"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Do They Look Like Again?

I just realized that I have been woefully negligent in posting pictures of my kids over the past few weeks (sorry, Mom). So, in case you've forgotten what they look like (the kids, that is) here are a couple pictures to refresh your memory.

Raelea, pre-haircut, but she looks so adorable I had to post it.
Three beautiful ladies waiting to be seated for their tea.
A short musical recital by Marcus & Zoe. Better recorders than accordions, I guess.
This is how Evan has spent much of his summer...
Aidan put on a real smile with his football uniform. No, he does not wear his Longhorns hat under his football helmet.
There. I feel like a much better mom now :-)

I'm So Blue

Okay, I'm not blue, but our bathroom is now :-)

Now I know that some of you are saying, "Wasn't it blue before they started the remodel?"

Why, yes, it was! But that was a hideous blue, with a hideous blue toilet and and equally ugly blue bathtub. Now, my bathroom is a lovely shade of blue with an attractive almond colored bathtub and soon-to-be-installed almond colored toilet. You see the difference?

Well, here, you can see the difference now...
And now, please notice how nicely we matched the shade of blue to our new towels...Stunning!

Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to post pictures of the attractive new flooring...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Still Going On

Despite the lack of posts about the bathroom remodel it is still going on - albeit slowly. Chris' little trip to the Boundary Waters put a temporary stop to progress and now he is doing mudding and taping which is hardly blog-worthy. But now, soon, really soon, there should be a flurry of posts marking great strides in the remaking of our once hideous bathroom.

The jump start on the bathroom has two causes: 1) Our floor tiles are finally in, so we can finish the floor and then put in the vanity & toilet and 2) Chris goes back to work on Monday, at which time, progress will become EXTREMELY slow.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have two working toilets before he goes back to work....

Our New Home

I thought my blog friends should be the first to know.

Yeah, right! In my dreams. This is actually Cedarhurst Mansion in Cottage Grove. My mom graciously took Nina, Molly, Emily and me there for tea this afternoon. I had biked by the place many times growing up, but this was the first time I had ever been in it. It was lovely!

I've since been dreaming of how fun it would be to own a place like this and do teas and weddings and such or maybe a bed & breakfast. Anyone have $1 or $2 million laying around that they would like to use to finance my dream?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Season

It's not JUST birthday season around here. It's also...FOOTBALL SEASON!

Stay tuned for more updates on Aidan's team, the Patriots.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pesto Recipe

Okay, for the one person who requested the pesto recipe, here it is...

2 cups basil (packed)
1 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
6-8 cloves garlic
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and chop (or is it blend or maybe process - what is it you do with a food processor anyway?) You can use the pesto immediately or freeze it in baggies until you need it. It's great on homemade noodles with some chicken thrown in...mmm.

Birthday Season Is Soon To Arrive

Birthday season at our house starts on Sept. 2 and it is fast and furious for the month of September. Am I ready? No way! I spent a few hours today trying to shop for the first run of birthdays, but I am so far behind it's not even funny. Argh....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why I Grow Basil

Pesto, of course! I LOVE basil and use it in many dishes, but the main reason I grow basil is so that I can make pesto. I make bunches of it in the late summer and freeze it to use at a later date. I was feeling rather like the industrious ants this week; freezing my blueberries for the coming year and making pesto for the same. Now if my tomatoes would stop rotting on the bottoms I could do some canning, too.

If you remind me, I will post the pesto recipe, so you too, can freeze bags of it for the winter:)

Friendly Visitor

I looked out our kitchen window the other morning and this is who I saw.A very old, but still very beautiful red-tailed hawk. I was hoping he would swoop down and catch one of the chipmunks that is digging holes in our lawn, but alas, no such luck.

Btw, we call these National Geographic moments around here. You just never know what sort of wildlife adventure you will see looking out our back windows :)

The Boys Are Back In Town

Happy Day! My boys are back in town. Chris, Evan & Aidan were away in the Boundary Waters for the past five days. They had a great time (especially after the rain stopped), but I am so thankful to have them home. It was so quiet around here with just the seven of us.

Evan couldn't bring his bagpipes, but he did bring his chanter which he faithfully practiced :)
Now here's a boy after my own heart - one that knows how to relax!
And here's the whole gang: Dan (the giant), Tucker, Parker, Chris (the midget), Aidan & Evan.Truth be told, Dan is 11 inches taller (6'6") than Chris, so my poor husband looks more like the kids than the adults :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Better Picture

Ooo, I'm so excited to get my bathroom done! Quite a bit more to go though: tile the floors; mud, tape & paint the walls; install vanity & toilet...is there anything else I'm missing? Probably. Hopefully it will all be done by the time Chris goes back to work in September.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We Finally Got Some...

and I think it was worth it. Blueberries, that is. I was able to work out my schedule to go blueberry picking today- that's good. It was cold and rainy - that's bad. But, alas, the blueberries were VERY good, so I guess it was all worth it.

Emily & Zoe worked hard.
Raelea pretty mush spent the whole time just like this. Funny the ONE child with a raincoat did NOT like being out in the rain.
Molly was a trooper and picked lots!
Marcus did a great job, too, but I didn't want to stand around taking pictures. The faster we picked, the sooner we cold get back in the van and crank up the heat.

We are all dry now and have had a cup of tea/hot chocolate/coffee, so life is once again good and the blueberries are GREAT!

Goodbye, Blue Tub

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Finished

The tiling that is, well, really only the tub tiling. The floor tiling will take place in about two weeks (when the tiles come in), but, hey, we'll celebrate the milestones as they come. Today, it's that the tub tiling is DONE! Well, almost done, it still needs to be sealed...
Tomorrow the new shower fixtures get put in...the excitement never ends around here...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some Girls Have Dolls

Some little girls sleep with dolls, and others, apparently, sleep with dump trucks.
Raelea has told us that when she grows up she wants to be a dump truck driver; a GREEN dump truck driver. I am sure she is having dreams about her future career.

Getting There

I know some of you are watching this bathroom progress with eager anticipation, so here is a picture of the completely tiled, but not yet grouted, tub.....
taa daa! Doesn't it look lovely?? Actually the picture makes the walls look like they aren't straight. Really our walls do not bow out at the top - merely an optical illusion, folks.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's grout completion picture and, hopefully by the end of the week, so long to the blue tub. Ooo, what an exciting week at our house.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


No blueberry picking today :( My sister Deb called the berry place this morning right before we were to leave home and discovered that there were NO blueberries to be picked. Apparently, the berry farm received about four inches of rain during last week and it ruined or damaged many of the berry plants and turned the field into a mud pit. We are SO disappointed as they grow the best blueberries ever - truly. They told Deb that they will have picking next Thursday and the Thursday after that and then their done for the season. I hope I can get down there one of those days to get some. Store bought berries just don't compare.

On a not-a-bummer note, the tub tiling did get completed today, but I'm tired and going to bed, so you will have to wait until tomorrow to see the pictures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Evan's Not Going To Bed

Tomorrow is the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland. Since they are six hours ahead of us, the competition starts at 3 AM our time. Evan wants to watch it. The BBC is streaming it live. You should watch, I'm sure it will be riveting.

Hmm, maybe Evan can just catch the end of it when they announce the winner...

Just think, next year, we'll BE THERE! Oh, I can't wait!!!!

Tile-the-Tub Day

Well, Tile-the-Tub Day wasn't a complete success (as in, it didn't get totally done), but what did get done looks bea-utiful. I have pictures to prove it...
***ignore ugly blue tub, it's days are numbered***
Ooo, I can' t wait until tomorrow when all the tile will be up (hopefully). The kids and I are going blueberry picking and Chris is staying home and tiling (actually, I'm locking him the bathroom until it's done - I'm kidding, folks, come on, I'll let him out to use the other bathroom...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stay Tuned

Tomorrow is "Tile the Tub" Day. I can't wait to post pictures....That is assuming that Tile the Tub Day goes well :)

I Survived

Not only did I survive the onslaught of pre-teens/young teens, I actually enjoyed having them around. It is nice because although they were at my house, I wasn't responsible for entertaining them or keeping them out of trouble (not that they're in trouble much, they're a good bunch of kids). My sole responsibility for the day was feeding them and I'm good at feeding people :)
There ended up being only 27 kids here and three adult chaperones, so that was fewer than I anticipated, thus the food leftover in my fridge. Thankfully the rain held off until the moment the last child was picked up. All in all it was a fun day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm having 40 middle schoolers over tomorrow....

I'll let you know how it goes - if I survive, that is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Favorite New Invention

Plumbing is not Chris' favorite thing to do - that's an understatement. He really, really doesn't like doing plumbing, so you can imagine that he wasn't too excited about that portion of this bathroom remodel. Much to his delight, there has been progress in plumbing supplies since his last plumbing project and we are SO excited we just have to share it with you all.

Shark Bite plumbing connectors! Instead of soldering or glueing connections you just push them together and, PRESTO, you have a perfect seal! I kid you not, he has put in many of these over the past week and not once has he had even the slightest leak AND it only takes about 60 seconds to make the connection. Whatever they say about themselves on the link above, it's all true!

They should pay me to advertise for them. I love these things! Heck, even I could do plumbing with these things it's so easy! Next time you have a plumbing job you're going to thank me. you may even kiss my feet, you'll be so grateful.

Now It Gets More Interesting

Today is the day that we remove the old window and put in the new one.

Finally something more interesting than sheetrock and cement board. The morning started with my husband hanging out the window.He thought it was great fun to pretend that he was going to fall out of the window (until he almost did it).
Apparently, it's kind of like riding a horse...
And here is the lovely new window which, as you will notice, you cannot see out of or, more importantly, in.
Stay tuned for the tiling....

Monday, August 10, 2009

More of Zoe Dancing

Because she's such a hoot, here's more of Zoe dancing. This time to music played by Evan and the band...

Irish Fair

I told my niece Maggie that I would post pics from the Irish Fair we went to yesterday, so here they are...sorry, Maggie that their aren't many pics aside from Evan's band and your cousins...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 6

The reconstruction is in full swing - it won't be long now, or maybe it will, you never know with these house projects.

Chris wanted me to point out the lovely new plumbing. Stunning, if I must say so myself, and I must because I don't think anyone else willAnd then we have some lovely new sheetrock...this is exciting stuff folks!

I'm Starting Again

Exercising, that is. After an 18 month sabbatical, I have decided to start exercising regularly again. I've been saying I need to for the past six months, but now I am actually doing it. Let's see, they say it takes doing something 20 times before it becomes a habit, so only 19 more days of exercising before I can habitually exercise.

I wish I could say that it was solely to benefit my heart and overall health, but the truth of the matter is, despite my weight remaining pretty much the same, my pants are getting a little snug around the middle and in the thighs. So, folks, if I don't post as often at night, it's because I am sweating down in the laundry room on the elliptical machine which formerly doubled as a very expensive clothes line.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy, Happy, Happy

I am VERY happy to report that my dad's prostate cancer has not spread to anywhere else. We were a little concerned (okay, that's a gross understatement) that it may have because his PSA levels were rising. He underwent numerous and varied (and sometimes annoying) tests over the past week to look into the cause of the levels rising and he found out the results of those tests today.

It appears that the radiation (three years ago) did not get all of the cancer and there is still a small bit of it left in his prostate (thus the numbers rising). Believe it or not, this is GREAT news (compared to the other possible reasons for the PSA level rising).

For those of you that pray for my dad, thank you so much. God has answered your prayers!!

St. Paul Saints

I went to my first St. Paul Saints game tonight because Evan and the band were the pre-game entertainment. I have to say I have never been to anything so bizarre in my life (okay maybe First Avenue, but that was a different kind of bizarre). Anyway, some of the things I saw tonight at the game were:
three giant eyeballs doing some sort of race,
people throwing things into giant inflatable cottage cheese containers - followed by someone getting cottage cheese put on their head,
a dancing pig (the Saints mascot),
Paul Bunyan,
people throwing beanbags onto a giant map of MN trying to hit their hometown,
people trying to catch water balloons in pizza boxes,
oh yeah and I saw some baseball too.

It was just very weird, but they filled the stands, so I guess that's the point of all the strange things they have going on...

Deb(sister), Peter(bil) and Rachel(niece) joined us for the evening of tailgating and baseball. I don't have any pictures of Evan playing his pipes, but here are some other pics from the evening...
The band shared their beer with Peter
The kids loved having cousin Rachel there. Molly really wasn't as bored as she looks either.
Aidan was about the only one of us more concerned with the baseball than the entertainment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 3

So far, so good. Deconstruction is (almost) done!

Just one more small piece of warped floor board needs to be removed and then we can officially start the reconstruction of our bathroom! Yippee! I wish we could say that we are halfway there, but we all know that's nowhere near the truth.

So far, we've only had two people waiting in line to use the bathroom and not a single "accident". Not too bad, if you ask me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

And So It Begins

Two things began today: Chris started his month long vacation :) , Chris started his hopefully-not-month-long remodel of the bathroom :0 .

For the past five years I have been living with this bathroom
and I am all too happy to see it go! Adios to the lovely blue toilet, blue tile and blue shower. Good-bye to the hanging lights. Okay, and what's with the window in the shower??? Who thought up that idea? "Gee, let's put a window in a shower, so people can enjoy the scenery while they are getting clean!" Um, not such a good idea 'cause there's the "scenery" that the people OUTSIDE can see!! Hello?

As you can see, Chris has enlisted Evan to help and they are really going to town.

By 4:00 this afternoon (quitting time) my bathroom looked like this

A marked improvement, if I do say so myself.

This remodel should provide plenty of blogging fodder, since it is the only full bathroom in our house. We have a 3/4 bathroom in the basement, so it looks like Zoe & Raelea are going to have to learn how to take showers. That should be...fun(?). We will also see how long the various little kids in the house can "hold it", since there can be a bit of a wait when 10 people are all using one bathroom.

Stay tuned...it should be riveting!