November 21, 2012 | Filed Under Luke | Leave a Comment 

Trying to capture a few cute Pookie-isms while I can remember them…

  • Every pillow is a “pillow pet” pronounced PEE-low
  • When asked a question, he’ll answer “I don’t know either.” Obviously if I’m asking, I don’t know!
  • He completely resists any prompting to be a big boy. “No, I’s baby. Ben big boy. Sammy leetle like me.”
  • Sometimes instead of a plain baby, he’s a “baby ewok!”
  • His favorite shirt is his “Yions shirt.” Touchdown :-)
  • He has to choose his own “puh-js” His favorites are footballs, or boats, or big trucks.
  • So many more, but for now, pictures. He orders “Mama, take peek-tures”
    Sammy had to jump in too. My favorite is the shot with Sam’s finger up his nose.
    A common morning site, Lukie watching Mickey Mouse (his favorite) eating his “cer-e-os.” He also loves “nola” and “ola bars”.
    Terrible pictures, but he’s hugging his dog. LOVES his dogs:
    Reading, a favorite activity, with a pee-low pet and his lions shirt.

    Bathroom project: part 1

    April 24, 2012 | Filed Under House projects | 1 Comment 

    A couple of people are interested in the evil project, so I decided to throw it out here. We’ve wanted to redo the upstairs bathroom since we moved in. It wasn’t terrible, but definitely needed some updates.

    Here is a picture of the bathroom before we bought it!

    Here you can see the pedestal sink (boo!), and the dark wood cabinet and medicine cabinet. At some point, we removed that white shelf and had an antique dry sink to provide some counter space between the sink and toilet. Not pictured is the wonderful 1976 harvest gold tub and surround, with brass and glass shower doors.

    Besides being an eyesore, the tiny tub and and doors are not convenient for bathing children. We planned to upgrade to real tile flooring and replace the pedestal sink with something not useless. This was a “someday” project.

    Right before Thanksgiving, the problem child toilet leaked, flooding our bathroom. Always fun when you are expecting houseguests for the holidays! This bumped the bathroom project up the list.

    Phase I (November 2011): Phase I began with a plan to replace the toilet, which required a new coat of paint (desperately needed anyhow). To do it “right”, we decided to remove the huge linen cabinet and medicine cabinet. Once the room was emptied of the dark wood and the space eating dry sink, we thought “wow! this room feels so much bigger.” Jason asked if we had to put it all back in, and I agreed “no way.” Thus, Phase I was born.

    The paint and toilet was completed before Thanksgiving, and with great effort of J and his dad, the sink and vanity was completed Black Friday. In the following weeks, Jason and I finished the medicine cabinets and shelves. Phase I was successfully completed, with Phase II scheduled for Spring 2012.
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno

    Whew…that finally brings us to the almost present.
    Phase II

    Hmmm…I think that is all. Here’s where we started with Phase II:
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno

    The division of labor for the project was clear, though not terribly fair. Jason would work on the bathroom, and I would keep 3 monkeys out of his hair. Saturday morning, things started out great with the demo work…
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno

    …of course, nothing can be easy. A run of the tape measure proved that our 60 inch standard alcove is only 59.5 inches. Further investigation found huge gouges in the wall studs, which is how the golden beauty was installed. ::sigh::
    bathroom reno

    So, our weekend tub install now involves moving a wall. Did you not read that? MOVE A WALL. An inch. This is also the wall that contains the plumbing, which also had to move an inch. Down comes the wall.
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno

    Oh yeah, the wall is shared with the closet in Sam and Luke’s room, which is now also a construction zone. Very not planned. With a hole in the wall, the closet spread across their room, chunks of drywall everywhere, and a tub in the kitchen, the kids and I escaped to the local motel.

    By Sunday night, Jason had moved the wall and the plumbing and had the water back on. He took a vacation day (whee!) Monday, and by the end of the day, had the tub in place. He’s my hero.
    bathroom reno
    bathroom reno

    Unfortunately, there is the surround to go up, more plumbing and lots of drywall before we can call the tub finished. It will probably stretch over the next several weeks. Slowly, but surely.

    PS: How amazing is Jason?


    November 21, 2011 | Filed Under Benny, Luke, Photos, Sammy | Leave a Comment 

    Ok, I have not been keeping up with my 1 post a week goal. Here’s a quick share of pictures from Dad and Bonnie’s recent visit. We mostly hung out, ate, and played with kids. The boys loved having Grandpa and Grandma to play with.

    Jason and Bonnie played some guitar. Bonnie also helped Ben practice piano.

    Not sure if Dad is admiring the hat or the baby ;-)

    This is what story time looks like in our house now


    Bonnie has the patience to play Candy Land. That is saying something.

    Pumpkin donuts and milk: breakfast of champions


    Pookie, where’s your tongue?

    Where’s your nose?

    This is how I know he is growing up: we now have puzzle time.

    Cream cheese potato soup

    November 9, 2011 | Filed Under What's cooking? | Leave a Comment 

    Got this recipe from my friend Faye. Super YOG, but comforting.
    6 cups chicken broth
    2 pkgs cream cheese (8 oz each)
    1 pkg (30 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes (I used the shredded)
    1 & 1/2 cup of cubed ham (By special request, I used a pound of cooked bacon instead last time. Can’t go wrong with bacon)
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp dill weed (I always skip this because I don’t like dill and add a heavy dose of pepper instead)

    In a large dutch oven, combine the chicken broth and the cream cheese. Cook and stir until the cream cheese is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 18-20 minutes… Yields about 3 quarts.

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