Monday, January 31, 2011

The calm before "the literal storm"

there is a snow storm a comin!
like the "18-22 inches predicted" kind of snow storm.
now they have been wrong before, but i'm still going to brace for this one.
i don't have a car. rather not talk about that one.
ayla has had a VERY high fever for 24 hours now. i just got off the phone with the doctor and they are squeezing her in this morning at 10:30.
as soon as we are done with that, i'm going to drop her off at my moms and make a mad rush for the store (which i KNOW is going to be INsane), the post office and the bank. then i'm leaving dad's car with him and getting a ride home. no idea WHEN i'm going to have a car again. super frustrating.
but we will be set for a few days with groceries and wood for the fireplace.

just this last weekend lisa said, "i hope we get a couple more big snowfalls before winter is over!" be careful what you wish for!! this one is big.

happy winter. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

it's been a family affair...

everyone has been helping out.
it's been so fun!
lani "helping" paul run the electrical....

lani and ayla picking out paint colors together...

the fabric for the curtains.
i am making them.
could be hysterical.

can't wait for it to be finished!
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The nook today...

paul finally packed up his tools and called it a day around 5:00 this evening.
and this is where things are...

(the space between the 2 bookshelves on the outside is going to be painted with magnetic paint and then chalkboard paint. fun!)
the sheetrocking is almost complete.
he still need to tape and mud it all.

he needs to build the cubbies underneath and finish off the book shelves.

you can see the 2 shelves inside the nook here...

he is completely finished with the electrical. we just need to find the perfect ceiling light.
i have the fabric for the curtains.
we are getting close!
and seriously, you could TOTALLY do this for a boy.
we were all laying in it last night and brigg says, "I WANT ONE OF THESE!"
(it may have had something to do with the fact that we told him we were going to hang a flat screen in between the 2 shelves inside the nook. maybe. and NO, we really aren't. we just love to mess with him. :))
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i think *i* need dog obedience classes

i don't know how to discipline willow.
i have 3 children, so i try to discipline her in the same way.
it goes something like this...

willow starts eating a sock off the floor.
i say, "Willlow! what are you DOING? Drop the sock please. Right now."
willow looks at me with the sock hanging from her mouth.
i say "Willow, I asked you to drop the sock. if you don't drop the sock you're going to have to go to your room."
sometimes she drops the sock...for real.
sometimes she runs with it. depends on her mood apparently. (which sounds somewhat similar to my 3 children, come to think of it!)
after i get the sock from her i seriously find myself asking her "why would you eat a SOCK? you have food in your room. if you want to eat something, eat your food! sheesh!"

really...that is ridiculous. and i don't think dogs respond to long paragraphs of directions and alternative behaviors that would be more pleasing to me. but i can't help it. it's all i know.
so i'm on a list for dog training classes starting in march. i think i need them more than her....

Saturday, January 29, 2011


last night was a fun night for all.
my car...well...we are trading it in. i'd rather not discuss it.
got fabric for lani's curtains for the nook. SO excited about it! it's super cute!
paul and brigg had a blast. paul has been working on the nook this afternoon.
tired kids.
tired parents.
but much to be thankful for.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

divide and conquer

that's what we're doing tomorrow night.
i sub tomorrow afternoon.
as soon as school gets out, i'm taking the girls to visit lisa and HER girls.
paul is taking brigg out. just the 2 of them. they are both very excited.
their night will involve wings and glow-n-bowl.
and we will be having a sleepover in cedar falls.
i think we're all pretty happy! :)
now...if we can just get my car situation figured out by noon tomorrow, that would be nice.
but i'm not holding my breath....


All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a list

i haven't blogged in a few days.
i'm missing all my virtual friends. :)
so i'm going to get a few things down on "paper" here, but in no organized fashion.
just random thoughts.

*i go back and forth between thinking i have the very best dog EVER to thinking "why on earth did we think we should get a dog?" willow is 9 months now. still very much a puppy, but having more and more moments of being an obedient full-grown dog. it's just that those "puppy moments" about kill me. about make me want to put her up for adoption. and then she'll be so awesome and i think "wow! she's such a great family dog! i LOVE her!" it's kind of frustrating.

*ayla. oh ayla. come to think of it...ayla and willow seem to be going through the exact same stage in life right now! :) we'll just leave it at that. love her to PIECES, but she seriously knows how to push my buttons. and she does it a lot.

*been subbing lots. 6th graders today. learned a lot about cell phones. and saw lots of UGGS. and i love middle school. i think it takes a certain kind to love to teach preschool or kindergarten. a certain kind that is NOT me. a kind that i THOUGHT i was several years ago. but now realize i am NOT. and i also think it takes a certain kind to love to teach middle school. i think i'm that kind. maybe? i remember going to guatemala and thinking that i was going to fall in love with all the little kids. and it was the 13 year-olds. i fell in love with those 13 year-old girls. i wanted to bring them all home. i remember thinking "this is so weird!" i've changed so much over the years!

*i've watched all 3 episodes of american idol this season. and i have cried at every single one. but tonight. wow. tonight was ugly crying. unless you watched, do not judge me. i made it to the last 5 minutes and then lost it. heartbreaking story. i was trying to hide my embarrassing sobs from my husband and actually let out this huge, snotty snort. it was impossible to hide. and i'm just going to say it. i LOVE steven tyler. love. love. love. the end.

*made biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs for my kids tonight. i've never seen them eat so much in my life. seriously. tons. just an observation.

*willow gets groomed tomorrow. hope i remember to do a "before and after" shot. she's shaggy!

*while she gets groomed, i'm having coffee with a friend. it's sad how excited i get about that. a simple coffee and conversation. and i could pee my pants i'm so excited! :)

*paul has 3 inspections this week. so we've seen eachother in passing. which stinks, but we also had a big vehicle "repair" bill and so it's really a blessing. although the "repair" was supposed to fix my SERVICE ENGINE SOON light and my LOW COOLANT LEVEL light and the fumes that seem to appear in my car when it idles. the "repairs" were done on monday. and guess what?!? those 3 things reappeared today. $350. my car is exactly the same. beyond frustrating. i'm going to have to deal with it tomorrow.

*i'm ready for the weekend. very very ready for the weekend.

the end.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The "nook" update

paul is making progress.
i think it's fun to see it coming together.
he's started sheet rocking.
remember when i tried to strip the wallpaper.
this is what happened...

SO...we have purchased paintable wallpaper.
it will go OVER the current wallpaper.
our only other option was to RE-dry wall the walls.
not happening.
this stuff is going to be super cute.
and there's only wallpaper on 2 walls.
and the above picture you can see where paul is putting 3 cubbies.
we want to have 3 cute baskets under there for storage.
i labeled it.

the below photo shows the nook from the other end.
on the outside of the nook, he's going to put bookshelves at the bottom.
then he'll reverse it and have shelves INSIDE the nook.
on the outside we are going to paint magnetic paint and then chalkboard paint over it.
she'll have a magnetic chalkboard.
SO cute! :)

this weekend i purchased matching quilts at TJ Maxx for the girls.
they are reversible.
super cute and totall matched my inspiration piece below.

i got this picture for lani for christmas.
bought the frame at an antique store.
it was gold.
i spray painted it green.
i LOVE the look
i knew i wanted her room to look like that picture.

you can see the paint chips above it.
the main color in the room is the light aqua.
then INSIDE the nook, we are doing a hot pink.
we are looking for an old chandalier to go in there.
she'll have her own switch inside the nook for the chandalier.
i'm keeping my eyes open at antique stores.
OR there is a really cute light at IKEA that i think would be fun.

finally, in the big opening to get into the nook, we are looking for the perfect fabric to make curtains.
so she can feel completely separate from her baby sister if she chooses.
i can't wait for it to be finished!

have i mentioned how amazing paul is?
i showed him 2 pictures and told him to do something.
he has no idea how awesome he is.
love him.
love that he couldn't be happier doing this for his baby girl.
and she thinks he hung the moon...
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Sunday, January 23, 2011


lani is puking.
that about sums it up.

oh...and i went to my first ever "homeowners association meeting".
it is confirmed...i'm not a big "meeting" person.

back to disinfecting....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

this weekend

seriously, i cannot get enough of this...

homemade granola.
vanilla yogurt.
fresh berries...raspberries and blackberries have been awesome!

we had tate on thursday night.
jennie and sean are moving into a different house.
he stayed with us thursday and mom and dad last night.
then this morning i left the house with all the kids and paul started his first real project in this house.
a sleeping "nook" for lani.
he's in the process of framing it up.
we came home and the girls went crazy.

lani went right to work helping him.
she is seriously SO helpful.
and she's SO excited about this sleeping nook.
paul's been planning it for 3 months.
and when it's complete, we (meaning just paul and i) are taking JUST lani to ikea in chicago for a few accessories.
we'll spend the night in a hotel near ikea.
and eat dinner with just her.
it's her own one-on-one time with us.
like brigg's cardinal's game last year.
she's ecstatic.
ayla...not so much. :)

although ayla DOES think that lani is going to let her sleep with her in the nook.
so we may have an issue when this project is complete.
OR we may have another sleeping nook in what is not paul's office.
:) we'll see.
lani the helper...

brigg's spending the night at a friend's.
he's been counting down the days.
and i got some time at target today.
so we are ALL happy. :)
a good good weekend.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

which means...

2 hour delay tomorrow.
i love that.
school should start at 10:30 everyday...things just go smoother in the morning.

from the weather service. awesome...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

half way through the week

wednesday already?
i'm not working today.
laundry is going, dishes are done and i'm about to jump in the shower. (yes, it's 10:30)
my head is spinning a bit this morning.
feeling an intense desire to hop on the train and GO. :) it could be a bad thing that i got a taste of the train life. now i want more.
snow was falling again this morning. it was beautiful. i feel kind of isolated out here in the woods. i like it! when it snows i feel like i'm in a snow globe. it's peaceful. i'm kind of all or nothing. big, crazy, wild gatherings OR isolated, quiet, peaceful moments by the fire.
love them both and feel like i'm getting lots of both ends these days.
very satisfying.
i've been trying to pick a couple books to take over spring break to florida.
any suggestions?
last year i read a novel...Glass Castle. it was a bit disturbing, but i couldn't put it down. which i'm sure was very annoying to everyone around me. again, my personality. get involved deeply and can't focus on anything else until it's done.
i was thinking about reading the follow-up to it...Half-Broke Horses.
i just want something easy. a quick read.

i see blue skies and sunshine. i think i may need to get out today and socialize in some way.
happy wednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

back to life

kids up at 6:30 this morning.
off to school on the bus.
i work at noon. only a half day.
but it's an ART sub.
yikes...i always worry about ruining someone's career when i sub in art or music. :)
no nap for ayla yesterday with hopes of an easy bedtime.
didn't go quite like we had hoped, but she was sound asleep before 8:30. we call that progress.
hopefully tonight will be better. it's been a struggle for a while now.

happy tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Day Fun..part II

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Snow Day Fun...part I

it was fun out there.
but honestly, you know what's even better?
this is our front yard.
and see that brown fence across the street?
that's the POOL!
and it's like 20 yards away.
we moved in after it was closed, so it's going to be like a fun treat in june! :)
can't wait!

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i tried...

i tried and tried to capture how big the snowflakes were.
i failed.
but you can get a bit of an idea.
it was gorgeous.
i promise.

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the view from here...

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i am not exaggerating...

when i say that i have never seen snowflakes as big as i just saw the past hour.
more like small snowballs falling from the sky.
i tried and tried to capture it with my camera, but it was impossible.
we just played for an hour out there.
now i'm sparking up the fireplace and heating water for hot chocolate.
turned out to be a gorgeous snow day in muscatine.
pretty thankful for fun surprises like that!

More bowling

brigg is very serious about his bowling.
he spotted a bowling ball in the pro shop that he wants to save up and buy.
we are trying to discourage that.
but how cute is his form?? :)

soaking up every second together....

the kids got very excited when they bowled a good frame.
macy wears her emotions on her sleeve...

after lani got a strike we told her to do a tony-style-strike-dance.
i think she almost puked at the thought of dancing in front of people.
this is what she looked like.
kind of like an upright fetal position...

too funny.
love them all.
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Snow day.
Lots of people had today off because of the holiday, but we were not supposed to.
We had Friday off because of the end of the quarter.
So today's snow day gave us a 4 day weekend.
And honestly, last night I was hoping this would happen.
I even stayed up late watching a movie and old episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" because I thought this might happen.
We are all still in our pajamas.
I've been dreaming of Africa and Florida and Seattle this morning for different reasons.
Paul texted me this morning and said, "You know what. It's raining here and it's raining in Seattle, too, this morning. Only difference is it's 52 degrees there and ours is about to turn to ice."
Yeah, that's a big difference.
Then Lani said to me, "Mom, 57 days til we leave for Florida."
I have no idea how accurate that is or how she knows that, but it made me happy.
Did I mention we were going there again this year for spring break?
It's pretty much a tradition. Paul's family is joining us, too. Lisa, Tony and kids and Donna go nearly every time, but this year Erin, Luke and Drew are coming, too! It's their first time going along. It's going to be great! And we found cheap plane tickets through Allegiant Air. Paul had a free ticket through United, so he is seriously flying alone into another airport. Funny. But it saved us a chunk of money and we get to avoid the 21 hour car ride there. that gives us 2 extra days IN the sun. We are excited!
The kids have every single pillow, cushion and blanket in the house in our living room right now. They are jumping and yelping and laughing. And I'm fine with it as long as they are not fighting.
It's Monday.
But it kind of feels like Sunday. So we are all happy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The rest of the night

the girls wore their matching UNI t-shirts...

We started a fire...

and the girls watched the Miss America pageant...

and we played a game.
another fun night with people we love.
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we are turning into regulars...

at the bowling alley.
last night was our third time bowling in a month.
and it was just as fun as the rest!!

tony has some mad strike-dance skills.
as you can see...

our crew last night.
good good times...

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