Monday, February 28, 2011

All Day

I just spent all day - all of my kid-free, quiet, could get something majorly accomplished day - on the phone. A good chunk of my time was spent shopping for homeowners and auto insurance for our move. Got that squared away. I also spent a decent amount of time on the phone with our mortgage company (grr) getting a wee bit frustrated with them. The end result of those conversations is that we are pushing our closing back by 10 days so that details can be taken care of, blah blah blah. Boo.

So in the six hours that I had all to myself, I was on the phone for probably five of those hours. Really. I did manage to eat breakfast and get a shower in there. I did not, however, manage to eat lunch, and was super starved by the time I went to pick the kids up from school.

Tomorrow Meagan will be home with me, but I think she has already started forming a plan to go to her friend's house tomorrow. So maybe I will be a bit more productive tomorrow. I hope.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bingo's and Short Hair

Two new layouts to share with you. Although I didn't find much free time for scrapping this week, I was able to accomplish a little.

The first is a layout I've had in my mind for a while. Every time I'm in the van with the kids and hear "BINGO" I think of doing a layout to document this funny little game they play. Finally, I got around to it.

"In 2010, our neighbor Blayne taught the kids that yellow cars are called Bingo's. Kind of like slug bugs, but any yellow car will do."

(Click here to view full credits.)

And for layout 2... This week Jacque Larsen and Pamela Donnis released an adorable kit that was hair-cut themed. I decided to take full advantage of it, and do a page about Meagan's hair cut back in December. "Sick & tired of tangled hair, Meagan made a bold decision to get her hair all cut off. At first she wasn't all that sure about the idea, but by the time we got to the salon, she looked at me and said, "Mom I want it SHORT." When I asked her how short, she gestured way up above her ears. We found a happy middle ground, and when it was all done, she had short, untangled hair, and she looked CUTE."

(Click here to view full credits.)


I'm Baaaack

Well, oh my goodness. No, I did not fall off the face of the earth! What a week this has been!

Sebastian started running a fever Monday. The kids did not have school because of Presidents' Day, so everyone was home. Tuesday, he still had a fever... stayed home again. Wednesday, more fever. Thursday... you guessed it. And yesterday, STILL a fever. At first I thought it was a viral thing because it was just a low fever, stuffy nose, coughing. No gross yucky symptoms, so I was going to just let it run its course. And then one of the days - I think Thursday - he actually had no fever in the morning, so I thought we had reached the end of it. But by Thursday evening, his fever had returned. Anyway, by Friday morning, I thought enough is enough. So I got him in to see the doctor. Uh, strep. Strep I say. That sucks. Trouble is, by this point, I was also running a fever, and Meagan (although no fever) had the other symptoms. So our doctor put all three of us on antibiotics for it.

Also this week, we had NO internet and NO tv. Whaaat! A week of sick kids and no tv. Nice. So from Wednesday morning until last night around 7:00, I was in an ongoing effort to get AT&T to get it fixed. Finally last night service was returned! Aaaah, sigh of relief. So this morning, the kids are getting caught up on Clone Wars that have been recorded. And I am attempting to catch up on internet stuff.

We also got a visitor last night. Lucas surprised us again by coming home for the weekend. When the kids heard the door open, they practically stampeded him. Love that. Meagan has been like a shadow stuck to his side. She was super happy to get to play Tackle the Churzer and Tickle Wars with him. And she crawled into bed first thing this morning to snuggle him. She is going to be heart broken when he leaves tomorrow. Just a few more weeks, and all this separation junk will be over! I am counting down the days!

By the way, did I mention that my birthday is one week from tomorrow. *wink* I told Lucas he could buy me a house for my birthday, and I would be good with that. Nice of him, don't you think?

Okay, off to enjoy my day (and clean up the kitchen after a breakfast of sausage, french toast sticks, scrambled eggs, and egg sandwiches... it's a bit of a mess in there at the moment).


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reality Hits

Well so far today I have had conversations with the seller, our buying agent, our lender, our relocation agent, the moving company, and the kids' new school district. I am all phone called out, and I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed with emotion. Mostly I get choked up when I think about registering the kids in a new school and notifying their current school of their last day. That's tough to think about because their teachers have been so wonderful to work with this year. *sigh*

So, financing is rolling. We've locked in our rate, we've got the application coming to us to finalize and all that jazz. I am working on signing and initialling and blah blah blah all the purchase documents. And I've contacted the moving company to get us packed and moved the week of closing. Apparently we don't need to register the kids for school until the week before they start, so that will be put on hold for now.

At this point, I think I've made all the phone calls I needed to make today. I think I'm going to take a phone break, and maybe fold some laundry instead (how's that for a break?! *lol*)


Monday, February 21, 2011

week 5: 2011

29 - Meagan helped me make fruit roll ups in the dehydrator
30 - Our furnace died, so we spent the night camped in front of the fire.
31 - Sebastian as the Iceberg monster... his stuffed animal in his hoodie.
01 - Book bags hanging on the shelf can only mean one thing - snow day!
02 - Another snow day. B & Leanne came over to hang out and warm up.
03 - Manicures by Meagan. She painted my nails with sparkly rainbow colors.
04 - Littlest Pet Shop village set up in the kitchen floor.


Home Sweet Home

Busy weekend for us. House hunting was productive, and last night we reached an agreement with the builders of this house.
So this will be our new home! Yea!! So excited! Within four weeks, we will be closing and taking possession. I feel like we've reached the top of the first hill of a roller coaster. The of anticipation has come to an end. We are in the front car, dangling just over the precipice, knowing that the good stuff is only moments away! Put your hands up and get ready! Here we go!

Did I mention that I'm excited?! I am!


Girls' Got Style

February 17: Three days after Valentine's Day and all the hearts are gone from the stores and have been replaced by shamrocks and leprechauns. And of course all the shiny green decorations caught Meagan's eye right away. We spent a good ten minutes trying on the hats and glasses and necklaces and headbands.

And then we moved onto the sun glasses. She's a rock star.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Take that off the list

Wow, what a week this is turning out to be! Soooo sorry for the absence. I know I am bordering on getting myself in trouble with some of you for not posting anything for the past few days. Sorry.

So here's what has happened (in a nutshell because I'm ready to go lay down and be done for the day) since we last talked *lol* .....

Last weekend we had 2 showings for our house - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Monday all the kids were in school, so I took advantage of the quiet time to get some boring grown-up stuff done. Tuesday, Meagan and I were at home hanging out, playing and generally making a bit of a mess in the house, when I got a text saying the Sunday people wanted to take a second look... oh and they wanted to come Wednesday. I said yes, of course, since I want to sell this house right? Then I laughed. Out loud. I was in the middle of laundry, there were toys everywhere, and on and on. Oh well, I guess it's time to kick my butt into high gear and start cleaning.... again.

I stayed up until about 1:00 in the morning Tuesday night / Wednesday morning. My sweet neighbor came over and helped me move furniture around to open up the floor space a bit on the main level. What a total blessing she was to me that night! She's awesome. I will miss her when we move.

Anyway, got up Wednesday morning, got the kids ready for school, dropped them off and then did a mad clean-up of all of the things that can't really be done until last minute. Got it done. Spent an hour browsing Pier 1 unwinding and waiting for the showing to be over. (Then after that I got to go back to our tax preparer for the third time to finalize our tax return - let's just say that 2 relocations in less than a year does not make for simplified taxes... nope).

Weeeelllll.... late Wednesday evening, we received an offer on our house! Woohoo! I was ecstatic! Totally beside myself really. An offer after 9 days. I just can't believe sometimes how amazing God is and how He works out details and just does such cool stuff like this.

Anyway, after a bit of negotiating, tonight we came to an agreement. We still have to do the finalizing of the paperwork between the buyer and the relocation company, but we officially have a verbally accepted offer on our house! I can take "Sell House" off of my to-do list! I like it! Now I can move on to "Buy House." We're still working on that.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Photos Rescued!

Hooray! I am happy again! My photos have been rescued from the crazy memory stick that was refusing to release them!

I had to run to the grocery this morning, so I took my camera with me and stopped by the photo center. I stuck the memory stick in their photo machine, and it read it just fine. So I ordered a CD of the photos for a few bucks, popped the card back in the camera, and reformatted it. Problem solved. Makes me happy... I love pictures, and I can't stand the thought of losing them. Especially not cute ones of moments I want to always remember.

Here is a peek at a few of the 60 photos that were being held hostage...

The kids made Valentine's cards for each other and for Lilly. Sebastian gave her her card a day early. He thought it was great that she laid there with her paw on the card like she was holding it. It really was quite cute. He just loves that cat.

We took advantage of the warm(er) air yesterday, and went outside to play. Admittedly, the kids were out much longer than I was... a few reasons for that... (a) I'm kind of a wuss and I didn't want to be cold, and (b) being out there with them the entire time would defeat the purpose of sending them out to begin with ... which would be a moment of quiet in my home... sometimes, you just gotta kick the kids out for a bit.

So they each made a little snow man in the front yard, and then they started in the back (where there was the most snow to work with) and began rolling this gigantic snow ball. By the time it got to the side of the house, it was too heavy, and they were stuck. Isaac resorted to climbing on it and rolling off... I think he had just given up on the idea of moving it any further.

Sebastian, however, wasn't giving up that easily. He was determined.

He even enlisted his little sister's help (as you can see in the background, Isaac was being no help... seriously, he was over the idea of moving the big snowball.)
Then Meagan had the 'body' in the back yard. Um, it never got anywhere close to the base. It is still in the back yard where she left it (in a big melty blob now).
Their snowmen:
Isaac eating snow and throwing snowballs at us while we tried to move the big giant snowball. What a boy.
By the time we got done, the sun was setting and the snowmen were basking in the dusk. Pretty cool sight actually. Oh, and FYI, we finally settled for leaving the base of the big snowman near the front / side of the house. It never got finished, as we went inside shortly after parking it by our little side tree.
So here's the problem with making snowmen yesterday....
The sun is out and the snow is melting.
This is ONLY a problem for snowmen. It is, in no way, shape, or form a problem for me. I like it! I saw grass, sun, and blue sky all in the same day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Weekend Edition

What a weekend it has been! A little crazy, but good crazy.

Saturday we had our first showing. It was set for 1:00 - 2:00, so as soon as we got the house in order, we loaded up and headed out. The kids had gotten McDonald's gift cards from Grandpa & Grandma for Valentine's Day, so we headed to the golden arches for lunch. The kids were super excited to get to go into the restaurant to eat, and even more excited when they discovered the way cool toys (hot wheels monster trucks and ponies) that came with the food. We hung out for a bit, ate our high quality food, and the kids played with their toys for a few minutes before we left.
We still had to pass some time... so we had a movie date. We went to see Gnomeo and Juliet. Hmmm... well, the kids liked it... that's all that matters. It had one or two funny moments. Mostly just a bunch of garden gnomes seeking revenge on each other.

As for today, I was all ready to treat you to some really C.U.T.E. pictures of our activities today (Valentines' cards, playing in the snow, snow men, and other such cuteness). However, my memory stick (or my computer - one or the other) has decided to act up, and I cannot get the photos to transfer from my camera to my computer. *sigh* I am sure I will eventually figure out something (or maybe my lovely husband will eventually come to my rescue). Until then, the pictures are trapped on my camera. Makes me sad. Good thing my phone takes decent pictures or I would be being a really big cry baby right now.

So instead of pictures, you will have to settle for READING. Yuck. *lol*

Today we had another showing (yay!)... this time from 11:00 to 12:00. We got up early, got ready for our day, and then I spent about 2 hours cleaning my clean house... at which point I felt like maybe I had a little bit lost my mind... a little. But you know, the beds needed to be made, and bathrooms wiped down, and the kitchen needed to be cleaned from breakfast, and so on. So really, it was all stuff that needed to be done for the sake of showing a house... it just seemed like overkill since I had JUST done all of this same exact stuff YESTERDAY.
Anyway. The timing for the showing worked out perfectly, as we just went to church. Then we made a pit stop at Sonic (I know, fast food 2 days in a row... I know) for lunch. I have never - yes, I said never - had Sonic until today. Not bad really. The kids love it! Chicken, grilled cheese, and corn dogs... I guess a bit of a change from the standard fast food cheeseburger or chicken nuggets.
So anyway, after lunch we had nothing else that had to be done today, so we just took a deep breath and relaxed. The kids played inside for a while until they started getting crazy. So I sent them out. I figured it was a pretty nice day as far as temp goes (and the SUN was shining... we saw the sun and the grass (a bit peeking through where the snow is beginning to melt). They took advantage of the wet heavy snow and built snowmen. We have 3 little snowmen and one big giant snowball with a small snow ball plopped on top. I think they got too cold before they could finish Mr. Gigantor. Fun stuff. Of course, hot chocolate when they came in. And then we had a lazy dinner and watched Aliens in the Attic together.
I love our kids. They're such good kids.

week 4: 2011

I've been doing great with taking a photo a day... so far I have not missed a day (almost once, but I remembered in time). I've been doing less great with keeping up with putting the photos into layout form. So here is week 4...

22 - Another trip to Indiana to spend the weekend with Lucas. I took 67 over and got a little turned around... and drove 60 mph for WAY too long.
23 - Date with Lucas at the Nickel Plate Bar & Grill
24 - Volunteering in Isaac's class room. I have loved being able to do this with / for him.
25 - Ducks outside of Hobby Lobby. Meagan wanted to pet them. I wanted them to fly away. Why are they here in the middle of winter??
26 - More snow blowing. Freezing cold, but good for a bit of fresh air.
27 - Lilly was queen of the castle.
28 - A few minutes playing with Meagan out in the snow.

(Click here to view full credits.)


Enjoy the Journey

I actually got a little bit of scrapping done in between all the cleaning and running and everything else that's been going on around here. A little creative outlet felt nice... was starting to feel a bit pent up.

Journaling: "1/1/11 - Lucas and I took a road trip to Indiana to take a look at our soon-to-be new hometown. Seems like it was only a short time ago that we moved to our current home. Time flies, and life comes at you fast. But I am excited about whatever lies ahead of us. We can't see very far down the road that lies ahead of us, but part of the adventure is discovering what is around the next turn. Change is part of life. We may as well decide to enjoy the journey."

(Click here to view full credits.)


Valentine's Day Sale at TLP

Hey everyone! Just wanted to pass along some SALE info for you! The Lilypad is having a 30% off sale on all of their Valentine's products. You can check it out here in the shop. Happy bargain hunting!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Color Me Lovely

Thank you Keith and Suzie for the Valentine's Day cards! Meagan ran to the mailbox to check for mail, and was SO excited to find an envelope with her name on it! She is currently sitting in the living room coloring the card you sent. She is happy! And I'm happy that she's happy (and occupied).


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blank Canvas

Since the day we moved here, there has been a big empty void in my house - right above our headboard in our bedroom. The artwork that used to hang above our bed in our old house now occupies a big empty space in the master bathroom, leaving the wall above our bed nice and empty. I have looked through stores countless times over the past several months trying to find something that (1) I liked, and (2) didn't cost a small fortune. Apparently, those two things don't coincide when it comes to artwork. *shrug*

Anyway, I got tired of looking and finding nothing. So I got a bright idea to try to make something myself. I started with the plan of making four canvas paintings and grouping them together. I fully finished two of them. I started the third. And totally ran out of time to do the fourth.

So what did I do? Improvise. Made something up. Made due with what I had available. You get the idea.

Here's the project from start to finish...

Step 1. Paint brushes, paint, and a blank canvas.
Step 2: randomly start painting. (Actually, I did have an end goal in mind... it was just a matter of trial and error until I got to something close to what I had in mind).
Step 3: Goop on lots of paint and swirl it around to make a textured-ish background.
Step 4: Keep doing step 3, mixing colors until it looks... well... until you feel like stopping I guess.

Step 5: Stencils, paint, and glitter. The glitter was totally a spontaneous addition. I like how it turned out though. (This isn't the final product... I kept layering stencils and glitter, and adding touches of paint here and there until I felt done with it... keep scrolling down... you'll see the finished deal in a sec.)

Move on to a new canvas. More random paint strokes. I just squeezed the paint right onto the canvas and started brushing it around. Not exactly a science to it.

Again with adding more colors and layers of paint until I just felt finished with it. I did dry the paint between layering though. If I would not have dried them, it would have just blended together, like mixing paint on a tray. Not good. Not the look I was going for. I like this brushed grungy look much better than mixed up mush.
And again with adding stencils and glitter and paint strokes here and there...

The third canvas I did, I actually only started. Didn't really finish, but we're calling it done... for now.
And then the improvising. Because the idea was to hang up four pictures. Not three. But I had a lamp sitting on my bed. Maybe that could fill space. But a plain lamp is boring. So, I busted out the paint and stencils and painted it up a bit.


What to do with Ear Wax

I would hate to forget this, so I better write it down quick!!

Meagan was asking me about some of the candles I have sitting around the house. There are two red ones in particular that are sitting in our living room that she says are shaped like crayons. She keeps asking me why I don't light them. (Maybe because three kids, one cat, and open flames do not mix well, I dunno).

So we finished our candle conversation, or so I thought. She scrunched up her face and tilted her head (this is her look when she is really thinking hard). Then she said, "Mommy, do all candles really come out of people's ears?"

Buffering... buffering... trying to figure out where on earth that came from. Then I saw a mental image of Shrek pulling ear wax out of his ear and lighting it for his dinner candle. Aah, yes. Um, no. "No, honey, candles don't come from ear wax. Only Shrek's candles come from ear wax."

I could tell she was relieved, because really, that's a pretty gross thought. And we have a lot of candles sitting around.


On Again, Off Again

Well, we listed our house on Monday. Yesterday our agent notified me that someone had scheduled a showing for today. Wow. How encouraging to have a showing in the first week of being on the market! What a vast difference from our home-sale attempt in Michigan! Big sigh of relief to hear that at least there is interest. Yay!

Today our agent called and said they had to cancel for today. BUT, the have rescheduled for Saturday in the early afternoon. No worries there. That gives me a little extra time to get some finishing touches done (like replacing the K-Mart kids in the frames... I have the pictures ordered and will be going to pick them up this afternoon.... my mother-in-law will be so proud of me!!)

So I figured I will go ahead and finish preparing the house as though we are still showing it tonight. That way I know everything is done and ready and all I will (in theory) have to do for this weekend is surface clean-up stuff (fingers crossed... hard to tell with three kids really). Plus, that way it's ready just in case someone else should want to come see it!

Back to cleaning I go.......


Monday, February 7, 2011

On the Hunt

We are officially in full relocation mode. Today our house goes on the MLS listing. So PRAY for quick response, lots of interest, and a quick sale. Would L.O.V.E. that!

This weekend we went to Indiana to go house hunting. The kids and I loaded up Friday night and headed out. We had a long and rather eventful trip getting there... let's say by the time we got there I was in need of a good solid 10 minutes of quiet time... didn't get it...but wanted it... badly. We stayed in Lucas' extended-stay hotel room, which is barely big enough for him, so fitting five of us in there was another element of adventure. Three kids on one full-size blow-up bed. Good thing they're still short. :)

We got up Saturday morning - house hunting day - and everything was covered in a thick blanket of wet, heavy snow. Our agent met us at the hotel, and we all piled into the family truckster (aka, our van) and headed out. At a snail's pace. It was definitely slow moving. There were SO many cars in snow banks and ditches and medians. I was thankful we got through the day accident-free! Trial-free, not so much, but accident-free, yes.

Through the course of the day, we saw several houses, we fell down countless times on the snow-covered ice sheets that waited for us on most of the front porches and driveways, and we 'lost' a DS (Meagan's) and went on a wild goose chase for it only to later find out that she had just stuck it in the pocket on the back of Lucas' seat... so that was a waste of a good 45 minutes... in the snow and much. But the highlights - we ate lunch at a yummy deli in the area, and I got to meet one of Lucas' friends from work and tour his new house. Plus we got to be together... that is always a plus, regardless of yucky circumstances.

We got up Sunday morning and went on one more small sweep of houses. Then we ate lunch and headed home. Meagan started the trip saying her tummy hurt and she didn't feel good, but she fell asleep within five minutes and took a good long nap. She felt much better (and rather full of energy) once she woke up. All in all, we made it home just fine, only having to make 2 pit stops for potty breaks. Not too bad. When we got home, our driveway was BURIED in snow, and we nearly got stuck trying to pull into the garage. Thankfully, we made it without having to get out and push *lol*.


Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Dare Day: Twenty Minutes

Since it's Friday, that means it's time for a new Digi Dare. Play along for a chance to win a gift certificate to Allison Pennington's shop... plus you get a % off coupon code just for participating!

Here's my layout for this week's dare:

I took these pictures the other day while Meagan and I were outside in the snow. After I finished clearing the driveway, we played in the snow for a few minutes before going in to warm up.

Journaling: * 20 minutes to play outside * lots of snow * shovels * snowballs * a sidewalk to nowhere * an adventure through the back yard * so much fun together

(Click here to view full credits).


BYOC: Life's Moments

The Lily pad's February BYOC is released today, and it is sooooo cute! Check it out... 20 % off all weekend (image is linked).

Using February BYOC goodies.
The facts: a motor / fan that is part of our furnace system failed. It happened sometime around 3:00 in the morning on a Sunday - Jan 30, 2011 to be exact. When we woke up Sunday morning, the temp in the house had dropped to 65 degrees. Despite many phone calls, no one came to fix the problem until Monday afternoon. Approx 36 hours with no heat and no hot water.
Nothing to be done, so we did our best to make the best of it. We camped out in the living room Sunday night. The kids on the fold-out and Lucas and I on the floor. We layered clothes and blankets. We went through EVERY fire log in the house. We did our best to stay warm. It was 55 degrees when we woke up Monday morning. The kids went to school where there was heat, and we waited at the house for repairs to be made.

(Click here to view full credits)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fabulous Friday

I am dreaming of Friday... aka tomorrow. Tomorrow is a school day for Meagan. Tomorrow is my first kid-free (aka quiet) day since Monday. I like that.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my daughter. I love to spend time with her. I love the sparkly manicure that she gave me today (alternating hot pink and lime green on one hand, pale pink and orange on the other, all topped with silver glitter polish... who could not love that?). She is a doll, and SO much fun. Until she gets bored. And stir-crazy. Like today.

Meagan is not an indoor kind of girl. She is not a sit still kind of girl. She is not a play-alone kind of girl. She needs people. Requires company. Lives for action. So being stuck inside a house for three straight days with very little change in scenery has just about done her in. I lost count today of how many times I heard, "Momma, I don't know what to do." Poor thing. I played with her quite a bit - fingernail painting, Lincoln logs, movies - but there are just some things (like bills and laundry) that must get done at some point during the week.

Anyway, I'm thinking tomorrow will be a welcomed change of pace for both of us. I think she will be happy to have tasks to be doing and friends to be seeing and recess to be playing and all those sorts of school-ish things. And I will be happy to not feel guilty for cleaning or folding clothes or running errands. And to not have to watch or hear Wallace & Grommit or Despicable Me at any point during the day.

Plus tomorrow we get to see Lucas. And the next day we get to go house hunting. So I am super excited about that! For now, though, I am going to go relax and maybe even go to bed early. (Sorry, I'm too tired right now to even post the pictures of my sparkly fingernails... maybe tomorrow.)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Well Spent

The storm came. The storm went. We survived. We did not lose power. We stayed warm and comfy and cozy. The kids had school off today - yes that makes 2 days in a row... and Meagan will be home tomorrow... I will be ready to ship them all off to school on Friday... that's all I'm sayin'.

So my morning was spent shoveling and snow blowing. I would say that I was out for about an hour and a half before I finished everything. The official report from the airport was that we got 5 inches total. However, I will say that drifting most definitely deepened the matter. At points, the snow was higher than the top cover of the snow blower. Yeah, that's a lot more than 5 inches... more like 2 feet-ish. It was a slow process, but I got it done. Done.

Until the snow plow came and re-buried the end of my driveway again. *Sigh* Maybe I'll clear it off tomorrow. No more for tonight.

Another little highlight of the morning was that after all the snow was cleared, our neighbors came over and hung out for a bit. I love having someone to sit and chill and chat with. Really. I'm a chatty girl - and I LOVE to be with people - in case you did not know that about me.

Besides playing in the snow, we hung out today. This evening we watched an episode of Wallace & Grommit, which we have never seen before. It started a bit slow for me, but by the end, I think it had won us all over. Rather enjoyed it really, and it was a good evening together with my babies. Time well spent.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I did this layout for Krista Sahlin's Memory Lane contest for February. This month her highlighted kit is A Story of Friendship. Play along for a chance to win a gift certificate to her amazing store! (Her blog - details should be there soon).

Journaling: "Meagan and ***** met shortly after we moved to our home in Ohio. ***** lived just down the road from us, was the same age and was in the same class at school as Meagan. Although I'm not sure their first encounter was a hit, they soon became good friends, spending countless afternoons playing together. Even though Meagan is looking forward to moving to Indiana, she will miss *****"

(Click here to view full credits.)


Snuggle Up

Let me tell you a story. A story about how one little part (see picture below) can completely alter life as we know it.

This is a (disassembled) fan and motor that mounts to the outside of our house and makes a draft for the heating system. Motor seized. No draft. No heat.

Saturday during the day, every time the fan would kick on, the house would vibrate and the motor made an awful sound. We knew it was definitely on its last leg, but we were hoping it would hold out until the weekend was over so we would not have to pay weekend prices for HVAC repair. No such luck. Sometime between going to bed Saturday night and waking up Sunday morning, mechanical failure ensued. We woke up to a chilly house on Sunday morning. Not TOO cold - it was 66, which I know is warmer than many people keep their house anyway - but it was noticeably colder than our 'normal' which is usually around 72.

So, I began making phone calls. I looked in the yellow pages and called several companies in the area who said they did emergency 24 hour service.

Skip A LOT of crazy details. It was Monday at 12:30 before anyone ever came, and it was 2:40 before the furnace finally kicked on again. That equals approximately 36 hours with no heat. And no hot water. Uggh.

Sunday night, this was the scene in our house...
We all camped by the fire in the living room. We put the kids on the pull-out bed, and Lucas and I slept on the floor between the couch and the fire place. We had a space heater on the other side of the couch, so it made sort of a little heat bubble (if heat is really the appropriate word... it was more like a 'not-as-painfully-cold-as-the-rest-of-the-house bubble'). We loaded everyone up with tons of blankets, and in Meagan's case a winter hat, and we snuggled in. Even after going through every fire log in the house through the course of the night, it was 55 degrees in our house when we woke up Monday morning. I think my kids have never been so happy to go to school in all their lives. We even left 5 minutes early just so we could sit in the van with the heater running. Pretty sad.

At any rate... the part is fixed. The heat is on. Hot water has returned. And our furnace has never run quieter (or less). It just seems to be running more efficiently than it ever has since we've been here. So that's a definite plus from the whole thing. Plus we decided we could definitely stand to lower the normal temp in our house, so we dropped it down to 70 in the day and a little cooler still at night. All is good again.

It was an adventure. Don't want to do it again any time soon. Thankful for the ridiculous number of blessings we have in our life, and determined to not take them for granted.