{ House Update-The First 30 Days }

It seems like a lot has happened in the last 30 days as our weed filled lot has started to become the beginning of our home. It has been such a learning experience for all of us. We find ourselves asking lots of questions, looking up a ton of information online, and driving around looking at so many other houses trying to find the right brick.

Everyday after I pick up the kids from school, we swing by the house on the way home. It has become our fun little tradition to see what they have done that day. Since Brianna doesn't get out of school for another hour and a half, we sometimes stop by again after we pick her up. And then if Aaron doesn’t stop by on the way home from work, we may go by again. Yeah, we really don’t have anything better to do. It is so nice that we live so close to where they are building, such a blessing.

Here is some high points of the last month:

Day 1-Staked out lot

Our new lot other view blog

Day 6-Our official lot sign up, the lot was cleared of weeds and other brush, and the future driveway was laid with gravel.

Lot sign blog

tractor grading lot_edited-1 blog 

Lot with gravel driveway blog

Day 11-A wood perimeter was built around the lot, and the outside of the house was staked out with more specific stakes showing all the corners of the house.

perimeter staked out blog

Day 13-The footings are dug and poured. As we rounded the corner of the subdivision and saw our lot, the kids started shouting, “There’s a cement truck!” It was super exciting that we happened to get there right as they were getting ready to pour.

cement truck blog

digging footings blog  

cement truck pouring footiings blog

Day 18-They started bricking on top of the footings with cinder blocks and the brick we picked out for the rest of the house. I can’t tell you how many hours we spent trying to find the perfect brick. Today was a super exciting day as we finally saw the brick put up. We love it! We are so happy with our choice. We ended up picking a brick called Mosswood with a putty colored mortar.

Close up brick pallet blog 

bricks blog

Building footings blog

footings close up blog

Brianna with brick blog

Brick close up blog

This picture shows the color of the brick a little bit better. It is kind of a brownish, grayish color. It isn’t a real smooth brick, but has a rougher texture with pits and grooves. I love it!

bricks color blog Day 21 & 22-The footings were complete and they backfilled everything with dirt and then a layer of gravel.

backfilling footings blog

The kids sitting on the future front step.

kids on front step blog

By far, the most exciting part about today was the arrival of the Port-O-Potty on the worksite. The kids think it’s the coolest thing. Austin makes a point to check the cleaning schedule posted inside the door, I’m not sure if he’s just curious or just won’t use it if it hasn’t been cleaned that day.

potty blog Day 27-Trenches are dug for the rough plumbing. We arrived at the site to a pile of these…

rough plumbing pipes blog and a whole bunch of these…

plumbing supplies blog all ready to go into a few holes like these…

trenches for plumbing blog 

rough plumbing blog


{ Easter Weekend }

We didn’t have a lot planned for our Easter weekend this year, but the kids had one request-a big Easter egg hunt up in the meadow. Down the street is this huge meadow we thought would be perfect to hide eggs in. Once we got there though, all the weeds were so big, that the thistles were pokey, and the eggs were impossible to see. We would have lost all our eggs. We decided our little woods in the back would have to do.

A few years ago we had done a egg hunt and had used these huge eggs I had found at the dollar store. Each kid had one with their name on it, and it was filled with larger candy, little toys, bubbles, gum, etc. I have looked but have never found them again. Well, this year was our lucky year! I grabbed one for each of the kids, and Aaron and I hid them along with a bunch of other littler eggs up in the woods. Austin was not interested in using a basket to find his eggs, but instead his soccer bag which he carried on his front so he could more quickly look for eggs. Brooke caught on, and went to find another bag for herself as well. By the time they found all the eggs the other kids baskets were overflowing, with some falling out, so their backpack bags turned out to be a great idea.

Abby with easter basket blog

Scott looking for eggs blog

Scott looking for easter eggs blog

Kids Easter blog


{ Ryan 6 Months }

I have this theory that when it comes to pictures, Brianna takes the cake for being the first born and having the most. As we have had more kids though, and I actually learned how to use my camera, I think the younger kids just got better quality over quantity. That being said, this post goes against that. Ryan is desperately trying to catch up in the quantity department. Being #7, the odds are against you at times, but today the stars aligned and I got some time just me and Ryan to snap away. Ryan woke up early from his nap, so while Scott was still sleeping we took some pictures to celebrate his 6 month milestone.

Ryan 6 month sitting blog

Ryan looking blog 

Ryan on tummy smiling blog

Ryan rocking blog

Ryan reaching blog

Ryan tripod blog

Ryan smiling big blog

Ryan stretching blog

 Ryan looking up blog

Ryan side view blog


Ryan side view looking blog

Ryan big smile close up blog


{ Feeding Ryan }

Ryan is a lot like are other kids when it comes to baby food-NOT at all interested in baby cereal or any baby food for that matter. I put off feeding him baby food for a couple months, but the time finally has come that he needs more. Every day Aaron and I would try to get him interested in some rice cereal or baby oatmeal. He would turn his nose up at us and purse his little lips as tight as he could.

One day I had set the bowl of cereal on the tall counter next to him to just give him a break while I cleaned up the kitchen a bit. The next thing I know, Scott has pushed over a little chair, grabbed the bowl, and proceeds to feed him. Ryan just continues to open his mouth and let Scott shovel it in. I couldn’t believe it. It was a completely messy affair, but at least he ate baby food!

Scott feeding Ryan blog

Scott feeding Ryan 5 blog

It was so cute to watch Scott try all the tricks we try-Here’s the airplane! He even makes his mouth open and close while he feeds Ryan. So despite being a seasoned mom of seven kids, I need my two year old to feed my baby baby food. Go figure.

Scott feeding Ryan 6 blog

Scott feeding Ryan 2 blog

Scott feeding ryan 3 blog

Scott feeding Ryan 4 bog

Scott is so proud of himself that he is the only one that Ryan will eat for. We are sticking to cereal for right now because it is at least a little thicker so most of it goes in Ryan’s mouth. The mess makes me cringe a little at times, but I remind myself that more baby food=less times a day I have to nurse him, so I happily just clean up oatmeal off of the floor, counter, Ryan, and Scott.


{ Abby’s 5th Birthday }

After we returned from the temple, we had just enough time to open some presents and enjoy some birthday cake for Abby’s 5th birthday.

Abby 5th birthday blog

        Abby blowing candles blog   Abby blowing candels 2 blog    Abby blowing candels smiling blog

After cake we let Abby open her presents. She got a few clothes, some new sunglasses, and her OWN chocolate bar-all to herself. Her last present was one that we had been hiding in the garage for the last three weeks. I had gotten her a new bike, and didn’t have a place to hide it. I had it hidden under a blanket in the garage. I thought for sure she would have looked under the blanket and seen it. When I asked her what she thought she might be getting, she said, “a wheel?” I had to chuckle a little. She was super excited with her new bike, and we all went outside to watch her try it out down the street. It took a little while for her to get used to the training wheels on it. They were on it kind of high, so she will learn to balance with it, and she was scared it would tip over. After a few rounds down the cul-de-sac though, she was confident she could ride it. Austin even offered to take the training wheels off, which we tried- and then promptly put back on. After all the screams and her refusing to get on the bike, we figured that a training wheel bike was good for ride now.

Happy Birthday Abby!

{ Atlanta Temple Open House }

For the last 22 months the Atlanta Georgia temple has been closed for extensive renovations. Last Saturday, April 9, was the first day of a 3 week open house. The temple is open to the public to come and tour the inside of this beautiful building. We were so excited to go as a family, and let our children get a taste of the sweet spirit in The House of the Lord.

We knew Grandma and Grandpa had an afternoon flight today, so a few weeks ago we had gotten tickets to tour the temple this morning. We kept the kids out of school for an extended Spring Break trip, and drove the hour and a half to the temple. The outside of it looks relatively the same as it did before, with the beautiful statue of Moroni standing atop it. They added some beautiful flower gardens on the outside, redid the annex next to the temple, and completely redid the interior.

temple blog

We had heard that Saturday was super busy, so we weren’t sure what to expect for our tour. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad, we just had to wait a short time, and then were able to tour the inside, and enjoy the outside grounds. This bench is part of a new sitting garden at the back of the temple.

Whole family by templ blog Our Whole Family

Ryan with Grandpa blog Ryan and Grandpa Austin

Ryan in front of temple 1 blog


Scott posing blogScott temple smiling blogScott

Abby temple blog Abby

Erika temple  picture blog


Brooke temple picture blogBrooke

Austin temple picture blogAustin

Brianna temple picture blog  Brianna

 Aaron and monae blog

Our cloudy day ended up being gorgeous. It was sunny, not to hot, and a nice breeze to cool us off. All the kids were so attentive as we entered the temple. We watched a short video in the church building next to the temple about temples, and Scott was so excited to see so many temples. He kept shouting out, “There is temple” or “There is Jesus. There is two Jesus (when he would see another picture of Him”. He was very reverent as we walked through the temple with his arms folded tightly. All the kids thought the big chandeliers were the prettiest thing there. Some of the stain glassed windows they used had pieces of crushed up crystals from the former chandelier that hung there. It was neat to see a bit of our old temple still there. The windows were similar to the ones here by the front door.

Abby by window blog

Erika and Scott by temple sign blog

When we drove up to the temple we realized how glad we were to have “Our” temple back. The hour and a half was so much nicer than the three hours to Birmingham. We felt lucky to have a temple that was at least 3 hours away, but man did 1 1/2 hours feel good.

The boys blog

After we were done with our tour, we said our good-byes to Grandma and Grandpa and let them go to catch their plane. We took a detour to the LDS bookstore that is close to the temple and got a few things for the kids. They were sure we had their bigger list of things for when Aaron and I come back in a couple weeks to help out with the touring of the temple. We were glad we got to share such a special day as a family.

Grandma and grandpa in front of temple blog