Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gabriella is 10

 
Our second daughter is quieter,

More contemplative,

But with a great sense of humor.  She makes us smile with her wit and kindness.

She has a fire that is fearsome to behold

She is bright, gifted with a quick memory

She is sweet and motherly.  She is our Gabby.

I love you, Gabriella Georgia-Marie,
Mama

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Funny

At bedtime:

Ellie: But when we get to heaven, how will I get my clothes?!

Me: God will give you beautiful, white clothes.

Ellie: Can I have princesses on mine?

Me: Um, I don't think so.

Next morning:

Ellie: God will give me a beautiful white dress and pink, sparkly high heels!

Me: ...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Project

I'd say life has been busy, but honestly, I guess that it's just been life!

We started a flooring project in mid-to-late July.  We had termite damage to our floor in the dining room, which meant we had to replace the floor in the dining room and library (as they are basically one room divided only by columns.  We intended to also take out the carpet in the living room, as no matter what we did we could not get the stains that were here when we moved in out.  We'd left it with little children, not wanting to have stains on a new carpet.  As we were putting in new snap together flooring, we just extended it on in to the living room--just might be too gentle a word though!  Is anything every 'just?'  We also had a dishwasher leak that made a kitchen floor change a pressing concern too.

Step one was to get the old wood floor out of the kitchen.  It came up easily where the leak had caused it to loosen, but the people who laid the floor used a large amount of adhesive to put the floor down--it was snap together and shouldn't have required glue...

 What we expected to take a couple of hours took more than a day, using steam to loosed the adhesive and a scrapper to clear the floor.  Even after that, walking across the sub-floor had me stepping out of my shoes!

My dad came down and helped Justin with the concrete board, tiling, and grouting of the kitchen.

 
The floors are lovely, and not at all sticky!

 
Next up, was the wood floor.  As the wood floors were mostly sound, we cut out the termite damaged corner of the dining room, as we did not wish to repeat the difficult, sticky mess of the kitchen through out the other two rooms, a closet and two corridors.  Once the damaged section was removed, we put in oriental strand board to bring the floor to level--and applying leveling compound to make a smooth surface. Evidently that wasn't interesting enough for me to take a picture of!

 
Here is what the wood floor we pulled up looked like with the damage.  We were so grateful that there was not even the tiniest bit of damage to the sub-floor.  They only wanted the engineered hardwood.

All the baseboards and quarter round had to be removed.

I packed up all the china in the dining room and the books in our library so that the furniture was easier to move around, and then we began to lay the snap together in over existing floors.
 
 
First third of the front rooms

When we got to the living room, we pulled up the carpet and repeated the adding of oriental strand board/leveling compound at the joint to bring the floor to level.  It took much longer than the tile, as Justin didn't take off work those days--the school year started, Ellie got pneumonia (again), Justin put up rack in what is not the girls' closet, but all told, the last of the floor went in last week--just under 2 months later.

Our new living room arrangement

The boxes we stored things in have been passed on to another family.  There are a few pieces of baseboard to go back in, but we have replaced the floor through the entirety of the downstairs, except for the half bath.  We do plan to tile that eventually too, but not yet!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Katie Turns Twelve

 Our Katie is twelve today.

She is full of energy, constantly in motion.

She is determined.

She is always looking for a new project, a new way to help.  She enjoys leading and little children flock to her.  She volunteers her time to serve our church's children.

She loves deeply. And makes friends with everyone she has a chance to.

She loves to write and to create.

Happy Birthday to our Katie!

Love,
Mama

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ellie Turns Four



Our Little Ellie is four today!

 
She has a contagious laugh and a quick wit.

She is an encourager, often telling us that we are doing a good job, even about the simplest things.  And she loves to tell us all that we are her favorite.

She learns people's names.  At that age, none of the others could tell us their Sunday School friends names, but she lists them off.

She loves Minnie Mouse, Elsa, and Beauty and the Beast.  She still calls the beast 'Narble' when he transforms because she thought that was his name when we said he was 'normal.'  I think I may always call him Narble.

She writes 'E' for her name and can fill in the 'lli' in the middle with a little reminder.  She likes to color and 'do school.'  She sings our Latin and geography songs with us and loves to listen to the books we read aloud.

She still has the little ringlets in her hair, like Kate did at that age.

We see bit of her that are like different parts of the other children: her chattiness, her careful care of her dollies, and mixed with some rough and tumble, from having her primary playmate being a boy, almost four years older than she.

We love you, Elliana.  You are a joy!

Love,
Mama

P.S. Here are some pictures from the party Katie planned.  I made the cake, but the rest was set up by Kate with some help from Gabby and Nate:


Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Funny

Ellie: Mama, you're so nice, and fun to play with, and as cute as...[thinking] a tea pot!

Katie: Oh no!  That's not nice!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Funny

From this summer:

Katie: We're in Paris. [Kentucky]

Nate: Where's the Eiffel Tower?

Ellie:  We'll just keep looking!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse

We're not the kind of people that would have gone chasing an eclipse, but as it came right to us, we had the joy of seeing it in person.  The older kids, especially Kate, were very excited.

 
We bought our glasses more than a month in advance (checked them against NASA's list when we heard there were ones that weren't safe) and built a pin hole camera.

As the day wore on we had clouds pass in front of the sun fairly regularly and we thought we might miss the show.

I'd done a little research, so we knew that a tree, with all it's leaves and branches could act as multiple pin hole cameras.  You can see the crescent shapes here (with Ellie, of course)

 
Even with most of the sun covered, you couldn't tell a difference in the light (This was taken over my head--it took a lot of tries to get, not wanting to look directly at it!),

 
and wouldn't have noticed it without the special glasses (This one was taken with the glasses over the lens).  The little crescent is all that is exposed of the sun.

Here is a view with the pin hole camera, the previous three were all taken within a minute of one another.

 
A few minutes before the totality the light was odd--somewhat like dusk, but the shadows were all wrong, as the sun was high in the sky.  The kids were standing right next to a tree when a bat took off.

Then, suddenly it was dark.  We could hear a collective gasp from the neighbors, especially from the group at the house behind us where they must have been having a party.

 We could see the corona around the moon--my camera was overwhelmed by that little ring of light and I didn't get a good picture of it at all.  After our eyes adjusted we could see stars and planets.  As quickly as it came, we could see the light begin pouring out again, and it was over.


 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
                                    -Psalm 19:1

Kristy

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Funny

As I was reviewing the ACTS model of prayer that Nate studied in Trail Life this year:

Adoration
Confession
Thanksgiving
then Christmas!

Happy Friday,

Kristy

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Funnies

Gabby, on dropping an egg: "Despite my best efforts, an egg was broken."

Ellie, after bumping her knee, "I have to hop like a flamingo!"

Nate, while eating s'more dip, "This is like nachos for marshmallows and graham crackers!"

Happy Friday,
Kristy

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chaos

Last week I took Gabby for an orthodontic evaluation, as recommended by her dentist the week before.  We've done this in the past.  No big deal.  She looked, said we'd need to plan for braces some day and sent us on our way.  This past week was different--she needed braces ASAP.  So there is that, scheduled for later this week.  And Katie is getting spacers in preparation for braces.

Justin 'took off' (he's a professor, so no students right now as summer session hasn't begun, but he still works most days) so we could go to the zoo.  Over lunch we discussed a rearrangement of bedrooms that we had talked about before, but we decided to do it right now, while he was home.  We got about a third of the way through the rearrangement before we had to get dinner together and head out the door for a class we were taking at the church.

When we got home, we had an Ellie that wasn't sure about the new plan (which she was very excited about by the light of day), and a hissing sound that I kept hearing in the kitchen.  I finally decided the sound was coming from the dishwasher.  A few minutes of investigation led us to find that there is definitely a leak.  We shut off the water to the dishwasher and started the process of drying it all out.  We'll have to assess further once the sub-floor is dry.

So it's been an expensive, discombobulated week here!  It's all small stuff in the scheme of things, and we are grateful for that, but it is a lot of little stuff at the moment!

Kristy

Monday, May 15, 2017

Troop Time

The big girls finished their AHG troop year recently and Nate's Trail Life troop will be finishing very soon.

Katie and Gabby were both awarded their Presidential Service Award (for the second time).  Kate moved up in age levels and in trying to make the ordering easier (all the girls' awards were ordered at once in March, but her new year didn't start until April), she didn't get to count quite a full year of hours, so she stayed at bronze, with over 50 hours of service last year.  Gabby earned silver, being in a younger age group, also with over 50 hours of service.

This year also was Kate's turn to be up for a level award.  She was able to earn her Lewis and Clark award before she moved up to the Pioneer level (7th & 8th grade).

I'm taking on a new role in the AHG troop at the end of the month.  I will pass off the bank bag and take on the position of coordinator.  I've done bits of that job as our out going coordinator had a family crisis that took her away for portions of the fall, but soon it will be mine and our vice coordinator's in full.  It is a big job.  There are currently over 40 girls, 10 unit leaders, and 5 other board members to make the troop run!

Nate has been plugging away at earning leaves to turn into branch pins for his uniform--Trail Life is set up in a different way for earning recognition than the badge program at the younger levels, though the older boys do earn 'patches,' but instead of sewing them on shirts, vest, or sashes; they are driven into a large walking stick, called a standard.

We've done some camping.  The older two girls and I went to a Camporee in April,

 
and Justin took Nate to a Trail Life Rendezvous recently too.

 The older girls tagged along to find service opportunities, and were able to be sure everyone got the water they needed.

 
Our troop took home the top prize, for winning the most events, our family was the only one who stayed late enough to receive the awards, so they came to our house for a stop before heading back to the troop.
Ellie and I stayed home for the Trail Life camp out, where we cleaned, shopped, went to the zoo, and worked on her 'project,' as she likes to call the wind chime she painted.

That's life around here these days!

-Kristy

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tot Theology

Ellie: I got Jesus in my heart.

Me: Do you?

E: We talked to Jesus at Gam and PawPaw's house.

Me: We talk to him here too.

E: Did we leave him there?

Me: [realizing she's talking about our empty tomb figure] No, we brought those back with us. We talked about how He died and rose there.



E: He's dead?!

Me: But He rose again.

E: Where is He?

Me: In heaven.

E: Can I go see Him?

Me: Someday.

E: Can you drive me there?

Me: [thinking, 'I sure hope not!'] No, honey.

E: So we walk there.

Me:  No, you have to wait until God calls you to heaven.

E: But where is He?

Me: He's everywhere.

E: [looking suspiciously from side to side] Where?

-Kristy

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Funnies

Ellie: You[sic] a girl.
Me: Yes.
Ellie: There are 4 girls and 1 boy in this house.
Me: Two boys: Daddy and Nate.
Ellie: No!  Daddy is a boy.
Me: Well, then I guess that means I'm a woman.
Ellie: I love you, woman!

*     *     *     *     *

Ellie: Why did we make that ske'ton?
Me: It was fun and we learned a lot.
Ellie:  It creeps me out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

9 1/2

 Happy half birthday to our Gabriella!  She is funny, giggly and motherly.

We hope you have a day as beautiful as you are Miss Gabby!

1. What is your favorite color? turquoise
2. What is your favorite toy? Barbies
3. What is your favorite fruit? raspberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? A Series of Unfortunate Events
5. What is your favorite movie? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? overalls and a baggy shirt
7. What is your favorite animal? dog
8. What is your favorite song? "Boat Song"
9. What is your favorite book? Land of Stories
10. Who is your best friend? Mia, Acacia, Victoria, Ariana, Nichole, Siddah, Emily, Chloe, Larson, Ruby, and Rubi
11. What is your favorite snack? chocolate chip cookies
12. What is your favorite drink? root beer
13. What is your favorite breakfast? pancakes
 14. What is your favorite lunch? pizza
 15. What is your favorite dinner? spaghetti and eggplant Parmesan
16. What is your favorite game? Risk
17. What is your favorite thing to play outside? climbing on big rocks
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. What do you sleep with at night? stuffed animals: Honey (a stuffed dog)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a mom

Kristy Stace

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Oh Dear

Ellie (to Kate): You're a pot head.

Me: Let's not say that.

Which leads into a whole discussion of weed, pot, Mary Jane...  The legal, the illegal, the medicinal, the questionable, and how it affects brain chemistry.  We told them that some people smoke it and some people even bake it into brownies.

Gabby: What?!  Illegal brownies!

Because brownies is where we were going with that...

Kristy

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ahh

Ellie (arms around Justin): Your my best.

J: Best what?

E (looking sideways): My best friend!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

'citement

Ellie: What's tomorrow?

Me: It's Sunday.

Ellie: Yes!  That so 'citing!

Me: You are so fun.

Ellie: Yes, yes I am.

[much giggling, finish bedtime songs]

Ellie: I so happy

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Funny: Justin's Favorites

As I was asking the bookends all their favorites, Justin became overwhelmingly jealous that I never asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  Ha!  So for all of you who have been waiting with bated breath, here are his favorites...

1. What is your favorite color? black
2. What is your favorite toy? chainsaw
3. What is your favorite fruit? blueberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Longmire, The Civil War, The Unit, Nova, Parks and Rec
5. What is your favorite movie? 2001, Patton, and Gran Torino
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? jeans and a t-shirt
7. What is your favorite animal? balrog
8. What is your favorite song? "Now that We're Dead"-Metallica, "Psycho Surgery" -Tourniquet, "Behold a Trumpet Will Sound" -Handel
9. What is your favorite book? Romans
10. Who is your best friend? *me*
11. What is your favorite snack? salted, roasted mixed nuts
12. What is your favorite drink? IPA
13. What is your favorite breakfast? all your bacon and eggs
14. What is your favorite lunch? burger, fries, and a beer
15. What is your favorite dinner? pizza
16. What is your favorite game? Risk and Settlers of Catan
17. What is your favorite thing to play outside? Frisbee Golf, chop wood
18. What is your favorite holiday? Resurrection Sunday
19. What do you sleep with at night? my wife...
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a machinist

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Eleven and a Half

Our Katie is half way between 11 and 12 now.


She is full of energy and enthusiasm.

This year she's been planning a diaper drive to help some families in a community near where we live.  It is completely her idea, and she made all the contacts.  I can't wait to see how it goes!

She has been helping a family at church by serving as a Mother's Helper once a month.

She has a big heart and big ideas!

1. What is your favorite color? purple
2. What is your favorite toy? star bear
3. What is your favorite fruit? grapes and lemons
4. What is your favorite tv show? Worst Year of My Life, Again
5. What is your favorite movie? Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? my ring
7. What is your favorite animal? cute puppy doggies in baskets
8. What is your favorite song? Make Some Noise
9. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
10. Who is your best friend? Hope, Elese, Sianna, Victoria...
11. What is your favorite snack? chocolate chip cookies
12. What is your favorite drink? root-beer with vanilla
13. What is your favorite breakfast? chocolate chip pancakes and whipped cream
14. What is your favorite lunch? tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
15. What is your favorite dinner? spaghetti and garlic bread
16. What is your favorite game? Monopoly and Apples to Apples
17. What is your favorite thing to play outside? make houses
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. What do you sleep with at night? star bear and a million other stuffed animals
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? kindergarten teacher or author

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Three and a Half

Today is Ellie's Half!


She's in a fun stage.  Three-and-a-half year olds are a lesson in contradictions.  She tosses her apple, the biggest, by her request, in the trash after one bite.  Then she cries when I throw away the tiny little disposable hairband (the only ones that will stay in her fine hair) at the end of the day because she wanted to keep it.

She has opinions.  She has preferences.  She has a voice.  While we can't always do what she wishes, we get to know what is going on inside her head more often.

She is also getting better at understanding us.  She notices people's tone and body language, and can point out how she thinks someone else feels.

All kids have their strengths, and one of my favorites of Ellie's is that she remembers names.  She can list off many of the little friends in her Sunday School class.  She talks about them during the week and makes them cards.  She learns her sisters' friends' names too.  Another favorite of ours is that she still calls our AHG troop coordinator, "A atch G."  I think we will loose that in the next few months, so I want to remember it!

She loves her pink rain boots (and all boots in general), still isn't a big fan of sweets, and loves to go to church.

1. What is your favorite color? pink
2. What is your favorite toy? doll
3. What is your favorite fruit? 'nana (banana)
4. What is your favorite tv show? Unfortunate Events
5. What is your favorite movie? Frozen
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? dress--brown with pink polka dots
7. What is your favorite animal? kitty cat
8. What is your favorite song? "Twinkle"
9. What is your favorite book? picture books--I Love you, Stink Face
10. Who is your best friend? Katie
11. What is your favorite snack? 'nanas, again!
12. What is your favorite drink? lemonade
13. What is your favorite breakfast? chocolate cereal, I love pancakes too
14. What is your favorite lunch? peanut butter and macaroni
15. What is your favorite dinner? hot dogs and pasta
16. What is your favorite game? Uno Moo
17. What is your favorite thing to play outside? ball
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas (I wanna present!!)
19. What do you sleep with at night? a dolly
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna be in a booster!  I wanna be a doctor.

-Kristy