Thursday, July 31, 2008

E to the Third


Emotions run high when it is time to school shop for your baby. A couple of weeks ago I took Ashlyn school shopping for uniforms and it was so tear jerking to see her in the little khaki shorts. And, I do mean little. She, of course, is excited. Me, I am excited for her because she has been looking forward to Kindergarten for so long but it is hard to see your baby growing up and knowing that soon you will be putting her out into the real world, only hoping that her teachers will love her and comfort her as if she were their own. Today, we bought the school supplies. Thank goodness, the only "choice" she got to make was for a spiral or Hannah Montana would have overtaken my buggy! Everything else was pretty specific on the list. (Still looking for Prang paints.) We also bought school shoes and now just need a few more supplies, cute socks and bows. The next few weeks as we make preparations for this drastic change in our lives will be coveted in prayer and a variety of emotions.
Not only is school starting but we are nearing the completion of our house. I am overwhelmed to the max, stay stressed out wondering if we can get everything done in the next two weeks and am losing sleep and losing weight (the latter is a plus). Yesterday, we stained the floors and when Jared and I went to look at it, he noticed a Jesus fish in our room. There was a string that had been stained to look just like the symbol for Christianity. I have to tell you that I took this simple sign as a reminder from God that He is in control and that things will happen in His time. I have been less stressed today, slept good last night and ate a good ol' Whataburger for lunch. It makes me smile just to think about this - Jesus knows us inside out and knew I needed encouragement and enlightenment - He gave it to me through the fish.
I have been a little concerned for closing on a house and starting back to work all within 12 days of each other (not even that when I consider meet the teacher night). Today, I signed up for homeowner's insurance and it will take effect at midnight tonight. This means that I am going to start moving in the boys rooms and the kids gameroom because those are three things that are totally complete. I may even vacuum out kitchen cabinets and start unloading boxes in there. I am so excited. I think this will be so much fun. Yahoo!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Colorado "cliff notes"

Golly gee, can't believe I am catching a break from the house (which needs a blog of its own). We have been back from Colorado since Saturday night - after a six day vacation. Poor Jared had to stay home to build the house. Here is a quick run down of our trip to the mountains.... (by the way, no pun intended in the title)

Sunday: We left Combine at 7:30 with three excited kids, one tired mama, a driving Mimi, Mamaw and Papaw in the 10 passenger rent van. We met up with Uncle Randy, Aunt Cindy and cousins Robin, Molly and Austin in Dallas and off we went - New Mexico bound! Ten hours in the van, one short picnic, several bathroom / gas breaks and a few naps later we made it to our first destination: Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Here, the kids were so happy to swim and they always enjoy hotel rooms. Me, I just wanted a break and something good to eat - Dairy Queen hit the spot.

Monday: Up and at'em to be bound for Durango. We left out for another 6 hour drive, through the beautiful mountains and pleasant weather. We finally made it to our vacation destination and to the Caboose Motel. We drove around the tourist town looking for entertainment possibilities, good eats and then back to our room to get organized and let the kids out of the car for the night. We did take the kids to play golf and ride go-carts, only the go-carts had been done away with. We went from here to the park and played and walked down to the river. When we made it back all the kids and my mom went to Randy and Cindy's room to play skip-bo. I used this time to get the suitcases in order and a little computer time.

Tuesday: We took the kids to the indoor recreation center where there was a slide, a lazy river, an olympic type pool with diving boards - all inside and heated. They all had so much fun. Ashlyn loves the water. Clayson was brave enough to try the high dive. Trey walked up the high dive five times and back down five times. He did like the regular diving board, though. We stayed here half the day and had a Subway/Burger King picnic because the weather was so perfect. It stayed overcast and cool most every day. Later, my mom, Randy, Cindy, Molly, Clayson and Trey decided to go do a two hour river rafting trip. Mamaw, Papaw, Austin, Robin, Ashlyn and I headed up to our moutain house in Purgatory where we would spend the rest of the week all together. This was my first time to drive up the mountain and it was a bit intense but I survived and so did my brave passengers :0) The house was perfect with two bedrooms downstairs, one bedroom upstairs with the living room, kitchen and dining. It had a laundry room and two and a half baths. The rafters made it home safely to enjoy some chili dogs that Robin grilled during the hail storm. Since we still had a room at the Caboose Motel, Ashlyn and I went back to stay there and left the 10 others at the house.

Wednesday: All aboard!! Everyone (but me) took the train from Durango to Silverton. I had made this trip twice and chose to not go this time. This gave me the entire day to my self, which I needed badly. I went to the house to do laundry, take a shower, organize our suitcases (I only had five different ones - and why is laundry more fun when you are not at home) and then I went back into Durango - which is a thirty minute drive from the house - where I shopped but only ended up buying ice cream at Cold Stone and took pictures. Durango is where Jared and I went on our honeymoon so I took pictures of where we stayed and other memorable places. (I wish I could say that we had a good time there but that would be pushing it. Inside story...) I picked up the passengers and it was back to the house we went - for manwich and/ or leftover hot dogs. I thought vacations were supposed to be restful - like eating out for every meal. That's not what the "bosses" had in mind I guess. It all worked out and we saved money so I won't complain. We played skip-bo and had a good time until it was finally time for bed, where I slept on a sofa bed in which I could feel every spring.

Thursday: Like it or not, I was signed up for a river rafting trip. Robin and I actually got to go this time while leaving the two little ones at the house with Mamaw and Papaw. We got to the booth, picked out some nasty water shoes that everyone can rent, waited around and then loaded up on a bus full of sweaty people and life jackets and headed to the river. The kids were excited because they enjoyed it so much the first time, I was nervous. (It must have a little to do with my control issues and when you are in the water, in a raft, I feel out of control.) So, they took us to the river and dropped us in the water. We chose not to paddle, or I spoke for all of us and said we did not want to. Our guide did the paddling while we had two oars to use for splashing battles only. I did not want to get wet - so much for that. Other rafters splashed us with all 8 of their oars and we were left drenched at one point. Our guide took us down the river sideways most of the time and guess who took the brunt of most of the rapids, me. Robin got her share of splashes, too. It was fun and I kind of wanted it to last longer but you get what you pay for. After we got back to shore we loaded up on the bus, hung our wet life jackets to dry and headed back. I could not wait to get out of the sloshy water boots. On the way home, we stopped and ate pizza. Yay for eating out :0) Back at the house, Mamaw started chicken and dumplins for dinner and we all kind of did our own thing until dinner. Even full of pizza, you cannot resist Mamaw's dumplins. After dinner we played a game called "chicken foot" with dominos and it was so much fun. I love playing games with my Mamaw - I know that helped my math skills and I hope to get my kids playing and doing the same mental math through score keeping that I did as a kid. Tonight, I chose to sleep on the couch instead of being sprung all night :)

Friday: Another early morning, another fun-filled day. Randy, Cindy, Robin and the kids decided to go on up to Ouray, a city in the mountains, and stay for the night. Before they left, we went to enjoy summer activities in our resort area. We rode a ski lift all the way up the mountain (at the Purgatory ski resort) and all the way down. It was almost to Heaven :0) Back at the base, we decided to ride the slide that went down the mountain and the kids and Robin did the trampoline bungee. Trey went way high, Clayson - not so much! They are brave in their own way. Trey did not have much of a choice, his guy sent him up. Ashlyn was most interested in trying to feed the chipmunks. They would come eat right out of her hand. They loved sunflower seeds. She kind of thought she was bonding with one, so she decided to reach out and grab it - bad idea. That little chipmunk went to squealing and bit her on the hand. She did not cry until she saw blood. Only my child would get bit by the wild animals - when we went to the ticket booth for some first-aid, no one knew what to do or think because they had never heard of it happening. Yep, that's my girl . Thank goodness chipmunks do not carry rabies. I can't handle any more doctor bills! So, we wrapped up the morning, said our goodbyes to the family and went back into Durango for souvenier shopping at Wal-Mart. (*side note: the kid's Nana had bought scratch off tickets and one won $100 so they all had $33 to spend) Ashlyn picked out a baby doll and Hannah Montana stuff, the boys decided to save. We drove around and took a few pictures, stopped at a hot spring, and then it was back to the house to load the van for departure.

Saturday: Home again, home again - jiggity jig. Leaving the mountain house at 7:00 - we were ready for a road trip to take us back to Combine, Texas. It took us 15 hours to get home. In the meantime, I started a good book, got some naps and intervened in kid battles. We were so glad to be back home. I was thrilled to know that there wasn't any laundry to do in the morning. Back in our own beds, back to the daddy and back to home building. Phew.......

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rashy Ashy

Anna gave me this idea for the title - as she is in the background saying it while I am on the phone with her mama. Shout out to Anna :0)

I decided that I better take Ashlyn to the dr. today (after Lowes, of course) because her face and feet seem swollen. The rash is more lacy today than puffy. My kids can't just get a common cold; it's been a rash, staph infections and cysts this summer. Never a dull moment, as most moms would say. Turns out she has a "spiral" infection (viral infection) / viral "inspection" - Ashlyn just can't get the physician's terminology correct :0)

So, with the help of a daily claritin maybe she will start looking normal soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Mood Lift

Yesterday, I desperately needed some sleep, peace amongst the children and time to sulk. Let's just say - I got most of what I wanted. Peace among the children seems impossible. I did rest, sulk and indulge in pecan praline ice cream.

Before going to bed Ashlyn was laughing at her arms and legs because they were red. I did not think anything about it, she had been outside and they might have been a little burned. But, when I actually came out of my pity party, I noticed that she was rashy - all over. Being the good mom and her being the third child, we decided to sleep on it and see if it was better in the morning. It turned into another restless night and I can't blame it on my racing mind this time. Ashlyn was cranky. She would cry, toss, turn and scratch. Still, we waited until this morning to do anything about it. I should be ashamed of myself... In the waking moments I made a mental note to self to get up and go to Wal-Mart for Benadryl and toilet paper first thing.

I got up early (9:00) to head out. Ashlyn was right behind me. She normally never gets up before 10:30. I told her that I had some Benadryl that she needed to take. She said that she did not need Benadryl, she wanted Neosporin. I tried to convince her that would not work as I forced the melt away on her tongue as she gagged. I think she managed to get some medicine down. I went to Wal-Mart, got the things on my list and was home and ready to get started on unpacking so that I could repack. (Doesn't make sense? Read on.)

I started with the kitchen boxes. I washed everything and got excited to see the bakeware, the dinnerware and the cups/glasses that had long been forgotten. I washed, dried, organized and put them into tubs so that they will stay clean throughout the next couple of weeks. I even started emptying the shack's kitchen cabinets with things we don't use. I was in the groove! Ashlyn was so excited to get to see her baby toys as we went through those boxes. It was a day of unpacking, repacking, reminiscing and messes. It brought me out of my funk though. I felt like I was able to do something worthwhile. It dawned on me that I don't want to wait until we are through to start moving, I need to start now. Otherwise, school starting and trying to move will not be a delightful predicament.

Oh, about Ashlyn's rash - it seems to be getting better ...maybe... it seems to have a fever but you would never know anything is wrong with her. Just for the record - the benadryl dissolvent put her out like a light, the off brand that I went for today - livened her up. Going back to the dissolvent immediatly :)

Her and I just got back from a trip to Whataburger. All the way there she wanted to know why the sun followed us everywhere. An aha moment for this science teacher mom, I explained to her that the sun does not move, we move around it. This hard-headed five year old was not convinced. But, we both gave up trying to prove our point and moved on to better things, like the fact that we have not fixed her hair today. She wanted to know if we were just going to go through the drive-FRU. It was an exhausting twenty minute trip!

We are home enjoying our less-than-healthy dinners and all is well...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

one big headache

About a month away from moving in and I am supposed to be excited. I want to be excited. I can't get excited. There are about four things that need to be done before we are finished building. But, they are four BIG things: countertops, painting doors and trim, staining the floor & installing carpet and tile, setting the trim. (There are more than these things but not blogworthy because they are simple tasks to do here and there.) I cannot sleep at night because my mind is racing with knowing that I have no control over the completion of these tasks, a month from now puts me very close to going back to work and Jared cannot think of more than one task at a time. This is one downside to building your own house. These four things will be done by Jared. I'd like to hire help but oh, no.

I decided that since I am not much help (besides sweeping and cleaning up) that I would go ahead and start bringing boxes down from the loft. I look forward to going through these and seeing things that we have not seen in over two years. I am excited about this. Maybe it will give me something to do and think about.

I have been fighting a headache for three days due to lack of sleep, my back hurts, my patience is limited. I just want it to be done!! Godspeed...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Decorating State of Mind

The farther along we get on the house, the more I think about what I need for certain areas. I look online for ideas and came across a great blog, One Woman's Cottage Life. I like to pull things from all different areas; the internet, magazines, other homes and friends. This may bore some of you - I apologize for that. I am just putting it all out there so that I can refer back to it and hopefully some of you may have suggestions or more decorating sense than I have. Otherwise, I'll just get overwhelmed and end up putting pictures of my kids everywhere :).

I have mentioned before that Jared wants a rustic house. I am okay with rustic / primitive/ country / antique. But, I don't want to be tied to dead animals (deer) and horses & saddles all over the house. I showed him something tonight from the blog mentioned above and he said that it wasn't western enough. I stopped in his tracks (no pun intended) and told him that I don't want to go all western. He said we could go with the idea I had found. Has he finally given up some control he has over the house, I can only hope. I don't mind horeshoes and stars but they must be able to fit in with my wooden signs and other cute stuff. Fortunately for me, First Monday purchases are non-refundable. He'll have to like what I have bought and where I put it. We'll go for the lodge look and hope to have a happy medium. In all reality, he does not spend enough time inside to care.

So, here are some ideas I have seen and would like to share and get your opinions on. Let me give you a run down of the house and my ideas for each room.

* Entry: it is a big area. Jared wants an antler chandelier and I am okay with that (better than it hanging over my kitchen table). I am going to want a sofa table with decor and I am thinking we may need a big metal star on the wall. I will grin and bear it.

* Office: His grandparents mentioned that they would hook us up with this room. They have a storage shed full of antique furniture, so I hope they do. This may be the dead animal room - the deer heads and stuff. We'll think "old cabin" theme for the office.

* Ashlyn's room and bathroom: We're going pink and brown in both. She is into butterflies and polka-dots. I am down with that. I found the cutest pink glass cabinet knobs online and her cabinets are a brown distressed look, I can't wait to pull it all together. I bought her a brown shower curtain and will tie it up with pink ribbons. I also want to look for wicker baskets for shelves. Her bedspread is plain but it is the sheets that will liven it up. I saw the ensemble at Belk and had to have it all. I got her a wrought iron bed, still need a bed table, dresser and maybe a little desk.

* Living room: We'll need a sectional, recliner and Jared has high hopes for a big flat screen. Theme in here: rustic. You may see some horeshoe candle holders in the great room. I saw in a magazine where they created a bench-turned-coffee- table and adorned it with a quilted runner and some flowers and it was oh, so neat. I'll be on the look out for an old bench. (I also saw the bench used as a sofa table and at the foot of the bed. Maybe I need three...)

* Kitchen: Colors: red, blue and brown. I have bought signs with sayings, milk bottles, wooden stars, shaker boxes and coffee signs and decor. This is what I am little concerned about - my coffee signs. I hope I can pull it all together. I am thinking that if they don't look good on the wall, they'll look good on top of the cabinets. I am searching for the perfect canisters. I would also like to make the tops of my cabinets full of primitive pieces. Another cool idea I came across was a small antique table used as an island. It had a long placemat on it, an old tea pitcher with daisies, an old bowl with fruit and a place setting sitting on it. Way neat. Another simple idea from a magazine was a mason jar with a cute cup-towel placed inside and sticking out the top.

*Dining room: It is painted a barn red. We need a rectangular farmhouse table and chairs. I bought a wooden decorative bowl and stand for the centerpiece. My friend Zan told me how much fun it is to fill it with seasonal things. I am excited. We hope to get a corner hutch.

1/2 Bath: Outhouse theme. I have a country bath sign and a couple of outhouses. We want to do the vessel sink on brick countertop.

Laundry room: Well, it was supposed to be terra-cotta but it turned out orange. It'll wake you up. We have a mud bench in there, so it will be our mud/laundry room. Ideas I have found: a shadowbox that was created by covering a former exterior window with corkboard and then putting the old window frame over it. Then, you fill the box with themed items. I also want to get a big chalkboard with a frame around it to cover some of the orange wall. I really wanted some crosses and flowers in here somewhere. Still trying to determine how I could do this. I love the mud bench I mentioned. There are three cubbies - each child will have a top shelf, hanger for backpacks, and storage under the bench. Got some great ideas at Pottery Barn kids for this - they used buckets and wicker baskets for the storage areas. I bought old /rusted coat hooks at Canton for cheap.

Entry to master bedroom: There is a wall, then a stair closet, then the master bedroom (hard to explain but when you leave the master bedroom, you see this wall). I bought a sign that says "Children are a gift from God" that I am thinking I will put here and then a collage of pictures in different frames. The stair closet may be for storing gifts if I get the lock knob. Ashlyn would really like it to be her play house.

Master Bedroom: I think I have a bedspread that I bought a long time ago. We have a bedroom full of matching furniture. I think I have a sign or two to spruce it up.

Master Bathroom: I am at a loss for this area... need to keep looking / thinking. There is a lot of space to fill. We are thinking about doing a river rock countertop.

Clayson's Room: It is green for a camo theme. I've gotten him some pictures and signs and other decorative things. This room won't be hard.

Trey's Room: It is blue for fishing. I've also gotten him pictures and signs. He wants a fish aquarium. I'd like to get some fake trees to put in here, fishing net and a bait bucket.

Boys bathroom: I went a little crazy at Bass Pro Shop and got them antler toilet paper holder and some other hunting and fishing things. This will be a combination of both worlds.

Gameroom: (is in front of the boys room and bathroom) As much as I would like to do skateboards, motorcycles, Hannah Montana metal signs and stuff I am wondering how it would be with the hunting and fishing all around it. Maybe this could be the montage room - a little bit of everything. Ashlyn will have her stage up here and this is where the boys' TV and game stations will be.

Random ideas:
* Take old shutters and prop them against the wall for hanging pictures or other things on. My aunt actually did this and they are neat to have. I was blessed to get one of my Granny's that they had made her.
* I see old books and hymnals everywhere with things on top of them or beside them.
* Window planter with terra-cotta pots that could hold pens and paper if kept by the phone or other items depending on its location.
*Cute baskets filled with bathroom towels, soap sitting on bathroom counter.

That's all I've got for now. Please share your ideas and/ or suggestions. I hope you weren't too bored in my room-by-room interior decorating ramblings!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Time For Independence

We had a great 4th of July weekend! I have several "short stories" and pictures to share our fun with you.

Let Freedom Ring

For some reason, Ashlyn looks so forward to the 4th of July. She had been counting down the days the whole week. She says it is because she likes wearing red, white and blue. Clayson and Trey love it for obvious reasons. What is it with boys and fireworks?! At the garage sale the week before, Ashlyn and Trey made $5 each selling lemonade and pickles so they had money to spend at the firework stand. Clayson, on the other hand, just so happened to lose a tooth the night before for his $5. (Is it just me or has the tooth fairy gotten richer?!) They were all happy to spend their hard-earned / luck of the pull money but, as usual, they wanted more. Not happening. We went to lunch at the Golden Corral (we chose this over Furrs, which is very unusual) with Cindy and Corbin. Corbin is always good for entertainment. :0) He happens to be very scared of raw shrimp and being the spiteful Davis', we aggravated him just for the reaction.

That night, we went over to my mom and dad's for good food and fireworks. My dad's woody burgers are the best :0) The kids were right in the middle of lighting fireworks. Jared was at work so thank goodness my dad was on duty. It scares me. Ashlyn has no fear. We enjoyed the company and the show.

Puppy Love

Saturday, Ashlyn and I shopped with my mom for furniture. I don't know why it is that I get so overwhelmed with what we need and want that I can never find anything when I start to look. Saturday night, we went up to the fire station for the Seagoville fireworks show. The kids convinced Jared to let them take the puppy. I was not all for this but how bad can it be, right? One dog and three kids = BAD. They fought over the dog the entire night!! They wanted to walk him, hold him, pet him ... I felt the need to apologize for their behavior to all my friends that were around. Had we not been in public, I could have dealt with this accordingly. Instead, I have to grit my teeth, smile and yell at them through a gritty smile. I told them that when we got home their punish might just be sitting on the couch, holding the dog for one hour each. Had it not been so late, I might have followed through. The end result is that the dog does not EVER go with us again!!

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

My mother-in-law has become friends with some wrestlers in Rockwall from the Christian Wrestlers Foundation. She takes my kids to their monthly shows and "backstage" to interact with them. On Sunday, Rob (wrestler) and his wife, Anissa, came with another Swedish wrestler, Graham, to swim and eat. I had leverage over my kids all weekend (if you're not good -you don't get to go to Nana's on Sunday), too bad I didn't think of this with all the puppy pandemonium but I did use it in other instances. It always helps to have something to hold over my angels' heads. Lucky for them, they were all good enough to go. Ashlyn put on a shy face but Clayson and Trey joined Rob as soon as they shed their shirts and shoes. They had a million questions. It turns out that Rob and Anissa know a lot of people from Crandall. It's a small world. We ate and then Jared and I headed home to do some work on the house. They said that Ashlyn eventually warmed up and performed Hannah Montana on her stage for them. I don't know where she gets her personality from, Jared and I are not big "entertainers". I hope she never loses this sense of entertainment. Maybe she will make us rich one day :)

Sunday night, we had a girl's night at Cindy's. It was me, Rhonda, Cindy, Andrea and Sharon. It has been so long since we've spent any time together and we laughed for hours. Friends are good for the soul.

So, there's my weekend wrap-up. See ya soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This & That

It's been a busy week. What's new, huh?!

Sunday: We worked all day on the cabinets and started getting them painted. They are looking great. It is so wonderful to have such a resourceful husband that can save us money because he can do so many things that we would have to pay someone to do otherwise. He is also very dedicated to getting the house finished. (I had to change his order of events but turns out he is okay with the changes. You never know. ) Our goal is to be in at the end of July. Pray for us as we continue to make decisions and compromise :) My dad has gotten in on the action, he loves to paint. He came prepared with a watermelon in the ice chest that we all enjoyed.

Monday: The kids went to their Nana and Pop's. I had to go to Home Depot to get red and brown paint. I took a little detour and met up with Jennifer and Allison and their sweet circus animals, I mean kids, at Chilis. Ava and Ross (mainly Ava) only caused us a few dirty looks. Hard to imagine such a sweet girl getting loud enough to attract attention. The couple in the booth behind us will probably request alternate seating next time they are led to a booth behind 3 moms and 4 kids...imagine if mine had been there! Came home and worked hard in the house. I like to be needed every now and then.

Tuesday: My crew, Jennifer and Anna, Allison and her A girls, Cindy and Corbin met us at the pool for a farewell to the vacationing Andrew girls. They were leaving to go to Puerto Rico for three weeks so we had to have quality time with them before they left. As usual, it was not uneventful. Ava fell into the pond (a manmade, shallow pond) and all we could see was her head in the lillies. Don't think we weren't watching or paying attention though. She walked right into it. Allison and Ava were a little frazzled but she was made clean in the pool :0) Ashlyn finally got up the nerve to take off her lifejacket and swam all over the hot tub. It won't be long before she is a fish without the life saving support. It was a fun afternoon and we always enjoy seeing our kids play and the time we get to visit and realize that in every situation, we are not alone. Whether it is a been there-done that or what would you do ... between us, we can always share a solution or make one up!

Wednesday: Ashlyn was a little under the weather so we stuck around the house. I was needing a break from the excitement. We got news that Allison had made it to their destination safe and sound ... benadryl and kids are a peaceful mix when needed.

Today: I got up early, picked up Zan and then Angela and it was off to First Monday. Some said there may not be many vendors but there was plenty for me. I got some great stuff for the house (let's just hope it is rustic enough). I went sign crazy! I love the sayings on signs. Zan is really good at coming up with ideas and helping pick out things. She will have to come around when it is time for decorating. I just don't have the eye for pulling things all together. If random is in then I will be in good shape. I am thinking primitive/antique/rustic. Let's just hope it doesn't become clutter.

Tomorrow: 4th of July. Ashlyn loves to dress up in red, white & blue. She remembers where we were last year and what she wore. We'll be celebrating at my mom and dad's. Jared works. Have a good holiday and a long weekend.