Our Family

Our Family

Friday, June 27, 2008

Signing Sense

Avri works so hard at sign language. I KNOW that she gets it though when we have conversations like this:
Avri: This is the sign for duck (using all four fingers, instead of one to correct Talmage)
Mom: You can use two fingers for duck, or four.
Avri: That doesn't make sense! That is the sign for "no"
Mom: That is true. But if you sign it by your mouth then it means duck.
Avri: But Mom, if you sign it like this by your mouth it means "frog."
Mom: I know Avri.
Then we have to review the very slight differences between the signs for bird, duck, no and frog. Okay, so explaining sign language in a blog doesn't make sense. I should delete that, but it took so long to type that I don't think I will.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I have been enjoying my children lately and all of their extremely unique personalities. They say and do so many funny things. Many of them may not be funny to everyone, but just the way that they do things is funny. On a recent trip to Lowe's I realized what a boy Talmage is in comparison to Avri's "girlishness." Talmage said "Tractor, tractor, tractor" all the way through the store and insisted on poiting out each and every large John Deere tractor. Avri, on the other hand used the strings on her shirt brush her face and when I ased her what she was doing she replied "I'm putting on my make-up." We are in a hardware store and she is "putting on make-up."

I don't have pictures to go with these little stories, so I will just post some random ones for fun, I guess. Who wants to read a blog with no pictures? Here are some from this weeks' adventure to get all three kids pictures taken. What a brave Mom I must be to do all three at the same time.

A couple of days ago Mercedes decided to roll over. She has only done it the one time, so nobody really believes me, but it happened. I put her down for a rare tummy time when both siblings were sleeping and there was no danger of being stepped on, and she instantly flipped to her back. I ran to get the camera and she refused to do it again.

(I didn't order this picture but I thought it was pretty cute, or at least funny.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A New House

We have finally found a house! We had kind of surrendered to the fact that we probably would be with my parents for a couple of months until we could pay off the van, and then this house kind of fell into our laps and it just feels right. It isn't exactly our "dream" house, but it is very nice and we are very excited to have 4 bedrooms, living AND family rooms and 2 bathrooms for only slightly more than what we were paying in rent before. (And Kendall would want me to insert that we also have a garage and a yard, both very exciting!) Here is a picture of the exterior of the house.
As you can see we are on a wooded lot. In fact, I'm hoping we can thin the trees out a little in the back because the grass doesn't even grow as well as I'd like since it doesn't get much sunlight, but we are excited about having big trees. It also has a fully fenced backed yard (HOORAY!!). It is only a one car garage, but it is oversized so Kendall won't get to park in there, but he will have his workshop. Here are a few pictures of the inside. We obviously haven't moved in yet since our closing is still 2 weeks away. But we have our home inspection tomorrow afternoon, so things are getting closer! This is the living room.

Here is the kitchen. It obviously come with NO appliances, which means I get to go choose all of my own brand new ones!! I am excited about this part, except for the shopping. I always do way too much research, which the kids are never thrilled about being hauled around for.

Here is a picture taken from the dining room which goes out onto the balcony. It currently doesn't have any stairs going into the back yard, so while I am making dinner I can put the kids out there to play and keep a close eye on them.

The bathroom upstairs has been recently redone and it looks really nice. I'm excited to have a mildew free bathroom. All of our apartment bathrooms have been disgusting!

Here is a picture of the backyard. Kendall is excited to get started on completely redoing it. The first thing will be a sandbox for Avri. It didn't come with one, but since we close the day before her birthday that is what she will be getting for her birthday! (Shh, she doesn't know!)

That was probably way more than you wanted to know about our house, but as you can probably imagine we are beyond excited to have a nice place that is new to us. The last thing that I have to say is that we DO have a GUEST BEDROOM which we would love for our friends and family to use. So plan your trips to Nauvoo or Chicago (each only a couple of hours away) and get free room and board with us. We'd love to see any of you!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A "Little" Break

Yes, I have taken a "little" break from blogging. I've been lax, but very busy. We have been in Illinois now for almost two weeks already. The first week we just tried to get settled, looked at a million houses, and then over the Memorial Day weekend we went to Michigan. We got to go stay with my grandma and visit with my aunt. We put flowers on my sister's grave (which I haven't been to for about 10 years or so) and showed the kids off to as many relatives and friends as we could find, so we stayed plenty busy. My cousin graduated from high school so we were able to go to her graduation as well.

This is a picture of us spending entirely too much time in the car for a long time.

Then on the day after Memorial Day (which was Tuesday) Kendall started his new job. This means that we are no longer homeless and unemployed, just homeless. He trained all last week and I think he's going to really like it. It is interesting that we were trying to get him hired at Caterpillar, and eServ hired him, but he is working at Caterpillar as an independent contractor. So he is meeting lots of new and interesting people and trying to learn all the ropes. They are a very fun company with lots of fun activities and discounts for everything you can think of.

The home buying process is much slower and more painful than we had thought. The property taxes out here are anywhere between 2 and 5 times as high as those in Utah for a similar sized home. We have found a couple of wonderful homes that we can't afford because the taxes alone are $400 a month or more. So we may be waiting for a couple of months before we find something that is right for us. We were really gung-hoe at first, but now we are just tired. So we will continue to live with my family for a little while and save our money like crazy. We are also trying to decide if we should get a cheaper home that needs work to build equity, or if we should get a nicer one, but we haven't decided yet, so the options are almost endless. Avri's input is that it needs to have a sandbox, so when we look at one we don't like we just have to tell Avri "it doesn't have a sandbox" and she says "I guess we will find a different one." If only it were that easy.
The kids all love living with Grandma and Grandpa. They are starting to get used to the schedule that everyone goes to work in the morning and it is just me and the kids, but by the evening the house is full of people to play with. So far, the favorite activity is riding on the riding lawnmower with Daddy. But they also think the swingset is great.

Mercedes is getting so much more personality these days. She coos and tries to use her voice quite frequently now and she is smiling all the time! She is quite the charmer and everyone tells us how beautiful she is. She is getting lots of love with all of the family around, so she is loving life.

We miss all of our friends and family back in Utah and we think of you often. I will try to be a little more frequent about my posts so that they aren't so long. Keep in contact, we'd love to hear what all of you are up to.