Thursday, October 30, 2008

I should be packing, but...

So, I suppose I should be packing considering we leave tomorrow on our family vacation. The plan is to pick Gabe up from school at 3:20 p.m. and then head off to our wonderful 19 hour drive down to Myrtle Beach. I'm sure this could qualify for insanity...locking yourselves in the car with three children for 19 hours, one of which spent the day getting sugared up at his class Halloween party. Tis' the plan we chose, and we'll have fun with it!
But, I digress.
This post is really about our house. We met with a builder & home designer on Wednesday who came to our house to help us figure out a house plan to incorporate all that we want out of our enormous, 5,000 + square foot house. Why did we build that huge addition again? Oh yeah...that was Jason and his secret plan to try to convince me that we need to fill the 5,000 square foot of lonely house with kids.
Then we could have more slave labor for our house projects to do things like this...

{Seriously though, what boy wouldn't love hitting a wall with a hammer?!? It's hardly slave labor...look at those smiles:}

But really, we have so many possibilities with how to use the space, and since we're gutting most of the upstairs, we'll have a blank canvas to create the space we want. That's the good part. The bad part, of course, is the fact that a blank canvas means a lot of work. Not so good. But, as always, I'll choose to focus on the good, because that makes for a much happier me!
Anyway, in preparation for the meeting, my job was to come up with some photos of rooms and house ideas that I like.
Thought I'd share one. Take a look at this ultimate craft/creative room below. I'm thinking in our 5,000 sq. ft. house, we may be able to find room for something like this! And a room like this could definitely encourage me to pick up a new hobby, like maybe scrap booking?
If only a room like this also brought with it the spare time I'd need for a new hobby!

Costume Crisis Overted

The costume mix-up I posted about last night was not a problem at all this morning as I got Cooper dressed for school.
As long as the costume involved a cape, he was good with it.
You never know what it's going to take to please a 3-year-old!
The only struggle we had this morning was Coop's request that I call him Superman. When I'd forget and call him by his common name, he'd say, "No mom, I'm Superman, not Cooper!"
It was long as I called him Superman, I had his total cooperation.
Of course I took advantage of the situation and asked my superhero to pose for a few photos.
I asked Cooper what kinds of things Superman can do...
{Able to leap tall walls in a single bound}

Then I asked Cooper to give me his best 'Superman face.'
{Superman is Silly}

Then Coop showed me his 'flying' pose.

I'm thinking we spent a little too much time practicing to be the wrong superhero yesterday.
Oh well, he's still pretty darn cute!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Costume Mix-up

So today, I made a big mistake!
It all started when Cooper was talking to me about his upcoming Halloween party at school. Questions like, 'Is it today?' and 'Do we get candy?'
I fielded those questions fine.
But when we got to, 'What costume am I gonna wear?' I made a small error.
Well, maybe it was a big error.
I told Coop he was gonna be Batman, when he's actually gonna be Superman.
Innocent mistake, right? I bought the costume over a month ago and put it away and had somehow gotten it in my mind that it was a Batman costume, not a Superman costume.
So that means all day, Cooper was practicing being the WRONG SUPERHERO!
He was saying things like, "I'm Batman" and pretending to drive his Batmobile, all the while I'm smiling and saying things like, "Wow, you're such a great Batman."
And to top it off, he was even telling everyone he saw at church tonight that he gets to be Batman tomorrow at school.
It wasn't until tonight when he was all tucked into bed and I was getting his costume out for preschool that I realize it's actually a Superman costume.
Needless to say, I'm not exactly looking forward to explaining this mistake to my little superhero tomorrow as I'm getting him dressed in his costume for his preschool Halloween party.
It's an easy mix-up, right?!?
Or maybe I'm just loosing my mind!
Either way, just more proof that I really am due for this vacation!
So, I'm afraid my little guy might have an identity crisis tomorrow, and it'll be all might fault. I'm sure he'll forgive me someday...I hope!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gettin' Ready

Why is it that getting ready to go on vacation is so tiring?
Maybe it's the neat freak perfectionist in me that feels like I have to have my home spotless when I leave on vacation. After all, who wants to be welcomed home from vacation with a mess?
Maybe it's the boundless to-do's that seem they have to be done before we leave on vacation.
Maybe it's because we're currently in the midst of a massive house renovation that does not go on vacation just because we do.
Or maybe it's simply to make me appreciate that vacation even more.
Regardless of the reason, I am tired and I am ready for a vacation!
Today I spent the day cleaning and finally painting the stairs that I have been putting off painting. They look so great...why didn't I do that before?
Tomorrow will be laundry day, followed by packing day on Thursday.
Is it Friday yet?
Anyway, totally unrelated to today's post is the following photo of Chloe I captured this past weekend.
At the time she was doing her doggy noises, 'woof, woof.'
But I'm thinking it looks more like she's doing a fish impersonation.
Either way, isn't she a cutie?!?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Long Weekend

So you're all probably wondering where I've been.
I've been busy!
This weekend was the Ladies Night Out event at our church and I was asked to sing two songs with my singing partner in crime, Shawna. Now since we both have terrible stage fright, it always takes a lot out of us to sing. Between practicing our songs, the anticipation of having to sing them in front of nearly 200 ladies, and praying we don't forget the words, it's been a long weekend. But I'm glad to report the event went off without a hitch, and I pray that many ladies were impacted with the awesome love that Jesus has for us!
I also wanted to give a Cooper update. He felt great all weekend, with no vomiting or diarrhea. But again, this morning, he got sick. And two hours later, he was fine again! This is really the strangest illness I've ever heard of! If this keeps happening, the next step is an appointment with a pediatric gastrointestinal doctor. And we leave for vacation on Friday, so we're hoping that we either get him seen by this specialist, or Cooper completely gets over this illness before then. The latter would be great, so please pray for that! But as of right now, he's been feeling great all afternoon. We'll just wait and see what happens next.
I do have to share one more event from the weekend...a big surprise from my husband! We were sitting at the table Friday night and Jason asked me to go get his work bag because he said he had some cards in there for me to look at from Pastor Appreciation Month. I looked in his bag and right away see the cards and pulled them out of the bag, proceeding to zip it back up. Jason, rolling his eyes, says, "Wait, wait, wait! Look in the bag again! There might be something else in there!" Considering how non-observant I am, I don't think he was too surprised it took two looks. So, I looked in the bag again and see a brand new laptop! I was shocked! I have been wanting a laptop for well over five years, but had just never gotten one. There's always something better to spend the money on, and after all, I have a perfectly good desktop computer. But Jason thought it was time to get me one, and I am thrilled. And it's even a 'just because' special occasion! Have I said how wonderful my hubbie is!!!
So I thought it only proper to post a photo of me with my new laptop!
Now you can see what I used to type this post...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Poor Cooper

I hate to type these words, but wanted to ask for prayer for our little Cooper.
He's sick again!
How can this be? Just yesterday he was dancing with us and singing his favorite preschool songs.
We thought he was back to normal after 7 sick-free days, but he woke up this morning with the same symptoms as before...nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
After the before mentioned three symptoms persisted for three non-stop hours, we called our doctor and she said to take him to the hospital. By this point, Cooper was very dehydrated and had to be given fluids through an IV.
He was so brave, and so sweet.
I really do think he was the talk of St. Luke's Emergency room this afternoon, as every nurse or doctor who would enter our room would say how sweet they've heard Cooper is, and how brave too.
They had brought in a whole team of nurses when they put the IV in, expecting a three year old to put up quite a fight. But Cooper just laid there, perfectly still and smiled at all the nurses.
I think the poor little guy was just so worn out from his morning in the bathroom that he really didn't care what they were poking him with, as long as it made him feel better.
They again took a blood sample and he again had an extremely elevated white blood count, which indicates that he has an infection but also that his body is fighting that infection.
The doctors are now thinking that this is a viral infection, not a bacterial one as they initially suspected, due to the fact that a week on powerful sulfate antibiotics didn't take care of his illness. And since it's viral, that means there's nothing they can do but let it run its course.
But they did send up home with anti-nausea medication and I am happy to report Cooper is feeling much better as of tonight. He ate supper {mac & cheese...his favorite} and asked to go to sleep {he was exhausted after a long day being sick and at the hospital.} He hasn't vomited all night and has been resting comfortable for hours now.
I am now praying that whatever this sickness is, it will just go away so that Cooper can fully heal. I don't think his poor little 30-pound body can handle much more of this!
So please, if you could pray for Cooper to have a quick full recovery, that would be so wonderfully appreciated!
And thank you all for taking the time to read about our lives, and for thinking of us!
We are SO blessed, God is good, and we don't ever forget this, even in the midst of a four-week on and off illness. There's nothing we can't endure without Christ's strength. I just wish it were happening to me instead of my son!
{And a special thank you to our two Grandmas, for watching Chloe and Gabe so that Jason and I could both be at the hospital with Cooper. You really helped us immensely!}

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chloe's Dance

What better on a cold, rainy day than to have a dance party with our new bedroom speakers blaring Michael Jackson's Thriller. Check out Chloe's mad dancing skills, and notice how she keeps looking up to the ceiling and pointing at the speakers.
Also, enjoy the closeup of Chloe 'singing' near the end!


Last night Worship Team practice ran late at church, which put me late getting home. When I walked through the door of our bedroom at about 9:45 p.m., this is what I found:

The above photo is our bedspread covered in drywall dust.
Nope, it was no accident. This was a planned mess.
Apparently, the in-wall speakers Jason had ordered for our bedroom had arrived via UPS yesterday and he just could not wait to install them.
{Jason's definitely like a kid with toys when it comes to electronics.}
There are now two speakers in the ceiling of our room, which you can see Jason cutting the hole for the second speaker in the photo below.
{Notice all the falling dust, hence the reason for the mess on our bedspread.}

And below is the finished product: one newly installed speaker.

Of course, the volume control switch isn't installed yet. But we wouldn't want to completely finish a project all in one night!
{I really do love you Jason, but you know it's true!}

Despite the mess in our room, I do have to give Jason credit for clean-up. He got out the vacuum after he finished his speaker installation at 11:45 p.m. and cleaned up after himself. The bedroom furniture still has a healthy dose of dust which I will have to clean today, but I can handle that.
So this morning, I turned the radio on and brought Chloe into our room to see what she would think. {She LOVES music and LOVES to dance.} She immediately started looking around, trying to figure out where the music was coming from. She went over to our clock radio and gave me a puzzled look, like she knew it wasn't coming from that thing! I then held Chloe up in the air, close to the speakers, and she just smiled. It was so sweet!
When I put Chloe back down on the floor, she kept pointing to the ceiling and laughing, so I'm thinking Jason made her day!

Now Jason said he's preparing himself for 104.5 FM to start their non-stop holiday music, because he knows I tune in every year as soon as they start playing Christmas music and don't tune out until after New Years.
He may regret putting those speakers in our bedroom after all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ready for School

I guess this is Cooper-themed Wednesday because I have another Cooper story to share!
I was in the bathroom cleaning when I hear,
"Mom, I'm ready for school."
I was so busy cleaning that I didn't even look at Cooper.
I just replied,
"Cooper, you don't have school today. School's tomorrow babe."
Cooper, not satisfied with my reply, says,
"But mom, look at me! I'm ready for school!"
I look at Cooper only to see this sight:

He thought it was so funny, he proceeded to laugh and laugh.
Not a small laugh, but a hearty, kneeling over holding your belly kind of laugh.

So, thinking I could have a little fun with this, I said,
"Ok, let's go Coop!"
I grab my car keys and purse and proceed to walk up the stairs.
Cooper, laughing, says,
"But mom, I'm in my underwear."
I said,
"Well, you always wear underwear to school."
Cooper says,
"But mom, I don't have any clothes on!"
"Oh silly me!" I said, and head back down the stairs.
Cooper replied,
"You forgot, didn't you mom!"

Wonder what Mrs. Ferguson would say if I did forget and brought Cooper to school looking like this? I know I'm forgetful, but hopefully it would never come to that!

Cooper: A Good Friend

Ever since Cooper started preschool, he's become quite the ladies man. For a while, this title was reserved for Gabe, as he's always been our little ladies man. But now that Cooper's getting older, I'm afraid we have two on our hands!
Cooper has friends that are boys, but he is often talking about girls...Jaden...Maddie...Destiny...Ariana...the list goes on. I can't even keep track of who all these girls are that Cooper speaks so fondly of.
Grandma Bonnie has even been approached by some of Coop's little friends that are girls at the pumpkin farm, and while she was out to eat. Both of these little girls said, smiling, "Cooper's my friend." Ahhhh.
I'm sure Cooper will always be a friend to everyone. He is very sweet, always trying to take care of others and make sure others are happy.
Believe me, he has his moments, like when he's just done doing the 'sharing thing' with his little sister. But overall, Cooper is just a good friend.
The other night, I was talking to Cooper about Jesus and how Jesus was a friend to everyone and always thought of others before himself. I said something to the effect of, "Jesus was a good friend." And Cooper said, "Me too mom! I'm like Jesus!" It was so sweet.
Then he said, "Mom, did Jesus have an Ariana like me?" He was talking about his little friend from church who he calls 'my Ariana' and she calls him 'my Cooper.'
Well, obviously, Cooper can only comprehend so much at age 3, so I just moved on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winnie the Pooch & Chloe

At Gabe's field trip to the Pumpkin Farm yesterday, we mostly just let Chloe walk around the farm. She stayed close by and didn't stray too far. But wherever Chloe went, there was Winnie also.

Now for Chloe, her tag-a-long friend was great at first. Whenever we go to Grandma and Grandpa's farm, Chloe starts yelling for Winnie as soon as she gets out of the car. It's almost like a chant: "Winnie...Winnie...Winnie" over and over again. Intermixed in the 'winnie' chant is also the word "Doggie" which she says as if it's two words..."Daw Gee" and then she also does her dog sound "woof, woof." So my point is, Chloe LOVES Winnie.

Jason and I thought that Winnie was just wanting to play with Chloe, and Chloe was having so much fun. But after a little while, Chloe started running from Winnie, yelling "no, no!" She wanted me to hold her to keep her away from Winnie the Pooch.

When I picked Chloe up, I soon discovered why Winnie had been following Chloe so intensely. She still had a small piece of one of Grandma's cookies in her hand, and Winnie was intent on stealing it. Jason's captured Winnie's resolve in the photo below...

I was holding Chloe and Winnie was jumping up after her over and over again, trying to get that last little bite of cookie in her little hand. And Chloe was yelling, "No! No!"

Those two were entertainment in themselves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Farm Field Trip

Today Gabe's Kindergarten class took a field trip to the pumpkin farm. This would be fun anyway, but even more fun when it's your grandparent's farm. Gabe was so proud to be showing his friends around the farm he knows and loves. Jason, Cooper, Chloe and I met the class there and were able to take the tour of the farm just like the students, led by Grandma Bonnie. It was so fun! And each child got to take home a pumpkin and Indian corn they picked themselves from the field. Can it get any better than that?!?

Field trips to the Pumpkin Farm mean
Bus Rides...

Tours with Megaphones...
{Grandma Bonnie teaching the kids about life on the farm}

Making new friends...
{Cooper went right along with all those big kindergartners}

Hanging out with old friends...
{Gabe and his buddy Brayden}

Class photos...

Acting Silly...
{pretending to be dogs like Winnie the Pooch}

Sitting with friends...
{Cooper with his new buddies}

And saying Goodbye when it's time to go...
{the class loaded up on the bus to go back to school}

What a fun day!
Tomorrow I will post photos of Chloe and how she spent her time on the farm. Thanks to a cookie in her hand, she was stalked by Winnie the Pooch most of the afternoon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

While Mom is Away...

I met my friend Suz {love you Suz!} for lunch today and when I came home I see that my husband has captured a couple of CUTE photos of Chloe. Had to post them!

And a quick side note: Jason is not one to just randomly pick up the camera and start taking photos. In fact, he often makes fun of me for taking so many photos of the kids. So, maybe my photo obsession is wearing off on Jason a bit.

The first one of Chloe with the hat was what prompted Jason to pick up the camera in the first place. He said he had been upstairs for a minute and when he came downstairs, Chloe came walking out of Gabe and Cooper's room with their hat on her head backwards. She had put it on all by herself, and was just walking around so nonchalantly. Too Cute!

I didn't crop this next photo at all. When I asked Jason how he got Chloe in focus clear off to the side of the shot without changing the manual focal location on the camera, his response was, 'I just got lucky I guess.' Glad he was so lucky today...what a cute photo!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Favorite Scents

I LOVE Perfume!
I don't think I go one day without wearing perfume. It's such a habit, I wear it no matter what I will be doing that day: church, taking the kids to school, painting the house, exercising. It just doesn't matter what the activity is, I'm going to smell good doing it.
Anyway, I often get asked, 'What's that scent you're wearing?' So why not devote a post to my perfume preferences. After all, it's my blog and I will write what I want to, right?!?
And maybe my wonderful, thoughtful husband will happen upon this and have a guide for future reference. Although I'm not sure he needs any help...he recently bought me #5 on my list 'just because.' Ahhhh...isn't he great!
So here's a few of my all time favorite scents, in no particular order:
{Keep in mind, I tend to like floral, light scents. No musky man-like fragrance for me! And...I always recommend buying lotion if they make one in the same scent. Layering lotion and perfume always makes the perfume scent last so much longer!}
1. Amazing Grace by Philosophy

2. Burberry London
{Not to be confused by any other Burberry scent, because this one is the only one I like. The Burberry perfume names are so similar, it's easy to buy the wrong one!}

3. Ralph Lauren Romance
{One time in college, I had a guy stop me and ask me what perfume I was wearing because he wanted to buy some for his sister. Maybe it was a line, but regardless, I was wearing this.}

4. Clinique Happy

5. Hollister Malaia

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boys will be Boys...with leaves

The same day I took the fall leaves photos, Gabe had the idea that we should rake the leaves into a pile and not jump into them, but instead, ride bikes through them.
Sounds like a typical boy idea to me.
I couldn't find the rake, so I had to use a broom {quite a funny sight...should have gotten some photos of that. Cooper kept asking why I was cleaning the grass!}
Anyway, the boys would start at the top of a little hill and wait at the 'starting line' while I would 'sweep' the leaves into a pile between rounds. They were sitting at the starting line 'revving' their engines, and were fully into this activity. Then when I'd say go, they race down the hill to the bottom where the pile was. Gabe won the 'race' every time, but Cooper was oblivious and didn't care. It wasn't really about the racing, as much as it was just about riding through those leaves.
They thought this was a blast, watching the leaves blow through the air as they plowed through the pile on their bikes.
We did it over and over and over again.
Who knew leaves could be so fun?!?

{Love Gabe's intense face in the photo below. Click on the photo to see it enlarged.}

After riding the bikes through the leaves, we did the typical leaf play activities...throwing them in the air and burying ourselves in them.
{Got a few actions shots of Gabe throwing leaves.}

{Gabe thought it was hilarious to throw leaves at mom.}

{Love the two closeups below of the boys buried in leaves.}

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Leaves of Fall

Yesterday afternoon when Gabe arrived home from school, the boys and I decided to go outside and look at the beautiful fall leaves. Cooper was feeling better at that point, which didn't last long...{he was up sick overnight last night AGAIN!}

Anyway, since {Beautiful fall leaves + 2 cute boys = Great photo opp.} I of course brought the camera along on our outing in the yard. We don't have many trees, but we do have some small trees and bushes lining our property.

Here's some highlights:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still Sick

Cooper is still sick! It's been about 2 weeks now that Cooper has been sick on and off, and off and on again. He'll be sick for a few hours, then be fine for a whole day. Then, sick again for a half a day, then fine. It's back and forth between well and sick.
It reminds me of when Gabe was sick with rotavirus several years back. He had the same unpredictable symptoms and the same doctor's's a virus, so it has to run its course.
Well, I hope we're almost to the finish line.
This sickness is certainly getting old.
Poor Cooper!
Last night he was up sick five or six times through the night between about 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. That makes for a long night to say the least! And that makes for a tired boy today. Look at Cooper, laying on the chair and watching Bob the Builder.

There was no singing along with the Bob the Builder theme song today...just laying there, in a trance halfway between awake and asleep. I don't know how much more of this his little body can take, so I'm praying it's almost over!