Time to do a little catching up... Try to think back to July - July 4th to be exact..
This year we decided to do something different. Something fun for the kids. Something that would keep them entertained for hours. Enter a double inflatable waterslide!
The families in our cul-de-sac all pitched in to rent this slide for a four hour block... we ended up with the slide for two FULL days! I guess it pays to rent inflatables on holidays.
The kids spent HOURS climbing up the slippery slide only to crash down, falling into each other.
Papa stopped by to make all the kids snow cones! He is such a fun guy ;)
The girls spent a lot of time on the balance beam a neighbor set up.
Olivia even mastered the balance beam while being fed cheese puffs from Papa. Papa is enjoying a home brewed beer that our other neighbor makes. We sure like that neighbor!
The boys were in heaven squirting the girls on the water slide.
The kids participated in a whip cream eating contest. Without using their hands, they had to eat the whip cream until they found a gumball. They then had to blow a bubble to be declared the winner. Ella had fun.
Olivia did not. (Caleb wouldn't even participate.)
The most shocking part of the day was when Papa ate a shrimp puff that a neighbor made. Seriously, he ate the entire thing!
We ended our day with an outdoor movie and snacks for the kids!
What a fun way to spend the day! When the kids woke up the next day, they were excited to see that the water slide had not been picked up. They threw on their swim suits and played the entire day!
I was looking through pictures on my computer and came across this...
Olivia wearing a blanket cape (no shirt!), jeans and her shoes on her hands ;) Her smile was missing teeth for months! That picture was taken in January 2012 when Mom and Dad were getting ready to move into their new house. Not that long ago...
This is her now.
She has grown up so much in the last year and a half. Her front teeth finally came in, her hair is shorter and her legs are even longer!
Where did summer go? I must admit, I was a bit worried about how this summer was going to go. Would the kids be bored? Would they constantly fight? Would the house be a crazy mess? How would I keep them busy? It was actually a really good summer! I decided right away that I wasn't going to plan a bunch of activities. I knew that my kids just wanted to play, swim, stay up late, and sleep in. So that is what we did! Typing up blog posts was not the first thing on my mind. It was nice to take a break. But, I am back now. Maybe I can even start posting on a regular basis... we will see!
It will take me a bit to get back on track with what has been going on here in Texas. Let's start with school.
The teachers visit each students home to introduce themselves. We patiently wait by the door to see who walks up our driveway, fingers crossed that it is a good teacher ;-) The next day, we head up to school to find their classrooms.
This year was a pretty easy transition because Ella has the same teacher Olivia and Caleb had in First Grade...
and Olivia has the same teacher Caleb had last year in Third Grade.
Caleb will have the biggest change this year as his Fourth Grade classroom in now upstairs (this is a big deal for the kids) and he will rotate between two teachers!
Monday was the first day of school!
I took this picture with my cell phone. Not the best quality, but I wanted to capture the kids walking into school with Papa.
So far, so good. Soon homework will start and the nights will get busier. I guess I better appreciate these few days off!
Caleb's room is done! (Actually, it has been done for many months. It is summer and we are busy doing a whole lot of nothing!) Well, it is almost done. I still need (want) to label some Lego bins before I can call it complete. But, it is close enough to show you the results.
When we moved into this new house, we had painters paint the kids rooms and bathroom. It happened so quickly that we had to choose colors fast. Chad chose the blue color for Caleb's room. I chose for Olivia's room and Mom picked the kids bathroom color. I never liked Caleb's color. I wanted to paint his room a darker color, but someone was against it. I won't name any names... but, he chose the original, totally wrong color.
The lighter color blue just wasn't working anymore. Caleb is now 10 and his room should show that! Plus, Caleb's room was always a mess so we needed to make better storage choices.
Take a look and let me know what you think of his new room!
This is what his room looked like BEFORE. This is the same view as the above picture. The view is completely different now!
When we moved in, Chad and Dad built an amazing train track that ran along the entire room. I need to look for old pictures so you can see how cool is was! Caleb was able to lay down in his top bunk bed and watch the train go by right above him. Parts of the track were plexiglass which allowed him to watch the train pass over him. It was a sad day when Chad removed the train track :(
As you can see, the wall color was too light. There was storage, but it did not work in his room and, as a result, his room was ALWAYS a cluttered mess. All of his accessories were primary colors fit for a toddler, not a big boy.
His bunk bed was great, but it took up the majority of his room. That is Olivia's blanket on his bed... she would often sneak into his room to sleep. We kept the bottom bed in his room and moved the top bunk into the gameroom as a reading loft.
Let's go back to the new room, shall we? Those pictures give me a headache!
His new room makes sense now. He has a desk to do his homework or draw pictures or game plan (Caleb wants to be a police man/Lego designer/video game planner when he grows up). He has lots of storage for his MANY Legos. He has a place to put his books - and read them! He even has room to store some of his favorite things. If you know this boy, he loves to collect things!
His room makes sense now and is organized - and it has actually stayed clean! Because there is a place for all his stuff, he is able to put it all back where it belongs. He is quite proud of his new room and that makes all the work worth it!
I will show you more about all of the things we made for his room, but for now let's just look at some more pictures.
We made Caleb's desk from an old door from Craigslist and file cabinet from IKEA.
The letters for his name are from Hobby Lobby. I bought them when they were on sale months before we even planned to redo his room. The corkboard was a garage sale score for only $10! It is huge!
This light is from IKEA and is around $30.
Chad made the curtain rod from plumbing parts. I made the curtains from a drop cloth. Mom helped me paint the large stripe using the same color as his desk.
Caleb's beanbag chair is the perfect place to sit and read.
The floating shelves are also from IKEA.
Mom and I saw this red cabinet at IKEA and brought it home. It is the perfect hiding place for Caleb's special Legos. The cabinet has a lock, so there is no way for his sisters to get in it!
This robot clock is from Korea. Chad brought it home for Caleb when traveling for work. It is made of thick paper and it actually works!
Caleb still loves his cast that the art teacher painted. The technician was very careful when he cut it off Caleb's hand. We removed all the insides and there is no funky smell to the cast, so it stays!
Even though Papa has moved on to bigger and better things, Caleb still loves his collection of trucks and cars.
I ordered these prints from Etsy and they were the original inspiration for this room. I love the vintage, fun look!
This was perhaps the biggest project we tackled in his room. It took me YEARS to convince Chad to organize Caleb's Legos this way. Chad spent hours organizing the Legos by color. It was worth it. Caleb plays with them every day now. He is able to build new things, break them apart and put them back into the correct bin. Even though you just have to pull the bins out to see what is inside, I would still like to label them somehow. I am just now sure what label will work..
And finally, one last look at the BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right):