Tuesday, December 21, 2010

sleepin' boys

Well, I am packing again!! Tomorrow we will travel back 'home' and stay for about a week to visit family and hang at our house! Speaking of house, it's coming along great. Paint is finished and they are starting on trim! i will try to sneak some pics on here to give you an update once we see it, it's going to be so nice!!

In the meantime, I am busy packing and cleaning. Nathan and I were talking last night about where we've been in the last 4 years and how much our lives have changed. Then we talked about what we did and didn't like about moving around and if we'd do it again knowing what we know now. We agreed. We'd do it again. It has been such a blessing meeting the people that we have during our travels. We wouldn't trade those relationships for anything! Even being close to people we already knew, like Nathan's siblings in VA, was such a blessing because we got to know them so much better and build memories with them. Nathan said he'll never forget going to the quarry with our niece and nephew and Nathan was the last one to jump...our 13 yr old niece was the first...go Kelly :) And I said that I'll never forget doing my laundry at Sarahs and cleaning out my van...two things she always helped me with and spending the weekend with Naomi in DC doing 'girl stuff', I will miss those things!

One thing that we thought we might not choose to do again would be to live in the camper :) Not that I didn't like keeping tupperware in the bedroom, fruit in the shower, or batheing the kids in a tote....ahem... But I will always say that it was a great learning experience and it refined our character. I mean, I learned that I could can a whole trees worth of peaches in the camper, that we could live 3 days without water & electricity in the camper, and that Tiernan could fit through the window if we really needed him to in order to unlock the door and get out our 16 mo old who locked herself in.

And the one thing that I disliked the most about the last 4 years....PACKING! I hate packing, although I have to say that I'm pretty darn good at it by now! We agreed that we should have ditched 90% of our stuff during that first move, but as we kept moving, we got smarter each time, getting rid of more and more stuff. The move to the camper really didn't give us any other option than to give most of our stuff away. So now, moving to the house will hardly be any effort because we don't have anything to move!! :) There is some stuff that we have kept at our parents' houses...Nathan's weights (biggest item), some gargage shelves, boxes of books, etc but besides those things, we won't have the typical box after box of stuff to move. So anyway, I'm packing again and hopefully this will be the last time we'll have to stay at someone else's house for a long time!!

Here is how the boys' sleep in the same room with no beds...pretty much any way they want! :)




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

content.

"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil 4:11

WOW!!!!

That hit me right between the eyes when I read this a few nights ago. Be content in everything...that is what the Lord is calling us to do. No matter what situation you find yourself in, be content knowing that the Lord's plans are always perfect and he knows so much more than we could ever imagine!

We have been challenged by this verse for the last few years. There were days during the past year that we weren't so content, living with 6 people crammed into a camper in a campground that was run-down, in a town a bazillion miles away from home. There were times when we didn't have power or water to the camper for days at a time due to the crazy Virginia winter weather. Days like that we didn't feel like being content.

Lately the challenge for me has been to be content while knowing that our house is so close to being completed. Days like today where I have 2 children sick causing dirty little laundry to pile up that I can't wash because someone else has their stuff in the washer down the hall. Days where I can't seem to find what I'm looking for because we don't own a dresser and have everything in totes knowing we'll be moving soon.

It's during these times that I keep this verse in the front of my mind ...."in whatsoever state I am"... that doesn't say "except this" or "except when this happens". No. It's "whatsoever". Wow.

May we all learn to be content with where the Lord has us currently and enjoy the days he has blessed us with!

(Just while writing that last sentence, my *sweet* daughter came up to me completely covered in the contents of her dirty diaper! She's been finding a way almost every day lately to either sneak away or during nap, to empty her dirty diaper and smear it on herself and anything close by...ugh...that is something my boys never did!!)

Content, Dawn, content :)

One benefit of not having any neighbors across the hall...Nathan can leave all his dirty work clothes in the hallway :)


Since I can't put pics up of the house, here's a sneak peak of a part of it. can you guess what this is?!

Friday, December 10, 2010

one chicken to last 5 meals.

Really. I'm serious! I cooked a chicken and it provided the main part of each meal!

Here's what I made from one chicken:

1) BBQ chicken sandwiches
2) Chicken dumpling soup
3) More soup that went into the freezer
4) BBQ chicken wraps
5) Mashed potatoes with gravy

Here's how I did it....

First I cooked a frozen chicken in the crockpot with about 2-3 cups water until done (about 5 hours). Took the chicken out and poured all the liquid in a bowl to cool. This liquid is the drippings I used to make my gravy.

Then I de-boned the chicken, although this wasn't very difficult as most of the meat slide right off after being in the crock pot. I seperated the meat into 3 bags, adding homemade bbq sauce to 2 of the bags (ketchup, few shakes of liquid smoke, pinch of brown sugar, and you could add some minced onion but I left that out this time).

Then I took all of the bones from the chicken, gizzards, fatty parts, etc and put them into a stock pot with a bunch of carrots, celery, onion and parsley and water til covered. Simmer this for 6 hours of more. Then strain liquid and discard the solids. The liquid is now your homemade chicken broth! I used this as the base of my dumpling soup, along with the bag of non-bbq chicken.

Whole wheat hamburger buns....



Yummy yummy yummy!!!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

So I begged and begged Nathan to allow me to post the newest picture of the house on here and he denied me. Therefore, you'll just have to wait to see pictures either until it's finished or Nathan gives in :) But I will tell you that it's looking awesome...the windows are fixed so the front of the house now looks as what as were expecting it to, the garage door is on, the siding is on (the stucco will have to wait until spring but I think stone might go on this winter still), they have sheetrocked, mudding and taping should be done, cabinets are underway, appliances are ordered...it's coming together!!

Speaking of appliances....we found out that the frig we originally had picked out doesn't have the right side dor swing that we need and that model doesn't have the option to change the hinge so we need to pick out a different frig. The only problem is that we are limited to a counter-depth frig because of how our kitchen is set up which wouldn't be a problem but we wanted an freezerless frig so we could have more space for our hungry family! The choice is limited now but we think we might have found one that will do. Its not what we had in mind, but it's still a nice looking frig.

What made the search for the new frig a little more difficult was the fact that I was using our "old" computer (the same as I am now) because my sweet little 20 mo old daughter dumped a glass of water on the keyboard of our other laptop. The keyboard is non functioning so I bought a different keyboard..got it to work! Only to find out that all the programs on the computer are all messed up! I click on one, a different one opens! So, since I haven't been on top of my game and have all my pictures on cds, I am at the risk of losing my last couple years worth of pictures! I'm hoping my brother will be able to salvage some for me over Christmas!

My sweet angel that spilled the water....just readin' a book...lookin' all innocent :)


Some people have been asking how I fit all my kids in our 2 bedroom apartment and I was going to show some sweet pictures of my little guys sleeping and how they all work in the same bedroom. I'll have to see if I can get some pictures either off my camera or the other computer...

For now I am going to enjoy the rest of the evening with my hubby as he doesn't have to go to work tomorrow! The weather was predicted to get really bad tonight so they have already canceled work for tomorrow. Hopefully I can keep up with this computer and

Friday, December 3, 2010

black friday

Last week was my first "Black Friday" shopping experience and I might just hafta say that it was also my last!!

We put the kids to bed and Nathan and I ventured out to Walmart about 10:45pm to get to the midnight sales. So since I've never done this before, I figured we could pick up the stuff we needed, put everything in our cart and just check out after 12. Well, little did I know that you can't touch the stuff on sale until exactly midnight! So it seemed as though everyone that lived within St. Cloud's city limits and then some were also at Walmart waiting for the deals. At one point I asked Nathan if he wanted to ditch our cart and leave because it was getting that crazy. A couple hundred bucks is not worth losing your sanity over!! But we decided to stick it out and see what happened!

We were planning on walking around the store and doing other shopping until 12 but since people kept flooding in and standing on top of the things they wanted to grab first once midnight struck, it was getting harder and harder to move in the store, much less with a cart! If you can see the people in this picture, you can get an idea of just how crazy it was. There was people like this in every aisle and any space there was in the store. NO getting anywhere fast!


Well, midnight happened and you would hear a sworm of busyness start! We picked up the things we wanted to get ie: Shark steamer for $36, Kitchen Aid mixer for $146, some toys over 50% off, and a 14' trampoline for $145! While we were on the way to the check out we noticed that every cart we saw had at least 2 or 3 shop vacs in them so we decided to get one too! Must be a good deal, right?? :) It was a 5 gallon for $15.

So we made our way to the check outs and they had all 30+ lines open with each line crossing the once wide open space and going into the clothes section so we just picked a lane and waited. We were in line at 12:11 and got to the car about 12:50...not too bad but of course we had to be in the slowest line possible! Plus what made it worse was that I start getting really hot standing in line and then I started thinking about all the people there and about how I was hungry and then I thought about how I passed out 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Tiernan and all of a sudden I became dizzy...NOT good I thought! So I whipped off my coat and scarf and told Nathan to hold my purse (he loved that) and I headed to the restrooms to get a drink of water and get out of the sea of people. That helped and was good to go after that.

One thing that we couldn't believe was that the police were outside towing peoples car that weren't in an actual parking spot. How would you like that?...You had a cart full of stuff, it's 1am and you go outside and your car is gone! I'm sure there were a few angry people!

After we got back to Nathan's parents house, I went to sleep about 2am and Nathan's mom woke me up at 2:45am to head out again! This time it was Herbergers which was hardly better than Walmart, with every woman in town at this store! I don't think I'll go there again especially when I could order the deals online with free shipping! that's too crazy for me!

After there we hit up Toys r us...didn't buy anything though. Then over to the grocery store...And then over to Kmart, which I also came out of empty handed. But the interesting thing about Kmart was that we got there 5 minutes before it opened at 5am and there was a line of people about a block long and 5 people wide flowing out from the doors waiting for it to open. There was no way I was going to wait outside in close to below 0 weather for it to open so I waited in the nice warm car and once they opened the doors, Mary brought me up to the front, I got out of the car, walked right in and I was out by the time some of those people waiting in line were even in the store! I'm amazed at how some people think sometimes!!

We made it back about 5:30am and Mary made me an omlet before going to bed. I slept from 5:45 to 9:30 that morning. And that's enough Black Friday for me!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

point to ponder

Chocolate??.....What chocolate???



That actually wasn't the 'point to ponder' but she is so darn cute, isn't she?? :)

Here's the real question....

"Would you hire you to manage your money?"



If the answer is "no", then there's some work that needs to be done but the great part about it is that getting on the right track is just ONE DECISION away!!

Are you ready to change?? Are you ready to take control of your finances instead of letting your money control you??

It may sound like a daunting task, but let me assure you that it is not! The hardest part of making a budget, sticking to it and knocking out debt like its a disease is deciding to get gazelle intense about it and letting NOTHING stand in your way! But watch out because once you are on a roll, you won't be stopped!!

Dave Ramsey is having a Christmas/End of the year sale on all of his books, etc and most of you know that we are huge Dave fans so I'd encourage you to go over to his website and check them out.

Also, I am always available by email to answer any questions that you may have on the road to becoming debt free! My email is dawnlegatt@msn.com and I am LOVING the emails that are still coming in from my last post I did on budgeting way back in the summer....when we lived in the rv...in a campgroud...yeah, remember those days?...yeah, me too!

Another thing that motivates us to stick with our budget and to 'live like no one else' because "if we live like no one else then we can give like no one else"...and that has to be the greatest blessing...to be able to bless others! It is so rewarding to take the focus off yourself and to give to help others, it truly is wonderful!!

So go ahead, make a plan for the new year and kick it into action! The only thing getting in your way is yourself!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Birthday

Birthday Date!

I got to my parents house on Tuesday and with the winter storm coming, we weren't sure what the following day would hold.

We were wanting to spend the day at the Mall of America, just Nathan and I, while my parents watched the kids, but with freezing rain and snow expected, we didn't think the trip to the cities was worth it.

We waited until wednesday morning to decide and I actually thought that we were not going since we could have done it on Saturday if the weather had stopped us on wednesday. But at the last minute my dad suggested that we just go and have our fun. So we left home about 6am, stopped at the granite place to get a better idea about our granite selection that needs to be made on Monday and then we were off to the mall!!

The weather was still clear on our way there and we made it to the mall in an hour..not too bad! We walked around for a few minutes until the stores opened and then pretty much headed right to Nickelodeon Universe to start on our rides! It's been a loooong time since I've been on rides and I think my body knew that! After several roller coasters, log chutes and looping rides, I had a headache and it was time to stop and get something to eat!

If anyone's been at the MOA, you know it could possibly take all day to decide where to eat in that place! We finally decided on a restaurant called Cadillac Ranch. It's an American Bar and Grill that had real yummy food! During lunch, my dad called and said that the weather was taking a turn for the worse and it had been snowing up there for quite a while. We decided that after lunch we should wrap things up and think about leaving the cities since the roads could be bad.

We walked past the rides and decided to go on the log chute one last time.

That was a bad idea.

I sat in front and while on the ride, a huge wave of water came up and over the front of the log and all over my legs and lap! It was freezing and I was soaked! We actually went up to a store and looked for a new pair of jeans that I could buy off the clearance rack but we didn't find any. i went to the bathroom to try to dry them with the dryer, but that didn't work either. Oh well. I'll just walk through the mall and out to the freezing cold car with wet pants that were soaked from my hips down to my ankles in the front and then all around the butt! I actually made Nathan walk right behind me so people didn't notice as much....how embarrasing! The longer drive on the way back (due to weather) gave me more time to dry my pants on the heater in the van...hehe :)

We stopped at the furniture store on the way back and checked out tables, couches, chairs and the like. We found some nice things and it gave us a better idea of what we need for the house. After that we went to Mexican Village to eat to get my free birthday dinner and that concluded our wonderful date day!!! It was definitely a very special time for me!!

On our way to our date!


My desert at the Cadillac Ranch....mmm....


Homemade Poptarts! (Take flaky pie crust, roll out, cut into rectangles and slather some jam in between two pieces and bake!....great snack!)


Sneak peak of a part of our house ;)


Decisions, decisions, decisions
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

eek!

I'm counting down the days til we go back 'home'! 2 days!!

It's been hard not being able to put up pics like I would like to on here...our internet is too slow :( So once I get to my parents house next week, I'll be glad to update y'all with some pics! Although I'm not sure if I'll be able to post any pictures of the house. Nathan has told me that he doesn't want me to post any more pictures so everyone will be 'surprised' when the house is done :) I'll ask him again next week and maybe he'll change his mind.

They are still crusin' on the house...the septic is in, well is in, electrical is finish, framing is finished, plumbing is finished, retaining wall is built, backfilling is done, lp tank is buried (yes, buried...we got an underground one...much better than the ugly big silver tank sittin' in the yard!), siding is delivered and will start whenever crew is ready, insulation starts Monday and sheetrock gets hung next Friday! Whew! I am meeting with the builder one more time a week from Monday to finish and finalize selections for granite, tile, cabinet color, cabinet hardware, etc. I'm so excited!

Other than being excited for the house, we are soooo looking forward to our date at the Mall of America, just hanging out, shopping, walking and going on the rides! It's been a loooong time since we were at the MOA and we haven't been there without the kids since way at the beginning our of dating days. I can't think of a better way I'd want to spend my (29th!!) birthday! It should be a great time!

I bought a Dyson last time I was in St Cloud and LOVE it!! Thanks to the 15+ people I talked to that have one before I got it. They all said they love theirs and that I would too, and they were right! I also bought a Shark Van then Steam at the same time but I will be bringing that one back. I love the steam part of it but the suction on the vacuum is way in the back and therefore doesn't vacuum up stuff close to cabinets, etc. Therefore, I will bring this back and get just the steamer!

Better get going for now...my 3 yr old is begging me to grab his "school work" off the shelf for him!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

hot cocoa

What a nice relaxing weekend! I thought I was going to be at my parents place through the weekend since the Ymca was having a 'free day' including a free zumba class that I wanted to go to but since the weather decided to get icky and snow, I figured I better make it back here before the snow. So Friday afternoon I left and came back...and I'm super glad I did because that night it started to snow here and the wind was a-blowin'! We ended up getting about 6 inches over night and the next day. Enough to make a mess and enough to keep Nathan from working on Saturday! He left for work at 5:30 and was back in bed by 6! He didn't even get a few miles down the road before he figured that he wasn't going to be making it any further. He called in and the foreman said that they'd be calling it off for the day anyway. So he had Saturday with us and today as well since they aren't working Sundays for the time being.

The kids had fun in the snow, spending as much time outside as their little soaked mittins would let them! They even got to build a snowman.


It was also a wonderful weekend to drink some hot chocolate! Here is the recipe I used for my hot chocolate!

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar (you can use rapadura or sucanut to make it even more healthy!)
5 cups whole milk
1 t vanilla

Stir together water, cocoa, and sugar in saucepan and heat until boiling. Add milk and heat again til very hot. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Enjoy!!


While I was at my parents house, I spent most of the time making selections with our builder! The first day I was in town was the same day Nathan had class in the cities. He ended up leaving class by 1:00 and coming up to do the electrical walk-thru with us! It was such a help having him their for some decisions because I had no idea about some stuff but I knew Nathan would have an opinion. He spent the rest of the evening with us (checking out lighting, tile, stone) and then drove back down here that night.

The next day I met with the builder again for most of the day and went to lots of places and had LOTS of choices to make!! We checked out cultured marble, visited our builders house for ideas (for those of you who don't know, our builder just happens to be Nathan's first cousin...so it's nice getting to know him better! And he builds beautiful homes!! :) Then we checked out granite (wow, lotsa choices!), picked up our flooring samples, went home to pick up the kids and to take them to my brother's house so my sister in law could take over childcare for awhile, met back up with Steve (builder), checked out laminate counter tops, lighting, and tile.

The next day I was able to run some errands (like to pick up my Dyson and Shark vacuums!!) and then to met with Steve again for stain and paint colors, lighting and more countertops! Whew!

It was actually really fun being able to visualize some stuff that is going in our house. As of now, the shingling is done, framing and plumbing are almost done, and the electrical and heating is part way put in. This week they should be install the septic, hooking up the electric, digging the well, siding, and continuing to work on the inside! They should also be fixing the front window situations, getting those to be the right size.

We cannot wait until we can move in!!

We will be back there next week over Thanksgiving so I will be able to update more then. We will be going to my parents next Tuesday and Wednesday is my birthday so Nathan and I are going on an all-day date to the Mall of America! We are both super excited to spend some time together!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

house!!

Here is our house!! I was out at the site today and when I pulled up there were 10 trucks outside! The plumbers, electricians, framers and shinglers were all workin' hard! And the thought did cross my mind "I am paying ALL these people to work right now! yikes!" :) It was SOOOOO fun to see the house inside and out and see our dream coming to life! There was a mistake with the windows in the front by the lumber company and the top window in front will be changed to a smaller window since it is now 22" too long. See how it is right up against the roof? Yeah, it's not supposed ot be like that. But once that is fixed, it should be good to go!

The other thing that the lumber company added to the plans that weren't there before was vaulting our front bedrooms! It actually added some character to the rooms, making them seem much bigger than they are, and at no additional cost to us since it was a mistake, we'll take it!




I'll have more pics of the house in the next couple days since I plan on taking more and blogger's being difficult again! :)

Our kitchen when we got home from St Cloud last time....CLEAN!


3 mins after we got our stuff out of the van and into the apartment...not even kidding you. How in the world does that happen?!




Marker fun....uh...maybe I forgot to give them a piece of paper?!



Typical scene at our house when Daddy comes through the door after work...


This is just one reason why I'm so excited about the house being done...I can finally have a dresser and closet space to put the kids' clothes!! I try really hard to keep their stuff organized but when you have little kids dressing themselves, throwing what they don't want to wear aside, etc...you get this...


There, that's better....



School time...


Brayan fell asleep at the table...that rarely happens!


Tiernan with his puzzle...


I found this with Caedmon behind the couch....

...it's his yogurt. He dumped it into his bag to eat later. Once he realized I saw him behind the couch, he gives the bag to me and says "I don't want this bag anymore." Ya think?? Gross! It went through the wash and then he was happy to have it back :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

muffins

Why didn't I get all caught up on my blogging while I was at my parents house with internet that actually works??....I have no idea. So I'm trying it again today with posting pictures. It's loading as I type this, but it might take forever so I might have to wait until I'm back at my parents next week. Blogging is a lot more fun when I can post pictures :)

We spent the week last week at my parents house. We visited with my Grandparents, who met Ariella for the first time! She loved them and put out her arms for Grandma to pick her up right away! She also loved to bring both of them books so they could read to her. We also spent quite a bit of time out at the land, watching our house go up and meeting with our builder to do our selections (which I posted about last time). It was nice to hear this week that we were "under budget" with picking out our garage door, our flooring, and our appliances! You don't hear those words together too much when you are building a house, especially when unforseen things start happening like you need to do a mound septic system instead of a natural gravity one, which doubles the price of the septic system....or when the water level is too high for your basement so you have to raise the house up, causing you to lay more block. So it was real nice to be able to stay within our budget on those areas :)

If I can get blogger to actually upload my pictures I will post one of the house that our builder sent to us yesterday. The roof is almost done! The house really looks like it's coming together now and we are actually seeing our dream that has been on paper for so many years become reality!!

In other news....well, there really isn't any other news. We've just been hanging out and looking forward to the next couple months! I made my own pita pockets the day before yesterday, yum! I will post as soon as I get the pics to work. After I made those, I made a loaf of bread and then some breakfast burritos for supper and when Nathan got home, he walks in and says "It smells soooo good in the hallway" (of the apartment building). Thinking he'd say something about the smell of the bread or compliment me on supper, he follows it with "The neighbors are making blueberry muffins!" I guess ya can't win 'em all :)

I will wait for a few more mins for the pics.....no luck...sorry, will have to wait til next week! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

selection day

Here is what we did today:

Started at 8:30am with a meeting at the plumbers place to pick out tubs, faucets, sinks, etc.


To cabinet guys place to discuss cabinets, colors, style, etc.

To flooring place to pick out carpet, laminate & vinyl.

To the lumber company to pick out siding-soffit-facia colors, door styles, front door, other exterior doors, trim size and style, railing, door knobs, and shingles.

Drove around to check out homes to get ideas on colors for stucco and stone.

Went to pick out our garage door and opener

Went to paint place to pick out stain color for doors and trim and look at paint color options

Went to appliance store to pick out appliances--fridge, range top, oven, microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer, & a chest freezer

Drove out to land to check out the house and see if the guys made any progress!! Here's what we saw.....

Front of the house....Nathan's standing in the garage.


Our view out of the window in the living room


Looking at the master bedroom


Back of the house...getting dark out!


View into living room, dining, kitchen area

Friday, October 22, 2010

grasshoppers

(My pics for this post are not loading...surprise, surprise...so I will continue to work at it and when they do, I will be sure to share! So sorry it's not as 'exciting' without pictures...haha :)

Sorry, sorry, sorry!! I do have great intentions to blog more often, it just doesn't seem to happen!! For example, last night I was all ready to blog. "I'm going to get caught up!" I thought. Well, when it was time to sit down, I started helping Nathan with his workbooks and an hour and a half later, it was time to go to bed! So I didn't get any blogging done but I can identify and name most all of the lineman's tools! :) I do have to say that he got a score of 100% on both sections I worked with him on...so I might just have given myself another job each night :)

So obviously the big thing around here still is the building of our house!! It is hard to be away from the construction site, only because we cannot see it whenever we want to! Our builder does do a great job of sending us pictures, almost everyday so that has been awesome. My dad was also out there the other day and he took a few pics so they were nice to see. The process has been going great, only one surprise so far. The water level in the ground was up a lot higher than we had expected and that left us with no choice but to raise the level of the house. They hardly had to dig at all to make our look-out rambler, which means they will have to fill in a ton in the front of the house to make the front of the house underground. For example, when looking at the block on the front of the house, you can see an opening that a window is supposed to go in. It looks as though it would be the level of a normal window, but that specific window is an egress window!! We are super excited to go and see it next week!..it should be mostly framed by then!

The kids and I have been loving the beautiful weather as we try and make it out on a walk every day. We usually walk to the grocery store or the dollar store, which are right next to each other. It's fun to just walk through the dollar store but I did have to threaten yesterday that if I heard "mom, can we get this?" one more time, we wouldn't be going back to the store for a long time. :) In order to get to the store, we need to walk through town and then we take a walking path which takes us almost right to the grocery store. While we are on the walking path, we usually see tons of grasshoppers. Yesterday the kids decided that they wanted to catch the grasshoppers so we brought a glass jar and caught about 8 or 9 grasshoppers! They saved them until Dad got home and then they let them go outside :)

Puzzles are another thing we continue to keep busy with! The kids LOVE puzzles! Tiernan will sit for hours and put puzzles together...yes, my Tiernan :) Brayan can do 25 piece puzzles without help, Caedmon has 'graduated' to doing 100 piece puzzles by himself (a Toy Story one in particular :) and Tiernan flies through the 100 piece puzzles, even putting together 200 piece ones with little supervision! I love the kids loving puzzles!...great eye-hand coordination skills, attention spand skills, trial and error skills, and they are QUIET! But the down size is that they are a pain if they don't get put away properly. Just a minute with a little sister playing in the puzzles can create a days worth of work putting them back in their correct boxes and counting all the pieces, esp if you have over 20 100 piece puzzles...not that I would know anything about that!! ;)

Nathan fixed the other side of our couch...remember the recliner on one side didn't work? Yeah, it works now! So our $50 couch from the garage sale has 2 recliners and we love it!

I am almost done building my website for my business and once I think I have it mostly complete, I will share it with you! We are super excited about it and we hope to be a blessing to people! Along those same lines, I am still sooooooo excited to go to Dave Ramsey's counselor training one day. It didn't work out this fall to go b/c we up-and-moved right before the training and since we live a little farther from Tennessee now and I can't just drive there as quick as I could before, it'll take a little more planning. But I WILL GO! In the meantime, I continue to help and advise those to contact me through email and once we are settled in our home, I plan on being able to meet with them as well! I get so excited when I see people starting to win with money, it's such a blessing! By the way, I think I've mentioned it before, but if you have an iphone, you can get Dave's free app and listen to certain calls and get your daily fix of 'what would Dave do' without having to listen to his radio program :) I love it!

Next week when we go home, we will also be winterizing our camper and putting it in storage for the winter time. Come spring, we will take everything out of it (because we'll finally have a place to put everything!), clean it up real nice, and will be putting it up for sale. If you, or someone you know, is in need or want of a super nice 5th wheel, let me know!! I seriously have not seen another camper with as nice of a layout as our camper! I've looked at a lot of them online, even the brand new 2011s and it seems as though most of them are still made with the ugly blue and gray typical 'camper' decor! I can't believe it! Ours is beautiful neutral earth tones! Another thing is the height of our ceiling. Most campers have a lower ceiling, making it feel a lot smaller inside. Ours has a super high ceiling, making it feel really spacious! And one last thing that I think is truly unique with our RV is the kitchen layout. The campers I see online or in person always have the kitchen sink in the corner with about 3 inches on one side of it and then the stove on the other side, leaving you with ZERO counter space. The way our kitchen is with everything along the wall leaves you with a ton (in rv standards!) of counter space on the end! So anyway, if know of someone who is interested, let me know! :)

Well, it's time to make lunch....ya know because it's been a whole 14 minutes since my kids have eaten...and they are starving!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

construction zone

The start of our home!!




Can't wait to see it in person!

Monday, October 11, 2010

cops were called

So I figured it was about time I made myself do a post :)

It's not that I don't want to do a post, it's just that I seem to never have time to do one. And when I do have time, I have better things to do...like sleep :) Plus I have a horribly slow connection so it makes for posting pictures etc a struggle because I have to wait forever for them to load. So anyway, that's why it's been so long.....sorry if ya missed me :)

So LOTS has been happening lately around here....Here is the low-down....

1) OUR HOUSE IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING BUILT!!! YAY!!! FINALLY!!! We broke ground last Friday and construction is under-way! When I go home in a couple weeks, I'll be sure to take picture of the progress thus far and post them. We are so excited to have our house, it's still weird to think that it's actually happening!

2) Nathan is getting more used to his work. He is learning alot and after working 98 per week, they have decided to "drop" the hours to "only" 7 days a week, 12 hour days....instead of 14. 12s is still alot, but WAY better than 14. Instead of 6am to 8pm, he is now working 7am-7pm. It helps that it's light out when he starts working. He's got his first class tomorrow that he needs to drive to the cities for. We'll see how that goes tomorrow.

3) Here's the story of our first run-in with the police because of our kids... So a few days ago the boys were playing outside on this giganic pile of huge boulders they have behind the apartment building. Since I don't really like them on there because Nathan hasn't checked out the safety of it yet, I went outside with them to tell them to come down until Daddy says it's safe. They said okay and came down and we went to play by our patio door. While I went inside for a couple mintues, I heard a car door shut. Since we live on a dead end road, there is no reason for anyone to park outside our door so I immediately went to the door to see who it was. A cop. A police car was parked outside with a policeman walking up the grassy area to our patio door. I went outside to greet him and he said he got a call that some kids were on the rock pile. I said they were mine and that I told them to stay off until Dad checked it out. He didn't really care about the kids being on there, he was just answering a call. As we were chatting, a lady drove up, got out of her car, walked up, introduced herself to the cop and said she was the one that place the call and then looked at me and said in the nastiest voice "That is a dangerous place! They could loose their leg...or die!" And then she walked away! The cop looked and me and shugged his shoulders. He waited for her to leave and then said "I think she was a little more upset about it than I am". I told him I would keep the kids off but they were just being boys who like to climb anything high. He answered me "Oh, I hear ya...I've been there. Have a good day". So yeah...my 4 and 5 yr olds are already getting in trouble with the cops...it's definitely time to be out in the country! (To add to the trouble the kids are getting us in...the manager said today in passing that she's heard from the main guy that the guy who mows the lawn keeps mowin over rocks that are outside our patio door and it's ruining his equipment!. Oh geez...well, pick up the rocks first! What can I say...My boys like to climb and they like rocks. I guess I will have to keep them inside....Is our house done yet?! :)

4) We were getting closer to telling people that we were expecting our next child but last Thursday night I miscarried baby #6. It was early in the pregnancy, only in the start of my 6th week. Everything is back to normal and I feel great so that is a blessing. I was a little disappointed though as I was looking forward to having an late spring/early summer baby! Plus, my good friend Meggan is also pregnant and our due date were only 11 days apart. But we can rejoice knowing that baby #6 has joined our baby #2 in the presence of the Lord and that we will meet both of them one day!

5) There's also been something else that I have been working hard on but I'm going to keep it a secret until it gets a little closer. I'll just say that it's a business that I am going to be starting once we have the house and it's our hope that we can one day get "Daddy home" so he doesn't have to work on the road! So more to come on that later!

Well, I think that's all for now. I'm watching the Vikings, kind of, in the background as I type this but it's pretty pathetic. We now have Moss back on the team so they were supposed to do so well with Favre, Moss and Peterson but it's 9-0 Jets....not lookin' so hot for the Vikes. Nathan's going to bed so I better head too. Hope to update sooner than later and with some pics next time!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

tub time

Here is the pic that I tried to post last time about the kids doing their school work :)


And Ariella thought that she should play in the tub....with water in it....with her clothes on.... I remember that there is a picture of myself about her age sitting in the tub, with the water, with my pajamas on....guess what goes around comes around, huh?? :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

98 hours

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who is willing to work hard to provide for his family!! This job that he is currently on has the hardest hours he's worked yet, and if you've been following my blog for quite some time, you'd know that he's had some tough hours before! This job is schedule for 6 days a week, 14 hours a day. If that wasn't enough, he said last night that he heard they were working Sunday and could be going to 7 days. That's 84 hours a week currently and 98 hours a week if he works Sundays too. That's two full time jobs and a part time one to boot! They start at 6am and get done at 8pm. He's got just enough time to get home, shower, eat, read the kids a story (the ones who are still up) and get to bed. Oh yeah...but then there is all his books, workbooks and exams to study for. Ugh..good thing it's supposed to only go until February!

Here are some pictures from recently:

At the hotel


The poles and building at Nathan's climbing school


Snugglin' with Gma Barb after bath


The moving trailer, which had tons of room left inside...and the kids helping unload it


Family picture on Saturday


The $50 garage sale couch


All doing some school work yesterday morning :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

new home again.

Sorry to keep everyone hanging!! We survived the last day at the hotel and traveled back up to my parents house for about a week. Then we moved where Nathan is working.....in....southern MN! We are just minutes from the Iowa border where he is working in a substation for the wind towers. Since it is a little over 3 hours from our 'home', we decided to get an apartment down here so Nathan could be close to work and so we could live with him while our house is being built.

So here we are, in a brand new apartment building in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. Yes, it's only a 2 bedroom and yes, they 'broke' the rules for us, but to us....it feels like a castle!! It's AMAZING how much space we feel like we have! I can't even imagine what the house will feel like! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how much space I have in my kitchen and CANNOT get over how much room I have in my fridge! I could actually get ALL the groceries I wanted (or needed) at the store without having to think about if it would fit or not! ie) I could get the BIG container of the sour cream rather than the little tiny ones all the time! :) It's the little things that like that make me excited :)

We are on the main level, with a patio door facing no neighbors. All our other windows face the river, and the apartment across the hall is vacant. It actually is a nice set up.

Again, my parents helped us move and get settled. I'm not sure what I would do without them when it comes time to moving, they've always been such a big help. Thank you mom and dad for all your time and hard work!! Each time we move, our trailer/truck that we move in gets smaller and smaller. This time we used a 5x8 enclosed trailer and we had a ton of room still in it. All we brought was our bed (box spring and mattress) and then a bunch of totes...not much of anything else. We use a card table and chairs for our dining room table, ariella sleeps in a pack n play, and the boys are each on a blow up mattress we are borrowing from my parents. Works out great!

Yesterday I happened to stop by a garage sale and at the last second I saw a couch they had for sale. Long story short, I bought it, we took it apart, put it in the van and brought it home! It's super comfy, matches well, and has 2 recliners on the end! (although we still need to get one to work...stuck or something) but for $50 it does the job well. Then I picked up a lamp at Walmart and a little tv stand at family dollar and our place is furnished! :)

No pictures this post, I need to load them off my camera. Just wanted to update everyone saying that we are here and that yes, we did survive the flooding down here. Although my parking spot right outside our patio was taken when I got home from the store by a sandbag and plastic wall...but thankfully it was never actually needed. The water started going back down today.

Anyway, all for now!

Friday, September 17, 2010

one. more. day.

It's finally Friday and we have one...more...day...here at the hotel. Whew. At least we've been getting a good nights sleep since we feel like we are sleeping at home. If you remember that we stayed at a Fairfield Inn hotel on our way out to VA last winter and slept so well that we bought the mattress?? So we have a marriott mattress in our camper, which is the same mattress that we are sleeping on now...so no waking up all sore and tired from the hotel beds!! sweet deal!

What we've also enjoyed here is that we are right next to the airport, which makes for some pretty sweet looking take-offs and landings. Watching planes has got to be one of my favorite things to do...always has been...just don't make me get on the plane :)

Nathan passed climbing school yesterday which was a huge relief to him so he didn't have to think about it anymore. The only test he has left is passing pole-top rescue which didn't seem like a big deal to him. 3 out of the 10 guys in his class are gone due to 2 dropping out and 1 getting injured the first day of class. So today is the big day that we find out where he will be working next week!!

Will it be in southern mn? Will it be around the cities? Will it be around our 'home turf'? My Grandpa thinks he'll get sent up to Baudette since there are some lineman working up there, but Nathan says he'll quit if he's sent there...hehe...just kidding, he probably wouldn't quit...but Baudette isn't exactly where we want to live. I would just like to keep Baudette in my mind as a nice little town we'd drive through on our way to Grandmas and Grandpas :)

So for now I sit and wait for the call or text from Nathan telling me of our next location....

With all that said, we still are pretty sure we are going to be building our house this fall regardless of where the job is. This will give us a central locale for the family and by the time the house is finished Nathan will probably be on a different job anyway. Plus it gets us started on our dream of getting the development going. So needless to say, we are very excited and can't wait to finally be in a house that is ours!!




So sweet...when they are sleeping :)