Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow in November? Sure why not

What a week of great weather. I love it when the weather throws us curve ball. No one knows what to do with this. We had snow on Sunday night and the kids didn't have school all day Monday. The first day was great and then the temperature started dropping to the point where you couldn't make a snowman because everything was rock hard. The first day, the kids were out making a snowman and shoving it down one another's shirts. It was great fun. Tuesday was a late start , but Wednesday and Thursday turned into more days off. All though the kids have had a great time, we are all ready for them to go back to school for one day this week. Snow is beautiful and great to watch from inside the house while holding a cup of coffee. You always envision sitting somewhere in a cabin watching the snow out a large window. We can handle the snow when we are on vacation up in the mountains and we have nowhere to go. When we have work, school, swimming lessons, and events, it can become pretty inconvenient quickly. The snow is melted now and we are getting back into our routines. A week from now, we will secretly hope for another little snow storm.....or at least I will. Have a great Friday.

lego had a great time running around in the snow, trying his hardest to bite and kill the snow. No such luck. The look of confusion is priceless.


Fun Pictures to share

These are pictures from the day at the tree farm. We had a great time, but I think the kids had even more fun. Enjoy

R and R

Christmas Tree Hunting- a skill like no other

A picture is worth a thousands words. My mother-in-law will kill me for capturing this picture, which makes it all the better. Year after year, my wife's family has memories of finding the perfect tree. Some years this meant searching for hours until the perfect tree was chosen. Often times, it was the first one that the whole family looked at. In the past couple years, everyone has gotten better about choosing, taking a lot less time. This year, I think Sue found the tree and gave her seal of approval in record time---Hence the marathon stance. We were all very happy for her and gave her a hearty cheer. The funny thing is that my wife is much like her mother. A tree is not something you pick out quickly. There can be a misplaced twig, it can look too blue or too green, or not green enough. I have to say though, we get the perfect tree every year. So the day after Thanksgiving, we all loaded up and headed out to the tree farm to hunt down our trees. In years past, we have gone during rain or snow storms, but this year it was sunny and cold. The kids immediately start running around while chewing on their candy canes. Within minutes, Jonah and Noah need a restroom, so since we are out in the middle of nowhere, we let them drop trough and become one with nature (It is all part of the experience). Trees were found in record time and we were on our way back home within the hour. This year, Hannah was able to be with us on this excursion since she now lives close. Sarah and Josh also came and she got her tree and decided she would be decorating one this year. It is officially the kick off to the Christmas Holiday now that we have our tree. We all went home that night and had leftover Turkey and sealed the deal. We had a great time and then crashed hard that night. Now the hard part begins, decorating the tree. I can go out and kill a tree within minutes, but the decorating takes real skill. Until then.

Lumber Jack signing off

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Yesterday we had a great day of relaxation, family, and a lot of great food. We have started a tradition without knowing it to go out to breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving. It made extra sense this year since we were hosting Thanksgiving this year. We had the table set and we didn't want to dirty anything more at that point so it made sense to go out for breakfast. It was a great way to startt the day. We came home and Rebecca got things ready while I took the kids out and tried to weather the storm of "last minute items at the grocery store". When we left, snow starting falling, which the kids and their dad, thought was great. It was heavy,wet, snow, but it was beautiful, making the grocery store trip that much more chaotic.

We had wine, cheese, and lots of munchies around noon and family trickled in. "Grandma Karen" was the savior of the day by renting an xbox for the kids. Once the xbox arrived, a quiet peace fell over the house, allowing the adults to taste wine and cheese uninterrupted. It was kind of strange that we sat around talking and catching up without breaking up any major diagreements. When the natives did get restless, Reba broke out the gingerbread house kits and the kits went to town on those. They had a great time decorating them. The parents had a great time watching and nibbling on the candy. Later there was ornament decorating, which they loved. All the while, the xbox was plugging away and the kids were getting their fill.

It was crazy getting dinner ready right at the last minute, but it all worked out. "Uncle Tom" was able to make it earliy which we were all happy about. "GG", who is 92, also felt up to coming, which was great. We had a nice relaxing, long dinner as you can imagine with 9 children and 8 adults. Just like Thanksgiving should be. Everyone has something to say and they want to share it at the same time. We then had Reba's parents and sister, my cousins and Aunt and Uncle over around 7:00 for dessert. The day was great and most of all, we were able to have people over here. All of the remodel is done and it was great to have people over to see it and share the experience. Most of the people have helped throughout the last 6 months, so it was great for them to see the changes. I also got to talk with my brother, Scott, from Charleston, SC. He was heading down to Hilton Head for Thanksgiving. It was great to talk to him.

Today, dad and the boys are having a pajama morning in front of the television while mom is out shopping with her mom and sister. This is exactly where I want to be the day after Thanksgiving. Doing nothing to kick off the Christmas season. Tomorrow, we get to get caught up with a college frined, Wendy, and her 2 year old son, Charlie. We can't wait to see her. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend and we hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

Robb and Reba

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Soccer Season Comes to an End!!

Well, the season of soccer is now done. Even thought Jonah was the one who played for the past eight weeks, it was a family affair with practices and games three times a week. Jacob and Noah were just as much a part of the team as the rest of the players. They always showed up, kicked the ball around and consumed the cookies and juice afterwards. Jonah had a great time playing and usually didn't even know the score at the end of the game. Last night was his party at Pizza Hut which consisted of the boys playing video games and eating pizza. The highlight for Jonah was receiving his trophy. He had been waiting for this since he first started playing. Last night he wanted to sleep with it and today he wanted to carry it around everywhere he went. The best part also was that his soccer picture were made into trading cards with his "stats" on the back.. You know.... 4ft 1inch, 50 lbs. He really had a great time and it was fun to watch him learn so much in the past couple months. Now it is back to only swimming two nights a week which will be a nice break. Until the next sporting event.

Robb and Reba

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Darth Vador stomps Yoda

We made it through Halloween with all the parties for the kids and the non-stop flow of sugar that poured down from heaven. The kids had a great time with their parties and costumes at school. I will have to put up a picture of the three of them when I find the camera. You know the drill. You sit down to dinner to try and get the kids fed prior to running out the door. While you are trying to eat dinner, the doorbell continues to ring, and even though you tell the kids to sit down, they can't help themselves. Maybe it is the sugar pushing them off the chair towards the door or just the excitement of seeing all the costumes. Once dinner was shoveled down in record time, the costumes are prepared. Darth Vador (Jacob) is dressed first and Yoda (Noah) is the one who needs the most help. Once all assembled and the pictures are taken, Darth Vador stomps on Yoda's foot in all of the excitement. Yoda is crying with big tears which takes consoling from his mother while Darth Vador leans down to see if Yoda is alright. At the same time, the storm trooper (Jonah) doesn't see a need to check on Yoda and is half way out the door. "Every man for himself", he yells. The rest of the night consisted of picking up the kids at different times as they all fell while running up to the door. All in all, there were no broken bones, just a bunch of star wars figures getting as much candy as they could. At the end of the night, Darth Vador ate too many Hershey bars, the storm trooper stuck to the suckers, and Yoda couldn't;t make up his mind not eating anything--self control. All the costumes were thrown to the floor, the kids went to bed and then Reba and I had to take our share before putting the candy up out of reach. Like always every year, a week after Halloween, our kids haven't even asked about their candy. It goes in a bag and the bag from last year is thrown away. Another year.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

ADHD in Chicago

No pictures this time, just a quick blog to let people know that Reba and I have been in Chicago the past two days at an International ADHD conference. Our oldest, Jacob, has ADHD and we decided to try and learn as much as we could about this area and get idea of what we can do to be an advocate for him. The conference has been amazing with top researchers in the field and a lot of great, practical knowledge that we can bring home and incorporate into the family. It was one of the best decisions we have made so far for the well being of our family. All of the grandparents and aunts have been helping out with the kids at home while we have been gone which we have really appreciated. Until next time. Signing out from the windy city.

Robb and Reba

ADHD in Chicago

No pictures this time, just a quick blog to let people know that Reba and I have been in Chicago the past two days at an International ADHD conference. Our oldest, Jacob, has ADHD and we decided to try and learn as much as we could about this area and get idea of what we can do to be an advocate for him. The conference has been amazing with top researchers in the field and a lot of great, practical knowledge that we can bring home and incorporate into the family. It was one of the best decisions we have made so far for the well being of our family. All of the grandparents and aunts have been helping out with the kids at home while we have been gone which we have really appreciated. Until next time. Signing out from the windy city.

Robb and Reba

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pumpkin carving 101

Pumpkin carving is always very interesting around our house because it is always filled with a lot intensity. They love how it all feels through their fingers and mostly love playing with the innards of the pumpkin. Normally we find pictures from years past with the kids in the kitchen, in their underwear carving away. Not this year. Grandma and Grandpa LeRoy came over this year and we carved out on the lawn. It was a sunny day, even though it was on the colder side. They got messy and it didn't matter because we could just hose them off afterwards. Jonah and Noah were done first with their pumpkins, it was Jacob who always has specific ideas about what he wants his to look like. I laughed because Pappa was the carver for Jacob and he sat out there with him taking direction from Jacob. Pappa said that it was the first pumpkin he has carved with a tale. Jacob also wanted a tongue coming out the front. No one ever said Jacob doesn't know what he wants. They had a great time. While we were outside, Reba was inside making homemade soup and beer bread. I know, it makes it sound like Martha Stewart stopped by the house, but it really wasn't like that. Reba wanted to cook in her new kitchen so what better time. She also boiled pumpkin and actually made pumpkin bread which was incredible. It was a great fall day and since we haven't done something like this in awhile, we really enjoyed it. Today, we are going to cook the pumpkin seeds, which is my favorite part. By the way, we did get a little Yoda Halloween costume on Ebay, so it looks like it will be a funny Halloween with the pictures. Keep you all posted. Have a great week.

Robb and Reba

Friday, October 20, 2006

GG is a year older!!! 92

Well, I came across some of these pictures of GG's 93rd Birthday surrounded by some of her many great-grandchildren. The other picture is of all the great-grandchildren playing in the front of the assisted living on the way in for her birthday. It is amazing to me that a person who has lived 93 years, still has the brain capacity to remember every one of her family member's birthday's. Her memory is incredible. I enjoy going and visiting with her and asking a lot of questions about how things were for her as a teenager, first married, and what it was like to be a mother in the 1950's. She has such a positive outlook on life, which may be the reason she is still here today. She amazes me, even on a bad day. She has the love of many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loves getting letters and phone calls still from all over the country updating her on their lives. As Tom would say in our family, "Hey grandma, you're half way to 186." When he told her this on her birthday, she just laughed. Happy Birthday GG!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fall weekend away in Spokane

We picked the kids up from school on Friday and raced across the state towards Spokane with puppy in tow. Long drive over, but the kids did great and we were glad to arrive. We stayed with my brother and sister in law and their three kids. Astrid had a soccer game early on Saturday, so we all went and watched their team win. It was a bright, sunny day, but definitely colder. We ran off after the game and went up to Green Bluff, and area with a lot of farms that celebrate Octoberfest with pumpkin patches, hay rides etc. The kids had a great time jumping off bales of hay, eating caramel apples, and watching the pumpkin cannon shoot pumpkins 900 feet into the air. It was the only time the kids sat quietly. Jonah has now found his job in life--a famous pumpkin cannon operator. He thought it was the best ever. The rest of the day was spent at Whitworth college at different events for Reba's 10 year reunion. They had a big barbecue and the football game. We saw a lot of old friends and their children. That night, we went out to the official reunion dinner and had a great time catching up with everyone. On Sunday, it was a race back across the state.

It was so nice to take time out and get away from all the chaos at home. We are still trying to finish up little tasks and a lot of people have been asking what we are talking about. People have been saying, "what you could possibly have left to do?" We have base boards to paint, knobs to put on the kitchen cabinets, a wall to touch up, the ceiling to paint again, the fireplace to tile and grout x2, and many more little tasks that seem to take three times as long as anyone thinks. We are glad to have a kitchen we can cook in so we aren't complaining about anything. The kids are enjoying their own beds and riding the bus home from school each day. Routine is good for all of us.

With Halloween coming, one may ask what the LeRoy boys would like to be for this occasion. Jacob wants to be Darth Vador, Jonah, a Storm Trooper, and Noah, Yoda. I don't know that Noah wants to be Yoda per se, but it sure would look funny don't you think. Noah is our little Yoda anyway, so he would fit the part. We will see what happens. Hope all are well this week.

Robb and Reba

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The new addition to the family

That's right, in the midst of everything else going on, we thought it fitting to try our hands as a dog owner. Most of you may think that it was the last thing we needed right now and you would probably be right on the money. But, Reba and I tell ourselves all the time that life is short and worth living....or something like that. We picked up Lego from his owners two weeks ago and Jacob had already named him Lego. As you can probably tell, Jacob loves legos in general so he thought it fitting to name the dog after his first love. We won't lie to all of you and tell you it has been a walk in the park, but it could have been much worse also. When we accepted the dog, we were still living with Reba's parents, Mark and Sue. They also received their dog from the litter that sane day. So, the scenario looked something like this; All five of us are living with them for two weeks with two new puppies running around pooping and wetting. They did quite well together and in the evenings would wrestle and pounce on each other until they were exhausted. Many of our evenings were spent sitting around telling the dogs to stop biting the chair etc. You know the drill. We got into a rhythm with the dogs and it hasn't been bad at all. My worst fear in getting a dog at this point in our lives was that I wasn't up for getting up in the night and taking him out to do his business. We have just completed that part of our lives and don't care to revisit this. We can all say, "Thank God" because Lego sleeps through the night and doesn't whine until we come out in the morning. We have had some accidents with nice piles in different places, but Noah usually yells out that Lego pooped and then runs through the house saying, "No, no Lego". It is our built in poop siren if you will. Anyway, he is very cute and he does add a lot to our family. The kids love it and play with him all the time. At this point they are still fighting over the chance to feed him at mealtime and pick up the poop---see how long this lasts.

Aside from the dog and finishing up on things with the house, I guess that would be why we haven't blogged in two weeks. Absolutely no time. When we were staying with Mark and Sue, once the kids were in bed at night, we were up at the house painting etc. We were both to the point where we felt like we were close to the snapping point. I told someone the other day that when you wish for a non-fatal accident to put you in the hospital for a three day rest period, you know it's bad. We were wishing for a lot of those over the past couple weeks. We did finally move back home this past week on Thursday 10/5 and have spent most of our days moving stuff back into the bedrooms after the carpet was put in. We have also been doing a lot of the finish work which always seems easy, but it takes weeks. Today, we actually moved our kitchen in with dishes etc and I still find myself reaching for the paper plates and plastic forks. Each day we are gaining back some small sense of normalcy in our lives. Things are looking great by the way and when I actually find the camera, I will take pictures and put them up for all to see. We are trying to get back some of the old traditions with the kids and bedtime, books, talk time, and prayers. They are really glad to have all of this back. We have the long list of projects to complete before Reba and I take off for a much needed vacation without the kids to............Chicago for a national conference on ADHD. Ok, so maybe it is not romantic, but it will be educational and time away. I will be better about more blogging now that the computer is hooked back in and I am not getting dressed out of my car anymore.

Robb and Reba

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pulling all of our resources

The weekend was quick, but we got an amazing amount done. Jacob and Jonah went camping with Pappa Doug and their Aunt Stacy and Uncle Tom. They played with their cousins, rode bikes, made smor's, saw salmon spawning, and slept out under the stars. They came home tired and dirty with a lot of stories from the weekend. It was great because through all of this remodel, the kids have been very patient with mom and dad. This weekend was about them and the really had a great time. To say the least, they were in bed and asleep by 0730 Sunday night. Noah got to go over to my cousins house and play with his cousins. He was the center of attention and loved every minute of it. We were grateful for all the help this past weekend. As a result, we accomplished a lot.

On Saturday, Reba and her mom started the tile project for the kitchen counters. They have tiled before and have always done a great job. Sue took point on the tile saw and Reba began laying things out. In the meantime, I had the glorious job of painting all the window trim and base boards, all of which aren't done yet. Hannah, Reba's sister came over that morning also and picked up a brush. Everyone was working hard and they were making good headway on the tile. In the middle of the day, Reba figured they needed more tile so Hannah and I hopped in the car and headed back over to Seattle to get more tile before the store closed at 4:30. We ran to Bainbridge, picking up Noah along the way, and barely made the last ferry. We picked up the tile and drove back around (the things we do for the right tile). Sue and Reba had continued to work and were making good progress so we stopped for dinner and then hit it hard after that. Tiling is the type of project that you know is going to be hard, but you don't realize how much time it will really take. We worked on it until 2:30 in the morning because the next day we had to grout. We had to finish completely. Plus, who wants to clean up the mess just to then start again in the morning. The next morning, we hit it hard again and we did finally finish last night around 10 p.m. Sarah and Josh came by with lunch, which was a great break. We didn't have time to go out because we had to keep working. During the day when the ladies told me to get out of the way, I painted closet doors and continued on with the base boards. Needless to say, the tile looks incredible. It turned out great. The cabinets, cool floors, and tile. We had to get all of this done this weekend because the electrician and plumber was coming this morning to hook up the sink, faucet, fridge etc. Just under the wire. If we figured out what we paid Sue per hour by the lunch we bought her, it comes out to twenty-two cents an hour. Can't beat slave, I mean, family labor prices. We really appreciated everyone's help this weekend from those who helped with the kids to those who brought lunch and finally, those who gave their swear and grime.

It looks like they will be getting done this week, which means we get to have our house back. Don't get excited though, it is still not safe to come out of your houses. We still have little projects we may be recruiting for. Lots of painting base boards and finish work. We also will try to paint he house if we have another great weekend like last weekend. We also still have to carpet the bedrooms sometime in the next two weeks, but don't worry, we will contract out for that. Tonight, the order of the business is..................Nothing, I'm pooped.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Weekend Warriors

Another weekend closes in which means one of two things. We relax and enjoy the last few rays of sun before fall/winter take over or we work like dogs trying to get more things done before our contractor comes back on Monday. Tonight, Reba has a class, Jacob and Jonah are going camping for the weekend with Pappa Doug, Stacy, Tom, Isabelle, Nolan and Sophia, which leaves myself and Sue to start painting were needed. Tomorrow, Reba and her mom are tiling the kitchen and around the fireplace so that it will be ready for the workers to trim in on Monday. We have closet doors to paint and put up, and a lot of painting of the base boards. All this means is that we are getting closer to the end goal. Tomorrow, Noah is getting to go play with my cousin, Marcy and her two daughters, which Noah will love. That means we have a good amount of uninterrupted time to work and get things done. Or, just catch up on sleep. The week has been one of the most stressful of our lives, but the good news is that we are coming out on the end of the week still alive. One thing we always have to remind ourselves is that one stressful day does eventually end. The hope is that the next day improves.

Our good friend Sheri came over today to deliver a dog crate for us, because we are getting the dog on Sunday, and we were able to walk her around the house. When you get to show someone around, you do start to realize how much work you have really done. In this case, the work has turned out great. It was a good feeling to show her what we had done and what he have left to do. More pictures will be coming as things are completed. For now, I am off to have a 5 minute power nap before we are off and running.

As you prabably know, the picture up top is the view from our top floor balcony of our Master bedroom. I know, it is beautiful, but only the best for us. Actually it is a picture off the hard drive of the cumputer. Boy are we delusional. Have a great weekend.

Robb and Reba

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Too bad the LeRoy boys are deprived of Love from their Aunts

Jacob and Jonah wanted to see more pictures of their Aunts because, as Jonah says, "They are the best." Reba and I only provide food and shelter to the boys where their aunts are fun, energetic, and funny. We are so exhausted by the end of the day that the energy rarely flows from these bodies. Their Aunt Sarah moved up here from Colorado to be close to the boys growing up and I believe that was a great decision. When she first moved here almost two years ago, they kept asking her when she was flying home because they weren't used to her showing up for birthdays and an occasional night for dinner. If Jonah had a cell phone, her number would be on his permanent speed dial. Since Jonah will never have a cell phone, using ours will have to do. The kids out of nowhere will ask to call Sarah at work because they have something they want to only ask her and not us. So, it has already started, Sarah will be the one bailing them out of situations and we will have no idea.

No Hannah finally got on board this family train and has just moved here from New York to be closer to her boys and also a job in the area. She is a Youth Director and is now only an hour away. The kids have been quickly adjusting to her being able to pop over for the weekend or to attend a birthday celebration. She was able to come to Jonah soccer game last weekend and he couldn't have been more thrilled. Noah loves to play around with Hannah and in fact asked the other night why she was putting him to bed instead of me. They get so attached so quickly. Jacob and Jonah were able to see Hannah new apartment and now they want to share an apartment next door to Hannah. They said, "Don't worry, if we need any help, Hannah will be there to take care of us. If we get scared in the night, we will climb in bed with her." So there you go Hannah, looks like you will be having new neighbors.

Reba and I really appreciate all of the support from Hannah and Sarah. They love our children and we love that they are a part of their lives. We have also enjoyed having them close and are really getting used to them being around.

Robb and Reba

Soccer Mania!!

It has been about a week since last blogging which should say something--not enough time. One of the great things that we all got to do last weekend was go to Jonah's first soccer game on Saturday and then another one on Sunday. He had a lot of family cheering him on both days with grandparents, cousins, and aunts. The first game, Jonah was wondering whey everyone was doing so much yelling while he was playing. During half-time, Reba told him that we were yelling for him and his team to do well. He said he didn't like that too much--Only in Jonah' style. Saturday, the other team was touch and they lost, but Sunday, they won, which was a great feeling. Jonah loves soccer practice and when practice is canceled (like last night), he is always really bummed out. He said, "Why can't we just play in the rain? It is probably the adults who don't want to get wet. It is fun to see Jonah enjoying something so much these past couple weeks. Watching the games are hilarious because all the kids really just run in a group, trying to take the ball away, even from their own teem members. Oh to be 5 again. He is exhausted at night between soccer and Kindergarten. He is really enjoying school and is comparing his class to Jacob's class he was in last year with the same teacher.

The other night at dinner, the subject of kissing at school came up between Jacob and Jonah. Jacob said that there was a rumor at school that someone was kissing someone else on the playground. He said, "I didn't see it myself, but I am sure that happened". Noah pipes in with "EEuuuuuuu, that is gross". Jonah thinks for a minutes and says, "I want to get kissed on the playground." Perfect. Now thirty years ago, it was no big deal for a boy to kiss a girl in elementary school, but now you could be taken to court or something. So, we had to have the conversation with Jonah, and all the kids, about how we shouldn't be kissing other girls on the playground, especially if they haven't been asked. Like we have always said, Jonah is the one we worry about more and will be praying for constantly to make good choices. He is intrigued by a lot more than Jacob is. Jacob is into the rules and how to follow them where Jonah is into how to break them or gently nudge them. Like I said, a lot of prayer needs to be coming this way. Start a prayer group soon for this boy.

Hope everyone is enjoying their day. Look to a child to make you think and give you perspective on your life. You will be surprised how smart they really are.

Jonah sayings: "Chill out dad, it's not a problem" I wish I were 5 again.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Which way is up?

Just a picture of Jacob's Birthday I stole from Sarah's Computer

Well, the remodel is in full swing. We are now to the point in the remodel where we can't stay in the house comfortably. There is dust everywhere and the workers are great about showing up early. Sarah, Reba's sister, is in New York this week so she has graciously offered her house out to the homeless. We have been here the past few nights and it is nice to make dinner or heat something up and sit on a couch. The kids are to the point now where they ask us where we are sleeping each night. It is a little bit disorienting, even for Reba and I.

Yesterday was Reba's 32nd Birthday and she was not necesarily thrilled about the timing, becuase things are just a bit overwhelming at the time. Each day, she is in charge of getting the kids up and out of the house for school, checking in with the contractor, meeting him at Home Depot when needed, and all the phone calls that go a long with managing a remodel. You may ask what I am doing, and the answer is "Just working." Reba can meet with people throughout the day, so most of this has fallen in her lap. She wasn't looking forward to the day, because it was going to be another sprint from morning until night. We won't go into details, but let's just say that her birthday didn't go down in the books as the best ever. It was overwhelming and it was a bit too much. The evening ended well with Birthday dinner at her parent's home and a nice evening of relaxing. Mark and Sue extended Reba's gift by allowing the kids to stay the night since they were already to bed. It was great to go back to Sarah's house and have a good night sleep. This morning was actually relaxing which gave us time to have coffee and talk about where we are in all of this remodeling experience. We decided to keep going since we are half way through the project. Good for both the contractor as well as us. Today is another day and although busy, the birthday experience is behind her and she has a wh0le 364 days to get ready for the next one. Maybe next year we can make her a cake in our kitchen and have a party instead.

Constrtuction update:
*Tomorrow our kitchen cabinets come in between the hours of 0800-1200-we all know this really means 11 p.m.
*They are done taping and mudding the walls and ceilings so they are going to texturize the walls and ceiling tomorrow.
*They have molded out all the windows on the outside and inside and have finished the moldings on the dooors.
*The front door is on and new hardware has been added by Reba
*Fireplace has been cut out and you can see through to the other side where the living room is.
*Tomorrow we are off to get our kitchen tile and shelf that will be built-in near the entry way.
*This weekend we will be painting closet doors, window molding, and touch ups on the walls.

Have a great day and remember to enjoy the couch you are sitting on and the oven you are cooking in. Happy days!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

A contractor can make or break your day

The whole process of looking for property or a house has been exhausting the past year. Now that we are finally in the house and getting work done, there are always new headaches. Since our contractor, Eric, came on Tuesday with his crew, things have actually been working out well. They are nice guys who watch out for the kids and make sure they are safe. They always clean up at the end of the day. And to our surprise, they have shown up on time everyday and done what they said they would. I know this sounds strange for a contractor, but so far, we have been pleasantly surprised.

We have had many conversations with Eric this week that have been true answers to prayer. Since we are on a tight budget, we are always looking for a good deal balancing this with a good quality product. Eric pulled new windows out of another house because the owner wanted state of the art ones. As a result, Eric is practically giving them to us. All in all, it saves us thousands of dollars just on this. He also had a brand new front door that we were going to have to buy. He gave it to us for $100. Then he said that he has plantation blinds, the kind we wanted to buy, and he said he would give them to us for free. After all of these "gifts", Rebecca immediately asked them what kind of coffee they drink and what kind of cookies they eat. To starbuck's we will go. Needless to say, Eric has made our day today. That is hard to do in the midst of a very busy, hard week. We do have to remind ourselves that things are working out. Even though we are in the middle of a black hole, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

One thing that you don't think about when workers are around is how much privacy you lose. Reba and I were on the computer in the office and one of the workers popped his head in the window and asked us if we wouldn't mind unplugging his extension cord. Granted, there was nothing there but a hole where the window would go, but it is amazing what can become normal around the house. I also went in my room to change after work and mid way through changing, two guys walk in, set their tools up, and begin to saw away. They didn't even see me. I just grabbed my shorts and walked into the hall where I would have more privacy. No complaints though, because they are getting a lot of things done in a short amount of time. Next Friday we should get our kitchen cabinets delivered and then the floors should be going in. This weekend we should be hanging the last door for the office and painting the closet doors. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What a BIG Day!

Today was a big day at the LeRoy household. Jacob and Jonah started school at Brownsville elementary today. Jacob started first grade and Jonah had his Kindergarten open house. They both wanted to ride the bus, but luckily for Reba's sake, she had to drive them because Jacob was bringing cupcakes for his birthday today. All at the same time, our contractors showed up this morning at 0730 to start on things. When it rains it pours. All of these things were great, it is just that it seems to be so many new starts for everyone. Jacob had a great day at school learning all the rules and coming home sharing these with us. Jonah had a great day at his open house and we think he is on board for tomorrow...But you never know. Noah is waiting patiently for to start his school on Thursday. It was a great day that we ended out to pizza with all of Jacobs family who live in the area. Jacob is now thoroughly exhausted and there are no sounds coming from his room. That is always a good sign. So, now the year is off and running. More pictures to come. Have a great day everyone.

Robb and Reba

Monday, September 04, 2006

September 4, 2006--A day of Rest is needed

Labor Day weekend has just been that. The amount we have accomplished in three days is staggering. Last night, Reba and I painted and got all of that done because we knew that things would be busy today. We had six people coming to help with the work today (Family) and two who were taking the kids for the day. We were primed and ready to go. It was amazing at how much we got done in one day. We pulled down all the studs in the kitchen, pulled up the kitchen and entry way floor down to the sub-floor, and hung all the remaining doors in the house. Everyone worked like dogs to get things done. To our surprise, Reba's grandma came over with subway sandwiches and cookies so we could take a well needed break. So as it stands, we seem to be ready for the contractor and his crew to come tomorrow and start their job. We are exhausted and sore, but it was all worth it in the end seeing how much we have done on our own.

Marna and Aunt Hannah took the kids to see the movie, "How to eat fried worms". They all had a great time. The kids start school tomorrow which is still very exciting around our house because Jacob is starting first grade and Jonah is starting K. Jacob was very excited tonight to make his lunch and set his clothes out. It will be a whole new experience. It is also Jacobs' birthday tomorrow, so it is a double whammy. Anyway, Thanks to all of you who helped out today, we couldn't have done it without all of your help--Mark, Marna, Hannah, Doug, Sarah, and Josh. Don't worry, we will at least wait another week before we call again.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

To scrape or not to scrape, that is the question

Most people would jump at the chance to go out and have a nice dinner and see a movie when the kids go away for a night. Not us. We rather enjoy tearing up carpet, moving more furniture into the garage, taping, and scraping popcorn ceiling until 2 a.m. We realize we have a twisted view of dating, but that is what our life has turned into. Notice the hole in the ceiling to the left of Reba's head. This is out kitchen. We are proud of the hole, but are looking forward to it getting filled next week. So instead of a night out until 2 a.m. at a bar somewhere, we were home sweating through our face masks. We are on a mission this Labor Day weekend and that mission is to step up to the standard of what Labor Day is. A day, or in our case, three days of Labor. We have our contractor coming on Tuesday and the more demolition and scraping we do now, the faster he can do his work and the more money we save.

Once we took our advil and went to bed, our bodies were burning, from the 16 hour day or from the heavy asbestos fumes we were breathing in. The next morning we did wake without children in the home, but we lay there with eyes open, staring at the ceiling, not wanting to move a muscle. It was only the mention of Starbuck's that pulled us out of bed. We made it to pick up the kids from my parents', and came home to a day of buying and painting doors for the house. Oh, that's right, another goal by Tuesday is for us to have the doors painted (2 coats) and put up in the house. So, while we were painting out in the driveway, one of our children was napping, one was playing legos and the other had filled up a tub with water and went in fully clothed. He was happy, as were we. We got a lot done again today, but we were wipe out at the end. With the kitchen still in shambles and no family room, we did what any normal person would do...out to eat and a movie with the kids. We had a great night and laughed a lot with the kids...Just what the doctor ordered. Now, it is off to bed. Good night.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Are we crazy? Don't answer that

Those of you who are regular readers of the blog may be asking yourself, "what in God's name are these people doing?" It would be alright to ask that question, because we seem to be asking the same question of ourselves as well. It is Jacobs 7th birthday of September 5th and he has been asking for a dog for the past couple months. Anyone who knows Reba and I well know that we just don't run out and make quick decisions, especially involving a dog. We found a litter of golden retriever puppies two miles from our house. We fell in love and we are brining the puppy home in October. One may ask what we are doing still living in remodel chaos and now adding a puppy to the mix. We finally get Noah toileted properly and we then take on another family member that we have to now, potty train. Some would say that this is the worst time to get a dog, but on the other hand, it may actually divert us from the stress of a torn apart home. It may also divert us from precious hours of sleep at night. Either way, it is another adventure in life. Jacob feels up for the job, as well as, help from his two brothers. On to more exciting news from the LeRoy Clan.

Jonah has wanted to join a soccer team the last two years of his little life. We tried to sign him up for fall soccer two weeks ago and found out that it was full. We were bummed for him but thought we would try it next time. Two days ago, we received a call from soccer club that told us they made up another team and he was to start on Tuesday. Jonah was beside himself with joy. I took him to soccer last night and they were given their soccer uniform. Jonah was more excited about that than playing yesterday. Tonight at practice, he so wanted to wear the uniform and the smile on his face was priceless. He will start his first game on September 9th. He can't wait. Jonah begged me to bring the camera to take pictures. Here you go. Life is full of joy.

On Sunday, we were able to go to the Kitsap county fair. The kids had been working towards this for the past three weeks. They have been doing chores and saving their money so they could go on all the rides. The day was hot, exciting, and awesome. Our kids flocked to Sarah and Josh. Josh is the bomb. The kids think he is the best, so he was a buddy for the day for Jonah and Noah. The kids are now exhausted from a long weekend of fun and excitement. Enjoy the pictures.