Sunday, April 19, 2015

Just life.

Just thought I'd share some recent pictures. :)

It has been a lot of fun, lately, learning more about Owen and seeing his personality develop and shine.  He can be so silly sometimes, but other times is very serious, and focused.  I think this photo, that I took from our back door without letting him know, really captures that serious side.

Just playing.

Coming home from the park.  He was really sad about something, and I could see his face in the rear view mirror, and really wanted to capture it.

Owen's been really into building things lately.  Legos, blocks, couch cushions.  One frustration he faces is that James does not understand the work that goes into these structures, and likes to knock them over.  Owen built this one during James' nap, and then asked me to take a picture of him with it, "in case James wakes up and knocks it over".

Speaking of James, he is turning out to be quite a character.  He's hilarious and adorable and sweet and frustrating.  He loves to bring you the remote and "eh" at you and point to indicate that you should turn something on, even though he only watches for about .2 seconds (which is great).

He's so busy.

And I love his face.
 Also, I don't think I ever wrote on here that Casey matched in a pediatric residency at Penn State Hershey, so we'll be moving out there in about a month (if we find somewhere to live...). So that's bittersweet.  We're really going to miss Columbus, but are excited for this new chapter in life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Hunt

Here are the pictures of Owen on his Easter basket hunt.  Yesterday, I posted the clues that he found at each location along the way.  Happy Easter!!

We pause for pictures of James engaging in his current favorite activity...and I love it.

 We now resume our scheduled programming (the basket hunt):


Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Traditions

Here are the clues for Owen's Easter basket hunt this year.  I can't believe that my mom would write these for all six of us.  Just one is hard enough for me.  I'll add some basket-hunting pictures tomorrow.

Good morning Owen! Guess who it is?
It’s your favorite friend in the basket biz!
That’s just a joke that’s not very funny.
It is just me, the Easter Bunny.
I brought you a basket of gifts this year,
I thought it would bring you lots of cheer.
Now I just have to think where I put it…
It couldn’t be on the potty, could it?

No, no, no I didn’t leave it here,
If somebody flushed, it might disappear
And what if you woke and needed to go,
With a basket in your way, you never know…
So you see it couldn’t go here,
Check in the place mommy sits to steer.

 Oh no, this place would never do,
What if someone drove off without a clue.
Then you’d never find the basket I left
And someone would be guilty of theft!
So it must be somewhere back inside
Maybe where Halloween treats hide.

This would have been a good spot I guess
But too many treats in one place is a mess.
Oh yes, I brought you lots of treats,
But they’re for the whole family to eat.
But first I suppose you need to find,
Where I have left that basket behind.
I know somewhere I haven’t tried!
The seat of the truck that James likes to ride!

Darn! I thought this would be the place,
But sadly, there just wasn’t space.
There is a basket though, I swear.
And I am a very honest hare.
I guess you’ll have to keep on looking,
Perhaps it’s where you do the cooking.

Congratulations Owen dear!
You’ve found your basket for the year!
Your Nana and Papa helped me a lot.
Call and say thanks for the things that you got.
Some of these things are just for your brother,
Please share with him, your father, and mother.
I am gone now, but have no fear,
Because I’ll be back again next year.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Owen is 4!

He'll tell anyone he meets, "Hi, my name is Owen, I'm four!" Then he'll hold up four fingers.  I'm not sure where he got his excellent social skills.  This is a bit late...story of my life.  

Owen's 4th Birthday Interview*
1.  What is your favorite color?  Blue
2.  What is your favorite food?  Pizza
3.  What is your favorite game?  Umm...chess
4.  What is your favorite book?  Um, uh, it's uh, the bug one.  Yeah, Feely Bugs.
5.  What is your favorite toy?  My mike pez dispenser.
6.  What is your favorite treat?  The pez.
7.  What is your favorite song?  The one that starts, "A long time ago in a beautiful place..."
8.  What is your favorite thing to learn about?  Letters.
9.  What is your favorite animal?  It's a, um, a black jaguar.
10.  What is your favorite TV show?  It's, um uh, Monster Ank.
11.  What is your favorite thing to wear?  This spiderman shirt (he had just received it that day...)
12.  What is your favorite Holiday?  Christmas.  Why?  Halloween  Why?  Valentine's Day Why?  Knock it off!
13.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  A daddy.
14.  If someone was being mean to your brother, what would you do?  I would kick them out of our house!
15.  Who is your best friend?  Shane and Makenzie
16.  What is something you want to learn to do this year?  Turn on lights.
17.  What is something that you are really good at?  Good at running so fast!
18.  If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?  A caramel square.
19.  If you were an animal, what would you be?  I would be a cheetah...oh never mind, I would be a caracal.
20.  What do you want someone to invent? An animal.
21.  If you could have a magic power, what would it be? Spiderman's power
22.  How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?  Um...7.
23.  What kind of house would you like to live in?  This house.
24.  Who is the prettiest girl in the whole world?  You are.
25.  Where do you want to go on your mission?  To Ohio.
26.  What's your favorite scripture story?  David and Goliath.
*Disclaimer:  These are direct quotes, and not necessarily reflective of the real answers.

We sure do love Owen.  He's growing up to be such a fun, witty, funny boy.

Questions taken from this blog.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The dresser saga

You may remember, long ago, this post regarding a dresser that I fixed up.  I realized I never told the story of its miracle, and now there's more of the story.  So here it is:

When we first moved to Columbus we didn't have a dresser.  Our clothes stayed in piles on the floor, but the problem with piles on the floor is that no matter how often one folds and stacks them neatly, one's room never looks I really really wanted to find a dresser, ASAP!  The other problem, though, is that I am picky about my home decor.  Not just any old dresser would work, oh no, I wanted a dresser that I really liked.  Which, it turns out, is quite difficult to find when one has a budget of approximately $0.  :)  I scoured craigslist and the thrift store almost daily, but after a few weeks of coming up empty handed (they were all either too expensive or too ugly), I was starting to feel a little desperate.  So, as any desperate person would do, I took the matter to the Lord.  Now, I recognize that finding a pretty dresser is probably last on the infinitely large list of problems people pray about, but I've always felt that if something is important to me then it's important to God (He is our Father, after all).  I commenced praying, and the next day went to the thrift store.  I walked to the furniture section in the back and there was this (in case you didn't click on the previous link):

I think angels started singing when I saw it, and I just knew it was meant to be my dresser.  Now, I will admit that this was not quite what I wanted, but it was so much better than anything I had previously seen for what it cost that I was willing to take what I could get.  Also, it was $20.  

I decided to buy it, but then faced another obstacle.  The thrift store has a policy that the customer has to get anything they buy out of the store (no help from employees allowed), and there was no way I, with my 6 month old Owen, was getting this dresser out of the store and into my car alone.  Thus began my agonizing wait for Casey to return from school so that I could send him to buy my dresser (I was really hoping no one else would buy it in the intervening hours).  Casey got home that evening and after dinner I sent him to the thrift store with a description of the dresser.  I thought it wouldn't take him more than a half hour.  Two hours later, Casey walked in the door with his own story to tell.  

At the thrift store he found the dresser just fine, bought it and somehow got it out to the car on his own.  Right before hopping in the car to leave he noticed a small family standing outside their car, parents looking rather flustered.  They had apparently locked themselves out of their car.  Casey approached and asked if he could help, and ended up giving the husband a ride home to pick up a spare car key.  During his conversation with the man, Casey told him about my dresser (it was rather conspicuous in the back seat), and how I thought it was an answer to prayer.  When they got back to the thrift store parking lot the man pressed a twenty dollar bill into Casey's hand and said, "The dresser's on me".  So there it was, my miracle dresser.  Here's the after:

Now for the continuing story (bless you if you're still with me).  This dresser worked well for our purposes for about three years, but as I mentioned before, it wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  In addition, Casey never liked it and the drawer tracks were all broken, making getting clothes out each day a little treacherous.  About six months ago we started combing garage sales as a family, looking for a bike for Owen.  We never found one, but we found a number of other things (surprise!), one of which was a dresser.  At first sight this dresser was...struggling.  It had shiny black paint, ugly contact paper in all the drawers, and a drawer broken in half at two of the corner joints.  But it had just the shape I had wanted!  And casters!  And drawers that worked! (Aside from the very obviously broken one sitting on top of it) And! And! And!  There weren't prices on anything at this yard sale and I was almost afraid to ask.  Dressers like this went for upwards of $90 on craigslist, and we weren't even in need of a dresser.  It kept catching my eye, though, and finally I asked Casey what he thought.  Of course he thought we already had a dresser...and this one was broken...and a little ugly (the paint was pretty bad), but he could see that I really liked it, so he encouraged me to ask how much they wanted (that's true love).  I approached, and asked, and..."How about $25?"  Umm, hello beautiful bargain dresser; however, that still was a little much for a dresser we didn't need.  I casually asked if they'd be willing to negotiate.  "How much?"  "$15?"  Wonder of wonders, she agreed, and I bought it (not quite sure how to get it home...this one was a good amount larger than the previous one).  The whole drive home I assured Casey that I would fix it up really fast (it took me about 3 months...) and we'd have a spectacular dresser with drawers that worked!  Casey still seemed a little miffed that I'd bought it, so I assured him that I would go home and sell our other dresser (pictured above) on Craigslist for $35.  I listed it that day, and it did indeed sell that very day for $25, and was gone by that night.  Woot, a $10 profit!  Because of this, we ended up with our clothes on piles on the floor for a few months again, but I think it was all worth it.  And Casey has mentioned that he appreciates drawers that don't fall on his foot. ;)  THE END. 

Dresser before, sans broken drawer (you can see it being clamped on the right).

Dresser before, drawer fixed!

Dresser top in progress.  Seriously like 5 layers of awful paint.

Mostly finished with the removing paint from the top (I was going to do the top natural wood...then it didn't work).



Original hardware (I might end up changing it to something a little lighter)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, James!

To be as cliche as cliche can be: I really really really really cannot believe how fast this year has gone. It's incredible how one year in the life of an infant can effect such gargantuan changes. It makes the passage of such a relatively short period of time beautifully dramatic, as well as rather heart rending.  I present to you: A Year in the Life of James

  January (15th to be exact)





Also May



Also July (his first experience with avocado)



October (this was the best I had)



January (15th...of 2015)

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby James.  He's made our family more complete, and it is such a joy being his mother.