Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kinship Group Road Rally

This past Friday our kinship group along with another kinship group from our church participated in a Road Rally. We had a list of things we had to take pictures of our group doing or at least one person of our group and each thing earned us a certain amount of points. We were separated into 4 groups, first by kinship group and then by men and women. We had 1 hour to do as many things as possible. Here are some pictures of our funfilled night!

Who won, you ask? Well, Team Hall did (that would be us) with a very large majority coming from the Ladies! Not to brag or anything. Of course, it was largely due to our expert driver Kristi. She is pictured above in the Fireman's Uniform.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bathroom Renovation Update

Do you remember back in January when my bathroom looked like this?

Then we tore it all apart and it looked like this.

We aren't completely done and if you know how our family works with projects, it may never be completely done. Here is what we have so far.

We still need trim done, towel racks hung, I need to pick out a mirror yet and the medicine cabinet needs to be put in the wall. We are getting there!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's been a while since I have posted a "randomvis." In case you are wondering what that is, it's randomness changed to fit our family. Now that you know what it is, you are thinking, "Wow, that's cheesy!" Why, yes it is. Deal with it!

I thought I'd give you a little update on Brad for once. Besides work and his random painting around the house, he plays in a church basketball league in the winter. This past Monday was his last game. In the words of Isaac that night, "Mom, I have bad news. Dad did not win the championship." After many of years of his team winning, I believe this is the second year in a row that they lost the championship. But that's still not too shabby for a bunch of guys in their mid-thirties. Plus they only had 6 guys due to injuries. Now that he is done with that, as I type this he is at his first softball game of the season. We are hoping for lots of cold warm Thursday nights so we  don't have to go can go and enjoy some softball games because the kids love to play in the dirt watch their dad play.

Last night the kids had their last night at AWANA and we were able to watch hundreds of children sing and praise God. It was a beautiful sight and sound! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of them because they were on completely opposite sides of the stage. For all of you who know how much Joshua has hated programs in the past, he did awesome! He was up there singing his little heart out and doing all the motions. I think it is safe to say he has grown out of his fear. Joshua, Alexandra and Amanda are excited to graduate Cubbies and next year be in Sparks.

Here is a picture of them at the end of the night with their friends Brooke and Brayden.

As for me, we had a little mishap with the pool last week and I have been on the search to figure out what needs to done and what the problem was. The mystery has finally been solved and it's not good. Basically, to make a long story short the pool needs to come down and then be put back up again. Since Brad has a lot on his plate with work and about 15 other things he is trying to get done around the house, I have volunteered to take on this project. I watched it go up last year, surely I can do it myself. I hope! Today, I started taking some of the pieces apart. It was taking me a little while to figure it out and Joshua comes over and says, "Mom, you got a long ways to go." Thanks for the encouragement! My neck is already sore too! I will keep plugging away and for anyone that is willing to come and help me I will give you a one year membership free. This means you can come everyday and sit by the pool and enjoy it for one year! If I like you, I might make it longer. If you would like the longer version of this story, I will tell it to you later.

Thankfully though, I got these beautiful tulips at Jewel yesterday for only $4. Tulips are my favorite flower and there was one last bunch just waiting to come home with me. They lift my spirits every time I walk into the kitchen, so I thought I'd share them with you.

And lastly, I excited to announce that we finally have a family vacation planned for May! We are going to be heading to Florida where it will probably be scorching HOT! But I don't care.  Brad's parents have a place down there that we can stay at and we will be sitting around doing nothing for a week. I hope to visit a few places that I went to as a kid, like the Flea Market and the Mixon's Orchard. It will be nice to just relax and hang out as a family.

I'm done now. Now that you know all about my exciting boring life, you can go back to your  boring exciting life. If I'm not on here too much in the next few weeks, you know that I am busy fixing a pool and planning for my week of vacation. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Home Projects

Are you sick of the pictures of my boys helping their dad paint yet? Well, I hope not, because I have another one for you. You might as well get used to it because I have a lot around here to get painted and my boys LOVE helping their dad!

This time they are actually staining, not painting.

Their clothes are ruined and they had stain all over themselves. Even had spots all over their face. Since this was on a Saturday I was trying to find a way to get it off so they didn't have to go to church with it. I ended up searching the internet and found that baby oil helps. I didn't have baby oil, so I searched some more and found that you can also use olive oil. It did the trick. What did moms do before the internet?

The bad thing is, we have a pretty big back yard and they've barely touched the fence. I will be scrubbing stain off the boys at least a few more times. Don't worry, I won't post pictures every time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

I love spring, so much to be thankful for as we walk out the door. It's hard to not have a smile on your face as you walk out the door and enjoy God's creation. The colors, the sunshine, the warmth.......

355~ tulips

356~ dandelion bouquets

357~ a breeze blowing my hair

358~ blue skies with big white puffy clouds

359~ flowering trees and their wonderful scent

360~ a healthy new neice

361~ big flower hair clips

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Change In Plans

Today the kids and I headed out to Orland Park to pick up a check. On our way out there the kids asked where we were going. I told them we had to go to that place again that we went a few weeks ago to pick up a check, "remember the building, it was kind of tall and we had to go up the elevator?" Oh, they were so excited. A conversation then followed about who got to press the buttons to go up and down. You know, the important stuff when riding an elevator.

We decided that one kid got to press the button to open the door, one for the floor and then again the same on the way down. This allowed everyone to press the button once.

Of course when we got in the building someone was just getting in the elevator so the door was open for us and then he was standing in front of the buttons, so he just pressed the button for the floor for us. I knew this was going to be a problem, but I just didn't want to ask him to move out of the way so one of my kids could press the button.

When we got to the sixth floor, of course they were wondering who would get to press the buttons on the way down. Alex and Joshua asked first so I told them they could. Isaac did not like this. He was pouty in the office and then when we left to go down and he didn't get to press any buttons the temper tantrum started.

As we got in the elevator, two men followed us in. I asked if they really wanted to join us, they politely replied that they both had kids and understood. I explained the situation and they knew how traumatic this could be in a kids life.

As we got out on the first floor, the tantrum only escalated as he refused to walk to the car, I grabbed him by the arm and pulled him with me. He did not like this and he also did not like the reaction he was getting from all of us. We were laughing. I knew he was going to get disciplined and was not in the least bit embarrassed, it was just one of those moments that you have to take in stride and just laugh about it. As I drug him to the car, he decided to bite me. He was immediately told what would happen as far as discipline when we got home.

As I drove away though I began to think about it. Why did he do this?

The plans changed. We had it all mapped out what we were going to do, but the plans just changed and he didn't like it.

Sound familiar?

I'm not talking about Isaac anymore.

Sometimes it's hard as a parent because we have to discipline for things that we know our behavior is exactly the same. What do I do when my plans change? Do I take it in stride? Sometimes, but most of the time I throw a temper tantrum. Not in the way that my 4 year old son does, but in my own way not accepting God's plan and wanting my own plan. You see, I'm a planner. I'm not good with plans changing either.

Yesterday, I looked out the window and all the water in my pool was leaking out. Needless to say, I did not accept the change of plans in my life the way I should have. I had just gone to get prices on the deck for the pool the day before. I wanted to have the deck put up and our new patio done and sitting by my pool by the end of May. This threw a monkey wrench in MY plans.

I cried. If I were in a parking lot, I might have been making a scene. Thankfully I was not.

Yes, God calls us to discipline our children when they are not obeying and not acting in a that they should be but I think it's also a good time to look at ourselves and remember that we are no different than they are. We are sinners saved by grace and we commit the same sins as they do over and over again.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another First

I think they tell you to bring your children to the dentist when they are 2 or 3. Joshua, Alex and Amanda are 5 1/2 and have never been to the dentist. They need to go now before they start school so I set up appointments for the whole family, one person each month. (that means for the next 4 months you get to see pictures of kids in a dentist chair, aren't you excited!)  I despise making dentist appointments so much that it was on my list for about 3 months before the appointments were made.

Today Alex had her first dentist appointment.

She did so good! I was so proud of her! She was very excited at the end when she got to pick out a sticker, a toothbrush, got her own toothpaste and got a little timer.

The most important thing, NO CAVITIES!
I think those are my 2 favorite words to hear when I'm there.

And thankfully the other 3 played quietly by themselves in the waiting room!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Some More Awesome Deals!

Last week my sister emailed me a coupon for Kmart for $10 off a $20 purchase. I wasn't sure if it was real just because a couple weeks ago I had seen one on a blog and then a few days later it was said that it wasn't for this area. When I talked to her Saturday she said she had used it 6 times! I decided to give it a shot. They also had double coupons last week, making for some really awesome deals! When I went there everyone was using these coupons. I think I will be shopping at Kmart a lot in the near future.

This was my first transaction.
Sandals on sale 6.99 each
Tampons after double coupon 1.59
Conditioner after coupon FREE
Pull-Ups after coupon 5.99
Take off $10
Total $12.65

This was my Second Transaction.
Sandals 6.99
Toothbrushes after coupon FREE
Bath mat 5.99
Toilet Bowl Cleaner after coupon 1.29
Pledge after coupon 2.00
Old English Furniture Polish 2.49
Take off $10
Total $9.69

I made another trip there today and all the sandals I bought Saturday are now $12.99 each!

Of course double coupon week is over, but you can still take advantage of the $10 off $20 until May 22, 2010. This coupon is only for the Chicagoland area and if you live in Indiana the only store you can use it at is the St. John store. I have tried to somehow get a link on this post but it is a pdf and I can't figure it out. If you would like this coupon, please email me and I will forward it on to you. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cleaning House

I've been trying to get my spring cleaning done. So far I have the whole upstairs done. Now I have the main floor and the basement left.

I have been in a pitching mood. When I did the girls room, I got rid of about half of their toys.

First, I dumped a bunch of toys on the floor.

Closet before.

Closet after.

And then, here are some more after pictures.

Of course, as you can imagine, it no longer looks like this. At least I now have proof that it did at one time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Humble Gratitude for What He Has Done

"that Christ died for our sins in accordance to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." I Corinthians 15:3,4


Scriptures fulfilled

the body which was broken

the blood which was shed

His nail scarred hands

He suffered for me, an unworthy sinner!

It is finished!

He is a king not of this world.

He is Risen!!!

He's Alive!!!

Death has been conquered!

The stone which was rolled away.

"Truly this man was the Son of God!" Mark 15:39

He lives in me!

The cross and all that was accomplished!

A loving Father who went His son to die in the place of me!

holy experience

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stuffed Animals

Yesterday I was laying in bed awake, just had not gotten up yet, when I heard little steps come into my room. I open my eyes.

Isaac says, "Mom I did not come to sleep with you, I came to check if Dad slept with Ruff, Ruff."

He's on to us.

Every night the kids have all their different beanie babies, their webkinz, and blankets that they sleep with. As I make my rounds, I often end up with blankets and stuffed animals that they are all nice enough to share with us. We humor the kids and bring them upstairs to our room. I've learned to make sure they get in the bedroom because we have left them on the stairs a few times and the kids get upset that we forgot to sleep with their animals.

Isaac apparently has figured out that we aren't always sleeping with his things.

When he said this, I replied, "Oh, they are right here next to me on the floor. We made a special bed for them to sleep in down here."

He was happy with this response and I gave him the animals. He took a couple and set the rest up in our bed.