Monday, July 27, 2009

We Made It

We are Here!! It's hard to believe what a great job the kids did. The boys behaved better in the van then they do at home! Anneliese was amazing. I am so very thankful for how well she did.

It took about 9.5 hours to get to Colorado Springs. It's simply majestic here. When we arrived we checked in and then headed to dinner with Jared's cousins. They took us to Red Robin. It was delicious, the view gorgeous, and the company precious.

This evening the kids swam for quite a while and then enjoyed popcorn and sodas in the lobby.

As I type all 4 boys are line up horizontally on a full bed. They look like sardines :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Prayer Request

We're heading out in just a matter of hours!

I would greatly appreciate prayers for safety of travel and for Anneliese. She's not much of a car rider and there's some serious anxiety based on how she'll do. Thankfully she's made major improvements over the last couple weeks. Hopefully with our regularly scheduled stops and DVD player she'll make it. She likes TV, a lot :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Photo Shoot :)

Undwear Irony

Our sweet friend Terry F. at church gave the boys a box of toys and clothes.

The kids have had a wonderful time going through the treasures and playing with each individual item.

They've enjoyed it so much Brennan said,"Mom, it was so nice of Terry to give us all this cool stuff. We should make her a thank you card."

Yes, we should. I told him not to worry that I had an entire box of thank you's I'd yet to open from the baby shower (I feel the need to explain I wrote 90+ thank you's and this was left over and not because I didn't thank everyone for their extreme generosity to our family :)).

I went to get the box, opened it and found it had not a single thank you card in it. Instead it had this:
An adorable pair of panties embroidered with Anneliese's name. How cute is that?! It had a matching headband. I had no clue this was in the box. I also don't have any idea who made this for my sweet little girl. So here's the irony. A beautiful gift that needs a thank you in an empty box of thank you cards.

I have 2 goals...

1) Take a picture of my cherubic little girl in her panties and headband with her fat little arms and legs exposed. How CUTE!

2) Find out who gifted such a thoughtful gift and thank them! Do you recognize these unders?

My Big Fat Greek Floor

To all you laminate owners out there I have the tip of a lifetime.

While the very polite, extremely professional installers were here (CW Flooring; Shannon Webb (816) 217-6562; they're stinking awesome you simply must call) I asked them how to avoid the stereotypical streaking on my flooring.

I love the durability of the laminate flooring but every time I mopped you could see exactly where I mopped and the direction in which I did so. I tried several different cleaners and some streaked less than others but ultimately I had the same result.

His answer? Windex of course. Simply spray the flooring as you go and use a sponge mop. Not only is mopping a breeze but you don't run the risk of over soaking your laminate. Remember water and pergo don't mix, that's how we got here in the first place.

I simply rinse out the mop when I'm done and it's ready for next time. SO SIMPLE and virtually no streaks!

Colorado, Bitter Sweet

We are counting down to take off.

Our family is heading out to Colorado Springs early Monday morning. Daddy booked us a nice hotel with a pool for some relaxing and playing Monday night. Tuesday will be spent seeing the sights in Colorado Springs and spending time with family. We plan on heading to the San Luis Valley Tuesday night and stay with more family.

The actual family reunion starts on Thursday so we'll head out to Westcliff, Co then.

We are excited to have a vacation. The last time we did any traveling like this was 3 years ago when my dad died. Not exactly vacation. Before that we went to Omaha, Ne for the zoo and we only had 3 children then :) Actual vacations are a rarity for a family our size. The sheer cost of travel is mind numbing.

We are thankful to Dennis and Bernie (Jared's Uncle and Aunt) for hosting the reunion. It sounds like it's going to be the event of a lifetime. We are staying at the Clark Ranch (Clark is Anita's maiden name). You'll have to check it out.

Everything sounds wonderful I'm just having quite a bit of anxiety about the whole trip. Colorado has always been equated with time spent with Dad. July 22nd was the anniversary of his passing. Heading out this time of year is reminiscent of the trip we made when he was injured. The whole event was very traumatic and I well with emotion at the thought of it. I'm thankful for the new memories we'll make but wish the event could be held in another state :*(

That's not asking too much is it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giggly Girl

The New Floors

Just getting started. I was at the dentist with 4 out of 5 kids and Jared was home managing the install. He said that the men work for quite a while just getting the floors ready. When you have an ancient house the sub-flooring isn't in the best shape.

I love the coloring with the new wall color! It's so warm and cozy.
In this image you can see some of the texture. The new flooring is hand planed planks. So they have a slight ridge pattern to them.
Gorgeous! I LOVE IT. Jared and I are thrilled with the end result. We have always loved our house and our kitchen but we didn't know just how pretty it could be. This is exactly what I was hoping for. We are blessed!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Pair

A few weeks back I asked everyone what would be a miracle shoe for my lame foot.

My sweet Michelle immediately responded with Birkenstock shoes. She's had great luck with them and is a huge fan.

I started looking into buying a pair but they run from $80-$120 a pair!!

Fortunately for me her mother loves Birks and often picks them up whenever she finds a good deal. She has several pair and started searching through her inventory to see if she had a pair that might fit me.
She DID! I picked them up today and honestly after a couple hours of wearing them it was the best my foot had felt in weeks. I am so thankful! I never thought I would own a pair of real Birks and now not only do I have a pair but they were free. Thank you so much Mary Lee! They are perfect and just in time for vacation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Tear Out

This was the floor at the beginning of the morning. Ahhh pretty...not for long!

It's not redneck at all to have your fridge in the living room next to the recliner and big screen TV!

I don't know why but with the island like this it makes me think of a bar. Anybody want a virgin margarita?

The green is the under lining of the old flooring. It comes up SO fast. It didn't take any time at all once all the prep was done.

Viola! The floors are ready! I can't wait until Wednesday! The boys and I are heading to Lawrence to visit my sweet Shell tomorrow while we wait.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The kitchen paint is done for the most part. It took 2 full coats but it looks beautiful. I'm very excited. Jared came home and said he really likes it.

The only part that is still blue is right above our new cabinet Kenny and Mary G built. I'm just not tall enough to get to the wall. Jared promised to finish it tomorrow. I can't wait to see the contrast with the new floors. It all looks very golden right now :) The wall color is not too removed from the old flooring.

My legs are sore but it was worth it! From now on I'll try and keep the Rock Chalk Blue to T-Shirts! Go KU!

1st Coat

I'm really loving the color but it will take at least 2 coats if not 3 to cover the electric blue! I've just about got the dining room done. Sis just woke up from her nap so the two of us are going to each some lunch!

The hard part is cutting in around the cabinets and that will have to wait until Anneliese's afternoon nap!

The Process

Today is paint day! I am not a fan of painting trim. It's tedious and only mildly rewarding. Well unless I don't have to mask anything then I'm good :)

Conditions are perfect and the painting has begun. I started out repainting all my trim in the kitchen including the front door and where the ceiling meets the wall. There was a lot of blue on the trim/ceiling and even some yellow (the original wall color).

I figure if I'm going to do this I might as well take the time and make it look perfect! I'm waiting for the trim to dry and then I'll start the main color! Meanwhile the floors are acclimating in the living room.

Thank you Lord for perfect weather. Sis is sleeping and the boys are out back torturing each other. Grant me patience to work on my project and still tend to the boys with grace and love. Amen.

YAY Paint!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Divine Design

How many of you are familiar with Divine Design with Candace Olson? It's a show on HGTV and I really enjoy it. I love how she makes over a room.

Whenever she's hired to do a room she does some research and pieces together fabrics, textures and colors and then creates a tray full of samples to show what the room will become.

Here is my Divine Design for our kitchen:

-On the left hand side is the new 2" faux wood blinds that I purchased for the dining room windows as well as the window over the sink.
-The can of spray paint is a deep chocolate paint that I will use to paint the registers so they flow better with the new floors. They are currently blond.
-The two pieces of wood to the right of the blinds is our flooring.
-At the top of the image is the golden drapes that I found at Goodwill for the dining room window and the plaid valances that I purchased at Wal-Mart to go over the sink and cover the back door.
-The can of paint has a small spot of the new wall color. It is called Sphinx. It's basically a khaki with a golden hue. I felt it was important to go light on the walls since my new floors are a rich darker color.
-Finally the backdrop for the image is the new floor mats I purchased for in front of the sink and fridge.

Tomorrow the paint goes up! If anyone wants to help by taking my children or coming over and wielding a paint roller I'm taking all offers :)

Monday the old floors are being ripped up by Richard and I.

Wednesday while I'm at the Dentist with Brennan, Elijah, and Graham (plus Sis of course) Jared and Tanner will be home while the new floors are installed!

I'll have a whole new kitchen by the weekend! I can't wait to see it all done and I'm super excited at the warm colors and I think it will blend better with my house as a whole vs the KU blue my kitchen has been sporting for the last 12-18 mos :)

Fruit Of My Driveway

What happens when you have a bad watermelon throw it out and have neighbor animals tear your trash to bits all over your driveway?

Volunteer watermelon!!

Apparently gravel is a great place to grow watermelon. There are several little bitty melons growing like weeds (aren't they technically weeds since I didn't plant them?) We're doing our best to just let them grow and they are taking over the driveway.

My question is, will they be seedless? The one that was thrown out was a "seedless" watermelon.

Tanner Riley

Go Tanner!

This a picture our good friend took of Tanner at camp. Isn't it great?! Thanks Anna!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Home Early

-We're home! We came home a day early for a multitude of reasons. One being my little man had a free ride with his Papa to the board meeting and I was able to see him tonight verses tomorrow. Graham loves to hang out with extended family but we're always eager to get him back.

-Anneliese seems to be doing better with her traveling. We made it all the way to Lansing from camp without a tear. She only screamed the last 10 minutes of an hour and twenty minute drive! That my friends is progress.

-Another reason for my early departure is I'm starving. Since I'm still working on losing the baby pudge I take my own food and steer clear of the camp food. They switched things up a bit this week and didn't do their normal menu plan so that in turned messed me up just a little. I survived the week on shredded wheat, lettuce, cottage cheese, and a little bit of chicken. I was eager to get home and get back to my normal surroundings and normal foods.

-I'm not sure if it's the menu or just being away from home but this marks the second week of camp where I had pretty severe stomach upset. I was ready to come home simply because my belly hurt...bad.

-Wednesday is when our floors go in. I have to pick them up tomorrow in order to give them time to acclimate before the installation. Being home tonight makes tomorrow much less complicated. I'm also planning on painting this weekend as well as severely de-cluttering the kitchen in prep for the tearing out of the old floors.

-The laundry-a-thon has begun, but my babies are in their own beds, the dogs are crashed out on the floor, and I have a generous pan of spaghetti bake in the oven waiting to be devoured. Home sweet home!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tanner Time

Tomorrow my family will disperse.

Jared, Elijah, and Brennan are heading to camp as soon as church is over.

Graham is going with Grandma and Papa until Aunt Sonya can pick him up later in the evening. He's giddy by the way. He's very excited at the idea of staying with "my Gracie."

Tanner, Anneliese and I are heading home. Tanner has his first orthodontist appointment on Monday morning so we'll head up to camp Monday afternoon.

That leaves Tanner and I all afternoon and evening Sunday as well a good portion of Monday to spend one on one. This opportunity is rare in our family since there's so many of us. I'm trying to think of a couple things to do in order to make it special. We'll have a nice lunch, possibly T-Rex, and then head home for more camp prep and just hanging out time.

Hopefully in the brief time we have together I can fill his love cup to overflowing. He's such a sweet boy and something like this will mean a lot to him.

A Family Affair

Friday, July 10, 2009

Corn Corn Glorious Corn

There is an adorable old man that sells corn on our corner every year. We wait for him with baited breath because it is cheap and simply the best corn on the plant. He grows it right here in the neighborhood and then sells it for a mere $4 a dozen.

We all look forward to his return each summer and today on the way home from the post office the boys proclaimed, "HE'S THERE!! Mom the corn guy is out!"

So we stopped bought a bag of corn for lunch and a few cucumbers. We headed straight into the house to prepare our feast. I put a couple chicken breasts on the grill for protein because it just wouldn't be right to only eat corn and cucumbers (right?). And then the boys and I started shucking.

Between the 4 boys and I we ate 11 ears of corn, 3 chicken breasts, and 2 large cucumbers. It was delicious!

Please note the kernels on Tanners face and yes even in his hair :) The image without kids is the aftermath.

Get Ready Get Set Update!

Just when I thought things were getting hairy it got a little more complicated!

Next week Jared will be at Deeper Life camp up at Mission Lake. We as a family were going to stay home due to space limitations at camp. Last night Jared received an email that there will be room for us after all! YAY! I'm very excited not to have to be home alone without Jared. PLUS the boys absolutely LOVE camp and they are giddy at the prospect of another week.

The only problem is I now have to prepare a family of 7 to be gone for a week and I only have 2 days!! EEEK.

Not only that but I'll miss a week of prep time for the floors. I had intended on painting this week while Jared's gone but it'll have to wait.

Camp, here we come!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We were gifted a cute pink bumbo seat from Kim H. Anneliese LOVES it and I do to. She hangs out with her brothers. All I have to do is sit her her amongst them in her little seat and she's content for 30 minutes or more.

The cutest thing is when she watches TV with the boys. They pull her near and she zones into the TV and really watches Dora and Diego.

Now to switch gears...

When I was working as a nurse there was an old phrase that went like this, "Ambulation cures constipation." Ambulation is a fancy word for walking. I would like to change this phrase since I have found a much better cure.

The bumbo!

Every time....literally every time I place Sis in her pink foamy seat she has a massive explosion. I'm not sure if she relaxes due to it's comfort. It could be she folds in half just at the right spot. Regardless I'm seriously considering purchasing the bumbo potty chair since it has such a profound affect on her.

Get Ready Get Set GO!

I feel like I've been living the last two weeks in a whirlwind. We have had major things daily that we're trying to get done.

The hardest part about all the running around is that Anneliese hates the car. It feels like we're torturing her tiny self by spending an afternoon or morning in the van. We've had our van 6 weeks and we've put 2,000 miles on it.

What have we been doing? A whole lot of running errands. The dental appointments have just begun. On July 22nd I have appointments for 3 of the kids at once and the floors are being installed that morning. There's all kinds of prep for the floors to be done.

Jared is preparing for camp and he leaves on Sunday and will be gone for a week. Monday Tanner has his first orthodontist appointment and I'm trying to get him in to Dr. Johnson for his tonsils and adenoids. I hoping to schedule his surgery before we start school back up.

Add to all this we actually get to take a vacation this summer and we are going to Colorado in a couple weeks!!

Whew, I'll be glad to get back to school just so we can stay home and get into a routine.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2 Down 2 To Go

I took Elijah into the UMKC Dental school this afternoon. He had a better report than Tanner thankfully.

His doctor commented on how pretty his teeth are. I have to agree. I've actually been dreading the natural process of him losing his teeth. They are so straight and pearly white. He has a beautiful smile.

The only bad news is he needs sealant on 6 of his teeth. At $20 per tooth that won't be cheap. He doesn't have cavities...yet. Apparently his love of fruit snacks have pitted his teeth and since he's only 5 the 6 teeth with severe pitting will have cavities soon. The sealant will just almost guarantee he won't need fillings and those teeth will fall out decay free over the next several years.

I have been banned by his dentist and the instructor from buying fruit snacks. Unfortunately I have a snack drawer full of 4 boxes freshly purchased from Aldi. So when your kids come over they can help themselves (after all I don't pay your dental bills :)).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ode to Honda

I am very excited to announce we just sold the HONDA!!

We've had that wonderful little beater for 10 years or more. We drove it and drove it. That wonderful little car refused to die. We were so blessed to have it. It ran when nothing else would.

I posted it on craigslist this morning and within 3 hours we had cash in hand. We only came down $100 on our asking price and signed the title and off it went.

Goodbye little beater, you served us well. God is good!

Hey I know you!

Anneliese has hit the stage where she really prefers her mommy. I've noticed that she turns towards my voice and when other people are holding her and she sees me she'll start to whimper.

Sweet baby.

I often remind her that ,"you're my girl." Apparently she agrees :)

Take Me Out To The Ballgame...

Friday night Jared and I took Brennan, Tanner and Anneliese to the Royals game. We were gifted 4 tickets (Thank you John!) and decided to let the younger boys stay with grandma while we had a date night with our eldest two.

We started out eating a yummy dinner in Platte City and then headed out.

We were super fortunate with the weather. It was rainy all morning and by afternoon the rain had stopped but the cloud coverage kept it from getting too sticky and warm. It was a very pleasant evening. The boys had no idea what to expect and they had a great time. The game was quick and the fireworks were awesome.

Tanner asked me if he could, "get that yummy stuff that feels kinda like my blanket, but is sweet and you eat it. It disappears in your mouth. Remember mommy?" We spent a good deal of the evening searching out the cotton candy vendor :) Tanner and Brennan made quick work of the $5 puff of pink.

It only started raining right at the very end right as we were leaving. God is good and provided a tram to take us directly to our van. My lame foot was quite thankful. It was a super pleasant evening and something the boys will remember forever.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Starting Friday night I was feeling a little off. Not too bad, just not quite right. I told Jared my throat hurt when I swallowed but the rest of my body felt fine.

Yesterday morning I started with the fatigue and by last night I was running a fever of a 103.7. I'm pretty sure that's a record for my adult life. My body hurts everywhere and I'm exhausted.

I called the doctor this afternoon and she was gracious enough to call in some antibiotics for me. Her concern was Mono?! I just thought strep throat. Apparently we'll know if the antibiotics help. If they do...strep, if they don't...mono.

I'm feeling really anxious about work tomorrow. It's my last day and I don't feel like that's something I can miss. Hopefully the antibiotics kick in and I'll be fine to go say goodbye to my members. Otherwise it's going to be really stinky to call-in my last day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

They Grow So Fast!

Our little Anneliese will be 4 months on the 12th. She has already cut 2 teeth!!! That's a record. She's the earliest out of the bunch. She's growing rapidly and we enjoy her little self so much. Here's a picture of her and Eli yesterday hanging out on the bean bag.

Here's a picture of her getting really irritated with me for insisting on a picture before I feed her :) This is her Happy 4th outfit from her Mee Mee (Amy). There's a matching skirt but it's still a little big.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


-Our floors are scheduled to be installed on the 22nd! Yay and BOo all at the same time! We have so much to do to prepare. The 22nd is a Wednesday after Jared returns from camp for Deeper Life. I plan to paint while he's gone.

-Tanner went to the UMKC Dental school yesterday. We were there 3 hours and found out the poor kids mouth is a mess. We have to get him in to an orthodontist immediately to start a "serial extraction program." Basically they will start removing teeth in order allow his adult teeth room. He needs a spacer in the roof of his mouth, they're pretty sure he will need his tonsils and adnoids removed. Apparently he's a mouth breather because his tonsils and adnoids are so large and that's causing his cheek muscles to squeeze his upper pallet making it narrow and high. This is his x-ray and if you look closely you can see that he has teeth clear up next to his nose. They assured me he'll need braces by the time he's 10 if not now. Talk about overwhelming.
-Aside from Tanner's news I have to say I was totally impressed with the dental school. I am extremely thankful for the service they provided, the professionalism, and the affordability. I am eager to take the other kids for their cleanings and fillings. Tanner had 3 hours of work, tons of x-rays and a cleaning all for $80. Apparently this particular x-ray is typically really expensive at a traditional office. Thank you Lord for your provision.