Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Discombobulated - Day 2

Today was much like yesterday only we handled it better.

Most of the shingles were torn from overhead and only half of the roof needed to be re-sheeted. Jack (the contractor) only fell through the roof in one spot and that was only onto boxes of maternity clothes stashed in my attic. They only found one nest of carpenter ants.

All in all I think we could count it as a good day.

It's going to take awhile to get out of School Mode for some of my kids.

I found this one timing how long he could sit on the swing without touching the ground...Talk about discombobulated! I told him 18 minutes was too long to do Nothing and suggested he start cleaning the pool.

It wasn't long before he started to enjoy the process and he warned me, "I might want to take this job away from Dad."

"You guys will have to settle that without me." My standard answer for any squabbles about chores.

Discombobulated - Day 1

It's a good thing we started our summer schedule this week. Even I cannot withstand the temptation to watch this.

We've had this project in the works for months and now it's finally happening. We've never had anything but self-inflicted remodeling/construction projects, so I'm not sure how this will affect our daily lives. If today is any indication of future discombobulation...It's gonna be a long summer.

For the little boys it was pretty much business as usual. Except for the restrictions on where they could enter and exit the house and the instructions on which ladders NOT to climb (that would be all of them) it was almost a normal day. It was hardest for them to stay out of the way and not engage the workers in conversation all - the - time. I decided to stay outside with them when I say Jack (the contractor) pushing Isaac on the swing.

We all eventually gravitated outside. It was a lovely day and we had lots of little projects to do. We patched a big hole on the bottom of the pool and watched it fill.

We labeled some books for an upcoming sale out on the picnic table, the boys played catch, and the neighbors stopped by to chat.

I'm thinking the roof will be done by the end of the week...and our bathroom habits can return to normal.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Okay, so I'm wondering.

If 5 of the 7 people who live in our house are "barefeet" and 2 are "clogs".

Why do we have this problem?

Friday, May 16, 2008

We Have a Winner Folks

Oh boy!

I really had a lot of fun hearing from you all.

I must say, the odds were heavily stacked in favor of a small number of you. So, to ensure fairness, we photographed the whole process. Well, most of it anyway...I didn't count the 5am "me, cutting and pasting the comments into my word processor" Are you ok with that?

First we cut out all the entries (95 in all)

Then we folded them and put them in a pretty basket. We were at my mom's visiting with Grandma, so this is at her house. Mom always has pretty little baskets for every occasion. If we would have been at home I would have chosen one of my "That's A Bowl"s from Tupperware. The season of life I now reside in is: Everything Must Be Completely Functional Or It's Outahere" It falls between Diapers and College. I can't see it ending soon.

After a thumb war to decide who the lucky picker outer would be, Hailey reached her hand deep into the basket and picked our winner

The suspense was killing me...

Congratulations Anna! Your $25 Barnes and Noble gift card is on its way. Maybe you can purchase some books about Homeschooling. (ducking now)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What kind of shoe are you?

According to this survey, I'm bare feet, does that mean my feet are my shoes? If you've ever seen my feet you'd probably say yes...

Hey, I have working feet,
I don't need shoes to cross a gravel road.
I would be the last one standing on hot concrete is there was a contest.
I think that's something to be proud of... My husband says he has royalty feet... what.ever.

As an end to my birthday contest take the test and give me your answer in the comment section. I can't wait to see what you get.

You Are Bare Feet

You are a true free spirit, and you can't be tied down.

Even wearing shoes can be a little too constraining for you at times!

You are very comfortable in your own skin.

You are one of the most real people around. You don't have anything to hide.

Open and accepting, you are willing to discuss or entertain almost any topic.

You are a very tolerant person. You are accepting and not judgmental.

You should live: Somewhere warm

You should work: At your own business, where you can set the rules

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

12 Step Program

One of the reservations I had when Matt decided to move the door was the time that would be involved. Matt reassured me that he knew what he was doing...

He still does know what he's doing, he's just taking longer than I anticipated. He's right on schedule in his own mind...

That seems to be a common thread when it comes to my bus posts.

Here's a step by step tutorial (Just in case you're thinking of doing this to your own bus)

Week 1
Step 1:
remove window

Step 2:
Cut down the side of the bus and into the floor.
So far, this is going just as planned

Step 3:
Stand in the new hole and think about all your options.

Step 4:
Invite a really cute 4 year old to sit with you as you ponder all your options.

Step 5:
Take a picture so you can print it out and stare at it as you make lists while laying in bed on weeknights.

Week 2
Step 6:
Did I mention lists? Make lots of lists and order lots of metal for your lovely wife to pick up at Metal Supermarkets. Laugh when your lovely wife tells you about how they say "Matt's order?" when you walk into their showroom.

Step 7:
Take apart old door and weld the two separate pieces into one bus door. contemplate next coarse of action.

Step 8:
Construct metal frame with square metal tubing, add 6 ft long hinge (from previous door arrangement) and temporarily hang door and once again, meditate upon all your options.

Week 3
Step 9:
Order, pick up and meticulously trace and cut sheet metal (using no less than 8-10 saw blades) to fit exactly over welded together door (to make it look nice on the outside). Explain to lovely wife that the inside will covered with bead board (to make it look nice on the inside)

Step 10:
Remove permanently attached hinge from metal frame to accommodate extra thickness acquired from weather stripping and sheet metal thickness.

Step 11:
Rethink all you've done and conclude that it is not the best way. Plan to use sheet metal, square tubing, and windows from old door to construct your very own.

Week 4
Step 12:

He did get a lot of other things done on the inside (while he was analyzing the door situation). But electrical work isn't very exciting. Necessary but not exciting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Business of Dandelions

I pay 1 penny for each dandelion the little boys pick from the yard. Usually, in the spring, this keeps them occupied for a day or two.

This year, Sam (6) has taken it to the next level...He goes outside, he tells me, "to do dandelion business...Isaac, wanna come?"

Their domain is our yard and the two yards to the west of us. If I let them, they'd do the whole block. It's getting to be quite a profitable little enterprise. They talk about, as we ride in the car, "I wonder if those people would let us pick their dandelions?"

Although I did overheard Sam telling Isaac (4) "No, not the stems, just the flowers...that way they'll grow back." Maybe I should up the ante and pay only for roots.

Last weekend, Grandpa paid out over 3 dollars as a result of our visit.

At church they spent their money on hot chocolate and blueberry muffins and would have purchased me a Mother's Day rose but they ran out of cash.

I'm sure the dandelion stains will come out of their shirts which they use to carry their treasures, and I'm sure the dirt will come out from underneath their fingernails, but I hope this memory...the two of them working together...will stain their hearts forever.

Who says weeds are not beautiful.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


A few weeks ago the big kids attended the Prom. Hailey's 2nd, Hayden's 1st. She spent weeks preparing, finding shoes, making hair appointments, I sewed a shrug and purse to match her dress. Hayden informed me on THE Friday morning he might need a new shirt and "oh yeah, I guess I'll need a tie."

We stopped at Steve and Barry's on the way home from depositing Hailey at the local beauty school with a gaggle of other girls. Hayden expressed his confusion about the momentousness of the event. Preparing for him involves brushing his teeth and changing his underware. I didn't try to explain it to him. There's still time.
He did help out on the decorating committee and it turned out beautiful. The waterfall needed to be turned off because of a leak, but the fish were unharmed by the incident.
Since all our home school teen group functions are non - dating events the entire group met at a restaurant to start the festivities. The kids started out the night with a ballroom dance lesson and then pictures were taken. Half way through the evening the boys disappeared from the dance floor. The girls knew the boys were up to something and planned their retaliation.

Moments later the boys appeared with bouquets of roses and presented one to each girl in attendance.
Needless to say the girls never carried out their sinister plan.

And, I think, Hayden got a clue.

What a wonderful example of chivalry.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Meet Indiana James

Each morning my little guy wakes up as some one new. Indiana Jones, James Bond and Brett Favre are a few of his favorite characters. I love that about 4 year olds. One particularly cranky morning he just didn't know who he wanted to be. Identifying with his dilemma, I tried to find a solution to his identity crisis, I offered Indiana James. It had a much nicer ring than James Jones. He was quite pleased.

The other day at Target we found a hat resembling Indiana's on the clearance rack for $3.48!

We also couldn't pass up this Indiana Jones Lego set. If you'll remember, this is the exact scene played out in my front yard just 2 weeks ago.

Here he shows off his hat, the Lego hat (already lost) and the whip (the likes of which he will not be getting - EVER)

Lego guys are his dearest companions. I just love that about 4 year olds.

Here he's belting out the theme song.

Imagination is a wonderful gift.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Since today is my birthday. I'd like to give you something. How crazy is that?

Here's the plan. You're going to comment, and I'm going to give away a prize next week.

I'm thinking a gift card. Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, or something cool like that. You may comment on any post, just as long as it's a real comment relevant to the post, not "enter me" or "Hi".

One comment per post. (If you already commented the post previously, comment again if you want it to count) I've got 76 commentable posts counting this one, so you could conceivably have 76 entries today and 7 for my new posts coming up!

How exciting!

Tell your neighbors, tell your friends!

The giveaway will end next Thursday at midnight (central time). I will randomly choose an entry from comments dated between now and then.

I'm excited to hear what you have to say!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Over and Out

After the painting was done Matt got to work on the overhead storage compartments.

This piece of wood with the slot is attached to the wall, the floor of the cupboard is inserted into the groove and then braced to the ceiling with adhesive and screws.

Turned out pretty nice! The same will span the other side after the door relocation is finished.

With the weather warming and the kids getting antsy for their basketball court to be clear, Matt and I loaded up the old seat frames and headed on over to the local metal recycling establishment. We left with a new respect for large machinery and $40 in our pockets!

I was out in the bus admiring the shelves Matt built and something funny caught my eye....

What's so funny about a box of screws?

Take a closer look...

Don't say you weren't warned. I'd hate for uncontrollable streaking to occur due to ignorance.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pimp My Ride - The Investigator

We used to have Dish Network, I've seen the show. I know the modifications that have been made to the Investigator are not quite the kind that they do on that show, but I've been hoping to increase traffic on my site.

I have this thing called "stat counter" that analyzes data from my visitors. It records things like "recent keyword activity", "recent came from", "visitor length", "returning visitors" and the like. It's very fun to see where you all come from. Although, if you don't have cookies enabled (I'm still trying to wrap by brain around that one) I can know nothing of your whereabouts or if you stop by more than once. (Especially since only a few leave comments - shameless attempt to increase comments as well) The tab I find myself clicking on the most is "keyword analysis". It tells me if someone got to my site as a response to their search. There are a lot of queries pertaining to this post, mostly foreign, I wonder if those initials actually say something in a foreign language?

The most popular search terms refer to "school bus salvage yards" or "swivel mechanisms" or "astro van seats" and the like. But my favorite so far has been the poor individual who googled "Resident Evil" and visited this post. I wonder if that was what he was expecting?

Anyway, back to The Investigator. Did I mention that it eats batteries? 9 volts, the kind that they don't make rechargeable. It's missions were becoming expensive so Turbo MacPowerson (aka Matt) pimped it a little to reduce the cost.

He modified a rechargeable battery pack from a cordless screwdriver and installed it the the back. It's only downfall so far has been it's weight, it gets stuck alot. I'm sure Matgyvr (aka Matt) will have a solution to that sometime in the near future. But in the mean time I'll leave you with this:

The first ever recorded mission of the new and improved Investigator...In which it fulfills the purpose for which it was designed.

We're still trying to get a better quality video onto YouTube so it's not so choppy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Big Words

blog readability test

I am utterly delighted to have attained such a level of achievement!

Furthermore, without a modicum of regret, I leave you with this, a description of my week: