Friday, May 22, 2009

Our New Home!

Several of you have been wanting to see pictures of our new home. Sorry I haven't gotten around to it sooner. This month has been quite busy, as I'm sure you can surmise. Plus, my computer has really been acting up - just checking my e-mail was taking over an hour! It was far worse than the days of dial-up, I assure you! :-)
So today I took a few pictures and am trying to upload them now so that you can see a glimpse of where we're living. My boys were sleeping, so you won't see their room, nor will you see the office which is our disaster room at the moment. We'll get it all together eventually, so you can see everything, I promise.
Our new home is 2300 Square Feet with beautiful white crown molding throughout. The entry way, kitchen, bathrooms (2-1/2) and living room are all tiled; the bedrooms (3), dining room (our play room for now) and office (lovely french doors keep the office quiet for poor Chris) are carpeted. It has a beautiful view of a man-made pond behind us with a natural preserve behind that, so the view will always stay, so that's a plus. I love the light fixtures that they had chosen - they feel warm and welcoming to me. There's a lovely breeze that comes through the house if you open up the large glass sliding doors in the back as well as all the windows...hopefully it'll cut down on our electricity bill this summer if we don't have to use as much A/C! Yeah! Anyway, we've been here about 3 weeks now and we're absolutely loving it! We've already trimmed all the shrubs waaaaay back, mowed the lawn, and have even harvested a few tomatoes and peppers from the plants I planted back in March. We're loving home-ownership...until June 1 when we make our first payment! Ha!
Welcome to our Home!
We celebrated our 5th anniversary this year. The traditional gift for year #5 is a gift of wood, so I had this wooden plaque made for my Chris in honor of our 5th anniversary. Isn't it neat?Dining Room/Play the immediate left upon entrance
We definitely need to raise the chandelier...I keep hitting my head on it. Ouch!
Entryway to Kitchen
Looking into the kitchen from the see the kitchen directly in front, the family room off to the right, and the Master Bedroom straight back.
Kitchen - you can see the office if you look straight back
The door to the left of the refrigerator is the pantry; the door to the right of the refrigerator leads to the garage, and the door the right of that is the 1/2 bath.
Family Room
Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom
Guest Room -
Some friends from our church found out we were looking for guest room furniture and GAVE us this beautiful furniture. It's actually really funny, because my furniture at my parent's house is this EXACT furniture, only different pieces. I have the night stand, lingerie chest, and dresser with mirror at home. Here we have the bed, and chest of drawers! Now the set is complete!


I don't know if you can see in these pictures or not, but this is the damage that was done to our van when the man rear-ended me back at the beginning of May. They had to replace the entire bumper, the whole lift-gate (trunk), and there was a lot of damage to the underbody, as well, so they did quite a bit of repairing. But it's as good as new now I'm just waiting to see if we ever get our deductible back from the man since he didn't have insurance. Keeping our fingers crossed...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

05.06.2009 Jacksonville Beach

Chris was off work on Wednesday, so we took Matt and Josh to the beach! You can't come to FL without visiting the beach!! We've lived here for a full year now and this was only the second time Chris has been to the beach - I went one other time without him, so it was my third time. Crazy, huh?
Anyway, we had a great time. Matt, Josh, and Chris threw a frisbee around for a while, and I played with Mason and Grant, when he wasn't preoccupied with his daddy. The kids both were fabulous...until it was time to leave. Grant hadn't had a nap, Mason was sound asleep and like dead weight in my arms. Grant didn't want to leave and was dragging his feet and throwing one major fit. He finally decided he wanted to be carried, too. Chris had gone on ahead to get the van, so I was trailing behind Josh and Matt, carrying my sleeping Mason and dealing with my screaming Grant. Finally, I leaned down and picked him up. So here I was, trudging through the sand carrying both babies by myself. Any of you who have been on the beach before know that trudging through sand by yourself is hard enough...try adding 60 extra pounds to the mix and see how you fare! Josh turned around and saw me, so he came and took one of the kids after a little while which helped immensely. Thank goodness for extra help!
We topped the day off with a stop at Dairy Queen for an ice cream treat, which made us all a bit happier! Yum!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

05.05.09 Saint Augustine with College Friends

We had a special treat this week in that Josh Ramsay, one of Chris' best friends from college and Matt Seel, Chris' college roommate (both were good friends of mine, as well) came to Jacksonville to visit with us. Unfortunately, Chris did have to work, so it was up to me to entertain them for a day or so. Monday evening we played cards and talked Theology (Matt's an associate pastor in KY and Josh is a young adults pastor in TN).
The guys went and played basketball on Wednesday morning, then after Chris went to work, we all went to Saint Augustine. We enjoyed the fort there. I hadn't been in the fort since my parents took me years ago, so it was nice to be back. Grant was fascinated with everything. He was really into learning, and it thrilled me. He learned the name of the shellstone the fort was built out of - coquina. He wanted to know what the cannons were for, he looked at just about every picture there was and asked questions about them, and he was fascinated by the prison door. It was fun to see his little mind working.
We also walked around the old town, ate gelato of course and just enjoyed the wonderful breeze. The kids were great, and I think we all really enjoyed ourselves.
Josh (left) and Matt (right)
Grant was intrigued by this door. It had a window in it that he could stick his head through and see the prison in the fort. We could hardly pull him away from it!
Grant was convinced the weapon he's pointing to in the upper left was an airplane...I kept telling him it was a knife of some least he's not really into weapons, right?? :-)
Well, okay, maybe I take that back. Sticking one's hand into the mouth of a cannon must show some fascination with them, huh?
Poor Mr. Josh and Mason were stuck in "jail." Let me out!!
Loading poor Mason as our ammunition. We were surprised to learn that some of these cannons could fire up to 3 miles away! Wow!
Grant was not too happy to be used as ammunition himself -
he was too afraid of it being "dirty."
He much preferred to be behind the controls!
We let the kids crawl all over this mortar for quite a long while. They had a blast!

05.04.2009 Fender Bender

It's been quite the month! Not only have we been moving, but our whole family has been trading illnesses back and forth for quite a while. Last Sunday, Mason was in the ER for 8 hours. He had this terrible open sore behind both of his ears, and a cough/cold, and then his fever spiked up to 104.8. Chris was on call that night, so I called him and said I was bringing him in. We got his fever to go down and they ran a bunch of tests - a catheter, an IV (taking several tries both times they had to do it), some fluids, an antibiotic, throat and wound swabs and x-rays later, we were sent home and told to come back the next morning. So I took him back, and the family doctor said he had infantigo. His heart rate was elevated from his high fevers and they debated whether or not they should admit him to the hospital. I just didn't know what I would do had they done that. This mom couldn't have handled that, i don't think. It turns out his strep test came back positive later that day, as well, so it was determined that he had strep throat as well. Upon further testing, it was found that our WHOLE family had strep throat. You can imagine we were a joy to be around. We're all on antibiotics now, though, and Mason's infantigo has cleared up and we're all feeling much better. Chris' parents were here last week, thankfully, and were a wonderful help. They kept Grant while I took Mason to the doctor. They kept the kids while we closed on our house. They cleaned, packed, painted and helped us get ready to move. Unfortunately, they caught our strep throat in the midst of it all, so they were sent home with antibiotics and hopefully were able to catch up on some rest. We worked them pretty hard. To top it all off, Sunday afternoon, I was on my way to get a twin mattress so that our company that was coming Monday afternoon would have a place to sleep. I was stopped at a stop light, preparing to turn when all the sudden, I was slammed into from behind. It was rather scary - I checked on my kids (who didn't even cry, by the way), checked my car, called 911 and the gentleman who hit me still did not get out of his car. I had 911 stay on the phone with me while I went to check on him. He seemed really strange - had me get his baby out of the car, call his wife, and kept telling me he couldn't see. So I had them send paramedics. It turned out that he was in diabetic shock and his insulin was supposed to be around 100; instead it was almost 500. Wow! They took him to the hospital and gave me all the information I needed. We were all fine. The kids weren't hurt at all. It really wasn't a bad accident, although the trunk on my van won't close now. It's dented in really badly. It definitely needs fixed. So I called his insurance company and they said that he dropped his coverage over a year ago. So now we're in the midst of dealing with the police and trying to figure out what to do. Ugh. So frustrating. To top it all off, his insurance company said that I was not alone...he was in another accident the very next day! Yikes! The man needs to be off the road!

04.18.2009 Sponteneity in Savannah, GA

Stephanie and Dan called us on like Thursday of this week and asked if we would meet them in Savannah, GA on Saturday. It's a 5 hour drive for them, and just over 2 hours for us. So they definitely got the raw end of the deal, but we had so much fun getting together one last time before they move back to IN from NC. We had so much fun with them living on the East Coast with us for 3 years and will miss them greatly when they move even further away from us.
Savannah was beautiful! We all loved the huge live oak trees, the old buildings, the street performers and the bit of culture that we experienced while we were there. We stopped at the visitor's center and asked if they had plantation houses that we could drive around and see...the lady kind of sneered at us, said we'd have to go to Charleston for that because "The Yankees burned them all down." Oh. We decided not to tell her where we were from, because it seemed that there might be a bit of bad blood between us. It's amazing to me that even after all these years, there's still a bit of animosity between the north and the south (at least as far as the south is concerned...for some reason I never hear those kind of comments in the north). Anyway, if you've never been to Savannah, go! It was beautiful, and we enjoyed walking around the city. We'll go back, for sure!