Monday, March 30, 2009

What storm?

What storm? As fast as it dumped on us, it has just about melted. There are just a few small patches of snow left along with our swamp of a backyard that has returned. Yes- we still need to do some dirt work back there to level it out. What was left of the kids' snowman this morning in this bottom photo (between the house and shop) is now gone. I think our back porch is back up to 65 degrees, or so. My tulips on the south side actually look like they should be blooming any day now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It was a Spring STORM

These are images that I took the beginning of the week- so excited for Spring and the colors starting to show in our yard. Now, they are buried in snow.
Yesterday morning, we woke up to a cold house without power. We knew a storm was on its way and thought we were prepared. We checked out a handful of movies on Friday night, since our satellite usually goes out with weather. We didn't expect to totally lose the power. It was a bit chilly! We're just fine- and only went a total of maybe 15+ hours without power. It gave us a little time to think and we definitely learned a few things:*you can click on these photo collages to enlarge them- the ice on the trees was quite pretty!
1. We're definitely grateful that we have a generator on order- should be arriving any day now. I give all of the credit to Jim for this decision. He's done the research and after some work convincing me- it's on the way. It's one of those major purchases that is so expensive and doesn't seem too necessary, until you really need it. I now know- it will be nice to have one in the garage- even if we never have to use it.

2. You only get one flush. We knew we needed bottled water, but forgot that being on a well- we need power to work the pump. Being able to flush the toilet is enough reason to justify a generator. Jim should have told me that- I would have given in a year ago.

3. My honey really needs his coffee. We all had little things that were heavy on our minds. I washed my hair Friday night, so I was left with an afro that I couldn't dry completely or iron. I couldn't really even justify using our bottled water to wet it down and gel it. A mess! The minute we had our little hour of power- I had the dryer out and the flat iron hot! Ty was upset the computer wouldn't work. Justin just thought about food and where his next meal would come from. Coleman and Caden missed out on their morning cartoons, but pretty much didn't care after that. As long as they have their cars- they're usually ok. Jim's big thing was his coffee. He couldn't make it and didn't have any instant coffee to even throw together. We ended up taking a trip (in the blizzard weather and icy roads) to get it. I think we'll make sure to have it on hand from now on.

4. Kansas weather is absolutely CRAZY! I think I said this a zillion times yesterday- sorry! It's bizarre. It went from freezing, blizzard conditions with ice and snow to clear, sunny and melting in just a few hours. After the storm passed, we were still without power but it didn't seem like it. The kids (and their cool dads) had a killer snowball fight- Justin even wore shorts. I guess I thought it would be a powder puff fight... it was war. They had HUGE snowballs and they were out to hurt. Michelle and I steered clear, just stepped out long enough to check it out and take a few pictures. It was definitely still chilly, but as fast as the ice covered the trees, it was melting. I think it's supposed to be back in the 60's this week. Absolutely blows my mind. Tyler made a great snowman- the little kids finished up the details. Lady found her spot in the sun in front of the sliding glass door.

5. It's easy to forget how much we rely on power. Lady wears a shock collar that gives her a simple "reminder" beep when she gets too far out. If she keeps going (which she learned pretty quick not to) she gets a little shock. (it's set on super timid... she's not getting hurt) Yesterday, when we saw her wandering a little farther than her 1/2 acre perimeter, we completely forgot her signal wasn't being sent out- duh... it's plugged it! She was free to roam, and took advantage of it! I think we told kids several times to wash their hands, or other silly things as well.

6. We're so blessed with wonderful neighbors. Two of our neighbors (with generators set up) called to check on us and offered us any help we needed- so gracious. Our other neighbors (who have 4 girls), who we've grown close friends with, ventured over and spent the afternoon with us. The little kids probably didn't even notice anything different- they were too busy playing. We had an hour in the morning with the power back on (false alarm) in which Jim started the pilot light on our fireplace. So, even without power, we could run our fireplace (on propane). Things were actually quite cozy. Jim and Mickey grilled some hamburgers and chili that Jim quickly put together the first time the power came back on. Eating a hot meal while surrounded with our family and friends made it easy to forget we were even in the midst of a power outage.
7. We're grateful that it only lasted a day- no one was cold, the ice cream even stayed frozen in the freezer. Spring can now return- enough excitement!

Coleman's 5th Birthday!

With so much excitement this week, I almost forgot to post a couple pictures of Coleman's 5th Birthday last Sunday! (I think I was just caught up with him learning to ride his bike!) He's such a sweet little boy, and LOVES all things related to Transformers. Just an extension of his love of cars and trucks! It was a fun day with friends over for hot dogs and hamburgers, cake and ice cream. I just can't believe he's off to Kindergarten in the fall!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Storm

Just a week ago, we were planting trees and grass seed. Lately, our temperatures have been in the 60's, and 70's but even hit 85 degrees last week. As I write, we're bracing for a huge spring storm that's going across Kansas. This is absolutely bizarre to me! It's starting as ice- my office window is completely iced over already as if I've painted a cool glaze on it for a little privacy. There is also occasional thunder and it just feels dark and stormy. Jim's still working and the big boys are at school. Ty's track was cancelled (yesterday)- I only hope the high school does the same rather than hold an indoor practice. I'd really feel much better if they were all home- right now! I started a big crock pot of homemade chicken soup, but now I'm wondering if we'll have power long enough for it to cook! I sure hope so!! I think by tomorrow, we're supposed to have 8-10 inches of snow with a fierce wind causing a huge blizzard. That's about 6 inches more snow than we saw all winter (total). We won't be going ANY where this weekend, and probably won't be working in the yard either!!

This is just the beginning- the hail- I'm sure I'll have some better shots tomorrow! Oh- I hope our peach trees are okay!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day One- No Training Wheels

I think he's about ready for the Coastal Trail with Grandma this summer...

Day Two- No Training Wheels

The Training Wheels are OFF!

This weekend, Coleman's daddy took off the training wheels and taught him to ride his bike! Day 1 was a little rough- with a few good wipeouts. He could make it a little ways, but kept forgetting to petal. By Day 2, things were a little easier. Jim pumped up his tires a little bit, raised his seat and told him he was going to ride before he could go to bed. He did it! Coleman was cruising in spite of the Kansas wind which kicked in (up to 40mph in our area). He could ride with the wind, then stopped to walk it back against the wind. Here are a couple photos along with quick videos from both days. He's so excited!

Ty's Wood Work

If you ever have the chance to have a kid take woods- let them! I absolutely LOVE the skills my big boys have learned along with the cool things they've made. Last year, Justin had the experience- this year is Ty's turn. I waited and waited for him to bring his stool home and just LOVE it! I checked it out, then quickly realized it was gone. He had taken it down to his bedroom- as if it was his stool. Wrong- I immediately made him bring it back upstairs to display in the living room. One day, he might get it back- for now, it's mine! They each got to choose what color stain they wanted to use- Tyler did two coats of this mahogany and I think it turned out beautifully! Here's his picture frame as well. They make the whole thing including the metal casting of their Wildcat! Very cool class!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Little Runaways

Last week, after reading a library book- "I'm running away," Coleman and Caden decided to do just that. Before I knew it- they had packed their bags and were ready to go. They happened to tell me as I was making lunch- so I let them know their lunch was almost ready. Coleman said, "I guess we can wait to run away until after lunch." I laughed- they ate. Then, they were on their way and noticed their favorite cartoon was on. Again, their trip was delayed. Coleman said, "I guess we'll run away after Tom and Jerry." They never made it quite out the door in spite of their big plans. Coleman did let me know in his little whisper that he'd be in running to Dad's shop. Guess Grandma's house was just too far this time!

What was in their bags? I wondered since Caden could barely get his up the stairs. Oh- the most important things in life... boots and their blankets.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Lowe's Addiction

We should definitely know better... than to EVER go to Lowe's. It's absolutely impossible for us to go through that store without finding a zillion things we have to have. Costs us SO MUCH money and time! We just love that place- the smell of wood, the fun house projects... the outdoor gardening section. This last weekend, we ran there for just a couple things. Jim really did have to get a small plastic elbow for a drain that broke. Ok- our total with tax could (keyword) have been less than $1. NO- not that easy. As we were walking out, Jim verbalized what we both knew- we just purchased about two full days worth of work for ourselves. What can I say- we can't help it!
So, we spent last weekend in the yard planting grass around our shop and four new trees! A beautiful maple, oak and two sweet peach trees. Of course, we're so excited! Sunday night, we received the first rain (downpour) we've seen in months. We're just hoping it didn't wash all of our seeds away. Guess we'll find out!
As Granny told me this week- you work to make more work. Doesn't make sense, but it's true. I'm sure the boys are thrilled with the extra mowing that will need to be done once the grass is up! Maybe, they haven't put it together yet!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Art Projects

Coleman and Caden decided the other day that they wanted to do an art project. They love their easel along with all the accessories (chalk,paper,dry-erase board,clips, paint, brushes) that their cool Aunt Starr and Uncle Mac sent them for Christmas. So, I agreed to set up the paints and let them go. It's perfect for them with two sides- each has a clip to hang their paper from. I was RIGHT next to them busy working at my desk and thought I was keeping an eye on them. Wrong- never underestimate the speed or clever ability of a 3-year old. Before I knew it, Caden moved from his nice piece of art paper to his hand. Paint was everywhere. When I semi-freaked out, Coleman calmly explained to me- "Mom, but he's the green goblin." Of course he is!

I think my sweet little nephew Connor is getting a paint set for Christmas.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm checking OUT

I don't think I'll be getting much accomplished today. The laundry can wait and I won't be on my computer. Our temperature is expected to hit 85 degrees today- 30 degrees above the norm. We bought seeds to start in a 2nd attempt at our garden since last year didn't pan out! I'm especially excited to start the FIVE varieties of tomato seeds we picked. Who knows- I might get crazy and get the mower out too- just to smell some cut grass! Oooooohhhhh... I'm excited!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ty's Braces

He said he wasn't one bit nervous- just excited! Ty finally got his braces on this morning. They put the separators in last week, and today was the big day. They put the top ones on and will follow up with the bottom teeth in six weeks. He chose dark green and white- sticking with his school colors! Hopefully, he's happy with his choice since he'll be wearing them for a while- 2+ years! They gave him a cool little tooth care pack along with a t-shirt that he was excited about. I reminded him that 's the most expensive shirt we'll EVER buy him! Dang... I'm encouraging my boys to go in to orthodontics... they bring in the money along with the great schedule!

Braces are new territory for me, having never had to wear them, so I'm glad he's excited! I just can't wait to see his smile at the end!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Trees are Budding

H A P P Y M A R C H !
Last week, we had a glimpse of what's right around the corner.
I stepped outside and actually felt the warmth of the sun. It was WONDERFUL- instant energy! Along with my bulbs coming up, the temperature was around 70. Buds are on our little trees and I even spotted a dandelion. I'm back in sandals and ready for that pedicure! The little guys wore shorts and t-shirts! Over the weekend, it dropped drastically to the teens. This week, it's expected to be back in the high 70's. We just can't figure out this Kansas weather, but we'll take the warm coming back.
Basketball finished up last week with Justin's last game. Without wasting any time, track practice starts today for Justin and tomorrow for Ty. I can't wait for those sunny track meets watching them compete!

Ready to MOVE in

It's finished... or shall I say ready to start the work inside!? We couldn't be happier with our new shop. We've learned that it might cost a little extra, it's so worth hiring those who do quality work. We actually enjoyed getting to know our builder and are THRILLED with the job they did! It was finished last week- we just had this extra concrete poured. As soon as it warms up, we'll be painting basketball lines and moving the hoop over from our driveway. Yes- our projects are never-ending!