Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Timbertec Deck

Our deck is finished (well, almost-just a couple of minor things to fix and some staining of the storage doors)!  Dummy me forgot to take before photos, so these are what I could find of the old deck...

See how tiny the darn thing was?  Don't ask me what we were doing with a sandbox on it--nothing else would fit (taken Easter 2004)!

Not a great shot of the deck, but you get the idea of how old and ugly it was (taken Easter 2006).

The boys had an absolute blast ripping out the old deck.  No need to pay the contractor for demolition--just hand the boys a crowbar and a hammer and they'll take care of things!
(Sorry about the black lines in these photos.  I had to take them from inside the house through the screen!)

Notice how conscientious we were about safety:  Gloves? Check.  Safety glasses?  Check.

It kept them entertained for several days.  You certainly can't beat that!

And now, for the finished product.  It's approximately 3 times the size of the old deck, is maintenance free and we won't get splinters if we walk out there barefoot!  Woo hoo!  See the lattice door that's open?  Those are the doors that have to be stained.  Behind them is firewood storage...enough to hold a cord + of wood!

Look at the size of that bench.  Think we can host a few people?  We're looking forward to many a b-b-q.  All we need now is a table and some chairs and we're in business!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

n. i. n. e.

Just before his birthday (about a month ago--I'm so on the ball), Jonathan announced his plans for an elaborate "Star Wars, Clone Wars" birthday party.  As my kids get older, the less I look forward to birthday parties--the planning, actually sending invitations, cleaning my house, games, a bunch of wild banshees running around my freshly cleaned house.  You get the idea.  When Jonathan presented his fantabulous birthday party idea, I enthusiastically replied, "How about you invite 1 friend and we hit Kings Island instead!"  I couldn't believe when he consented and was even excited about it.

Sooooo, we had our traditional "family party" complete with green pasta (rotini with pesto--better than you can get at any expensive italian restaurant), ice cream cake (yes, he requested the Carvel cake from Kroger) and a few presents on his "real" birthday.

I know the cake looks disgusting, it's actually pretty good.

I'm not sure what he was wishing for, but I'm pretty certain it didn't come true.

The following Friday, I loaded up the car, loaded up on Dramamine and Advil and headed to KI with 5 kids in tow.  The boys were stuck with me and the girls in the Nickelodeon area until Trevor arrived from work.  After loading up on pizza, we parted ways with Trevor and the girls and headed for the "big rides".  That was a brilliant thing to do after loading up on pizza.  There were hardly lines for anything, so we just kept riding.  One. after. another. after. another.  I told the boys that my limit was twice in a row for Vortex.  My 37 year-old, post-partum (4 times) body just can't take that kind of beating any more.  We were able to ride just about everything (longest wait:  30 minutes for Firehawk) except for Diamondback (they chickened out on me--except for Jonathan) and then finally got kicked off the Vortex (at closing) after riding it 8 times in a row (they never even had to get off).  Lucky for me, the boys (and apparently the girls) proclaimed, "This was the best night of our life!"

"Mom, why are you torturing us?  Let's get to the rides!"

Plankton's Plunge is deceiving and they are all feigning boredom...

I love how they can't hold back the laughter...

This one actually makes me laugh--especially Hannah's missing teeth!

Mom does it again!  :)

Monday, May 4, 2009


While Trevor and Timothy were out on the "AT", we were in need of some fun activities at home.  I'm usually not a fan of "messy" fun (I can't stand Play-doh, glitter or other childhood obsessions that find themselves stuck between the grooves of my hardwood floor).  However, my kids begged me to dye easter eggs and I gave in.  I even allowed a neighbor friend to join in.

Applause, please.

I tried really hard not to be too controlling and dye all of the eggs myself so my table and their clothing wouldn't get stained.  I succeeded in letting them do it themselves, and they succeeded in getting the dye all over the table (even though I covered it in garbage bags) and on their clothes.  OK, in reality, there was a tiny bit of dye on the plastic and Hannah got a tiny bit of dye on her shirt.  They decorated 2 dozen eggs in record time and I was one happy momma to get it all cleaned up!

Believe it or not, this was Rachel's first time dying eggs!

This takes some serious concentration!

The happy clan.  I was just as happy as it was time to clean up!  :)

The result.

I know, you think my kids are deprived.  So do they.


Left Alone

Picture this:

It's Sunday morning and it's time to get the girls in the shower so I can help them get ready for Church.  I help Rachel take off her jammies and pull-up and this is what I find...

Upon questioning how this ginormous band-aid got stuck to her cheeks she replied,  "Yesterday, I kept yelling for someone to help me wipe my bottom and nobody came."  (Hannah and I were at the boys' baseball game and Trevor was out mowing the lawn).    I'm not quite sure if it was meant to protect the bottom or the undies.  This is a girl with some serious problem solving skills.  She showed me just this morning that she knows where the Desitin is kept and that she knows how to use it.  Trevor and I were in tears and we couldn't resist documenting the moment for the future.

Poor kid.

She's going to be in need of serious therapy when she grows up.

P.S.  Why does she feel such a strong need to get into band-aids?  Remember this