Above is a picture of GraceAnne on our swingset. She will NOT play outside unless someone is out there with her. This is a far cry from a year ago when she would run outside and play alone for an hour before I had to call her in for lunch. I hate to see how clingy they both get when the new baby shows up.
Violet is going to be the one who will be begging to mow the lawn and use the chainsaw. In this picture she was about 15 feet away from Allan using the chainsaw on a massive tree branch he cut down. She didn't flinch for a second. Obviously you can tell she's cool as a cucumber and curious as a ferret.
Yes...big sister has an adorable grin, but look at little sister behind her...today she showed off the skills she's been trying to master for the last several months--she can fully climb the slide. She holds onto the rails at the top, says, "UH-OH" and then slides down yelling, "WEEEE!"
Here's the new system Allan created for my duckies. It's called a Skippy's BioFilter and you can't tell because the bottom is dirty, but that thing has really cleaned the pond up. It doesn't smell like raw sewage anymore. I used to have to bail it out by hand every 3 days and clean the pool and refill it. Now the filter takes care of it for me. After a couple weeks bacteria will build up in the filter and eat the duck dirt and turn it into sand. This is a very effective system and I'm quite impressed. I'll post the final results when we get back from San Antonio. We should have the proper bacteria built up by that point. Eventually we'll build a bigger pond and hide the filter behind a waterfall, but for now they're happy.
Here is the beadboard in the bathroom. We still have a long way to go upstairs because the trim guys are waiting on more money from the Coalition, but it's getting there. The downstairs looks superb!
This is her favorite spot to sit. That wall/shelf used to be behind a huge pantry type cabinet. When we started fooling around with the kitchen it was the first thing to go, (you can see the floor is cut out where it used to be...we haven't been able to patch that yet.). There is a really old chimney behind that wall because the original owners had a pipe stove. Allan covered it up and built me those shelves for my cookbooks, (you can't see the shelves, they're above her head), because I collect them and have about 100. We were going to make a spice rack to go where she's sitting but haven't gotten around to it yet. For now it makes a great seat for little ones!
GraceAnne showing off one of her birthday outfits, her new earrings and her pretty hair.
There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that he is her FAVORITE person on this whole planet. The sun rises and sets in Daddy, to be sure. She cries for the longest time if she sees him walk away from her. I always thought it was supposed to be this way with little girls, but it just wasn't with GraceAnne. She loves Daddy, but she prefers to hang out with Mom on most days. It's evened out a bit more since she was little, (because he's nicer than I am), but she's just not attached to him like Violet. I guess that works out nicely because then each of them gets a parent. We'll see how we throw the whole dynamic off in about 6 months.
Finally, here is the contraption Allan built after the trim was up. Maybe you can't tell, but the projector screen, (YAY! We actually have a screen instead of a sheet now!), is built into the crown moulding of that window. He hooked up the surround sound and we've been watching movies and playing Wii games for the past few days after it gets dark. A curtain for the front (to the left of the room) window will really help the viewing, but the projector is brighter than the picture suggests. It's been so great having some semblance of normal this past week or so. Things in our household have not been "normal" since we lived in WA state and Allan would tell you not even then because we lived in an apartment and he just couldn't stand it.
Of course, just as things start to settle down around here, they've got to get crazy again. Allan starts his residency on the 22nd of this month and we've just learned we'll make about half of what we've been making. Thank God for Dave Ramsey. We know how to live on less, we don't have any bills except the utilities and the mortgage, we have an emergency fund if things go worse than expected. We could definitely use prayers now, though.
I hope all is well with you and yours. We'll talk to you soon!