Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of 3rd Grade

Today was Christian's first day of 3rd grade! He kept saying all summer he didn't want to go back to school but wanted to stay home instead.  Bedtime was at 8 p.m. last night and he didn't fuss about it and fell right to sleep.  This morning he was awake and dressed at 6 a.m.!!! Hmmmmm....I think he was a little more excited than he let on!  He snuggled with his sister Mia for a bit and then offered to make her some waffles while I showered and dressed.  By the time I got out of the shower he had made breakfast for Gabriella too and they were all sitting at the table chatting quietly. Trust me this is RARE but it was a nice treat for this mama.  I would have taken a picture but didn't want to ruin that beautiful peaceful moment.  Our sweet boy is growing and continues to show us how caring and loving he is.

First to call was his big brother Alex and then his Dad.  He was pleased to hear from them but didn't feel up to talking much.  I think he was quite nervous about his first day back at school so couldn't focus too much on conversing with them.

When it was time for the bus he kissed each of his sisters and myself good-bye and walked to the bus stop turning every once in a while to wave at us.  I just can't believe how much he has grown. He didn't want to take too many pictures but I was able to get one good one.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Job, New House and New Adventures!

Hi All! As most of you know Shawn has finally received orders and will be transferring in December! It can't get here soon enough! He is really excited as are we!

Ok, enough with the exclamation points.

His current job has been pretty tough on us so we are hoping this next job brings him much more happiness.  We also hope he can actually attend a few of the kid's events.  For almost 3 years now he has missed just about every school or preschool event that they have had.  What a downer it's been.  However, we have been told that the next job will be much more family friendly! That is of course when he is home. There will be times when he is gone with little to no notice so when they are home the command tries to give them time with family.  It's going to be quite an adventure for us and we are ready for it!

Now we have decided to buy and boy has this been an experience! Trying to look at a ton of houses with 3 kids running around proved to be much more difficult than we thought. The empty houses weren't too bad but most were still occupied and keeping little hands off of other peoples things was tough.  More than once a child would disappear only to find them using the bathroom! Alas, nothing was broken so we are happy for that.

Now we have decided to build a home that we can grow into and make our own.  Choosing to buy a new construction was not one taken lightly.  I know how easy it is to rack up a huge amount on options and add-ons so I was quite reluctant to go this route. It was at the nudging of Shawn to at least take a look that got us to this point.  I am no fool and know the model homes are designed with all of the bells and whistles but boy were they gorgeous! I instantly fell in love and was hooked! Now comes deciding what was a "want" vs. "need" and what we could do later on our own for less. Being a one income family means we have to do a lot more with less.  One thing I new from the beginning is that I wanted our house to be different from the homes around us. There are certain things I can change and others I can not.  For instance, the colors of the siding and shutters all come in packages so no matter what there are going to be other homes around us that look just like ours. They do this to keep a uniformed look throughout and while it's kind of a pain I do appreciate it.  Knowing a bright avocado green house with pink shutters isn't going to pop up next to mine makes me happy.

While most of the house already came with an upgrade of sorts there are some things that needed to be added.  All of the fixtures were "upgraded" to chrome (included in the price of the home) so we don't have to deal with a ton of brass thank goodness. Carpeting throughout most and vinyl in areas such as kitchen and bathrooms.  These are things I look forward to replacing on our own, in our own time and using what we like. When looking at the builder's options they were limited and quite expensive.  Why pay $2500 for flooring in one room for a low grade hardwood (and the nicer stuff was even more expensive)? Shawn and I could do it on our own for much less and be able to choose from tons of options.  Do we know how to do it? NOPE! We will figure it out though!  I think the only upgrade we are going to do though is the kitchen cabinets. Let's face it, builder grade cabinets are unattractive and date your kitchen from the start. Removing cabinets from walls is just not something we would be comfortable doing at this point so we will leave this one thing to the professionals and pay for the upgrade. All appliances that come with the home will be used or sold so that we can purchase what we want at an interest free rate and pay off within a year. No sense in tacking all of that on to our mortgage for then next 30 years and paying triple for something that will be replaced a few times within the 30 yrs.

Alas, the things we "need" are still quite expensive so we have gone over each item with a fine tooth comb and analyzed cost savings for diy items vs. having the builder do it when building the home. In this area having a walk out basement is something that carries great value.  Should we need to sell, this will be a bonus however, it comes at a great cost. 10K to be exact.  Whew! That one hurt! Next we have my dream porch which cost much more than the walkout basement.  Trust me we weighed this one heavily but in the end we didn't feel it was an option for many reasons.  So we have narrowed it down to the bare essentials and are happy with what we have chosen. Again, with having only one income the list must be short.

Now we wait 5-6 months for our home to be finished and believe me I will be planning each and every room! I already have several of the rooms planned out! I  already bought my very first GOOD piece of furniture and it is solid wood! A beautiful buffet that was in this gentleman's family for over 40 yrs as he told me and it is in wonderful shape. A little sanding and some paint and this baby is going to shine! I have wanted one of these for years and the price was always in the 500-600 range for a used one.  Would you guess I paid $60 for this one? I am just giddy about it!  I can't wait to post before and after pictures of it for you all to see!  We don't need much for the new house as our furniture all works well and looks great.  Just a few pieces here and there for certain areas of the home and we will be set.

The hardest part for me is being patient! Being patient with the building process is ok but being patient with getting everything just how I want it is another story! There is going to be so much to get done! The fence, the deck, patio, painting, closet storage, landscaping, floors, tiling, back splash...the list goes on and on! I want it all done now! Ha! If only money wasn't an option.  We would still do it all ourselves but at least we could get it all done right away.

That's all we have for now.  For those of you that cared to read through this, we appreciate it.  We know you are happy for us.  There are those that we thought were close to us that seem not to care for whatever reason and that is fine. Yes, we notice these things. It hurts but what can you do. We shall move on with those who love us and are genuinely excited for us. The meaning of "Family" is something that seems to be changing for us and we are ok with it. Being a military family can have that effect.  We raise our glasses to those of you who have called us with excitement, sent messages or come over to celebrate! We appreciate you!

Finally, here is a picture of what our new home will look like! This is a model so there will be garage doors there instead of the white double doors which are being used as an office. The basement will be fully finished but you can only see that level from the back of the house.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well it's been a busy year but we are going to try this again! Times just get so crazy and sometimes the wonderful administrators on Blogspot like to change things around and make things a bit more difficult for this Mama! So time is short and precious but we will try this again! Here are some wonderful pics from our holiday at home in Virginia and in Texas! Enjoy!

Christmas at home amiss the chaos of packing for our departure the next day! Please excuse the (clean) laundry spread all over the couch.

Gabriella likes to close her eyes and sway when she hears music 

In their new princess dresses

Christmas at Nick & Crystal's in Dallas

One of my Christmas gifts was this pink apron and Gabriella loved it so much she asked me to put it on her. She has worn it several times since we've been home! 

Mia and Sophia

Christian and Sam

Christian and Spartacus 

Christmas at Javier & Angel's

 Our Family
 Getting the girls to sit still for pictures is one of the hardest things we can try to do! 

Our kids 


More Kisses!

Shawn loves a good t-shirt

Alex opening up his Christmas gift from us. Christian helped to paint this so he was anxious to see his brother open it! 

Dressed up for Christian too!

At my Dad's house

Morning Hugs and Playtime with Big Brother

Alex, Mia and my Grandmother 

My Inspiration to be the best mother I can be

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mia's End of School Program

At the end of the school year Mia and her classmates put on a little performance for their parents.  They sang songs and danced routines that they had been working on the second half of the year.  These programs always make me a bit emotional because you realize how much your child is growing. And you think back on the year and feel saddened at how fast it went by. She went to preschool for 2 days a week last year and this year we will bump it up to 3 days a week.  She is so smart and learns so much in the short time that she is there (mornings only) and I can just imagine how much more she will learn and grow this next year! 

Here are some pictures from the program.

This is Mia's very best friend Isabella

And here comes Mia

Getting ready to perform and she is looking for me. Mia is right in front, 5th from the left.

She found me!
Mia with her wonderful teacher Mrs. Moore

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Here is a video of some of her performance (3 min). Sorry about it being sideways!

And here are the girls making some treats for their classmates! They were the monkey group so they made little monkey cookies.

Gabriella insisted on eating everything she could get her hands on so we gave her some cheese balls to occupy her while the cookies were finished.

Check back tomorrow for more pics!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making Memories Every Day

Well Shawn finally took the plunge and shaved his head.  It took me a couple of days to get used to it but I honestly don't notice anymore.  He's my wonderfully handsome husband as usual!

We were blessed to have our grandparents from Texas visit us for a whole week. We look forward to their visits because they are always such a joy to be around.  They remind us of where we want to be as a couple in the next 50 years.  The kids love having them here too.  It's tough when it's time for them to leave because they spend such quality time with the kids that we really feel an emptiness when they leave. 

Our very first ride on the Metro in downtown D.C. - Christian was so excited and loved every minute of it.

One of the things I really wanted to do was a little sewing with Grandma and she was happy to oblige.  We went to the fabric store, picked out a pattern and fabric.  Then the next day we sewed 4 pair of knit shorts for the girls.  The pattern wasn't the best so it took some tweaking but we finally got it done.  While it did take a while I had such a great time just chatting and listening to her wonderful sewing tips.  A memory which I will truly cherish forever.  I don't have a picture of the shorts because honestly the girls started wearing them right away and I never got to take a picture.  Since the girls are napping right now I will have to get a picture of them later.
Celebrating Shawn's Birthday!

Gabriella still likes taking her pants off and now the diaper comes off too! Believe me we have walked into some terrible messes in her crib

They are so goofy but I love this picture because it shows how much they really connect with each other. 

They are so much fun!

Mia has a boo boo and is very upset

Ahhh Grandpa made it all better

And now Gabriella wants a kiss too

Kisses all around for everyone!

Helping Gabriella up after a fall

And remember this?

After a good cleaning, dismantling, and spray paint

Here they are right back up on the front of the house

Here are two of them on my porch along with the spring wreath I made last week.  The other two lights are on each side of the garage.  These lights run about $30 each brand new but I was able to give them a whole new look for only $10 for all 4!

I'm not done spray painting yet!  Here is another brass chandelier that needs an update.  We are not doing black this time though.  Check back soon to see how we update this!

And can't wait to show you what I did with some old cereal boxes and some fabric that I had on hand. 

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