Thursday, May 31, 2012

Visiting Naples

The kids and I were forunate to get to go and spend a week with my grandmother at her house in Naples. The trip is a little over 600 miles and a lot of people thought I was crazy for taking 4 kids by myself on a trip like that, but it went really well. I prefer driving at night so we set out on the road about 8:30pm. We had only gone about 30 miles when Lydia (my not-so-patient rider) said, "I know we're almost there!!!" Fortunately they watched a movie and fell asleep shortly after. The whole trip down took just about 9.5 hours and the kids slept most of the way. In Florida, we were able to swim, head to the beach and visit with family. The first few days we were there, the kids were still warming up to the pool. Harbin and Catherine seemed to maintain their swimming skills from last year, but Lydia kind of reverted back to using swimmies. Ella wouldn't even get near the pool for the first bit and then she started to warm up to the idea. As the week progressed, Lydia started swimming on her own and she and Catherine started to perfect their flips off the diving board. Catherine can now do aon almost perfect entire flip of the diving board and Lydia flips but usually lands on her back/bottom. Ella got comfortable swimming alone with swimmies on especially when she realized that meant she could go down the slide by herself. She would go over and over and over down the slide. The only problem is that she kicks really hard, but just doesn't move anywhere, so Harbin would swim out and pull her in. One of the last days we were there I told her it was tim to get out and she thought she'd be funny so she ran and went down the stairs, swam all the way across the pool, got out at the deep end and did that 2 more times (which took about 30 minutes all in all). Finally I took her swimmies off and told her it was tim to go in, so she ran down the stairs and just sank to the bottom (don't worry I got her out)! The beach was fun as usual but this time we were also fortunate to get to see some cool wildlife. It's sea turtle season and although we didn't see any sea turtles, the kids enjoyed reading all the signs that talked about turning off your lights and about watching for turtle nests. Speaking of nests, there was a huge osprey nest with a baby bird in it. Ella especially like the "bird" but then she took to playing in the sand. Probably the coolest things was that we were able to see 3 manatee swimming just off-shore. We have never seen manatee down in Florida before, but the water was very calm and warm the first day we saw them. The second day the waters were rough and it was windy, but the manatee were swimming altogether and closer to shore. If I had gone out there, I probably could have touched one! We were able to spend a lot of tim with my Aunt Angela, Uncle Robert and cousins, Samantha and Dominick. Dominick is only about 18 months older than Harbin and is 9 inches taller than him, but they get along really well. Harbin had fun writing notes for Dominick so he would get them when they arrived at my grandma's and they liked playing in the pool together. We were fortunate to get to go to the new Children's museum twice while we were down there- once just us and once with Dominick. The kids had fun getting to see the exhibits and pretend to be vets, grocery store clerks, farmers, and lemonade stand salespeople! Ella really liked getting to push all the grocery carts around and thought she was just as big as everyone else there. We had an uneventful drive back from Florida and we really enjoyed our vacation. Hopefully we will get to visit again soon! The mom.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Harbin once again performed in the Spring Musical put on by our church's Ultimate Adventure Choir. He had a trio this year and did an amazing job with the cute musical. The kids worked hard to prepare for this musical and the execution was great!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pictures for Mom

I managed to capture some great pics of the kids for Mother's Day. It was really an incredible feat since it was after church and everyone was tired. My nephew, Wesley had spent the night, plus we had to get up early because I was serving at the preschool desk. We came home and ate lunch and then decided to get the picture. It was muggy and kind of sprinkling outside, but I drug everyone (and the bench to our dining table) down to the fence between our house and the church property next door. I cleaned the fence up the best I could and snapped a few last minute hairbows in the girls hair. I was SHOCKED at the wonderful pics I got. The lighting was great because it was overcast and I think the kids were just tired enough to be goofy rather than grumpy! The mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Multiple Homeowners

Well after a few years of no actiity on our Snellville house, we finally bit the bullet and bought the house we've been renting. We never really wanted to tackle two mortgages but with interest rates so low, we are pretty much paying the same as we did in rent. We love the house we live in and are very excited to make it our very own. With power-of-attorney in hand, I set out and met our landlord at closing. We successfully purchased the house and he walked away with a HEFTY check all to his very own. I immediately came home and started renovating. For any of you who have visited our house you will know that we have ugly wallpaper all over the house and it's terribly outdated. It was built in 1981 and decorated to match. It was done very well...for the time, but has since gone very out of date. I started with the kids bathroom which also serves as our guestbath. It was a room that was small and seemed easy to tackle and, like many other rooms, had flowery wallpaper. I stripped the wallpaper which wasn't nearly as difficult as repairing the walls. There were two layers of wallpaper on unrpimed sheetrock, so after stripping it, I had a lot of mudding and sanding to do. I finally got it painted and cleaned up. I have replaced the shower curtain and bought a new light fixture (not pictured yet). I hope to hang pics on the wall soon. My biggest accomplishment was framing out the mirror. I had been hearing about all these DIYers who ultimately glue a frame to the mirror and after a few failed attempts as stuff, I ended up with this frame glued around my mirror. I think it looks really nice and am excited to maybe do it to the mirror in the master bath too.
Hope you are impressed with the renovation. I don't have a complete "after" picture yet since I still haven't managed to hang anything on the walls or make the window treatment. I will add the pic as soon as I get one. The mom. Oh and you may ask, "Wow, how do you have time to do renoations while you have 4 kids and your hubby is deployed?" Well take a look at this pic. This is how... I ignore all other household folding laundry!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Awana Awards

I'm going to apologize in advance for the pictures. Unfortunately when you're a Cubbies leader and your hubby is gone, it's hard to get picture because you are also having to be a leader. For example, I have no pics of Lydia getting her award because I was on stage with her. However I was able to be with th girls before the ceremony so I snapped some shots of them then. Harbin was really far away so I only captured a bit of him receiving his awards. Oh the woes of being an army wife... Harbin completed his second year of Sparks in AWANA and he received his second book award. Catherine finished up her second year of Cubbies and completed her second handbook and will be moving into Sparks next year (choke back the tears, my little girl is going to kindergarten). Lydia finished her first year of Cubbies and is excited that Mommy AND Daddy will be her Cubbies leaders next year. Ella didn't do AWANA this year, but will be old enough to be Puggle next year (I remember when Catherine was a wee little puggle...tears streaming now.) We are so proud of them for all their scripture memorization and dedication to hiding God's word in their hearts! The mom.