Monday, February 25, 2013

Kitchen Update

No.  Our kitchen is not done yet. 

Yes.  It was supposed to be done over two weeks ago. 

I've been told to expect things to take longer than anticipated when dealing with anything in the home remodeling realm....and I've lived through a long and drawn out bathroom remodel....but I guess I still had high hopes of an on-time and completed kitchen. 

Thankfully, everything in the kitchen is fully functional, which is more than what I was able to say prior to the start of the remodel (broken stove = impetus for entire kitchen remodel in the first place). 

We are just waiting on some cabinetry finishing items to come in and then the "worker-guys" should be returning to finish all the trim work.  I'm hoping to have everything complete by the time we leave for our spring vacation, but I'm beginning to prepare myself for those hopes being dashed as well.

In the meantime, Ben and I picked up the supplies we needed to tackle the kitchen back splash this past weekend.  Originally, we had planned to skip a back splash.  We didn't really think it was all that necessary and figured we could always add it on later if we wanted.  However, after more thought, we decided to go ahead and put one in ourselves. 

We started the project on Saturday morning, and surprisingly, it went extremely smooth!  Although I hate to admit it, Ben was the primary "worker-guy" in this endeavor while I remained the helper.  I did do my fair share of sponging off grout and scraping away grout haze, though. 

We LOVE the final outcome.  We both anticipated the back splash looking good, but we had no idea how much it would finish off the kitchen.  It was definitely worth the little extra time, effort, and money. 


Before
After


Before

After

Close Up
One of these days...when the kitchen is FINALLY complete, I'll actually take some better photos...you know, photos that aren't blurry.  But, for now, you get the idea. 

The Winner is...

Last week we found out that Allie was the first grade winner for her school's carnival button design contest. 




Allie was so excited and was thrilled to see her panda (her school's official mascot) ballerina design made into an official, wearable button. 




I gave Allie enough money to purchase one of her buttons for every member in our family.  However, instead of coming home with six buttons of her own design, she returned with six completely different buttons:  one from each of the grade level's winners.  When I asked her why she didn't just get six of her own, she told me that she thought the other ones were just as good and she couldn't just leave them there.  After I explained to her that we really just wanted her button, she was able to exchange the ones for her very own design.  We are all pretty excited to attend the school's carnival this weekend wearing our award-winning buttons. 

And if there is still any question as to Allie's school spirit, just look at the mustache she sported last Friday for school spirit moustache day:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

And So It Begins....

 
Allie's Valentine Box

Allie: I think a boy at school is in love with me.
~

Me: Oh, really? How do you know?
~
Allie: He made me a Valentine and gave all the other kids ones he bought at Target and then his friend told me he is in love with me.
 




Me: Who, exactly?
~
Allie: Wyatt
~

Me: Wait a minute...the same kid you were complaining about last week because he was growling at you?

Allie: Yep, but he doesn't growl at me anymore...you know...because he's in love with me.



I'm not sure yet if I should be amused or a slight bit concerned.....

Valentine's Day 2013

We have been suffering from a severe case of cabin and spring fever over the past few weeks exemplified by a higher volume of sibling squabbles, minor injuries as a result of constant bouncing off of the walls, and incessant inquiries as to when exactly summer will arrive.

Thankfully, the excitement of Valentine's Day celebrations have provided a brief respite to our current ailments. 

Olivia and I began our celebrations early with a Panera lunch yesterday after Bible study.  We couldn't resist sharing a Valentine cookie.  Although, I really didn't get more than one bite.



I always like to put together a little something special for my three favorite little Valentines.  This year, I picked up some mailboxes from the dollar section at Target and filled them with little goodies for each one of the kids. 


Even though everyone was up way past their bedtimes last night (Wednesday is AWANA night), they were all up by 6:30 AM this morning and couldn't wait to open their mailboxes. 




We enjoyed a festive breakfast of pink banana muffins (trust me, they were sort of pink...I tried, at least) and strawberries.  It was especially thrilling when we discovered a strawberry in the perfect shape of a heart!



Allie continued her celebrations at school while Zach, Olivia, and I came home to tackle some housework. 

For dinner, I made Chicken Parmesan and for dessert we enjoyed a special treat that Ben brought home for us all to share.


Olivia demanded we sing "Happy Birthday" and was disappointed that there weren't any candles to blow out.  To appease her, we all sang, substituting "Happy Valentine's Day" for "Happy Birthday." 

Now, my Valentine and I are anxiously awaiting the kids' bedtimes so we can plop our butts on the couch and relax in front of the TV.  Sixteen Valentine's Days together and I can still think of no better way to spend my evening!  Plus, we fully intend on having a second piece of cake.....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Allie's Button

Allie loves art.  Allie loves to dance.  So, when her school announced a button contest for the school carnival with a dance theme, Allie couldn't wait to get started on her button design. 

Here is her completed design:


Yes, that is a panda (the school mascot) performing ballet in a pink tutu.  Allie chose a ballet panda because her favorite dance class is ballet....which explains why Allie still has both pink ballet shoes as opposed to one (yes, only ONE) tap shoe.  We are still in the process of locating the lost tap shoe in hopes that she doesn't have to participate in one shoe tap class on Monday. 

They will announce the winners (one from each grade) prior to the carnival in March.  Even though I'm biased, I think she has a great chance! 

Zach's First Lost Tooth!

Several weeks ago when Zach discovered his bottom front tooth was loose, he was elated.  He remembered Allie's first loose tooth and how she was rewarded with a bag full of golden chocolate coins from the Tooth Fairy and he couldn't wait until his turn to reap such a reward as well. 

In the beginning of the loose tooth discovery, he was diligent about wiggling, but at the first sign of blood and mild discomfort, he ceased all attempts to extract the tooth.  Even the promise of chocolate golden coins wasn't enough motivation for him to endure the pain of pulling out his own tooth.

Desperate for the Tooth Fairy to visit, one evening he begged me to help him pull his tooth.  After I gave a quick yank, he realized he was bleeding (yet again) and he ran away from me screaming, yelling, and ordering me never EVER to touch his tooth again.

It was at that point he declared he was calling off all manual tooth extraction efforts and would simply wait for his tooth to naturally fall out all on its own.  This was probably a good three weeks ago.... 

So, last Saturday morning Zach awoke and declared he couldn't eat breakfast because his loose tooth was too uncomfortable.  I took a look and realized the poor tooth was just barely hanging on for dear life.  I informed Zach that if he didn't pull it out, he would probably swallow it with his bowl of cereal (seriously, it was that loose).  Not wanting to give up the prized possession (that would also be his ticket to chocolate), he gave one little yank, let out a whimper, then started jumping up and down when he realized he'd successfully yanked that tooth from his mouth! 




He was so pleased with himself and he literally carried around his tooth all day long.  He was pretty upset upon discovering that the Tooth Fairy actually takes away your tooth and leaves the prize.  He told me (since he knows that I'm really the Tooth Fairy) to make sure to keep his tooth safe and separate from Allie's because he might want to look at it or show it to his friends or Grandma and Grandpa one day. 

The only problem the Tooth Fairy ran into was realizing the grocery store no longer carried golden chocolate coins.  Apparently, golden chocolate coins are seasonal merchandise....available only during the holiday season! 

Hoping he wouldn't be too dissapointed, I picked up a bag of Peanut Butter M&M's and a couple Lego sets.  I wrote him a note (from the Tooth Fairy) explaining the debacle and pleaded for his understanding.  Apparently, it wasn't a big deal because he was beyond thrilled to discover his tooth prizes on Sunday morning.


Yesterday Zach informed me that his other bottom tooth is loose.  It looks like the whole process just may be beginning again.....

Kitchen Update

The kitchen remodel feels like it has pretty much taken over our life.  The last two weeks have felt crazy as almost everything, from eating to scheduling outings throughout the day, have revolved around when the "worker guys" would be arriving to work on our kitchen. 

Kevin and Brian, our newest "worker guy" friends, have been really great...always kind and courteous to me and the kids, thorough, and they even know a heck of a lot about Veggie Tales.  The only problem is their sense of time.  So, basically if they say they're going to arrive by noon, I have learned to be thrilled if they show up early at 1:30 pm. 

Although not complete, the kitchen cabinets are basically installed.  As I thought and thought about how I wanted to arrange everything, I started to become more and more stressed.  I was so thankful when my mom came to the rescue on Friday and helped me work through putting everything away.  What seemed like an impossible task for me to accomplish on my own was complete in a matter of hours with my mom's help.  I guess even when you're 31 years old, you still sometimes need your mom to come to the rescue!

I won't do an official "before and after" yet, but here are a few photos of the kitchen in its current state (sorry...they're a little blurry...I'll take some better ones when it is complete).  Hopefully, the worker guys will be coming this week to complete the trim, hook up the water line to the fridge, and complete the micro-hood venting.  Also, the counter top guys are coming to measure this week and I'm crossing my fingers that our counter tops will be installed closer to the two week mark rather than the three week mark. 



 
 
This week, on one of my many outings in an effort to get out of the worker guys' hair, I found this awesome clock/chalkboard at Home Goods.  It is now hanging in my kitchen and I even had time to play around with some fun Valentine scripture today.  


So, that just about covers it.  I'm more than ready to have a functioning kitchen again...and I'm oddly looking forward to stocking my fridge and cabinets after a grocery store run tomorrow.  That is, after I tackle a meal plan (which I haven't had to do for two weeks!).