Monday, December 31, 2012

An Elf Injury

Our elf Steve suffered an injury a few days before Christmas....

He decided to sit atop our wall sconce, and the kids decided it was a good idea to turn on the light. Oops!!  Hopefully he'll recover. He had a few last adventures before this happened...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Days 8 & 9

Only 15 days until Christmas...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The next few days...

The elf is already getting tired of moving from place to place each night.  Its very hard to remember - I can see why people really don't like this thing.  Plus he is a little creepy.  The kids do seem to enjoy looking for him every morning though.  He spent a couple days watching over our kitchen table...

When he forgot to move I told the kids it was because he needed more time to watch over their terrible table manners.

Steve had some poor manners as well, eating some of our chocolate candy and making quite a mess of it, chocolate and wrappers everywhere...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 3 & 4

Elfie Steve is getting into EVERYTHING at our house!  First he played a little guitar...

This morning when we woke up he was playing a game of chess with Santa bear...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Powder Room

Over the past few weeks we've been working on redoing our powder room.  It had some funky wallpaper and some really funky smelling carpet.  It was just gross.  I started slowly by removing the wallpaper, a little bit each day.  It was a messy job, but since the room is so small (about 30 sq. feet), it wasn't terribly difficult.  The worst part was removing the wallpaper from the ceiling.  Andy helped me with that, but he hated every moment.  Next Andy had to smooth the walls. Under the layer of wallpaper that we removed was another layer of textured wallpaper that had been painted over.  It looked very old so it could have been the original wallpaper. Yeah, we were not going to remove that.  

We decided we would put in ceramic tiles for our floor, so Andy decided he would shut off the water valves to the sink in case we needed to remove the sink to adjust the height.  Well, the valves were so corroded they wouldn't turn, and then a few minutes later I hear water and Andy shouting, "Shut off the water!"  Of course I don't know where to shut off water to the house, but I do now. If you don't know this, you should probably figure it out(it could come in handy sometime). Luckily the pipe broke just behind the sink, and Andy was able to fix it quite easily, but he did have to cut a hole in the wall.

It was our very first time putting in tiles, and it took us all day, but I think it turned out really nice!  

Here is the before picture...

And here it is after...

We kept everything that was in here before, with the exception of a new toilet. The old toilet had a small hairline crack near the base, so that worried me. I loved the towel bar that was in here, but it was gold, so I painted it satin nickel.  I painted the shelf to match.  I do want to replace the light(and maybe the mirror too) and I have a new light picked out, but since we went over the budget with the plumbing issues, we'll replace that later.

I think we may need a new blind too, but for now it works.

 Look - no funky wallpaper on the ceiling!

Its not perfect or probably even wonderful, but if you had seen and smelled the bathroom before, you would say this was amazing! We still have a few minor things to finish, like the hole in the wall under the sink, and some caulking(which I absolutely hate), but I am very happy to have this project almost behind us! One bathroom down, two more to go!!


Our elf Steve must have been sleepy and cold this morning...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

He's back!

Drew came running into the kitchen this morning, saying "OMG! Come look in the library, Steve is back!"

Our elf Steve hopped in a Fisher-Price plane, and picked up a princess on the way too! I think he is going to cause a lot of mischief in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


RCC is where Andy works. He is pictured here with his boss, H. Birali Runesha.  They had their official grand opening this week. They had a panel discussion and reception(Andy came home and told me he had apple pie on a stick).

After all these years I still could not tell you exactly what Andy does at work.  Something with computers. But he seems to do it well, so that's the important part!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Alex had a rough start to Halloween.  He was very excited about his Halloween party at preschool, but once he got there he didn't want to be there.  He sat in the hallway and refused to go in his classroom or take off his coat.  I wasn't going to force the kid to attend a party, so back home we went. He also decided he wasn't going to be Pikachu.  Of course not, now that we have the costume. He was informed that I won't be buying him a new costume next year since he wouldn't wear the costume I bought him this year.  But as trick or treating time came, Alex got a little more excited.  Who doesn't love candy?  I think his face says it all! He would look into his pumpkin basket full of candy and say, "Mmmm, candy!"

Faye and Drew had a Halloween parade at school.  I did not get myself into a good spot(I had to shoot between heads) so it was difficult to take pictures, but I got a couple.

We ran out of candy for trick or treaters in less than an hour(and I had a ton of candy).  I had to turn a couple kids away, and I felt terrible. It was a very busy night on our street. Next year I'll have to buy more candy, a lot more!  My kids went out for less than an hour and almost filled their pumpkins...

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The night before...

Tomorrow morning is sure to be a busy time, so I had all the kids, Velvet too, try on their costumes and pack their backpacks.  Drew could not decide what to be this year, so he is going as Mario again.  He's grown some - notice his pants, ahem.  Hopefully no one will notice and give him a hard time.  I'm having him wear blue pants underneath tomorrow so I hope that helps some. Alex wanted to be Pikachu from Pokemon.  We found the costume at a Halloween store that charged us a ridiculous amount for a very cheaply made costume with a hard plastic mask.  I decided to order the Pikachu hat he is wearing on Amazon and he is much happier and more comfortable now. 

Faye is Hermoine from Harry Potter. I've known for over a year that she would be Hermoine, but of course I waited until the 20th of October to start knitting her a Gryffindor scarf.  I'm not sure why I waited, but I had to knit like crazy to get this done.  I used this pattern with a few adjustments to make it smaller and it turned out really nice!  I bought 2 skeins of Autumn red and 1 skein of Sunshine yellow yarn for a total cost of around $10, with enough yellow left over to make the other Gryffindor scarf (which I just started).  It was quite a project to take on 10 days before Halloween, but I'm very happy with it.

Velvet is sticking with her bumblebee costume this year.  She loves getting her picture taken now.  I tell her where to sit, take her photo, and then she gets a treat.  She's got the hang of it now at 12 1/2 years old and will get in on the photos without me asking her - she'll do anything for a doggie cookie!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hockey Update

I took a few more pictures at hockey this afternoon. Alex is not playing hockey any longer, but I think that is for the best. He's a little young and the older kids definitely get more out of hockey. Maybe he will try again in a couple years.  Drew and Faye are doing really well - its amazing how quickly kids learn to skate.  Drew still doesn't know how to stop, but he either slides or runs into the wall and that seems to work so far. They still spend a good amount of time falling down and getting back up, but each week they really improve.

They are both loving hockey and having a great time!  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


At least half if not more of our house is wallpapered.  Some of it could even date back to the 60's.  I sometimes feel like we've stepped back in time, living in this house with everything so dated, and Andy off at work while I'm at home cooking and cleaning.

The powder room bathroom may have the newest wallpaper, but it is my(and Andy's) least favorite.  We also need to redo the floor because someone had the bright idea to put carpet in the bathroom and it stinks! They also didn't even bother to attach the carpet to anything so it moves around.  Wallpaper removal first...

I worked for about two hours to get this small section of wallpaper removed.  It came off fairly easy.  I score the paper with a wallpaper scoring tool, then soak the wall with a mixture of fabric softener and warm water.  Then I drink some coffee and wait a bit, scrape it off, and start all over again.

Did I mention that they also wallpapered the ceiling? I'm saving that part for Andy because I'm nice like that.  In about a month(hopefully) I should be finished and I'll post some new photos.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Our Fireplace

We've finally had the chance to have a fire in our fireplace this week.  Two in fact!  

I have been so anxious to use our fireplace, but first I wanted to have it cleaned and inspected to be sure it was safe. I called Southwest Fireplace in Frankfort a couple weeks ago and they made it out early this week. They were really nice and we were very happy with them. Everything was looking good - so we had a fire Thursday and Friday night! The previous owners left some firewood so we've been using that, but I've been pricing firewood at several places and will probably have more delivered - just in case. I may never leave the house all winter!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Preschool Field Trip

Alex had his preschool field trip this morning to The Children's Farm in Palos. It was a little chilly this morning, but when the sun was shining it was nice.

The kids went on a guided tour through the farm. They got to pet chickens, cows, piglets, lambs(named Ringer, Rosie & Posie), goats, and donkeys.

They also each got a turn holding a chick and a baby duck. 

They finished the trip with a hay rack ride around the farm, stopping to pick out a pumpkin. Alex had a great time!