Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Name for Abby

Abby has informed us that her name is no longer, Abby. She now wants her father to call her, Sweetheart.

As for the rest of us? We are to address her as, Daddy's Sweetheart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Stone Pile In Your Inbox

I just wanted to let friends and family know that you can now have an email sent to you, notifying you of new posts on our blog. Just enter your email address in the box to the right of the page to sign up for that option.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Projects

We've been getting some major things checked off of our to-do list over the last couple of weekends. It's been hectic, but it feels good to be getting these things done.

Last weekend, Jeff, my dad, his dad, and my brother-in-law got the piano from Jeff's parents' house and brought it to our house. Jeff parents gave us the piano over a year ago, but the timing never seemed to work out right for getting it, until now. So, we now have a beautiful piano for the kids to start learning how to play.

We're all very excited about it!

With the beautiful piano being moved into our living room, it made me want to get the room painted. We have been needing to paint the living room and kitchen for some time now, but just haven't wanted to hassle with it. However, this past week I decided that it had to be done this weekend. I'm not sure that Jeff agreed with the urgency, however, he went along with it, wholeheartedly.

Part of the reason why we've been putting off the painting: I have a horrible problem with making decisions. Especially when it's a decision about flooring, paint, furniture, what to make for dinner,...well, pretty much any kind of decision making is complicated for me.

If Jeff and I ever have a house built, it will not be a pretty sight. Too many options. Too many decisions. Too much for Nicki!

So, it took me a couple of trips to the hardware store - and until about 3 in the afternoon on Saturday - to make up my mind on what color of paint to use. And the funny thing about it all, is that the color that I chose - it's not much different than the color that was already on the walls. Yes, it appears I spent hours of my time choosing between the many different and exotic hues that are available for the color...beige.

I have come to the conclusion that not only do I have a mild phobia for decision making, but I also think that I may have a fear of color. Although, I did leave the interior walls of the kitchen untouched, with the thought that I would add a little kick of color on those walls.

But, we'll see if that happens. It may be too much for me to have to decide on something outside the beige family. We'll have to save that project for another weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letting the Creative Juices Flow

A couple of months ago, I took some engagement photos for my cousin and her fiance. One Saturday, we drove out to our aunt and uncle's house and quickly took some pictures, as rain clouds threatened overhead. We were able to get some pretty decent shots before the clouds opened up and began to pelt us with rain.

Since then, we've been working together on a save-the-date card to mail out to guests. This week, she was finally able to order them. And, the best part is, she got them all printed for free! I'm just crossing my fingers that they print out the correct way.

Also, she wanted to have a website that guests could go to, in order to get details about the wedding, hotel accommodations, directions, etc...Since she is trying to be responsible with how much money she spends on her wedding, we looked at some of the free wedding websites that are available. She wasn't exactly thrilled with what was offered in the free category and the price tags on the websites that you pay for, were a bit ridiculous.

Since I've done a little bit of web design before, and I'm fairly familiar with Blogger's platform, I decided to take a stab at making them a website. I just took a free Blogger blog and rewrote some of the coding on it to try and make it look more like a website than a blog.

Voila! A free wedding website.

It's still 'under construction,' but I think that it's looking pretty good...especially for being free!

Now, I need to get a little more creative with my pitiful little blog!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Stick

I was doing some reading on the internet this morning, when I saw this post about The Toy Hall of Fame.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as, The Toy Hall of Fame!

Anyway, apparently, one of the newest 'inductees' to The Toy Hall of Fame is, none other than, The Stick. Now, that may sound ridiculous to some, but I think they would have been mistaken not to induct The Stick.

Let me show you why I feel that way...




Jacob found that stick while we were on our camping trip, last month. He took it everywhere with him. Now, here is a picture of Jacob from this morning...


Yep. Same stick. Although, it has been banished to the garage by his Daddy, who thinks 'sticks' don't belong in the house. Where IS his imagination? That stick is one of Jacob's favorite toys. It gets played with outside, taken in the car, and it even gets fought over. Unfortunately, his little sister thinks it's a pretty neat toy, too.

So, I think it was very appropriate for The Stick to be inducted into The Toy Hall of Fame. Now, if we could get them to induct The Pot, The Pan, and The Cardboard Tube.

Or, my personal favorite, The Toilet Training Seat.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Family Night: Dress Up Night

Wow...I'm really behind in posting. I meant to post this last week! :) I see that the pictures are all messed up! I'll have to fix them later.

This past Friday was, once again, a Family Night for us. It also happened to be Halloween. Well, we don't celebrate Halloween but the kids really wanted to dress up for our Family Night, so we decided to go ahead and let them. We told them they could pick what they wanted to be, however, it had to be something that was, for the most part, homemade. I wasn't about to spend $15-$20 each on their costumes. What can I say? I'm cheap frugal. So, using what we already had and a few store bought items, I was able to come up with the costumes for all three of them for around $15 total.


Abby insisted on being a pink cat. That was easy to come up with, even though it took the longest to make. I used two fuzzy boas to make her tail, ears, and other accessories. I was covered in pink fuzz for days!



At first, Jacob wanted to be a Jedi, but I kind of talked him into being a pirate. I couldn't think of a cheap and easy way to do a Jedi, but I knew what to do for a pirate. When I told him that I would make a beard on his face, that kind of sealed the deal. He ended up LOVING his costume.


Grace started out wanting to be a princess, but when she didn't like any of my ideas on how to make her costume...she decided that being a butterfly would be better. I even let her splurge and buy 'real' wings, instead of making her own out of foamboard. Hee!


We decided to take the kids to a Trunk-or-Treat event at one of the churches down the street. It was...interesting. I'm not sure that we'll ever do it again, but the kids definitely enjoyed getting all of the candy and prizes.

Then we went over to Nana's to play games, do crafts, and eat some goodies.

It was a fun night and we'll definitely do a costume party again. I'm just not sure we'll do it on the same night as Halloween, again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bring Your Child to Vote Day

Today, was another one of those days that I was so excited about homeschooling. Every election, since they were born, the kids and I have made our way down to the local retirement village, so that I can vote.
This year, with my second grader, kindergartner, and preschooler, was no exception. I loved having them stand in line with me - for about an hour - and talking to them about what I was about to do. It was so great to hear the very inquisitive and thoughtful questions that they had about the whole process, too. The kids also had the opportunity to hear stories from other people in line, stories that often started with, "I remember when..." Which is always a great way to learn about history!

It just made me happy that the kids weren't sitting in a classroom, hearing about the election and the process of voting, but they were out there actually participating! Well, participating to a certain extent. Unfortunately, the poll workers wouldn't let them cast their own ballots...something about voter-age restrictions. Anyway, this was another time that reminds me to just laugh at the criticisms that we often hear about how homeschooling is sheltering our kids from the 'real' world.

I don't think so.

Today, was just another example of how my kids were actually out in the 'real' world, instead of just reading or hearing about it, while sitting in a classroom.

So, today, I'm not only thankful for the privilege that I have to be able to participate in a democratic society, but, also, for the freedom to be able to choose how to educate my children. And I pray that neither of these privileges are ever taken away from me.

Election Day 2006

(My nephew, Elijah, joined us on that day.)