Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day! With lots of photos!

It's a white, wintery day here in Kentucky. My children are having fun playing in more white stuff than they have ever seen.

They had a grand time eating it.

And getting cold in it. Please don't mention anything about the mismatched gloves. I was just happy everyone could find two gloves.

Some of us were wise and watched the fun from inside.

And sisters come visit at the window.

I love this one the best... but it is out of focus.

I love the views from our house, no matter what the season.

Sara is a budding photographer. She wants to start posting her photos to the blog also.

I don't have a macro lense or this would be more in focus, but still... snowflakes!

Look how little Anna looks under the tree!

And a little closer. She tricked me and told me she was standing up... but she wasn't.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Tea Party with Papa

Recently Sara and Eric were able to take the time to have a tea party.

She requested he read her this book... so sweet.

Story of a Demolition. And the subsequent Remodel.

So here's the story of the Great Peterson Demolition and how we got there. We have been talking about replacing the nasty carpet for years. Carpet is just not conducive to 12 people on a farm.

This building was originally the milking parlor of an old barn (well, actually it was the wood of another old barn across town I've heard...) so the floor wasn't laid quite smoothly enough to put laminate down. Or hardwood, for that matter. So we bought a vinyl which looks quite realistically like wood.

Then we got down to business and I made mistake of saying, "While we are at it and don't care if we get paint on the carpet, we should paint the walls and trim too." And to get even crazier, since I have hated the popcorn on the ceiling ever since we moved in... I suggested sweetly that we take it down and repaint the ceiling, too.

So- we did. Boy was that a job. First we had to peel it all off.

Then vacuum it up. Then basically do a drywall patch job on the ceiling. Then paint it. All before we could do the walls.

And did I mention the children were here to "help" for most of it? So we painted the hallway a gold color... Empire Gold to be exact. I tried to get the color from the website, but they wouldn't let me copy it so you can go look there and look at it. So far I don't have a great photo of the hallway... sorry.

Then we painted most of the rest of the walls "Ponytail" tan... with our "helpers." Ahem.

Isn't she adorable with that little tongue sticking out?

They loved helping us paint. And going out to eat three times. That is not something we usually do since it is so expensive.

Then we took a deep breath and started the last wall... and painted it a bright red.

I was a bit nervous as Eric did the whole wall completely silently. I was sure he hated it. Then he stepped back and said, "You're a genius, Babe. It looks great."

Here's a photo of the two walls showing the red and the tan.

And isn't he talented? He paints... he holds babies. What a guy!

Emma helped put the switchplates back on in the hall. You can sort of see the gold color.

Then we had to wait a bit to get the floor put in. Like a week. But it eventually got put in.

And it looks wonderful.

Here is my kitchen. Note the red wall (note that this is all being underlined and I don't know why or how to stop it...)

Here's from the steps... looking straight.

Here's from the steps looking left. (The kitchen is just out of the picture on the left.)

And my red wall just makes me so happy.

Oh yeah... see the tan sofas? These were a find on goLSN - we bought them for an anniversary gift. They make me happy too. And the desk to the right of the photo? That's where my computer is... where I sit and drink my coffee, read my e-mails, look outside, and try to ignore the chaos that is happening right behind me. Like right now.

Sam's New Favorite Place

Sam loves being in the backpack, even if it's not going anywhere.

His sisters see the camera out and join in on the fun.

He's not sure he likes that idea.

Anyone read a Calvin and Hobbes lately? Love he facial expression.

Posted by Picasa

ReRun: How to Carry a PlayPen in Your Purse

Time to get into this routine again... Bethany needs training in this area, and soon enough Sam will be needing it too!


I have had many, many children over the years. And from the looks of it, I will have a few more before I am done. I have had toddlers in the house for well over a decade. Currently we have two toddlers…and a 4-year-old who is ALL BOY. ‘Nuff said. The three of them can derail any attempt to get anything done in about 3.5 seconds.

Since I also have 6 school-age children, it is important that we have a few moments of peace every once in a while. Especially when doing things like school. We also have the little children with us when on activities, and in places we would have skipped if we didn’t have older children.

Out of desperation we needed to figure out how to keep them under control while not always being able to bring along three pack-n-plays. OK — so I never bring along a pack-n-play to soccer. I do, however, have a playpen in my purse.

I have trained my little children to stay on a blanket. Some people have specific blankets for their children; we just use whatever is available. But that bottom line is that they know they cannot leave the blanket. This is so much easier than chasing after them all over creation.

How do I do it? It’s actually very easy. When they are babies, I just lay them on it, and marvel at what geniuses they are…those little infants never push the boundaries and try to get off.

Then they get a bit older and start to roll, I just put them back in the middle. When they start to crawl, I keep a wooden spoon nearby and smack the floor any time they get near the edge. (I never hit the baby, just make a loud noise on the floor.) The noise scares them and soon they know that if they get too close to the edge, they don’t like the noise.

Before long, they just stay there. I work on it every week, several times a week, and they do well with it. During school hours, I will put out two blankets for the 4- and 2-year olds, and put a specific bin of toys for each of them. They play with these toys for 20 to 30 minutes, then I switch the bins or let them outside to run, whatever.

Be consistent and this can work wonders in your home. You can bring your blanket(s) to church, to meetings, to the library, to soccer, wherever you want them to sit still and be quiet.

Try it! You’ll like it!