to pass in order to get a new septic permit and a building permit from the Health Dept. Since we are proposing to have 5 bedrooms we have to have a bigger septic system. One that accommodates 10 people because, logically, they assume that two people will be in every bedroom. Today we were told that it is most likely that we will not pass the perc test at all. Meaning that we not only will be not be able to get a bigger system we cannot get a new system the size of our current one. If we were applying to build a new house on this property we would not be allowed to build. At 4:30 he came back around to check on his test and it hadn't finished so he said he hoped to be able to come tomorrow to do a complete test. I guess that is when we would get our final answer. It's easy enough to change the number of bedrooms on paper. It's a little more complicated if we ever want to sell. And it is very complicated since we designed the addition assuming we had to get a new septic and built right up to our current septic tank. It's a bummer.

So....if you ever thought you owned your property....you don't. You have to ask permission to do anything. To add insult to injury this guy advised us not to burn without a permit. Lo and behold you get burning permits through his office. And he was quick to add we wouldn't be able to get one since you have to have 200ft of open space all around the fire. Not only can you not build on your property you cannot burn on your property. This is a free country last I checked, right??? A free country with lots of rules!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Effeciency vs. Design Suicide

I'm sure I will continue to have this feeling at various stages of this project, but again, I'm starting to feel like we will ever get started. It's not true though. A lot of things are falling into place. We've had a lot of subcontractors visit our house and Brian has collected estimates from them. We spent 4 hours with our electrician laying out all of our light fixtures, light switches and outlets. What a detailed job that was! I've decided on doors and siding. I really need to work on countertops, flooring and paint.

Jeremy is busy working on geothermal, solar and insulation options. Our assumption is that electric, heating oil and gas are only going to increase in price so we'd like to do some proactive things to make sure we can afford to live in our house, comfortably, in the future! Last weekend we visited the home of an acquaintance who used a type of foam insulation that fills up every crack in your house. (If you want more scientific information, ask Jeremy!!!) That was interesting.

Here's the most recent drama. It has to do with solar panels. Our house faces south. Guess where the solar panels need to go? South. The plan is to line our porch roof end to end with solar panels. I wanted to cry! My chance for a lovely looking house from the road--ruined with unsightly solar panels. Our house will be known for its solar panels. I know how people talk around here. The older women call one of the houses the "Pizza Hut" house because the roof line reminds them of Pizza Hut. I guess it will be entertaining to find out what name they come up with for our house. Ultimately respect has won over contempt. My husband would resent it if I squashed his ambition of having solar panels. I can't have that. I'll still have a lovely home and I'll probably grow to appreciate them when our electric bills start rolling in.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Homemade Finger Paint

We needed something new to do so I found a recipe and made some home made finger paint. It worked out really well so I thought I would share it in case anyone else is interested.

1/3 cup cornstarch
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 cups cold water

Heat it up in a saucepan until it thickens. I put it in muffin tins to cool and added food coloring. The recipe says it is best to use it the same day it is made. I didn't try to save it. If the measurements were easier to cut in half I would.

Aliza had fun. She started with dipping one finger in the paint. By the end she had both hands covered in paint. The disaster occurred when she wanted the paint off of her hands and so decided to shake to her hands which led to paint splatters all over the kitchen!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We thought it was spring....

...but there is a chance of a little bit of snow tomorrow night! We had three days of 70 degree weather and all of us loved being outside. So here are some almost spring pictures and stories.

Apparently boys develop an affinity for weights early in life. Josiah was carrying these around like he knew what he was doing.

Nothing stops Josiah outside. I can't get shoes to stay on his feet yet so I put socks on him and let him go. The next day I let him go barefoot thinking it would slow him down a bit. Not at all! He walked on gravel and on the little prickery balls that fall from a tree in our yard. I'll stick with the socks for now!

It's a little tricky keeping an eye on two going in opposite directions. Aliza wants me to play and Josiah put things in his mouth that need to be promptly removed. Keeps me hopping!

Daddy has been working at home this week on tax preparation. Josiah can hardly keep his hands off of the keyboard. Jeremy pulled out an old keyboard this afternoon and Josiah helped Daddy work. One day soon Jeremy will have an office with a door!

Both of us are looking forward to that. Since he's been working at home I've had to figure out places to go with the children or how to keep them quiet....at least when he's on the phone. Today we visited a retired neighbor friend of ours. The children were both typically active. Last time we were there she showed us her newly decorated bedroom. This time Aliza remembered where her bedroom was and helped herself to a flashlight from the bedroom. Our neighbor excused Aliza, but I told her that I needed to teach Aliza about appropriate places to go in other people's houses. As soon as I finished talking to Aliza the phone rang. My neighbor asked me to pick up the phone since she was on the floor playing with Josiah. I answered and they said, This is the 911 call center. Do you have an emergency?" Yes, Aliza apparently dialed 911 while she was in the bedroom. I was embarrassed. My neighbor was excited to have a story to tell her friends!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scrap Around the World--Week 6

This week's destination was Japan and the assignment was to do a layout about a friend. I have lots of friends, but very few pictures of my friends. I'll have to work on that. The clue was really vague, but one of the things she said was that this country had a sport with a uniform that she would not be caught dead in. I'm not certain if she was alluding to sumo wrestling, but the thought of sumo wrestling triggered some college memories for me.

Ever wonder where my sumogirl email came from? My room mate at EMU and I would sumo wrestle to relieve stress. We would put pillows under our shirts, start across the room from each other, run and collide. I usually ended up on the bottom. Stinks to be small! The others on our hall thought we were pretty outrageous and wanted to watch. So we locked our door and turned up the music. The song playing was generally "These are not my Pants." I can't remember who sang it or what CD it was on. 10 years later Carlissa and I still have sumogirl email addresses in honor of our fun and friendship. Fun memories!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

In honor of his birthday here are 30 wacky and wonderful things about Jeremy!

1. He's really good at playing Solitaire on his iphone.
2. He can talk intelligently to anyone about something.
3. He wakes up happy in the morning so he takes care of breakfast for the children.
4. He's good at anything he tries.
5. I love that he takes good pictures.
6. He wears more polos than geek t-shirts these days.
7. He makes up really great kid songs on the spot.
8. He has a great personality for owning a business. His clients (well, most of them) really like him.
9. He has no sense of time. Sometimes this works in my favor, but most of the time it does not!
10. He loves me even though I don't really like watching movies and rarely watch one with him.
11. He is more likely to respond to a text message than a phone call during the day.
12. He has defied the statistics of owning a business. Something like 90% don't make it five years. He is on year 5 and going strong!!!
13. He's so smart because he reads stuff on the computer all day and most of the evening!
14. He would rather eat at Plaza Tapatia than pack his lunch.
15. He and Matt can hypothesize for hours about anything and everything.
16. A pastor's kid grew up with a strong sense of faith.
17. It's good for me to keep ice cream and diet sodas stocked in the house.
18. He always does devotions during breakfast.
19. Aliza uses the ipod and computer thanks to his tutoring.
20. His faith drives pretty much everything that he does.
21. When he makes a decision I can count on it being well researched and well thought through
22. He takes the brunt of any frustrations I've collected during the day when he walks in the door.
23. The best evenings are the ones we spend sitting beside each other--each with our own laptop. He can chat pretty well while "laptopping."
24. We have more than a business marriage in spite of owning a business.
25. He hasn't fired me yet as his bookkeeper! (That's truly amazing.)
26. He still holds us accountable for the 5 intimacies in marriage that we learned about when we were dating. (emotional, physical, intellectual, recreational, social)
27. He'd rather have Carvel ice cream cake for his birthday than a regular cake. Hopefully brownies were ok this year.
28. He's pretty tough to surprise, but I surprised him on Friday with a party for his birthday.
29. He's the love of my life. I'll enjoy every day for the rest of my life with him!
30. Only a geek could appreciate such a public display of affection!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scrap Around the World--Week 5

I'm still in the game. I did not like my layout for last week at all so I didn't post it. This week's assignment was to do a layout of any size except the typical 12 x 12. I was excited to have an excuse to scrap this picture of Aliza "hiding."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Aliza's Day

We got lots of snow yesterday so Aliza's day started with another play time in the snow. It didn't last very long because Mommy got cold and doesn't like to be cold.

Then we went to story time at the library. Josiah thoroughly enjoyed himself. He clapped along with all the songs and then decided to raise his arms to be picked up by the leader. She couldn't resist.

Finally party time arrived. Aliza could not wait to open her presents. She got lots of fun toys, but I don't think anything could have topped the Wiggles guitar. And I was laughing when she pushed buttons and did the appropriate dance for the song. She also got a microphone. I was thankful for the quiet toys that she got too!

Aliza loves Chick-Fil-A nuggets so that is what we got for her birthday supper. Chick-Fil-A nuggets aren't complete without fries and fruit salad. (Aliza gets fruit in her kid's meal.)

This is the first year she could blow out her candles by herself. She really loved having everyone sing Happy Birthday to her too.


Happy Birthday Aliza!

This morning when she woke I told her Happy Birthday. She was very excited and said "I want to go downstairs and see my birthday." Her highly anticipated birthday party is tonight.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

1st Birthday Party

What a fun first birthday party we had. Our house was full with Jeremy's parents, my family and a few friends.

Josiah did well opening his presents. His big sister could hardly contain her excitement and enthusiasm.

But the bows were, by far, his favorite part of the presents. He carried them around and played with them more than his toys!

Our meal revolved around Josiah's favorite food. Ritz crackers. I made some dips that are good with Ritz crackers and had sandwiches and Ritz crackers instead of chips! The cake has cow spots since Josiah says Moo.

He LOVED his cake. He touched the frosting when he blew out his candle. I cut him a rather large piece and put it on his tray. He picked up the whole thing.....

and stuffed it in his mouth. And kept eating at a frantic pace until it was gone!

He was one happy little guy. And somehow he managed to keep his hands out of his eyes and hair.