Monday, February 28, 2011

 This is what happens when I'm sick and don't have the strength to care.  They tipped their tent upside down in the front room and proceeded to fill it up with all of their toys.
 Here Ike is trying to avoid being hit by one of the toys that Zeb is hurling.
 I'm not sure how it's possible that I got sick AGAIN. This is the FOURTH time this year that I've had this terrible GI bug. It renders me useless.  It is so painful and so draining that I can't even move (besides writhe in pain) for a good portion of the day.

Luckily Kent only had a two hour day.  He left late and relieved me early.  Once he got home he took the kids outside to go 'puddle jumping'.  I wish that I could have gone outside to take pictures of them.   You can't tell in this picture- but Ike is sopping wet. And he cried when they had to come in.  There's still snow on the ground!  I think the high was 35 today!! But the three crazies had fun jumping in the remnants from last night's crazy rain storm!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

our new (rental) HOUSE!!!

We are really really excited about this place so don't be surprised if you are bombarded with exclamation points and excitement :)

This house is perfect for us!! I've been on a pretty crazy house hunt the past few months and when I am on a mission to find something great for a great price- I become a little obsessed!  I found this place on Monday and had our application sent in by that evening.  We went down to Dayton yesterday and the owners called us today with the fab news: We got the house!!  The rent fits within the military housing stipend- and leaves enough leftover to cover utilities- which was our goal in the hunt.

It's only 8 minutes away from the most amazing YMCA ever! and that Y just happens to be right next to Meijer!! and the church is just another mile down the road from that.  We are just around the corner from a huge park with playgrounds and a free splash pad. Plus- the neighborhood has a pool!!! Kent's time will be split between Dayton Children's hospital and the Base hospital and the house sits right between the two!

The only thing that stresses me out is FILLING the house.  It gives us so much more space than our now cramped apartment- but we don't have enough stuff to fill that many rooms.

We are definitely going to need a lawn mower!
and a barbecue and patio furniture!!  Those things may have to wait awhile, though.
The master bedroom is so big and nice. It's even got an attached master bath.
There are two sinks, the toilet/shower area, and a walk-in closet with built in shoe shelves!!
There are three other bedrooms and another bath on the top floor.  The kiddos play room is GINORMOUS :)
and one of the rooms makes a perfect study/nursery.

On the main floor you've got the kitchen which I LOVE! It's so nice and bright and OPEN.  The island stays- but we'll need stools!
and also a 1/2 bath, the dining room, family room, and a living room!
 And then finally- there's a huge unfinished basement with built in food storage shelves and an additional craft room!
 I feel like it's the perfect house and it's going to make leaving Toledo just a little bit less difficult!!  Plus- we'll have lots of extra room for visitors to come!!!
 The past week has been nutso!  we took a last minute trip down to Dayton to take a look at the house we want- and we loved it.  We should find out this weekend if we are getting it!  five minute walk from a splash pad-  the air force base, children's hospital, church, and ymca are each about 7-9 minutes away and it's close to parks, libraries, running/bike trails, and has a great yard and community pool!!!  cross your fingers everybody!

 I don't have any pictures of Zebbo lately- but this other little guy is full of faces and acts that get pictures.  He's so two.  He's in the "I can do it myself" phase.  And that's the phrase I hear most often from him.
Just the other day I heard him in his room during his nap- and found him here. He'd climbed out of his crib, undressed himself, found his car slippers and was checking out the snow.  Zeb never went through this phase and Ike is making me CRAZY!!  it slows down everything we do and everywhere we go!! ahhhhh.
At least he's cute!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We had a snow day of sorts yesterday.  After a nearly twenty minute car deicing and then our trip to the gym with a fall on the black ice -we holed up inside for the rest of the day.
Luckily- since it was President's day and the forensics rotation is at the county coroner's office- Kent had the day off.  He helped with the car deicing while I took pictures :)
Ice storms really are pretty amazing, but I sure wouldn't mind a garage on days like these.  And speaking of garages- we just turned in application for the PERFECT house in Dayton (it has a two car garage) so say a little prayer for us that we get it. There are a lot of people interested in it so we've got to send some of our positive vibes it's way.
 I can't believe how this ice can just coat everything. 

We tried to keep the kids entertained all day with something besides the tv and they spent a lot of time with their playdough machine.  I got this contraption for 90% off at meijer!  Kent especially loves it!
We do now have playdough chunks all over the house- but it's worth the time z and Ike are distracted!
 Kent and Ike napped while Zeb and I worked on reading the 'starfall' books. It's the best kid's reading website ever.
 And then we ended up making cookies for fhe.  Kent and I think this pic of Zeb looks a lot like Daysa.  Maybe it's the skeewompous lips.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Check out these three rascals. This is Halloween a few months after we'd all moved to Toledo. Zeb is the pea pod. Cohen is the crab. Matthew is the Lion.
 And look at them now!  So crazy to see how much can change in three years.  I'm glad the three of them are still pals!  Zeb is continually stressed about leaving all of his pals in three months.  Luckily most of them are leaving too, so we just tell him that everybody is clearing out of Toledo the same time that we are.
And speaking of clearing out- we started packing this weekend.  We started with the kiddo's closets which led to playing every game before we boxed it up.
Ike doesn't really get it so he's a little concerned about the disappearance of his things.
I'm a little concerned about EVERYthing. House hunting is über stressful! especially since we're hunting for a rental!  We've found all of these fabulous places to live- but I'm sure most (if not all) will be snatched up by the time we are ready to head to Dayton! There's nothing worse than watching what you want disappear!! I keep thinking- "maybe we should buy?!" and then I realize WAIT- that's CRAZY.  We'll only be there 3 years- 4 TOPS so buying makes no sense.  So we'll just play the hunting, watching, and waiting game and hope that the perfect house pops up at the perfect time :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ike eats bananas, Zeb eats apples. They won't trade, mix, or even nibble on the other.  Such little monkeys.
 Monkey #2 has a bit of a cold. That mixed with the terrible twos=nasty nasty little screaming fits.  Kent nearly lost it tonight with him. Kent never nearly loses it.  How long does this last again!?  I think it was 4-6 months with Zeb.  I can't last that long again. 

Has anybody seen the tv show 'The Middle'? So funny and so accurate in so many ways.  Most comforting quote from last week's show: "Sometimes moms scream things they don't mean". So true. And I'm glad it's not just me.
 Luckily now monkey #1 is a champ and rarely causes his parents to 'nearly lose it'.  In fact- he helps out a lot these days. Here he is with his pal, Matthew, at open gym. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

14 ❤s.

 1. I that the Y offered free babysitting tonight so that Kent and I could go out for Valentine's Day. Did I mention that we went out Saturday night as well?  We'll take all the us time we can get!

2. I holidays. Any way to make the day more exciting and get gifts is fabulous.

3. I Kent. He knows me better than I know me. He's perfect. In every way!  Tonight he came home from the coroner's office and told me every detail of the autopsy they did on a hit and run victim. He me. 

4. I chocolate milk and m&ms. I've had a lot of them the past few days. But I did run 13 miles on Saturday so I say I deserve it.

5. I ❤ed sitting and watching the Grammy's red carpet with Kent last night.  Did anybody else see Lady Gaga's entrance in an egg?  weeeeeird.

6. I sitting in bed at night and playing 'angry birds' simultaneously with Kent.

7. I Ohio. and I that we get to stay for Kent's residency.

8. I teaching!  Right now I'm teaching seminary here, and then cheer, art, Russian, and fitness classes at the Y and I'm in teaching heaven.

9. I also teaching my kiddos.  Zeb is full on reading and I'm definitely more excited than him :)

10.  I really my rugrats and their craziness.  Last week Zeb asked us: 
"if Jesus speaks to my heart- then who speaks to my intestines?".

11. I the Gospel. It puts everything in the right place for me.

12. I to read. and I ❤ed "Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother".  I swear it's already changed my life as a parent.             

13. I ❤ that we are going to AUSTRALIA! AHHHHH. I can't even sleep at night lately because I'm too excited thinking about it.

14.  I my life. Every last bit.  I am the luckiest girl.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3 things that changed my life.

Today, last minute, we ended up having 3 guests (all teenagers nonetheless!) for dinner instead of one and these three things saved our dinner and changed my life. Seriously.

First off: 'No rise rolls'. I whipped these up (prep AND cook time) in fifteen minutes!  They were fabulous.  Why do I even make real rolls?!?  We needed them for our pulled pork and they were PERFECT.
 AND we found a near perfect corn bread recipe.  This recipe (and pic) came from 'Mel's kitchen cafe'  But more life changing than the cornbread was the honey butter. HOLY SMOKES.  This stuff was UNREAL.  Do you want to know the secret ingredient? You'll never believe it.  It was TO DIE FOR.  Are you ready?  it calls for 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff!!!!!  You've got to try it. wow. wow. wow.
Rolls: ( I halved it and got 12 still)
2 ½ C warm water
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp oil
6 C flour (can use white or wholemeal)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Stir water, yeast, sugar and oil together. Leave for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy on top. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Knead. Roll out if making a pizza base or shape for use as buns / bread / loaf. Paint with oil or milk (if you can be bothered). Bake at 200 degrees C for 10-15 minutes.

½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk
Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny – don’t be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I don't think I've ever posted about our train table.  A little before Christmas we inherited this amazing table from cousin Amy in Michigan and the kids have been loving it to bits ever since.

It's the perfect surface for toys of any kind, really. Trains, race cars, monster trucks, the cool set they got from gramps at christmas, and even dinosaurs, dragons, and superheroes!

Of course, there tend to be squeals and screams and pushes when the two can't seem to play in separate spaces- but that's to be expected.

Here's Zeb telling me to tell Ike to 'mooooove it'. And Ike trying to move Zeb.
We've had a lot of chilly days- so it means lots of indoor playing and the table is perfect for just that.
I love this picture.  I was telling Zeb NOT to push Thomas down the hill and he was so excited to disobey me :)  Check out those little eyes! He is so going to push Thomas.
And then he did- and he thought it was sooo funny.
I really do love these kids so much and I enjoy being with them (usually). 

Monday, February 7, 2011

We got DUMPED on again this weekend with snow!  I wasn't expecting an additional six inches on Saturday- but I was happy to see it come!  This time there weren't any crazy winds and no ice accompaniment- so it is just plain beautiful.  I ran the 'Blizzard Breakfast Predictor' race Saturday morning and it snowed like CRAZY.  By the time I was finished my eyelashes were crusted in snowflakes and ice!  And I WON.  Definitely the first and last race I'll win- but I won nonetheless :)  It was a seven mile race where you have to predict how long it will take you to run it.  Then- you run with no watches/timers/etc.  The runner closest to their predicted time wins.  I guessed my time SPOT on. To the exact second.  I won a fancy water bottle and fifteen dollars :)  Since the race only cost 5 to run- and they fed us breakfast- I made off quite nicely :) 

The rest of the weekend was spent just having fun!  The past year (since Kent returned from Texas and Dayton) has been PURE HEAVEN. Kent is usually home every day by five- often at 2 or 3!  He doesn't have tests to study for- he doesn't ever work weekends or holidays- and we just get to have fun! I know that starting this summer life is going to change dramatically so I'm milking it all while I can now.

Here's Zeb acting like a monkey at the sliding door.

On saturday afternoon we finally relented and took them to play outside in the snow even though it was getting dark.

And earlier on Friday night we spent the evening at the Y for family night.  I really hope the Dayton Ys are equally as fabulous as ours here!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

 2 years ago today was nearly the worst day of my life.  I can't believe I almost didn't get an epidural with this monkey! Luckily the anesthesiologist was good at his job and the day turned quickly into one of the best.
This is my favorite picture of him in his first few months of life (thanks, Linds!) and one of the only where he looks cute. He had some pretty ugly days in the beginning :)
 Remember his bird boy days?!  c-reeeeeepy.
Our day was full of celebrations and fun!  Here he is adamantly stating that he's still one. 
He had quite the argument with the Meijer people when they handed him his cake and congratulated him on turning two.  We visit the free cookie people at Meijer at LEAST three times a week so they were super excited to make Ike's cookie cake. Both rugrats LOVE Meijer cookies.

 Tonight we went to the store so Ike could spend his gift card from gma pat and gpa brent (thanks!!- he ended up with an assortment of cars) and to McDonalds for some nuggets.

 And then we made our way home to open his bubble machine.  I bought it two summers ago on clearance to give to him on his first b-day but he had too many gifts so we packed it away and decided to pull it out for this year :)  He LOVES it.  Zeb does too.
 He got laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.
 These two really are best friends. I love that they are so close in age.
Ike is still more coordinated than Zeb and definitely has some innate athletic abilities! He's quite the talker these days and still loves black beans more than most anything.  He LOVES to run, race, and play ball.  He can tackle Zeb in one swoop and he is crazy about wrestling.  He is still obsessed with his blanket, binky, and bobo and I'm still happy to indulge.
We love rugrat number 2- but it seems as though he's been preparing to turn two the past few weeks and has become suddenly quite terrible!  Here's hoping the terribles don't last too long!  Happy Birthday Freddie!