Friday, October 30, 2009

Week before Halloween

Boy have we had a fun filled week! I don't remember Halloween being this eventful when I was growing up.

At the boys school they have their drug education week the week before halloween, and each day the kids got to dress funny. I didn't get my camera out for this, but they had lots of fun with it. They had Tacky Day, Backwards shirt day, Pajama day, Camouflage Day, and then today (Friday) they had to dress for their parade, which I will tell you about later.

On Wednesday Steven had to bring snacks to class, and since I was in the festive spirit, I made pumpkin muffins in the shape of pumpkins for snack. OOHH, they were so dang good.

Then Wednesday night was the ward Trunk or Treat! It was tons of fun, and I love that we get to go once a year.

Steven as obi wan kenobi
On Thursday morning Brandon and I got to go to a Halloween party where all the nursery age kids from church were invited. It was so much fun and such a creative party. He dressed as a cow for this party. When we got there, they decorated haunted houses that were made out of rice krispie treats. Then the kids went on a treasure hunt, and then ate lunch. Brandon loved the mummies he ate for lunch which were hot dogs wrapped in crossaint dough. Heather(the hostess) had such neat ideas for the food that were all very halloweeny.

On Thursday night Steven won his final football game, and the team walked away undefeated. To make things exciting the coaches let the boys spray them with silly string and colored hair spray after they won. The boys LOVED that.

Today (Friday) was Brooklet Elementary Schools annual Pumpkin Parade. They block off the main street of our little town, and parade the elementary school kids down it. Each class chooses a book that they have read, and then they dress as the characters for that book. It is lots of fun, and very exciting for the kids.

Principal and Assistant Principal
Jacob and friends dressed in pj's
Nathan dressed as a pig
Steven as a caveman
Steven acting like a caveman

After school today we went to an elderly home in Statesboro, where the boys went trick or treating to each door of the residence. We did this with some other families from church, and it was a good experience.

Tonight we finally got around to carving the pumpkins. They would have rotted had we done it any earlier anyway. The boys had a grand time, and now we are all set for the big day tomorrow. Even though the boys have already eaten and still have a huge stash of candy. What a sugary week!

Brandon got to use his pumpkin carving tools on an apple
When he got bored, he helped me get the seeds out to make pumpkin seeds.

More Updates Tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Break

I absolutely love the school system we are in here in Brooklet, and one of the many things I love is their breaks. They have quite a few week long breaks during the year, and then there summer is just eight weeks. I think it works great.
One of those breaks was the 12th through the 16th of Oct. We started it out going camping, and then slept one night in our own beds before we headed to Virginia. Steve's parents live in Virginia, and it is so nice to have family close enough to drive when we want to. The main reason for this visit was to go to the dentist, and being with Nana and Papa was just a huge added bonus. See...Steve and I have terrible dental insurance, and I have terrible teeth. My mother-in-law works for a dentist who gives free care to the families of the people who work for him. Since I thought I was going to need a root canal on one of my teeth, it made sense to me to drive that 9 hour drive to get it done for free instead of paying for it myself. The big problem was that Steve couldn't come. He had something all week at work that he had to be there for. So.... I headed out in the van with the boys by myself. I was very concerned about it because I never drive long distances, and I have gotten in to a habit of staying up late, and then taking a nap every day. So I knew that come 1:00 I would be exhausted, and only be halfway to my destination. Well, I went anyway! And it was great. We did so good. The boys watched movies, and I listened to my IPOD until I started falling asleep and then I had to turn it off. I made sure we were stopped for lunch at my usual naptime, and let the kids play at McDonald's for half hour. We actually made it in great time. I was so happy.
While in VA, we loved seeing Fran and Lyle, and the Hardy family. The boys loved all the toys, and playing with their cousins Daniel and Emma. And we all made it to the dentist. I didn't need that root canal, even though I have a suspicion I will need it sometime in the future. And it seems that some of the boys have inheritated my poor teeth. Steven's teeth are perfect, Nathan has two cavities, and Jacob has EIGHT. Yup, that is right. Eight cavities. And these boys DO brush their teeth at night and before school. So oviously they are not brushing them well enough. The worst part about it is Jacob will start losing a lot of those teeth that have cavities in them in less than a year, so do I really go through the hassle of getting them filled when they are going to fall out so soon. I am confused on that part. But anyway, we will be heading back to Virginia a little early when we go for Thanksgiving so that the dentist can fix the boys teeth. Ugghh, poor boys.

While in VA I talked to a good friend of ours that we knew in Germany who just recently moved to the D.C. area. We made plans to meet up before I left and catch up a little bit. We meet at a museum in Richmond and spent about five hours there checking the place out and chatting. It was a perfect reunion. The boys had a great time, it was great to see the Eliassens and the museum was pretty cool. We now have plans to seem them when we come for Thanksgiving too. I love how facebook keeps us so connected!

{This is out in front of the museum. I packed summer close for us for this vacation, and it was 55 and raining the whole time we were there. I had to go buy some pants for the boys and this day at the museum was especially cold. Nathan left his coat at Nana and Papa's house so he is suffering the most.}
{This is one of those spindles that hangs from the ceiling and there are pins in a circle around it. As the earth turns the spindle's swing shifts a little bit and eventually knocks all of the pins down around it. Very cool. We saw one or two of them drop.}

{They used the soft blocks over their head to build that arch.}
{Jacob's castle}
{I let Brandon get away from me for a little bit while we were in this room, and when I found him he was at this school desk very interested in the documentary that was being played. It was about his naptime too.}

After we left the musuem we planned to only drive halfway home that day. We stopped in North Carolina at another families house that we knew in Germany. We stayed at their house for a couple days during the summer, and we are so happy to be close to the Kirkhams again. They are such wonderful friends. So we spent Friday night playing with them before we drove back home on Saturday.

{Brandon and Abigail at the Kirkham's table, that just happens to be big enough for company. Yeah!}

When we got home Steve was waiting for us with a great surprise. He has wired the house for his Bose cube speakers and the TV sounds awesome with them. Remember the wires hanging out a couple blogs ago? Those are all taken care of now! He also washed every pile of clothes that he saw laying around the house. I will admit that that wasn't a surprise that I loved since a lot of it didn't even need to be washed, but I love him for the effort anyways.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Camping on Colombus Day weekend

Me and the Boys at High Falls Campground.
Last weekend our family took the opportunity to go camping. The boys had a week off of school starting with Colombus Day, and Steve got that day off of work also, so we planned a trip.
First thing I did was call Jessica. She has been saying she wanted to go camping, and we really wanted her to come with us, and she agreed! So, she flew in Friday night, and we headed out to High Falls Campground which was about 2.5 hours away the next morning.
Our adventures started right away. We needed a little more room in the van, so Steve and I discussed tying stuff to the top of the van. He was uncomfortable about it, but I assured him that Dad always did it, and things would be OK. So he tied all the camping chairs and then two tupperware bins to the top. One tupperware had ALL the food in it, and the other had ALL the cooking camp stuff which included flashlights, the water pan for over the fire, all utensils, cutting board, knives, etc, etc, etc. All the important stuff to make eating at the campground bareable. Well, when we took off ,Steve said he was not comfortable with how the bins were tied up there, and said we needed to go to a store and get bungee cords. I of course was irritated because I thought he should have been able to do it with rope, plus Steve makes us go to the store almost EVERY time we go on a trip. I just wanted to get on the road, and not have to take an extra half hour plus to go to Walmart. So, we happily headed down the road, and about 20 miles in to our drive we hear this weird sound. And Steve says, "There goes all the stuff!" Sure enough, we looked behind us and there were cups, tableclothes, marshmallow scewers and that big water pot bouncing all over the freeway. It was terrible. Jessica and I told Steve to back up a little and we would see what we could salvage. Now remember we are in Georgia. There are just not that many people in Georgia, so don't picture a California highway when I tell this story. It was a pretty mild freeway, but had enough traffic that people were running over the stuff spread across the road. So, while Steve took down the other stuff from the top, Jessica and I ran up and down and across the freeway to see what we could save. Amazingly we saved about 70% of the stuff. Most of the dishes, some of the flashlights, the tupperware bin and some other stuff we were able to pick up and take with us. The water pot was smashed and we were very concerned about what that had done to someones car. Steve eventually got nervous about us running around on the freeway, so we left.

The rest of the camping trip was basically a normal trip. Very nice weather, great company having Jessica there, the food was Fabulous, and we all had an awesome time. Jessica mentioned how much easier camping seemed with our family than it did when we were growing up and this was a very easy camping trip. Tents went up quickly and easily and other than the trip to Dollar General to replace some important items it was pretty easy. I forgot to mention earlier that the food tupperware bin did not go anywhere. For some reason it stayed put on the top of the van, so that saved us a bunch of money.

Now, Here is our camping trip in pictures:

{Jessica and the boys setting up}
{Steve bought a hammock for this camping trip, and it was a hit!}

{It is so nice to have Jessica around. They are headed off for a potty break.}
{Jessica brought Diary of a Wimpy Kid for Steven to read, and I haven't ever seen him absorb a book like he did that one. He loved it.}

{The next morning, of course we had Eggs in a Frame. Steve and Jessica made a great cooking team, and made some delicious breakfast.}
{We had to keep a close eye on this little terror during the trip. He was in his time out chair most of the time.}{After breakfast, we headed over to a hike of the falls and had a wonderful time. It was a beautiful area, and a very nice day.
Nathan found this tree that he thought was interesting. He thinks it looks like a 4}

{While on the path we came across a black snake. Steve knows a lot about snakes because he used to catch them all the time when he was growing up. So, he was excited to pick it up and show it to the boys. He carried it on the hike with us for a good ways, and then found a sunny spot to put it down.}

{Jessica, by one of the scenic look outs.}

{Brandon chewing on a piece of pine straw. Otherwise known as a pine needle. Depends on where you are I guess.}{The second and last night of our camping trip it rained a bit during the night. Enough that Jessica, who was sleeping "under the stars" had to get up and go to the van to sleep. So when we got up in the morning, we started to take down camp. If you remember my last camping blog you will remember that we got rained on pretty hard, and Steve and I had to take down camp during a down pour. We learned our lesson this time, and cleaned up while we had that break in the clouds. It drizzled on us a little, but we got it cleaned up just before the down pour. Then we headed to Shoneys for breakfast and some hot chocolate.}

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More of the story

So.... as I read through my last blog I realized that I left out a very touching part to my story. My friend Sheila who came over to help me clean up the water told me what she was doing when I called for help. I thought this was so neat. She was in charge of teaching Sunday School that Sunday, and was preparing her lesson. The part she happened to be reading about was the story of the Willie Handcart company who got stuck in the snow on their way to Utah. A bunch of the saints who had already reached Utah got together a rescue party and went and saved this group of people who were all freezing and starving to death. The question the lesson suggested asking your class is how can we be like those pioneers and "rescue" others who may need us. She said I called right as she was reading that part. Isn't that neat? I loved that she shared that with me, and then told the story in Sunday School. She was a great example of how we can rescue our friends and neighbors.

Now more on the floor. A guy came Monday morning with 8 awkward annoying machines that he was using to dry out he floor. They had to stay on for three full days. He did say the floor will have to be replaced and it wasn't until the next day that I wondered why is he drying out the floor if it has to be replaced? But now that it is dry, I am thinking we may just leave it in the house until it gets really bad and then replace it at that point. That way I don't have to deal with it right now. Cause the floor really doesn't look bad to someone who doesn't know what happened and isn't looking for the damage. We will just get the money from the insurance and wait until we are ready to switch it out.

Oh and some of you asked how the boys didn't notice the water. They like to watch their show with the lights off, so the room was pretty dark and they were all sitting on the couch. So, it was just flooding the floor underneath them. Plus... when they watch TV they are pretty glued to it.

Now for something a little more exciting. I LOVE the cute little phrases and songs that kindergarten teachers come up with to help the kids learn, or obey or whatever. Jacob was singing the cutest one the other day, and I thought you would all like to hear it. He forgot for the first couple seconds what he was suppose to be singing. And I think this song is sung when they sit down on the rug for story time.

Here are the words in case you didn't catch them.

One Two, buckle my shoe.
Three Four, bottoms on the floor.
Five Six, zip up your lips.
Seven Eight, sit up straight.
Nine Ten, we're ready to begin.

Nathan has a cute phrase that they say at school too. This could really be put to good use by us Moms.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The story of the flood

I typed this story up last week, and then it got erased when I was just about done, so I ignored it for the week because I was frustrated, but now here it is....

Last Friday was the last night of Steve being out of town. The boys and I went to a High School Football game because they like to introduce the flag football players at one of their games, so Steven was being introduced. We had a pretty good time, but left at half time because the boys had lost interest. When we got home the boys asked if they could still stay up late. On Friday nights they get to stay up late and watch TV if they have had good behavior at school that week. (It has been a great incentive for Nathan.) At about that time Steve called from his hotel, and I wanted to talk to him about the day, so I told the boys to turn the TV on. This was about 9:00pm. ThenI went in to the office and got on the computer while I talked to Steve. I talked to him for about ten minutes , and when I was done talking I stayed on the computer because the boys were all occupied watching their late show. Right?? WRONG!

At 9:30 I hear Brandon start whining so I went to find him. I walked through the family room towards his room, and on my way I stepped in a puddle of water, took another step and stepped in another puddle of water. I looked towards the bathroom and Brandon was locked in it, so I ran and turned the lights on and my family room was FLOODED! Apparently for that half hour Brandon was not watching TV like I thought he was, instead he was flushing toilet paper down the toilet and watching the water flow over the top. It had to have been running for like twenty minutes. The bathroom, hall, and family room were covered in water. I couldn't believe how much there was on the floor. My bathroom has a tile floor, but the hall and family room have a very nice hardwood floor.

So, I quickly made all the boys get a towel and start soaking up the water. That was a joke! The towels were dripping before they even got to the floor. The boys would bring me their towels and I would ring them out and send them to soak up more water. After about 15 minutes of this with little progress, and my hands hurting from ringing out four towels every minute I decided to call for help.
My backyard neighbor is a member of the church, and a dear friend to me, and I knew she had a carpet cleaner. So, at 9:45pm I called her and told her the situation. She came right over with the carpet cleaner, and worked for an hour to get the water up. She probably filled her two gallon tank fifteen times, and had to dump it. Like I said, So Much Water. So she and I took the rugs outside, and I mopped up the rest and we went to bed. Thank heavens that is over. Right? WRONG!
Over this past week I have noticed the floor cracking and then getting little white spots all over it. Everyone I have talked to said I definitely needed to call my home owners insurance and find out if there was more damage done to the floor. Well, I finally did that this past Friday, so one week after it happened, and when the lady came to check it today she said there is definitely water still under the floor. It has probably just pooled under the wood floor, and is sitting on the concrete slab, and rotting the wood floor from underneath. Aarrgghh!
I am so mad at myself for not paying more attention that night. This is going to be such a headache to have the floor ripped up and a new one put in, not to mention the $500 deductible we are going to have to come up with.
I was pretty calm the night this happened and was very ignorant in thinking that once we soaked up the water the problem was solved. What was weird to me was the slight panic attacks I had in the middle of the night for two nights after this happened. On Saturday night Jacob came into my room because he was scared and he was kneeling next to my bed asking if he could sleep with me. I woke up and looked at him and then started yelling, "Where is Brandon, do you know where Brandon is!!??" I remember being very afraid that Brandon was in danger.
Then the next night at about 3am I woke up and jumped out of bed, and was quickly headed to Brandon's room to see what he was doing. Steve talked to me before I got out of our room and asked what I was doing. I then became conscious and realized that I was panicking for no reason. Weird huh??

So...if you are still reading this we need some opinions. What kind of floor would you get for your family room. I guess we have the option to change if we want, and I may want to do that. The hardwood looks beautiful, but it scratches SO easily and it stresses me out every time something gets slid across that floor. We thought today about carpet of pergo or hardwood again. Does anyone have an opinion for me? I would love to hear it.

The End