Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Making Progress

We are slowly making progress on the front flower beds. Our friends, June and Larry, loaned us their tiller to get the beds broken up. John also power washed the bricks that were covered in algae.
I was hoping it would make a more dramatic difference, but it does look better. It is coming along. We probably won't get much done tonight since we have cub scouts, but hopefully we can get more done tomorrow night. I would like to at least have a few mums planted before Saturday. We are having a party for our Sunday school class on Saturday. John will have a busy day then. He will have to get up early to get the briskets on the smoker and then he has a meeting at work that morning that will take up several hours. We hope to have most of the yard work done before Saturday so we aren't in a mad rush to get everything done before five that afternoon.
I had to include this picture of a lizard skeleton that was in our fire place. We have started pricing doors for the fire place so we can get rid of the ugly cover that is on it. It has been shut off for about 20 years. The gas starter was disconnected years ago. I don't think we are going to reconnect it. We will just have a wood burning fireplace. Anyway, hopefully we can fit that into the budget before too long. All these little expenses are adding up fast.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Beautiful

I just love the weather right now. After getting our last electric bill it is especially delightful to turn off the air and open the windows. John and I slept with our windows open last night and it was a bit chilly in our room this morning, but it felt wonderful. Oscar and Socks like to have the windows open as well. I just hope they don't discover how easily those screens can pop out. I snapped this picture yesterday. They were watching some squirrels playing outside. It was funny to watch their heads move together as the squirrels ran by.

Starting Over

We have been in our house for right at three months. During this time, we have focused primarily on redoing the interior of the house. That is still our primary focus, but I am getting restless to get some things done in the front flowerbeds. All the pretty mums are calling my name. Today we started by completely emptying the flower beds. The shrubs had been neglected, and were growing into one another. Their stalks were so twisted and intertwined that they had lost any semblance of shape. I probably could have been patient and cut them back to the roots, but I just decided to start over. John strapped chains to them and pulled them out. He really likes driving in the yard. I think that will change once we bring in top soil and actually convince the grass to grow.
We still have several steps before we can plant anything. They need to be plowed and we will have to add a significant amount of top soil. I think we are going to price having a load brought in versus buying bags. The shrubs took a lot of soil with them when we pulled them out. It looks pretty bare right now, but I am sure it will be beautiful once some color is added. Our plan is to just do mums for now and add some more things as our budget allows. It may not have much else for a while. I also want to replace the lights that lean. John thinks it would be better if we mounted lights on the front of the arch instead of replacing the ones on top of the curves. Hopefully, it won't be too hard to drill holes on the front and fish the wires out. While we are working out front, we should probably power wash the bricks as well. This is how we get into these big messes, we start out planning to do something simple like plant some mums and wind up doing a major overhaul. It keeps us from getting bored.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Saturday

John had to go into work for a while today. He got home around 3 this afternoon. Not long after he got home the fire was going. Luckily we didn't have much to burn so it burned down quickly.
After the fire burned down some I vacuumed and cleaned the interior of the truck while John vacuumed the pool. Then we washed the truck. Joshua was making me laugh wearing his helmet to wash the truck. He tends to forget to take it off after he rides his bike.
It is still a pretty truck even after eight years and 170,000 miles.
After the truck washing fun the kids went looking for snake skins in the trees around the house. They found six. Oh, my!

The things kids say

I forgot to relay some additional dinner conversation last night. Joshua said he invited Veronica, a girl in his class, to come over for a visit. First he asked her if she ate red meat. When she said she did, He said she should come over sometime and they could throw a brisket on the smoker. She said she usually eats deer meat, but she could eat brisket. He also told her that she could come swim in our pool that is ten feet deep. She said hers is only six feet deep, so he said she should come swim at our house so they could go deeper. Third grade romances are entertaining.
I guess he is making progress on his flirting skills. We have come along way from his preschool days where he mooned a girl in his class. Now that was a fun meeting with the preschool director.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Another week is coming to a close. John is working really late tonight because of inventory. The boys and I had dinner without him. It seems weird when he isn't home. I don't like it very much. It is hard to believe that just over a year ago we spent more evenings without him home than with him home. I am glad those days are behind us.

The boys and I had great dinner conversation. Joshua told me that they had a contest at lunch to see who could be the grossest and he won. He put mustard in his cookies and cream milk and drank it. I am so proud.
Jacob is in trouble this evening for throwing a shingle at Joshua's head. See the cool mark on his forehead. Jacob got sent to his room to think about how he should be punished. He sat in there and cried loudly while I cooked dinner. After dinner, Joshua suggested that Jacob scoop the kitty litter even though it was not his turn. Jacob agreed that having to scoop the kitty litter for a week would be a good punishment. He said that would be a punishment he would never forget because it stinks so bad. They are funny little boys.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It can't believe its almost Friday

Where has this week gone? This week has gone especially fast. I just hope the weekend doesn't go so fast. John is working late tonight. They are having inventory in the morning, so he is getting everything ready. He is going to have to work some Saturday morning as well. Hopefully, it will only be a few hours and he can be home around lunch. That is the current plan. I hope it works that way.

I let the evening get away from me and just now got dinner in the oven. At least the car is clean. I was just going to wash it real quick and it wound up taking about an hour and a half. Oh, well. Maybe John will make it home before dinner after all. I may have to make the kids get their showers before dinner.

The boys are doing well. They are having their video game time right now. I just went to check on them and they are playing a Shrek game that goes with the game cube on the wii. They are funny. They saved their money to buy the wii and they would rather play the game cube games.

I saw two car wrecks on the way home from work today. One of them was at the intersection where the road we live off of meets a Farm to Market type road. It is an awful intersection because it is on a curve and there is a hill on one side that you can't see over. Every morning when I pull out there, I just hope someone isn't about to top the hill. John has been driving the truck since the heater core is leaking and it causes the windows to fog if you turn the heat or defroster on. John doesn't want me to have to mess with it, so he has been driving the truck. He is a great guy. I am very lucky.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Pack Meeting

Tonight we had the boys first cub scouts pack meeting. They meet at a church about five minutes from our house. Next week, they will meet in their individual dens. John or I will have to stay with Jacob since he is in first grade, but Joshua can go on his own. This is our first experience with scouting, so I am hoping that the boys like it. Tonight when they opened the floor up for questions, Jacob's hand shot up. Before I could contain him they called on him. He asked if he would get to shoot a bow and arrow in the scouts. They told him not yet, but when he is older. I never knew he wanted to shoot a bow and arrow. They had a little skit tonight and Jacob and I got picked to be in it. We were being a table.

My friend Sharese called today and we got to visit for quite a while. I miss her so much. We tossed around the idea of getting together during the kids Christmas break. Since they are in Ohio and we are in Mississippi, we can just meet somewhere in the Carolinas. She has been checking rates on beach houses since it is the off season. The ocean is still pretty even if it is too cold to play in. We have to figure something out. She said we could just go to the Bahamas but we don't think we can get as good a deal. There are five in their family and four in ours, so splitting a house is probably the more frugal choice. Even if we don't get together at Christmas, we will find a way to visit before too long. Her baby Cora will be turning one in January and I have only seen her in pictures. It is hard to believe it has been almost a year since we moved away. Leaving good friends is the hardest part of this nomadic journey we have been on. Hopefully, we are done moving. Although, Mississippi is not where I would have chosen to put down roots, it has been a blessing.

That is about all our excitement for today. I am waiting for the dishwasher to get done so I can get the coffee pot ready for in the morning. I love the automatic timer on the coffee pot. It is nice to stumble into the kitchen in the morning to find the coffee ready and waiting. It is very disappointing when I forget to set it the night before.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where did the weekend go?

It seems like the weekend went by way too fast. Monday is my day to work early so I was up, ready, and out the door by a little after five this morning. Luckily, I was leaving work by 11:30 so it wasn't too bad. The house is still in decent shape since we cleaned pretty good Saturday. I came home and changed the kids sheets. Then I washed their bedding, and swept most of the floors. I even mopped the family room. Now I am just taking a little break before starting dinner.

The boys both seem tired this evening. I think they will probably go to bed early tonight. They will be up late tomorrow for cub scouts, then the rest of the week is free.

We don't have much exciting to report today. I thought I would post pictures of the boys doing their kitty litter chore. They have different techniques. They are getting better at keeping it done. We have established a routine. They trade off doing it each night. Whoever takes a shower second, scoops the litter while the other one takes the first shower. So far, so good.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday John

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday. He turns 34. I am sure that all who read this blog know what an awesome guy he is. I am so blessed to be spending my life with him. Last night some people that he works with came over to help us celebrate. We had a great time.

There were kids that came to play and our kids were exausted before the night was over.

I think I have mentioned that John shares a birthday with his friend Derrick. Derrick showed up with a tuxedo t-shirt to match the boys.

Happy Birthday John. I Love you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Off and Running

John got up early and got things going. I haven't gotten moving quite as quickly. The ceiling fan is up and the smoker is smoking. I have about six hours to get the house clean. Not a problem. It has been raining this morning but it is starting to clear up. I hope it stays clear the rest of the day. John still plans to mow the yard, vacuum the pool, and clean the deck before company arrives. I guess we need to get busy. So much for a relaxing weekend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Let the Weekend Begin

Sunday is John's birthday, so this entire weekend is devoted to celebrating. In yesterday's mail John received a generous birthday/housewarming gift from his parents. Thank you Chris and Judy. It was a Lowe's gift card and we proceeded to spend it tonight. We got new blinds for the dining area and an outdoor ceiling fan to put in the large gazebo by the pool. John put the blinds up tonight and he will get the fan up early in the day tomorrow. We are having a birthday/end of summer party tomorrow night. John is cooking brisket and sausage on the smoker. My fridge is packed at the moment. John brought home six briskets and 20 pounds of sausage today. In addition, his friend Derrick sent plates, napkins, and plastic ware home with him. Our friends are all bringing side dishes and desserts. John shares a birthday with Derrick, so it is a party for both of them.

John even ordered the boys tuxedo t-shirts for the event. It is a formal affair. He added the lettering to the back.

I will post pictures of the fun event tomorrow night. John will be up around 2 to get the smoker started. We will spend most of the day tomorrow making the house presentable for company. Since I started working two weeks ago, I haven't been keeping house like I normally would. Anyway, things are going well at work. It is odd to get up and go to a job every day after being a stay at home mom for eight years, but it is good. The company I am working for is great. The job is interesting, pays well, and fits my schedule. I am working part time and have some flexibility with when I work. The kids really don't see much difference because I am home before they get off the bus every day. All in all it is exactly what I was looking for. God is good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hair Cuts

There is not much happening in our world today. I took the boys to get hair cuts after school today. Aren't they cute. I forgot to take a picture before showers, so they are in their night clothes.
We are having a good week. It is starting to feel like fall. I love the crispness in the morning air. It was only 59 degrees this morning. The afternoons are equally pleasant. Yesterday afternoon I sat by the pool and read before the kids got home from school. Even though it is too cold to swim, it is very relaxing to sit by the pool and listen to the wind blow through the trees. I think I need a hammock.

We found out this week that the tile we need is an exclusive tile made only for The Home Depot and they are no longer making it. That means we have to buy it soon. Luckily we have plenty of storage in the garage. I really don't want to have 43 boxes of tile stacked in the study. I have no idea when we are going to have time to install it. We are thinking we may try to do it the week of Thanksgiving since the kids are out of school for the whole week. I really don't want to try to keep a normal schedule with that kind of project taking place.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Already

This past weekend went by way to fast. I can't believe it is already Monday. My kids will be going to bed early tonight. Joshua was about to fall asleep sitting at the table doing his homework this afternoon. Luckily we don't have any evening activities this week. Next Tuesday the boys will have their first cub scout meeting, but until then our calendar is free. I am looking forward to a week of going to bed early. We will see how that plays out.

I got all the laundry from the last two weeks ironed, but now it is time to start over again. I do lead an exciting, fun filled life.

John got all his projects done this weekend. The pool is vacuumed, back flushed, and shocked. The lawn is mown. All the lights that needed replaced are up and working. The mirror in the entry has been hung. He is a pretty handy guy to have around. I am sure he did lots of other odd jobs this weekend, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind.

I have mentioned before that our new house is about 30 years old. The family room, breezeway, and garage were added on sometime within the last 20 years. The house has some quirks and we are constantly surprised by things. This weekend when John replaced one of the flood lights outside, he flipped the switch that he thought controlled it and nothing happened. I said "Do you think it could be controlled by the switch in our bedroom that doesn't control anything in our room?" He said that wouldn't make sense, but I tried it. Guess what? The flood light on the back corner of the house is controlled by the switch in our bedroom. Who knows why it was done that way. I don't know if we are going to change it or not. John said the wiring is in the really low part of the attic, so he isn't sure he wants to mess with it. The door to the left of the light does open into the master bathroom, so I guess it isn't completely incomprehensible that the switch would be in our room.

This is one of three lights that John replaced around the garage and breezeway. He actually put them up several weeks ago, but I just haven't posted a picture of them yet. They make the driveway look more inviting at night. Otherwise, it is really dark pulling up to the house after dark.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fun in the Rain

I had hoped the sun would stick around today, but it didn't. The kids haven't been in the pool in weeks, so they swam for a while this afternoon. It didn't matter that it was overcast and sporadically raining. I think the water was a bit cool, because they didn't swim more than thirty minutes.
While the kids swam, John ran the wires for the TV through the wall to hide them. It looks nice all finished.

We got a new laptop this week and I am still trying to get used to it. That is part of the reason my blogging has slowed. Every time I load pictures it tells me I have to connect to the broadband network even though the little icon on the toolbar says I am connected. It is annoying so I need to figure out why it is being so wonky.
We spent part of the afternoon today looking at tile. The one that I thought was right, wasn't. Luckily, we had the tile store get us a sample tile before we ordered so we didn't order a huge quantity of the wrong tile. We did however locate the right tile yesterday. It is porcelain, not ceramic. So now I present to you Dal-tile Mendocino Golden Brown Porcelain tile in 18x18. I am glad we found it so we don't have to rip out the tile in the kitchen.

Saturday without fire

I didn't think it was possible, but we are going to have a Saturday that doesn't involve keeping an eye on the bonfire. Right now I am sitting in the study surrounded by all the furniture from the family room. There are men here cleaning and waxing the floor in the family room. We decided that it would be a while before we replace the floors in that room, so it made sense to have the linoleum waxed to make it easier to clean. So far they only have one coat of wax on and it already looks a lot better. They are going to do three coats of wax. They told me it will have a shine I can't mop off when they are done.

John is staying busy replacing flood lights outside. He is also going to replace the light in the kids bathroom. It doesn't always come on when you flip the switch. It is a bit annoying to have to keep flipping the switch to get the light to come on.

I am going to catch up on all the ironing today. I had intentions to do it everyday this past week, but it hasn't happened. I have to get it done today so John will have clothes for work on Monday.

In cat news, Socks had her first vet visit yesterday. He gave her an approximate birthday of July 11. She got her first round of shots and treatment for worms. She has another visit on October 3 for the rest of her shots. I really liked the vet. He was very patient. He let both the boys listen to the cats heartbeat and he showed them a hookworm egg under the microscope. They thought is was cool.

In Hurricane news, John's sister, Jessica, sent a text this morning to say they were OK. He just talked to her a few minutes ago, and their power is still on. It has gone off a few times, but it hasn't stayed off very long. So far they aren't seeing any flooding. She and her family live in the Houston area. I think it is Sugarland, but don't hold me to that. They just moved within the last couple of months.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Socks takes over

We are not having a very exciting week, but it seems like I have had way too much to do. The boys both brought home their first progress reports this week. They are both doing really well at school.
We are adjusting to having the cat. I have to take her to the vet tomorrow for her first visit. John bought a carrier on his way home to hopefully make the trip easier. She is getting accustomed to the dog and doesn't bow up so bad every time she sees him.
The cat really likes John. It is sort of funny since he really isn't a cat person.
This is one of the projects we had to do this week. We put the chain lock on the laundry room door to keep the dog out. The cats food is in the laundry room and the dog kept sneaking in and eating it. This way the cat can get in, but the dog can't. It is a bit inconvenient since my pantry is in the laundry room, but it isn't too bad.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Welcome Socks

We got a kitten yesterday. It wasn't planned, it just happened. When we moved, Jacob started asking for a kitten. We said, maybe for Christmas after we have had time to get settled. Anyway, my friend Kim called on Saturday to ask if we wanted a kitten that she had been given by one of her students. It was a stray the student found but couldn't keep. Kim said she took it but then came to her senses and realized that she travels too much to have a kitten to take care of. So here we are.

When I asked Jacob what he was going to name her, he said he doesn't know any cat names. Then he said Grandma's cat is named Socks, so I think we should name her Socks. We are all about originality. Jacob has also said that he is going to take care of the litter box. Just a few minutes ago he told me not to go into the laundry room because the cat was going potty and it stinks bad. We will see how long his taking care of the litter box lasts.

The dog is adjusting to having a cat around. He has gotten his nose scratched a time or two, but they are getting better. The cat actually sniffed Oscar today, but when Oscar tried to sniff her back she swatted at him. They are entertaining.

As you can see from the picture, the cat is getting up on top of everything. She keeps running across the keyboard while I am trying to type. She slept with John and I last night. So far she doesn't seem to like the kids much. I am sure once she is used to them it will be better. They can be a little intimidating.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is my mom's birthday. I wish I could have posted sooner, but this has been one of those days. Anyway, Happy Birthday Mom.