Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Annelyse the Birthday Girl! Age 2!

Annelyse enjoying her cake & ice cream!

That is our little birthday girl, having a great time on her birthday! She turned 2 on Nov 12th, the same night we had to get the house ready for new carpet in 5 bedrooms that was arriving the next morning. Inbetween removing furniture from all 5 rooms to the living room upstairs & into the family room downstairs, removing the carpet, padding & then cleaning up the remaining ICK that was hovering below! Let's just say photos would be a great advertisement for either getting people to put in hard floors or to take off their shoes in their homes & consider having no indoor pets! YIKES!!!

Thankfully stopping to eat dinner with her family, havinge cake & ice cream, and opening a present was an awesome birthday for this little 2 year old! That and running around the house all day with her gift bag of clothes from her Nana & Papa, it went everywhere we went, all day long! LOL
The Cake, yes I made it, cherry chip with cherry icing, YUM!

Licking the cake was a favorite activity!

More punch please!
Playing with my brother, or tryng to escape?

Laughing with my biggest brother!

Opening my present, "Puppy" Pluto, he barks, walks, & wags his tail!

Playing with my new puppy, I love him!

The sweet little birthday girl, having fun while big siste Katie gets in on the action!

Our little sweetheart, getting tired?

Helpng clean up the floor in her room, I'm ready for new carpet!

Do we get to go to bed now? Great I'll sleep in sister Ashlyn's bed tonight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're in the army, oops the National Guard now!
Well everybody knows the saying we're in the army now, our oldest boy has opted to join the armed forces with the local National Guard here in Richfield. We went over Tuesday evening with most of the kids in tow to see Drakkar sworn in to the National Guard. He's talked about this for years. In fact it is the most consistent thing he has wanted as long as my dh can remember so we signed a few months ago to give him parental permission, right after he turned 17. This week he had his physical & took a major step toward adulthood, making a long-term commitment, I hope it gives him the boost in life that he needs to usher in adulthood, we all seem to have something that helps us do that; leaving home, going to college, getting married, his path choice is to be one of the brave souls that is willing to fight for the freedom we all enjoy here in the USA!

Video of Swearing in to the unit

This is the video of the ceremony, I did it on my digital camera as the camcorder is still packed, I think, anyway I don't know where it is, you may need to turn your speaker volume up to hear everything.

Signing the paperwork, and the smile after it was all said & done.

Shaking the officer's hand welcome to the guard!

After all the nervousness before hand I great big smile of accomplishment!

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Construction

Come On In!
Our little greeter every time the doorbell rings; "I get it, I get it!"
That is Annelyse, 2 years old today; although her Daddy is trying to convince her to stay 1 and he'll still buy her presents! LOL She says: "Otay", anything is fine with her if it's for her dad. been busy again at our house, as usual. After Halloween was all said & done on Saturday morning, November 1st Jordan started framing our pantry (and the wall that my desk would eventually be built along, YEAH!!!!). He had a little helper who liked using the hammer, not sure how much good she actually did but she did have her Daddy smiling! He'd hammer something & then she would mimic him.

Jordan framing in the pantry, remember the pictures of a little girl sitting in front of a large pile of boxes? Our makeshift pantry of numbered & inventoried boxes is there behind him where shelves will go!

Here is the little helper at work during the framing & after the wallboard had gone up.

First the wall going up, then the start of pantry shelves, YIPPPEEEEEE!!!!!

The finished project!

Actually we have more shelves planned, this is how far we have it so that the desk project could begin. We started unloading the boxes onto these 2' deep shelves & found that there was good news & bad news. We will have to put up the back shelves & 1' deep shelves on the other side of the room sooner than we expected, on the other hand the good news is we have more food than we thought with a family of 9 that is GREAT news! The other great news is that about 53 boxes have been unpacked thanks to this project, YEAH!!!!!!!!

Next it was time to start on my desk, I am so thrilled because an organized desk means my brain functions better. I'm one of those people who really needs to have access to my computer, filing cabinets, sorters, etc. I also need to do something like scrapbook periodically to create something & de-stress. Of course at this time of year I want to get to my holiday planner and set up my menus and things so a desk is crucial to my functioning well. This time my office has been planned from the start & I am going to have a great layout where all my things are in one place instead of across the room here & there, Jordan has been planning this for a while & I am excited! I didn't get many construction pictures this time, I was busy painting desktop & shelving, but here are some photos.

The right side of my L-shaped desk, there will be shelves on this wall hopefully by the end of the week so I can finish unpacking in he family room & it can stop being box central, YEAH!!!!

The left side of my desk, we decided we will add one more 1/2 shelf here & move all the disks & things I use more often within reach when I am sitting at my desk. As usual our little one is right there part of the action, & wanting to climb the desk.

A shot with the center of the desk, my computer tower is up where small fingers hopefully will not be turning my power off while I am in the middle of a task! (Yes she has done that!)

I have now unpacked all of my files, all my holiday planners yes I have one for all the fall holidays with 19 weeks in it & then the details for Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas each have their own separate binders. There is one for all of my holiday recipes, then one for each; Valentines, St. Patrick's (Yes Debbie, really! LOL), Easter, & the 4th & 24th of July (those 2 are together!). Those are most of the binders on the top shelf, along with my home control journal, my blank organizational forms, & a few organizational reference books. I also have my mailing center on the top shelf, which makes finding an envelope, stamp, birthday card, etc. much easier to do on a moments notice. The family home evening supplies have moved to my shelving also hopefully that will making planning our Monday nights a little easier, at least I will see the box each day & be reminded! As I get my other shelves up some of this may move around a little, we'll see how it goes. Right now I'm just glad to have 12 more boxes unpacked & things that I need accessible! THANK YOU to my wonderful & talented husband, Jordan!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Sweet Little Girl Getting Scared Out of Her Wits by Daddy in Costume!
(What was he thinking???)

Yes Halloween did arrive at our house. About a week before Halloween one of the kids drug in the costume box so they could start trying on costumes to see what fit, what they could be, & what accessories they would need to complete their costumes, with 7 kids & 2 adults to outfit this can be quite the task! Daddy thought it would be funny to scare the littlest one, he scared her alright, she couldn't move off the chair she was sitting in fast enough, she just about fell! He had to quickly catch her & then remove the mask to show her a monster hadn't really come after her! LOL Poor kid wouldn't go near the masks for the first few days afterwards. Of course her brilliant siblings had to try on the same mask & pretend they didn't know it would freak her out again! LOL

Trying on their costume possibilities & scaring the little sister! LOL

We set out all the masks on the costume box for the week so she could get comfortable around them, we figured she would see several people in masks on Halloween so we better get her accustomed to the idea of seeing masks around. After the first few days she would walk up to the box & point at various masks, but would not touch them! Finally she started playing with a little furry bear mask, putting it in front of her face to say, "BOO!" She learned to say mask, after asking several times "What's that?, What's that?" We'd ask if she wanted to touch it, "NO!" that was a very clear answer! LOL Then she learned to point out the features; eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. By the end of the week she was picking up masks & running around with them, thank goodness! She had some pretty scary costumed siblings, they didn't use masks but boy did dad have fun painting them up! Unfortunately a couple of kids left early so I didn't get a chance to take their pictures this year in their costumes.

Ashlyn in the Ashman Elementary School Parade

Annelyse & I ran around on Wednesday before Halloween to two class parties (there was no school on Halloween & the day before due to parent teacher conferences). At about 7:30pm Katelyn (10yr old) informs me no parents signed up to help with the Halloween party for her class, by the time I located her teachers home phone number & called I got their answering machine so I had no clue what he had planned & started a contingency plan of sorts, Witches Brew Punch, some games (the favorite was Witches Pins), prize ideas, treat bags, apples & caramel dip. Wednesday while at her school to drop her off I stopped in to see the teacher & find out exactly what he needed for the party & proceeded to run to the store & home to put together what I had come up with. We did some re-arranging of party paper goods that had been bought for Ashlyn's class party so that there were some plain goods for each (I was able to pick those up for next to nothing) & then each had printed Halloween napkins & either holiday cups or plates. Ran to get a pumpkin at a friends house that sells them from her dad's farm, she loaned me a huge plastic cauldron to serve the punch in, another whose daughter is also in the same class gave me the apples from her inlaws apple trees and a bag of candy to add to the treat bags, Thank Goodness for Great Friends! After filling the treat bags, added a few suckers & things left from our baseball concession stand stash Annelyse & I headed to the school to set things up. We got the punch put together, apples sliced, back to the classroom to serve the apples & caramel, get the games to the teacher & shortly after that was all passed out we had to head off to the elementary school parade, which was in the afternoon this year, much warmer than the 9am parades of the past! Then we dropped off the paper good supplies for her class & headed home to put together some holiday party signup sheets for Kate's teacher at which time my computer let me know it was not liking life, UGH! When I finally scanned it I found over 500 problems on it (a couple of Trojan horses, lots of spyware, etc, ACK!). Note to self & others make sure your AVG & Adaware or whatever programs you prefer are up to date! When I finally got it to my dad the computer guru he found 400 more problems!

The next 2 days were spent at parent teacher conferences & trading off kids the first day with a friend since she has 2 the same age as my 2 that had conferences. Kids loved it they got to play with each other most of the day. ]

Halloween was spent getting the kids costumes completed & picking up the little ones costume which was in the storage unit which will hopefully be eliminated by the end of this month, YEAH!!!! That was fun, run to get things for the hotel party, drop off the crockpot of chili, it is set up so that the employees come with their kids in costume, have some games, eat some food (nobody has to cook dinner this way, YIPEEE!!!), get a treat bag & head out to trick-or-treat! Run to the storage unit & find out the code has changed, drive back over to the hotel, call, get the new number, drive back over to the storage unit, find out they have put a 2nd lock on the unit ARGH!!! Drive back to the hotel, call confirm we have been making payments by auto debit from bank account, wait, wait, wait, go home & wait! LOL Of course we had to get to the storage because the little ones costume was in one of those Halloween boxes. Another one needed black pants to go with her costume, also in the storage, it was he comedy of errors day! I finally got in touch with the gal in charge & she met me down at the unit to unlock it for me. I stopped to get the last few party supplies, we had the teen party to plan for also in the evening, which I managed to bake a tombstone cake for.

The tombstone cake, really simple!

All kids showed up by about 3pm to get their faces painted, dad's favorite job! Little one woke up from her nap, no fun going out trick-or-treating with a little kid that has had no sleep during the day! Followed hubby & the rest of the crew over to the party & made Witches Brew along with Dragon's blood (black cool-aid with 7UP, & dry ice). Tried putting little one's costume on after she ate, she was mad! LOL She was a cute mad Hershey Kiss! Eventually daddy rescued her & removed the costume, so much for that idea! Everybody ate, did art for the contest, Aspen won a prize for her coloring, we grabbed our crockpot when it was finished & ran home!

For the teen party & for the trick-or-treat time Jordan (hubby) ran a movie through the projector onto the sidewall of our house! VERY COOL! Many trick-or-treaters & their parents stopped to enjoy the show, our neighbors loved it, they said it was like watching a movie at the drive-in theatre from their backyard. We touched up kids makeup, tried to put another costume on the littlest one who was having nothing to do with that program so she hung out with daddy for awhile & I ran around the neighborhood with our kids while they trick-or-treated the neighbors, my parents, etc. When we got back home I tried the Jack-o-lantern costume on the small one, she wasn't thrilled while putting it on but after it was on & she checked herself out in the mirror she was fine about it. LOL Then the kids gave her a bucket & put some candy in it to teach her what to do & the 3 girls & I were off, my other 2 trick-or-treaters went back to their mom's house for the evening.

We had to go trick-or-treat in our old neighborhood so they could see some of their friends out in their costumes. About 1/2 way down our old street the little one caught on to what was up & started to say "twick o'tweat", and make sure she had her bucket at each stop, she managed several thank you's also, especially "tank you mush". We stopped to see some key people a street over & to hit the spooky graveyard house next to the church, they love going there. Then we drove over to the other super spooky house in town that is covered with spiders that must be at least 12' long, I kid you not! They have fog machines, flying bats, you name it, they add more each year! At about 8pm I told them it was time to call it quits.

Three little girls with their stash!

Girls in their costumes, a Jack-o-lantern, a zombie, and a friendly witch!
We ended the evening with the teenagers & their scary movie outside; amazingly they hardly touched the cake (it wasn't gross like my previous Kitty Litter Cakes), or the punch, Day old bathwater (rainbow sherbet, 7UP, lemonade, and a few pastel mints for soap). Our kids drank plenty of the punch & were happy to polish the cake off over the next 2 days. We still are working on that candy stash; I think Ashlyn has great plans of selling hers to make some cash! LOL Always the little entrepreneur.