Thursday, August 30, 2007

This is just too much fun!

Get together with a good friend with lots of kids, get out toxic instantly staining dye, lots of water, something close to acid to add to the water, stained shirts, blankies, sheets, etc, and a bunch of rubberbands and what do you get?

That most fantastical clothes on the planet:

Here's the red/yellow/greenish batch - fresh out of the dryer late Saturday night!

This was batch number two - purple/magenta/turquoise batch!

Here's one set of matching shirts - the girls had matching too but I couldn't get them together for a photo before they took the shirts off - although they wore them for over 2 days - I guess I just didn't have the camera out at the right time!

Elizabeth just had to be in the picture - and this is what you get if she catches you with a camera - instant fake (but adorable) squinty smiles!

Here is the only relatively decent photo Daryl got of us together - the timing was off and by the time we started getting the right angle, E threw a huge fit:

She even throws a cute fit!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Tale of Two Houses

It was the best of times, it was the worst of time.....boy is that ever true!

Tale of House number one - the one we live in.

Best of times - it's actually gotten really clean now two times in 10 days~! Miracle! But it was sooo much work!

Worst of times - the ad for the mobile home came out a week earlier that I thought and the weekend before our county fair - so I put in some LONG days between going to watch my girls show dogs and getting the house ready to show!

I knew that having our mobile home "on the market" would be tough. We've had quite a few calls and shown twice (should have been three times but one was a no-show today - good thing I had two lines up or I would have been bummed to work so hard for nothing!).
It's tough because I've never been a really good "house-keeper" - I tend to be more on the relaxed side of things. Organization underneath, but I'm happy if the house gets tidy once a day and the cleaning gets done on a some-what regular basis (like mopping twice a week, washing windows every month or two, you get the idea). Things went along pretty well until "the business" took over my life 3 years ago.
Once I had the business taking a majority of my day, most of the house-cleaning went by the way-side and we were in survival mode - tidy and clean only when it gets noticeable dirty.
Well, things have been improving over the last year or so, but there are many things that were getting very "noticeable dirty" but for some reason I wasn't noticing them - at least until I began to look at it from a "I've got to get this ready to show" state of mind. Man - I never knew cobwebs could get so big! And man, can kids make marks in the walls or what! Marks, holes, gouges, you name it, they are on my walls! Ack!
So now I'm doing triage - I know I can't get this place looking like new - not eve close! So I'm trying to do what I can, with some help from a friend and my kids and my DH. We gone through every room and tried to remove as much stuff as we can and still live here, and attack the cobwebs, dust, clean windows etc. It's so much work!
But the good side it this - it looks so clean and big and....well better than it's looked in the last 3 years that's for sure!
I even took pictures of the room when I got done - just to remember this house by!
Here's a few highlights:

Yep - that two bunkbeds in a 10 ft by 10 ft bedroom! Tight, that's for sure! Keeps our family close, right?!

Anyway - it's nice to have it so tidy and clean - we are going to try very hard to keep it this way, but with so many little ones, it's really tough!

Tale of House number 2 - Best of times - Here's the latest updated version of my building slide show:

So this week they poured the footings (on Monday) and then they put up the forms for the walls, and poured those on Friday! Next week they will be filling it with more sand and getting things ready for putting in all the pipes and things before they pour the slab floor (for in-floor heating).

Worst of Times - we are all finished up with the banking now - signed out lives away last Wednesday - boy that truth in lending statement - that one will knock you to your knees! And so many pages to sign and initial - WOW! But it's all done now! PTL! Yeah!Now are are building again!

Hope you have enjoyed this installment!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ok, I'm back....been a while!

Sorry I've been absent - so much has happened that I've had no spare time for blogging!

Just after my last posts, we headed out for my family reunion - it was so good to go. I had thought about not attending as my father (who's side of the family this was for) passed away last August. But my mom came up and so did my brother, Tom, and my sister, Lisa. I'm so glad I did as I didn't know it, but it was the last time I saw her for a long time as she is moving to San Fransisco (she's on the road right now). We had planned to get together once more before she left, but it just didn't work out! Bummer!

Here's my oldest and youngest daughters loving on a 1 week old baby that was at the reunion:

Then left for a week long campout - it's out church campout, but we start camping long before the "real" campout! We left Monday afternoon (7/30) and stayed up there until 8/5 - I came home on Thursday do catch up on emails and be here for Amanda to ship out orders, so there wasn't any glitch in shipping!

We had a great time camping! I even did a lot - biking, volleyball, paddle boating, and a little hiking! It was nice to be neither nursing a baby or pregnant at camp - haven't done that is so many years I can't even begin to figure out how long!

Here's our campsite:

At least this is part of it - you can see the tent city for the big kids, and our firepit, and the table. AND you can see my super cool bike with the kiddy trailer! That's a recumbent tricycle - great for your back, and so easy to ride - works especially great with the trailer as your bike stays put if you have to attend to the kids!

We found some really unique "flowers" - but I'm not sure if they were flowers -

Anybody know what they are??

Here's out happy camper - if you tell him he can't smile, he always does!

And here's our "I only in camp long enough to eat and then I'm back in the volleyball court!" camper -

And here's what happens when my DD gets ahold of the camera = she takes a picture of me - I hate having my picture taken, but I'll put this one in because I look like I'm having a lot of fun - and I was!

and here's our camping kitties - remember they were born last time we were camping - now they came along and were quite the attraction for kids at the campground:

Here's my favorite photo - this is Daddy's second snuggle from our princess - and she wouldn't come to me even when I offered to take her - this is such a sweet, "I just woke up and I need some cuddle time" photo:

And last, but not least, here's a great shot of Renee, my best friend and fellow mother of 10 ("A Bakers Dozen" blog is her blog - see link on the right side here) eating a licorice - I took this shot just to show that she isn't quite as crunchy as she lets on - LOL!

She's too young to have 10 kids! And that's the truth - you'll have to check out her blog!

This blog was all her doing - she convinced me that I should start this and even she is amazed at how popular my blog is (it gets about 30 - 40 hits a day!).

Since the camping trip, we spent a week recovering (laundry, laundry laundry, and the work , work, work).

This week is the county fair and two of my DDs showed dogs, so that meant I spent 2 days there, and inbetween I've been busy keeping up (my shipping gal, Amanda, and her mother who sews for me, is on a 3 week vacation and my #1 DD is at the fair, so it's all up to me!) with business and getting our mobile home ready to show!

That brings me to the best news of all:

OUR LOAN IS APPROVED! after all we went through, we are finally out of final review and we can start building again - they are going to be pouring the footings tomorrow!

Here's where we are as of today:

The only change from the last time is that the sand is mostly leveled - and there's less of it (it's down our bathroom drain! LOL! I've never bathed my kids so often in my life - I'm just not going to do a thorough job of wiping behinds covered in sand!).

I'll up date as often as I can as we build now!

Hope you enjoyed this long update!