Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back from Vegas!

We're home from Las Vegas, and my Mom & Rod are officially Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin now! How's that for exciting? The wedding was truly beautiful, not at all like you might think of a wedding in Vegas. The chapel was gorgeous, the minister wonderful, and Mom was such a beautiful bride I actually cried the second I saw her!

We had such a nice time visiting with Megan and Jason on this trip (and Amanda & Manuel too!). Everything was pretty hustly and bustly, but we did get a bit of hang-out time and that was good.

The funniest moment happened the day we got there, when everyone was a little grumpy from the drive. Malachi said, "I want to go home." and Graham replied, "Oh honey, don't say that, you're my best friend!"

The biggest bummer was that we'd all forgotten about indoor smoking being legal in Nevada. I think Caris must be allergic to it, because as careful as we are about avoiding food allergens, she broke out all around her mouth and under her eyes, and stayed that way the entire trip, despite massive amounts of Benadryl. She was a trooper anyway and had a really fun trip.

It was so awesome coming home to a mostly-clean house and a fresh, new living room and dining room! I told Alif on the way home that I am so excited about just doing a Normal Week in our new areas! It's not actually a TRULY normal week, since it's Graham's birthday on Sunday and we'll need to do our preparations. I can't believe he's turning six!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sibling Rivalry

I had to laugh to myself, overhearing this exchange between the boys just now.

Graham: Why are you having such a mad holiday?
Malachi: I don't even like holidays.
Graham: Yes you do.
Malachi: No!
Graham: Then I guess later you won't have any pumpkin pie, because pie is part of a holiday.
Malachi: No!
Graham: Yes it is.
:::back to regulary scheduled playing:::

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Late last night and early this morning, Alif finished the living room and dining room! Seriously, wow! They look GREAT! he put up the new baseboards and the fans, and what a difference they all make!! He'll go and pick up the couches today and we can finally put our house back together. How exciting!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Isn't that the truth!

The boys made a big mess in the back yard yesterday, and Alif asked them to clean it up today. Once we were all ready for our day, I sent the boys out to clean and pretty soon I looked out and Graham was standing in the mud, splashing around joyfully. I sighed and called him in, truly hating to interrupt his fun but knowing he had to be disciplined for being disobedient. I reminded him that he's to be focused on cleaning, and that once they were done the back yard would be ready for play again. And to help, this time I gave him a specific job to do - clear off the picnic table. About another 3-4 minutes later I heard much raucus laughter and looked out to see what was going on. There he was, tormenting his little sister with car tracks. Hey, at least he'd gotten them off the table! LOL So I called him in again and said, "Honey, what happened? Remember, you were supposed to be clearing off the table?" He looked down and said, "I can't even explain it." Oh man, how my heart grew with God's grace at that moment. So sweet to be five years old and willing to be honest that way. How many times should I just say, "I can't even explain it" instead of trying to excuse or justify myself. We're without excuse when we sin before our Lord, and we're fully dependent on His grace. It was a wonderful moment for the two of us, and one of those poignant reminders of how much my kids teach me.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Yeah, that boring - the only title I can think of is the day of the week. HA! I forgot to show a picture of the ceiling fans we got. Well shoot, it won't load so here's a link: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=134743-77127-HE-0411OLDWO
Hopefully that works. We got two to replace the current ones in the living room and one to replace the one in the dining room. I think they'll be pretty! Also I spent a good hour browsing decorating sites and came up with a cute curtain idea. The curtains for the living room will be floor-length and only on the very sides of the big picture window. I was in a quandry about what to do in the dining room, until I found a cute picture of a valance with beaded trim dangling from the botton. AHA! I'll just use the same fabric as in the living room, but do valances with a cute trim hanging! How fun! Now to decide on a fabric . . .

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Day six, Final day! (kind of . . .)

Darling dear put the final coat of varnish on the floor today! It is looking gorgeous, and I can't wait to move back in. That won't happen until Wednesday, though. He's out right now looking for new ceiling fans. He'll put those up, plus the new baseboards he bought yesterday, and then he'll move in the new couches (also purchased yesterday) on Wednesdsay. What FUN!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Floor, Day 5

Sanding is complete! Alif wiped everything down with mineral spirits last night, and he's in there now, doing - I'm not sure what, but getting ready to put down the first coat of varnish. How exciting!

Busy, fun day today! Sil's baby shower and a hair appointment. A full day with my Mom! I can't wait!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Floors Day . . . Four?

More sanding accomplished, something about going around the edges? I think the sanding is nearly done now, and the entire floor is a beautiful blond(e?) that is just . . . well, it's exactly what I was hoping for but wasn't sure was actually under all that old, yellowed finish and all the stains and scuffs. Alif says he might put the first coat of varnish down tonight! I am growing increasingly tired of the house in such a state, and can't wait till everything is put back together again. Speaking of, I think we found our couches! I love them - we'll see how Alif feels. He's going to go look at them this afternoon. http://www.lanefurniture.com/products/ProdInfoDet2.asp?MasterNo=15139

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Floor, Day 3

Alif began sanding last night, and it revealed a floor neither of us expected underneath! It's absolutely gorgeous! It's multi-tonal and much lighter than we thought it would be! Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Floor Redo, Day Two

Our accomplishments so far: furniture moved out of living and dining rooms, baseboards, carpet, nail strips etc. removed, doorways taped closed with plastic sheeting. The house is looking a little crazy and feeling really quite cramped. I keep reminding myself that it will be worth it when it's done. It's going to be beautiful, it's going to be beautiful, it's going to be beautiful . . . Alif will sand tonight.

To escape the madness, the kids and I went out for a couple hours this morning. We dropped bags at Goodwill, returned library books that are severely overdue, did our banking, went to Wal-mart and then lastly, headed to the McDonalds playland for lunch and amusement. The kids had a great time and amazingly, didn't complain at all when it was time to leave! Hooray!

At Wal-mart, I got some B 100 vitamins. I keep hearing how wonderful the B vitamins are, and when I told Liz this morning that I'm feeling a little over the edge, she suggested that I go right over to Wal-mart and get some B 100s. I did, and I hope they help.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Alif has decided to redo our wood floors . . . NOW! Oh my! Wish us luck this week . . . this is going to be an adventure! :-)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Daily schedule

I don't feel like we're accomplishing what we need and want to each day. I think about when I went to school and when I worked . . . I didn't just do what I wanted when I wanted to, I had certain places to be at certain times. I have tried to make myself schedules, but I think I've made them just too constricting for my personality. But I also feel like if I'm going to achieve my goals, I've gotta give myself some guidelines. So here it is:
7-9 Get ready, breakfast, kitchen
9-11 Schoolwork, snack
11-1 Outside time, lunch, cleaning, storytime
1-3 Nap/quiet time (me: dinner planning, Bible study, laundry, crafts, internet)
3-5 Projects, errands, cleaning
5-7 Dinner, kitchen
7-8:30 Kids' bath and bed
8:30 - 10 Alif & Emily time

So hopefully, by giving myself a framework like this that still allows me to have downtime throughout the day, I can get done what needs to get done and not just end up all overwhelmed.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It's just too early

What does a person do when they're on a totally different sleep pattern from their spouse? Alif is up early every morning, whether he fell asleep at 8 or 12 the night before. I, on the other hand, would like to sleep until at least 6:00. I've asked him to just keep quiet until 6, but it's like he's simply driven to move, and by 5:30 he's just got to be up and around. The simple solution seems to be that I should just go to bed earlier and make good use of this early morning, but after a long day with my adorable kids, I relish the quiet, late-night hours. Don't get me wrong, I'm not up really late - I'm usually in bed by 10. What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Who knew being a "stay-at-home" Mom could get so hectic!? It's a busy morning cleaning, calling, putting away, playing, correcting, and generally running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

This morning Caris got in bed to nurse and I jokingly said, "Who are you?". She replied matter-of-factly, "Caris Payne."

I started cleaning my room this morning, which I actually thought would just take a little bit of time - it looked halfway ok when I started. I was fooled! The up-high shelves were very dusty, and let's just say that a few months of using my room as a stuffing spot has not done me any favors. It's going to be a slow process if I'm going to truly find spots for things and not just stuff them somewhere else. My personality tells me to just barge through the whole thing in one day, but then I'd end the day with a sparkling bedroom, no schoolwork done and the rest of the house in total disarray, so I'll just plug away at it and get it done slow and steady.