Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Give Thanks

Eating my words, and fresh produce
Monday, November 21, 2011
Day 176

You will recall that just before closing on our home we looked at the possibility of getting a new fridge. At the time we were looking at an LG model that was the end all of fridges. 31 cubic feet of storage. LED lighting at the top and the sides. It had all sorts of bells and whistles. And it was expensive. Which is why, in th end, we decided to wait a little longer.

Last Friday we were walking through Lowes and a Samsung fridge caught our eye. We were looking for a connector so we could hook up the BBQ grill and as we walked past appliances we stopped by for a look because of the price tag hanging above this particular model.

It has 95% of the features the LG one had but was $800 cheaper!!!!

We were in a hurry Friday night as we had kids at home waiting for pizza and doughnuts. But we slept on it and Saturday morning we decided we could "settle" for the Samsung because there was such a significant difference in price.

So-we went back and ordered one, and today it was delivered! Just in time to go shopping for Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Day 177

The fact that my husband works for a tech company does, on occasion, have perks. Like the fact that when he gets a new work laptop we get to hang on to the old one. (As long as he remains employed, of course.)

He also occasionally visits the tech "graveyard" for items that have been retired by the company but may still have a little life in them.

And so, Mike's old laptop + 2 old monitors he rescued from the graveyard = Harrison's delight.

He has PBSkids.org playing on on monitor and is watching Dinosaur Train on Netflix on the other.

Try not to be too jealous. The computer runs slow and the monitors are old and the whole set-up is in dire need of some external speakers. But since he's only 4 he thinks it is super-fantastic!

Let the party begin!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Day 178

It was, of course, party day at school. I made a visited each kids' class to see how they were celebrating on this eve of  Thanksgiving.

Day of Thanks!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Day 179

We opted to stay home for Thanksgiving this year. A couple months ago we had discussed making the drive back to Utah for the Holiday but our car is really on it's last leg and so in the end we decided to have our own feast here in AZ.

We kept it small. We cooked just a Turkey breast in the crock pot. I made stuffing from a box and served up Rhodes rolls. None of us like yams so we skipped those altogether. Zoey helped me make a pumpkin pie and a chocolate cream pie and that was it. Small and simple.

We watched the Macy's parade on TV before dinner and put up the Christmas tree after. I even got to take a nap! All in all, not a bad way to spend Thanksgiving.

Black Friday
Friday, November 25, 2011
Day 180

I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. I have zero desire to wake up before the crack of dawn and fight crowds and stand in line just to supposedly save a few bucks. So, instead, we slept in, hung out in our pajamas until after noon and then, since it was 75 degrees, went to the park after lunch.

As we walked to the park Adam and I were making crazy shadows together. This is our super-tall 4-armed monster.

As it started to get dark we ducked into the clubhouse (being a Holiday weekend everybody else was out of town.) At the clubhouse there is an Xbox kinect so we found a fun game the whole family could play together for an hour or so and then headed home and had pie for dinner. I could get used to days like this!

Everybody Loves a Parade
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Day 181

We ventured out to Tempe today for their Festival of Lights parade. We had no idea how crowded it would be or how difficult it would be to find parking so we headed out a little early. Turns out we got there with PLENTY of time to spare. So we enjoyed homemade ice cream at a little local Ice Cream parlor and then the kids colored and played on the ipod while we waited for the parade to begin.

Growing up too fast
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Day 182

Zoey is currently obsessed with the idea of being a teenager. (Don't get me started on how much this frightens me!)

Tonight we went out in the early evening for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Little did I know that Zoey had brought along her phone.

She was walking a few feet behind me and I heard her chatting away about  nothing in particular. I turned to see what she was carrying on about and this is what I saw.

I guess I can't judge her since I obviously had my phone with me as well, proven by the fact that I was able to take this picture of her during our walk.

Life is a Highway

Sick Day
Monday, November 14, 2011

Thus far Zoey has had perfect attendance in kindergarten. Today all that changed. Still congested and lethargic and sniffily I opted to keep her home from school today. This is how she spent most of the day.

sick day

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As Harrison and I walked home from dropping the kids off at school this morning this large beetle crossed our path. I pointed it out to Harrison thinking we would have this great moment of observing nature together and talking about insects and how they have 6 legs, etc. etc.

So he leans down to look at it and I'm feeling like a great mom when all of a sudden he swiftly lifts his foot and stomps on it with all the 4 year old might he can muster.


As I stand there a little shocked he looks up at me and says "It was crawling towards the road and I didn't want it to get run over by a car."

Sweet Serendipity Strikes Again!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A few weeks before we were to move into our new house I found some quilts online that I thought would be perfect for the boys' rooms. They were lightweight and matched all the curtains I bought on clearance at Target and they were on clearance for $12.

But I kept forgetting to order them and when I finally remembered I could no longer find them online. I looked in store for them a couple of times but never saw any so I figured they had clearanced them all out to make room for new merchandise and I was just out of luck. I was super bummed out because they really were perfect, but I got over it. (Mostly)

So imagine my surprise and delight today when I was shopping for something else entirely and I cut down the bedding aisle just to get to the other side of the store and there on the bottom shelf was not 1 but 2 of my longed for quilts.

And the best part? They were now marked down to $7!!!!

And they look fantastic in the boys' rooms!



Pretty in Pink
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yesterday I got the boys' rooms looking good so today I spent some time in Zoey's room. I hadn't put her new bedspread on yet (despite having bought it several weeks before we even moved) and I also wanted to move her bed and dresser to different walls. She was super happy with the finished product when she came home from school today!


My cousin had sent me this link awhile ago and I LOVED the idea, but didn't know when I would have time to take on that kind of project right now. But I still wanted to dress up Zoey's dresser a little, make it a little more girly. So I found these vinyl stickers at Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and I thought why not? If we hate how they look we can peel them right back off.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Today was the PTO Fall Festival.  Sometimes the very thought of attending large crowded gatherings gives me a minor anxiety attack. Seriously. And for whatever reason today I just COULD NOT bring myself to going to a loud, crowded event. I just did not have it in me.

But of course they've been really talking it up at school and the kids were all excited about going. So I had to come up with something REALLY great to do instead. But I was out of good ideas.

So I offered to get pizza, doughnuts, and a movie for tonight, and to come up with a great idea for the next day.


Family Fall Festival
Saturday, November 19, 2011

So time was up, I had talked the kids into giving me a few extra hours to come up with something fun to do in lieu of the Fall Festival at school. So we had our own little Family Festival at home today.

I dug our jumper house out of the garage. (I found this on clearance one year at Walmart. It was an amazing find at 90%, seriously! It's nowhere as big as the ones they had rented for the event at the school, but my kids didn't seem to mind. And I didn't have to buy them a wrist band just to jump for 5 minutes!)

Then we did the doughnut on the string game.


And since one of the main selling points of the school's festival was that a few select teachers were going to get to throw pies in the Principal's face I talked Mike into letting the kids throw pies in his face. (Yes, he was a SUPER good sport!!!!)




Bobsy Twins
Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I got dressed in some nice fall colors: orange and brown.

I walked out of the closet only to find that Mike had had the same idea. He, too, was dressed in orange and brown.

He offered to change so we wouldn't walk into church looking like twiners but I told him that wouldn't be necessary.

Don't we look good together?!?!?!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Insert Clever Post Title Here

Run, Run as Fast as You Can
Monday, November 7, 2011

The kids joined the school's running club, and today was the first day of practice. They basically just meet after school and run around the school yard for 35 minutes. It's non-competitive. They aren't racing each other. They do keep track of their laps from practice to practice and by the end of the year they will have a log of how far they have run.

I love it because it's a free club, and they come home all worn out.


All Dressed Up

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I go volunteer in the kids' classes on Tuesday, which means it's the one day of the week that I have an excuse to get dressed up nicely. So today I was dressed up extra nice (because I didn't have any clean jeans) so I convinced Mike that since I was all dressed up with no place to go......that he should take me some place. I also told him I was dressed up too nicely to cook dinner.

So he took us all out to dinner.


Sweet potato fries and Mango Lemonade. YUM!

Life Sabers
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The kids got a little package in the mail today from grandma. She included some Life Savers.


The kids were ECSTATIC over a handful of breath mints. And they kept calling them Life Sabers.

 My Happy Corner
Thursday, November 10, 2011

I finally got most of the boxes out of the family room today.


Both garages are still full of boxes waiting to be unpacked.....but if I just look at this little corner I can pretend that we are all settled in.

Happy Veterans Day!
Friday, November 11, 2011

Today was Veteran's Day, AND it was 11-11-11. So I was feeling like I really wanted to do something to commemorate the day.

The kids had today off of school and all week they had been talking about how they were going to be out of school for Veteran's Day, and kept reminding me about our Veteran's Day last year. So then I felt obligated.

There was a big parade in Mesa that I was thinking of taking them to, but I since we are still new here I don't really know my way around yet. And honestly I was feeling anxiety at the idea of trying to find an unknown address and finding a place to park and fighting the crowds with 3 kids by myself in unknown territory.

Then the kids got up and two were coughing and Zoey was acting extremely lethargic even though she had just gotten up and I decided to just bag it all and stay home.

Which we did. All day.


Will Somebody Please Take the Garbage Out!
Saturday, November 12, 2011

I think it's obvious that nobody likes to take the garbage out at our house.


I know the Scriptures are True
Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today was the primary program at church. The kids were super excited to be a part of it.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Another month, come and gone

All Hallows Eve
Monday, October 31, 2011

Today it was Adam's turn to do Pumpkin Math at school.

Adam was a little bit more willing then Zoey to touch the gooey pumpkin insides.

He hesitated when I told him to reach down inside the pumpkin but willingly touched and counted seeds once they were outside the pumpkin, even the ones with a little bit of stringy goo still on them.


Halloween was super low key this year. I convinced the kids to wear costumes that we already had kicking around in the dress up box.

We ended up with a Lowes handy man, a Tinkerbell, and a Happy Red James.


We had attended the church "Trunk-or-Treat" on Friday night we skipped trick-or-treating altogether. We had seen an advertisement earlier in the week that kids ate for free at Applebee's on Halloween so we let the kids dress up and we took them to dinner in their costumes. Then we came home and watched Scared Shrekless on Netflix.

Kids were still showered and in bed by 8:00. I could do Halloween this way every year!

Finishing Touches
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The ironworker was behind schedule and the decorative grate wasn't installed on our window before we closed. So today guess who showed up!



Sky on Fire
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We seriously had the MOST BEAUTIFUL sunset tonight. And it was so fun to sit and watch it from our back balcony.


Back to Work
Thursday, November 3, 2011

The kids' teachers don't seem to care that we *just* moved and that we are still mostly living out of boxes so they think it's okay to keep sending home homework. (I know, the nerve, right!?!?!?!)

So after days of putting off Zoey's "Disguise a Turkey" project she told me in no uncertain terms that it was due tomorrow and so we HAD to do it.

Which means I spent an hour trying to unearth art supplies for her. We finally found a few and she disguised her turkey as a Princess so that it wouldn't get eaten as Thanksgiving dinner.


The little "skirt" around the feathers there....made out of bubble wrap-because we have a TON of that hanging around. I know, ingenious.

Not Hot or Ready
Friday, November 4, 2011

I don't like to admit that we all too often revert to Little Caesar's pizza for dinner for the kids. It's easy, it's cheap, and it's the one thing I can serve the kids and NOBODY whines about what's for dinner.

But since we moved to Arizona we have yet to walk in and have our pizza "Hot-H-Ready". We ALWAYS have to wait!

So tonight, as usual, we were waiting for our pizza when I spotted this sign in the corner.

not hot or ready

Inasmuch as we waited 10 minutes for our order (1 cheese pizza and 2 orders of crazy bread) I think they weren't really hitting their mark.

Happy Colors!
Saturday, November 5, 2011

I bought a new quilt for my bed months ago at Target. I found it on super clearance ($12 for a Queen-size quilt!) and I fell in LOVE with the colors!

It helped that I also found the coordinating curtains on clearance as well. I love how happy these colors make my room feel!


Our bedroom in our Utah house was decorated in much darker colors, which I loved a lot, too. But I was also ready to change things up a bit!

I had originally planned to hang 3 individual valances on those 3 small windows above the bed, but the idea for one long curtain rod across the 3 just came to me one night and I went to Target the very next day to try and find a super long curtain rod. As you can see, I was successful in finding one and I am super happy with the way it turned out.

The blue curtain to the right is covering a slider that leads out onto the balcony, an option we paid dearly for, but I am SO loving!

Here comes the dust!
Sunday, November 6, 2011

We had some high winds blow in today, which means a dust storm.

There was some left-over squares of carpet that the carpet layers left out on the back patio just off the slider. After the dust storm rolled through this is what those carpet squares looked like.


Since the carpet is also brown I don't know if you can get the full effect from this picture, but trust me that they are FULL of dirt. Which pretty much makes them totally ineffective as door mats.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Settling In

Let the "nesting" begin
Monday, October 24, 2011

It's funny how you can spend a significant amount of money on a brand new house and then the first thing you do is start making holes in the walls!

After a few days of living in the fishbowl (a house with zero window coverings) I got tired of feeling so exposed all the time and insisted that Mike start hanging the curtains.

So, here they are, the first two holes in my brand new walls.


All Tuckered Out
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The curtain hanging continued today and Mike was working in Harrison's room right before bedtime.

Harrison was so tired he said he couldn't wait for daddy to be done and he climbed up into bed and fell fast asleep, with Mike drilling right about his head!


Let there be light
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Now that the curtains are up in the bedrooms I decided it was time to break from curtain hanging and get some lights up. So here it is, the first ceiling fan. In my bedroom, of course.

Only 7 more to go.....


Little Helper
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harrison really REALLY wanted to water the plants today.


He was so cute that I opted to not tell him that there are drip lines running to all the plants and they are already getting watered each morning.

Pumpkin Math
Friday, October 28, 2011

I want to Zoey's kindergarten class today to help with a fun math project. The kids estimated the weight and circumference of their pumpkins as well as the number of lines on the outside and the number of seeds on the inside.


Then we weighed, measured, and counted seeds to see how close their guesses where. Estimation is a learned skill and kindergartners just don't quite get it yet. Most my group thought our 15 lb. pumpkin was going to weigh 100 lbs. I kept asking them if any had baby brothers or sisters at home and if they could lift their younger sibling. I told them their younger sibling probably weighed 10-20 lbs so they should compare that to how much the pumpkin weighed. But most of them still guessed 100 lbs.

This is how Zoey felt about the gooey insides of the pumpkin.


She was the only one in my group that utterly refused to reach in and pull out some seeds.

Raising Readers
Saturday, October 29, 2011

I finally assembled the bookshelves in the kids' rooms today so I hauled up the boxes of kids books and asked them to work on putting the books on theirs shelves. This one small request took them ALL day because they kept stopping to read the books!


Zoey also had a little pumpkin party today at the home of one of her classmates. She insisted on wearing this dress because "it is pumpkin colored."


She also picked the smallest pumpkin to paint and decorate.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our TV (and all the other related electronics) are currently still sitting out in the garage. But the kids really REALLY wanted to watch a movie tonight.

So we improvised. After searching around a bit I was able to find the little DVD players that we use in the car for long drives.


Who says you need a big screen TV to enjoy a good movie?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home Run

Counting the hours
Monday, October 17, 2011

Today was our final walk through. We are now quite literally counting the hours until we close. I'm ecstatic and stressed all at the same time!

This is the little closing gift our Realtor brought to our final walk through today. She has been amazing!!!!


And that little orange flower on the doormat is going to really bring out our mustard yellow door.

Halloween Nachos
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Since we have been packing things like crazy I don't have much left in the way of cookware. I also haven't done much grocery shopping because I didn't want to have to move a bunch of food. So tonight for dinner we improvised. I had a bag of black and orange corn chips and a jar of pumpkin salsa which were just the right ingredients for Halloween Nachos!


Looks like we made it!!!!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Closing day!!!! We had a signing appointment set up for just after we dropped the older two kids off at school.


But the littlest one had to come with us. Luckily our title agent was prepared with a large tub of toys in the corner of her office.


And, no grass grows under our feet. So shortly after our signing appointment we picked up our U-Haul and got right to work loading it.

The kids were actually quite helpful.



Unfortunately though the final appraisal hadn't actually taken place yet. So they couldn't record so we couldn't get our keys. The appraiser showed up around 3:00 and the builder's agent called us around 6:00 and said we could pick up our keys first thing in the morning.

Welcome Home
Thursday, October 20, 2011

I was able to pick up our keys this morning after dropping the kids off at school, which means the house is now officially ours!!!! (Well, technically the bank's I guess. But as long as we continue to make our payments every month for the next 30 years, THEN it will be ours!!!)

So, the first order of business was, of course, the welcome mat.

Placing the welcome mat was followed by a brief moment of euphoria and giddiness which was quickly replaced by angst because the moving truck was still back at the rental only marginally packed. So I dragged myself back to the rental to help Mike load the truck.

Mike is the master loader and was constantly trying to keep an accurate picture his head of what large items still needed to fit on the truck so he could plan accordingly. So I made him this list and hung it just inside the truck so he would stop asking me what was still left inside.


In our idealized version of this story we were going to sleep at the new house tonight. But if you take a close look at the list above the beds still were not packed by day's end. So, looks like we will be sleeping at least one more night at the rental.

It's not too late!
Friday, October 21, 2011

Today marks day 3 of packing the truck. Okay, to be fair Wednesday wasn't a full day inasmuch as we picked the truck up around 4:00. But still I was already beginning to feel weary. When it's just two of you single-handedly loading all of your belongings onto a truck you quickly begin to realize just how much stuff you actually have! Which is why I kept trying to draw my husband's attention to this friendly sign inside the U-haul.


I repeatedly pointed out the line that says "IT'S NOT TO LATE.....Same Day Service Available"

But he just kept saying that we were tough and we could handle it. So.....I just kept bringing out more boxes, hoping he would eventually come to his senses.

He didn't, by the way. We loaded and unloaded the entire truck alone. Just the two of us. I even helped carry the washing machine up the stairs. And I have now decided that I am never going to move again. Ever.

Old Friends
Saturday, October 22, 2011

I should mention that my Mother-in-law flew down for a few days to help out with the kids while we moved. I do not know what we would've done without her! She was such a huge help!!!!

Today she got the kids started on unpacking some of their toys. My youngest was THRILLED to tear into the box of stuffed animals and find all his long lost friends. (There were a LOT of boxes we never unpacked while at the rental so he hadn't seen these stuffed animals since April.)

He was so excited that he couldn't decide which to sleep with.


My mother-in-law felt bad that she wasn't much help carrying all the boxes so she appointed herself the task of unpacking all the kitchen boxes.


She stayed up WAY too late, long after Mike and I had gone to bed exhausted.

Picture Perfect.....almost
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today was the first day that we were able to actually slow down a bit and I realized that we hadn't yet taken a picture of us all in front of our new home!

So I went across the street and got the shot all set up so I could just hand the camera to my mother-in-law to take the picture. All she had to do was aim and shoot.

Here is how I set up the shot for her.

This is the picture we ended up with.