Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Little Less Clutter

When I repainted Little JCrew's room, I had the opportunity to patch some holes and paint over them. I wish I would have, but I didn't see a need at the time. I put everything back on the wall in its original place.

The room originally had very little on the walls.

Over time, I added small things.

I had/have a  problem with blank space. I have the urge to fill it.

I took down a lot of things on the wall, patches the holes and painted over it. You won't believe the difference it makes.

The walls feel taller.

The walls feel wider.

The room just feels as large are it really is.

I am now learning to appreciate blank space. It lets your mind wonder.

It makes me love the new color even more.

Things have been a little busier than normal around here, so I slowed down "talking" to all of you. I'm very excited about this week. I've been keeping a secret will not be a secret after today. I hope you have a very wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings. It's easy to find something to complain about, but remember what gives you joy. I could not spend a day without my family. They are all I have ever wanted.

Give Thanks!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Love You, Kates

If you follow Little JCrew's development, you'd know that we work really hard with his speech and then don't see results until weeks/months later.

We always tell him, "Please," "Thank You," and "I Love You." We have not heard those things back. Just last week he started using, "Please" and I can't say, "No" to him. He told me, "Hose. Please" and I let him play with the hose outside.

When I tell him I love him, I look him in the eyes and hope that he knows what I am saying. I'm happy to report that he knows. The first person he ever uttered those words to, was his precious puppy, Kates! Yup, that's right. He was loving on all the dogs yesterday and when he got to her, he leaned down, hugged her and said, "I love you, Kates." It was adorable.

I don't blame him for loving her. She's a cute puppy and she makes us all feel loved. What's not to love about her?

He's also learned some new things from his classmates at school. Last weekend we had to hear his fake laugh every day. Not only was this a loud laugh meant to drown out anyone else who is simultaneously laughing, but his hand goes up to cover his mouth. I can't help but laugh along with him.

Last Saturday, we raked the leaves in the front yard. I grew up in a Pine Tree forest, so all I ever did was rake the needles into the flowerbed. It was my lazy attempt at raking leaves. I didn't want to bag them. Little did I know that I was providing mulch!

Little JCrew was timid about jumping in the leaves, but then he saw me and we couldn't enjoy it enough.

It's rare to see him smile so big!

I think we are going to have a hard battle with cabin fever this Winter. The boys love to play outside so much, they won't accept the excuse that it's too cold outside. We just have to bundle them up.

We hope you all have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why Do I Blog?

This online diary of mine started back in 2010. I didn’t post often, but it was a way for my family in Florida to keep up with what my parents and I were doing. At the time, my parents were living with Mr. JCrew and I, my dad had gone into the hospital for a while, and I was praying to become a mother.

When I was blessed to become a mom, it was my goal that my family in Florida would feel like they were here experiencing all the milestones that I get to experience. Technology is the best thing for long distance. My sisters and Mr. JCrew’s family get to see my boys at least once a week (here on the blog, Family Friday). There will never be a surprise growth spurt they don’t see! We also try to Skype often so the boys know who their Aunts are. The relationship can’t be one way!

The house stuff on the blog is more for me! I would love for my house to look like one straight out of a magazine, but I have a family and we make a mess! I love the messes. I look at them and smile (after I grunt) and tell myself it means my family is happy!

My house never looks like it does on the blog. Definitely not all the rooms at once! I love cleaning a room, then snapping a picture. For 5 minutes (maybe only one minute), that room is perfect! Whenever I want to see that room clean again, I can go look on the blog!

For the sake of the blog, to make one room pretty, another suffers. I move the kid things out of the room and into another while I take the picture.

While Mr. JCrew is in school full-time and working full-time, we make the most of our two hours together a night as a family. House chores get done when the kids go to bed. That's IF we can stay up. My mom has been a huge help lately. With her help, it encourages me to do little things to keep the house straight. I'm not a messy person, and it actually gets under my skin to see a mess, but for this phase in our life, I appreciate the time with family most. 

The “House Tour” Page is not a “Hey, look at me!” page. It’s for ME to look at. If you haven’t ventured off the main page in a while, the house tour page has been updated… four months ago!

It’s okay. If you’re a blog reader like me, you have enough time to read the new post and then you have to do your chores before the kids wake up.

You know me, I like lists. On the House Tour Page, I’ve been keeping track of all the changes I’ve done to the house and most of those changes have posts to document them. 

As you can see, there is not much left on my to-do lists for the house. I don’t want to over-update my house. I’ve always remembered the saying, “Don’t be the most expensive house in your neighborhood.” Our house was right in the middle of our section of the neighborhood when we bought it, and I think it’s still there.

Becoming a mom, I really think my memory has suffered. I’ll say to myself that I need something at the grocery store, get to the grocery store 15 minutes later, and forget!! Ugh. I write down my posts minutes after I do the project. Otherwise, you’d get a post rambling about unrelated topics because I can’t remember the details of the project. Plus, sometimes I learn things during my projects that I want to share. If I can help anyone save time, money and sanity, then I’m happy.

Now, I will go back to “living” in my house. I will say that my time “off” in between projects is refreshing. I pile on a bunch of projects to meet a deadline and it can be chaos. But the time off with my family is rewarding. I won’t get that time back and I am so glad I have not missed a thing. 

Our friends are getting the short end of the stick a lot. Everyone has at least two kids. Coordinating nap times with free time is challenging. Add in Mr. JCrew's school schedule, and time with our friends is impossible. 

This blog is my attempt at being outgoing and starting conversation. I do not claim to be perfect or have a perfect house. I have a happy family that is centered around God, and that is all I need. 

Thanks for being a part of my blog!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Butterfly

On Wednesday, when I picked Little JCrew up from school, I hit a butterfly with my car. I don't remember this tragic moment, but Little JCrew found the butterfly on my car when we got home.

We took the butterfly inside to get him distracted. He was in love. He talked to the butterfly and blew on it.

I pointed to its antenna and it moved! I thought it was dead!

We then put the butterfly outside so that we could watch it get better and fly off when it was ready.

When Mr. Brigglesworth woke up from his nap, he was curious about the butterfly.

He even picked it up!

I made him put it back down, and he decided he wanted to move on if he couldn't hold it.

But by moving on, that meant crawling over the butterfly and putting his knee on it.

Our butterfly did not make it. But thanks to Little JCrew for finding him and caring for him.

I love my sweet boys!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Addition to the Current House

Two weeks ago, I shared the floorplan that I would use if I were to build me “dream house.” The idea of a dream house comes from two situations: I have a desire to have more children, and a desire to take care of my parents and in-laws.

Taking in my parents is not a problem in our current house, but it would mean that a third child would not really have a place to sleep.

Floor 1 Bedrooms

So, I toyed around with more ideas to alter our current house. Keeping my parents on the main floor, I would give them our Master Suite. This meant, I needed to create a new Master Suite. Our attic has plenty of room!

Master Suite Floor 1

Upstairs we currently have a bedroom and a bath. We could easily make this our master suite. It’s not a problem. We’d just lose the playroom that it currently is.

Current Upstairs

That option is fine, but my creative juices were going. I added a bedroom and a closet upstairs. The bathroom would not be directly connecting to the bedroom, but you could access it through the closet.

There are several layouts that have you go through a closet before you reach the bathroom, so this did not sound like a bad idea.

During the addition, I would change the roofline, too!

East Side - Master Bedroom Windows

I’d add windows to the playroom. Turn the existing closet into a hallway. Convert more attic space into storage space.

My estimate for the addition is around $50,000-60,000. Cheaper than building a new house. However, we’d have to look into the construction of the house to see if the structure on the first floor would support the second. I think it would, but we’d need an actual architect/draftsman to confirm. (I just play one on the blog!)

West Side of House

It doesn’t fix the issue of a longer driveway, but there are ways to think outside the box on that one.

Hope you’ve had fun looking at my floorplans. I can come back with more if you want. I always think it’s fun to work with floorplans. I remember it being my favorite assignment in my middle school shop class. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Last night there was some crazy weather, but not too soon before we could walk down a couple houses.

It was so cute to see the boys walking with their buckets.

We had their pajamas on, but we started getting trick-or-treaters in the rain, so we set out to go to a couple houses for the experience.

Luckily, last Saturday the neighborhood had a kids party. The boys got to dress up for that.

The boys didn't know what to think of some of the costumes. Little JCrew was a puppy, and Mr. Brigglesworth was a bat (Little JCrew's costume from last year).

Little JCrew's friend, Max, dressed up as Mickey Mouse. He loved it.

Little JCrew always likes to get food from Miss Jessica. He doesn't want the food I have for him, he wants hers.

We tried to get a group picture, but the kids were everywhere.

All of our neighborhood friends were there, and it was great to get the kids together.

Then Little JCrew discovered the piano.

I let him play and he loved it.

Mr. Brigglesworth even tried to join in.

I sure hope the boys continue to love the piano.

That is the one instrument I would love them to play. Reminds me, it's time to start teaching Little JCrew!

I haven't yet seen if there was damage from last night's storm, but I think our area is okay. I hope everyone else around town is. Have a great weekend. Welcome, November!!!

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