Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was a busy one for us.
Saturday: Grandpa & Grandma Andrews came down to help with watching the kiddies and to help put in the wood floor. So while the guys worked, the girls took the kids to the mall to play (it was a rainy morning here). JCPenny's had a sale so Brendan got two more tee shirts (one spider man & one TMNT) and two pairs of shorts. He now has either a spider man, superman or TMNT tee shirt for every day of the week, add in his pirate shirts and the boy is set for the summer (must be a little boy thing). Anyway the guys got the living room and hallway to the dining room done. Bad news is we have to get more wood. I didn't know this but a 2x4 does not measure 2 feet by 4 feet, it is just a little bit shorter, same thing goes with the wood for the floor, so that little bit added up over the space of the floor and add in all the pieces they cut out due to having knots or dark spots. So we need more wood. The floor is on hold and this gives us time to clean up the back yard and work on the wood pile. So between that and Prom & Graduation's in the next week we are super busy. But here is the photo of the living room.

Sunday: Brian was sent home with a vehicle over the weekend to drive to get a sensor to go off so that he could record the data as to why it went off. So we had a car (with free gas!) where to go? Toledo! There is a children's museum there called COSI that I wanted to take the kids to. The adventure begins. We got directions from the Internet and are driving down and just at Toledo there is road construction. We follow the directions and are just about to get on a different highway and notice a sign saying this way to COSI, to late. We continue to follow the directions we are looking for exit 10A, we see exit 11 then exit 9! And of course there is a bridge going over a river between 11 & 9. So we get off on 9 and turn around get back on the highway go back over the bridge and there is exit 10A-only on one side of the highway-Ohio go figure.
So we find the museum and the first parking deck is closed so while we drive around to get to the other deck we are also looking for some place to eat lunch-we can't find anything. We find the other parking deck, park and go to the elevator the sign says that there is some sort of walkway, we get in the elevator and push the only button that doesn't have a number-it goes down. So we ride the elevator on every upper floor looking for a walkway-it turns out the walkway is under ground. Great. So back down. There are stores & signs saying restaurants but it is Sunday and this place looks like a ghost town. We make it to the museum using the under ground walkway still not having found a place to eat, so we go to the hotel next door. They have a restaurant-a hootie-toodie that has brunch on Sundays, two forks at the table, gives us weird looks for having a stroller restaurant. We eat, we leave, we make it back to the museum, the kids are playing, we are checking out all the different exhibits, the museum has a food area with sandwich's & stuff! This should be information that they list on there web site! Oh well. The kids had a blast, I was too busy play with them and didn't take that many photos (only in the small kid play area) but there was a bike that if you were tall enough you got to ride on a high wire over the first floor with weights on the bottom to balance you. Pretty neat. They had a Mind Zone with illusions to see how your mind sees things, a Sports Zone were you got to see how fast you can throw a ball, run, how high you can jump, a Water area & a Kids Zone with a sound room, hospital, tree house, water area, construction area, and baby room. So when we were finally done with the museum we took a different way home to go to Cabela's. (One of Brian's favorite outdoor type store). Then back home. The nice thing about this car that Brian had was it had a flip down DVD player in it so both Brendan & Madelyn watched movies in the car. The only problem was trying to figure out how to get the movie out of the player. (Not as easy as you would think)
Here are the photos:
Brendan in the hootie-toodie restaurantBrendan & Madelyn in the sound room-giving kids sticks is normally not such a good idea but Maddie really liked being able to hit things on the wall & make noise.Maddie at the water table-again not such a good idea, we had to take her away before she tried to crawl onto it!Brian & the kids outside Cabela's.
Monday: Yard work, yard work & more yard work.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dinosaur Night

The museum that we have a membership too has a new exhibit that just opened today so last night was the member preview night so we took the kids after dinner. The new exhibit is all about Dinosaurs! This one is really neat because they have a special section for smaller kids Brendan's & Madelyn's ages. Then they have the large exhibit that is a maze with facts about dinosaurs, and of course some really cool hands on type of learning too. There was also juice & cookies, a craft & the bat house was opened as well.
Here are the pictures:
Brendan playing at the dino table (two of his school friends were here as well, so he played with them)Brendan walking like a dinosaur, learning how the dinosaurs made their foot prints.Brendan flying like a dinosaur.Madelyn reading a book.Madelyn playing on the rocking-dinosaur.One of the bats in the bats house.

New Park

There is a cool new park over in Southfield about 3 miles from our house on 12 mile. Yesterday after lunch I took the kids there to play. It was hot here in Michigan, about 88'. So we didn't stay long, just long enough for both kids to get sweaty.
Here are the photos:
Brendan on the play groundBrendan on a spider's net that had a small trampoline in the middle.Madelyn checking everything out that was on the ground level.Brendan climbing the rock wall.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We Have Wood! Plus the Kids

On Tuesday Brian and Brendan traveled up north of Flint to pick up the wood for our floor. With all the construction on the roads now that the weather is warm it took them all day to do it. They got home just in time to eat dinner and go to soccer practice. ~Which I have to add that we were supposed to have taken the soccer photos but when Brian packed his camera bag he forgot some thing~memory cards! So we will be doing the soccer photos next tuesday. Once those are printed I will be mailing out Maddies 1 year photos as well.
But here is the photo of our large wood pile, Brian said they gave us an extra 100 square feet to use will all the cutting & triming that we have to do.And of course I haven't posted photos of the kids lately so here are photos of them during breakfast this morning. Maddie with her juice & Brendan being his normal goofy self.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Berkley Days

This past weekend was the Berkley Days event. There is a carnival, a craft show, the Jr.s put on a Pooch Pageant, and new the year was the Beer tent hosted by the Friends of the Library (more about what I did this weekend will be on my blog).
Well with the carnival being here I had to take Brendan again. My little dare devil, he wanted to ride every ride, even the ones that wasn't tall enough to go on. Oh well.
Here he is on the ferris wheel.The swings~he yelled 'Ride like the wind Bullseye' the whole time (from Toy Story 2)The Graviton~he did this one twice!The HustlerMadelyn was angry that she didn't get to go on any.So we all went on the spinning strawberries together.They also had two of those fun houses that you walk in, he went on those like 20 times each.
3 Hours of running around and riding all the different rides.

More Painting

Well we have painted the dining room & kitchen. It looks nice being a new color. Brendan picked it out too. I still have one more coat to put on this afternoon while Maddie naps. Here are the photos of our newly painted kitchen & dining rooms.

Friday, May 18, 2007


We are all done putting in the new drywall and were able to paint the ceilings in both the kitchen & living room and were even able to put the first coat of paint up in the living room. Brian has also being spending time cutting & chopping the wood in the large pile he has, I would say he is about 30% into the pile. Brendan is his little buddy when it comes to splitting the wood. He pulled one of the patio chairs over to where Brian is chopping and he sits there telling Brian things like: That's a good hit, That's a baby one, That one flying, You need to hit it harder Daddy! It is so cute. Brendan also was helping me stack it on Wednesday on to the wood dock that we have behind the garage but Brian had to come over and rearrange it too many times so I don't think I will be helping with that too much.
But it is nice to be getting the painting done finally. I did the trim on the ceiling while Maddie took her morning nap yesterday and Mister Brendan played on the computer (he doesn't help me much anymore) and after Brian got home from work he painted the ceiling while I cooked dinner and then after Maddie went to bed we put the first coat on the living room. We will have to paint the spot were we put the new drywall in a couple times more, we had the Sears but a dark gray into the primer for the drywall but I guess it takes more of the gray because when I painted it, it only looked like a darker off white~no gray. But here are the photos of our messy living room. (The color is almost the same~it has a brown tone instead of the purple one the old paint had)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Got Wood?

Okay, I really felt the need to do this blog entry. I think everyone knows that we are trying to put in a wood stove this winter. Obviously, to use it a lot we need a substantial supply of wood. I have already got a good storage area set up for it.

Our neighbor Jim works at the Ford house, and they have a huge supply of split, stacked, and seasoned wood ready to go. It is just a matter of going and getting it. We had hauled one truckload home when we went fishing a couple of weeks ago. For this winter, that was my plan for wood. I actually do like splitting wood, but had planned to save it more for colder weather. That is when I like to do it. Plus, we already have a lot going this summer. But, Jen had other plans.........

While dropping off Junior Jabbers, or some other silly thing like that, Jen saw a crew cutting down a big tree in our neighborhood. I really think it had something to do with the cute crew of boys working on the tree, or her need to play "damsdel in need of wood" act. Either way, we ended up with the whole tree in our driveway. Picture to follow.

Now, I can't fully blame Jen yet, because I have not taught her wood identification. This wood is Elm. Elm is a hardwood, and is great to burn in a stove. It leaves a little more ash than a wood like oak, but is definetly good stuff. The only down side is that it is the hardest wood I have ever had to split! Mainly because it can get stringy, and not want to some apart. So, on top of fixing the wall, pulling out trim and carpet, painting, installing wood floor and try to put in the stove, I will be splitting A LOT of the hardest to split wood in Michigan, by hand. Thank you sweetie! You know I love you honey, I just have to tease you. Everything will get done, we just might have delayed progress on the house by a week.

Now for the picture.
Now for Jen's side of the story....I remember Brian telling me that if I saw that they were cutting down a tree to let him know and he would take his truck and go get the wood. Well when I was driving past my friends house I saw a trailer full of wood & workers (who were not cute at all) cutting down a tree. Since they were almost done and won't be there by the time Brian got home from work I asked what they were going to do with all the wood? They said if I wanted it I could have it and they would drop it off (save Brian from having to go and get it). So they did ~ 2 truck fulls. Anyway it did look like the tree in the back yard so I thought I was safe in getting it. I admit I did not know that there were 2 truck fulls of wood I just thought the one. But at least Brendan had something to climb on for a night. (the whole pile wouldn't fit in my point & shoot camera, that is way there are two)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Daddy's Birthday

Yesterday was Brian's 32nd birthday, so the kids and I baked him a cake, after we opened the frosting can that was all Brendan wanted. Maddie stuck her finger down the side to get her frosting.Then we all went to see the new Spiderman 3 movie.
We learned that Maddie no longer can sit still for the whole movie, so when Pirates 3 comes out we will have to get a babysitter for her.And speaking of Spiderman Grandma & Papa Tatz sent the kids the stuff that they were going to get over Easter and Brendan got two spiderman tee shirts and a backpack. He also got TMNT swimming trunks but mister 'no butt' probably won't be able to wear them until next year. Here is Brendan when he went to school this morning with his new clothes & backpack. And Brian was playing with Brendan outside after he was done taping the drywall. They were playing football, it was so cute. Other than it looks like Brendan throws like a girl.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Story Time

Brendan goes to story time on Tuesday morning through out the year at the local library. Well today was the last one before the summer reading program starts so Miss Wendy had cup cakes & juice as a special snack instead of the regular craft project. The kids also got certificates. So Brendan has a "Story time Good Listener Certificate" for recognition and praise for practicing good habits of listening, courtesy and participation during story time. Okay, Brian and I just think that this is funny because being that he is 4, he is having a really hard time with listening right now. But I do know that when ever Brendan wants to talk or say something (every 5 minutes) he does raise his hand so there is a start.
Here is Brendan with his 'certificate'.~Notice how the front middle of his hair line is kinda thin? His helmet rubbed a bald spot on his hair line about a quarter large, and when I cut his hair last time we noticed it. Oops.

And for an update on the livingroom, we have drywall. Now just the fun part of mudding and taping. Have fun Brian. :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Phase II - Living Room

Well with the tile all done it is now time to start Phase II - the Living room. When we moved into our house there wasn't a good spot to stick our tv so Brian built an entertainment unit. Over the past 4 years Brendan & now Madelyn have been pretty rough with it, so now it is time to go. So Phase II is to remove the built in and replace the drywall with an added little project for the kids.
Time for photos:
The little project for the kids was originally going to be putting a cubby under the stairs. However when we got the hole open and saw all the space under there we decided to finish it all off under there and have a little hide-away for the kids (mainly the toys). So here is Brendan busting a hole in the wall.And here is the entry way to the kids world. We will put trim around the opening and carpet on the floor and paint the inside (hum, the yellow from their rooms my be here as well)The Entertainment unit that Brian had built. (Minus the speaker covers)Brian wishing he hadn't used his air-nailer when he built this thing. (Lets just say it was in there really well.)Brian with all the old stuff out of there and remembering that we were going to leave the outlet there. (In his demo phase he just cut all the wires and had removed almost everything.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New Bike Toy

Both Jen and I have been riding our bikes quite a bit lately. I even rode my bike to work and back (around 35 miles) on Friday. I will probably post about it on my blog, if you are interested.

Jen is always pulling Maddie around in the trailer, so she can go as fast as she wants to. A lot of times we will let Brendan either ride his bike or his motorcycle and go a couple of miles either to parks, or to the video store. The only problem is that Brendan tends to ride a little slow if you want to go a couple of miles or more. So, we ended up buying him a tandem hook-on thing.

It is pretty neat actually. It is very well made. It hooks to the seat post with a quick-release lever, so it is very fast to take on and off. He pedals if he wants to, and it will coast if he doesn't. Here is a pic.

Today we used it to take the kids to a park in Berverly Hills. Jen with the trailer, and bunky and I like this. It was around 6 miles round trip. Brendan pedaled most of the way, and I could even feel him pushing a bit, so I know he was doing some work. I can hear a clicking sound when he coasts, and he mostly did that when I did. It was a pretty easy ride, but Jen still immediately dropped to the ground as soon as we got home : )

She will be posting pics tomorrow of our home improvement project, part II.


Brendan had two soccer games this weekend. He is really doing GREAT this year. There is another boy on his team that is really good. The coach does not play him and Brendan at the same time. If they start scoring too many goals, they either get to be goalie, or try to learn defense.

On Saturday, Brendan scored 4 goals. Today, he scored 7!

Here is a shot of his first goal.

And his victory lap after the goal. I don't know where he learned the arm thing, but he does it every time.

There are some other good kids on Brendan's team. But, he seems to always end up with the ball and being the one to run it down the field, even if someone else scores. I think it is because he can control the ball well, even in a crowd. Here he is showing his ball handling skills.

Of course he got to play goalie today. He did good at it too.

Here is Maddie doing what she does best at soccer games. Eating and drinking : )