October 28, 2008

I'm Not Scared!

I am just enjoying finding all kinds of old pictures that bring back so many good memories! A couple of months ago my brother, Jeffrey posted this picture of us when we were young....we used this picture for a Christmas card....with our Rottweiler Yogi. Yogi was a great dog, but a lot of people were scared of him because he was so big....and maybe a little overzealous! As my cousin John put it, "I remember Yogi grabbed me by my coat hood one winter and almost strangled me. Now I see why he was so angry. You were strangling him with your beast love all the time :)" It's true that if you tried to leave the backyard Yogi would nip at your ankles or grab you by your coat hood to try to get you to stay....he never tried to hurt anyone, though! Despite telling my cousins this, I think Melissa spent the better part of her childhood on the top of the monkey bars if Yogi was out of his kennel! There was NO WAY she was going to take a chance that he might nip at her! Not only did we have a big dog in Yogi, but my grandparents always had Doberman's that "took care of us" while we were out there. One of their Doberman's wouldn't even let bees get close to us...he would nip them out of the air in order to protect us from them!

So, my dad has always loved BIG dogs and back in 2001 he got Bear for Lynn. Bear is part Rottweiler and part German Shepherd (I believe), but he is a BIG BABY!! He really is a good dog, and some of the funniest memories I have from when Annalisa was little are those of her feeding him. She would put the dog biscuit in her mouth and Bear would take it from her mouth....she had NO fear of him even though he was like 10 times her size! (Now, what kind of mother lets her 1 year old child hold a dog biscuit in her mouth so a HUGE dog can get it from her and hopefully not bite her in the process???) Annalisa also used to walk around the house with Bear while he held her hand in his mouth....he never bit her, just led her around. Because we lived with Bear while Annalisa was sooo young (it was right after Ben's accident and we had to be in Dallas for 4 months while he was recovering), she developed a great bond with him that still holds to this day! Here they are together last year...still BFF'S!

What Kind of Peepaw Are You?

So, referring to my previous post "What Kind of Mother Am I?", I have to say that I must be a better mother than my dad is a Peepaw. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? Well, it's simple....at least I had given her FOOD before she fell asleep....looks like all he gave her was a tupperware lid to play with....she obviously fell asleep from lack of energy, and her shoes are probably tied so tight that she lost circulation in her legs thus making it impossible for her to move from that spot!

I found this pic and post from my dad and just wanted to share it....so the next question is what kind of mother leaves her child with a grandparent who lets her fall asleep on the floor???? (and just so you will know...there are MANY more pics of my kids sleeping in places OTHER than their beds!)
Posted By: Mike Newman
Date Posted: Sep 8, 2003

Description: I'm supposed to be babysitting Caci's kids while she goes on a job interview. Cole and Jacob are watching Spiderman. I thought Annalisa was playing with the "Tupperware" until I walked into the living room to check on them.

Apparently, I should have known she was sleepy. Although, at first I wasn't sure if Jacob had knocked her out - "accidently", of course.

I also didn't know when her diaper needed changing. She kept banging on her momma's bedroom door, so I let her in and she tried to crawl on the bed. Then I realized that's where Caci changes her diaper. Lo and behold, she was soaked.

In my defense, I didn't have to do these things with my kids. My wife took care of all of that stuff. So, the fact that she has a clean diaper and is in her crib sleeping peacefully before Caci gets home is a feather in my cap. Right?!?

October 27, 2008

What Kind of Mother Am I?

I found this picture as I was looking through old photo albums I have saved on my computer. I am guessing Annalisa was at least 2 (she is not wearing a diaper), maybe 3 years old. There are so many things wrong with this picture.....like, what kind of mother am I to feed her Cheetos? I mean, doesn't everyone know how unhealthy (and addictive) Cheetos are? I should have been feeding her grapes, or apples, maybe banana slices, but not Cheetos!!
Also, what kind of mother am I to not give my daughter some pants to wear??? For crying out loud, she was probably mortified to be running around in her panties all day!
I can't help but wonder what kind of mother I am that I didn't put her in her bed when she fell asleep?? What kind of mother lets her baby fall asleep on a hard wood floor and leaves her there?? She will probably have back problems for life because of this, and I will most definitely be to blame!
And most importantly, what kind of mother takes a picture of the situation--apparently finding it cute?

Weekend Update!

The weekend started out with us going to a Corn Maze on Friday night. It was mine and Ben's first Corn Maze and it was pretty fun! We didn't go in the haunted maze like most of the youth did, but we had enough fun in the one that wasn't haunted! It was very dark and we only had 2 little glow sticks to guide our way! Once our eyes got adjusted to the dark it wasn't so bad, though! The kids stayed with my cousin Melissa and they went to see HSM3....which I heard was very good!

On Saturday morning 3 men from our church came to help us work on the house. They spent all day Saturday taking the flooring out of the back

room, the cabinets out of the kitchen, and getting light switches to control the correct lights! They were a HUGE help, and I am so thankful for their willingness to spend a Saturday doing dirty work! Ben and Brian stayed late Saturday evening getting new sheetrock put up where the wall had been molded. It is so much nicer now! On Sunday some more guys came over and helped finish taking the flooring out of the fireplace room, then Ben and spent until 9:30 putting new insulation in. We got 1/2 of the flooring put down as well. I cannot explain how happy I am to get those nasty cabinets out of my kitchen!!! We had our new stove, dishwasher, and microwave delivered on Saturday! They are so pretty!! I am excited about all that has been happening, even though it is a little bit at a time!

October 22, 2008


I am doing my best to keep up with everything that is going on, but we haven't been getting in from working on the house until close to midnight every night since last Friday. We didn't have much extra help this weekend, so it was extra long days for Ben, Brian, me and Stacy.

On Friday afternoon Annalisa had her author's tea at her school. She read a book that she wrote called Dear Zoo. The children used the format of the already popular children's book Dear Zoo and then just added their own animals and adjectives. It was pretty cute and I am very proud of her. If you are on Facebook you can watch the video of Annalisa reading her book on my profile page. I tried to upload it to Blogger but after 20 minutes I got irritated...it must be too big of a file for Blogger! After school Annalisa came back to work with me so she could go to Peyton's Kit Kittredge birthday party that evening. There were a lot of girls and it was very fun. Annalisa enjoyed being at an all girl birthday party!

After the party (7 pm) we went over to the house to help the guys work. I can't remember what we did that night! I know that on Saturday, with Stacy's help, I got the main floor bathroom painted and ready for a new door. On Sunday Ben put the new door on and now the main floor bathroom is finished except for the flooring. Cynthia and Fernando (from our church) came Sunday afternoon and they were big helpers! Cynthia put Kilz on the walls in Annalisa's room and the guest bedroom upstairs, and Fernando put sheetrock mud on the walls. When we were trying to wash out some paint brushes Cynthia asked me if we had a garbage disposal because the sink wasn't draining so well---as I was telling her that I think we have one but we haven't used it, she turned it on and glass starting coming up out of it! I am so glad that none of it flew into her face! She promptly turned it off but informed me that the good thing was that now the sink was draining better! Later, after Cynthia left, I turned the sink on and the sprayer nozzle shot off at me like a canon and water started spewing out of the hose all over the kitchen! I couldn't do anything but laugh! I was in that "It's after 10 pm and everything is hilarious" mood! Ben wrapped Caution tape all over the sink!

On Sunday night someone from our church was being nice and rolled up the windows to Ben's car for him (1969 VW bug) and locked the doors. Well, Ben doesn't have a key that easily unlocks the doors, so he never locks it. He called me at 11 pm to let me know that he couldn't get into his car (I was already home with the kids because we had gone in 2 cars), and he drove the church van home. So, Monday was the first day Ben hasn't worked on the house in the past month. He got his car unlocked and now has 2 keys for it.

Last night Stacy and I put Kilz on the walls in the Master closet area and we pulled staples out of the floors. That is not fun!!! I will go back tonight after work and see what else there is to do!

October 16, 2008

The Patriots

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Last night Cole was in his 5th grade play, The Patriots. He said that they only perform this play once every 4 years, and we were lucky enough to get to see it! Cole was very excited about his costume for Benjamin Franklin! He did a really great job with his dancing, singing and reciting of lines. It is so fun for me to watch him perform because he used to be so shy and I never would have thought he would get up in front of people and perform. There were 2 performances yesterday--one at 8:30 in the morning for the school and one at 6:30 in the evening for parents. I went to get Cole from our house after I got off work--(sidenote: I saw what Ben and Brian had been working on! They almost finished putting all of the lights in the upstairs, and they started putting up the walls for my walk-in closet! It looks soooo good, and I am soo excited!)

When I got to the house there was screaming coming from upstairs, and Annalisa met me on the stairs telling me that Cole had splinters in his hands. I got up there and saw Brian trying his best to get splinters out of Cole's finger. Brian really stepped up to the plate--Ben doesn't do anything that might cause blood to flow, so he basically just told Cole to figure it out on his own. I am glad I got there when I did, but I did have to cut his fingers open a bit in order to get out the HUGE splinters that were deeply buried in his fingers. Apparently he had been skateboarding and flew into the fence...which he informed me has "bad wood".

I guess this just proves Jacob point....you see, a few days ago when Jacob got in trouble at school, I told him he was grounded. Later that day he asked me if he could skateboard, and I said "No....that sounds like fun, and you are grounded from doing fun things." Jacob promptly told me that skateboarding isn't fun because he falls and gets hurt, and sometimes people laugh at him when he falls, and that really isn't fun! After I saw the splinters in Cole's finger I decided that maybe Jacob was right....skateboarding can't possibly be fun....I will use it as punishment next time they are in trouble!

October 15, 2008

Days Seventeen and Eighteen

Wow! We are well into week 3 of work now, and I think Ben is actually getting excited again. He hit a bit of a slump there when things weren't going as fast as he had originally hoped, but I think he has done an AWESOME job, and I am so glad he has been able to do it. He has had a lot of help from some of our church family too, and that has been a huge blessing! As of last night there are lights in Annalisa's room and closet, a wall/doorway for her walk-in closet, indirect lighting in the Master Bath, lights in the Master Bedroom and an archway in the Master Bedroom. I am getting so excited to see what it will all look like when it is finished. It will be so nice and we will have made it exactly what we want! Ben is excited for me to come this evening and see what else he has done....I wonder??

Cole has a play tonight in which he will be Benjamin Franklin. He is very excited, and when they told him he would be Ben Franklin he thought that was cool because when he was in 2nd grade he was Ben Franklin for the wax museum at his school. He should be a great Ben Franklin now!

Jacob has had much better days at school. He is very big on making people proud of him and it upset him to think that his teacher was disappointed in him for his behavior, but like I said before she really loves having him in her class, so that is a plus for him!

Annalisa has an Author's Tea on Friday that I will be attending. She will read something that she wrote, we will apparently drink tea, and the thing she is most excited about is the Log Cabin they built out of old toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls.
I can't wait to see it!!

October 13, 2008

Days 12-16, 2 Flights, & 2 Office Visits

I haven't posted much because I left town last Thursday to go back to Texas for my Papa's funeral. I went and saw the house before I left town, and when I got back on Saturday I went again and saw some more progress. It is hard at this point to show alot of the progress in pictures, but I will share the pics I have. Ben and Brian (along with some other guys from our church) have been working faithfully day in and day out for 2 solid weeks now (Saturday was the start of week 3). We are getting very close to me being able to paint.....then the carpet will be installed and we can move in! YAY! When I went and looked at the downstairs bathroom I saw that Ben had bought a new cabinet with sink! It is sooo much prettier than what was there! I am glad he has good taste!

My plane flights were pretty good considering I hate to fly. On the way to Texas I was sitting next to a lady and her baby daughter---Abbie. She asked me to hold Abbie while she went to the bathroom.....I didn't think twice about it before saying, "Sure." Abbie and I laughed and played, then I looked away for a second and felt something warm hit my leg. She had spit-up all over my leg, and it was pooling in my seat next to my leg. I only had the little napkin they give you with your drink, and while I was trying to clean it up with that, Abbie's mom returned to her seat. She was watching me clean it up which horrified her, and at that same moment Abbie spit up all over me again. Her mom started saying, "No, Abbie! No!" She then apologized profusely to me, but at that point what could be done about it? My dad's dog Bear licked it all off of me quite well when I got to their house.
When we landed in Texas we stopped on the runway while we were waiting to taxi to our gate. While we were stopped, the pilot came over the loudspeaker, "If you will notice, the "fasten seatbelts" sign is still illuminated. My computer shows me that 18 of you have already unfastened your seatbelts. What that means is that when we begin taxiing to our gate, the computer will think you have already exited the plane and the luggage doors will open and begin dropping your luggage on the runway." You should have seen how fast people began fastening their seatbelts! It was pretty funny! I had a very good visit in Texas. I really enjoyed seeing all of my cousins....all 18 of us were there together. The funeral was very nice, but it is still hard for me to believe that I won't see or talk to Papa again.

My trip home was pretty bumpy and there was a lot of turbulence during the descent into Denver....that made me pretty airsick....the reason I hate to fly! But, I made it in and was very happy to see my family at the airport.

I make it a habit of asking Jacob pretty regularly if he has any notes from his teacher or if there is anything I need to know about his day at school because Jacob is NOT one who will offer up information willingly. So, this morning before he left for school I asked, and he promptly told me there were no notes, which technically was true, but there was definitely something I needed to know about his day at school on Friday. I got a call from his teacher about an hour ago letting me know that on Friday Jacob was sent to the office for choking another student. It turns out that a girl was bothering another boy in the line at recess. The boy kept asking her to stop, and she wouldn't, so Jacob intervened. He put his arm around her and dragged her away from the other kid, thus getting himself in trouble. He told the teacher, "She was bothering the boy and wouldn't stop, so she was driving me crazy." He was sent to the vice-principal's office, but she wasn't in the office on Friday, so his teacher discussed with him what he could have done instead of trying to handle it himself. Then today during bathroom break he was brought back to his classroom by another teacher who said that Jacob and another boy were "wrestling and choking each other". Jacob denies having choked anybody today, but he did say the other boy was choking him. Either way he was sent again to the vice-principal's office, and she said he owes her recess for 2 days. I am about at my wit's end with this kid. I love Jacob to death, but he seems to make bad decisions lately and spanking and grounding him don't work. I don't know what else to do right now so I am praying for guidance. Cole and Annalisa are so NOT like that. They would die before they would get sent to the office.....Jacob goes regularly. At least his teacher told me she enjoys having him in class, and she thinks he is a great kid who makes her laugh....she agrees with me--he is all boy, and he makes bad choices before thinking about it. If you have any ideas, feel free to share!!

October 8, 2008

Days Ten, Eleven and Other News

Well, days ten and eleven of work on the house have come and gone. I don't have many pics to show for it because I haven't been going over there after work due to the many miles away that it is and the high price of gasoline. But, I did go after work yesterday and I took a few pics. The guys have been working hard on sewage and plumbing. There aren't many pictures you can take of that kind of work, but as of yesterday afternoon the bathtub in the extra bathroom upstairs was put in. YAY!! Progress makes me so happy!! I know that today Ben and Brian went and bought the surrounds for the tubs and were going to get those put in. It also seems that Ben wanted it to feel more like home so he went ahead and hung a picture on the wall!

On Monday night we went to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner not knowing it was Kid's Night. They had face painting, a guy who could make anything you wanted out of balloons ("except a porcupine," he said), and a sundae bar. The kids really enjoyed it....well Jacob and Annalisa really enjoyed it. Cole is beginning to think he is too old for that kind of stuff! Jacob was a bit disappointed when he asked the guy to make him a triceratops out of balloons and he got back what looked like a rhinoceros with Goofy's eyeballs. Jacob rolled his eyes and made a face like, "are you sure you know what you are doing?" The man proudly exclaimed, "My first triceratops!" I don't think he knows that "Tri" means "three" and that there should have been 3 horns on top of the head, but hey he is only working for tips so I will give him a break.

On another note, yesterday morning I got a phone call I didn't expect to get. My older brother called to let me know that my Papa (my mom's dad) had died the night before. We still don't know what happened, but I fly out tomorrow at noon and land in Dallas at 3 pm. I don't enjoy flying at all, so pray for me that it is a smooth flight! The funeral will be Friday at 2 in Carthage, TX, then I fly back home from Dallas Saturday at 2 pm, so it will be a very rushed trip. I don't have many pics of Papa on my computer but this is one I do have. I am very thankful to have known my Papa for so many years because alot of people don't have their grandparents around when they are adults. I do have many fond memories of summers at his house working in the garden or playing in the woods....I will always have these memories and cherish them! He is always my Papa, and I will never forget how his voice sounded when I walked in the door and he said, "Hello, Beautiful!"

October 6, 2008

Days Seven, Eight and Nine

Friday was day seven. Work was called off early because we had plans to eat dinner with some family members that were in town, and then we had plans to watch Iron Man at our church on the Big Screen. It was our second time to see it, but there were others who hadn't seen it yet, so we had to be there...it was a night of resting! So, Saturday was the first day of Week Two! We did accomplish quite a bit this weekend, even though the pictures don't really show it. The things that were done were some of the small, behind-the-scenes tasks. John (my cousin), Ben and Brian spent all of Saturday running cables and wires so that they would be hidden in the walls. That took quite a few hours. Thanks a MILLION for all the help John John!! Jimmy spent Saturday getting all of the staples out of the floor in our living room area. This is a tedious task, but it must be done before the new carpet can be put in. GREAT JOB JIMMY!! Melissa and I worked on all the staples in the UGLY yellow linoleum that was under the tile in the entry way. We would have done more if we hadn't been told that we couldn't hammer anymore....the guys were talking to each other about the wires, and they couldn't hear each other over our hammering. Melissa did a WAY better job than I did....as she pointed out to me on several occasions! On Saturday I also began the task of taking the baseboards off the walls. When Cole saw me doing that, he immediately convinced me that he could do a better job than I was doing, so I turned it over to him! And Ben and Brian continued to work in the upstairs bathrooms. The kids learned that sheetrock will draw on the driveway just as good as chalk, so they entertained themselves drawing all over the driveway!! I love it when kids use their imaginations and are completely satisfied with something as simple as a piece of sheetrock!
On Sunday, we worked hard all afternoon. I spent several hours pulling nails out of 2 x 4's that we are re-using for the walls we are building. I probably pulled nails out of 30 boards.....it was a tough job. I have bruises and scrapes on my legs and arms, but I am so glad I got that job done. Ben and Brian got 3 of the walls put up, and they are now ready for sheetrock. We brought the youth back on Sunday night, and they did an AWESOME job cleaning trash off the floors!! WAY TO GO!! They also began the process of pulling up the bad flooring in the front sunroom. That proved to be a much harder task than we originally thought, but they did great getting it started. I am not sure what is happening today (Day 10), but I am sure I will write something about it once I find out!

October 3, 2008

Day Six

I went to the house yesterday after work and saw the mess that the guys have been making! Ben is so tired and worn out....and I know Brian is too! Brian has been such an awesome help for Ben (and Anthony too after school is out)! The guys took all of the carpet out of the basement, replaced the toilet on the main floor with the toilet from the extra bathroom upstairs (now NO MORE LEAKS!!), completely gutted the extra and master bathrooms upstairs, took the sheetrock out of the pantry in the kitchen, and took all of the sheetrock off the wall in the dining room (where the mirrors had been hanging). They have done so much!! The demolition is pretty much done (today should be the last day) and then we will begin the remodeling process. Hopefully we will get quite a bit of help this weekend and we will be able to make some noticeable progress. Ben and Brian are both AWESOME and I am SOO thankful that I have a husband who can and WILL do this kind of work!!! There are a few pics from Day 6 in a photo album under the Photos tab---I have pics of the washroom and the boys' bathroom in the basement because I have never shown pics of those two rooms yet.

October 1, 2008

Day Five

I don't have any new pics for today because I didn't go to the house after work. I know that first thing this morning Ben had the Roto-Rooter guy out. For $300 he ran a camera down our sewer pipes so he could see what the problems were. Then for another $200 he fixed the problems...lots of tree roots blocking the pipes. We should be good for a while now. After Roto-Rooter he finished pulling the plumbing out of the upstairs bathrooms. They created a huge mess, so I heard, but only have one more day of demolition before the remodeling will begin. I will go over to the house tomorrow after work so I can get some pictures and I will hopefully have more to write about then.

Day Four

Yesterday was Day Four of work on the house, and it was filled with lots of trips to the store for plumbing parts. Ben had to cap off several water lines and fix a leaky toilet on the main floor. He also tore all of the old shelves out of the huge pantry so I can have more counter/cabinet space in the kitchen and a smaller walk-in pantry. At the end of the day he found out that the main water line coming in to the house was leaking, so we left and went again to Home Depot for some more parts so he can fix it today. I don't know if I mentioned it, but on Monday Home Depot came out to measure for carpet, and they can install it within 72 hours of us calling to say we are ready. We are going to run wires for lighting and paint the walls before we tell them we are ready for the carpet, though. Also, just to clear things up for those of you who are thinking that we have torn down every wall in the house....we have only torn down two walls so far (one between the Master Bedroom and the extra bedroom upstairs so the Master Bedroom can be one large Master Suite, and one where Annalisa's closet was so we could give her an extra 3 or so feet on that side of the room). Also, Ben did take the closets out of the basement, but those weren't any walls torn out. He is also tearing up the existing Master Bathroom so I can have a tub in there and a bit bigger of a bathroom. So, we aren't tearing the entire house apart even though it may seem that way in the pictures!! Right now the work is going a bit slower, but we are still making progress, and one more day of work is one more day closer to us moving in!!!

These are the only 3 pictures from Day 4 of work!