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Showing posts from March, 2011

A visit to the Fire Station

Caleb has always wanted to be a Fireman when he grows up. He is having his first friend birthday party this year - 12 little boys from his K class. When we started the planning for the party, we decided to plan a fireman party. We went to a fire station for a tour and some fun pictures. We were secretly hoping for some free stuff too (like hats, coloring books, etc) and one really good picture for his cake table. We ended up getting a wonderful tour of the fire truck and the station. Caleb LOVED it! We also got a number of someone who could help us with some free stuff. Here is Caleb pretending to drive the truck... Here he is standing in front of the tire. He is about the same size as the tire... Wearing the helmet while driving... He was excited to see the lockers with the coats, boots, and helmets... The station we went to visit is also an EMT station so there was an ambulance too... The best news is today I heard back from the assistant fire marshal we called and we were able

Birthday shopping with Grandma Peggy

Jonathan and I got go to Independence last week to go shopping for Caleb's birthday with Grandma Peggy. We had a good time and decided we should go visit her more often. Because we misunderstood the Children's Place coupon sale, we ended up going twice in one week. While we were at the Independence Center Mall, he rode on the carousal with grandma and then played on the toys with his $1 punch ball. We ate at the food court and then went shopping at Walmar0t, Old Time Pottery and Target. Here are a couple pics from the mall... Jonathan didn't notice, but we were able to pick up some birthday stuff for him too. His birthday is in May. It was an productive, fun afternoon.

A day to remember

all 3 hampers are empty. all the clothes are washed. AND everything is put away. No one is allowed to take their clothes off (spills or no spills) until tomorrow! This never happens here, ever.

Freelance fun

I have been able to do a little website work lately and have enjoyed having the extra money for some decorating projects. I got 2 biblical wall art decals this week when they were 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I used one above our new bed since we won't be buying a headboard anytime soon. It is the same verse we used to have above our front door at our old house... Then I put the second one on the woodwork in our family room going into our kitchen. I have been trying to decided what to do with this part of the room for a long time. I liked how they both came out and how warm they make each room feel. I especially love that they didn't come out of our normal budget. My next project is to finally finish painting Ashlyn's new headboard for her bed. Pics coming soon...

Coming home

We got to Skype with Carol, Chris and Rylee last night and we are excited to announce they have purchased tickets to Kansas City for June 6th! They plan on living in the KC area when they return home. We are all very excited! If you want to follow their family blog until they come home, here it is...

Early birthday gift

The kids and I went Friday evening on a fun bargain hunt. Toys R Us are very gracious each year and send each child a $3 gift card to spend for their birthday. It is actually a coupon for $3 off a purchase of $3 or more. Every time we get one, we go up and down each isle looking for the best $3 clearance item we can find. It has to be $3 before tax so $2.99 items do not qualify. I told him that I would pay up to $1 for his gift so he could find something that cost up to $3.70 before tax. The kids had a good time. And both Jonathan and Caleb were able to make birthday wish lists while we walked around. Caleb finally decided on a $3 "grabber" So we did not have to pay anything at the checkout (no tax or anything :)... Ashlyn told me today that she think he broke it already. I think he has really enjoyed playing with it all weekend. Thanks Geoffrey!

Our only (and now clean) pet

Our 3 1/2 year old water frog, that began as a first grade tadpole science experiment, is growing out of this 10 gallon (now clean) tank already. His original state as a tadpole was the size of one of those colored rocks he is standing on... Joshua's first grade class is doing the same science experiment in 1st grade right now that Ashlyn did 3 years ago. Our frog will join the baby frogs in a couple weeks at school so the kids can see how big they can grow. Right now, the tadpoles are just sprouting legs. And here, Frog's home is clean!! This was a huge accomplishment for it's proud owner, or I should say the one who feeds it, talks to it, and CLEANS its' home :) Here is a close up shot of the clean little guy... Wouldn't it be cool to see how many first graders fall in love with this cute, clean frog in a couple weeks? He could sure stay cleaner in another FCA house, I think. I'll keep you posted...

Flip-flop fun

We can finally start wearing these fun flip flops the boys got in December straight from the Philippines. They are all boy and of course, favorites of all 3!

Back 2 storytime

Jonathan and I drove Caleb to school this morning and then went walking with our good friends Lisa and Landon. After that, we headed to our new favorite thrift store for a quick look at new inventory and then headed to story time at the library. It has been a while since we have been (maybe it was too cold in winter?) Mrs. Joyce was excited to see Jonathan return. We made Spring hats, which turned out too cute and listened to 5 books on Spring. We have been pretty lazy since we got home and are thinking about darkening my bedroom and trying to nap for an hour before the rest of the crew returns home. It's not feeling too Spring like today and our new comfy sheets are calling our name...

Ashlyn's "new" room/our guest room

We have been busy doing some bed re-arranging the past week. We had decided to sell Ashlyn's white bunk bed set to some good friends with twin girls awhile back and replace hers with a full size bed. We started looking online for a set last week. We found a fun dark headboard and frame for a queen bed I liked that I knew I could paint and add some bead board too (a fun little project!) for only $20 on Craigslist. But we weren't sure if a queen bed would fit in her room and if she really needed a bed that big. After some searching, we decided to buy ourselves a new King-size bed since we have wanted one since we moved in this house and have a much bigger bedroom. SO we bought the headboard on Craigslist and gave her our old mattress set. We were able to sell our old frame/headboard/footboard on Craigslist this week and put that money, along with the money for the bunk beds toward our new bed. We got a great deal and love our new bed! Caleb got Ashlyn's old twin mattr

We will miss you Great Grandma Jessie

My fraternal grandma passed away this morning in Pueblo, Colorado. I knew her when I was very young and my parents were still married. We played at grandma's house often until I was 4 and my parents divorced. When I was 18 and reunited with my birth dad, I was also able to reconnect with my grandma as well. She was able to meet all 4 of her great-grandchildren this past June when we were in CO for Carol's wedding (she hadn't met Caleb and Jonathan in person yet). I am so grateful that I was able to know her better as an adult and to hear fun memories we shared together when I was younger. It has also been a joy to learn more about my Spanish heritage and that side of my family that I never knew growing up. We will miss you grandma Jessie very much and are so thankful to have all known you.

March Showers

king mattress, check 2 twin box springs, check 1200 thread new sheet set, check transporting it all in a truck followed by another car full of children in pouring rain about 35 miles, priceless!

Kid-friendly dinners

Tuesday and Thursday nights are John's late days at work, so the kids and I tend to make more kid-friendly dinners those nights. We got lazy for awhile and was eating out at least one of those nights, but lately have been better about cooking again. This week we made mini-pizzas. Each kid made their own. We'll try to be better about taking pictures of the more fun ones...

The 2 lane highway

On St. Patty's day, John graciously agreed to take Gary's truck about an hour from work to pick up a queen size headboard and frame I bought for Ashlyn's room off Craigslist. It was in a small town ten minutes from Kearney where we used to live. So he picked up the bed and was driving back to town on a 2 lane highway. He saw a police car coming toward him very fast (I think with his lights on) so he slowed down and pulled to the side of the road for him to pass quickly and uninterrupted from his truck. He didn't actually stop, but slowed down and drove on the side of the road a little. The police car immediately after passing John, stopped and turned around behind him. Then he pulled him over. John wasn't sure why he stopped going quickly to his important destination to pull him over. When the state trooper came to his window and asked for his license and registration, he discovered why. He thought he was drinking too much green beer and was driving off the


Our hall bathroom is out of commission, starting yesterday through Monday. We had a leaking tank and a bad seal so therefore, lots of flooding in the bathroom and garage below it. Looks like we have some mold too so we are getting it all taken care of this weekend. I can paint behind where the toilet usually goes and replace the sticky floor around the toilet better now that it is not there. It's been interesting sharing one bathroom. I think Ashlyn might have a nervous breakdown before the end of the weekend! Isn't it hard to believe Spring Break is almost over?

Questions of the day

"Are Leprechauns real?" asked right off the bus by Caleb. "Can I have a snack that isn't healthy today?" asked by Jonathan with a big grin "Why did God make so many Dodge Durangos mom?" asked by Caleb when driving to John's work "Have you been drinking green beer?" asked by State Trooper to John while sitting in the police car. (curious about this incident - story coming soon...) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Our Biggest Loser fanatics

The kids and I watched Biggest Loser again last night. We don't usually watch TV (since 24 ended), and only watch select tv programs on Netflix or DVD. We are pretty spoiled to never see commercials and have to wait until the next week to see what is going to happen next - until now. Anyway, we enjoyed the show and the kids are always so fascinated with this show. They put on work out clothes, do sit ups, push ups, act like trainers for each other, and of course weigh themselves over and over. Well last night, they decided to make healthy recipes with the participants on the show. The whole dining room table was complete with variety of fruits, veggies, yogurts, and condiments from my fridge. I managed to get a picture of Ashlyn's strawberry yogurt surprise before they realized I was taking blog pictures of them and they tried to hide my camera. This one is a low calorie delight (which Ashlyn loved, even though she didn't lose weight after her last minute workout las

Spring break Bargains!

Yesterday before I was hit with the 24-hour stomach flu my children have all had, we were able to get out and run a few errands. Hobby Lobby has had their Home Accents clearance at 80% off for awhile, but I hadn't been in to see what was left. I was sure happy I stopped. I got 6 items for $10 total. I was looking for a couple small items for end tables and ended up getting those along with some new red things for my dining room shelf. Here they are... After Wal -mart we ran to the Hillcrest Thrift Store, which I have slowly began to love more and more, and we found a few things there. Ashlyn got some fun curtains for her Book Nook she created in the school room and each kid got a book and toy for a quarter. Then Caleb and I found some wonderful games to use at home for speech therapy... One is a Discovery Toys game for $2 and the other was a rhyming word game for $1. All the pieces were in both! We already played the Word Families game and he really liked it. It will he

My little sidekick

It's hard to believe that Jonathan will be 4 in 2 months! He is sure getting big and saying some pretty funny things lately. He is such a social butterfly and so smart. He is excited for preschool and wants to be doing what ever his brothers and sister are doing. My best friend took this picture of him at a V-day party she took him to and I wanted to share it with you. Thanks again Lisa!

School room re-organization

The end of the school year is slowly approaching and we have discovered some major disorganization in our school room. The majority of the mess is in our closet. We had 2 bookshelves in the closet, one of which was slowly breaking. We decided to repair the broken shelf and move it out to our sun room for John's new books. We build some new shelves in the closet and reorganized the stuff that sits on is the closet before today... And here it is after our shelves were built today. We moved all our games into the closet and used the old game shelf (with doors) for our library. Ashlyn organized all of our reading books in there by subject or type of book so that we could have a reading corner in the room. I was excited to have our games, scrap booking supplies, and play dough (in a new 3-drawer thing I grabbed from Ashlyn's room) in the locked closet when we have company. It also helped me get rid of some stuff we haven't played with in a while. I moved the

Morning relaxation

Yesterday was Caleb's official first day of Spring Break, but FCA still had school. So after John, Ashlyn, and Joshua left for school, we slept in and made breakfast together. The boys helped make a homemade coffee cake and I let them do all the measuring, mixing, and stirring. They had a great time together. Once we ate, we ran some errands together and ate out for lunch. Here are a few pics of our breakfast...

Elementary Email

I have to admit that sometimes I take my thriftiness to a different level. Yes, the cheap level. I have created multiple email addresses in my time just to sign up for some other free stuff on shutterfly , groupon , etc. So not only can I get one free book or deal, but then I can sign on for another one under a different email address too. I hope I am not the only person who does this? Well, somewhere along the lines of being cheap, I managed to create email addresses for my children. I had no intention of telling them about them either until one day at the library I told Ashlyn about the email notification for her checked out books. So then she became an infrequent e-mailer. She loved it at first and would send me, John, grandma Sue, and her cousin Rylee emails sometimes. She is kinda funny because I would write her back with three or four questions, and then I would get a four word email with the answers of each question. No fluffy talk at all or additional information - us

Another amaryllis

Sue took Ella with her to Arizona so instead of dog-sitting this trip, we are flower-sitting for her. Her Amaryllis bloomed late last night and is so gorgeous. We promised her pictures since she will miss it's a great reminder that Spring (and Spring break) is right around the corner! Here you go Sue...

Caleb's spring break begins a little early

Caleb's spring break was supposed to be this Friday (March 11th) through Tuesday (March 15th). He was a little bummed that his brother and sister got a whole week off, plus both weekends before and after the week (March 12th - March 20th). So he decided to get REALLY sick. The kind of sick where he cries the whole time he is awake and loses about 5 pounds. He missed school yesterday and again today. He is finally getting a little better and might be able to get off the couch some today. I told him he is officially on Spring Break now, which made him smile and look out the window....nope, no Spring here yet! But at least there is no school! We are all praying we can enjoy next week some and not visit the couch he has been on the past 24 hours. It's not looking too promising yet. We'll keep you posted...

Our rainy day surprise

Pumpkin Spice Cookies 1. Add dry mix from a Spice cake mix in a bowl with one can of pumpkin. 2. Stir together and add a bag of chocolate chips 3. Bake for 12 minutes at 350. They are yummy, quick and so easy! We made them during a school break and ate them all afternoon.

Caleb goes to 4 days a week

When school was beginning and we were planning speech goals for Caleb, we put him on the Children's Mercy speech and hearing wait list. Our hope was that they would contact us when school ended and he would be able to go to Children's Mercy through the summer if the school decided he could not continue there through the summer. Our original desire was to hire our good friend and Caleb's first speech pathologist, Mrs. Catherine, during the K school year and summer after in addition to the free 2 days the school was going to offer him. Because our business began an audit by the Dept of Labor right when the school year started, we were unsure of our income and unable to hire Mrs. Catherine. We are still in the middle of our audit and unsure if we will be able to hire her sometime this year. We still have that in the back of our minds as something we still hope to pursue soon (we miss you Catherine!) In the meantime, Caleb's school pathologist moved him to 3 days a week

Mom only weekend plans

I have had the opportunity to help plan and organize my church's first women's overnight retreat in 7 years. It has taken me about 2 months of planning, shopping, organizing, typing, etc, but I think it is all planned! I am looking forward to the messages that my fellow sisters in Christ will get to watch as well as the 24 hours of adult women fellowship we will have. Our fun starts tomorrow at 4 pm and will go until Sat around 3. Here is a glimpse of what we will studying. We will also enjoy 3 meal times, a fun craft and fashion session, board games, prayer groups, worship and late night talks. John will be enjoying all 4 kids while I am away...

Joshua's Descriptive Paragraph

Joshua's grammar assignment last week was to write a descriptive paragraph about something he enjoys. They were to come up with a topic sentence and then supporting details for their topic. The teacher explained to write out how your topic smells, tastes, looks, feels, and then describe it. She said some of the topics might not have a taste or smell, etc depending on what they picked. Joshua picked Power Rangers (of course). When I was reading how he describe them I laughed a little. Joshua knows how a Power Ranger feels - they feel brave, part of a team and helpful!