Friday, October 28, 2011

11 Months

 Once again, I can't believe Isaac is another month closer to ONE already! He keeps me busy, that's for sure...

 Buddy, your big brown eyes melt my heart!

 You're quite opinionated. You come by it naturally, I suppose!

 You're also very photogenic. Thus all the pictures! :)

 You started jabbering a LOT the last couple weeks. Almost constantly. You say yes very clearly. You can also say Jacob, Anna, Mama (sometimes Mom), Dada, Papa, down, done. All of these words are surrounded by a slew of jabbering! You already talk in complete sentences, we just can't understand it all.

 Your eating is probably about normal for an 11-month old, but I only have Jacob to compare you in that case, you don't eat much at all!! Your sleeping has gotten much better (except for this last week...I think teeth are coming in) at night. Naps are still hit and miss. Either way, you're still a pretty happy little guy!

 We spent the last 2 weeks at Papa & Binga's house. You are officially Papa's boy! You get mad when he leaves for work and pretty much as soon as he walks in the door, you're grunting for him to pick you up!

 You're still not walking, but you'll stand by yourself for a few seconds if you're not paying attention. You cruise along furniture very easily. 

 You still only have 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom). Last time you were at the doctor (you got bronchitis this month) you still weighed 20 lbs. You move too much to gain weight!! You also got your fist haircut today (10/29)! I trimmed it up so you don't have a mullet anymore!

 I can't believe I caught a sneeze on camera! Too funny. Isaac, you keep life interesting and you wear me out! I wish you would just sit still for a few minutes once in a while! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Special Visit

 We had a special visitor at our house for a weekend. Uncle Windell!! It's been over a year since we've seen him. Anna was okay with giving up her room while he stayed, but she wasn't so keen on sleeping in Jacob's room on her old top bunk. "I don't want to sleep in a boy's room!" *cue eye rolls from Mama* 
It was a very hectic weekend, being the college's homecoming so the only pictures I have are from the day we took him back to the airport! Oh well. We had fun and Jacob was NOT happy that Uncle Windell had to go home. He wanted to get on the plane and go with him!
Since we (the kids and I) didn't get to spend much time with him the rest of the weekend, we spent the day in Wichita, before his plane left that evening.

 We ate lunch at PF Chang's. Anna was actually pretty good with the kiddie chop sticks.

 Not so much for this guy.

 What? Everyone is actually looking at the camera?! Not bad for the camera being propped on the back of a pickup! :)

The kids being silly at the airport...

And of course, there was a trip to Toys R Us. Uncle Windell is very good at spoiling these kids!
 What else?! Anna picked out a horse stable, horses, and a PINK pickup and trailer. Isaac likes opening and shutting the gates. :)

 Isaac got a Thomas ride/walk toy. He likes it, but the other two played with it more than he did the first couple days (balls shoot up out of his smoke stack)! Silly kids.

Jacob finally got  his Cranky fire set! He saw a commercial for it at least a month ago and EVERY SINGLE DAY he asked if we could go to the store so he could "borrow" it (he's confused on the terms buy and borrow!). 
As always, the time was much too short, but we enjoyed getting to see Uncle Windell. Next time it won't be so least that's what we tell ourselves!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thank You Isn't Enough

My aunt forwarded this letter along to me. I have always had a deep respect for those who serve our country (the soldiers and their families). Having seen my sister-in-law and a dear friend go through the separation of deployment...I can't imagine. My respect has deepened. And it makes me glad (selfishly) that Aaron didn't go into the military! A "thank you" seems so inadequate...this letter says it perfectly, in my opinion. So to all past, present, and future military wives/families....

Letter to a military spouse 
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart. I, as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am an American 
woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news. 
I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for. 
I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband. 
I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so. 
I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand. 
I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home. 
I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with. 
And I have never had to feel the panic raising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting. 
For the reasons listed above, I cannot tell you that I understand how you feel. I cannot tell you that you must be strong. I cannot say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I cannot say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes. 
What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husband’s willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - - I will never have to walk in your shoes. I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. 
I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you 
have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America. You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American. 
I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment. 
Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me. 
Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you. 
Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today. 
You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel. 
Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. 
Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay.
Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, every day. 
I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom. 
I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten. 
You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely. 
May God Bless You! 
Author Unknown

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Rest of the Story :)

 Thanks to company coming this weekend, I got the rest of the house unpacked/cleaned...mostly! :) Here are pics from the rest of the house...

First up, the master suite (I love saying that). I went with a Paris theme. Romantic, classic, and it makes me want to go back to France...

 We finally have a bedroom that ALL of our beautiful furniture fits into!! (excuse the papers under the bed. I forgot those were there!). I got the fabric for the curtains at Hobby Lobby. I was going to go with a deep red curtain (to accent the main piece of artwork above our bed), but couldn't find anything I really liked. I was just about to give up when I spotted this material. Love!

 That door is to our huge walk-in closet. (there's no picture of that because it's laundry time and that means the closet is my sorting spot!) It's so big that we don't have to use very many drawers in our 3 dressers! To the left of the closet door is the bathroom (pics coming in a bit).

 The lamp--it used to be chrome and had a different shade. I bought the lamp when I was in high school, after I got back from my class trip to France & Italy. I found the perfect lamp shade at Walmart. Then I remembered I had some black spray paint in the garage...and viola! A "new" lamp that goes perfectly! All for $10!

 Our massive can be made into a canopy bed, but in order to put that painting at the head of the bed, we couldn't have those pieces up on the bed. I like it as a 4-poster bed, too. 

 My crafting corner! :) I still have some organizing to do (since I just inherited a ton of scrapbooking stuff!), but I'm excited to have a place for it all! And I love the poster listing all the big attractions in France (and I loved seeing the ones I've been to).

  Master bathroom (again...laundry day-excuse the pile!). The previous owners had the tile put in-really nice. It has a large walk-in shower. I still haven't painted or decorated this room. It'll match the bedroom.

 Sink. Exciting stuff, I know!

 Plenty of storage!

My side of the bed :)

Now the rest of the house that I haven't shown yet...
 This is looking from the TV room to the back door. To the left is the master bedroom. The door on the right is to the school room and through that is the garage. To the left of the back door is Isaac's room. Still need to hang up a couple things on that wall...

 TV room. The wall color doesn't look quite so orange in real life! These couches are another amazing find, thanks to Dad. Aaron found them on craigslist and I called right away about them--only a couple years old both ends of the couch recline and the "love seat" is actually two rocking recliners connected!--and he was only asking $500! It was just listed that day. Anyway, I called and he'd already sold them! We were bummed, but what can you do? They're sold. Aaron, the kids and I go for a bike ride. Mom & Dad were here helping us with some projects (this is before we moved). When we got home, Dad was gone. Mom was sleeping so she didn't know where he was. Finally got ahold of him and he was so cryptic about what was going on. He just said he was going to the farm and would explain when he got back. He assured us Grandpa & Grandma were fine but wouldn't say why he suddenly had to go out there. He got back the next evening. He came in (he had taken Seth's pickup) and asked if Seth had insurance. Not a good way to start a conversation. He basically insinuated that he had hit a deer and done some major damage to Seth's pickup. Of course he didn't actually say he'd hit a deer..he just let us make assumptions! I didn't believe him, but out we go to check it out. And there in the back of the pickup are the couches that were already sold! We couldn't believe it!! It wasn't like Dad had already seen them and bought them beforehand. Turns out, after we left for the bike ride, Dad called the guy back and convinced him to sell then to Dad! I guess the other buy hadn't paid or picked them up yet (he was trying to get a trailer). Dad told the seller that he would come right then. He promised to hold them until the next morning. So Dad drove to Dodge City and slept in the pickup!! He went to the guys' house first thing and picked them up. Incredible!

 Aaron & I made a deal when we cancelled our cable a few years ago--when we got out of debt and bought a new house, we would get cable again and he could get a flat screen TV. :) I'm not done with the canvases around the TV. I was going to do 5x7's but they're really not big enough and there are no canvases that size! So I need to get 8x10 copies of these prints and make the canvases. 

 Again, these walls are NOT this orange! Clock 50% off at Hobby Lobby. Amazing Grace sign from Mom. The only thing left for this room is to get a few more crosses for behind the couches and curtains.

Now for the kitchen...
 That doorway goes into the dining room. We got a new range and fridge. And it used to have brass knobs (fixtures? drawer pulls?) that I wasn't a fan I got a $4 can of textured spray paint and painted them! New knobs are SO EXPENSIVE! I saved a bundle doing it this way! :) And I decided my kitchen is never going to be perfectly clean more than 5 minutes, so it's not the perfect picture :)

 Looking into the TV room. I LOVE having the bar counter there. It's perfect for serving the kids and when I find a highchair (cheap), we'll have enough stools for all of us to sit up there and eat.

I just realized I didn't take a picture of the fridge and pantry. Oh well. Those are to the left of this picture. This goes into the front room and down the hallway to the kids' rooms.
Another great garage sale find!! :) Might change the stickers on it, but I really like it.

Okay, that's it. Except for the outside, I think that's all of our new house!! I'm loving it! :)
(and I'm too tired to proof read this so I apologize for any typos!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bathroom Remodel Complete!

 The kids' bathroom remodel is done! Josh did an excellent job! I don't know how much it cost us yet, but the tile was free! I really like it. MUCH better than the linoleum!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Cloffice

 Since the office area of the house was turned into a school room, with no room to be an office and school room, I was trying to figure out where we could put an office. Thanks to Pintrest, I discovered The Cloffice!! We have a closet by the back door that we didn't really need to use as a closet. We have a good-sized coat closet by the front door, plus a storage bench. So, I decided we should make a cloffice! I liked the white-I knew it would help to make the space feel bigger and not so closed-in. I had plenty of paint left over from our bedroom, so I just used that (it actually matches the hallway pretty closely).

 Aaron took out the shelf. It was nailed in! And since Mom & Dad showed up unexpectedly and Dad can't be here without him doing a project, he got to finish it :)
We had a bit of debate (Aaron & I) about what to do for the "desk" part. I wanted to just cut the shelf down and repaint it white, Aaron wanted to get a new piece of wood and stain it. My whole idea was to use what we had and not spend much to create this cloffice. Aaron just really likes the true stained wood look. Well...Dad and I went to the lumber yard to price wood and it was going to be $50 (not to mention it was 4' x 8'!). I convinced Aaron to let me go with the white re-purposed shelf and if he didn't like it, we would go with the stained wood. I keep telling him he should never doubt my decorating sense! ;) I won him over...again.

 Aaron went through all his totes of memorabilia and found more than enough to decorate his side of the cloffice! 

 I got the floating shelves and corner shelves at Lowes (with THE dumbest directions in the world for installation!!!!). Those were the most expensive part of the makeover (maybe $50 for all 5 of them?) I already had all the paint for the desk top and walls.

We used the filing cabinet we've had for years to help hold the desk up and for obvious storage purposes. I just got a $5 can of spray paint and made it white! I also bought some office organizer stuff for maybe $20. All in all, it was less than $100 to create an office out of a closet! We have another chair in storage (at Grandma J's!) to use. And I'll probably keep my eyes open for another wooden chair to replace the roller chair.

I LOVE my cloffice! It turned out so nice! Thanks Dad for doing this!!

Isaac's Room

 I finally got Isaac's room done! It didn't take long, just a matter of getting in there between sleep times and doing it!

 His room is animal-themed. Mom got these stickers at a garage sale a couple of years ago! Coincidentally, they match the curtains and the crib set (which was from Jacob).

 I moved things around from where we put them to begin with. I felt like the glider was just out in the middle of the room, taking up too much space. I like it a lot better this way. I'm keeping my eyes open for a small side table to put next to the glider (which, by the way, was from guessed it! Garage sale! Looks brand new. I love it).

 The shelf above the changing table was made by a friend of Aaron's and given to us as a wedding's worked very nicely for storing baby stuff! Maybe someday it will make it to a living room :) The canvas painting to the left is one that Seth brought back from Ghana for us! I just have it taped up right now...haven't figured out how I'm going to frame it yet.

 Isaac loves the clock (that's what he's pointing to). It also was a wedding gift. It plays music every hour and has clowns that go up and down kind of like a pendulum. He loves the music and kept hollering for more songs! It was funny.

 Had to do letters for Isaac, too! :) I was trying to decide what to put on them when I remembered these stickers. Perfect!

 These prints I'm going to make into canvases. Loving the "Kissables" black & white collage. Underneath is another Kris Goertzen canvas "For this child I prayed". I didn't think the 2 different shades of green would look very good, but I like it.

My poor baby has "borderline" bronchitis! :( Yesterday evening he started with a nasty, chesty cough (sounds like an asthmatic cough actually) so I took him in today. Thankfully his lungs are clear (it doesn't sound like it from my perspective, but their bodies are so little that it's nearly impossible to tell without a stethoscope.). So hopefully in a few more days, he'll be good as new and back to SLEEPING! Otherwise I don't think I'll survive!