Friday, January 31, 2014

Warm Days

The boys did not have school on Human Rights day and the weather was gorgeous- 70+ degrees without a cloud in the sky. We packed a picnic and headed to the park (with everyone else) and soaked up some vitamin D.

Our stake did a service project a few years ago and helped to build this park. The kids love it but we do not get there very often.  
The craziest part is that the next day it was 50 degrees and this Monday - one week later it was 35 with a "feels like" temp of 20. I am just thankful we have not had snow!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Free Tickets

A few Saturdays ago, we went to a "minor league" basketball game. 
Peter's coworker had given him some free tickets.
We found out upon arrival that they were vouchers to get tickets and they must have given away a ton of them because there were a million people!
We were told we could sit in one of two sections and to take whatever seats to sit in unless someone with an actual ticket for that seat came along. There were not very many sets of 6 seats together.
 We found these that were kind of together but were not great by any means. We had not planned on staying for the whole game anyway due to 8:30 am church the next day. 
 We watched the game, watched people, and enjoyed being together. 
 There was one player on the Texas team that was 7 foot 8 inches- he was huge!!!
 The halftime was all about a fallen soldier and a portrait that was being presented to his family. It was really patriotic and of course made me cry. 

We just could not resist taking pictures of our kids behind the cardboard cutouts of the heavily tattooed players. And yes, that was the better of the pics of Joey- he does not smile well or look at the camera well if he is distracted. I think the part the kids liked the best was the good humor ice cream cones we stopped and picked up at Wal-mart on the way home. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finished Flooring Pics

Peter could not believe that I posted all of the pictures about our new floor and then did not add any of the final product. So, here they are. 
 The Living room- I love not stressing about food being taken in there by kids that don't get what it means to stay in the kitchen. I will say that more food has been smashed into the rug, which was in there before with the carpet, since the new floor has gone in.  I think food it just drawn to carpet fibers. 
 The Entry
 The Office which was also painted during the whole process.
 Dining Room. (I have not finished putting all of the decorations back.)
And the kitchen with the tile that goes into the laundry.
Oh, what lovely baseboard you say.Why yes, we think so too! It was a new addition as well. Peter did a great job using his new sprayer to get it painted but it would not have gone in as quickly or as nicely without the help of Grandpa Max and Randy. And a big thanks to my Dad for caulking (he has a magic touch- honestly) and putting the final coat on the baseboard. 
Doing all of this makes me itch to do more. Gratefully, I have a nursery to put together and our bedroom is still plain white-begging for some color and some personality.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fence Removal

So when you have done some great work on the inside of your house you start to think why not do a little TLC to the exterior too.
And that is how we decided to take down the fence and get a new one; and extend the side yard a bit.
 It was a family affair- Jon, Arabella, and Lily were on clean up duty.

 Peter came up with a great idea for removing the posts and Joey loved it because he could do most of it by himself. Peter drilled a hole in the post that was big enough for a piece of re-bar to go in.

 Then another post was attached to the re-bar and used as a lever.  A hydraulic car jack was put under the post on the re-bar and the jack was raised up.  As the jack went up the re-bar was raised and the post in the ground came out. Smooth!
  Arabella loved using the hammer. I loved using the saws-all to cut the fence sections in half so that they would fit in the trailer. Power tools are fun! 
The kids also raked up our neighbors leaves and she came out and we visited. My kids also played with her new puppy and wore him out. It was a beautiful day both for the weather and for the great time spent together working!
I will post pictures of the completed fence in a few days! We love it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Will's Birthday Celebration

My nephew Will was born on Dec. 31st.
Well, everyone was heading out on that day so we decided to do a little celebration on Monday the 30th.
We sent bowling for the evening and it was great. 
The kids then enjoyed Cane's Chicken Fingers for dinner and the grown-ups had Christina's Mexican dinner.
 We then sang and enjoyed this delicious cake with the cutest Happy Birthday balloon candles from Target.
We also made sure that everyone had some Blue Bell Ice Cream. You can't have cake without ice cream and it is a crime to come to Texas and not have some Blue Bell.
My kids have been asking more regularly after such fun times as this summer and the holidays if we could move to Utah and be closer to family. I wish we could live closer to family too.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fort Worth Zoo

The Saturday of Jon's Baptism we spent the morning at the Forth Worth Zoo.
It was a beautiful day!
My sister Jana took a bunch of great pics. I took some but spent time enjoying the day and forgetting the camera which makes me sad but it was a good day!
 Lily and Grandma Rabner checking out the orangutan. He was so funny; sitting right up by the window and watching all of the zoo visitors like they were watching him. 
 Jon and I had been reading (and have since finished) The One and Only Ivan which is about a gorilla.
He wanted his picture with this awesome gorilla and yes, it did make me think of Ivan.
 The cousins
 The highlight of the day was feeding the birds.
 Jon had a real knack for getting the birds to climb on his stick.
 Joey tried really hard but no luck.

 Arabella tried really hard too but no luck either.
Jon and our cousin Sadie both love snakes so imagine their delight when this was out for petting in the reptile house.
We had a quick trip so that we could be back in time for the baptism but Saturday was hands down the best weather during their visit so I am really glad we chose to go that day. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jon's Birthday Party

Jon decided he wanted to have his birthday party while his cousins and grandparents were here.
So, Friday the 27th when everyone had arrived we headed to Action Zone Park. 
Jon had invited some friends but none of them came. We have come to realize that having a Birthday in December (or having your party over the break) means really spotty attendance. I did have one mom call me after the break and say that her daughter had just pulled the invitation out of her backpack. Oh well, he did not know or care.
The party came with pizza and drinks as well as arcade points and a go cart ride for 16 kids.  Since we did not end up with that many kids, each of the kids had extra arcade games to play and extra rides on the go carts which made everyone happy! The go cart attendants were really nice and even let a few rides happen for free! 
 Arabella loved riding in the little carts and driving herself but she loved even more when she rode with Grandma Rabner in the big cars.
 Jon really wanted to have cheesecake for his treat and so we found these great mini cheesecakes but I told him we needed cupcakes in case someone did not like cheesecake. He chose red velvet cupcakes!
 The indoor little grocery store type car was the only one Lily was able to ride on but she did not mind. 
Yes, these pictures are incredibly blurry but they were moving really fast! The first two are of Peter racing his parents. He just could not get past his mom! So fun to watch! The last one is of Jana and one of her boys- I can't remember which now and the picture is too blurry to tell. Her boys loved riding on the big go carts as well! It was a great time for everyone! Jon just loved having a party all about him and did not say anything about nobody else coming because he really had wanted his cousins to be there and they were. 
Happy Birthday Jon! We love you!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Under Construction

My friend has called this extreme nesting and that is likely what this is but it is time to make room for baby 
number 5.  It has become a bit like if you give a mouse a cookie but in this case if the Rabner's have a 5th child, then they will need to clear out the 4th bedroom which is currently home to our food storage and craft stuff and anything else that we are not certain what to do with.
 So, to move the food storage, we would need to build a cabinet/storage closet in the office to put it in. In discussing this and possible resale of the house we decided it would be best to replace the flooring in that room so that the cabinet could be built on top of it.  But if the tile in your kitchen that matches the tile in your entry, is cracking then you will want to replace it.  And, if you put in a huge sandbox which means your kids are constantly tracking sand on to your carpet in your living room which is truly needing to be replaced then you decide that it is time to replace ALL of the flooring on the main floor.
Thanksgiving weekend we removed all of the carpet and baseboards ourselves.
 Then your husband will have the really good idea that if you are going to make a mess already then you should go ahead and do the messy process of scraping the popcorn ceilings off and redoing those.  So we finished scraping over the Thanksgiving holiday as well.  We then paid the handyman at Peter's company to re-texture it for us- totally worth it!
 Then we were derailed by a major ice storm and so the tile and flooring crew were delayed by 2 days but when they safely arrive at your house they are able to remove all of the tile and place most of the tile in the kitchen and laundry in one day!
 In the mean time the dining room is looking like this.
 And dinner is always best when served in the comfort of mom and dad's bathroom using the crockpot and electric griddle. 
 The room that is needing to be cleared is temporarily filled with more items from the office.
 And the large game room is filled with additional furniture which makes it tricky for kids to play in but they managed. 
 The dining room eventually looked like this as the tile was drying and the wood floor was being laid everywhere else. It was like musical furniture.  I did not even capture a picture of the garage which had a pathway from the house door to the garage door.  
And finally this is what the bathroom looked like for what seemed like too many days. This meant that anytime someone needed to go they had to run upstairs which is sometimes tricky if you are two and fairly recently potty trained. Also the storage closet in the bathroom that is under the stairs had to be cleared of all food storage so that flooring could go in there.  That storage was in the garage.  
Each little piece of our home that we were able to reclaim was glorious especially getting the kitchen and laundry back.  Although, going to the laundromat meant I was able to get all 8 or 9 loads of laundry done (washed, dried, and folded) in 2 hours!
You  have seen pictures with the finished product but I will post some more.  Because if you are all going to do all of the above mentioned you might as well paint the office (the one room that had not been painted) and put in new baseboard.  
A huge thanks to all of those who helped and supported while I was a bit whiny about being out of sorts, not knowing where things are because they are not where they are supposed to be or the workers loaded them in a box and put said box in a place you are unaware of is a bit frustrating. 
I do love the finished product!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wrapping Up December

These are a variety of pictures from activities during December that needed to be recorded but are not going to get there own post (especially since we are almost a week into January).
 Arabella and I went to see the Nutcracker, a first for both of us. We loved it. 
 Blurry but we caught Santa riding on the Fire Truck.  The City of Lewisville Fire Department has done this for several years.  They make their way throughout the city during the month of December. Really fun!
 Due to the home improvements we were doing we did not get a tree until the Saturday before Christmas.  The perk is that they were half off.

 The kids had so much fun decorating!
 Lily was insistent on wearing the tree skirt for the little tree that we call the kids tree.
Finally, Jon was given a balloon making kit for his birthday from his cousins and he made this amazing creation with it!