Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Doors are Up!

We F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. hung the kitchen cabinet doors on the day before we left for California. We lived without them for months, and I think we got a little too comfortable without them. The kind of comfortable you are when you procrastinate finishing a home improvement project, and you say to yourself, "Ehhh, it's not so bad living with (or without) __________".

Sometimes, it seems like living with it (no doors on the kitchen cabinets) isn't half as bad as doing what it takes to finish it! (lot's and lot's and lot's of sanding and painting) Said like a true procrastinator. All you "finishers" and type A people out there are cringing at everything I am saying right now, I'm sure!

We actually had several people who came over the last few months that thought we were taking the modern approach and going with open shelving. Hmmmm. Maybe. If I was one of those Type A sorts who actually kept everything within my cabinets tidy and organized. But, from what I stated above you can probably guess that is not the truth!

The cute handy man I hired.

The first few doors are up! The light on the ceiling fan is making a weird reflection on the door, but other than that, lookin' good!

I cleaned, sanded, primed and spray painted (three coats!) all the hardware, including the hinges and all the screws. Yes, this job was a lot of work!

The handy man kept saying something about this one set of doors not fitting right. I am not at all sure what happened. Something looks amiss.....

He is such a good sport for letting me post this on the ol' blog!

It felt so good to get those back up! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Now all we have left to do is tile the backsplash, figure out what to do about the countertops, and repaint the wall above the cabinets. I am thinking March of 2015 is a good goal date for being finished with this project!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seth's Twinkle Twinkle

Summer is in full swing around here. Staying up later, sleeping in later. We had a big 7th birthday bash for Seth last weekend, and this past Monday we began swimming lessons four days per week for two weeks.

I am just now getting around to wading through our California vacation photos, so West Coast family members - hold on! California pics are coming soon.

Seth has been busy practicing his guitar 15 minutes per day with his dad. He says he wants to sing and play on a big stage someday (big dreams!) so we remind him it takes hard work to achieve that kind of dream. Just a few weeks ago, he didn't like to play his guitar in front of anyone but us. It is so cool to see how his confidence has already grown! Yesterday, we had family pictures taken, and he even played a song for our photographer Sabrina.

For anyone out there who has ever had a dream to learn an instrument, you can make a lot of progress in only 15 minutes per day!

Here is a little video I shot of him practicing yesterday. I love how our dog Jake cruises through and sits down to listen to Seth play!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rock Horvath, Jr.

Remember last week when I introduced you to Rock Horvath?

Well, a new phenomenon has now burst onto the music scene here in the suburbs of Dallas, TX.

Meet Rock Horvath, Jr...

He signs his autographs with crayons and kindly requests apple juice and goldfish crackers be stocked in his dressing room (he gets a little cranky when he's hungry). If you would like to book him for your next gig, please call (555) YES-ROCK.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Like Moths to Flames...

When we get a lot of rain, my parents have an area that floods and Seth has affectionately nicknamed it "Papa's Pool." They have just enough pairs of mud boots for all the grandsons, and the kids are sometimes allowed to go out and play in the mud. Cool grandparents, huh??

The last time this happened and all the grandkids were together, my Mom had the generous idea to give them kitchen spoons to dig with. Not throw away plastic spoons, but her good kitchen spoons.

One of the kids inevitably lost one of the spoons in the mud and couldn't find it. Enter Papa to dredge the puddle looking for the lost spoon...

I am pretty sure if this would have happened when we were kids, someone would have been in big trouble.

No, scratch that.

This scenario would've never happened. We would never have been allowed to take the kitchen spoons outside and play with them in the first place. Grandkids get to have all the fun!! :-)

I don't think Caleb did much digging, but he did a lot of running, jumping and splashing!

Happy, muddy cousins!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Courtney + Cell Phones + Water = No Good

stock image

Maybe I just shouldn't own a cell phone. Yesterday, I had my third water-related incident with a cell phone. This girl just can't catch a break!

Incident #1 - About three years ago, I was wearing a jacket and my phone was in the pocket. I was helping one of the kids take a bath, and I leaned over and....yep, my phone fell in the bathtub. Phone was DOA.

Incident #2 - A couple years ago when Caleb was two, we had a kiddie pool in the backyard for them. I was watching the boys swim, and I had my cell phone sitting on the arm of my chair. I got up to help Seth with something, and Caleb, all stealth like, slipped out of the pool and grabbed my phone. I noticed that he had it, and I yelled something like, "Drop that phone right now!" So he did, right into the pool. After that, phone wouldn't hold a charge well, and would just turn off randomly when it felt like it, including in the middle of calls.

Incident #3 (yesterday) - We had the slip-n-slide set up and the boys were playing. I was waiting on a call, so I had my phone in my hand. (I am now using Steve's old iPhone which is the nicest phone I have ever had in my possession. Probably a bad idea.) The boys started fighting, which led to one of them karate kicking the other, and I was walking (quickly) toward them to intervene. I stepped in a hole in the yard, turned my ankle, fell, and the phone launched into the air and landed....straight into the pool of water at the end of the slip-n-slide.

From where I sat, in pain, on the ground, I was able to quickly scoop the phone out of the water. I tossed it to Steve and said, "Help!" This was supposed to be translated as, "Help me and dry this phone off as quickly as possible!!" But, because he is the chivalrous sort, he immediately tossed the phone over by my chair and came over to "Help!" me up. I exclaimed, "No, not me - the phone! Dry the phone!" I am sure this would have been a humorous 30 seconds of chaos to witness as a bystander.

This time around, the phone works, but it thinks there is a headset plugged in at all times. Not sure if this is from the water or from the bowl of rice I plunged the phone into to help the drying out process. I am crossing my fingers that some compressed air will clear the jack input and I can talk normally on the phone again. Right now, I have to use ear buds to answer the phone....argh.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Biking with Caleb

Caleb doesn't do anything halfway. He is pretty much full throttle, full tilt, full speed ahead...(I think you get the idea!)

He was taking his bike for a spin in my Dad's barn, and my Dad took the opportunity to hide and jump out to surpise him when he rode by!

(Click images to see larger version)

He likes when Papa does stuff like that. :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seth's Guitar Lessons

Steve just started giving Seth guitar lessons. Seth has natural musical talent (handed down from his father and grandfather) and he also has a really good memory (which comes in handy when remembering notes for songs). What he does not have is a lot of internal motivation to practice!

Getting him to practice usually begins with a lot of protesting and phrases like, "I'm tired" or "I'm busy right now."

But once he gets started playing, he always enjoys the music he is beginning to produce and even asks to play additional songs. He is learning Happy Birthday and a couple of Taylor Swift songs.

Steve is a really good teacher, and it is fun to see them beginning this musical journey together!

The guitar he is using is called a Washburn Rover travel acoustic guitar. It is the perfect size for Seth, who just turned 7. He received it as a gift from our friend Beth who was heading off to college last fall and didn't have a use for it anymore. Thanks again for the wonderful gift Beth!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

You are a great Daddy....We love you!
Seth & Caleb

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Five Foot Beast

A few weeks ago, we were out in the yard letting the kids play in the water. Steve and I were walking back up to the front porch when he let out a quiet, but serious, "Oh. My. Gosh...." When my eyes found what his were locked onto, my heart did a little backflip.

The Five Foot Beast.

Half of his body was stretched out across the welcome mat (Welcome Home!!) and the rest of him was hanging down into the mulch. Steve made eye contact with him, and he froze.... :-)

He then ordered me to go and get the rake. I ran around the house and came back with the rake, the shovel and a garden hoe. You never know what tool you might need to kill a big daddy snake! Steve hadn't moved and was still in a staring contest with the snake.

First, Steve pinned his head with the rake...

Then he got real mad and started writhing all around and whipping his tail back and forth. (The snake, not Steve.)

So then Steve informed me that apparently I was going to have to HELP in the snake killing.

This was about the time the snake started wrapping his tail around the rake and slowly climbing up towards Steve hand. Creepsville.

I then had to put the camera down and help, so the next steps are not documented with pictures. Be glad. It would be rated at least PG-13 for violence.

I took the hoe, aimed, and then closed me eyes so I didn't see what the hoe did to the snake's neck. And I discovered that it takes a lot of WHACKS to kill a big snake (especially with your eyes closed). At some point, the snake was still moving, but closer to dead, and Steve felt comfortable enough to let up on the pressure to his neck in order to switch places with me.

He finished him off and then we stretched him out and measured him. He was over 60 inches long!!

I am so thankful that Steve's philosophy on wildlife in our yard has changed over the years. Fresh out of California when we first got married, he would *remove* animals from our yard (snakes included) and induct them into his relocation program. There were a few times I violently threatened him with bodily harm if he didn't kill a snake that he had caught near our house, and he would still let them go somewhere. Haven't you heard that old tale that snakes will find their way back to your house???

He also used to like bunnies, but now look what happened to him...

It's a slippery slope out here in the country, folks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer's Here...Gotta Get Bloggin!

We just got back from a couple weeks in California. We left for our trip when Seth got out of school, so this has felt like our first "official" day of summer here in Texas.

I have so many pictures from before we left to blog, as well as go through over a thousand (yes, one with three zeros) vacation pictures. This blog is our family record since I don't scrapbook, so I want to make sure and get bloggin!

You can look forward to pictures of us killing a 5 foot snake, our kitchen cabinets *finally* being finished after months of living without cabinet doors, Seth learning to play the guitar and planting his own small garden, Caleb in a mud pit (translation: his happy place), and lots of fun pictures from the beach and Disneyland! I know, I know. Pretty exciting stuff....for anyone related to us. :-)

Oh, and I need to introduce you to the newest member of our family - Rock Horvath. He informed me today that this is his new nickname, and he likes to do wardrobe changes in the middle of his music sets. Look out world!