Friday, August 19, 2011

So what exactly HAVE we been doing all summer?

I figured I probably wouldn't blog as much during the summer, but I never dreamed I'd take a 3-month hiatus!  So what exactly did we do all summer long that kept me away from my beloved computer?

To begin with, we put the girls in separate bedrooms.  Hannah is at an age where she just wants to read quietly in her room.  And Millie is at an age where she just wants to play not-quietly in hers.  You can imagine the heated exchanges we had with two very different agendas for the same space.  Let's just say there were lots of fireworks in our house!  I decided to ditch my old philosophy of "building character by sharing a space" and adopt a new one of "peace at all costs!"

Fortunately, Greg's mom and dad took the girls for five days so we could tackle this project.  And let me tell ya, it was one. huge. project.  I've always kept all of my school stuff in the guest bedroom closet, and I knew I had a lot, but I didn't know I had that much!  It's amazing the things a homeschool mom can accumulate!  But since the girls were going into separate bedrooms, we had to give up our guest bedroom, which meant I had to give up my school closet.  (I really wish I had taken a picture of it before we emptied it, or even with stacks all over the house while I was trying to decide where to put everything!  Stuff was literally everywhere!)  Greg built a cabinet for the school room last year that came in very handy, and he made two bookshelves to match it this summer so I would have a place for all my gear.

This is the cabinet he made last year.  My one request was for doors so I could hide the mess.  I had no idea at the time how handy they would be!

And these are the ones he made this summer.  I couldn't decide whether I wanted doors on these or not, so I finally told him not to worry about it.  Good thing ... I had no idea I had so many books piled into that closet!
We worked ridiculously long hours while the girls were gone to get it all done, but they were in for a real surprise when they came home!

This is Hannah's room.  She got to keep the bunk beds because her room is a little smaller.  We still need to paint her dresser ... one of these days.  :)

This desk used to be her great-grandfather's.  Greg painted it white and found pink knobs on clearance at a local business for $1 each!

This is what she loves most about her room.  This reading light used to have a plastic clamp, basically like a chip clip, to attach it to the bed.  The clamp broke, so I was ready to throw it away, but Greg was able to salvage it.  I love that man!

Even this little "table" next to her bed is a trash-to-treasure creation.  It's the old framework from their toy bins.  The bins are setting on shelves in their closets, so I was going to throw away the frame.  But Greg took it to the shop, cut some wood to fit on the top of it, and made a little nightstand out of it.  It needs to be painted, but still, that's pretty cool!
Millie has more toys than Hannah, so she got the bigger bedroom (which both girls used to share).  She got what used to be the guest bed, but we added some new bedding to make it look like a little girl's room.  And we even found some that was yellow so we didn't have to paint!  Score one for Mom and Dad!
Another biggie for our family this summer was that we became a m— we became a mini— we became a minivan family.  (There, I said it.)  I reluctantly gave up this car, which was my dream car when I bought it back in 2000—Hey!  Don't laugh!—yes, I gave up this car, which has 204,000 miles on it and has never given me a lick of trouble...

... for this minivan.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am very grateful for this vehicle and I really do love it.  But there's just something about driving a minivan that's an admission to the entire world that you're not cool anymore.  Not that I've been cool for, oh, a good 20 years now, but still.  In fact, I thought I had reached the pinnacle of uncoolness...but then I went on vacation and bought one of these.

Yep.  A fanny pack.  It was at the exact moment that I paid for this fanny pack that I realized I had far surpassed simply admitting that I wasn't cool.  What I was doing was equivalent to climbing to the top of a very high mountain, grabbing a bullhorn, and yelling at the top of my lungs that I'm not cool anymore.  But I've survived it all.  And it turns out that both minivans and a fanny packs are tremendously practical items that every woman should own.  :)

Speaking of vacation ... this was the first summer since having kids that Greg and I decided to take a family vacation just for the sake of taking a family vacation.  We usually go on a big vacation every other year, but it's always to visit family.  This time just the four of us headed to Branson, MO for the week.  We went to Silver Dollar City in the mornings, and when we couldn't take the heat anymore, we headed to White Water.  There are no words to describe how good it was for the health of our family to just get away and enjoy each other without all the distractions of everyday life.

At the entrance to Silver Dollar City

Millie stuck to the carousel when we first got there, but she got braver and braver throughout the week.

Here I am on the kiddie roller coaster with Millie.  Yeah, I'm all smiles now, but I was screaming louder than anyone once it started going.  I am the world's biggest wimp!!

After that, Millie had to ride with Hannah.  Once was enough for Mama!

I did get brave enough to ride this by the end of the week, but only because my 5-year-old guaranteed me it would be okay.  And Hannah moved back one seat every time she rode.  Daredevil!

Millie enjoyed the toddler area ...

... Hannah tolerated the toddler area.  ;)
The one day we said the kids could eat at the park.  We nearly hyperventilated when we saw the food prices, but fortunately the kids were easy on us!  Millie chose popcorn ...

... Hannah chose a large pretzel ...

... and Mom and Dad split this ginormous eclair!

Headed to White Water to cool off!

Hannah at the bottom of a 7-story water slide!  This is what happens when Dads take their children and Moms don't know where they are.  I never would have allowed her to go down it!  But look ... she made it out alive!

Hannah coming out of one of the water slides.

At the Sight & Sound Theater to see Noah:  The Musical.  It was A-MAZ-ING!!!  Our whole family enjoyed it!
And the best thing about this summer was that we got Greg for an extended time!  He decided he's missing out on too much at home, so he decided to quit coaching!  WOO HOO!!  He typically has to go back mid-July for football, but this year Monday was his first day back.  Mid-August!  A whole extra month!  It has been wonderful having him around more, and I realize how blessed we are not only that his job allows him to have so much time off but also just that he chose us!  He could have played the numbers game and said we needed the extra money, but instead he's choosing to trust God to be our Jehovah-Jireh.  I love this man!

So there you have it ... three months' worth of posts all wrapped up in one!  I'm thinking of making up a new blog award to give myself.  It would be called the Inconsistent Blogger Award.  What do you think??


Beth said...

I am very impressed by your husbands woodworking skills! Mine is just starting to explore woodworking, hopefully I can brag about him soon too :0) The rooms look so beautiful!

Carrie said...

That Mr. Greg is so talented. Reading your blog is hard to do right now ... it makes me miss you so much!!! Your personality totally comes through with the way you write. It makes me sad. :(

The girls' rooms look great! Love the reading light! I need to keep that idea in mind for "Thoughtful's" room ... when I finally get around to it.

Looks like you guys had a great summer - fun, fun! You look great, too! :)

Cajunrose said...

Ok, we have GOT to meet..rofl You sound like me... I'll start by saying my mini-van looks identical to yours. I refuse to try the fanny pack though..I can't do it. We have vacationed in Branson and are actually considering moving close-ish to there soon. :) Raelee's room looks just like Millie's...right down to the quilt. Crazy. I'll bet our girls would get along great. Oh yeah..and my husband does woodworking. Would rather build something that works for us rather than buying it.

Pauline said...

You had me crackin' up! ...A mini-van AND a fanny pack?!? You're pushing it a little there with the fanny pack part. What's next? Bringing back socks and sandals? LOL!

The girls' rooms look great and your husband is very talented :)

We have never been to Silver Dollar City, but everyone we know who has been there has *loved* it. It's on our day :)

Looks like you guys had an amazing summmer :)

mama said...

OH MY! You had me laughing out loud! We did the "switch" from shared to separate space last year!! Best thing EVER!! :) Miss you tons!! I can't believe our baby girls are in Kinder....