Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The 3 Amigos!

Align Center

So, Katie is hanging out with us this week while AnnaMarie is helping a friend at a scrapbooking tradeshow in Orlando this week, and the kids are seriously having so much fun! It is probably mostly because Benjamin and Christy are here entertaining them for the week, too! Kaite has been easier than my own kids, for crying out loud. She sends herself to bed, tells me when she needs a nap, only cries in the pack and play when she wants more milk and so far has only really freaked out because I was in her room tucking her in to bed and she wanted me to leave, so I did, and problem solved! She has been great, and Christy and Benjamin have been so helpful. Besides watching the kids and cleaning up, Benjamin volunteered to clean out our gutters today and Christy braved the nasty bugs and dirt and took off all of our basement insulation for us. Can you guys stay forever, please? If I ask really nicely?

Anyways, we took a walk to the park by our house yesterday with the kiddos and got some seriously great pictures. Here they are!

Ryan got to ride his tricycle to the park. He said, "Mom, this is my very favorite thing!"

Katie gives Calvin lots of hugs. He really adores her!

Love this one:

Hanging out on the whale toy:

One of my favorites:

Katie loved having Christy push her in the swing:

I love this one of Calvin. He loves to stick that tongue out.

On the slides:

Katie's such a beautiful girl, I love her!

And just to put you at ease, AnnaMarie, here is a delirously-happy-Katie picture:

Oh, and an added bonus to having Katie around? I get to do pig tails!

She's just so adorable, I can hardly stand it. We love having her here, AnnaMarie, and she really is having a great time!

So, in other news, last weekend my whole Walton family came into town and we drove 4 hours to the Wisconsin Dells and stayed in a couple of really nice condos for 3 days and had soooooo much fun. However, all of the pictures are on Kelly's camera, since I forgot mine, so I will have to do a post about that later. Anyways, we have been having tons of fun, and we are especially excited to have Katie, Christy and Benjamin here, and especially ESPECIALLY excited to have Abbey come home from Japan on Saturday. YAY!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How To: List on blog sidebar

Amber asked about the list in the sidebar. Here's how you can have one too:

List Prep:
1) Make a Google Docs spreadsheet. Pick one column to display on your blog. Stick your list in that column
2) Publish your spreadsheet as a web page (in the share menu)
3) Choose to share a certain cell range, which should be the column you're using. Eg. I'm using Column B cells 2 to 750. (Google will only show the cells that you have created in the spreadsheet, not all 750).
4) Copy the URL that it displays to you.

Blog Setup:
1) Add an HTML gadget.
2) Paste the following code in your gadget, but replace the blue link with the Google Docs spreadsheet link you copied above.
3) Save the changes and you're done!

<iframe style="width:210px;height:500px;overflow-x:hidden;" src="http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=raMJUjiwqW0xc0C0ubNyjgw&single=true&gid=0&range=B2%3AB750&output=html"></iframe>

More fun:
If you want to change the height or width, just change the number of pixels in the HTML code. To add a horizontal scroll bar, remove the overflow-x:hidden; The scroll bar will then appear automatically if the content is wider than the pixel width.

Homemade vs. Store Bread

We usually make our own bread. We've got a bread maker, and ususally make 3-4 loaves a week. Once in a while if we're really busy (say, replacing pipes) we'll buy store bread. Since we're cheap, and our boys aren't very discerning, we buy the $1.50 white bread -- unless there's something cheaper available.

As I ate my PB&J today I realized that when you get store bread, it's basically a thin shell on whatever kind of sandwhich you're eating. It's just a wrapper that keeps the jelly from getting on your fingers. This isn't really a bad thing, since the bread doesn't taste like much and you don't want jelly to get everywhere.

Homemade bread is a meal by itself. When you eat a sandwich made of homemade bread you actually need to bite and chew. If you could buy homemade bread at the store, you could stick it in the bag with the pineapple and milk, and it would make it home intact. The bread is so tasty, you might even pack a piece of plain bread for a mid-afternoon snack.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is : "Thank you Caroline for always making sure we've got bread!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

House Fun : Fixing Leaks

We have a long list of things to fix at our house. Some are needs (a Furnace before winter!) some are wants (new paint job in the boy's room and office). Some are in between.

Like the slightly leaky pipes. There was a tangle of pipes that lead to the dishwasher, the kitchen sink and the washing machine. There were three different places in the pipes that were leaking, two places where tightly bound electricians tape suggested there might be a tiny leak, and one patch that was definitely a leak repair.

Did I mention that the old cement sink was really really really gross? Or that we wanted the free-standing basement shower out eventually?

Saturday night I was headed to Home Depot to get the parts to fix the leaks (just the leaks!). I realized that to replace the leaky sink faucet, I would need to get an old style direct-to-the-pipes faucet. When we would eventually replace the washtub, we would need to get a new faucet again at that point.

I called Caroline, and she agreed that we should just replace the washtub at the same time, and not buy a faucet that we would only use for a few months. Then I suggested tearing out the basement shower at the same time too. I figured since we were already messing with pipes, we might as well do it right once, instead of doing it twice. We would be taking a big load to the dump soon anyways, so the shower could just join the pile.

An hour an a half later I walked out of home depot with $190 worth of plumbing supplies, instead of the $30 or so I had been planning on.

Caroline and I then (at 9:30 PM) started what we thought would be a quick job of replacing the leaky pipes and faucets and removing the old washtub and shower.

By 11:00 PM I had finally gotten the hang of soldering the pipes, and we had installed local shut off valves. Before those were installed, we had to have water for the whole house shut off, which meant no way to even shower before church if we had to give up for the night!

Caroline was an amazing worker. She wielded the hacksaw of fury and measured each length of pipe just right. She also showed nerves of steel while holding pipes in place while I used the torch to solder them together.

We replaced the leaky stretches of pipe, removed the shower and the pipes that had run to it, broken up and removed the gross washtub, fixed the leaky tee that went up to the dishwasher, installed normal faucet connectors and installed non-leaky washing machine connectors.

Finally we fixed two connections which I hadn't quite soldered correctly, then turned the water on again. No leaks!

By that time it was 2:30 AM, and we were tired and very dirty, so we cleaned up and went to bed.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Elder Moore!

So, James entered the MTC on the 8th, and the boys and I decided to send our very first care package to Elder Moore on Wednesday. I've never had a missionary in the family, so I think this is fun! So, we made him some cookies and wrote some letters and sent them off. Ryan had so much fun making the cookies and eating the dough. Check out our cookies:

Ryan very excited about cracking an egg all by himself:

Cracking the egg...

Doing a little quality assurance:

Calvin getting in on the action:

Finished Product!

It says "We heart you, Elder Moore"

And in honor of Elder Moore, Ryan also wrote real letters and words for the very first time, which was pretty cute. Now every time I refer to him as "James", Ryan corrects me and says, "No, Mom, we call him Elder Moore now."

Here's Ryan, hard at work on the letter. As you can see, I wrote it out for him on a separate paper and he did his best to copy the letters:

Here is his 2 page letter! It says "Elder Moore, I Love You, Ryan."

We are so excited for James and Ryan is even getting excited to be a missionary, just like Elder Moore. We miss him already!

Friday, July 17, 2009

In the small green room...

So I came home from work two days ago to find the house in shambles. Well, at least the bathroom. All things bathroom were in the hallway and the bathroom was a mess. The walls had all been taped off, spackle applied and the edges had all been painted.

Apearantly it was time to paint the bathroom. Kelly had brought up some paint they had used in their bedroom, and Kelly, Grandpa Walton and Caroline did a great job giving the room a makeover.

That night and then yesterday morning Caroline and I finished off the painting and yesterday afternoon we got the hardware back on the walls.

Here's the results:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ryan is on Twitter

Hello everyone!

Ryan is now on twitter. The goofy stuff he says will now show up in the sidebar of our blog. You can also follow him directly on twitter as user ryantalks.

Caroline is working on a blog post with pictures of our house now that we're all moved in....stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Hello, everyone! Sorry it has been awhile since I posted, but I have been busy! Like Michael said, we got the house last week, which was so so so so exciting. We are so very grateful to all of our incredible family who helped us out and took us in while we waited and waited, so THANK YOU! And I owe you all, big time.

It is so great to have our own space again and to have all our stuff back! Seriously, the boys had a heyday with all of their old toys. They are loving life right now. Since they have been sharing a room for the last few months, we decided to put them together so that we could have an office/guest room up here. They have a lot of fun--too much fun, actually. Ryan keeps Calvin awake for way too long, so we started trying to get Ryan to fall asleep in our bed or the guest bed. He refused, so we started giving him the following choices: our bed, the office bed or the tile entry way in the living room (we never actually intended him to sleep there, we just assumed that giving him that choice would make him choose one of the beds) and guess where he falls asleep most nights? That's right, the entryway. Seriously, any tips on making them fall asleep in the same room? 11:00 is just too late in my book.

Anyways, they love to play in their closet and run around in the fenced in back yard and play the piano (that we got for FREE!). I'll have to post some pictures of everything soon, but that will have to wait for another day. And I love actually being able to work on stuff in my own house! Oh man, that first day after we bought it, Michael went to work, and Saint AnnaMarie took my boys for the day, and I do mean the day--7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and I CLEANED. I thought it looked pretty clean already, but upon closer inspection I realized that it really needed some help. So guess what, Sharesa? I bought a shark! And let me tell you, it was so worth it. I mopped the floors and walls with Lysol just to make me feel better and then I went to work with Mr. Shark. And voila! After a full day of scrubbing and steam blasting, our house was sooooo much better.

Then we got some help from Ken and Tyler and a friend from our new ward and got everything moved in last Wednesday and had our first night in our new home. Hooray! It's been a long haul, but it's great to have it behind us and be settling in. So now I just have to figure out decorating on a dime and we'll be all set! Any tips in this department would also be appreciated. And when I say a dime, that's not really an exaggeration.

So, of course, Ryan has been funny lately. The button to our garage door was right where he could reach it and Michael's first order of business was to move it up high so he didn't burn the motor out (sorry again, Grandpa!). But he still talks about it every day and ensures that everyone who comes over sees the garage 3 times.

For the last couple of days we have been spending a little time over at AnnaMarie's house with the family because James was about to leave for Peru (he entered the MTC today!) and each time when it would get to be about dinner time he would start freaking out saying "I want to sleep in our new house! I don't want to sleep at AnnaMarie's house!" It's nothing personal AnnaMarie, I think he is just really loving having his space and his TOYS!

And today Ryan was sitting around in the living room and looked up at me and said "Mom, I wish Jesus wasn't in heaven, I wish He was here. Because then He could come to our house and sleep on our couch or something....Oh! And I could show Him our garage door, right? Is that the plan? Wouldn't that be so happy?"

And of course Calvin has been a funny guy, too. He loves to bring me his shoes now and yell something that sort of resembles the word "shoes" and run to the back door. He loves to play outside, gather rocks and sticks out of the yard and make a little pile on our deck. He is very proud of himself every time and yells "Good Job!" followed by a round of applause for himself. He is definitely a sweetheart, but also so much more of a tantrum-thrower than Ryan ever was. I am pretty sure he will be much more of a handful than Ryan was/is, but he also loves to give hugs and kisses and is much more snuggly than Ryan ever was. He is definitely a funny, emotional sweetheart.

Anyways, I will post some pictures soon! Happy belated 4th of July to everyone!