Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Camping Out - what else do you do the first night in a new house?

As we'd promised the children, we camped out in the new house the night of closing.

And, what else do you do in an empty house? Bring along the laptop and a movie to watch before bed!
Miss Baby was already asleep in her pack 'n play when this picture was taken - camping out is one of the children's favorite activities...we'll see how they like real camping when we finally get around to planning a trip to do so!

And, just so you know....camping out...on the for young children...not grown adults....and, well, even with a brand new air mattress it isn't that comfortable - I think we got a dud, it was deflating throughout the night - oh, my poor back/neck/shoulders....well, you get the picture. Needless to say, we slept in the old house last night and it was sooo good to be back in my own bed! No more sleeping at the new house until the beds are moved over!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Closing Day on the House - everything's an adventure!

Well, I finally broke down and asked a friend w/3 children of her own and one due in July if she'd be so incredibly fabulous and kind as to watch my 5 as well for a few hours while I went to the closing. She very graciously agreed - I owe her BIG!

I headed off to the closing and got there right on time - an hour drive - CKB had just pulled in the parking lot before I did, perfect timing :)

We headed into the building where our realtor was waiting for us. She is a very sweet lady who has persevered with us for a couple of years while we looked and looked off and on, changed our minds a few times about what we wanted to look at, revised our real estate searches, etc. etc. etc. and finally it was coming to fruition - all her hard work would finally pay off, literally, and she even brought us a gift for our new home - what a sweet gesture!

Closing, or as I like to think of it as "How to Ruin Your Lovely Signature in Just Under an Hour" - took....just under an hour.  :)

Since I'd allowed for it to take 2 hours with my very kind friend, plus an hour's drive time there and an hour back, I felt comfortable grabbing a quick bite to eat w/CKB to celebrate and it was lunchtime after all. We went to a restaurant just down the street that was touted as being "very nice" by our closing person...not sure what her title was, but she was not the person we'd been working with to get the paperwork done all along.

She was right, it was a very nice place and we enjoyed a fantastic lunch. We don't often eat a quiet meal, just the two of us and since we planned to celebrate w/the children later in the day, we didn't feel tooooo guilty :)

We finished lunch in just under an hour as well and CKB headed back to work as I headed back to the house, intending to swing by and get the keys to the house on the way. Well, the best laid plans, right? I got a flat tire as I was driving along....oh joy....I pulled off on the side of the very busy road I was traveling down and got out the air compressor/pump/whatever it is and commenced airing up the tire intending to go down to the next turn and get some Fix a Flat so I could get home. 5 - 10 - 15 mn. later and the tire was not inflating. Fabulous. I called and talked to CKB about it and then called roadside assistance - estimate 30 mn. 'til someone would be there. Fun. Called my friend at the house and told her what was going on - turns out she needed to be somewhere at 3:45.....yikes....told her I hoped to be back on the road soon and how incredibly sorry I was for the delay. Tow truck guy showed up in about 10 mn. and changed the tire quickly, aired up the spare, and I was on my way.

Now lest you think I just call roadside assistance any old time, I will take this opportunity to inform you that my Dad taught me how to change a tire way back when and I would've done it myself if it wasn't for a couple of factors...1. I couldn't get the lugnuts off - they were too tight...ahem...and 2. People were flying down this highway/road at over 60 miles an hour right alongside the shoulder where I was parked and I didn't relish the thought of becoming a human pancake.

'nuf said

So....back on the road, racing home at a riveting 50 mph because I don't want the donut to explode and finally get home, in the nick of time for said friend and her 3 child crew to head out and get to where they needed to be just in time.


CKB got the keys on his way home, we met him at the new house and the rest will be in another post.  :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shopping for a new refrigerator - a day long journey

Well, we spent the better part of the day shopping for a new fridge and finally found the one we wanted.

We started at Lowe's and looked at the french door top/freezer bottom type.
Then looked at the side by sides briefly before looking at the freezer on top, fridge on bottom, standard type.

We compared sizes, noting that the side by side generally gave us more cubic feet, but I questioned whether or not we truly were gaining anything since they all pretty much had the ice maker in them w/the water/ice dispenser and that seemed to take up a ton of space (like the one we have currently).

We looked at the french door on top/freezer on bottom some more and decided against them - a few reasons why:

1. price
2. the children are young (9, 8, 6, 4, 1) and in the interest of self-sufficiency at times they need to be able to access things in the fridge - if the fridge is up top/high they can't reach most everything in there.
3. I didn't like how much I had to lean over to get things in the freezer area.

So....after looking, we left and went to Best Buy to compare models, etc. Very disappointed w/the selection there, didn't stay long. Also, a delivery fee on top of the price of the fridge.

Then, we went to Home Depot. Started feeling like we were getting closer to a decision, but I confess, I started waffling a little and leaning back toward the side by side again - the in door water dispenser/ice dispenser IS nice. BUT, we do have a water cooler thingamajig that you put the 5 or 3 gallon jugs of water on top of and then can get hot, room temp or cold water from....the water line on the back of our side by side was destroyed when we moved 3 years ago and we got the water cooler then - so we could still use it and just wouldn't have the crushed ice option. Just about decided on a freezer top/fridge bottom, but weren't sure so we decided one more stop.

Went to the SEARS appliance center (mind you, these are all either in the same shopping center or on the opposite side of the road in another center, so we weren't traveling far - thank goodness, BUT were taking 5 children in/out of each of these places and probably had about 5 potty trips all together - I so need to find a nanny/sitter/etc. that I can count on being there when I need her!).

So, in SEARS, we were pretty much leaning toward a freezer top/fridge bottom - had the salesman see when they could get it for us - found out it would be an additional $35 for the ice maker and then $65 more for delivery which impacted the price considerably - guy said they could get it to us in a week, we really were hoping for Tuesday - we close on our house Monday and are very much ready to be in it already! We decided to take one more look back at Lowe's at one that was very similar to the one we had looked at in SEARS.

Got back to Lowe's - looked at said fridge, salesman came up to see if we had questions - asked about delivery - FREE. He told us that the one we were looking at was actually being clearanced out - he'd been looking into it for a guy earlier that day - and it would be 10% off. That sounded good. We had looked online before arriving at the store that morning and seen a coupon for 10% off for moving and asked if it'd be possible to use that since I hadn't printed it out - he said, let me see. He came back, said "How about we just make it 20% off?"

Guess what's to be delivered at our new house on Tuesday?

So, we ended up going with the freezer on top/ fridge on bottom.

Here's why -

1. price
2. ease of access for children
3. wider shelves - I usually buy about 4 gallons of milk at a time and was hard pressed to fit them and juice and whatever other drink we might like to have on hand on those narrow shelves in the side by side.
4. Don't really *need* the on door ice/water dispenser - it will have an ice maker inside and we have the water cooler. No crushed ice for me, but that's ok.

Did anyone actually read this? :) Maybe in another 10 years, if this one conks out, we'll consider the freezer at the bottom model since the children will be taller then ;)

What style fridge do you have and what do you like/dislike about it?


Flip flops or sandals?

Such a dilemna - I see so many cute pairs of flip flops (I even finally let the girls get a pair - of course everywhere we go they are constantly stopping because the flip flops are flying off their feet - I knew that would happen....), but I just can't bring myself to get any. I have tried them before, and my big toe and its neighbor have had to stand up for the skin between and "Just say no!" - they hurt!

I honestly don't know how folks can wear them....but I see them EV-ERY-WHERE - so I guess other folks just have tougher feet or enjoy foot pain...or something!

Anyway, it came up again yesterday when I went sandal shopping and I just thought y'all would want to know ;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Times...they are a changin'

Sigh. Today I sold our double stroller. We hardly ever used it when I got it about 6 years ago and with our move coming up, it was time. The girl who bought it has a 5 mo. old and her Mom watches a 1 year old as well. I hope they will get a lot of use out of it.

My babies are growing up...sniff sniff.

Monday, Monday...

We got word yesterday that we should be able to close on the new house on Monday! Hurray! Now, we'll see if that pans out, still a few details to work out, like finding a sitter for the children Monday, making sure CKB can get off work for a few hours, etc. etc. Nothing is ever simple :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

If you're a fan of this show, well, this probably isn't the blog post for you so just go on and leave right now before you get your dander up or whatever that expression is....

The other night, we were getting the children ready for bed and before heading out of the den, Miss Baby flipped the tv on - since we were planning to watch something when we came back, we just left it on. After getting Miss Baby in bed, I came back in the den only to find "Dancing with the Stars" was coming to an end. I do not watch this show, nor have the slightest interest in it and quite frankly couldn't even tell who the "stars" were when they panned over the "contestants" that night.

I will say this about the show is a shame that one woman in particular, I have no idea what her name is/was, felt it necessary to display practically her entire body to the world on national tv in the most ridiculous get up that could even deign to be described as a "dress" that I think I've ever seen. And it didn't appear that this past week was the only outfit she'd worn of the type as apparently she and her partner were leaving the show and they showed short clips from shows past and just about every other outfit was extremely revealing as well.

What has happened to modesty? Do people even think when they look in the mirror any more about how they appear? What their clothing says to those who see them?

Anyway, lesson learned - don't just leave the tv on - you never know what might come on, even a primetime network channel which used to be a lot safer of a thing to watch. I'm very glad the children were in their rooms and didn't wander in and see the "half naked" woman on tv. I can only imagine the questions and comments that would've ensued from seeing such a display.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Vacuuming - what a delight!

Today we have someone coming out from the rental company to peruse the property and put the lockbox on the front door. Thus begins the unpleasant time. Any day of the week, just about any time of day, someone could be coming to see the house. We will get a "courtesy call" with as much notice as possible - maybe a couple of hours, maybe not even that much, before said people show up.

Then, I have to decide, to leave or not to leave. I detest having people in the house w/o us here. As Miss A said this morning - what if they steal something? Well, that's the risk we take. I soooo look forward to owning our own home again. Of course, whenever we would sell that home, we'd have to go through this again, just for selling, but still.

Being here is a pain because I feel self-conscious about the state of the house - all the "stuff" - etc.
Leaving, I worry about what's going on here while we're away.

When we were looking for a house and going to see one, one of the children started to go toward the toys in the house we were looking at. We told said child not to touch, that those were not our toys. The realtor showing us the house, contradicted us and said "Oh, it's ok, go ahead and play" -, I don't think so.

So....anyway. I spent part of the morning vacuuming the entire house and cleaning a to clean off the table from breakfast and put up laundry from the den. Miss Baby is napping now and as soon as those 2 things are done, and she wakes up, we are leaving and I'm going to try not to worry about this person coming into the house.

Can we please have our closing date and move already? Please?  :) Soon, I hope.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just for fun - Homeschoolers "I Will Survive"

This made me chuckle - we're taking a semi-break today and yesterday from everything but History, Geography, Literature, and Art and found this video from some homeschool Moms funny - enjoy!

Here's the direct link in case too much of it is being chopped off on the right - this was the smallest size for embedding it and still some of it is "off the screen" on the right.

...and busier

I got a call yesterday from the rental company saying a lady would be coming out Wednesday, tomorrow, to view the property and take pictures so they could get the house on the market again (the lease is up the end of May and their goal is to have someone move in the mn. we leave).

Oh joy.

I asked if she had pictures from BEFORE we moved in that she could use because we've already started going through stuff and packing a little and there was a lot of stuff and it wasn't exactly neat. She said, yes, but since it'd been 3 years, they needed to take some new ones too - well, whatever, I warned her. And yes, THREE YEARS????? I can hardly believe we've been here in this house for 3 years, that was never the plan, but anyway!

As for closing on the new house - still waiting for "the call" with the date. Soon, soon, I hope.

So.....plans changed yesterday - cancelled dinner for tonight and am rescheduling (thankful for understanding dinner guests!) - night is the only time I can get much of anything done and we needed both last night and tonight to "tidy up" before "the visit" tomorrow.

Accomplishments from last night.....front hall, dining room, hall desk area, boys' room.

Today - hoping to get the kitchen straightened up, vacuum areas that were tidied up last night (didn't want to wake Miss Baby last night w/the vacuum) - also the den.

Today - also the girls will be working on their room....probably all day :)   (while trying to accomplish the impossible of not allowing new messes to be created by any of the children -  HA HA HA HA HA HA)

Tonight - CKB here - work on our room and then try to relax about the whole thing and not worry about it any more.

Doesn't that all sound like so much fun?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Busier week than usual...and packing must begin sometime

This will prove to be a little bit of a busier week than usual for us. We have dr. appointments, company coming for dinner, and a fun outing toward the end of the week, not to mention piano lessons and all the regular things we must do each day around here. On top of all of that, somewhere along the way some packing needs to be happening so it all doesn't have to be done at the last minute! Oh yes, and spreading some "weed 'n feed" onto the yard to try and combat all the new weeds that have sprouted in the yard since we are "supposed to leave the yard better than it was when we moved in" - uh huh - it was a disaster when we moved in and the weeds currently growing are an improvement over what it looked like, but somehow I don't think that'll matter to the rental company, they'll just be looking for a "nice yard" - so....we spread stuff on the yard and hope for some improvement over the course of the next month!

Today's goal - pack up all of the school stuff that we don't need for the remainder of the school "year" and tidy up for company tomorrow! Also, put out weed killer/turf builder. Fun fun!

What's on your plate for today?

UPDATE - lawn has been treated - yeehaw- something accomplished!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cleaning for 4 hours every day - no way.....but wait...

A few years back, I think it was, I saw part of an episode of "The Wife Swap" - now, while I do not like the premise of this show AT ALL, I was intrigued by the promo that showed this woman cleaning and cleaning for FOUR HOURS EVERY DAY....uh....huh.

I wondered what on earth she was doing for 4 hours EVERY DAY and this turned out to be a woman who did NOT have anyone at home w/her all day (like us homeschool mamas or moms of wee ones not yet going off to public schools)......I was amazed....wondering what on earth she could possibly have to do for cleaning that required 4 hours....EVERY DAY....did I mention the show said she did this EVERY DAY????

I watched in amazement as she cleaned where there appeared to be nothing to clean....and thought her insane and changed the channel.

Today......I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, JUST maybe, if *I* cleaned our house for 4 hours every day, MAYBE it'd BE clean. But, guess what? After ONE day of cleaning for what seems to have been the better part of the's still not clean and...ahem....I packed half a box. We're supposed to close in about 2 weeks on the new house and this house is a big, huge, clutter-filled least to my eyes...and since I'm here all the time...looking at said mess....well, that's what it is.

I have never claimed to be a perfect housekeeper, not by a long shot. I look at magazine pictures of "rooms" and think, wow, what a pretty room.....but then CKB reminds me that noone really lives there. Yeah, yeah, I know. I see tv shows w/pretty, neat houses and think, wow, I wish our house could look like that....but do I really? I trip over countless toys and wish the children would pick up SOMETHING without me telling them to.....repeatedly.....sometimes distractedly......resulting in a higher pitch to my telling....some of you would call it screaming, but I'm a Southern lady and well, I don't do that...ahem.......but then I think it won't be any time at all and my babies won't be babies any more and the toys will be gone.....and I think it's not that bad....really, it's not.......

Yet, still, I long for some sense of order....a place for everything and everything in its place....w/o me always being the one to put it there.....

Will it ever happen? Probably not.....   Will I ever learn to live with it? I don't know.....

We live here. Allllll the time. Not just in the mornings and after work/school.....alll the time.....the house will look lived has can't do anything but look lived in.....and so we go on.....messes are made....some get cleaned up....some wait for another day...month....monthS....ahem......

And so it is and probably ever shall be......

But I still wish sometimes it could just stay clean/tidy for a little while...WITHOUT me attempting to clean for 4 hours every day....because, well, we all know THAT just isn't going to happen....

Those are my ramblings after a day of trying to get something done around here....funny thing is all the other stuff still has to get done whilst trying to do all this organizing/cleaning/ laundry, meals, dishes, caring for the's a wonder I get *anything* done.....ah well.  I suppose, when it comes down to it, and it's time to move...if we have to, we'll just throw everything in the truck and deal w/it later.....whenever that is.  :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stove it, please

No, that's not a typo...

Miss A wanted to know if today I would "stove" her leftover food from last night so she could have it at lunch.

I smiled at this and corrected her - telling her that I would "heat it up" or "warm it up" or "microwave it"  ....

Hmm....microwave it....stove it......ahhhhhhhhh.

Yes, honey, I'll stove it for you :)  English is indeed a funny language sometimes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1st walk through on house!

Today is a long awaited day! The house is finished (we got to peek in last weekend and it was done then!) and we have our first walk-through with the builder today! He'll go over every nook and cranny of the house with us and then we'll note anything we see that needs a little TLC to get it up to snuff, so to speak :)

They'll make any needed repairs, etc. and then we'll be scheduled for a 2nd walk-through very soon!

Here's hopin' there isn't much that needs to be done!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paddle to the Sea - a recent History read in Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 3 Week 26

We recently read "Paddle to the Sea" by Holling Clancy Holling in our Tapestry of Grace curriculum.

I was excited to find out there is a short film based on it and we watched it tonight. The children all enjoyed it and Miss Baby even watched :) This link will take you to the page showing information about the book and below that the link to download the movie and watch it. Enjoy!


Now, if anyone knows of a film based on "Pipe, Paddle, and Song" - please let me know! The children are asking for that now!

For what it's worth - more scary stuff - SpongeBob

It occurred to me, after posting about Pufnstuf, that I would say the same thing " just plain scary " about a LOT of the things billed as children's fare in today's world. SpongeBob comes to mind...there are many others.


Another golden oldie - Sigmund the Sea Monster - heard of this one? I hadn't!

CKB also shared this gem with me - another I was not familiar with - the children watched and then wanted to know where the whole show was - I guess they were interested!  :)

This is not a full episode - couldn't find it on hulu, but it's the intro. and ending via youtube. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just plain scary - H. R. Pufnstuf

CKB shared a site with me recently called hulu - apparently it is chock full of old tv shows you can sit and watch for hours on end.

He looked up some that he remembered from when he was a boy and well....let me just say 4 years difference in age apparently makes a HUGE difference in the life of a child because I'd never even heard of these shows, much less seen them...

If you have a few mn. and nothing else to do - check out this little gem - a blast from the past.....or something like that...

We showed one of the episodes to the children tonight and their blank stares as they watched said it all.  :)

Of course, when they watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse they have blank stares as well....hmm.


Miss Baby first words

Miss Baby has become quite the chatterbox of late.

Aside from Mama and Da-da, her first word was book - smart girl!

She is also glad to share many others and quite exhuberantly, I might add:


I know there are a few others, but my mind can't recall them right now....I'll add them later if I can remember!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Old friendships renewed

This past Sunday I was thrilled to renew a friendship from before the days when CKB and I were married. I knew these 2 from the church I attended a lot when I first moved to the N. TX area. I was even at their wedding. Imagine my surprise to see them at the church we attended yesterday morning with their 4 beautiful children! 13 years later!

Time flies! I was unmarried when last I saw them and now I am married with my own 5 beautiful little ones. We had a wonderful visit with them and hope to see them again now that they are living not all that far away for TX standards!

It was so good to see y'all yesterday, S and E!  :)  We look forward to seeing you again very soon, Lord willing!