Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

I am happy to report that we have finally selected a builder. We are meeting with them tomorrow morning at our lot, along with our favorite arborist, to take a look at which trees will have to come out for the house. The arborist will take a look at all of the trees that will remain and decide which are not healthy enough to keep and which ones can be cleaned up and kept. He will also provide us with additional info on how to keep the trees that remain alive and well, as much as possible, during and after the building process. If it is not handled properly, it is quite common for many of the remaining trees to die out over the first year after the house is built, mostly from too much shock to the root systems from large trucks running over them, from digging the foundation and cutting through roots, sometimes from a lack of water, among other things.

We will also meet with the builders tomorrow to sign our contract and go over the detailed specs. We spoke with them this morning and they said their excavation guys were standing by and ready to start preparing our lot for the foundation work. It looks like work will begin this week. I am very excited as I thought it would likely be at least a week or two before anything would begin. The sooner the better. Hopefully, if all goes well, we will be moving into our new house in February or March of 2011.

A friend of mine called me today (the one with the twin girls) and, for a variety of reasons, she has decided to pull her girls out of public K and homeschool them. I am happy about this as it gives me a local friend who will be homeschooling. It is nice to have a local friend now who is homeschooling.

In other news, the boys have both learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels and they are so very proud of themselves. They are still using the little bitty 12'' bikes, as it made for easier learning to ride without the training wheels. It is so funny to watch them because they pedal really really fast, so fast that their little feet look like they are going up and down. It looks like a cartoon or something. Very cute. They love riding and it has given me a bit more exercise, as I walk the neighborhood with them while they ride. My bike has another flat tire so I can't ride with them yet.

The weather finally turned cooler here and it is lovely. I think I may have to go shopping for additional clothes soon though.

We are still plugging away at reading and the boys are doing great. We recently finished listening to the audio book of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The boys liked it so much that we checked out the book from the library and I am reading it aloud to them now. We are all enjoying it. We actually have at least two copies of this series but they are all somewhere in storage. Thankfully we have the library, which we use often and really appreciate. We normally go there about once a week these days.

This is birthday celebration week for Ben. He will be five years old this week and he is very excited. We are taking the boys to Incredible Pizza this evening for an early celebration but they don't know that yet. They are going to be so excited, especially Ben. He has been asking to go there often since the last time they went, when I was at the homeschool conference in the spring. It is his favorite place, lots of great food and lots of games to play. It will be fun evening.

The dad is off today and tomorrow, works Wed and then leaves for a medical conference on Thurs so we will do some early celebrating with him. My mom and sister will be coming to see us towards the end of the week to celebrate also. So Ben will have a couple of different celebrations. In about six weeks or so, we will have two five year olds. Yikes! They sure grow up fast!

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

The boys and I recently listened to Little House in the Big Woods on CD and we are just at the end of the last chapter of Little House on the Prairie now. Lately the boys have started pretending about this a lot and it is so funny. I was just sitting here eating my lunch (the boys have already finished and gone off to play) and I overheard one of them saying "Ma?" to the other one. So they are "pretending Ma and Pa"; this is what they tell me when I ask what they are doing.

This morning, they came downstairs and Nick was carrying a teddy bear and a stuffed frog and he was telling Ben that they were Mary and Laura. Ben walked by carrying a stuffed duck that was wearing a pull up and he said, "this is Baby Carrie, the duck".

Now it sounds like they are pretending they are hunting.

I recently checked out a DVD of the old TV show Little House on the Prairie because I thought they would get a kick out of seeing all of the characters in action. One day last week, it was Ben's turn to pick their movie and he was tired of watching it so he picked something else. Nick was very disappointed because he wanted "to see what Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie were doing". So I let them watch one episode of Little House on the Prairie after they watched the movie that Ben picked (David and Goliath). After the movies were over, Ben looked at me, smiled and said, "I don't which one to pretend first".

Funny funny boys!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010

I have not been too good at updating the blog lately. I think of things to write about but then get busy and forget. Here are some of the things that have been going on around here:

- The boys were rough housing while with the dad and they knocked the lamp off of the coffee table. It actually still works but is quite broken and crooked. Oh well. The funny thing is that I seem to do much better with things like this if I am not the one in charge when it happens:).

- We had a 'cat-astrophy' the other evening. This rental house has two doors upstairs that lead into the attic (two very large, separate attic spaces). The boys have been told that they are not to go into the attic without an adult and, up until now, we had not had any issues with this. A couple of days ago, Mr. Ben decided attics are interesting, I guess. He opened the door and let the cat in. I let him know that this is not allowed but, very unfortunately and unbeknownst to me, he ended up doing it again later that evening. I went into the master bathroom and I heard a cat meowing very loudly. After looking for her (Zoe), I quickly realized that she was IN THE WALL between the shower and the toilet. I ran up stairs to find the attic door was not tightly closed, my first clue as to how she had managed to end up in a wall. I went into the attic and called her, thinking she might be able to climb back out the way she got in. My other cat, Dancer, came out of the attic while I was calling Zoe. 2nd clue that the attic door had again been opened. The dear husband ended up having to cut a whole in the wall to get the very unhappy cat out. While I read to the boys before bed, dear husband was changing out the attic door knobs to a kind that lock, so we won't have to worry about this again.

- We had a meeting with the last builder yesterday and it went very well. We really like these builders a lot and I believe we will end up going with them. They are currently coming up with some suggestions of how we might reduce the cost a bit more. I am hopeful we will come to a final agreement within a week or so. They said that we could start clearing the land and preparing for the foundation work within a week after we sign up with them so I am hoping we will start within the next two weeks. I AM READY! We are close.

- We have started visiting churches in the town where we will be building our house. We visited one church the week before last but quickly knew that we had major doctrinal differences. We visited another church this past Sunday and I really liked it a lot. I think this will probably be the church where we will attend and I am excited about getting involved there.

- We are slowly moving ahead with learning to read, using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I slacked off a bit for a week or so, although the boys were still reading to us from their readers. We started back up this morning and did lesson #53. Last night I prepared lessons for us through #70, or something like that. Basically right up to where they would start learning long vowel words. I am anxious for us to get to the long vowels because, without them, we are very limited with our readers. The readers cover short vowel words first but then they cover long vowel words next. In OPGTR, they cover short vowels and then lots of beginning and ending blends and digraphs before they get to long vowels. So, for the most part, we can't practice the beginning and ending blends and digraphs using our readers until we get through long vowels. I find that frustrating, although the boys are really get good at short vowel words.

Well, that's long enough for today. I can't think of anything else to write about right now. I need to start thinking of what to get the boys for their birthdays. Ben's birthday is just around the corner now. If you have any good ideas for a 5 year old, let me know.