Tuesday, February 28, 2012

money well spent

I'm almost embarrassed to show these photos.  But what the heck - we're all friends, right?  So here are some "before" photos of my boys' bedroom closet.

It looked like this ALL the time.  The closet organizer was built  about 7 years ago by my husband.  I never liked it and wanted so much to hire a company to come out and design a functional closet for my boys.  But Rich vetoed that idea right away, saying that he could build one for a fraction of that cost.  

And he did.  But you get what you pay for, you know?  Okay, I know he tried.  But to be honest, the cheap drawers never worked right and the design was all wrong.  Their closet was always an unorganized mess, and I hated it.  So after seven years of that mess,  I finally had a company come out for an estimate. I did not tell Rich, which is a complete no-no for marriages - I know.  But sometimes you just have to bend the rules a bit if it's for a good cause.  And I think my sanity is a good cause, don't you?  Okay.  So after listening to my ideas and desires for the perfect boys' closet, the company's designer came up with a sketch, we negotiated on the price for a little while... 

we had this!

Much better, right?  I thought so!  Money well spent, in my opinion.  I made sure the installation happened on a day that Rich was at work.  Then when he came home, I said something like this:

"Honey, I've got a surprise for you.  Come with me to the boys' room.  I'm telling you, I saved you a bunch of time ~ time that could be spent playing with the kids, bike riding, dirt bike riding, camping and fun things like that.  I know you are so busy at work, and working on the house is the last thing you'd rather be doing, when you could be out playing.  I know you are going to be pleased...." 

And I lead him into the boys' room, where all the kids were sitting and waiting for us.  

When he walked in, they all yelled, "Surprise!!!"  and he turned to look at the closet.  I held my breath. Would he say, "HOW MUCH DID THIS COST?!!!"  in an upset voice?  or would he smile and say, "Wow, this looks great!"    It could have gone either way.  

To my relief, he smiled and said, "Wow! This looks great!"  but then quickly added,  "But how much did it cost?"

However, I was prepared.  While rubbing his shoulders from behind, I said:

"Oh honey, now don't you go worrying about that.  After all, you can't put a price on time, and I've just freed up your time by having someone else fix the boys' closet!  Think of all the other fun things you can do now...you know...since I freed up all that time for you."

He turned, gave me  a  look  and rolled his eyes after I said that ... but then admitted that it looked great and that he was glad we had it done.  So hey, it all worked out.  I'm happy.   The boys' now have a neat and functional closet.  And Rich has more time to play.  

As I said, money well spent!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Snowball Fight!

warning: you may get a bit dizzy watching this.
I'm not the best at holding the camera still.

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looks like my little angel has a temper!

Aria.  Not to be messed with.
You're been warned.

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My Little Daisy

This weekend I spent a lot of time with my #7.  She is in a Daisy Girl Scout troop and this weekend we had two events to attend.  

Saturday we went to the Environmental Nature Center where she learned all sorts of things about nature; different types of plants, what they need in their environment to grow, and how to make a compost out of the things we eat. 

She was not too happy about carrying around her banana peel until we got to the compost section.  

These green ferns were everywhere! I thought they were pretty.

Look how cool this place was.  I felt like I was in the middle of some huge forest.  
I half expected Robin Hood to pop out from behind a tree.

The girls collected different leaves and did a leaf rub.  Those are always fun to do.

Then on Sunday we attended the Girl Scout International Food Faire.   This is where each troop is assigned a different country, and they do a dance from their country and provide a sample of food or a craft that represents their country. Everyone then walks around to the different booths and pays a dime for a sample of food or a craft.

First you get your "passport" 

then you visit all the different countries

...and every time you visit a country, they stamp your passport.  At the end of our day, Aislynn had almost all of her countries stamped in her passport ~ there were a few that she chose not to visit ( either they had food she didn't like or a craft that she wasn't interest in)

We had a good time together this weekend!  I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with her, and I know she had a good time, too.  It must be nice to get away from the pack every now and then and be the "only child" for a few hours :)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

waaaay too many photos for one post!

I feel I have to apologize in advance for all the photos in this post.  It's  photo overload.  Major photo overload.  But I couldn't help myself.  

That being said...

Here is what we have been up to!

We went up to the snow on Friday!   It was so pretty up there, and I must have snapped about 200 pictures.  Don't worry...I didn't post them all.

Aria didn't quite know what to make of the snow at first.  The last time she was in the snow was back in 2010, and so of course she doesn't remember it. 

It was Avery's idea to head up to the snow.  She's been asking to go every since our local mountains got their first snow of the season.

We found a hiking trail and decided to venture off.  Rich pulled Andrew and Aria in the sled, and the others trudged a long, throwing the occasional snowball at each other along the way.

Alex made a huge snow ball for some reason carried it with him on the hiking trail.  The entire time.  I guess he got attached to it.

Once we got deeper into the trail we found a nice patch of snow... and then the real fun began.  The kids made snow angels.

And Avery had fun throwing snow UP and letting it fall back down on her head.  

And Rich?  Well, you know what he did.   Of course he had to start a snow ball fight!

And then all the kids ganged up on him.

It started a snowball war.

And everyone was getting hit.

Even Aria took part in the fight...

but she wasn't such a good sport when she got hit in the crossfire!

More snow angels

Andrew, covered in snow

Alex and A.J. hiked up a hill and pelted us with snowballs from above.  

Avery & Mommy :)

Mommy pulling Aria in the sled

A.J. getting a snowball ready

group shot

notice Alex with his giant snowball

Avery worked a long time on this snowman!

Kid group shot!  I love this photo.

and THAT was our Friday.

And then the next day... we woke up early and went somewhere else.
Somewhere that is the complete opposite of snow.

Here's a photo for a clue:


Did you guess the desert?  
If you did...you are right!

We packed up our dirt bikes and all our gear, jumped into the motorhome and took off to join a few friends in our local desert.

our camp!

This is my husband's favorite place to go on vacation.  
He loves the desert, and he loves dirt bike riding.

Rich on his dirt bike, with A.J. in the background!

My husband...thinks he's still in his 20's.  I like that about him!

 Little Andrew on his "bert bike" ~ he still can't say "dirt bike" correctly!

A.J. just gets better and better on his bike.  Here he is jumping.

Aria was content just chill'n in her chair

This is what I did about 85% of the time 
It's no secret that camping isn't MY favorite thing to do ~ I'd rather be in a 5-star hotel, relaxing poolside.  But still I go on these camping trips because it makes good family memories.  And Rich and I have an agreement that IF we go on a dirt biking weekend, camping out in the middle of no where, then I get to chill with my Kindle at least 85% of the time.  I don't cook the meals while we are there, but I do the clean-up. This little arrangement has worked for us for the past 19 years.  I don't see it changing any time soon!

Rich enjoys cooking for us ~ which is a very good thing, because if it was left up to me, we'd all be eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches all weekend long!

Rich took Aria for a quick burst every now and then!


Alex relaxing after a hard ride!

Group shot!

In this photo, Aria refused to turn around.  She can be so stubborn.

This is the best family shot we could get ~ Aria just wouldn't cooperate!
You'll notice that our older three were not with us this weekend.  I hate that when they get older they either have to work or make other plans with friends. I always miss them when they are not with us on these trips.  I think  "growing up" is harder on the mommy than it is on the child!  

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