Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wrapping up February

We had a few nice days where we got outside and even to the park. 
It was weather-therapy for EVERYONE.

I was able to take Isaac to his first major musical.  We saw The Addams Family
and it was so very good!  He laughed at Lurch the most, but the whole thing was really funny.

We also got to doggy-sit for both Marley and Murphy.
Murphy used to look like this:

And now he's doubled in size and tripled in fur I think!

He's big.  But he's a gentle giant 100%.
 Anyone else ready for spring?

Isaac is S I X ! ! !

Isaac was so excited for the Lego movie to come out the weekend we celebrated his birthday in Hays!  He took classmates John W., Carson, and Blaise with him to see the movie and those boys had a giggly-good time.  It's so fun to see Isaac interact with other young boys as we don't get to see that on a regular basis. 
This picture shows Isaac being bummed the movie was over!

After the movie we drove the boys to our house to play, eat pizza & dessert, and open gifts.  Gram & Papa were here watching the three girls while we were at the movie.  Stella joined us along with the Wentling family and we had a great evening. 

Royce was scheduled to work in Kansas City Feb 12, 13, 14 which is pretty normal for February.  He usually gets to see Isaac maybe in the morning or evening of his birthday but is headed to or from  KC on the 13th regardless.  This year the kids didn't have school on Friday, February 14th or Monday, February 17th so we decided that Royce would leave for KC on the 11th then I would bring the kids to KC after school on the 13th so we could celebrate Isaac's birthday WITH Royce in KC and have Isaac's birthday dinner at T-Rex.  It was a really great weekend!  A few details of our plan had to change last-minute but we made the absolute best of the weekend and really, truly had a fun time with just the six of us celebrating. 
Eating at T-Rex was fun, as expected.  Being a popular restaurant we were there for about 3 hours which was much longer than we had hoped but Royce and I agree that the kids were absolutely fantastic being patient and waiting so nicely.  They have a lot of play spaces to spend the wait time.

Isaac was so happy to be sang to by the restaurant staff!

We also decided to go to Lego Land while we were in KC.  In keeping with the Lego theme of Isaac's birthday it was a perfect ending to our weekend.  The kids had a GREAT time.  Isaac was on cloud nine and he was excited to spend the birthday money that friends and family had given him (with most of them knowing he'd want to buy something BIG at Lego Land).  When asked what Isaac wanted for his birthday the ONLY thing he would answer was "Star Wars Legos". 

Swinging on a wrecking ball crashing into giant Legos!

A&C loved this pit of giant rubber Legos!

So many statues in this place. 
It truly is amazing to see the large structures built out of Legos.

And finally home, with a day off from school to build the ultimate Star Wars X-Wing with his dad. 
Here is Isaac holding his newest pride-and-joy!
All 560 pieces of the set he used his own money for.
A happy boy who had a very happy birthday. 
We can't believe you are six!  You are growing and maturing so much in Kindergarten this year.  You are all boy and want to know how everything works.  You are kind, still impatient with your siblings a bit, but you are the best brother they could ask for all the same.  Thank you for being such a great kid.  You make us laugh and you (finally!) don't get upset when people laugh at funny things you do.  You shouldn't be upset - - you are truly a funny person!  We love you so much and would be lost without your trail of socks! (...although feel free to test that theory anytime....)   Make this sixth year the best it can be!
We love you!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oh, Boy!

Amelia and I were the only ones in the car one day.  Conversation is always exciting when you are one-on-one with a child.  I don't remember what I saw, but I pointed it out to Amelia and said, "Oh boy!"  Here's the rest:

Amelia:  I'm not a BOY!
Me:  No, you're not a boy.  Is Isaac a boy?
Amelia:  Yes!
Me:  What is Chloe?
Amelia:  A girl!
Me:  That's right!  So what is Amelia?
Amelia:  ..............pause.........................."TWINS." 

"Honey, let's paint the cabinets...." Home Renovation 2013-2014

Okay, it didn't quite start with just the cabinets.   Royce and I ordered new hardwood floors in late October 2013 and I was going to paint the cabinets to give our home a much-needed facelift.  It started off just as we'd planned. 
I was thrilled with the progress of the cabinets.  Not a process I enjoy, painting cabinets that is.  I don't enjoy it at all.  But a gallon of paint is a lot more budget-friendly than new cabinets.  I was so excited for ANY change whatsoever that I didn't care how much of my time was involved. 
SOMEBODY walked on my pantry door as it was drying in the garage.  Leaving perfect Amelia-sized foot prints.  I'm aware they are also Caroline-sized.  And I'm not 100% sure it was Amelia, the paint was only tacky and not really wet anymore so there was no visible proof. 
But I'm 99.9% sure it was Amelia.

November 20, 21, 22
Let the DEMO begin!
What fun is removing old laminate flooring if you can't have car-races down a huge ramp?

"Okay.  If we're going to get new flooring we should really shift some cabinets that just don't make a lot of sense.  If we're going to do it we need to do it NOW before the floors. "
Let the CABINET demo begin!


Finding lots of treasures hidden behind make-shift coverings!

A little more BEFORE:
DURING: November 25-29

Let us pause for a moment and breathe in the Heavenliness of these floors!
Anyone who knows what the floor was like before will understand our delight. 
3/4" Solid Hardwood Natural Acacia.
Exactly, precisely, perfectly what we wanted.
I was soooo fortunate to find a flooring guy who specialized in custom designs and insets.  While Royce and I figured out most of the math and layout, Jason was able to execute the design exactly how I had hoped it would turn out. 

At this point we had a LOT of people wondering if we were actually going to reel this project in and make it look like everything was supposed to be here! 
Just before the above picture we had four different cabinet colors (previous white, new gray, purchased oak, and Royce's homemade above-the-fridge bridge).  Pretty sure the doubters were doubtin' but Royce and I knew what we were after.  The floor was the only place we hired labor and the rest was up to us but we had faith in ourselves and our vision. 

Royce did the stairs himself! 
We LOVE having wooden steps instead of carpet. 

Royce took a first stab at cabinet making and stair treads & risers while I took my first run at tiling.  I've watched a million shows about it, was very confident I could do it, and after Ron got me going with setting the tiles correctly I was able to finish on my own.  

"Well, if we're re-arranging cabinets that means new countertops too, right?"
December 18, new counters arrive.  We ARE hosting Christmas on December 25th. 
"And while we're taking the sink out we may as well get a new faucet."
This is precisely how the instructions said to install the faucet.
Have your pocket-sized seven-year-old daughter stand on the counter and hold the mechanisms in place while you attach remaining parts....
Also during this time I textured the hearth room & hallway walls, painted them, and Royce and I put up crown molding & he put up window casing & baseboards.  Hanging crown molding with your spouse will really strengthen a marriage.  Try it sometime.
We had everything in place for Christmas festivities except for the back-ordered backsplash tile, crown molding to cap the cabinets, and one upper cabinet on our North wall.  So it wasn't too bad at all.  Very livable, and through it all we were only without a kitchen sink for about 36 hours the week before Christmas.  Not too bad.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Happy New Year!~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Week of January 13th I started setting backsplash tile.  Whew!  Tiling vertically isn't as gravity-friendly as tiling horizontally!  This isn't very much fun at all.  I got a good chunk done and then was busy with work and quite frankly tired of home projects all together.  About 10 days passed with no change and then we shipped kids off for a weekend to make our last ditch effort at finishing.  With the help of that weekend, a delay with the passing around of a stomach bug, and finishing strong again we were done by February 9th. 
14 weeks of work with on-and-off construction.
But I don't think 14 weeks is too bad for doing it all ourselves. 
We worked hard, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into the project, and we got
EXACTLY what we were after. 
Speaking of 'after'...