Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jacob and Maren

We are a fun pair, I'd say. We aren't perfect, and we don't see eye to eye on everything (who does?), but we work on seeing eye to eye. And we find so much happiness together and in working together. I love doing projects with Jake. We undertook a big one in February when we were looking for a decently priced entertainment center.
We found this one on Craigslist but knew we wanted it in a darker wood. No problem! Except that daylight and time to do it with the kids busy or asleep isn't easy in this phase of life, and this baby had a LOT of surfaces to cover. One thing at a time, right?
Here it is at the previous owner's home:

Getting it done:
Here is the final product still needing some more decor, but you get the point:

We used gel stain in a java color and semi gloss varnish.

I'm pleased with it. Even if it took us five months to complete it. Jake is very happy to be able to park in the garage again.

And then, this makes me so happy... I asked Jake about taking a tap class over the summer at Tessa's dance studio so I could count it toward teaching recertification, and he responded with, "Can I take it with you?" We asked my mom if she'd be willing to watch the kids once a week so we could go to tap class together, and ta da! It worked out! I'm so grateful. It has been a blast and a challenge. We have a wonderful tap teacher who knows when to push and when to help us feel successful so we don't feel like floppy foot toddlers. It's so fun and fills a part of my heart that forgot how much I love to take dance class. And to take it with my best friend is double the fun. Did I mention I was grateful? :)

May 2016

I was asked to take part in our ward's youth Zombie Run 5k. I asked my favorite zombie sidekick to join me. We had a great time smearing red craft paint on us and showed up come out of the trees on the 5k route to scare the young men and women into running just a little bit faster. 

 Wicked. I was so excited to share this show with my mom and daughter. It was a lovely girls night for us down at Fair Park. We had a bite to eat and enjoyed a really fun show. We prepped ourselves with emerald green nail polish in honor of the show.

My baby boy. I could kiss these cheeks all day long.
The school awesomeness continues. Tessa was Citizen of the Month in her grade for May.
 Cole lost his first tooth! He wasn't pleased with my tactics while in the midst of them, but he was all smiles once I yanked that sucker out.
 The girls wanted their picture too. Sadie isn't sure what she's doing, but, hey, it's like big sister --who looks cartoonishly devious here:

 Gavin's bottom front teeth came in first, but it's the top that are more noticeable. So, with his outer teeth having come in first on top, like Paige's did, he's gotten plenty of laughs over his toothy vampire grin.

We finally tried a burger truck in Lucas that we've wanted to try for some time. It's just out there on its own surrounded by fields. It was a lovely day, and it was a delicious burger.

 I was so proud of these two. They trained together for a 5k and completed it in May. Jake would wake Tessa up early two to three times a week for a run before school, which is tough! What a great accomplishment for a nine year old.
 Plus, she's adorable.

 Swing, batter, batter, batter, swing!
 But don't hit my furniture.

 At Grandma Lori's house for a barbecue! We enjoyed the outside loveliness and dessert.

 This boy and balls. First official word -ball.

 Whipped cream kisser.
 I went around and shared the wealth.
 Pool season is almost heeeerrre!
 And then we are reminded that it's not.

April 2016

April Fools! My April Fools joke was on the family this year as I went around and put googly eyes on a bunch of stuff all over the house for the family to find, including in the kids' school lunches. We all had some good laughs over it. The little girls loved finding object with "googy eyes".

Cole received the R-time Award at school "For demonstrating good manners and being respectful." Woot! April is around the time where school starts to wear me out --well, making lunches and HOMEWORK time wear me out, but then I remember the awesome teachers and people they are surrounded by at school, and I'm good until June.
 He's a keeper.
 Dad on the trampoline with the imps.
 Dad at an arena football game with friends/imps.
 An imp.
Just kidding. This is a fairy drawing by Tessa. She's really very good at art and loves to draw and create. She made a three part series with different fairies and gave them away to people.
 We went out exploring at some shops in Garland one evening so I could take something back to a store. We hung out at the fountain for a bit.
 Jake and some work people not working --oh, it's John! I know him. I'm sure the others are nice too.

Paige took swim lessons in April and May. Here is my beauty:

Working with the teacher:
 Siblings in the stands:

What the Hail? April 2016

I thought that this year's crazy storm came and went in late December when a tornado ripped through a nearby town and completely destroyed some homes and ripped roofs off of others. But we had a crazy April too. We had a storm one evening where it sounded like sheets of ice were falling onto our house. And that's basically what was happening. I've never heard anything like it. Jake and I ran upstairs screaming at each other (because we couldn't hear otherwise) to get the children. We scooped them out of bed and ran downstairs to get into our storm closet. Poor kids. But I wasn't going to chance it with what we'd seen and heard about from December's storms. They were so good. And it was scary outside. By the time it all passed, we were able to easily put everyone back to bed and witness the huge pile of hail that had poured off our roof onto our back porch. It was crazy. By the time it all melted, there was quite the pile of roof composite that had come with it. A floodlight had been shattered, our drain pipes were all dented, and one side of our fenced had been beaten up pretty badly. Jake's car was outside at the time, (and his face was not happy when I reminded that it was sitting at just the right angle behind the low hill next to us, or something. Regardless, I was thankful not to have more hail damage. As it is, we've got to get a portion of our roof replaced once the storm season is over.
A very short time later, we were hit with another hail storm and very glad that we hadn't yet fixed our roof from the first one. These hail stones were much bigger. Oddly enough, they didn't do as much damage. Although the stones were huge (at least golf ball size), they had air pockets in them so the density didn't hit like it could have. The story was very different in other areas around us, however. We had friends with chunks of their roof on the ground or in their pool. In the nearby city of Wylie, they had baseball sized, solid ice hail stones. These stones were not only crashing through windows, they went straight through roofs. Our friends who moved there recently had twenty holes in their roof where hail slammed straight through. The community moved to see what they could do to help people get situated until things could get straightened out. The rain wasn't finished over the next couple of weeks, so some of these homes had tarps on the roof and windows boarded up to keep their homes from further damage. The cars outside at the time there were done for.
These stones were from the second storm. We have a video of our children jumping on the trampoline with the hail.

Easter 2016

We took Gramma Lori to the Arboretum Easter weekend and enjoyed the beautiful flowers and picnicking on the lawn once again.

 We met up with the Fitzgeralds at our small neighborhood park for an egg hunt before church. It was windy. And devoid of many hiding places, but our backyard was still so soggy from the spring rains, that it would have been a gross mess to do it there.
Here is the best we could do:
 Poor Sadie had fallen through the picnic table at the park onto the cement with the side of her face the Friday before. It was awful. I'm so grateful kids heal quickly because she looked like she'd been through the ringer.
 Gavin was angry in the prior pictures, and Sadie is angry in this one.
 I guess it all straightens out when the candy arrives.
 Handsome dudes.