Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Adventures

A week and a half ago I received a new calling at church.  A little over a year ago I received a calling in Primary as a teacher for the Sunbeams--amazingly my FIRST primary calling ever. From 1998 till about a year ago I had been exclusively in the Relief Society.  I love the Relief Society. I have had almost every calling-multiple times too-except Relief Society President, piano player, and VT supervisor. I haven't had any welfare specialist callings either, but not sure if those specifically fall under Relief Society.  I've led the music a couple of times, been first and second counselor (2nd twice I think), secretary about three times, Visiting Teaching coordinator, and Enrichment Leader.  Hmmm...not sure if I've been a teacher for the Sunday lessons...can't remember.

Back to the present....I also had another calling in conjunction with being a primary teacher--the Relief Society Meeting Coordinator.  Basically the person over of Relief Society activities that works with one of the counselors (used to be known as the Enrichment Leader).  Well, two Sundays ago a member of the Bishopric asked to speak with me a few minutes before the meeting began.  I was quite surprised by the calling he presented-Young Women's first counselor, working mainly with the Mia Maids.  I have never had a calling in Young Women's either!  It's my first!  I of course said yes.  I asked about my other two callings and he said I would be released from both that day, and I was.  I am excited about the calling.  I hope that I can do what I need to and be a help instead of a hindrance.  It will be great going to Sunday School with Lee and joining him on fifth Sundays!

The Tuesday after I received my new calling we had the Relief Society birthday celebration. I counted 36 ladies there.  It was a great night.  We had a Relief Society in Excellence.  Some sisters brought things they had made or worked on and talked about them. We ordered bread bowls from Panera Bread and they sold them to us for a $1 each!  (Normally $1.99).  They were so good.  Three ladies brought creamy soups.  My friend brought baked potato soup...it was divine.  So delicious in the sour dough bread bowl!  My favorite part of the evening was when each sister had a chance to introduce themselves and briefly talk about what they like to do.  I mentioned that I like murder mysteries and that I like driving by big cities at night (I just plain like driving!)  It was a great activity for my "last" one. But knowing my track record in Relief Society I might get this calling one more time...  The counselor I worked with is amazing.  She helped me A TON with this calling. Well, here's to a new adventure.....

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A little of this, a little of that

Life is ticking along and the house buying process seems to be dragging along.  One whole week passed will basically nothing happening.  Our paperwork for the loan went to processing and the seller's realtor was notified about setting up a house appraisal.  I have a hard time being patient sometimes and was frustrated when Friday rolled around.  We did get some good news Friday night though.  Apparently the sellers are going to fix everything we asked them to fix!  There was a truck at the house yesterday.  The guy/gal was checking out either electrical or plumbing problems.  One of the sellers is actually an acquaintance.  He knows we need to move and is trying to expedite the repairs.   Hopefully the house appraisal will be done this week. Sadly we won't be able to close the 28th or 29th. We are hoping for the first week in April now.  Even though this hasn't been a great experience, I am very grateful we are able to buy a house.  Funny enough, I am excited for this to all to be over and to just pay an escrow/mortgage payment once a month. Side story....a couple of days ago I was talking to Clark about a mortgage.  I loved his shocked response: "You're borrowing money?!"

The three youngest are into "tents" and have been for the last long while.  They were very creative one night a few days ago.....
March 19 2013

Our friends brought Elden a birthday present (and gave a game to the kids!).  He got the yellow backhoe.  He has loved playing with it! 
March 20 2013 Elden

He LOVES being outside.  Wish it would warm up a little more.....
March 20 2013 Elden (2)

A book fair has been happening at the school.  Lee took the kids Thursday morning to the bookfair before school to pick something out.  We were just going to send money with each of them, but Lee had a great idea--we should take them ourselves and we spend the money on the book of choice instead of our kids buying their own items like creative erasers or other little trinkets.  Anyway, Cal got a book of Star Wars paper airplanes that you cut out.  Cal loves intricate things.  He has made a few of the airplanes already.  Clark, Cal and Haley were outside yesterday flying three of his airplanes.  Haley left the picture....
March 23 2013 Clark Cal Elden

We are not big DIY people, but Lee went to town yesterday on this bike for Elden.  Before.....
March 23 2013 Elden

After.....The grips and seat need to be changed out...we'll see if we do ha ha.  Lee spray painted the frame and the rims.  And of course the chain is back on.  Elden is SO excited to have a bike.  Now we need to buy bigger bikes for the girls sometime this spring. I love that Lee knows all about bikes and can fix them and all. Lee even did tune-ups on all the kids' bikes yesterday too.  Funny enough, when the local ACE Hardware was deciding to carry bike products or not, they talked about who around here would buy those particular products.  Well, our name came up!  You probably already know but we like to ride around town on our bikes.  Lee bought new black tires and bike tubes at ACE yesterday.  We love ACE Hardware.  And ours is even closed on Sunday! 
March 23 2013 Elden (2)

March 23 2013 Elden (3)

Elden had this outfit on yesterday morning...pretty funny.  Cal had a yellow glove on because he was "bathroom" yesterday.  He and Clark rotate each Saturday cleaning the bathroom that is in their room.  Hopefully he hadn't cleaned the toilet yet.....hence the yellow glove (I don't like toilet brushes so they use a glove and a rag).
March 23 2013 Elden Cal

Have a great week!  We are looking forward to Easter weekend and spring break!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

As you all know St. Patrick's Day was Sunday. I enjoyed seeing so many people wearing green.  My friend Abby and her family all wore green--it was so cute!

Sunday night my kids went on a treasure hunt that a leprechaun set up for them. I really have never done anything for St. Patrick's Day.  Maybe we'll keep this hunt as a tradition as my kids really enjoyed it. My sister's kids make traps for leprechauns, which is really fun. So, for the hunt, the first clue is set to be found by their pillow in the morning, but since church is at 9:00am AND 30 minutes away, there was no way I wanted to pull it off in the morning.   My friend Sarah posted a great "tutorial" on her blog about the hunt, including the clues to print off.  Read it here.

I didn't have long, skinny bags for the "rainbow" with a "pot of gold" at the end.  I did have some little jewelry bags my mom bought me from Hobby Lobby.  And I was disappointed that my Rolos weren't individually wrapped.  So I cut the foil and wrapped two together.  They looked like gold barrels.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (3)

In the meantime, the kids had cheesecake while listening/watching a conference talk.  There was a lot of cheesecake left over and Lee was nice enough to share with the kids.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (4)

Silly poses my kids wanted to me capture....I colored the whipping cream green in honor of the day.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (7)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (8)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (9)

Clark snapping one of us that night.  Lee sans green tie....
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (10)

The first clue for the treasure hunt was in the Friend magazine.  Cal found it (with a little prompting by Lee).
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (11)

First clue leads to the bathroom.  My leprechaun's feet don't match...I was in a hurry.... And looking at it, it's kind of a gross "thing" to set up that the leprechaun supposedly did, but also kind of funny and creative.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (12)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (13)

Next, green milk in the fridge.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (14)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (15)

Last clue was in the closet in a shoe.  You're supposed to put the clue in a shoe and have the leprechaun make a mess nearby.  Well, our closet looks like this 99% of the time.  It's basically always a mess-especially in the winter when boots, hats and gloves are involved. So I just hid the clue in one of Elden's shoes.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (17)

It snowed that day and night.  And school was canceled on Monday.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (18)

The last clue instructed to go out in the "cold" to find the gold.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (20)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (21)

Sarah included two fun clip-art/craft ideas on her blog too.  I printed off and included the Leprechaun Application. 
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (22)

Cute picture, Elden.
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (23)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (25)

On the Leprechaun Application it asks if you are sneaky, clever and can dance a jig.  I think we have the jig part down!
March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (26)

March 17 2013 St. Patrick's Day (27)

We haven't had corned beef and cabbage yet, but if we can find some next month we will have it then. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lee's turn

It was Lee's turn last week for a date.  He made a delicious chocolate cheesecake--with eggs, cream cheese, baking chocolate, and all.  We have never, ever made cheesecake before.  We both love it, though we eat it probably just a few times a year. After a game of Othello, we finished watching a Hercule Poirot mystery on Netflix.  I am sad...there is only one more episode left.... Great date Lee!  I need to get thinking for our date this weekend. It's my turn.
March 16 2013 Lee cheesecake

Monday, March 18, 2013

Elden's 4th Birthday

A little over a week ago was Elden's birthday. I really can't believe that Elden is now FOUR!  Guess I need to prepare myself for this shock every year as my kids get older.  I've mentioned this before, but what is weird is that he is my youngest...and he's four!  There aren't any other babies or toddlers trailing behind, something that a few years ago I thought would have happened.  The twists in life are very interesting!  And don't get me wrong, Lee and I are happy with our family size.  There are a few things that are fun to think about with this stage of life...for instance that I done putting kids in diapers, never have to toilet train again, and that Clark can start babysitting next year (with no babies or toddlers to take care of, it should go over well!).

Elden wanted a Lightening McQueen cake this year.  I convinced him to have a blue McQueen. I didn't think I had enough red gel coloring to make it a nice red. (Turns out I probably did.) I was pleased to see I had the perfect color of blue though. And I actually finished the cake before midnight!  I was done about 9:30 or 10pm.  So nice!  Lee shaped the cake for me and I did the decorating.  I thought it turned out great.
Mar 10 2013 Elden 4th Bday

Mar 10 2013 Elden 4th Bday (2)

The morning of his birthday he opened his presents. He enjoyed his card from Grandma and Grandpa Bartholomew.
March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (4)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (3)

Yep, we got him a new scooter.  Maybe I'm biased (but I don't think so ha ha...) but for a four-year-old (especially for a four-year-old!) he is GREAT on a scooter.  He's basically just as good as my other kids are!  He has been riding a scooter for several months now and loves it.
March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (5)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (6)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (7)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (8)

Some more pictures of the cake.  Elden leaned on it with his hand and made a dent....
March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (9)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (11)

March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (13)

In addition to the scooter he received a Hot Wheels car from each of his siblings.  He played with the cars ALL day!  Really, we should have just bought him a couple of Hot Wheels cars for Christmas! 
March 11 2013 Elden 4th Birthday (14)

That night the Jeppsons came over to eat dinner and have Family Home Evening. We were glad they were here for the rest of the party--cake and ice cream.
March 11 2013 Party for Elden

March 11 2013 Party for Elden

March 11 2013 Party for Elden (3)

Happy Birthday Elden!  You are still "the baby" no matter how old you get.  I love that you call your pjs "jammies" and that you constantly give out hugs and kisses.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A decent snow storm, finally

On March 6th it snowed A LOT!  School was canceled for three days and we loved it. I mentioned to Lee that it had been awhile since we had received a lot of snow.  It snowed in Missouri some, not a lot though and it snowed a little bit last year in Virginia.  Our last time we were somewhere with lots of snow was Christmas in Ely, Nevada 2005!

It was great snow.  Nice and thick!
March 6 2013 Snow Day (7)

Lee tried to drive out to head to his office.  It was unsuccessful.  Later he got the van out and drove around so that he could come in and park the van a different way without backing up.  (If that makes sense.) A trip that should have taken a couple of minutes turned into 45 minutes!  He got stuck twice!  I had no clue where he was.
March 6 2013 Snow Day (3)

After the van was stuck Lee headed off on his bike to work.  The advantages of living near work!  The power was off at work so he posted a sign and came home.  It was great having him home.
March 6 2013 Snow Day (9)

Two branches snapped off one of the trees.  I never heard it break.  Shanna came inside and said the tree broke.  Thankfully no one was hurt because Elden was on the other side of the tree and Shanna was up on the deck!
March 6 2013 Snow Day (12)

Our power was out for nine hours.  Thankfully I have my handy dandy portable stove.  For some reason I really wanted one while I was in high school my senior year.  My mom got it for me for Christmas.  I even took it to college with me. It was nice being able to cook things!  It was fun making fudge (it's been years, literally, since we've made fudge!), popcorn and hot chocolate. 
March 6 2013 Snow Day (13)

Before our power came back on the thermostat read 59.  Pretty chilly in a house. In the morning almost all of the kids were snuggled up on the couch. Whoever wasn't on the couch I told to get on and of course snapped a picture.
March 6 2013 Snow Day

Later that day we noticed that the realtor sign in front of the house we are buying had an updated status!  I wasn't kidding when I said it was right across the street from us!
March 6 2013 Snow Day (17)

It was fun seeing "Contract Pending"!
March 6 2013 Snow Day (16)

I was surprised by how quickly the snow melted.  It's pretty mild here, which I like.  But I am glad we get to experience the "seasons" too.  I loved having a nice snowfall!

For a house update:  after TWO weeks, the contract finally came back signed by all four people. We couldn't really move forward until the contract was signed.  When my sister had her offer accepted on a place the contract was done that same night! Oh well. It's here now.  I went to the bank on Friday and signed a bunch of stuff.  Since Lee was at work he still needed to sign the papers.  I was about 15-20 minutes from home.  I was going to pick up the kids at school, which would require me to be there at 3:20 (normally they ride the bus, so that morning I wrote notes for each of them stating that they would be walkers).  I was still at the bank at 2:55ish and called the school telling them that my kids couldn't be walkers and they had to ride the bus home. That would get them home at about 3:34, which gave me some extra time.  I left the bank at 3:17 and I was getting antsy driving home.  I wasn't sure if I would beat the bus or not.  Thankfully I did meet the bus.  As soon as the kids got off the bus, I had them get in the van.  We went straight to Walmart in Harrisonburg so Lee could sign the papers.  Then we drove back to the bank, handed the papers in and then drove back to Harrisonburg to play at a park.  Anyway, it was kind of crazy!  Friday night and Saturday we signed a couple more papers and talked to our realtor.  Because I don't want Lee taking time off of work, I have been doing the bulk of the house stuff.  Next time I'll have him take time off!

We are REALLY hoping we can close next week on Thursday or Friday. I am SO excited to close. As of right now I am not nervous AND it couldn't happen soon enough! We had a home inspection on Thursday and there are things we want the sellers to fix. (Overall the house is in good condition!) We'll find out Monday what they will fix/repair.  The home appraisal still needs to be done, including a termite inspection and we need to finalize things with getting hazard insurance.  And of course, the loan has to be approved. It should go through okay...hopefully! Right now things are going well with the loan. I think I am mentally prepared to have a mortgage.  I was nervous about it for awhile, mainly with Lee being self-employed. It will be our biggest debt yet and I can't wait to pay it off!  Some of my sisters are doing a contest--who will be first in doing the following: pay off all debts, house included, have a six month emergency fund, a three month supply of food and a year supply of food staples.  I will be an official contestant as soon as we close on our house!  Game on!

Right now it's snowing again!  We'll see if school is canceled again or not.  They like to cancel school around here.