Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Multitude Monday...

347.  A great visit with my mom who came down to see her grandbabies trick or treat
348.  Answered prayers
349.  God's lesson on humbleness for me last week and changing my heart
350.  Solon now loves swimming lessons - (See #348 ;)
351.  halloween candy
352.  Cy's blood counts are up - she seems to be doing better!
353.  Contentment
354.  Great Titus bible study lately and walls being broken down
355.  Thinking about Elizabeth (John the Baptist's mom) and her faithfulness to God in not only action but in her heart too!  And also how she was an encouragment to others.
356.  starting to prepare for the holidays - I love this time of year!
357.  "winter" smelling air freshener - it smells like the holidays
358.  God's provision for our family in many ways
359.  Solon does good with going to his classrooms now - no more tears (See #348)
360.  A great tailgate last weekend and catching up with college friends we rarely see!
361.  Sleep!
362.  Helpful friends and neighbors who watch my kids for appointments and let Cy out
363.  Seeing our neighbors out trick or treating...
364.  making chocolate chip cookies as a family
365.  Solon's imagination....his cars were in major traffic the other day
366.  Vera reading books to herself
367.  The way Solon looks after his sister and his sweet words to her (they love each other most of the time ;)
 
For nothing is impossible for God
Luke 1:37

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some Solonisms...

What...I know, I have temporarily fallen off the blog bandwagon but I will be back soon...we have had a busy, busy week BUT until then I will share this week's Solonisms....

The other day we were making a grandparent craft for halloween and asked Solon if he wanted a mummy face on both and he said, "How about a daddy face?"

In the car, I could hear him digging in the ol' schnoze and I asked him what he was doing and he said "I just need to wash my hands when I get home" and I asked why and he said, "because there was a boogar in my nose and I got the booger out of my nose and it is on my finger".

After telling Solon about the run down for the day, he said "That sounds great for me mom!" in a super excited voice.

Last night we were talking about Vera coming into our family and he said, "yes and next time we will just go to the hospital and pick up another one like Vera."  Yep they just give them away there buddy!

I asked him if he wanted another baby in our family someday and he said yes (phew and no we are not pregnant) so then I asked him if he wanted a boy or girl and he said "mom that is a hard trick" and he couldn't choose. 

On the same note, he said, "Someday when I am big I will have a baby in my tummy!" I said, "Nope, buddy your wife will have a baby in her belly, boys don't have babies in their bellies." to which he replied, "nope mommy I will have a baby in my belly."  We left it at that.

We asked Solon how much he loved us and he said "1000 years."

We sat down to the table and did not immediately pray to which Solon SHOUTS out..."GUYS....GUYS...Guys we almost forgot to pray, let's pray!" 

Solon was eating mac n'cheese and he says to Scott...."Dad you should try it, it is really good."  Hmm, wonder if he has heard that before.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Multitude Monday...

327.  The health of my kiddos, I take it for granted but hearing the heartache of another local family in the process of saying good-bye to their 4 year old makes me so so thankful - praying for them.
328.  A special date day with my sweet little dude.  He said it was awesome mom and I melted into a puddle!
329.  My hubby praying for our marriage - he said he has seen others struggling and doesn't want to take our marriage for granted so he has been praying for ours to be strengthened and God has been faithful!
330.  My mother-in-law driving 2 hours each way to watch Vera! 
331.  Beautiful, beautiful weather
332.  Good conversations with my hubby - he always has a listening ear
333.  I am a 3rd of the way to 1000 blessings - love that I can focus on gratitude - my new favorite quote is this "Gratitude turns what we have into enough!"
334.  Slowing our life down and prioritizing what IS important - sometimes it is just being home!
335.  A nice, quiet weekend at home
336.  A hubby that includes Solon on his projects, what better way to teach Solon
338.  Coupons and Gift cards
339.  Anticipating the holidays
340.  A great accupuncture session
341.  The many miracles Jesus performed that the bible documents and putting myself there and the many, many applications for me right now.  NOTHING is impossible for God and keep your focus on Him!
342.  Prayer
343.  Netflix and Hulu - cheap, cheap entertainment at just $8/month - beats cable any day of the week!
344. Inspiration for Solon's 4th birthday party (9 months away) and buying things on clearance - I will give you a hint, I was stoked his football jersey has a #4 on it - Scott just smiled when I told him it was meant to be!
345.  a good workout
346.  phone calls from my dad and him asking about Cy

This is a song we are singing in our next set in November...I love the message - we serve an amazing Father and I am so thankful he holds us close when we need Him most!

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer
Awesome in power
Our God, Our God
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Solon's Turn...

I have heard it said (by someone - who knows who!) that 3 is a magical age.  I am inclined to agree but I will tell you why... 
 
At 3, Solon's speech has matured, he is constantly contemplating things big and small, is really funny, quirky, cute, sweet, kind, and well um....let's say....strong-willed.  I have also heard it said, there ain't a 3 year old around that isn't strong-willed so atleast we know he is normal (wink!).  My doctor told me that professional negotiators could learn a thing or two from a three year old - again I am inclined to agree.  We pick our battles around here!  We are definitely in training mode.  We show a lot of love, mercy, and compassion while being just/consistent (modeling how our God works!).  There are consequences for actions and Solon is learning quickly sometimes it is worth the consequence and sometimes not - I am hoping he will learn sooner than later to obey (so spoke by his strong-willed mom - hmmm...)
 
 He is a lover and will come by and rub your back, give you a kiss or a hug - tell you he loves you and give you that smile that M-E-L-T-S your soul.  He also will have you doubling over with his quick comebacks and one liners and you just never know what will get him/you laughing....
 
Bedtime is still one of my favorite times with this little guy - he just opens up and we reminice about memories (he should not be able to remember - the kid has a memory of steel) or tickle or talk about tomorrow's agenda (just like his mama - needs to know what is up). We pray together and his sweet prayers are so heartfelt and he will tell you if you forgot an important request in yours.  He digests the bible lesson and we discuss its application for him - generally obey God and your parents (God has some good go to themes in children's bibles ;).  I just love hugging him close and he snuggles right in!  I normally stay just a little longer before kissing him goodnight for the 1000th time. Soon he won't be so little and he won't want my 1000 kisses, but for now, he does.

Look at his long legs, he sure loves to run, run, run, and scooter on this thing or play football or ride his tractor.  Pretty much any sort of movement...

Give you 1 guess what he is doing and he is not sleeping....remember "normal" 3 year old behavior!

Sober - thinking Mom if you take one more picture....

Models our behavior, speech and obviously our action...

I remember when I taught him this puzzle and he did it by himself for the 1st time, this takes him 30 seconds now and he acts so smart and speedily says all of the colors...but he is careful and really puts his all into anything (just look at that face!) 

And look my grown up grocery shopper - he rose to the occasion...

And he loves birthdays and gift giving...even if they aren't for him!
 
Our conversations normally center around "why this mom?" or "how does that work?" and "what is that?" - and he listens intently digesting it all and then sometimes Scott will talk to him about something, last week it was bones in your body and not 2 hours later we had a discussion about them again - still processing....love watching his little mind work.
 
We were talking about legs and I would ask him if a whale had legs, he would say no...how many does a lion have? 4 and how about an ostrich? His response - mommy I can't see it....the teacher in me got going and I was so fascinated that already he is making pictures in his head - can you say visual learner!
 
He thrives on praise, if I say "good job buddy for ______, I am so proud of you" - you should see him just melt into a puddle.  He thrives on opportunities to strive and is a perfectionist.  He has been working on writing his name and if there is a stroke wrong, he erases the magna-doodle and starts over.  Yikes, just like his mama.  I am a recovering perfectionist...his poor teacher.  I will get her some white out!  If he is nervous (say swimming lessons), he asks me to pray for him!  He knows God cares for him!
 
His imagination is starting to blossom, you never know what sounds he might be making or where he is off to or what animal he is (most of the time a lion) but the other day he was a frog that turned into a prince when I kissed him (as he twirled to transform). 
 
See 3 really is a magical age!  Equally steeped in training and moments that melt your heart.
 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vera Antics...

Our kiddos keep us busy...So much so that I thought I would use pictoral evidence to illustrate.  This post is dedicated to all things Vera and there will be another one shortly for Solon.  They are equal parts hilarious and exasperating and all parts love.
Ah...isn't she cute - note this is the only time she stays still and even then, not so much, I am always finding her in a different position than last time.  She really likes to chuck things out of her bed or use the bumper as a step stool ;)

I found her like this the other day - how she got her shirt to do that is beyond me, but I tried to correct it and she FREAKED out.  Yep I am so in trouble during her teenage years.  We are working on modesty NOW!

And yes she still LOVES the dishwasher...

She loves to swing...I love this outfit because it is so mismatched, it is comical...the day got colder and colder and so we just kept adding layers...she still looks good in a variety of stripes and colors.

And her favorite thing to do is "share" with Cy.  Her mantality is "one for me, and one for you" Cy happily obliges and now when Vera has food, Cy is VERY close by aka ON - TOP - OF - HER which only encourages her to share more.  I love her enthisastic way of giving!
 
She also loves to climb on stairs, has a new passion for all things utensil (as in forks, spoons, straws) and loves to carry them around at all times (think she has a spoon in her bed for nap today!), likes to carry her too big to carry blanket everywhere, hates to have her diaper changed, has decided to become a walker, wants to be doing whatever Solon is doing, LOVES pancakes, blows on her food before eating and thinks Solon's peek-a-boo is the funniest thing in the world.
 
There is nothing like baby giggles, snuggles, and kisses to brighten your day.  She is busy but she is a keeper and we love her 1000 years (as Solon says - stay tuned for his post)!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Little Cyclone Tailgating...

We have not had luck with tailgating this year - whether it be the weather or other unforseen circumstances (but that is our life right now) BUT when we do get to tailgate, we have lots of fun playing kick the can (aka water bottle), fluffing each other with pom poms, dirtying our knees on the asphalt (if you are Vera), eating to our heart's content, and enjoying the marching band and the sunshine.  There is nothing like Cyclone tailgating...


...and a self-portrait in the stands (note Vera in Nana's hands to the right of Scott - we didn't leave her at home, I promise).  Luckily we have lots of willing hands to help with the munchkins...and of course cotton candy helps the "fun" factor too - especially when Grandpa gets it - Solon moves fast!
 
Go Cyclones!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A fun trip to the Orchard...

Before the Wetherbee gang departed back to Minnesota, we headed north to Center Grove Orchard for some family fun.  My mom requested to go again this year after a really fun time last year.  This year did not disappoint.  We had so much fun!
 
We looked for pumpkins and found some gourds and with Solon's direction that he wanted a teeny-weeny little pumpkin, we found one of those too.   Ellen was proud of her posterior looking pumpkin.

We stopped in the corn pool for some wrestling, jumping, photo taking, feet finding and more...we all took a few kernals home by accident as a momento.  Solon was collecting them and promising to return them upon our next visit - ever so thoughtful!



...and this time she thought she would try one...she promptly spit it out...
sweet, happy baby smiles...
...and pig piles on Auntie Ellen...
 
We also rode the hayrack ride...

 
...and took a break from the hay bail maze and spider web for some apple cider doughnuts and drinks...

baby approved - don't judge me for giving her some - they are so good!
 
Of course no trip is complete without a few trips down the super slide...


 
And a new attraction this year - the bounce-y horses that Solon totally got some air on...
...and Ellen not so much...
...I think that is called fail or black mail or both?
 
What a fun day at the Orchard - many wonderful memories, belly laughs and yummy treats!
 

 

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Real Gone...

If you have a kiddo, you know the theme song from "Cars".  You can feel free to cue that music while reading this post.  I got my inner-Jeff Gordon on or would be Dannika Patrick when we went on a ride along at the Iowa Speedway.  We got my dad this "gift" for his birthday but he decided it would be more fun to all go so he invited us all along as his guests - how does that make it his gift? I am not sure but I was stoked beyond nervous but the monetary investment made me do it.  Like all things I get roped into, I whine and freak out before and am elated and jazzed after, this was no exception.  I never knew I needed to do it before but it was SOOOO awesome.  Thanks Dad for including us in a fun (albeit FREEZING) afternoon.
 

So my dad paid for the side by side "race" so Scott and I went first - I had the m&m car and Scott the DMD car.  We were SIDE by SIDE folks - I may have said or a word or two as they snuck up next to us, whipped ahead of us and then we traded.  We took about 6 laps around the 1.5 mile track - clocking in at about 30 seconds a piece (I think it makes it like 125+ mph).  It was exhilerating as my 22 year old driver whisked me around like Driving Miss Daisy!  I don't know how those drivers do it though, my neck was so sore from the force by the end.  Imagine 400 laps!
 
Dad Before...

 
Dad and Ellen making the loop...
 
And Dad and Ellen after...
Given all of Ellen's crazy stunts including bungy jumping (with my dad mind you), skydiving and who knows what else - she still gave this little ol' ride a thumbs up.
I love that our family plays together, I just better be careful what I gift in the future...you know it will not be a skydiving gift certificate **wink!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Multitude Monday...

307.  Praise that Cy (our puppy) who was quite sick last week is responding well to the medicine and again eating.  We were so worried we might lose her. 
308.  Solon went into his classrooms this week with no tears - HUGE praise!
309.  God answers prayers big and small (reference #307 &#308)
310.  New church wide bible study - helping me to dig deeper into the word daily
311.  Scott getting into a good quiet time routine
312.  A fun park playdate with an old neighbor on a beautiful fall morning
313.  Cousins skyping - love getting to see our sweet Grace and Lance "live"
314.  great devotion time at PEO and MOPS - thanks Lord for your wisdom
315.  new recipes and a hubby who will eat anything and compliment me for it ;)
316.  Solon's growing curiousity about the world around him (we have talked about legs, bones, fins, and the list goes on and on)
317.  finding a new TV show on netflix I love (Hart of Dixie) - I am not a huge TV person but I love that I found something I enjoy with my feet up
318.  My accupuncturist is back from maternity leave and I go this week - you don't know how excited I am - wahoo!!!!!
319.  Staying home - I am so thankful for my job
320.  Vera is officially walking
321.  Baby babbles, smiles, nuzzles and sloppy kisses
322.  My inlaws taking us out to eat after the game
323.  Hubby gave my shoulders a rub - I am a little "tense" lately
324.  Quiet Sundays
325.  a Vacuum - there is just something about a freshly vacuumed home
326.  my new hair do and going wild and curly occasionally (I will probably regret it like spandex in the 80's but it is fun and different!)

I love an awesome God.  He reminds me daily of his goodness.  His love is beyond by my comprehension and his grace is beyond words.  Thank you Lord for all you have abundantly blessed me with.  You are a gracious and merciful God!
 
What are you thankful for this week?  Don't forget to look up and say thanks!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Park Playdate before pictures...

When my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer, we decided it would be a good idea to get family photos taken (mom, not because we think something is going to happen to you) but because it is a good reminder to just do it from time to time - someone doesn't have to get married SO we just did it!  We met our photographer at a beautiful park west of us and while we waited, the "kids" thought they would have some fun and try to stay warm.  My fingers about froze off (I know, I have a lot of bucking up to do before winter!).
Slides...
Tickles, giggles...
...and more slides...
It is hard to tell which kid had the most fun but it really makes my heart smile to see my family play so well together!  Vera and Scott opted to stay warm car side and what you don't see is us all piling in clown car style with heater blasted for the next few minutes!  We were all belly laughing when our photographer pulled up - good thing she likes to have fun too!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Kitchen Makeover Reveal - FINALLY...

Oh my word, I feel like this is the world's LONGEST project on the face of the earth and I know I am not alone in tackling said project because I follow a few other bloggers that have done it and they have a few words to say too **smile.  Let's just say I am so glad we did it, I never want to do it again.  My advice to the next person is to price out having the doors professionally sprayed.  The cabinet guts part was not so bad to do ourselves. 
 
The Before:

**We do not keep our trash on the counter, I nearly forgot to take before pictures, hence one drawer already missing...I am not sure why the trash is there.  I will blame it on someone else.
 
The Prep - removing all the hardware, door fronts, and anything too close to the edge of the cabinet that we did not want painted.  This was actually a great excercise because I cleaned all of the insides (that chore didn't even make the baby nesting list) and decluttered.  I got rid of a 3rd set of wine glasses - not sure I needed 36 wine glasses - don't ask me, I went crazy with the scanner during my registry.
We left all the necessities in the cabinets that I would need to use for the next "few" days or so I thought...
 
We then made little stands for the cabinets out of 2x4's, 5 gallon jugs, ladders and saw horses.  I had read that tip on a blog and it worked famously.  Scott also tried to protect the floor with newspaper but the first time we opened the garage door they all flew everywhere and we didn't waste our time fixing it, so if you are picky, tape it down.
 
And then we started deglossing.  We chose not to sand all the cabinets.  We sanded the ones that were above the stove because there was a lot more buildup of grease.  We used a hand-held belt sander with some 220 grit sand paper.  If I had to do it again I would have sanded them all with that sander, wipe them down clean and then deglossed - but just my post-doing it opinion.
 
 We followed the directions on the deglosser very carefully and applied one coat the first night and the applied the 2nd coat just 30 minutes before applying the first coat of primer.  We got the deglosser in the paint section at Menards and used cheese cloth (lint free cloth) to apply.  We went through several packages of cloth and a few pairs of good gloves.  Also make sure to have some fans going so you don't get high/loopy from the fumes.  I then started applying a high grade primer from Sherwin Williams, just 30 minutes after the deglosser was applied. (that 30 minutes was key if you didn't catch it before - for some reason it must be extra tacky at that point - tacky...hahaha!)
So I did 2 coats of primer, let dry for several hours and flipped all of the cabinets (this is where it got t.e.d.i.o.u.s), you know what is coming, right?  Lots of paint and wait and flip and wait.  Meanwhile, we deglossed and sanded some areas where more grease was in the kitchen.  We then, just 30 minutes after deglosser was applied, applied the first coat of paint.  We used a foam roller designed for cabinet/furniture painting (also found in the paint section of Menard's for like $6-8 bucks).  The finish was much better and less stroky than the brush.
 
Oh and I love to not tape (I know, gasp away) and use a tapered finish brush on edges, some people don't like living on the edge like that so you tape what you need to, to feel comfy...it's your jam kitchen, do what you like.
So now we had the 2 coats of primer applied to the cabinet studs, both sides of the cabinets, and we were ready for paint.  2 coats of paint applied with a roller again (change the roller out).  We stored our rollers in the fridge wrapped in tin foil and clearly marked "primer", etc.  Then you don't waste as many rollers.
Okay so I lied I taped a few spots where my trusty assistants wanted me too (little did they know I was painting the walls so a little white paint wouldn't matter).  We chose not to paint the inside of our cabinets for a few reasons.  Most white cabinets have the same interiors as our oak puppies do and we were not sure how durable (even with poly) they would be with constant dishes going in and out.  I don't mind the look so I left it, whoever buys the house (no it is not on the market), I hope it is not a deal breaker!
 
Last step was applying 3 thin coats of poly (read thin, it is very drippy).  You must apply with a brush, the roller will create air bubbles (luckily I didn't learn that by experience).  I did learn that it is very drippy so we did use a sponge brush on the edges to prevent us going back and wiping after every coat.  We always started with the cabinet backs for each layer so that the fronts would be last and unblemished.
 
The poly makes it very hard and durable (read - I have already washed my cabinets and they stood the test).  You need to let the odors release before bringing them in the house.  Once again good ventilation is key.  We left them outside for 3 days (this about killed me, they were technically done but I couldn't reinstall). We kept all the windows open and tried to keep the kids out of the area for a good 24 hours for the cabinet gut part.  Be careful of bugs, for some reason they are attracted to this stuff and then they die from the fumes and get stuck - SO ANNOYING.  I have 1 bug as a momento(I will never tell where).  We did have to sand a few edges where the poly got goopy so don't feel bad if you need to sand some spots.
 
Okay so our timeline was about a week and it was pretty much - eat, sleep and paint,  It could not have been done any faster because of all the paint, wait, and flip business.  I also had lots of help from my inlaws in the kid watching department and basically every nap and bedtime was spent painting.  We planned it out with pen and paper so we would know exactly what to do each free moment.  I wanted this done, like there was no tomorrow.  I don't deal well with chaos...ask my hubby, by the end of the week, I was nearly off my rocker.  I was never SO happy to return everything to its rightful home.  I did make sure to wash all the hardware to degrease them.  I didn't realize how much gunk gets on those things.  
 
 Once I recovered from my paint-induced carpel tunnel and in a moment of "Vera's 1st birthday is in a week and I want the kitchen to be done", I decided to paint the kitchen a grey and make my own curtains (never.doing.that.again).  Have you ever made 2 patterned panel curtains, that was a lot of math/science in getting those to match up.  I did save some major moola by making my own because I knew exactly what I wanted and only places like Crate and Barrel and West Elm had them at like $95+ a pop and I was having a hard time swallowing that cost.  I used hem tape and will eventually sew them (but no one's birthday is for a few months so I have time ;).
 
I will say it is 95% done because I want to get some yellow and teal accessories and we still need to do the crown molding but other than that we will stamp this project "DONE". 
 
And tada...don't point out any flaws, just say "wow!" okay?



We were going to replace the countertops but the more we hear about the market, we would not recoup the money so the next buyer gets laminate...sorry!  And we are still debating to redo the backsplash with white subway tile but I am 99% sure that will be staying too.  We think it looks just fine.  If it was our forever house, it might be a different story.  For the same reason, we left the cabinet hardware and white appliances, we know people get all giddy about the silver kind.
 
And there you have it our kitchen remodel - and how did the budget breakdown go?
 
Paint - $100 (1 gallon primer and 1 gallon tinted paint) Sherwin Williams
Deglosser, cheesecloth and gloves - $30
Foam rollers, replacement pads, and throw away trays - $20
Paint brushes - $0, we already had
Poly (water based, semi-gloss finish - 1 gallon) - $15
Curtain fabric $60 (1/2 price sale at Hancock Fabrics - 6 yards)
stitch witchery hem tape $6
Wall paint color (only took 1 coat of the good Sherwin Williams kitchen paint) - on sale 40% off - $40
 
Total so far: $271
 
Still to do:
Add accessories $50
Crown molding $75
 
Additional $125 cost
 
For a total of $396
(which I think is AH-mazing for a total kitchen makeover but that is just me)
 
I promise to bring you pictures of the project when it is 100% complete but I make no promises of when that might be...
 
 

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