Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tackle It tuesday: Bedroom (Yes, Again)

As you read this, I am still in Wisconsin with my kids, but I thought I would try the auto post feature on blogger.

I have posted SOOOO many times about bedroom changes on this and my old blog. We have several problems with our bedrooms. One is way too small, the other is the whole length of the house but upstairs away from everybody. And VERY hot.

We have been through many different solutions, knowing that they would not be permanent. This, too, will be a temporary fix, but seems to be going well so far.

I only tackled one of the bedrooms. The big one upstairs will be another day when the temps cool off. The AC doesn't reach up there and the room is at least 100 degrees at any given time during the summer.

As a matter of fact, Aaron slept on the floor of our bedroom all last week because his room was too hot to sleep in.

Enough chit chat...to the tackle!!!!

Last year on Noah's birthday (a year ago on this Saturday), my parents gave the top half of their bunk beds to Noah for his bed. It rests a little off the floor so I was so excited to find drawers that fit perfectly under the bed.

The problem with these drawers was that no matter what I tried, they wouldn't stay in one place and always looked mismatched. I tried sticky on the floor, furniture pads, and even tried glue gunning them.

It never stayed.

The other problem was that the other side of this tiny room had wire bins for Noah's toys. But no matter what I did, instead of putting the toys back into the bins, both kids just threw the stuff on the shelves which was their idea of "cleaning up".

I even labeled plastic bins and gave him a few "junk bins" for overflow.

In addition to these problems, half of each boys clothes were in each bedroom and having them put away their own clothes was a hassle to tell them where to put what.

So here are some of the solutions.

The clothes situation is still in progress since all of the dressers are falling apart and the drawers are too shallow to hold Noah's clothes.

The first thing I did was take all three drawers from under the bed and stack them in the corner.

They are actually pretty sturdy and now all of Noah's clothes will be in one place.

Since this picture, Noah has taken the stand up shelf (used to be a book shelf but the boys lost the shelves) and put it next to his bed for a bed stand.

I took all of Aaron's clothes from the drawers and sorted them into bins and put them upstairs. For now, Aaron will be able to take care of his clothes by sorting them into different bins until I get the dresser situation under control. Target has shelving units made to store these bins and I hope at some point I will have the money to get one.

Then I reconfigured the wire shelves to make fewer of them and had Noah help me sort the toys so he could see exactly where each toy should go.

He has played in his room happily for days now, both because he can find his toys better, and because he actually has a little more room to play.

He even told me, "Mom, next time you organize my room, can you please leave my shelves like this?"

High praise from an almost seven year old.

The most depressing things is that as I write this, the boys have moved to another room to start a new mess all over again. UUUGGGHHHHH!!!! At least I never have a week where I don't have a tackle to take care of :)

See you when I get home on Thursday!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Photo Story: Park Party

A local television personality sponsors "park parties" every summer for several Thursdays. I took the boys a couple of years ago and it was an absolute nightmare. You waited in line the entire two hours to go down a slide one time and once they even ran out of ice cream right before the kids got to the front of the line, after waiting quite a long time. It was a big disappointment and led me to declare that I would NEVER attend one again.

So we didn't go last year. Didn't even have the inclination.

I saw that there would be one this morning and decided that maybe we would give it a try this year. Thankfully, there have been many improvements made since last time. The kids got to do the things they most wanted to do. They were ready to go before it was over, due to the fact that it was in a direct sun parking lot and the temps hovered right around 90 degrees.

Here are some highlights:

The party started earlier than usual. A local company was sponsoring free lunches for the kids. The meal included a ham and cheese sandwich on wheat, banana, apple slices, sun chips and milk.

Aaron was excited to find a clown first thing. He LOVES clowns and has often said that he wants to be one when he grows up (although some people already he think he is, the goofball)

Then we headed to wait in lines for activities. The boys decided that they would first tackle the climbing wall.

Noah had tried before at the mall, but he made a it a little further than last time. Next time he claims he's going all the way to the top.

Aaron was more nervous and the first time asked to be let down. Surprisingly, the guy let him try again and he started right up the wall. I didn't tell Noah this, but I think he went higher than his big brother did.

And I even got a picture of the two of them at the same time.

They got to play a game where they spun a wheel and won a prize. Noah won a set plastic lips with a whistle in it. Believe it or not, it is not nearly as irritating of some of those noise toys.

After that,we headed over to load up on little bottles of water, and then it was time to ride a ride.

The line went pretty quickly for the spinner ride they went on. Noah thought he was hot stuff because he could put his hands up, and Aaron thought he was cool because he managed to take his hat off during the ride and toss it to me.

We then headed over to get small ice cream sandwiches We had heard that there were people spraying kids with big hoses to cool off and we intended to head over there after the next line.

While we were in line, the boys were trying to think of ways to keep cool. Aaron figured out that he could use the free frisbees they got as fans.

All was well until they started pelting each other with them. Such is the life of boys...

The next line happened to be where the kids could each pick out a free book. At that point, the boys (especially Noah) wanted to go home to cool off and look at their new books, so we never did get to the rest of the activities.

It was so much better of an experience than last time that I may even take them to another one later in the summer to do the activities they missed this time.

The weekend ahead:
There will be no Weekend Top Five next Monday. On Sunday after church, the boys and I will be headed off to Wisconsin to spend a few days with my friend Beth and her two boys. We'll be back on Wednesday next week, when I am quite sure I will have a ton of pictures to share.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Some Things Never Change

Sleeping Aaron 2004

Sleeping Aaron 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday: The Kitchen Saga Continues

I don't know when, if ever, I will be able to post about the kitchen mess tackle being complete. The comedy of errors continues.

But at least I can share one small part that was accomplished.

After taking all of the cupboards off, the mess underneath could no longer be ignored.

We took all of the appliances and cooking/baking items out, rewashed everything, and stacked them so that we could actually get to them if we needs them. I had completely forgotten about the wok and skillet and am looking forward to using them now that I remember about them.

Hopefully nest week I will be able to share the final product of our ordeal.

All of this because I painted a handrail.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Top Five 6/22/09

The start of summer heat finally arrived this weekend, after a stormy Friday night. I even broke down and turned on the AC, knowing that the temps are supposed to hover in the mid 80's all week. If you follow me on Facebook, you have gotten a sneak preview into the home improvement mess that I got us into, which much of the weekend was spent trying to fix. As of this writing (Sunday night) there is a lack of hope in sight for getting this project done any time soon. As of now, ALL of our kitchen cabinets are laying around aimlessly in our kitchen.

But on a positive note, here are the highlights from the weekend:

5. Friday KidsGames
A very large scale VBS program that is being held all over the area, as well as other states. Noah participated in it all last week out by his school. The kids get to pick a particular area of interest (i.e. a certain sport, craft, or other type activities) and they study that all week, as well as other "typical" VBS activities. Noah loved it. Friday night was the closing ceremonies for the week. While Steve hung at home trying to pull hinges that I had mistakenly installed off the cabinets, I took the boys. Noah was excited to show the songs they sang all week, as well as receiving a medal for participating, and both the boys got to have ice cream, their favorite part.

4. Friday Storms
All week, they were predicting horrible storms for Friday. Less than five minutes after the boys and I got home from KidsGames, they started firing up.
We went ahead and put the boys to bed and started watching the weather reports as the lightning and thunder were VERY impressive. About fifteen minutes into it, I asked Steve if we should go check on the boys and he agreed. Noah was in his bed shaking from the thunder, so we wrapped them both up in blankets and snuggled as a foursome closely on the couch watching the storm coverage together until the bulk of it had passed (almost two hours later)

We had fun discussions about thunder and lightning and imagining God bowling. Noah felt so much better about the thunder when, after each thunder clap, he would decided how many pins God had knocked down.

Not exactly biblically accurate, but if it can bring comfort to a little boy in a storm, we're going with it.

3. Saturday Children's Museum
Steve had to be gone for a memorial service on Saturday so I took the boys to see the new exhibit at the Children's museum. It is all centered around a day at a farm. Some pretty cool exhibits included picking imaginary apples, a corn maze, a barn to climb up into, and planting flowers and grass.

The boys spent most of the time playing with the hen house. I think you're SUPPOSED to make the hens lay eggs and watch them roll out of the house.

Of course, the way MY boys played with it seems more like a game of "How hard can one roll an egg through a tunnel before the tunnel breaks?"

Luckily, it never broke.

2. Saturday Art Project
My neighbor brought over some old white tee shirts she had lying around that didn't fit her kids. After the boys had played outside and gotten REALLY dirty, I threw the tees on them as something quick to wear. About ten minutes later, Noah came to me and asked if he could color on his, which I didn't see any reason to say no.

They decided it would be more fun to use the paint dots to decorate them instead.

I think they turned out kinda cute, even though they won't be wearing them out in public.

Notice all of cabinets with no doors?

1. Father's Day at the Beach
In the past, out tradition has always been to take the boys mini golfing on Father's Day. However, with our fiances being as dire as they are, we opted to go to the little local man made beach instead.

We had so much fun. I had gotten some water squirters with a gift card from a review I had done, and three hours later, the boys were still playing strong when we decided it was time to head home and get cleaned up.

We may have a new Father's Day tradition!

The week ahead:
There is another session of KidsGames this week in the evenings that Aaron can participate in. Steve isn't very happy about having to take the boys, but I think it will be nice for Aaron to be able to do one too, and this was the only one in which Kindergartners were able to participate.

I will also be trying to get stuff in order to take the boys to see my friend Beth and her boys in Wisconsin at the beginning of next week, as well as see how my brother and sister in law's new house that they're building is coming along.

I hope you all enjoyed a nice Father's Day with your families. Let me know if you posted your weekend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!!

I know I don't usually post on the weekends, but there HAS to be an exception for Father's Day.

As much as Steve and I are struggling right now to keep our family afloat, the one thing I can always count on is how great of a daddy he is. I am so lucky to have found a man who cherishes his kids as much as my honey does.

He loves to read to them

Looking at our vacation photo album with Aaron

Throw them

Throwing Aaron while on vacation in March

Work with and teach them

Raking leaves with Noah

Play with them

Playing the drums with Noah in Animal Kingdom

Being silly with them

Feeding Aaron to a crocodile

Watch movies with them

Protect them

One of my favorite shots of Steve and Aaron from this year

and imitate them

crawling through the sprinkler with Noah last week

The boys and I both know he will always stay by their side

and has been since the day they were born

Steve's first day at home being a "daddy"

Thank you, Steve, for being such a great Daddy and being a blessing to our children.

I love you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: What Have We Done this Week?

Last week was the first week of summer vacation and we pretty much just lazed around all week.

This week has been a very different story. Truth be told, I actually prefer weeks like this to those lazing around ones. It gives us more focus to each day. Not that I need ever minute of every day scheduled, but it is nice to have something to do to break up the monotony.

So far this week, I have:

1. Driven Noah to KidsGames every morning, and picked him up at 12:30
(I will be posting more abut KidsGames in a later post)

2. Purchased hardware and painted a hand rail for my hubby to install to our basement (because my newest student was afraid to go down the stairs last week)

3. Painted all of the cupboards in our kitchen (This tackle will be a BIG post in a couple of weeks...it's taken on a life of its own)

4. Visited four hardware stores searching for new hardware for the cupboards that are now sitting in a pile on my floor
5. Discovered just how bad of a mess our cupboards have become over the years and pulled out everything to re-sort it (See next Tuesday's tackle)

6. Took Aaron to a WONDERFUL magic show as part of the summer library programs. This guy was awesome!

7. Took the boys to the mall to get shorts for Daddy for father's day and sandals for Noah

8. Washed every blanket, sheet and pillow case that was breathed on by two little boys during their bout with the flu last weekend

9. Made Jiffy brand brownies that are NOT as good as Duncan Hines or the like

10. Took boys to movie "Hotel For Dogs" at the library as part of their summer reading programs
12. Water everywhere...swimming in the neighbor's pool, jumping in the sprinkler, and cleaning after full body contact shaving cream sculptures

12. Prevented Aaron from two (that I know of for sure) near misses from yet more head bonks

13. Wore my hair up every day, meaning I definitely need a haircut but can't afford one

Yup, it's been a busy one, but that's what summer vacation is all about.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekend Top Five

The first full week of summer vacation is over and we seem to be in full "summer break" mode.

Now that we are getting the hang of the new schedule, things have definitely gotten more relaxed around our home.

5. The Flu
I don't know that it could actually be classified as "the flu" but something "flew" through our household this weekend. As Steve and I were heading to bed Friday night, Noah woke and started throwing up, which continued every couple of hours all night long. On Saturday, he was done with that part, but was kind of under the weather all day, needing to lie down every so often.

All day Sunday, we had a great day and he was feeling fine.

Until bedtime.

As I was sitting down to write this post, Aaron stood at the top of the stairs and proceeded to throw up all the way down, not missing a single step (about ten of them). Yeah, EWWWWW!!

We put him to bed on the floor of our bedroom so I don't have to keep running up the stairs if he gets sick tonight. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

4. Library Carnival
With Noah being under the weather all day on Saturday, Aaron and I went to the carnival at the library to kick off the summer reading program. I had already signed the kids up, but there were fun activities like carnival games, bubbles, balloon animals, and the surprise of the day, a miniature pony hooked up to a little cart giving rides.

I think those miniature ponies are just the cutest thing in the world.

3. Swan Boat Rides at the Zoo
Each time we go to the zoo (and it's a lot since we got the gift membership for Christmas), the boys always beg to take a little ride in the swan paddle boats in the little pond. We finally did it Sunday. The highlights were having a little turtle swim right by us and running into a big huge boulder that rammed the bottom of our boat.

2. Waterfall at the Zoo
When I took the boys last week to the zoo, I didn't let them climb to the top of the waterfall since daddy wasn't with us, so that was at the top of the agenda this visit. I got some great shots of the boys together.

It's making us think about doing next year's vacation at Niagara Falls. Does anyone have any suggestions for a vacation there?

1. S'Mores

After a beautiful day on Sunday, Steve decided to throw hot dogs on the grill and I went to get stuff for S'Mores. Steve had gotten a fire pit a couple of years ago for the marshmallows.

Nether of the boys were interested in eating the made up s'more. Aaron just wanted to eat marshmallows, and Noah searched the s'more after I made it and pulled out the chocolate to eat.

The Week Ahead:
Provided the flu stops and doesn't hit the grown ups in our household, it should be a nice week.

Last week got off to a VERY rough start as both boys took a few days to adjust to the new status quo (vacation and all of us home all day). This week Noah will be going to a bible based day camp called KidsGames all week, which I hope he will really enjoy. I finally broke down and went to the Dr last week so I'll be praying to NOT hear from him this week.

I also started a new piano student in our home last week, so I will be nagging Steve all week to install the hand rail that I bought over the weekend.

Mr. Linky doesn't seem to work anymore, so let me know if you posted about your weekend.