Sunday, June 22, 2008

My boy, the amazing reader

So it's official; James can read. I know, impressive. This little video proves it- he has never seen this book before, I promise. (disregard the fact that it is battered, beaten, and maybe a little bit memorized, and he had to cheat by looking ahead) So okay, maybe he isn't reading quite yet, but I still thought this was pretty cute- even though the counting at the end could use a little work.

In other news, I chopped my hair off in preparation for our big trip on Tuesday. I will give you the straight and semi- curly versions of it. I like it better straight, but the curly version takes no effort, so it might be winning out on most of these humid days.
I will be in WA for a little while (say about a month) so I don't know if I will be blogging. Maybe I will try and post some shots of the big wedding. I am very excited to get there.
Oh, and since Etienne has been slightly neglected on here of late, I will announce that he is taking small and tentative steps at last. So there you go Erika. Also he says 'no, okay, uh oh, car, and ball.' He is brilliant as well.

Until next time.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Land of Lightning

So summer in the South is a little different from where I grew up. Most people who know me know how much I hate humidity and the general jungly stickiness of summer down here, but I do enjoy two things that we never had growing up in balmy Washington: lightning storms and lightning bugs.
The other night, James and I sat outside and watched the almost daily thunder storm rolling in and chased lightning bugs. They really are great bugs to chase because they don't bite or sting, they are extremely slow, and they give a great little light show. James even caught a few, although I am not sure they survived the encounter. Unfortunately, neither lightning, nor lightning bugs photograph very well, so just use your imagination in the following pics.
Amongst other things, I am all alone this weekend. Steve is driving down to join the festivities at the Rayburn/Bean wedding in Orlando while I melt at home. I am trying not to be jealous or discontent. And to be fair to him, he never would have gone if Mrs. Colin Schmidt had not needed someone to help her drive down, sooo.... I am blogging while my kids run around screaming and fighting, which they do a lot of these days.
Steve and I were at the new house till midnight the last couple of nights, plugging away at plumbing. It works kind of like this:
"Hey Nick, can you run upstairs and grab the sawsall? I need a three foot piece of inch and a half pipe and a two inch, 90 degree elbow with coupling."
I shuffle upstairs for the desired effects, hand them over, and then sit in my lawn chair with my feet up, watching him construct a large plumbing puzzle until the next piece has to be put in. It works pretty well, but man, there is a lot of plumbing in this house. I mean he is the one who wanted four bathrooms. But I am not complaining.
Well, I suppose I should come up with some sort of plan for the weekend so, signing off.

Friday, June 6, 2008

James' 3rd

Since James is actually noticing what birthdays are now, I decided to throw him a little party this year. Unfortunately, Steve got stuck on a business trip out of town, and missed it, so it ended up being more of a ladies morning out with the kids, which was fun, but hot! We had it early in the day, but the kids were still sweating and red-cheeked after a few minutes in the sun. It was great fun to see how excited James was though, and hear him singing happy birthday to himself. Here are a few pics of my three year old.

In this picture, I told the boys to put their arms around each others shoulders. This is what they came up with.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The house of never ending rubble

I have been meaning to post some pictures of our new house up here for a while, but have been too busy working on said house to do it. The same holds for today. I thought I would give a little update though.
Since classes are finished for the year, I thought I would take a little more of an interest in this mammoth demolition ground I hope someday to call home. Well, interested is an understatement. I may be crazy, but the whole pregnancy/nesting thing, combined with a home I am hoping to get into before this baby comes, brings out the Rosie the Riveter in me. I have been coming home every day covered from head to toe in black dust with swollen ankles and a sore back, telling myself I won't go back tomorrow, but I do.
Steve gave me the job of getting everything ready for insulation and sheetrock, which means pulling every old rusty nail out of the walls (and ten foot ceilings, on a ladder), digging old plaster out of every crack and cranny and vacuuming every orifice, floor to ceiling, with the shop vac.(Who knew how messy dozens of old pigeons nests stuffed in the rafters could be?) It has taken me nearly three weeks to do that one simple job. Well, along with it, i decided to tear all the old plaster off the two enormous fireplaces downstairs to expose the old brick. then I noticed a lot of rubble coming out of the chimney. I looked up the chimneys, and noticed all the rubble that was blocking them, so all of that had to come out. Then I noticed a hole at the back of each chimney, which turned out to be old coal chutes, filled from the first floor to the basement with old, old coal. No diamonds though. Out that had to come too (thank goodness for the wonders of the shop vac. Oh, and face masks, without which I would probably have the black lung by now)
I have gotten the house to the point where my children can run around without getting all dirty, or falling down holes, which is a huge step. Last night I was sitting on the stairs with the setting sun coming through the windows and looking around at the huge expanse of this old house, and could envision that it might be quite a nice thing to live there- it might even be worth the toil.