Friday, March 28, 2008

The Tiling Fiasco

So, we decided to tear out our vinyl flooring and old breaking tile (most was from the 80's) and put in new tile for spring break. We thought it would take us about 4 days to do it. We started tearing out the old flooring Monday. We had to tear out a layer of underlayment under the vinyl flooring so it wouldn't be too tall, and build up a layer under the tile. The guy who added the underlayment used particle board, glued down, with staples almost every inch. 3 days later, after working all day long with at least two of us going at it, it still isn't all up. We literally had to use chisels to chip away the particle board as it splintered into layers. DH went back on service today and won't be able to tackle it again for 2 weeks. We think we have at least 4 more days work to finish up the job. I think we way underestimated what we can do! (It'll be 500 sq ft when we are done. Our first house was only 400 sq ft!) So, want to see the beautiful floor I get to live with till it is done?

The floor before: (We tore out that railing, too. It feels much more open without it!)

Notice the missing tile:

We put the kids to work. They were so great taking care of the baby, doing dishes and fixing meals and helping tear out floor and clean up.

This is what we have now. And, yes, this is under the high chair. Those baby spills are going to be so fun to clean up now!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Yes, I know I am late. And I don't even have any pictures from Easter Day to share. In our rush to get ready for church, we ran out of time to take pictures before, and by the time we all got home we had messy hair and chocolate on shirts. We had a nice Easter Sunday, followed by the usual ham dinner. We colored eggs on Black Friday, in preparation of our Primary Easter activity on the Saturday before Easter. I really wanted the activity to be both fun and also help the children remember and better understand why we celebrate Easter. We may incorporate some of the activities we did into our regular family Easter activities.

We started off painting eggs with glue paint (white glue mixed with a bit of food coloring).

Then we watched the church's scripture reader videos about the atonement and crucifixion. After that we divided into three groups and rotated through activities. The first group made stained glass Easter pictures. I used a coloring page from the friend, simplified and made the lines a bit more bold. Then the kids colored them, turned them over and wiped the backs with a bit of cooking oil. The oil makes the paper transparent, creating a stained glass effect when the pictures are put up in a window.

The next group made resurrection rolls and opened a dozen plastic eggs, each one containing an object that helps tell part of the Easter story.

The last group I was in charge of and it was the active, get your wiggles out activity. We did races rolling a colored hard boiled egg with your nose, the colored eggs tag game and Easter, Easter, Easter egg (instead of duck, duck, duck, goose). It was really fun to get to play with the kids. We really have such darling, sweet and funny kids in our primary!

Finally, we divided into an older and a younger group for an Easter egg hunt. We left some of the eggs empty to remind the children of the empty tomb, and also cut out pictures of Christ and other things from church magazines to put in with the candy to again remind them of why we celebrate Easter.

We finished up with the Resurrection rolls, fresh fruit and apple juice for refreshments. I, at least, had a lot of fun, and I hope the kids did, too. I generally let my counselors choose what projects they want to be in charge of, and I am always surprised when they pick everything other than the Primary activities. I think they are so much fun!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Baby is Now a Toddler!

Cyrus had his first birthday. I made him a bunny carrot cake, like I do for all of my babies' first birthdays. It just seems more healthy to give a baby carrot cake, although I'm sure it doesn't make a bit of difference.

I still can't believe how quickly this last year has flown by. They really are little for such a tiny, tiny amount of time!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I finally tried my hand at making taggies. I first heard about them a couple years ago when Gina shared the one she made for Liam. They are a little cuddly blanket, edged with ribbons or "tags" because little ones love to rub the tags on soft toys and blankets. They were easier to make than I thought. I used one foot squares of fabric, and 4 inch long strips of ribbon, folded in half, to make the tags. I made one for a friend's new baby, and one for Cyrus. I'm sure you can guess which is whose!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Welcome March!

Never mind, March, we know
When you blow
You're not really mad
Or angry or bad;
You're only blowing the winter away,
To get the world ready for April and May.

I took a short walk around the yard yesterday, to assess the state of my garden's soil and visualize changes to my flower beds, and was delighted to see the very first tips of crocuses and daffodils showing through the soil and buds fattening on tree branches. That, and the change in calendar to March, has really gotten me so enthused to be outside in the garden again. I am really looking forward to this month and trying to accomplish quite a few things. I've been mentally making a list of them, and decided if I write them I will be less likely to forget them:

I have a party to plan! His birthday is coming up on the 13th. I can't believe he is turning one already! He just started walking this past week and learned to say "dog" in sign and English at the same time. He already thinks he's a toddler, I guess. I'm also working on sleep training with him. I know, I know, I'm very slow starting. You'd think by my 5th I would have known better and done it months ago. But, I'm a tired, lazy, wuss. So, there. This will probably take all month to do, because I don't do "cry it out". (Not that I think those who do are making the wrong choice, it's just the wrong choice for me. See previous wuss remark.)

Elsie: I am working on doing better routines with her for meals (the girl would snack all day long if I let her), and other activities like reading time and art time.

The Girls: Why is it that these two so often get lumped together? We just finished reading another book together, and are starting a new one tomorrow night.

We need to get him progressing more on scout and Duty to God stuff. He's also starting track up again, which means lots more driving, but also visiting time.

Family Scripture Study: I am hoping by the end of the month this has become part of our regular evening routine.

St. Patrick's Day, first, then Easter. The basket stuff is ready, but I need to think about clothing and Easter dinner. Saved items already on hand? Buy? Sew dresses again? I'm hoping I will find the first in my clothing boxes. We are also planning on an Easter Primary Activity that I have been mulling ideas on. We want it to be fun, but also help the children focus on the true reason for the holiday. Any ideas?

Garden work: I traditionally plant peas for St.Patrick's day, quickly followed by other early cold hardy veggies. I turned the soil already in preparation, but I would love another crack at it, to turn in some composted manure. Have I ever mentioned I love digging in the dirt? I also need to start the pruning: butterfly bush, perenials, and raspberry canes. I also have plans for my front and back foundation beds. I'm still formulating plans, but there will be tearing out and transplanting shrubs and widening beds most likely involved. So, I am sure to get some digging in one way or another!

Spring Break:
I want to make sure our break isn't full of boredom and sibling rivalry. We used to go camping at Zion's National Park every Spring break. We have yet to develop a spring break tradition here. Although we have enjoyed visiting the zoo. Any suggestions?

In addition we have Spanish class, Photography class, Wednesday night activities, dentist apts, my educational coursework, replacing the winter decor with spring decor and I'm hoping to get my kitchen painted. It should be a fun and busy month!

UPDATE! We have had a sunny warm day, with temps in the 70's. And purple crocuses are opening. Yay!