Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Great Weekend

What do you get when one of your best girlfriends marries your big brother?

Oh, just one of the cutest families EVER!!!

This past weekend I was able to travel to Arlington, VA and visit James, Julia, Bradley, Elizabeth and little Henry McMullin. Isn't Henry the cutest little boy. He is already great at cuddling, smiling and laughing.

He must be learning so much from watching his big brother Bradley and

big sister Lizzie.
Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kids' Critique

We have not taken the kids to see the house since it was just a basement. I have just been too worried about the lack of floors, then walls, and still stairs. But I am going to be out of town this weekend, and last night I really wanted to see the progress with the exteriors walls. So we bravely loaded up the van and spent the 20 minute drive lecturing everyone about avoiding the open hole where the stairs will someday be. I think I also threw in fair warning about jumping out windows and touching tools that are not ours.

I should have known that bringing the kids would include 100's of questions and almost just as much criticism. What is this room? Why is it here? Why isn't there a "secret, crawl-through door" in our room? Yes, they are serious about the trap door. I told them maybe the space under the stairs can be their secret hide-out. I think that appeased the mob.

This is Margaret inspecting her new room. She liked her window and showed us were all her "pretties" will go.

We really can not wait to get into this home and make it our own. Not to mention the boys are dying to get their old toys out of storage. I know that getting our hands on all of our stored stuff will be better than getting new things at Christmas. But there is still so much work to do.

Job #1: Cleaning up and burning all of the construction trash. I'm afraid we are going to be in this messy stage for awhile.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In other business...

Yes, "THE HOUSE" is consuming more than a little of our time, thoughts and energy. However, life still goes on. So I wanted to post some of the other happenings in our lives.

I bribed cousin Shannon, Andrew and Tanner to memorize and repeat the monthly Scripture in Primary. They all did it and were pleased with their ice cream rewards.

It's official. Tanner's top bunk is still the best hide-and-seek spot.

We were lucky enough to have a visit from the Burke cousins' baby chicks: Dr. Tweets and Miss Gabby. They were cute and chirpy. Margaret LOVED them. Tanner thought they were cool, but stinky (I agree and will never have chicks in the house. Sorry kids.)This is as close as Andrew got to them. He didn't want to touch them, but really enjoyed watching over them.

Tanner and Shannon passing Miss Gabby. She was very popular.

WE also went fishing at the lake behind the shop. The weather was so nice, but no fish were bitting.

That could have something to do with the yelling, singing and rock tossing Margaret contributed.

No fish, but lots of fun!

House Update

At this point, just the fact that there is an update is a huge plus. Especially as I check the forecast for a rainy start to the work week. I just can not wait to get the house under roof, so weather won't be such a big deal anymore.

Below is a picture of what will be the front of our home. I am so happy that the subfloor was completed and you can see that the crew began framing up the exterior of the house.

This will be the view from the front porch. Luckily, there will never be a house built directly across from us.

This is looking into the kitchen and dining area. Boy have I spent hours thinking about this space. This will be where we spend most of our time and really "live". So I can't tell you about the time spent planning the cabinets and countertops and tile and faucets and...
Last week I started waking up at 3 every morning thinking about cabinets. That's when I realized enough was enough. I'll research the best I can, make a choice and go with it.

Finally, here we are looking back into the family room. The windows on either side of the fireplace look bigger than I imagined. Hmmm, window coverings...

So I hope this coming week won't be (too) rainy. And we can get closer to having trusses delivered!! Cross your fingers for us!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Now I Remember

And now I remember why NOT having "peanuts" every Friday wasn't really a bad thing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

If there is a conspiracy around here, I must be in on it. Andrew loves to play with anything deemed cool by big brother Tanner. Anything. So that includes Bakugan, Legos, puzzles with 250 pieces.... Which makes cleaning up before Tanner comes home from school a lot of fun. But clean up we must, because these items are viewed as personal property by Tanner and fair game by Andrew. It has occurred to me that our routine of pulling out Tanner's toys while Margaret sleeps and then rushing to put them away before Tanner returns may not be sending the right message to Andrew. (I know, I'm quick, huh?) But the poor boy is desperate to have some time with the "cool" toys. So for now, I'm in on the cover-up. I did think this clip of Andrew whispering and hiding while playing said it all. He KNOWS.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Margaret's Messy, I mean Crafty, Morning

Hmmm. What to do with these eggs. What to do.

I know!! I'll help mom paint them. That will be great.

I better put on my apron. (This is how I actually found her, while I was setting up paints. She knew there was a mess coming, and she didn't want to miss out on the fun. I also appreciate that she practically stripped before getting into that apron. You don't want the rear view of this shot.)

Ready, Set, Paint.

Pretty good job Margaret. Thanks for your help. Now all we need is a basket and a bunny and we are good to go!

Any Easter traditions at your house that you care to share? I'd love to hear about them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Down with Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time snuck right up on us this year. That's right. We were that family that TOTALLY forgot to set our clocks forward. In the past I've been known to criticize those who just don't have their act together enough to even keep track of the time. Well, consider us humbled.
Sad that it happened on a Sunday when we were otherwise so prompt. We were on our way to being early enough to set up my props in the Primary room before church, when Jason got online to check our forecast. When I heard his "Oh, Man" everything clicked. He didn't even have to explain.
I was too ashamed (and afraid of disrupting the entire meeting) to walk into Sacrament late. So I enlisted the kids to help me in the Primary room instead.
Daylight Saving Time also means a later bedtime for our family. I am so not a fan this year. A later bedtime means grumpy kids on Monday morning. Yuck. All Jason said to me when he left this morning was "Good Luck!"
On the bright side, we did get to listen to Margaret singing in bed for an extra 1/2 hour last night. She just knew it wasn't right to go to bed with light peeking around the curtain. I'm with you Margaret.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shame on Us.

Do you remember when KFVS 12 used to try to shame junky residents of the Heartland to clean up their act by disgracing them with a live broadcast. That was surely tv journalism at its very best. Do they still do that? If so, I'll be expecting Mary Ann to don her mud boots and head on over to our construction site.
We have unfortunately entered the eyesore stage of the home building process. That was the first thing I noticed when I went out to take pictures this morning. You may have thought the potholes in the road or the accidentely cut water line were bad enough (I'm positive our new neighbors love us already!), but add scraps of lumber, blown tarps and a mudslide of a yard to the mix and we actually deserve the tv crew. I mean, I might be a little disappointed if they don't show up.

At Long Last- Hair Cut Success!

So let me begin by saying there are many perks to having a hair stylist as my SIL. Especially because my family is definitely hair challenged. From swirls to dirty blondes, we have it all. But this morning Tara was up to the task of my three lift-chair-weary kiddos. We rarely take advantage of Tara, because when the clippers turn on all kinds of flipping out have been known to occur. I would rather that happen in the bathroom at home than in a very public place. However, school pictures are next Tuesday and we really need to redeem ourselves after last Fall's picture day fiasco. So, we were brave. Tara was brave. All went well, and I even remembered my camera!

One said perk is that while one kiddo is in the chair, having hair removed by the pound, Tara doesn't mind the other two browsing her cute shop. Margaret made her rounds of all kinds of "pretties." From polish to hairspray to purses on display. She was loving life.

Jason, just so you know, I kind of committed you to buying this hot pink beauty for her next birthday. Think she'll remember that in August?

Perk number two. We were allowed to explore (read play with, move, manipulate, test run) the hair dryers. Andrew was pretty sure they were space related. I have to agree. Surely something this cool could not exist just to dry hair. It must be a helmet or communicator of some kind, right?

Biggest perk of all, Tara always makes us look and feel like a million bucks. My homemade haircuts may be just enough to get us by, but check out these mug shots.
Tanner of course is an old pro at getting a cut. He looked great and I think he knew it.

Andrew, my hesitant one, did such an outstanding job today. No squirming or shrinking or wimpering occurred. He was a little disappointed that Tara didn't deliver the "gray and red spikies" he requested, but doesn't he look great!

Margaret was the real test. She just doesn't like to hear those scissors snipping away at her precious hair. But today she proved herself a big girl. Here she is getting settled for her pampering trim. Notice her little bare foot twirling away. That is a sure sign that she is loving life. The more that foot spins, the more excited she is.

My big two-year-old was so serious about this hair business. She also requested color- purple to be specific. Thank you for not delivering Tara!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Return of Peanut Friday.

Doughnut Friday is a tradition that goes back to Barracuda Swim Team days. I think the glazed beauties were our reward for surviving each week of early morning practice. I mean what else would our exhuasted bodies and empty stomachs need after two hours of laps in the pool? DOUGHNUTS. If we had been really good, Mom would stop the suburban at Wille's Bakery and we would each get to pick out our own. I'm sure the bakery owners were thrilled to see all five (sometimes 6, 7 or 8) of us wet kids wrapped in towels and reaking of chlorine sliding across their tile floor and pressing our faces against their glass displays. And I have to laugh when I remember how long it took for us to decide which doughnut to pick. The jelly-filled, no the creme horn, no, I mean the cinnamon twist!
No wonder that when Mom carried this tradition over to her Seminary teaching days, she never took requests. Glazed. Take it or leave it. (Actually, she later buckled under the pressure and started bringing in bagels for all of us picky girls.)
You'll all be glad to know the tradition lives on in the Burke home. When Tanner started swim team several summers back, I mentioned my fond pastry memories to Jason and he quickly picked up on the idea, becoming our supplier. Andrew was only two at the time and Doughnut Friday became Peanut Friday. (Don't ask. Must have been easier to say. And it totally stuck.)
Sadly, since our move back to So Il we've been unfaithful. But this past week, Andrew started asking me why he hasn't had a Peanut Friday in so long. Yes, we've been depriving our children and they finally called us out. So, I had to deliver. Today, March 12, 2010, Peanut Friday was reinstated into the routine. My boys left for school on a sugar high with sticky smiles plastered all over their faces.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One is Silver and the Other's Gold.

Our Saturday was great. It started with perfect weather. (Just look at the sky in that photo. I mean P-E-R-F-E-C-T.) And ended with so many things crossed off our to-do list, that I couldn't help but be happy.
I was really happy when I saw this picture among all my morning's takes. It's a sight I'll never see again. Within a week there will be a subfloor above those walls. Also, its a good reminder of the old and the new. Here we are building a new home, but trying to save those old trees. I love seeing those two elements together.
Hope you are having a great weekend too.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring is Progress

We've had a great taste of spring here in Southern Illinois. I hope it lasts. This week our carpenters were able to start and complete framing work inside the basement. (That's right. I said START and COMPLETE in the same sentence.) Our electric meter was installed, so Jason got the temporary power hooked up. Also, the sewer was inspected and installed. And oh yeah, the yard no longer resembles both a canyon and a mountain. It's closer to a rolling prairie now.