Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We've never done this before...and a half school day

We took a little homeschool field trip in the yard this morning.  We were outside by 7:15am (I tried really hard not to be grumpy - yay me!) 

We took a half school day learning some serious life skills, along with some math, chemistry, and physical science. 

You see, this past Spring, we decided that the area just outside our garage, that I not-so-affectionately call a MUDPIT, was due a little facelift.

We've been wanting a concrete pad outside of our garage.  (Actually, we'd love to pave the whole driveway, but we can settle for the pad for now!) 

We've been wanting to do this project for 10 years we've all been pretty excited!

So, after months of contacting people and doing research (and continuing to save $), we came to the following conclusions:

1.  Getting concrete poured and finished is EXPENSIVE.

2.  Not every business owner that says he will do the job, actually shows up to do it.

3.  When someone doesn't show up, it gives you the opportunity to find someone else much better in which to do business.

4.  It generally costs as much money to have the concrete leveled and finished as it does for the actual concrete (in some cases, it costs much more).

5.   With the help of a few basic tools we already have, a few tools that we could purchase, and advice from a few youtube videos (yeah, you really can find just about ANYTHING there, can't you?), we came to the conclusion that we could DO THIS OURSELVES.

So, after some serious dirt-moving from a friend with a bobcat business (Thanks, Ben! It was worth every penny, b/c Gregg would've taken WEEKS hauling all that stuff by hand!), Gregg and the boys set to work with framing the area to pour concrete. 

Calculations, calculations, calculations...Can you say homeschooling at its finest?

Today, we had the first truck of concrete delivered...

And, we worked non-stop for 3 hours!

The good news...we did a fairly decent job with the 2 sections we finished today!

The bad news...we made some mistakes.

We learned from them.

We are confident that the next 2 sections will go quicker and more smoothly.  We hope to have the concrete delivered for those sections in a few days. 

We're going to change some job assignments for us and the kids, and we will definitely get the the trimming and cutting done earlier. 

We let it get a little too dry this time (we needed to work FASTER!) was almost REALLY BAD...definitely not good for my perfectionist mentality.  But, sometimes, I just gotta let it go, you know? 

Yes...I'm still trying to convince myself! 

Besides, my dear husband (who is also a perfectionist) is trying to make us both feel better by saying it will look better when it dries - less likely to see all the imperfections. :)

And, well, we knew we weren't professionals! 

Considering we saved ourselves around $700 this morning (based on the LOWEST bid we got), I should be able to get over a few little quirks in the concrete, right? :)

So, here's some pics of our biggest family project yet...

The kids (except baby Kedesh) all dressed and ready for instructions and fun work time!

Gregg going over the general "game plan" and final instructions.

Eva, dressed and ready with her brother's shoes and her skirt (couldn't convince her she needed long pants), and her gloves.

Silas wasn't so sure about the holes in his gloves - or exactly which hand it was supposed to go on :)

The truck is here!

Everybody is getting pretty excited!

We had the best "concrete man." He was a wonderful guy who thought we were the Duggar family - hahaha! (ummm...sir, we only have 8 :) ) When we told him we had never done concrete work before, he quoted Phillippians 4:13 for us., and encouraged us greatly as he poured the concrete for us. He even gave us a few tips along the way that helped so much!  Thank you, Lord, for your working in EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF OUR LIVES!

Everybody was watching intently...

I didn't know it would have so many "rocks" in it!
Gregg said, "You didn't? Really?" 
"Yes, Honey, REALLY."

Screeding the first section...everybody had a job to do...

First section ready for cutting and rounding the edges

2nd section ready for final touches...

We realized some of our was too dry to cut and trim properly.  We learned.  Next time, we will work the details on the first section before moving to the 2nd one.

The little ones taking a break and watching the "cement man" clean his truck.

Clean up time!!

2 Sections done and 2 sections to go...

Nathan said, "Momma, it might not be perfect, but at least we worked hard to do it. And we can be proud of that!"

It was an amazing learning experience for all of us.  The kids can't wait until the next truck of cement comes...

And, me...well,  I can't wait until we can mark this project off our "to do" list!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Things I never imagined hearing myself say...

Before I was married with children, I never IMAGINED that I'd find myself actually saying some of the things that come out of my mouth.


"I'm trying to use the bathroom in peace...okay, bring me the book and I'll read it to you."

"Please, get your fork out of your diaper, and EAT."

"Put the banana back in the kitchen, and THEN you can go to the potty."

"Do boogers really taste that good??"

"No, Mommy really doesn't feel like eating your soggy leftovers today, but I hate to see good food waste."

"Just don't pee on the van!"

"Honey, why is it that little boys CAN NOT aim and hit a toilet with that size hole?"

"Don't put ketchup up your nose."

"Wow, a magnet sucked that other magnet right out of his nose.  Whew!"

"Doctor __________, I have no idea when or how that tiny bit of blue crayon got stuck in his nose."

"Get out of that tree...and bring your bucket, your bb gun, and your coconut pie with you."

"Yes, you can sleep with me and Daddy tonight - even though you will kick us continually and take up three-fourths of the bed...I love you, too."

"You dug a hole 15 foot deep in the backyard??  What is Daddy going to say?!?!"

"No, you can NOT climb on top of the house."

"Am I missing one?"

"Who put ANOTHER bug in the freezer?"

I'm sure there must be countless crazy things I say every day, and I wish I would document them better.  I've written down some that the kids have said, but not many.  I could kick myself for not doing better! 

Maybe I'll grab that little notebook and put it on the counter TODAY!

Friday, August 3, 2012

"Many Hands Make Light Work"

This summer, we weren't able to grow enough tomatoes to put away for the entire coming year. 

We eat A LOT of tomatoes!

So, we began to look around for some bulk buys and found a local produce store that sold us 75 pounds of tomatoes for a really good price.

And, through the purchase and preparation of 3 boxes of tomatoes, I was reminded of the Haya proverb:

"Many hands make light work." 

(Did you know that I thought that was a Bible verse until I tried to find it?  There are Biblical examples to support this proverb, but it isn't technically found in the Bible.  I should be more familiar with scripture...)

So, here's the deal:  2 parents + 8 children + 75 lbs. of tomatoes + 2 hours = Work Complete

For those of you who garden, you know what a big deal this is.  For those of you who don't garden, trust me, this is amazing!

Everyone in our family had a job to do.  Everyone was part of the process.  Even baby Kedesh supervised and encouraged us by blowing us kisses. :)

The littlest children washed and rinsed the tomatoes.

The older children cored and cut away any flaws.  They then  passed the tomatoes to Daddy.

Daddy put the tomatoes into boiling water, then cool water.  He passed them to me and a younger child.

We took away the peelings from each tomato.

After all the tomatoes were peeled, we all worked together to cut them up. 

We put some into labeled freezer bags, and some into pots in order to cook them.

We washed pans and countertops, and we carried away the empty tomato boxes.

I absolutely could not believe we finished the work so quickly!!  We completed a task that would normally have taken us the better part of a day - in only 2 hours!

I was so proud of my children. 

I enjoyed all of us being in the kitchen together having fun with our little assembly line. 

I enjoyed seeing the satifaction in their faces when the work was done.

Thought I'd share a few pics:

Find a challenging project to do as a family, and give everyone a way to help - no matter how big or how small. 

Work together. 

Be a team.