Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Horvath Home Improvement Projects Continue...

We are in a constant state of "home improving" around here. When you live in a house that is almost 50 years old and you don't have the financial resources to do a total remodel, then I guess that is where you live.  We have a l-o-n-g list of projects that we would like to do, and what is at the top of my priority list is not always the same as what is at the top of Steve's list.

I am more of a planner.  I like to know that when we tear out something old, we have not only a plan for what to replace it with, but also the money to buy the materials and the know-how to do the work.  Steve is more of a "let's get a bunch of people together and tear something up" and then we will figure out what to do with the aftermath later.  There are positives and negatives to each of these approaches, but his approach DOES get the job started at least :-)

So we have this patio cover in our backyard that is rather old and unsightly. Lot's of rotten wood, screen doors hanging by one rusty hinge, old screens that are ripped and blowing in the wind.  Nice, I know.  Like I said, there is a lot of work to do around here!  So Steve invited some friends from church over one Saturday this month and they demolished it and hauled it off in about 6 hours, which was rather impressive.

The work crew:

So now we have a nice, open backyard, but no patio cover.

Seth has been enjoying the wide open spaces in the backyard with Jake. Jake and Seth have become buddies, and we love that! Seth runs all over the yard and Jake obediently follows him around while Sadie lays in one spot and supervises :-)

**Disclaimer (I feel like I need one of these on almost every post) Just because I take a picture of it does not mean I endorse it. Seth followed Jake into the dog house, I took a picture of him coming out of the dog house, and then I told him not to go back in there again :-)

This is just a random, funny picture. I was trying to get a picture of Jake and Seth together, and within a matter of 2 seconds, Seth was playing in the dog water and Jake was trying to lick the camera!

If anyone has any experience with patios and you have any suggestions, please let me know! If money was no option (ha!) we would want a Red Cedar patio cover with a flagstone patio.  We are not even sure how much this will cost.  We are just starting to look around at materials and how much installation will cost if we don't do it ourselves (and by doing it "ourselves", I mean we throw "ourselves" on the mercy of our friends who have knowledge and experience in these areas!)  So any suggestions or ideas would be welcome!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Splish Splash

Two different boys, two different responses to the camera:
                               Caleb: "What ya lookin' at?"

                               Seth: "Cheese!"
No, I do not encourage the drinking of the bath water.  It just happens.
No, I don't encourage the sucking of the washcloth, either.
Fancy tricks for the camera.

Quote from Pa-Pa: "Somebody give that boy a haircut!" 
Seth showing off his chin wound.  He was running and playing ball with Steve inside the auditorium at our church and he did a chin first slide.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seth's "NEW BIG BED"

Before I delve into explaining my title, is anyone else freaking out about how much you have to shell out when you stop for gas?  I paid $3.40 per gallon yesterday and was literally in a slight depression for about an hour afterwards.  I mean, Steve wanted a burrito from Chipotle for dinner tonight, for which we had a coupon that would make it FREE, but we still could not justify me driving 15 minutes away to get it because of gas prices.  To quote my beloved Mimi, eegad.

So ever since Seth graduated from the crib, which has been about a year and a half ago, he has been sleeping on a full size mattress on the floor.  At first, I justified this because it was lower to the ground and I didn't want him falling out of the bed.  But pretty soon, I just got used to his mattress on the floor and that was the way it stayed.  I don't know if it appeared odd to anyone else that came over and saw his room that he didn't have a "real" bed, but I sort of just got over it. I have been thinking about redoing his room lately because it hasn't really been redecorated since it was the nursery minus removing the crib.

Our friends Mark and Sam are moving into a new house, and their boys will not be sharing a room anymore.  So Sam (just to clarify, Sam is a girl) called me up and asked me if we would like to have their bunk beds.  Heck ya!  Steve and I have often talked about moving the boys together when they get a little older and moving all the toys into one room and making it the play room.  Consolidate the mess, I say!

We are so grateful to Mark and Sam for graciously giving us this furniture, because they could have easily sold it on Craigslist.  I have actually looked on Craigslist at beds just like this, so it is so nice that we were blessed with just what we wanted!

I didn't think about taking any pictures until tonight so Seth is asleep in his bed in these shots. It is sort of hard to see, but underneath the top bunk and behind the dresser drawers, there are shelves and this is Seth's favorite part of the bed.  He has all kinds of treasures stored up on these shelves.  There are books, matchbox cars, a ball, spoons, a shoe, blocks, etc.  If Caleb gets in there and starts messing around with the stuff on the shelves, look out!

I love that they are made of solid wood and very sturdy. One end has this cute desk where Seth can sit and color:

There are drawers down one side, and the ladder goes on the other side.  We have elected to choose NO ladder at this time for fear that Caleb will do a flying leap off the top bunk if he got up there.  I am still not completely certain that he won't find a way.

And here he is all snuggled down and snoozing:
I don't think we are going to be able to get rid of the Thomas pillow case and blanket even though we are going to be redecorating his room.  Seth is really attached to them.  But he also loves bears (as in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? by Eric Carle) so I think we are going to do something with that.

He hasn't had any problems with bedtime in his new bed, but he was getting up every night around 1 or 2am and crying and coming into our room because I think he was disoriented when he would wake up and find himself in his little cave. So the pictures that are on that wall inside his little cave are pictures I scanned out of one of his favorite books. My sister gave me the idea to put something on that wall that he liked that he could see if he woke up, and it has worked like a charm. No more night time visits from Seth!

The first day when we got the beds, Seth had been playing on them for a while and I told him it was time to go outside. He usually jumps at the chance to go out and play, but he was very enamored with the new bed and didn't want to go. I got him outside (after a bit of whining) and he played outside for over an hour. When we went back in the house, as soon as we walked in the back door, Seth got this funny look on his face like he just remembered something, and exclaimed, "Seth's NEW BIG BED!" and dashed off to his room.

In unrelated news, this was just too cute to pass up.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Caleb's Bad Hair Day

I posted last night, then I forgot to add any new pictures of the boys for the out of town family :-) We have a trampoline, and every time Caleb gets on it, his hair goes CRAZY. Stand on end kind of crazy, as you shall see!
He looks so cute, calm and innocent in these first two.  Don't let the looks fool you! :-)

This one from the aerial view cracks me up.  He looks like a little electricity ball!

And of course, we can't forget Seth!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lot's Going On

I feel like there is so much going on, I don't even know how to collect my thoughts and write a blog entry!

#1) Caleb used to be "busy", and now he is "busy-er". He loves to stand up on his chubby tippy toes and reach up on the kitchen counters for whatever he can grab. This has included plates of left over food, a ramiken of salsa, glasses of water. At my Mom's, he pulled a basket of wooden blocks off the desk and onto his little noggin. He also loves digging in the kitchen cabinets, and tonight he found a large box of spaghetti noodles. After he emptied the entire box on the kitchen floor, he started stomping on them with his little chubby bare feet to make a nice, satisfying crunching sound. I told my Mom, and the first thing she said was, "Did you write that down for his baby book?" No, I don't think it is that funny just yet.

#2) Not wanting to be outdone by his little brother, Seth has been high on the "questionable" behavior scale as of late. I picked him up from school one day last week and showed him a DVD that Caleb and I had picked up at the library. As we are driving home, his cup fell between his car seat and the door. He said, "Mommy, get it!" and I tried to reason with him that I was driving, my arm was not long enough to reach back there, and we were only 4 minutes from the house so can't you just wait? 

So he starts letting me know (loudly) how he feels about the cup still being out of his reach, and I promptly put his window down to give him a nice blast of fresh air to the face. This has worked in the past. This time, he decided to throw the library DVD out the window. Now, to be fair, what really happened was that he held it out the window in a threatening sort of way, like he was saying "I am going to let this go if you don't get my cup for me because I am really, really mad!" and he either let go or the wind ripped it out of his hand. I am not exactly sure, but either way, I am sure the people driving behind us were none too thrilled to have things pitched out the window at them!

So after I *calmly* reprimanded him, I made a u-turn at the next light to go back and get the DVD. It had only been run over by about 3 cars, and the mangled case was about 50 feet away from the actual DVD. But get this....the DVD...nary a scratch. I couldn't believe it! This is what the case looks like:

The same day, Caleb had an appointment with his speech therapist (he is 19 months and still not talking. Although this is not cause for major alarm, I opted to enroll him in the same in-home program that Seth was involved in because, well, basically I can, and it is free. So why not?) So we are out on the play set with Krista, the therapist, and Seth is playing on the fort and we have Caleb strapped in a swing where he can't get away. We do this because otherwise, he spends the entire hour running away from Krista. All of a sudden, it was very quiet, and I looked up and couldn't find Seth.

So I go running around like a crazy person. To clarify my reason for hysteria, our play set is not in our fenced backyard (this is something we hope to remedy very soon with an ad-on to our fence). So I go running around the house screaming his name, and my parents just happened to be coming out of their house next door. I get them involved in the frantic search, and I am just panicking inside because we also live on a road that has a 55 mph speed limit. So I go past this old barn at the back of our property, for the third time, yelling his name and all of sudden I see something move out of the corner of my eye. And there is Seth, squatted down and hiding from his crazed mommy with a look on his face that was part glee and part mischief mixed with a tinge of fear. Relief can be followed very quickly by extreme frustration!

#3) Steve came home from work one day and told me that he was thinking of volunteering to take over the youth group at our church. For those of you who might not know, my husband is on staff at New Hope full time as the Worship Pastor. Our full time Youth Pastor moved on to a new season of his life 9 months ago, and since then, a couple from our church has been filling in as the Interim pastors. To be honest, my first reaction was, "Huh? What? No hable...." but God was quick to speak and began to rapidly change my heart. I went to a Women's Conference with my friend Julia at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX called Pink Impact.

It was a pretty amazing weekend...the two speakers were Dr. Lois Evans, Tony Evans wife, and Christine Caine from Hillsong Church in Australia. Christine was a very to the point, tell it like it is communicator, and I LOVED her. She was so challenging and inspiring. And she talked about how most of us, if we are honest, are much more concerned about our comfort than we are concerned about the things that are on God's heart. Concerned about how much any given act is going to infringe on our ability to live life the way we like to. We might miss our favorite show! We might be tired when we get home. We might be asked to really LISTEN to someone's problems when we say "How are you?" but don't REALLY want to know. Someone might derail us from our to-do list or tight schedule we are trying to keep. It was convicting stuff for me. She challenged us to "Cross the Street" like the Good Samaritan did, to not be so busy about our "business" (some of that even being in the name of "Ministry") that we forget to look along the way at the people God wants us to really SEE every day. Our neighbor, the checker at the grocery store, the person in the cubicle next to you, the other Mom dropping off her kid at preschool, whomEVER you come into contact with during your day. Not to look at them like a target for a convert, but to genuinely show them the love of God through meaningful actions that just might take some sacrifice on our part.

She has a new book called "Stop Acting Like a Christian; Just Be One". I love that.

So, all this to say, I came home from the conference with a confirmation in my spirit that we were supposed to lead the youth group until a permanent youth pastor has been found. Last night was our first Gathering and it went great! We definitely were hit with the reality of the time and energy it takes to plan a creative and meaningful youth service. Steve had this great idea to have an American Idol competition with the youth, and then we had three adults (including Keith, our pastor) play Randy, Paula and Simon. It was a blast and the students loved it. We had some amazing people that stepped up and committed to helping us. We could not have done it without them!

So PLEASE pray for us as we lead the youth for this interim time, and also continue to lead the worship ministry, as well. I am thankful that I have a husband who has a heart for others and is willing to lay aside his personal comfort to do the work that God puts on his plate. This was a great lesson for me to learn (again) and one that I am sure I will have to learn again in the future. It really isn't about me.