Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I am Reading...

I fiinished the book, The Girl who Played with Fire. It is the second in the trilogy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As I shared before, I did not read the first book, but went and saw the movie (very good but very rough to watch at times.) I really enjoyed reading the second book. It started out with several different things going on, which I found frustrating, but everything was put together and tied up by the end. So now I am reading the third book in the series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I am really bummed there won't be any more books in the series due to the author's untimely death.

My most favorite book of all time is Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth. I haven't read it for many years and have been pondering with the idea of reading it again. And if you have Starz, the movie channel, you can watch the mini-series of the book, which started on Friday, July 23!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Cry for Help...

So, I am watering my plants the other day and notice a little note in one of them ...
Hmmm..I wonder who helped my little plant write this?? The plant is now in the front window with plenty of sunlight. Hopefully, I will get a note that shares how happy it is now!

Monday, July 26, 2010

East Side...

Here is a look at the east side of the house...
This is a view on how it looked before getting ready for the remodeling...
We had to cut down the tree so the builders could do the siding, but also, the tree had started to rot the wood around the middle, or kitchen, window. We need to remove the cement steps under the french doors, but Jason has been putting that off. Why? He is nervous about what might be living under the step. With all the noise the builders have been creating, I think whatever might have been under there is long gone!! We are removing the french doors and making them into large windows. The kitchen window will be completely removed, which will make sense to all when we do the kitchen!
Here the builders have removed the siding from the lower level.

Overall, things have gone well. Jack did state Thursday morning, "I cannot get any peace and quiet in this house. I need to talk to the builders to hold the noise down a bit." In reality, we are usually gone during the day, so the hammering hasn't gotten to us yet...but we still have many more weeks to go!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chimney Removal...

As shared in yesterday's blog, the chimney was removed from the house. Here you can see the official removal of the fireplace from the living room.

The boys enjoyed live entertainment while eating their lunch... made by their nanny. (Guess lunch isn't always homemade!)
Gone and done. This is how the fireplace looks at this time...unfortunately...
The removal of the chimney exposed some large areas of Carpenter ants, so my pest control guy made an early morning visit to spray the large, black, crawly things. Good news though, the builders checked for structural damage and everything seems ok. The builders believe that the holes in the siding, from the woodpeckers, was the problem and now that those boards are removed, the ants should be eradicated! (A word I learned from my pest man!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

North Side Update...

Today is the fourth day of our remodeling project, so I will share the progress so far...needless to say, it has been in interesting times.
Here is a picture of the house, on the North side, before we started anything...
Here you can see that we removed the trees that were up by the house...this is a good thing. The trees had actually rotted some of the siding and could do so to the new siding. The white holes are where woodpeckers had pecked at the house.
On the first day, the builders removed the lower level of the siding (they also removed the siding on the east side) and put in the first new window!! Sam was so impressed how far he could see.
At the end of the third day, the chimney was gone. The large silver thing at the bottom of the scaffolding is the fireplace from inside the house. It took four men to put it into a wheelbarrow and move it to our giant dumpster.
Did you know that the end of the dumpster has a door on it so you can open it and wheel the wheelbarrow right in! Very handy!! Oh, the things I have learned in such a short week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Despicable Us...

Went to see the movie Despicable Me...loved it!!
At the movie theater, they had an awesome poster of Gru and the minions. Just had to get a picture of the boys with the movie stars!!
Sam and the minions.
Sam with Gru...
Jack and the minions...
Jack and in the same, almost!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First "Mini"-Disaster...

So, Monday we got our deliveries, including our wood. The delivery man attempted to drive down our lane, but decided not to - afraid that he was going to go off the asphalt and tear up the yard. That was nice of him. He brought down the first load with a separate "driver thing." Then he was off to get the next load. He didn't show for a bit and then Waste Management delivered the large dumpster. Shorty after they left, here came the lumber delivery man...walking and says, "Well, that last load will be awhile...I got stuck at the top of your lane."

"Uh oh," I thought, "What will the neighbors think??" So I walked up to the truck, along with our builder, to check out the damage. (I sure wish I had my camera, but didn't think it would be the right thing to do at the time. ) What happened was that the delivery man pulled over about 2 feet so Waste Management could get by and his front left tire sunk into the ground...all the way to his axle. He had to call a tow truck. Meanwhile, our neighbors pull into their driveway, after being away for the weekend. Nice homecoming...huh! (Lucky for us, they were very nice about the situation. ) All ended well, the tow truck came and got the delivery truck out, the delivery man delivered the rest of our lumber and I got a few AFTER pictures! The grass looks horrible, which the driver assured us that they will fix, but...oh my!

This is where the front wheel of the delivery truck sank...I asked Jack to stand in the hole. You can see how happy he was about offer. He was SO CRABBY all day on Monday.
(I asked him to go get dressed earlier in the day...he came back down with a DIFFERENT pair of pjs. I didn't say a word.)
Then I asked Sam to stand in the hole. He did so AND asked how I would like him to stand...he is so dreamy!! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Remodeling Day 1...

The remodeling has officially started. Unfortunately, the rain delayed any work that was to be done yesterday, but that did not stop the deliveries!
The first delivery was an extremely large dumpster.
All of our new windows were delivered. this is the large bay window that will go in the front room. I am so excited about the windows...they fold in for easy cleaning! WOW!!
And this is half of our lumber and siding.
We are so excited to see our plan coming together! We are bummed about the rain and the threat of rain through Wednesday, but that is all part of remodeling (so I've heard.)

The lumber delivery, did present a problem...tune in tomorrow!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Belding Bike Rides...

We take the boys on bike rides, but I don't have a bike that works and Jack doesn't like to ride his bike. So, Jack likes to share his ride with Jason and walk with me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Butterfly Tree...

I made this butterfly tree the other day. A girl at work created a butterfly tree with pastel papers and a family sentiment, which was my inspiration for this tree.

I used a punch for the butterflies, cut out the trunk free hand and used dictionary pages for the background - which I inked up.

I added some buttons, bling and ink to the butterflies.

I had an old frame that I inked, sanded and then stamped with the word "journey."
Next time, I would use more contrasting colors with the background paper and the butterflies. Overall, I am pleased with the results!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!!

I can't believe that it was 5 years ago when little Jack was born!
Happy fifth birthday, Jack!

(Doesn't my complexion look nice...thanks to photo-shop, I "retouched" my dark circles, wrinkles and loads of blemishes right off my face!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Memory...

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of Sam. He had just turned four and wouldn't get into a pool, but loved his sprinklers! Of course, a snappy pair of goggles always protects the eyes from random sprinkles!

If you look closely, his goggles are on upside down. I have to laugh, because Jack is wearing those swim trunks this summer and his ears are always sticking out to the side, just like Sam's, with his this!

Monday, July 12, 2010


My boys love their Aunt. She plays legos with them, she takes them out to eat, she draws cool pictures with them, she will play in the rain, sun or mud, she has cool contests like "Who Can Touch the Fish in the Pond First" and "Pizza and Burps." My boys love her...she's awesome.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Frogs in the Fountain...

Thought I would share some shots of the frogs in the fountain...but not a picture of the dead one!
All of these little guys were successfully saved.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Busy Blogger...

Haven't blogged for a bit...we have been busy getting ready for the renovation...which starts on MONDAY!! Our builders will start with the windows, then the siding - this will take about two weeks to complete. So we have been busy trimming trees and removing a few trees so they guys can get to the siding. Our builder also suggested taking items off the walls...there will be a lot of hammering!

We have also been very busy with the frogs/tree frogs at our house! We have 5-6 that live in our window well. We leave those alone. There have been several that have gotten in the garage and chasing them out has been a bit of a challenge...they can hop fast and far when they want! Unfortunately, we have not been able to rescue them all and we have found some dead dried up ones in the garage. Sam refers to them as little frog statues!

The "main" excitement is fishing the frogs out of the pond each morning. The little guys can't get out of the fountain because the sides are very slick. So, not knowing much about frogs, we fish them out. This morning we "saved" five little guys.
First, you must spot them...if they are not floating on the top, then you must search for them down in the corners of the fountain.
Once spotted, you must try to scoop them up with the net! This has not easy...again, they are fast even in the water!
A successful catch and release. Some of the little guys will jump right off, others just sit there like, "Darn, now I have to try to get in there again!"

Does anyone know...will they lay eggs in the fountain and then we will have a fountain of tadpoles???