Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Monday, March 30, 2009

Before & After- Den & Playroom

*** Update- I found a few more pics this morning (3-31) that had gotten deleted when I did the post originally- in case you want the FULL affect!
Hope no one's been holding their breath for the next before and afters of the house!! In case you have, you may now exhale. Our den and playroom is actually one long room divided about 2/3 of the way down by a wet bar. The large side is the den and the smaller is the playroom. Off the playroom is a small half bath and a door to the deck and back yard. We finished (or got as close to finished as we'll probably be for awhile) the den/playroom areas right around Christmas time. I was going to post pics then, but all the Christmas stuff was out. So, I waited until there were Easter decorations in the way :) Well, both rooms actually got cleaned up today so I decided that I'd take pics while I had the chance. Enjoy!

Den- Before & After

In here we removed the large mirror from above the mantel, removed the Dynasty drapery, painted, pulled up the carpet & stained the concrete, made new drapery from cream colored burlap, draped an old outside table in more cream burlap, bought a few new lamps- everything else is just our same old stuff!

Playroom Before & After

In the playroom we removed the vertical blinds (and sent them back the to the 80's beach condo that had left repeated messages looking for them), did more painting and concrete staining, removed the mirror and fluorescent light from the wet bar, put up new pendant lights, bead board and cork in their place, put up a new fan with a light kit (before this we had NO overhead lighting in either of these two spaces) and made new drapery from red burlap and various colors and sizes of ribbon. I'd hoped we'd get some better storage for the toys & TV by now, but the kids don't seem to mind the old desk hutch that's doing the job for the time being. The chairs that are by the table with the burlap skirting can be rotated around to the playroom side for mommy seating.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Miller- 14 mos

Playing with her dog

Getting ready in the morning (no- I do not roll her hair regularly- she has natural curls. But this does keep her occupied while I do MY hair- which does not have natural curls.)


Ready for the Easter Bunny

Bad hair day

Cowgirl- riding the rocking horse that Big Daddy made for Wilson when he was a baby.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

St. Patty's Race

Wilson's number

The whole fam headed out bright and early last Saturday to participate/cheer on the racers in the 5k and 1mile St. Patrick's Day Races benefiting the Children's Hospital. This year was especially meaningful for Phil & his office as his manager's son has recently been diagnosed with cancer and everyone from the office participating did so in a "Running for Ryan" Bomgar shirt. It's always fun to go to this race because everyone's dressed in green except the Bomgar team. Those 30 or so orange shirts stick out like sore thumbs and makes it really easy to spot everyone and cheer them on.
Phil finished the 5k and took a few minutes off his time from last year. He got a banana, a cup of water, and then headed to the starting line again to run the 1 mile with Wilson. This was Wilson's first race, but he was so excited (he says he "took a race"). He had a great time and from what I understand ran most of the mile (leaving tired dad in the dust a couple of times). I do know he was running his heart out with a big smile on his face as he neared the finish line. He saw me cheering and thought he was done! He started running over to me to give me a hug- I nudged him back into the crowd and told him to head for the finish line!
We hung around this year to hear the results of the 5K and to see how the Bomgar team did. They got third- way to go guys! We were all getting a little disappointed because apparently they've cut out doing participation medals for the fun run (which is fine, but they advertised that there were going to be medals for everyone who participated, and Wilson was of course wondering where his "surprise" (as he called it) was). So, we waited a little bit longer to hear the results of the 1 mile. We couldn't believe it! With a time of something like 12 minutes 20 seconds, Wilson placed third in the 5 and under category!! We are so proud of the little guy.

Way to go Dad!!
"Visualize the Finish Line"
Here they come!
What a grin
Crossing the finish line
"Taking a race" is hard work, but someone's got to do it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Field Trip

(Most of Mrs. Angie's Class)

Last month Wilson's preschool class took a field trip to the Natural Science Museum. Miller also tagged along. Below are some pictures of the fun day.

The traveling exhibit that's there right now is all about conservation and living green. A lot of it was over the 3 & 4 year olds' heads, but this recycling center was a huge hit. There were several plastic and metal containers and papers that they could put into the right holes- over and over and over again.

Miller and her buddy, Caroline, patiently waiting for their big brothers to get tired of recycling

Wilson and John Clark riding the giant frog

This was the first time for us to go that Miller could really get out of the stroller and stand and look at the fish. I love this picture of her- mostly because it reminds me of this one of Wilson taken at the same age at the Chattanooga aquarium:

Wilson- 13 mos

Miller- "dubbing" the aquarium

Showing mom the turtles

Bird watching

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Your Eyes Only

Well, I really hate this, but, I think I'm going to have to password protect the blog. Apparently I struck a chord with someone that I don't know with the last post. I was fairly certain I had people looking over my shoulder that I didn't know, but now it's been confirmed. This commenter was not hostile in any way, just disapproved of my post and felt comfortable enough to let me know without giving me a direct way to respond to her (I've removed her comment, but I'm sure you can get the gist of it from my response comment to her). There's no need to risk my family's safety or have to put up with comments from a peanut gallery that are disrespectful.

So, I'm going to take until the end of the month to figure out the easiest and safest way to do this. Start sending me your email addresses if you're interested in keeping up with us. Feel free to request permission even if I don't know you personally- I love how the blog world has connected me to friends of friends and family- just let me know what the "degrees of separation" are.

If you don't want to leave your email address in a comment, feel free to email me if you have my regular address, or I've set up to collect requests as well. Just please include something in the subject about wanting to be invited to view the blog.

Thanks everyone & Happy Blogging.

PS- if you've been using this blog to get to my painting blog, please bookmark it-

PPS- to all of my friends who are homeschoolers, granola crunchers, tree huggers, or that maybe lean a little to the left- I hope you got the humor in my previous post and that you were not offended. Secretly there's a little piece of me that's jealous of the patience and love you have for your families to educate them yourselves, take the time to search out the healthiest foods for them and the love that you have for all of us that leads you to live a life with the smallest carbon footprint possible. You truly do inspire me and are the reason that I have shelves of workbooks and story books that I try to spend time with my kids over, you're the reason I pile empty bottles up outside the back door when the recycle bin is at the end of the driveway and I'm too lazy to go down there and get it, and you're the reason I grow my own herbs and try to make my kids eat fruits and veggies everyday. See, I'm trying! What matters the most to me about your lifestyle choice is that you know the Lord and trust in Jesus. In light of that, I feel that what we eat, what we wear, what we drive, or where we go to school are fairly insignificant. I'm glad that we can be united in Christ and learn to love each other's differences and shortcomings. If this is a foreign concept to someone reading this, please leave me a comment - I'd love to blog with you!

Monday, March 09, 2009

How to Cure Your Toddler's Ears- A Friend, A Fruit, and A Little Bit of Weed

Yes. You read that correctly.

As many of you know Miller has been battling ear infections since October. We had tubes put in before Christmas only to have them both clogged and infected about 2-1/2 weeks later. It's been frustrating to say the least. I had a doctor's appointment in January and my doctor asked "what's been going on" and I mentioned that we'd been having so much trouble with Miller's ears and just didn't have any idea what to do to help her. She suggested going to a health food store and asking what they have to help boost an infant/toddler's immune system. I thought, "can't hurt, I guess".

So, I drive down to the local coop to see what's going on. I've never been in so I'm expecting a real flying freak show of a circus and to be tackled by the nature police at the door for wearing chemically dyed polyester and reeking of red meat. I wasn't tackled, but I was otherwise not let down. Did you know that there is a kind of rock that you can put in your laundry instead of soap to clean your clothes? Did you know they make vegan DOG food? There is and they do. Too much. I walked into the side room that has all the supplements and a friendly guy asked if he could help me. I looked up to see a white guy with dreds that would have made Denise Huxtable jealous. He was not wearing anything chemically dyed- it had probably been washed with "soap" rocks, too. I proceeded to tell him about Miller's troubles and waited for my new witch doctor's analysis. He showed me a few products and left me with "you should also not give her any milk- that can really aggravate congestion." To myself, "Yeah right you FRUIT! I'll just NOT give my baby milk, that's healthy." I didn't buy any of his echinacea either.

A few days later I was at a party and saw a friend I hadn't seen in awhile. She said she'd read on our blog about how we'd been having so much ear trouble and how sorry she was. She also mentioned that she had a friend that had been in the same boat and her ENT had said it might be a milk allergy and to go off of milk and replace it with soy products for a couple of weeks. Then switch back to milk and see what happened. The more I stood and listened to her, the more I started thinking THIS IS IT! We had so much trouble with milk as an infant and as soon as we were able to get on regular formula and milk around 9 or 10 months we started with the ear stuff. Why had no one suggested this possibility yet?! (if you'd like a window into this saint's world here's a link to her blog- thank you thank you thank you Dr. Jennifer!!)

So I went to the grocery store that night and bought some soy milk and yogurt and we began a new regiment immediately. And not too long after that I remembered why soy formula was never an option. Miller has a violent intestinal reaction to soy. I tried to keep her on it for a couple of days, but she developed the worst diaper rash ever and we had to quit.

Sooooo, I googled "alternatives to dairy and soy milk" and began reading. After I read about several options I went to the grocery store to see what was available. I could not believe it when I read about it on the web. I wrote it off because I knew it wouldn't be sold at a regular grocery store- and there was no way I'd be making regular trips to the coop (and thereby becoming a "co-oper"). But it did have the best ratings as far as nutrition went. Had some protein, was all natural, you can cook with it. But who cares, I wouldn't be able to find it and who would feed that to their child anyway? But there on the shelf in the regular grocery store in Nowheresville, USA it sat. Hemp milk. I grabbed a box and hid it under the feminine products (there was a time when I'd buy a doormat to hide those from the other shoppers). I can not believe I am buying weed milk for my baby.

I had a sippy cup in the car, so I loaded it up and handed it to Millie Moo. She took one sip and threw it to the floor. When we got home I put a little chocolate syrup in it and handed it back to her. What can I say. She's my child. You could put chocolate in a mud pie and we'd eat it. She sucked back a couple of cups of it throughout the day.

And then I started getting a little concerned. I mean what if it's a gateway beverage. What if this one little misstep on my part causes her to leave my house as a "lefty". She could refuse to go mainstream, start wearing jumpers and want to be home schooled. What if she becomes a flag burning, war protesting hippie. What it if she insists on feeding the dog vegan food and washing our clothes with rocks. What if she becomes . . . a . . . democrat?

It's too horrific to think that I might be leading these chubby little cheeks and bright eyes down that path. I chunked the half full, cardboard, hemp milk box away. We're back to juice a couple of times a day and water. She gets a Pediasure every now and then for a little extra fat and calories.

She has been ear infection free for about a month and a half now. She's also wearing a chemically died sundress that was purchased at a mega store.

A Very Big Weekend

This weekend was full of firsts for us. Phil and his friend John finished our first tree house- our kids Christmas present (very belated). It's still minus the swings- we've got to buy some longer chains, but both of the kids are having a blast climbing up and sliding down. Wilson had his first spend the night friend. And Miller has finally started taking a few steps. I'll add a video of her walking when I can get a good one. She is still crawling as her main mode of transportation, but she will let go and take 4 or 5 unassisted steps.