Sunday, April 26, 2015

sharing pumpkin painting

Most people carve pumpkins, we know this.  This year it was extra fun to share our painting tradition with Mike and Saundra's family. 

It was fun this year to see Aimee and Porter have a sense of "painting things."  Porters pumpkin still turned out just looking mostly brown due to all of the mixed colors, but Aimee pulled of a great rainbow picture! She loved being the family artist.
Pratt and Carter where quite a little team!  The compared their greenish brown artwork with each other and came up with some great stories to go along with them.

Chad didn't go to his usual artistic lengths, but I think we were pretty entertained watching the kiddos do their thing.

young's dairy double take

I was pretty bummed when Chad was scheduled to be on call the day of the annual Young's Dairy trip.  Luckily, we had asked the lady in Charge if Mike and Saundra's family could come, since Chad couldn't, and we were given permission.  On the day of the picnic it was freezing!  The temperatures were on the low size, but even worse was the biting wind.  We tried to bundle up and make the best of it.  I think there were enough families that decided to leave early due to the weather that we were given permission to take our wrist bands home and use them another day!
We enjoyed the free picnic and the parts of the dairy that didn't need a wrist band, like the animals and photo spots.

With a stack of free wrist bands and the chance to plan our visit at our leisure, we came up with a super plan of how to make the most of our second trip to Young's Dairy.  We planned to go on a Friday afternoon when Steve and Emily's family would be up for a visit from Alabama ( and when Chad wouldn't be on call)!   
It was a perfect day!  The weather was beautiful, we brought our own picnic lunch, and we loved every second of it!  Mini golf was one of the favorite activities.  We let the kids go crazy counting as many as 38 a hole each, and the adults had fun being a little competitive, especially since our family golf pros weren't at too much of an advantage on a mini course.

The kids had a great time in the Kid Corral, while the adults took turns enjoying some of the other venues.
Super slide races, bating cages, driving ranges and more!  It was awesome!  We even ended the night (since we stayed until it was starting to get dark) with giant waffle cones from the dairy!  I can't imagine we will be able to top that trip to dairy, unless we can talk everyone into coming back another year for it!

Sunday, April 19, 2015


We are not big projectors.  Well, actually, I am not a big projector.  Chad loves to work with his hands, learn a new skill, and see the fruits of his labor.  I love the fruits part, but the mess during and after deter me from such activities.  In fact, one of the reasons we bought the house we did was because it didn't need all kinds of work.  We did have a few surprises after we moved in.  First, the carpet had to go.  I couldn't, in good conscience, let my kids play on it.  the other big problem took much longer to spot.
The previous owners had paid to have the issue repaired before we moved in, but sadly, they got charged for a whole lot of nothing.  As we have learned this is a common problem in our neighborhood, the floor near the back door had a poor seal that resulted in the floor getting moisture in it and rotting.  Because linoleum was in the kitchen where the back door is, the whole floor covering had to be replaced to rip it up and fix the rot.  Knowing this would be a large project, I had successfully put this project off.

Mike and Saundra, they are projectors.  They love the challenge, and deal with the mess far better than I.  I do find it comical that they waited to jump into this project until after they moved out from living with us though.  Chad and Mike caught me in a moment of weakness of being frustrated about the sinking floor.  And before I could change my mind, the linoleum was ripped up and there was no going back.
Once the rot spot was fixed (and it ended up being a bigger job than we thought) they set to work to improve upon the worn and torn linoleum.  Chad and I had previously picked and purchased the tile and equipment for the job. By the second night, the entire floor was repaired and freshly tiled!  The down side of it all was that I had to wait for the everything to completely set and for the brothers to find time to do the grout.  It ended up that Chad and I did the grout work!  It was far from perfect but I still loved it!  And the inconvenience of not being able to go into or use my kitchen for two weeks was well rewarded! Thanks Chad and Mike!

poisen oak

While we love living in Ohio, we are still learning the ins and outs of the Midwest.  Even while we lived in Omaha, we never experienced some of the joys that come from the area.
Poor Aimee got to be the first in the family to learn about poison oak.  To this day we still can't nail down how she, and only she, got a healthy dose of this.  I hate to admit that the first person to notice it, was a sweet lady at the nursery of the gym I go to.  Not understanding it's effects, I assumed that the rash that had formed overnight would just clear up in its own due time.  How very wrong I was!
When her face started to swell up, I gave a quick call to a friend who is a dermatologist.  He kindly called in a topical steroid ointment for us.  I religiously followed the instructions for application.  It continued to get worse!
My pretty little Aimee had begun to resemble the Elephant Girl, and showed no signs of improvement.  Another dermatologist friend saw Aimee at a party and told me that some people react more severely to the toxins and require more aggressive treatment.  Since her eyes were even starting to swell, I put in another phone call to our friend, who once again called in a prescription for an oral steroid.  It took a few days, but finally the itching began to subside.  The swelling subsided and the red rash slowly faded from her neck, chest, back and face.  It was a solid 3 1/2 weeks before Aimee was back to looking like the first picture, and another week after that before she normalized.  However, we have learned our lesson.  Aimee and her brothers are pretty quick to obey when we tell them to steer clear of an area due to poison oak!

may is 1!

Every birthday is awesome,  but first birthdays are special.  They sort of represent the change from baby to toddler (aka troublemaker).  I have a love/hate relationship with first birthdays.  I love watching my babies hit milestones, but I mourn for the loss of a place they will never be at again.
May's first birthday was no different.  Luckily, her birthday falls around the same time as the Independence day weekend.  It sort of took some of the sting away because everyone was celebrating all around us.  Not to mention, the hot summer weather made the cake smash out side extremely convenient. 
Because May has been my biggest baby, and also my best eater, I had pictured that her cake smash would be a little more exciting than it was.  I really thought she would tear into the thing.  Sadly, she did not.  Her brothers and sister were more than happy to help make it look more impressive though.
As far as first birthdays go, we are pretty low key, but we had a great time celebrating the beginning of a new era at the Williams house!  We love our May May!