Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kenna's Bedroom - Reveal

Alright, it's about time, don't you think? The bedroom is finished, and ready for the big reveal! We actually finished it 3 or so weeks ago...but I'm just getting the pics up now:-)

In case you don't know this: our house isn't very big. At almost 1200sq ft, it's big enough, but not huge, and when you add in extras, like a craft-obsessed mommy. Office work papers for daddy. Toys for the kids. School books for home education. It gets a little tricky to fit it all in. At least in a orderly-everything-has-its-own-home fashion. Kenna's room became kind of the catch all for the office, craft, etc, stuff. It was time to give her a little girl space all her own, while still giving us a place for "all that".

So remember this post, where I tell of the room divider idea I had? I got all the curtains painted and ready to sew. I painted them first, only because Brian was super busy in July, and I knew he didn't have time to shop for - or hang - the thing the curtain would suspend from. I didn't want to cut and sew until I knew the exact dimensions from floor to ceiling. And I didn't want to waste time waiting. So I painted everything in the approximate dimensions and waited to sew it.

Keep in mind...the last thing I sewed was half my life ago. Literally. Half my life. It was back in the days when you could buy a pattern that looked like this:
Yes, I've kept the dress. No it doesn't fit me anymore. {Thanks Janessa for modeling it}. Keep in mind that I come from a family of Mennonites (my mom's side). They sew everything. My mom sewed all our clothes until I was pretty old. I remember we got to go pick out the fabrics for our dresses, pants, etc. *I* don't sew anything, aside from that dress (required homeschool home ec:-), and being the "gopher" for my Mom and Grandma when they sewed up a storm for my wedding (4 dresses, 1 pillow).

Somehow, I had it in my mind that I could sew curtains. And what do you know? I can! After 16 years of rusty experience, I think it went quite well. I was only sewing straight lines, after all:-) I even taught Janessa a thing or two, like, you can sew over the pins, if they're straight. {Mom, you better educate the girl, lol}. I decided to cut the large canvas dropcloth into that it would be easier to move only portions of it to the side.
There are a few places I'd like to add a few painted flowers...since I painted and then cut/sewed, some of the spaces ended up more bare. But it generally looks just fine, I'll add some in when I have a boring minute! Brian hung an amazing airline cable type of taught wire across the room, so it doesn't sag at all.

So behind there? The multipurpose area of the room. Piano, School stuff, and craft table. It's pretty messy, but hey, that was the point of the curtain!
Her bed. And an extra too! She sleeps on the bottom for now.
The cute bedding was the inspiration for the room!
Her dresser. The wall looks blue in this pic (lighting?). It's all the same pale purple with white trim.
So cute! And during the week we have...KIDS! Ardyn takes her naps in the pack n play in Kenna's room.
I'm loving how it turned out, and Kenna loves it too. Whew!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Silly Billies

Teeth! Kenna is offically the slowest tooth-grower. Looking back on my 2007 blog posts, she's the slowest by one tooth. Not that we'll call Grey speedy by any means. He has 2 bottom teeth and 1 molar, with 4 top teeth. Another bottom molar is days (hours?) away from popping through.
Ear protection? Check.

Sparkly flip flops? Check.

Silly self portraits

fuzzy, but cute

Swimming Graduates

They had their last lesson last Thursday, which was actually a test. A different testing instructor and performing certain things with only being told one time etc. They both passed!!! I think the requirements (Level 1) are fairly low. Head under water for more than 5-10 seconds, kicking, moving arms, etc.

Anyway, Kenna is much more advanced than Brooks, but they both passed the requirements.

This video is not from the last lesson (test), but from the one before that.
We'll do soccer in the fall, swimming again in the winter, and then tee-ball in the spring, and back to swimming in the summer...whew. It's making me tired already!

That Time Again? - Video

We're back at it!! This week we have Sonny, Jack and Ardyn back!! Jack is only here for this week, as he will attend a preschool program that starts next week. Everyone was glad to have a baby back again:-)
The girls - Kenna and Ardyn
Best Buds!
Brooks, Jack & Kenna
Suddenly someone wants to be a baby again:-)
Sonny was napping so he missed out on the picture fun:-(

Hurricane Irene

Well, we were ready! It ended up not being as big of a deal (for us), as they were touting on tv. For us personally, the Nor'easter we had a few years ago was a much worse storm. However, that is only our personal opinion. Ask someone right on the water or with a tree on their house, and you'll hear a different story I'm sure. It definitely was a storm to be reckoned with, but we came out none the worse for wear.

This was the first hurricane to hit us since Isabelle in Sept 2003...we didn't move here until June 2004, so it was a first for us!
Our hurricane to-do list on the fridge
We had 3 cases of 36 waters, and filled all our jugs with tap water (five 1 gallon jugs). We filled the tub with water and half of the kitchen sink with water. So that we would be able to flush the toilet and wash hands and stuff, in the event of extensive power outages.
We boarded up all the windows on the main floor - our renter (upstairs) left town for the storm. This left our house...very dark inside!
We got our bedroom (the safest room in the house), all ready for all 6 of us to sleep in - just in case. By putting out the futon. We ended up not needing this, as the winds weren't strong enough to make us worried about our trees coming down. Better safe than sorry, right?
We did not experience very high winds in our area (a blessing with all our HUGE trees), and our power only flickered a few times but never went out. YAY! "High winds" are a relative term in a hurricane. They were high enough to knock over half of Lauren's backyard tree. Thankfully it didn't hit her house or shed, but it was a small there wouldn't have been much damage if any.
This is the biggest branch that came down (bottom left) on our property. And notice a portion of it sticking out of the ground (middle right). We praise God for the protection we had, and the convenience of not having to repair our roof, house, cars, etc. Those trees of ours have been here for so long, they really are a sturdy bunch.
Sunday morning we went to church (sunday school and evening service were cancelled). We do not live in an area that floods, so we really noticed no ill affects at all in getting to church. But there were people at church still without power, and with large trees fallen etc. And certain portions of our area were very flooded. During Isabelle 1.8million people were out of power for a long time (like more than a week or something!), but this time only about 300thousand lost power, and I'm sure some of them are still out today, but hopefully will be back on within the week.

We are glad we took precautions and really had a great weekend at home. We watched the storm on tv, we made cookies & brownies. We napped. We weren't scared at all, we felt very safe with our windows covered and the winds not being as high as anticipated.

We've heard threat of a few more hurricanes out there...we'll be ready!

Friday, August 26, 2011


We are prepared, we think! Sooo....we'll see! This is seeming like it will be the biggest hurricane to hit our area since Isabelle in 2003 (this one will be much stronger). We are anticipating being fine, however, with some inconveniences, like loss of power and phone lines/towers down. The hurricane is on track to hit the Outer Banks and Norfolk at its peak strength, however, we should be on the west side of the storm (the weaker side) the stronger east side being more out to sea. Small blessings.

I know that my family are the ones that check my blog most often, but depending on the power & internet situation, we may not be able to post updates. I will be sure to get some pictures of our adventure and post as soon as I can to let you know how we're doing.

Stay safe everyone. We'll do our best to keep you informed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Storm Warning!

This song has been on the radio for awhile now. A little boy named Hunter Hayes grew up...and now he has a sound similar to Rascal Flatts.

To see Hunter singing and playing at 4 years old, click here, purely adorable!

Well, we're on hurricane watch here in Virginia Beach. We'll know later in the week what impact Irene will have on us. So for now, were watching the news and singing a little bit of this chorus every time we have a...storm warning!

Click here to see the music video on youtube Storm Warning - by Hunter Hayes. It's the kind of song that gets stuck in your head, fast:-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Winks - Video

Learning to wink, with lots of laugher!

The Capitol Building

We got to have a guided tour of the Capitol Building, and then went over to see the Library of Congress. We really enjoyed it! I was personally not able to concentrate fully, as Grey was acting up and very tired. Of course they allow NO food or drinks, and that is about all that can distract the boy when he gets monstrous.
The Library of Congress. The architecture in DC is beyond gorgeous. What a beautiful city!

The Capitol building

The statue on the top of the dome outside is replicated in the lobby, so you can see him better.

The gorgeous dome. I believe the tour guide said it was 34 feet taller than the statue of liberty (not including the base, just the statue). Wow!!

The domed ceiling of the "whisper room" which used to be the room where the congressmen met, or maybe it was where the senators met? I'm sure it has an official title, but I can't remember it (see how much I learned?!). There were plaques in the floor to mark where the desk were of famous people, like where Lincolns desk was, and another one I noticed, Pierce? I was assuming perhaps he became president too one day, but I have never heard of him. ?? Don't laugh at me all you American history pros!!
A beautiful chandelier!
This was in the crypt, meant for George Washington. He died 20 years before it was done being built though, so it lays empty. The star is the absolute center of the entire city! Our tour guide said that Washington was so popular that he was unanimously voted in by the electoral college, for both terms. And that that will never happen again. A bit of trivia. And don't ask me what the electoral college even IS. I know it's been explained to me more than once, and I still have no idea. Yes folks, I will be homeschooling my children. Watch out.

I will say this, American government, and all it's democratic ideals...while they may be wonderful and fair and full of democracy, are nothing short of absolutely mysterious. Trying to keep track of how the American government works and all its branches and what they do for who, and how and what and why and...?? You've got to be kidding me folks. You've got some complicated history. I'm trying to get a small grasp on it. Not easy for an old mind.
Inside the library of congress. Stunning!
You know me and my quotes!! The library was full of them, I loved it!!

President Kennedy

Well, perhaps the President that I know most about (and like the best!) is President Kennedy. Of course he was a very popular President. Perhaps if I were a Hoover, I would be more interested in another man. But John Kennedy's life, presidency and death holds a special allure for me. Note that I am not one of those Kennedy's. Anyway, knowing almost nothing about any other president, aside from the two I have heard about in the media since I've lived here (Bush & Obama), I have read books, watched movies, history documentaries, conspiracy theories...the whole sh'bang. He is buried at Arlington, and we visited his grave.

A portion of one of his famous speeches

Another part of the speech

His grave: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

His 2nd son - the only baby in the history of the nation to ever be born to a President during his Presidency:
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
August 7 1963 - August 9 1963

His first child, Arabella was still born:
August 23 1956

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Robert Francis Kennedy
I was curious as to where JFK Jr was buried, since he was not with his family. I am not sure as to the protocols there, however a google search back at the hotel showed that he was cremated, and his ashes spread out to sea. I thought he would at least have a memorial stone with his family, but apparently not.

Museums & Americana

We went to lots of the Smithsonians! We got to see the original flag, but no pictures or video were allowed, but it was neat. Another thing I enjoyed seeing was the inauguration dresses of all the first ladies. My favourite dress was that of Nancy Reagan. I for some reason missed getting a pic of it. I got LOTS of pics, but will only post a few highlights.

Keeley, just hanging out.
The monster fell asleep and gave us about an hour of peace and quiet:-)
Museum of Natural History, Tatum and Brooks.

Brooks was in his glory with all the dinosaurs around!

Holden & Brooksie boy
We are little!

A huge bear!
Janessa plays the violin, so she liked the instrument displays

How American: Farah Fawcett's bathing suit, Tony Hawks skateboard, and Eddie Van Halen Guitar. all in one little case:-)
Original muppets

The chairs from the TV show, All in the Family