About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our Flood!

We have had an incredible amount of rain and snow over the last two weeks... I am talking about a ton of precipitation! As I was leaving for work Wednesday morning, I thought to myself that we should check our basement because if we were ever going to have a flood, this would be the time. Since I was already in my car and on my way to work, I couldn't check. Well, at 8:00, Kevin woke up and checked the basement. We had an enormous flood! He immediately called our carpet cleaning friend, Home Depot, Lowes, and several rental companies trying to track down as many pumps and fans as possible. Several people in the area flooded, so a lot of places were all out. But, Kevin found enough to get us started in the cleanup process. Terry, our carpet cleaning friend, came right over and stayed for 5 hours that morning. He pumped 500-600 gallons of water out of our basement. At the same time, the sump pump was removing 1000 gallons per hour! The sump pump was basically just keeping the flooding from getting any worse because the water was coming in just as fast as it was being pumped out. Unfortunately for Kevin, our rental house next door also flooded, and it was worse than our house...I cannot even imagine. So, bless his heart, he had two houses to contend with. The carpet cleaner came back Wednesday evening to help Kevin some more, and stayed until midnight - now that is dedication! Of course, he has been at our house several times since the inital flood day and he isn't finished yet! We were fortunate that none of our furniture or belongings were damaged. Kevin even managed to save the girls' library that was set up in the basement. They had to pull up all of the carpet in the entire basement...all the way down to the cement floors! We will be replacing all of the padding, but plan on keeping the carpet. We are trying to dry this carpet out. Our guest bedroom carpet is propped up in the garage as we don't quite have enough space for everthing to dry out in here. Since we put the guest room carpet out in the garage, we piled as much furniture and belongings as we could into the guest room since that room is now dry (down to the cement floor, but dry nonetheless).

Before the flood...

After the flood...

Before the flood...

After the flood...


I did see some footage on CNN of midwest flooding. Let me assure, we have nothing to complain about here compared to a lot of people. On CNN, we saw a house floating down the river and crashing into a bridge...talk about devastation! We have our home, our safety, and we didn't lose and precious pictures or other memorabilia. We can get through this fiasco much easier than a lot of people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saying Goodbye (to 4 years old) is Hard To Do

Katelyn has always been our deep thinker. She has asked such thought provoking questions that sometimes even stump Kevin and me. When she was newly 4, she said that she knew God was Jesus' dad, but who was his grandfather? She also informed us that God made houses. We told her that people made the houses. She said, "Well, well, well...God made the people, so... God made the houses!" Pretty typical stuff from our little Kate. Then there was the time that I yelled to Kevin, "Don't forget the m-i-l-k for K-e-n-n-e-d-y." Katelyn quickly added..., "Don't forget the milk for K-a-t-e-l-y-n- either!" She seems to always be one step ahead of us. This isn't just at home either, Katelyn's preschool teachers share similar stories that happen at school. She amazes them and puts a smile on their faces every day, so they tell us. We are blessed with great teachers who truly love our daughter and enjoy her as much as we do. As her teachers have said, we are going to have an interesting life.

Well, her thinker has her worrying these days. She has wanted to be 5 since she was 2 years old. But, now that it is here, she isn't sure she is ready for 5. She has expressed concern that she doesn't feel any different, so maybe she isn't really 5. She has also had more than one late night talk with us about how she just loved being 4 and had so much fun, was she really ready to leave it behind and be 5? Then, she was worried that she wouldn't be able to remember all the memories of 4 when she is all grown up. She even got teary-eyed the night before her birthday as she expressed these concerns. I love that she is sentimental, emotional, and a deep thinker. Her personality is a true mixture of both Kevin and me. She makes us smile every day. She is a blessing!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Big One of '08 (and Kennedy's 2nd Birthday)

They said the big storm was coming, the one we would be talking about for years to come. We even had a blizzard warning for 24 hours. It was quite a snowstorm. I don't know if it is one that we'll be talking about in years to come, but it was wonderful! I've heard it was the 2nd biggest snowstorm this area has ever had. Somewhere around 15-16 inches were dumped on us over a 24 hour period. It was beautiful! The pictures do not do it justice because these pictures were taken after the two sunny days that followed the storm. So, much of the snow had melted. Anyway, this is how we spent Kennedy's 2nd birthday...building snowmen together. Who would have thought that we would have this much snow for a March 10th birthday? I do recall that there was snow on the ground the day we brought Kennedy home from the hospital, so very nostalgic for me.
Happy Birthday my baby! I hope you had a great day!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Girls' Library...Complete!

Well, I did it, the girls' library is complete. And, I might add that I LOVE it! The girls are enjoying it too. They go down there and pull out their favorite books to read on the blanket, overstuffed chairs, recliner, or one of the bean bag chairs (which are not in the picture). It is just how I pictured it would be. The girls are doing a great job so far of putting the books back into the right tubs. We have already read books that we had forgotten we even had when they were up on the old bookshelf. This is definitely much more of a child-friendly system for our books.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Look Out Red Carpet...Here Comes the Hottest and Newest Designer

What's this you may ask? Well, let me tell you a little story...

As you know, Kevin and I started dancing this past August. Last week was our very 1st dance test. We had to test out of our current level in order to move on to the next level of material. Katelyn decided that I needed a brand new dress for the big test. She worked on this dress for about three days. It was 100% her own work. She wouldn't even let me see the dress until my first fitting. Now, how does she know about fittings? She has never had a dress fitted and she has never been to a seamstress. But, she had me come over to her work table for a couple of fittings. One was to measure my waist to make sure the belt was the right size ( the pink touille is the belt). Then, I had to really try the dress on so she could see how it looked. She walked all around me making comments about things she needed to still work on. This is actually the second dress that Katelyn has made for me. She made one back in the fall when Kevin and I first started dancing. Katelyn is a designer by nature. If she isn't designing clothes, she is designing houses, cities, robots, etc. She is currently working on creating a robot that will clean the house for me. She is just like her daddy in her creative thinking and problem solving abilities. Everything is possible with their optimism.

When the dress was finished, Katelyn said, "I bet no one else will have balloons on their dress! That makes it special. Make sure you tell them that your daughter made it for you and that she must love you very much."

Then, she proceeded to ask if they were going to give out any awards for the best dress. I think that she was under the impression that we were in a contest, not a private testing session. She wished us good luck and we were on our way, along with the dress. She was fully aware that I would not be able to sit in the car in this paper dress, so it was okay for me to "change into it" once we arrived at the studio.

Well, Kevin and I did pass our test, with a 95%! And best of all, look what I brought home...

(courtesy of the award drawer in my classroom of course)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Morning Chat With Kennedy

Here is a conversation I had with Kennedy one morning this past week. I thought it was a pretty good conversation considering she isn't quite two yet.

Kennedy - What's This Mama?
Joey - It's part of a door handle.
Kennedy - Oh right! Outside?
Joey - Yes! it goes to your playhouse outside.
Kennedy - Broke?
Joey - Yeah, it's broken.
Kennedy - Dada fix it
Joey - You're right Kennedy, Daddy can fix it.

Kennedy is talking all the time. It is amazing how quickly their vocabulary grows once they get going. After babysitting one day this week, my mother-in-law noted that it looks like Kennedy is going to talk all the time, just like Katelyn and me. Poor Kevin! If the girls are anything like me and my family, which it looks like they are going to be, we will be able to easily carry on a minimum of three conversations at one time...participating in all three! Poor Kevin, he will be completely lost, and annoyed to say the least. But, we girls will have fun gabbing it up!

I just want to remember everything about this stage. She is growing up so quickly. KenBear my baby...I love you!