Friday, December 31, 2010

Week 51

Christmas Eve
-made cookies for Santa, spent the day shopping for furniture (and did purchase a dining table) and household stuff. Decorated cookies for Santa and the kids got new pjs before bed.Christmas Day
-low key day spent at home, just us. In pjs half the day. Gingerbread waffles for breakfast (of course). Playing with toys and watching movies all day long. Ahhhh. Nice.
Day after Christmas - guess that counts as a white Christmas since it started the evening of Christmas Day
We finished both the kids closets. (with the exception of the drawer fronts. We need to find wider boards for that)
Kaitlyn was coughing non-stop the day after Christmas. So bad that she was gagging and seriously couldn't quit for part of the day. So we spent Monday morning dealing with remnants of the bad weather with the 2 hour delay at the clinic, then fighting our way through the system. All things considered it probably went as smoothly as it could - we weren't in the system so they added us on the spot. Kaitlyn got right into the doc once the paperwork was figured out. The doc quickly diagnosed her with reactive airway/asthma/allergy problems (she said the area is known for lot of allergy issues) and we came home with an inhaler (oh boy was that pharmacy something! they have waiting chairs for at least 100 people), daily allergy meds and some nasal wash stuff. And I'm glad to say it's working and Kaitlyn is back to normal.
And a fun visit from Audrey and the kids for Tues-Thurs. We worked on projects in between having fun. The kids created their own art gallery (and made us buy the pictures), had fun at the Children's Museum in Fayetteville (it was tiny - good thing we had only planned on spending a couple hours there), really enjoyed the chocolate fountain, and played and played.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Week 50

Little bit of Christmas prep (the dipped pretzels were for neighbor gifts - the kids had fun helping me make them. I also sent chocolate chip cookie dough brownies to the base on Friday. And finished up the Christmas shopping - all by myself - on Saturday) some happy mail (we got boxes from both Grandmas with goodies inside one we could enjoy right away - mmm) and a LOT of home improvement projects this week.

-Sam had the week off work so he got busy on the closets. It took the better part of the week, but by the end of the week the master closet was completely finished and the drawers and shelves for the kids' closets were well on their way. I painted Kaitlyn's room Monday. She insisted on the pink wall and when she got home from school on Monday (make-up day for the snow day last week, otherwise she would have had a full 2 weeks off school) she helped paint the pink part. And on Wednesday I tackled painting Tyler's room as well-
*need to add photo of finished closet
With a little time out for fun with friends.
-The kids and I left Sam to work on the wood shop on base Tues and met Audrey and her kids at the Children's Museum in Raleigh. The kids just played and played and didn't want to leave. The big favorite for the older kids was the building section. Kaitlyn designed, built and decorated a chair for Hello Kitty. Ty and Michael loved the balls, the place where you build your own car then race it down the track, and the marble wall. But really everything there was a lot of fun.

It was a great week. A really tiring and busy, but great week. Now bring on SANTA!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 48

This week has been a combination of settling into the house and Christmas prep/activities. The elves have been up to their usual mischief. We've found them doing things like sledding down the stairs on a blanket, and having a "snowball fight" with the cotton balls. They must really miss the snow - they had even built a cotton ball snowman.The kids were very excited to start opening their 12 Days of Christmas gifts from Grandma Jackson.We saw Santa at the town hall (photos to be added when I pick them up). But the Christmas parade that was supposed to be that night was postponed due to rain.

The rain/weather hasn't been easy to deal with this week. It's been cold (hovers in the 30s) and overcast or rainy quite a bit lately. In fact, we dealt with our first "snow day" in NC on Thurs. They cancelled school for this. (need to add photo from phone)

I really just have to shake my head at them and wonder what they would think of a real snowstorm. Sam said the roads were icy on his way to work though so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say I guess we're better off inside than letting people that can't drive in bad conditions out on the road driving our kids around.

I was determined to get the Christmas card photos done though so I made everyone shiver on our front porch for a minute to snap a couple. This one isn't going in the card but I thought it was cute enough to share. As you can see, Kaitlyn was the only one who couldn't quite pretend we were all happily not freezing.

And I snapped a few photos of our newly-turned 4 year old - before he got any older!

One more week 'til Christmas people! (just thought I'd add that because we're getting pretty excited)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 47

The elves found us at our new house (Friday morning). Kaitlyn has been anticipating seeing them for at least a week now and both kids were very excited to see they had arrived. They spent the whole morning showing them the house and carrying them around everywhere.

We took Friday morning to register Kaitlyn for school, set up our account with the city, etc then we were off to Audrey's for the weekend. Sam had to work all weekend, we had no furniture - so we were very happy that Audrey was excited to have us :) And we had a fantastic time. Even though it snowed and inch or so on Saturday and we couldn't find any warm clothing for the kids. I have to admit I was a little annoyed - I was thinking we wouldn't be dealing with snow in NC! haha. But it didn't stick to the roads and I'm told at our house it was barely even snowing.

Sunday was Tyler's birthday. We had Birthday Breakfast Cake (coffee cake - worked out perfectly that Audrey had already been planning to have that on Sunday) and candles. And look - their elves showed up that morning!
After lunch we all headed home for Tyler's birthday party with Daddy (the first one Sam has been able to celebrate with us this year). Sam picked up a cake from the grocery store and we stuck one of Ty's toys on it because Ty insisted that this one was his "backhoe birthday." And of course he got presents - a new scooter, Hot Wheels tracks (his first set of what will probably be many many more), and new pants (growth spurt right before the birthday really works out nicely).

Isn't he cute?! This is what a big 4 year old looks like. :) He does that head tilt anytime he poses for a photo.

Monday brought Kaitlyn's first day of school. She likes it and is settling in well. Her teacher told the class that Kaitlyn moved from Utah and brought the snow with her, and I guess since snow is a rare thing they were all pretty happy about it :) We met the 2 households in our neighborhood that have kids in elementary and share the same bus stop and they're very nice. Both kids will have some good friends closeby.

Tuesday the moving truck arrived with our furniture - woohoo! We are still surrounded by many boxes but the house is starting to feel functional and we're very happy with how things are going now. It's a bit hard to concentrate on moving in, and getting ready for Christmas but I think we are balancing it. We put the tree up Wednesday and finished decorating it last night. We also found our Christmas books, as you can see.

What else?
I'm really liking Sam's work schedule so far. He gets an early start on the day and most of the time he's off work in time to work out with his buddies and still make it home around the same time Kaitlyn gets off the bus. It's a long day for Kate because she's one of the first on the bus and one of the last, but so far she's not really complaining. There is just so much going on and so much of it is new and exciting that the kids haven't had a chance to be anything but hyper and happy all the time.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Week 46

Thanksgiving with my family. Low key, easy, and very enjoyable. The kids spent lots of time with everyone and had plenty of attention. We all had tons of fun playing the XBox Kinnect (with the video camera that puts your whole body in the game - cool stuff and VERY interactive). I loved letting Bonnie host - I didn't have to plan meals, or worry about cleaning up or anything. (Thanks Bon!) And I even let Bonnie talk me into working out with her Turbo Kick (kickboxing - she took a class to become an instructor) both days we were there. (I'm so out of shape! I thought I would be dead the next day but my poor old body held up surprisingly well)

And of course, I loved having Sam around after 2 months with him gone. It felt so good to have everyone together and happy.

Then came the long drive to North Carolina. Three full days in the car, which is really really long but it went very smoothly. The kids were real troopers and we had no meltdowns and almost no whining or "are we there yet?"s.

Lots of time spent in a series of Holiday Inn Express hotel rooms. That's just how it worked out, but after the first one we were happy to spot one every time we wanted to stop. By the 2nd day we had it down to a science - who would carry what when we packed stuff into the room, where everyone slept and how to find the pool, how the elevators and continental breakfast bars worked...
And isn't it adorable how I found the kids sleeping yesterday morning?
And there it is - our new house! The closing got delayed a day (which forced the furniture deliver and now we're camping out until TUESDAY), and the day of the closing was hectic and stressful, but we are now the proud owners of a new house! I love it and am so happy that we're not living out of a car and hotel rooms.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Week 45

Finished Mom and Dad's laundry room (mostly. they need to seal the grout and put everything back). Officially sold the house. Big snowstorm warnings - the storm didn't quite live up to the hype (they actually cancelled school for Wed!) but it still made life very difficult. Spent 12 hours driving to Bonnie's house for Thanksgiving. Postponed Thanksgiving dinner until Friday because Wyatt and Dad were delayed a day dealing with issues at home. But Sam did make it in to town (after delays of his own and luggage that didn't show up until the next day) right after we did so we were happy. Spent Thursday hanging out with Bon, Larry, and Mom.
So basically it was an eventful week but way too busy to stop and grab the camera.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 44

Took Ty to see the herd of elk that Dad spotted down by the river.

Saturday: Kaitlyn got to go swimming with a friend. Tyler and I spent most of the day at Wyatt's house doing laundry. Also got to have a quick visit with Louise which was really nice - I like her a lot and am so glad she seems to be winning her fight with bone cancer.
Sunday: Worked on the laundry room with Dad. Finally got the cementboard all laid.
Rhonda and Dave stopped by to play Santa (early). Their sequinned dancing Santa hats were hilarious. And the kids got totally spoiled.

Monday, Tues, Wed...all a bit of a blur but I know I was working on stuff with the house, running errrands, getting things done. Oh - and we finally got notice of our closing date on the house here- WOOOHOOO. We'll be out of here by Thanksgiving

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week 43

Busy, busy, busy week!
We snuck in Tyler's birthday celebrations on Saturday before going into full Moving/Packing mode. He has a little party with his friends in the morning and they had SO much fun. And of course the grandparents came over in the evening to celebrate.

Monday brought the movers out. I spent the whole day sitting at the dining table with my computer for entertainment while they boxed up EVERYTHING. Oh how nice it was just to watch it all happen. This is what it all looked like Monday night.
Tuesday brought another set of movers and a giant moving truck. I can't believe how quickly and smoothly it all went - despite waking up to new snow (and a thick coating of ice from the rain the day before) and frantically running around trying to get the ice melted off the driveway and anything that had been left outside before the crew got there.

Wednesday was spent cleaning the empty house and having the inspector walk through. Tyler packed up some of his trucks and tractors and had a lot of fun playing on all that open carpet.
Phew! I can't believe all that was jammed into one little week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Week 42

This week has been all about fall and Halloween of course.

Festivities at school for Kaitlyn. Trick or Treating on Saturday

And of course some raking leaves and jumping in piles later in the week. All this while I try to keep things going on the move and sale of the house, planning Tyler's eary birthday party, doing a little more on Mom and Dad's laundry room...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Week 41

Bonnie came into town for the weekend and we tackled remodelling Mom and Dad's laundry. Whew - what a lot of work! We spent all day pulling down wallpaper and ripping up the floor that had been damaged by multiple washing machine accidents. It was a huge task and very slow progress.
The kids loved helping and were suprsingly good helpers - and not just at picking up nails we removed from the floor. Kaitlyn taught herself how to use the hammer and crowbar. And by Saturday morning Tyler was using the power drill ALL BY HIMSELF to pull screws out of the floor. Sadly, the demo was the end of our progress on the laundry room thus far. The wallpaper is off, we re-textured the walls, and all the icky subfloor is up. Now I just need to find some energy and pin Dad down so we can get the new floor in. Maybe after Halloween...
The other big activity of the weekend was playing the Zombie vs Flowers game on Bon's Ipad. On Sunday, the kids went with me to Alisha's house and we got to me baby Sophia. She's such a cutie! Kaitlyn couldn't get enough of her. And Tyler eventually decided he wanted a turn holding her too.
We also got the first snowstorm of the season. Ick Ick Ick. As you can see, it bothered me more than it bothered the kids. They were happy to suit up and go shovel.
Wednesday we took the time to carve pumpkins. The night before we all sat around the computer and looked at pumkin templates. Kaitlyn of course was excited to find Hello Kitty.

And Tyler chose Lightning McQueen. I have to say, my first REAL attempt at carving anything other than the quick and easy silly face pumpkin, while overly ambitious (did you see Lightning?!? Yeah, I had to get tricky with that one and actually peel some of the skin off! geesh! and do you all remember that it's me and the kids here? 2 kids, both hyper as anything, both wanting my was intense), did turn out really well. Especially after I got the pumkins hollowed out and the kids could quit having to say "gross!" every 10 seconds. Tyler thought the slimy guts were so nasty he only pulled out 2 single seeds with a spoon before refusing to help with that part. Kaitlyn gamely dug at hers until I finished with Ty's and could tackle it myself.
In fact, Ty was a great little cheerleader while I did pretty much everything on his. Kaitlyn was happy to help as much as she could and did most of the pinholes for the pattern transfer herself during the half hour? hour maybe? it took me to get old Lightning finished. But gosh, aren't they cute?!
Next year I'm totally making Sam scoop out pumpkin guts no matter how much he hates it... :)
Also of note: 2 steps forward, one step back on the whole house selling/moving stuff. We extended the contract on the sale of our house because the paperwork is of course taking longer than they predicted. But Ty and I did make the trek down to the base for our pre-move briefing (one more thing I can cross off the list!). They were gearing up for an inspection at the base and the jets were out and flying all over the place - as Ty would say, "it was awe-some!"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 40

Busy week. Can't tell you what I did, but I know I got plenty done for the move and everything else that is going on.
The photo is Kaitlyn and Tyler taking pictures of themselves with the Hello Kitty camera Kaitlyn got for her birthday. (I should add a photo of what they ended up with when I figure out how to upload the photos from that camer)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 39

Birthday week! This one is (almost) all about Miss Kaitlyn.

Friday was my birthday and thanks to great family and friends I felt very special all day long. I got all kinds of notes, emails, phone calls and cards. Dari came over to work on projects and brought pie for a special treat. Rhonda took me out to lunch and surprised me with cheesecake for dessert. And our house went under contract - happy birthday to me!

Wyatt turned 30 on Saturday and the weekend was devoted to throwing together a party for him - not something that worked out all that well since the guest were invited last minute and most didn't make it. Saturday was party prep, broken up a bit by Mom and Dad taking me to dinner to celebrate my birthday. Sunday was Wyatt's party - very small, very casual. Kaitlyn got in plenty of time cuddling and teasing him.

Then it was time for the main event. Monday was once again party prep, this time for Kaitlyn. We had her friends' party on Tuesday because they had a crazy schedule at school this week. They also celebrated Kaitlyn's birthday at school that day too. She and her friend Bailey have birthdays one day apart and were excited to share the celebration at school, and Kaitlyn made very sure that Bailey was also recognized at Kate's party here at home. We even sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candle twice. The kids were VERY hyper and excited during the whole party, so there was very little doubt that they all had a fantastic time. Kaitlyn and Hello Kitty got matching outfits for the party - a must since it was Hello Kitty themed, right?

Tuesday was also parent teacher conference. The kids had early out at school so we had the the party in the afternoon, then parent/teacher in the evening. I think I must be in the minority among parents, but I like parent/teacher. Kaitlyn always gets such glowing reports. Her teacher says she is a great listener and is of course, above grade level on most things. She was placed in the upper level Power Hour group (Power Hour is new at the school this year - they divide them up by ability and get more specialized time on the core subjects) and will be more challenged than she's used to, especially with spelling. (I did notice that last week's list was a lot harder and that it took more work for Kaitlyn to grasp it but she wasn't complaining and she still got 98% on the test). And her teacher went on and on about how much she'll miss Kaitlyn when we move and promised to write if Kaitlyn wrote to her.

Wednesday was my only breather from Party Stuff. I finally managed to take the time to winterize/prepare the outside stuff for the move. I did everything from winterizing the lawn mower to scrubbing down the grill and the fire pit, draining hoses and sweeping out the garage. Kaitlyn continued her fun at school with another early out day (teacher prep I think) and the few hours they did spend at school they were having fun at the rec center playing games and swimming. Then after lunch she got to go shopping with Grandma Jackson to pick out her own birthday present.

Thursday was Kaitlyn's official 7th birthday! She's growing up so fast.

I decorated her door while she was asleep and she could hardly wait for Tyler to wake up so she could open her presents. Kaitlyn wanted to spend her birthday playing with her friend Aaliyah (since Thurs and Friday are fall break from school), so that's what she did. All 4 kids got to play together all day. And of course we finished up Kaitlyn's birthday with our traditional cake and ice cream party with the grown-ups.

Whew what a week! I need a nap.