Monday, August 31, 2009

Great end to the weekend

As mentioned before, we went to church to see Team Impact last night.
Tonight was more special than we ever imagined because tonight Jacob said that he was giving his life to Christ and prayed for Jesus to come into his life. This is our son that put on his Christmas list at school last year that all he wanted was to give his life to Christ. He always has a way of showing Jesus to everyone he meets.
They did the easy stuff like breaking wooden bats and twisting steel rods, then moved onto breaking an aluminum bat.
The boys bought souvenier bats for Team Impact to autograpgh and when Jacob went to have them sign his they gave him the aluminum bat they broke. They autographed it and wrote John 8:32 on it for him.

Finished the night having pizza with our friends from church. A great way to end the day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our relaxing Sunday

We worked hard yesterday getting a lot of projects done so that we could relax between church services today. Above is the result of our "relaxing". These are the two trees that I cut down last week. They are now stacked neatly, ready for use in either the fireplace or our smoker and most importantly, out of the middle of the back yard. The branches are all on the burn pile drying a little more in preparation for the inevitable Saturday fire that will consume them. I had the boys pose both for perspective on the size of some of the logs, the amount that was stacked, and in appreciation for their help (not pictured but much more help than she wanted is my lovely wife). The boys love getting their picture taken, especially when I tell them it will be on the blog.

After finishing the stacking Kristina and I were walking back to the house and both thought at the same time that we needed to jump in the pool. That is the great part about having a pool in your backyard, if you want to take a spontaneous swim fully clothed you have that luxury. Of course the boys ran to join, loving the craziness of swimming with your normal clothes on.

Now we are relaxing while waiting to go back to church for the special service tonight. Team Impact is here at our church nightly from tonight through Wednesday. While in town they will also be visiting several schools. In high school they (or another group like them) came to do their thing when a local congregation hosted them, but of course I didn't go to the church to hear their whole story. One of them gave the morning lesson at church today and it was a good service. They are known for breaking bats, concrete blocks, bending frying pans, and ripping phone books, but they are upfront about the fact that their only purpose in all of that is to bring people into church that would not be receptive to conventional outreach.

Now we are going to finish resting in preparation of going to see really strong guys break stuff in the name of God.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday finally arrived

I may be on a sugar high all day. John made beignets for breakfast. Cafe du Monde has nothing on him. They were delicious. Now he is putting some sausage on the smoker. This is why I have to work out, the man knows how to cook.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Let's get this party started

When I finally made it home from work, John and the boys already had everything in order for our Friday night fun. Lucky for me, John put the air mattress in the tent. He is good to me. I don't mind camping, but I need a little padding. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday already

This week has passed in a blur, actually the past month has been a blur. The kids are into the school routine, and I am adjusting to the homework routine. I have to remember to sign both their planners and check all their homework. They have only been in school three weeks, and I have already missed signing Jacob's reading log once. It probably won't be the last time I miss something.
Tonight I am cooking for work. We are having a pot luck tomorrow since one of my colleagues is transferring. He is leaving us to go to New Jersey. I spent most of my day today preparing for the going away festivities. It is sad to see him transfer, but I know he will do well in his new position. Until his replacement joins us, things will be a bit hectic, but we are up for the challenge. I guess that is all I got. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why the madness?

I'm starting to think he hates trees. I really need to find him a hobby before all my trees disappear.

A Saturday in Pictures

Here we see that it is Saturday by the fire in the background. Our friend
Jenny came by a couple of Saturdays ago and said she wasn't sure if she was at the right house because she didn't see smoke. You can see that our grass is starting to come in around the pool.

The two trees at the center of the pic have lived about as long as they are going to. They have no branches on the right side, most likely because they are growing towards the sun. They will be brought down soon (maybe today) before we get the fence finished and give them a chance to hit it.

Just another shot of the wall and the grass progress.

Lawn all mowed and edged.

Two more small fires, trying to get rid of stumps from trees I cut last year. Eventually I am going to have to pay a stump gringer to come in, but I have a few more to cut before them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Busy Week, (TGIF)

It is hard to believe that this week is over (already awake on last weekday, so this one doesn't count anymore). The boys are finishing their second week of school today and both are really enjoying it and seem to be fitting in well to the new year.

It has been a busy week from the beginning. After visiting the church close to us for five weeks we officially joined it this Sunday. We would have preferred to just write a little note, sign a roster, etc., but that is not how it is done so we went up front and filled out the card and were welcomed in front of the congregation. We are really enjoying being there, and really like that it is 2 miles from our house. We have really wanted to be a part of a local church where we see the members in our neighborhood and local events and the boys grow up with friends in the church. When we got home Kristina told me that we are now officially Baptists. I told her no, we were now members in a Baptist church (growing up as I did still affects my thinking). It is funny how my perception changed over the years and as we moved and became members in churches other than my childhood denomination. We are looking forward to growing closer to the friends we are making at chuch and to helping the boys develop friendships there as well.

Beyond that, we are just going through the week hoping for a somewhat relaxing weekend. I have to do a couple fixes outside and mow if the ground dries up enough. For those that don't read this blog just for the articles we will try to add some pics to our weekend posts.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It looks relaxing

Worth every penny

and after.

Anyone who owns a dodge truck made between 1994 and 2001 will understand. We bought our truck in 2000, the same year our oldest child was born and I made the leap into stay at home mom world. It is a great truck, but like most dodge trucks it has dash issues. The cracks started small enough, but it didn't take long before it was composed of jagged shards of plastic. Every time you hit a bump, you wondered if the dash would stay in place. This past weekend, we finally admitted defeat and had the dash repaired. Shout out to Judd at J&J Auto Brokers. He did a great job for a very reasonable price.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Friday!

No breaking news here, just that we successfully completed the first week with the boys back at school. (today doesn't count because once you wake up the day is pretty much gone). The boys are both liking school so far and have friends in their classes that they already knew. That is a great feeling given how much they have moved around in their short lives. Once again I hope that our plan for them to grow up here works out.

We don't have a lot of excitement here for the weekend. The boys are going fishing tomorrow with their Sunday night church group and we may cookout. Other than that just enjoying the rest.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Here we go again

The first day of school finally arrived. Can you see the excitement on their faces?
From all accounts it was a success. As soon as we got in the car at daycare, Jacob announced that he had a great day at school. His class got ten marbles in the jar and when the jar is full, they are going to party. There are four boys from his baseball team in his class, and a few kids from his class last year. He thinks second grade is going to be awesome.
Joshua had a good day as well, but he is more reserved. One of the boys from his baseball team is in his class as well as a couple of kids that were in his class last year. He said they had a busy day doing lots of paperwork. So far he thinks fourth grade is going to be pretty easy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Snake in a garage

That's not a very catchy title, but it sums up the day. We spent some time in the back yard inspecting trees. The goal was to find the perfect tree for the kids tree house. John had it narrowed down, but he wanted input from the kids and I. As we finished our backyard tour we headed back inside. Jacob made a pit stop to put something in the garage. He came out yelling excitedly that there was a snake in the garage. If you remember we made a deal that if he could catch a snake he could keep it as a pet. We honestly never though he would get close to a snake, so it seemed like a good plan at the time. Back to today's events. John and I went into the garage to check it out. I ran into the house to get the camera while John attempted to corral the snake. The above two pictures were taken before it managed to climb up one of the shelf supports and hide behind some porcelain tile. We didn't particularly want to move the tile to find it. We just left it alone and came inside to look at snake pictures online. We decided it was most likely a Midland Water snake. Non venomous but an aggressive biter that strikes repeatedly. Okay, that doesn't really sound like a pet to me. Nor does it sound like something I want to startle. After we determined it was probably not poisonous I went back out to the garage to see if it came out of hiding. It was under the mower, and I soon as I attempted to get its picture, it tried to climb the shelf again. John made it out in time to prevent the shelf climb.He injured it with the shovel, but it managed to get behind the stereo and curl up. John used the crow bar to pull it out so he could try to rid our garage of it.Not much was left once John got it out from behind the stereo. Jacob was pretty upset with us. He told me it isn't fair that the snake only got to live a little while. I assured him that Daddy only killed the snake to protect us. Even though it wasn't poisonous, it still bites. He seemed okay with that. Once we got the snake out in the open where we could look a little closer we became less certain about our identification. It could be a grey rat snake. Any ideas?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wasp beware

Socks will hunt you down and punish you for being in her house. Good cat.

Last Saturday before school

Joshua went with his daddy to help get firewood this morning. He was rewarded with a slush puppy for all his hard work. Now John has some wood to split. I would help, but it is better if I just stay out of the way. John makes fun of me every time I try. I just don't have the follow through. As soon as the splitter hits the wood I put on the brakes. I am a bit scared of chopping off my leg.

After the wood was unloaded from the truck we spent some time in the pool. Jacob is working on mastering his dive.Joshua has been diving for some time. Today John showed him how to do a flip. He was having a blast showing off his new skill.
I am so glad the weather is pretty today. Hot and muggy, but a great day for swimming.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What to do

John was busy vacuuming the pool, and I was admiring his work. As we discussed the events of the day, this little critter wandered up to the fence and stared at us. I walked over to the fence thinking it would run away, but it just started meowing at me. Of course, I was stirred with compassion, but I had to contain my need to bring it in and start nursing it to health. John is not a big fan of strays. Within a few minutes both the kids were outside wanting to play with the kitty. John told them to stay away because it might have a disease. I watched it wander all along the perimeter of the fence begging for attention. The kids were both very concerned. They offered to use their allowance to take it to the vet. Joshua said that he would buy the next bag of cat food if we could just feed it something. I tried to stay out of it. Finally, after Joshua begged once again to feed it, John asked what I thought. I jumped at the opportunity to rally support for Joshua's plan, and suggested putting food and water outside the fence. I think it is good for the kids to be compassionate. So we fed and watered the poor thing. It wouldn't eat anything, but it drank for a long time. Then it threw up, and drank some more. I am hoping it gets better. It was looking pretty fragile tonight. I realize I can't save every stray that wanders on over. I am also well aware that I cannot let it in the house. For one thing Oscar would probably trample it and Socks would hunt it down to hurt it. She isn't very nice. Also, I know I have to protect my kids and pets from the dangers that lurk about. That being said, it was hard to leave it outside to fend for itself. Lucky for me it isn't hard for John. Hopefully, it makes it through the night and finds its way back to its home. I don't know how long I can keep from playing the rescuer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Count down to school

Tonight was meet the teacher night at Jacob's school. It has been on my calendar since the end of May. I love it when someone makes an effort to keep parents informed. Joshua's school is right next door and they had meet the teacher night on the same night last year. Not this year. They had meet the teacher night on Tuesday. Did they send anything home to let us know it would be different this year? No. I am a little annoyed with the lack of communication. I found out on Wednesday that I had failed that mommy test, you know the one where you know whats going on. John and I met for lunch and he informed me that a lady he works with had gone to open house the night before. He asked how she knew about it and she said that her husband happened to pass the school and saw it on the marque. Now I know, in order to stay informed I must drive way out of my way so I can read the marque. I had routinely checked the school web site all summer to no avail. Up until late July it still had information from May. I guess I quit checking too soon, because the web site was updated this week. I am sure it will all work out okay. Joshua doesn't seem too traumatized that he hasn't met his teacher yet. When school starts on Monday it probably won't matter. I just hate feeling like I messed up. I don't handle failure well.
Enough about my screw up. Jacob's teacher seems nice, and there are two boys from his baseball team in his class. John and I are both starting to feel like we belong in this small town. We saw lots of people we knew at the school. As we were leaving John remarked that it was nice to see familiar faces. When we went to open house last year, we didn't know a soul. Tonight we saw lots of parents from the kids baseball teams, and John works with a guy who has a kid in Jacob's class. Our world is starting to feel a little smaller and less intimidating. That is a great thing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

and the winner is

John emerged victorious. The stump didn't stand a chance. We are one step closer to the dream.

The battle rages on

Several weeks ago we began the process of leveling the yard around the pool so we can plant grass seed. As previously reported, I was diligently working away removing the above stump when the yellow jackets living under it decided to feast on my legs. John did the brave hero thing and killed off all the nasty critters, but the stump remains. I will claim excessive rain as my reason for not continuing the work. Today John has taken on the nemesis know as the stump. He has been at it for quite some time now. When I went out to check on him he said he was almost to the point of setting it on fire, but he was going to keep trying to remove it with the axe. We have plans for the place where the stump currently resides. Since it is going to leave a fairly large hole once it is removed we plan to make it the reservoir for our water feature. By early next summer I should be sitting by the pool enjoying the soothing sounds of a trickling waterfall as I marvel at the beautiful flower beds and thick lawn. Until then I just have to use my imagination.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Average Sunday

We went to church this morning for about the fourth Sunday at Briar Hill. We are still getting into the groove of things there. It is a lot different than the other churches we were a part of everywhere we lived. Not in a bad or good way, just different. After church we had to pick up air filters for our house and Home Depot had a great price on a three pack, just the amount that we needed. We stopped for some good Mexican food on the way (had to make up for the good deal on the air filters).

After we got home we went into our typical Sunday afternoon rituals. I worked outside while Kristina caught up on the ironing. Today I got the back half of our property mowed since I did the front yesterday. The front is more the manicured half, the back is more of a park. There are few spots in the back yard that the sun reaches the ground. It is very peaceful and a relaxing place to be. When we moved into the house just over a year ago you could bearly walk through the back yard from all of the overgrowth and old junk that seemed to just be dropped where it broke or the previous owner got tired of dragging it. We knew there was potential, but it was buried deep. That sounds like a segue for a bible lesson.

Now Joshua is playing Rock Band and Jacob is watching TV. There is something odd about hearing my nine year old play The Who and Molly Hatchet. I guess I am just still upset that Pink Floyd hasn't given into the commercialism and allowed their songs to be a part of this craze.
Now it's about time to get cleaned up for church this evening. One more week until school starts.

Good friends, who could ask for more

Happy Anniversary to Dan and Laura. In honor of their one year anniversary, they spent the day with us. It was either spend the day with us or go back to Jamaica where they spent their honeymoon. Of course, they chose to spend the day with us. Okay, so Jamaica was the original plan, but we were the ultimate winner. We enjoyed a day of swimming, feasting, and rock band. Laura is quite the singer. I already knew this since she sings to me almost daily at work. After Laura wowed us with her mad skills, they were treated to the spectacle of me attempting to sing. Lets just say that rhythm is not my friend. Laura did manage to video most of my performance, meaning I will have to be extra nice to her at work. It isn't necessarily something I would want most of my coworkers to witness. Aside from my lack of rhythm and tone, we had been in the pool so I wasn't exactly photo ready. My lack of skills notwithstanding, we had a great day. Every weekend should be filled with friends and fun. Who could ask for more.