Thursday, January 29, 2009

the fireplace debacle

When we moved in to our new house in July, we had a fireplace installed with an extra thing called a heatilator and blowers to push the warm air into the room. When cooler weather finally rolled in, Sam realized that the fireplace was not exactly what he had hoped it would be. He contacted our builder, who put us in touch with the sub-contractor that installed the fireplace. After much back-and-forth calling and leaving messages, meetings with the sub and meetings with our builder, it was decided that they would take out all the extra vents and heatilator and install a wood-burning insert (at no charge to us).
We waited and waited and waited, and finally the week before Christmas our wood-burning stove arrived. The installer came and removed all the vents and heatilator and then realized that he didn't have a certain part that he would need. So this is what our fireplace looked like on Christmas day:

He didn't replace the vents on the bottom because we weren't going to need them anymore and he assumed the part he needed would come quickly. It didn't. He actually just came last week and was able to put in the wood-burning insert. So after a month of a fireplace with missing vents, we finally had a fireplace. This is what it looked like:

Not too bad, right? Certainly unfinished still, but not bad. Oh, the only problem was that we couldn't use it. The guy who had ordered it initially had ordered the wrong vent pipe and had to go back and reorder it. That would take another week. So finally that part came in and the fireplace was now functional. Now the only problem was that where they had set the insert was too close to the brick and we couldn't open or close the damper to the fireplace. Kind of an important thing, so our builder brought in the bricker and had him TEAR DOWN THE HEARTH, brick by brick. It was so sad to watch! So now, our fireplace looks like this:

Lovely, eh? Now we just have to wait until the bricker can come back out, but I'm sure that can't happen for a while as we are in the midst of an ice-storm. At least we can have fires in our fireplace again.

I will say that after all of this, the new insert is SO NICE! We didn't use the heater all day yesterday and the wood-burning stove kept our house at a lovely 70 degrees which is warmer than we set our heater thermostat for!

On a completely unrelated note, Henry is going through a 'cowboy' phase. He insists on wearing a button-up shirt every day, along with jeans, a belt, his boots and hat. He's also trying really hard not to smile too much since he feels that cowboys are serious and they don't smile a lot. The knee pads I can't explain. For some reason they always go with his cowboy outfit--as soon as he comes home from school in the afternoons he puts them on.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I guess she thought upstairs needed some cleaning....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Link Love

Fun new recipes HERE.

Also I think there is a new post HERE and Sam would love to hear your sarcasm thoughts, as usual if you have a minute to pop over there.

Oh, and an update on Jonah? I broke the news to him yesterday. He's doing okay with it so far; however, I don't think he really gets that he won't be allowed to play in the games. The coach is a great guy and LOVES to have Jonah practice, so I think it's going to be alright. Just a little reminder to my kids that their mommy is a sinner, saved by grace! It's good for them to see me mess up and have to apologize too--makes me more 'human' to them. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This time I really did it...

I messed up. In a big way.

Henry has been in soccer for three seasons (fall and spring) and is about to sign up for his fourth. Jonah has been WANTING to play soccer since the day Henry started and it is often all he talks about. During the last season he practiced with the team every practice and was their biggest fan during games. His only consolation was that in the spring he would be old enough to join the team for himself.

We gave Jonah a brand-spanking-new-shiny-blue soccer ball for Christmas. He plays with it all the time.

Last week we stopped in Academy Sports and picked out a slick new pair of soccer shoes and a couple new pairs of soccer socks.

Today I went online to sign the boys up.....and discovered that Jonah's fourth birthday falls a few weeks past the deadline.....he isn't old enough to play.

How am I going to console my poor little Bear? He is going to be heartbroken!

Monday, January 19, 2009

zoo school update

Jonah still goes to 'zoo school' once a week. (For the record, it is actually called 'zoosday Tuesday' but that just didn't seem to catch on with Jojo.)

Since zoo school resumed in the fall, Jonah's teacher has been a young girl named Miss Jaime. She was really sweet and Jonah liked her, but he still missed Miss Linda (who was his teacher all last year) and he talked about her all the time. So we were thrilled that Miss Linda was back on Tuesday! She runs the program and I had just assumed that she was stepping out of the teaching part, but she told me this week that Jaime was just interning at the zoo and now we'd be back to having Linda every week.
These three were so funny! They are all a month apart in age (Bridget is the oldest, then Ella, then Daxton). They roamed the classroom while the 'big' kids did a craft over at the table. When Miss Linda read a book to the class, Daxton walked over right in front of the book and stood there grinning until Miss Linda gave him a hug. Then the other two thought that was pretty funny, so they tried it too. Monkey see, monkey do....and ironically enough, she was reading a book about monkies! :)

And I just thought this was cute. Bridget was pretty excited to have someone her size to get into mischief with at the zoo! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fun Friday

I don't have much to say but I thought I'd have some fun here anyway.
So here is Bridget's shoe rack which she visits every morning to decide which shoes she would like. I choose her outfit and then she chooses the shoes (which may or may not match what she's wearing). She used to ALWAYS pick the boots but she hasn't worn those since before Christmas so they're probably just about to leave the table. And here is Bridget's typical sleeping position. I am a sucker for sleep pictures. :) Henry used to sleep like this occasionally (only with his butt up in the air) but Bridget is almost always like this when I check on her in the night.
The weekend is here and I am SO ready! Tonight we're having a date night and going to dinner and a movie. Sam is really wanting to see Valkyrie.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Yesterday was a beautiful day and we spent the majority of it outside.
After church Sam's dad and his brother came over to try out Jon's new gun. They were thowing skeet in the pasture behind our house. I went out to watch a while and Sam thought maybe I should shoot some too, since they were using my gun. Yes, I said MY gun. :) Sam bought me a shotgun a few years ago. I think it's a .243 but I'm not sure. I do know it's lightweight, has hardly any kick and is a lot of fun to shoot! Here is Sam with it--isn't he so cute? Sorry, I can't help myself. ;)

I haven't had much practice in the last few years and so I didn't expect too much. In the past I've been able to hit a target fairly well but was never able to shoot a moving target (clay pigeon).

Much to my surprise, I hit two of them yesterday! And like I told Sam, it's a LOT more fun when you actually hit something! :) Sam was pretty impressed with this picture because you can see the smoke coming out of the barrel--he thought that was pretty cool!

After that, Sam had to go to the local drop-in clinic to have his wrist x-rayed. He hurt it playing basketball last week and it has been hurting pretty badly--he thought for sure he had broken it. Luckily enough it was only a sprain, so he walked away with a lovely brace and is feeling much better about it, knowing it isn't broken.

The kids and I spent the afternoon raking up leaves. We took care of the leaves in the fall, but we hadn't lost all of the leaves off the trees. Even now we have many trees with their leaves still hanging on! The leaves on the ground don't bother me so much, but I know they drive Sam crazy. So we cleared half the yard--the rest will have to wait since it got dark while we were still working!

Here's a "Where's Waldo" picture:
See our silly cat, Spark, hiding in the middle? I couldn't keep him out of the piles I was raking. He didn't mind being raked over either.

Here are two of my cuties, lounging in one of the leaf piles.

And here's the other one:

It was like a wonderful autumn day tucked away in the middle of winter! :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's Friday!!!

This is what happens when you're snuggling on the couch and your oldest says, "Let's take a family picture!" and you hold out the camera and snap a quick shot while covering up the flash with your thumb. I kinda like it! It's Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend! Not that anything exciting is going on this weekend, I'm just wanting the down time with family. Christmas break was so nice and relaxing and this week was back to schedules and appointments and busyness, so I guess I'm just looking to sloooooow down a little bit. :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Conversation with an almost four-year-old...

WARNING--this may be too much information for some of on at your own risk! :)

(while standing in the bathroom, wearing a pair of blue jeans)

Jonah-Mom, want to see the cool thing that daddy teached me a long time ago?

Mom-(thinking.....probably not) Umm...sure.

Jonah-See, you pull down your pants like this....then your underwears....then you pull your pants back up like this....and then you unzip the zipper...and you can pee right through the hole!

Mom-Jonah, Daddy didn't really teach you that, did he? (please, oh please say no!)

Jonah-No, but...

Mom-You need to pull your pants back down and go the normal way.

Jonah-But Mooooom. I really wanted to try it!