A Chocolate Monstrosity...

The weather had been super nice, so we all decided to go out and get some {much needed} yard work accomplished. After only a few minutes, Fin said she needed to go potty. I let her in the house, and got right back to work. About 15 minutes went by and I realized she still hadn't come back out, {which is never a good sign} so I hurried in to check on her.

These pictures do not even do this justice!
  It took me quite awhile to come to the realization that it is useless to cry over spilled milk (or in this case, mass amounts of water, chocolate syrup, graham crackers, and muddy boot prints), so I had already cleaned up the bulk of the mess by the time I got the camera out.

{Oh, and did i mention before we went out, the inside of the house was SPOTLESS?! I mean SPOTLESS!}

I walked into chocolate syrup covering her, the entire MOPPED kitchen floor, the table, and randomly scattered graham crackers. Then, I guess she sensed she might get into trouble, so she ran the faucet over the kitchen floor, trying to clean up the chocolate mess. I wish I had a picture of not only my face, but of the chocolate lake that had flooded my kitchen! AAAAK!
Oh, we are still not finished with this delightful story.
She then continued to "TRY" and disguise her naughtiness, by using a pile of freshly washed and folded towels to hide the messy evidence! EVERY LAST CLEAN TOWEL was now covered in syrup!

I'll admit, I snapped! In fact,  I'm pretty sure the words, "what the heck were you thinking?" came out of my mouth.  But when her face welled up with tears, and she grabbed the chocolate syrup and hid under the table, I instantly felt bad for yelling. The feeling that it would be funny later flooded my mind. I was so furious at that moment, I don't know how that thought even got there!? 

I know now that my Father in Heaven stepped in, and gave me the patience I needed to teach her, and not break her little spirit. I apologized for yelling, and started to clean up all of the water.

That is when I decided to grab my camera, and document this eventful afternoon.

Little chocolate monster, hiding under the table. Did I mention she was butt naked!? We later discovered her chocolate covered clothes behind the entertainment center.

 Finally she came out, let me take her picture, (looking very confused at why I would be doing such a thing) and helped me cleanup!

Mommy lesson for the day, "Don't cry over spilled milk". 
I have been given many other opportunities to practice this lesson, with this particular child.
The very same week, she emptied out her pockets that were filled with dried leaves and jumped with them in our bed, decided to give several toilet paper rolls a bath in the sink, and found small craft scissors that she used to cut up her leggings. JOY!

Isn't being a mom the best job in the world!?

It truly is, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!



I am so in love with Valentines Day.
I am a holiday NUT, and love everything from planning the menu, to decking out my kids in the color that coordinates with each day.
We had so much fun making Valentines, and this was the first year the kids picked out what they wanted to handout in their class.

Here is what they chose....

Hope U have a ROOT N' TOOT N' V-day! { Rootbeer Soda}

You're SUPER { Super Hero Sucker}

Oops..* I meant Competition!

I "CHEWS" U!{gumball machine}

Woke up to cute little kisses from my babies, and waffles from my hubby.

The kids celebrated the day with candy and class parties, and the afternoon at the,
It was the only opening they had for all three, so don't judge.

They went to a new dentist, Just 4 Kids, and loved it! It is all decked out like a movie theatre, and they got to watch a movie and pick a prize at the end of their teeth cleaning. They even asked when they get to go back? So I guess I am off the hook.!

Chris and I celebrated by going out to dinner, and watching "The Vow".  Loved it! It was the perfect ending to our night.

I just love my little family so much and feel so blessed every day to have them in my life.
 I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world!




{ I was debating to share this pic, because dandelions drive me batty!
Never mind that the roof is falling apart, and the paint is molded and chipping. It's those dang dandelions that I can't stand!}

So this has been the "story of our lives", and has taken up every last second of our time.
It was sort of a last minute decision, that I was extremely depressed about at first, but now,  I am absolutely in love with this sweet little country cottage! 
The price couldn't have been better, the space is way more than we were hoping for, and the YARD!?
 I could go on and on about the yard!
I used to play in the field behind this house when I was younger, and me and my little sister called it the Secret Garden House. I have always loved it, and now I am the proud owner!

We have been busy, busy, busy, remodeling, revamping, and refurnishing it! These are all before pictures that I am sharing, and I can't wait to share the after.
Just remember, "Good things come to those who wait." and wait patiently. 
{we still have a lot of work!} 
We bought it in July, and were moved in by December.
{That's right people, 5 months of remodeling and counting!}

We tore every existing wall down to the studs!
If you look closely, that is what true 2x4's are supposed to look like. They didn't skimp on these old houses.
This house was also built with the old lath and plaster, so it was messy, heavy, and extremely hard to remove! A process they used until the late 1950's, and was replaced with drywall.{Just FYI} 

Thanks to my father in-law, brother, and brothers in-law for all of the muscle that was donated! We really couldn't have done it without all of their help!

It's a shame we didn't save any of the beautiful wall paper that was up in every, single room!
I call this one a coral creation sensation!

We updated, and rewired everything!

We cleaned, gutted, and made hundreds of dump runs!

I learned to tile,

tape, mud, sand and texture,

and we became one with our hammers!

{Here is the beam we put in for the new archway.}

We ran into many O' problems!
 Including our water main bursting, our sewer leaking into the basement, cracked & leaking pipes, holes in the roof, and more. Just to name a few.

We were lucky, and had a friendly neighbor offer to dig out our water line for us!
{One of the many benefits to living in a small, tight knit community!}♥

We cried, laughed, barely slept, and got extremely dirty.

The poor kids were confined to a small/semi safe area most of the summer, and watched enough movies to last a lifetime! 
They also had more luncheables than any child should be allowed to consume! 
We are thankful for my sisters, mom and mother in law who watched them on occasion and gave them a break away from all the construction.

Somehow, we survived!

We have the majority of the middle and upstairs levels done, with the exception of  the new staircase, master bath, and a few small projects here and there, but still have a ton of work {inside and out} to do.

We have been so blessed with great neighbors and friends that brought us meals and offered so much help.
And I'm pretty sure we have the best family ever!
The work we did in 5 months should have taken us well over a year, and we are so thankful for all of the help!

We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives, and just love our little home. 

{Finished projects and rooms to come!}



{Fin, Finners, Huckleberry Finley, Puppy}

{This may be the only clean faced picture you'll ever see!}
Fin in 3 and is growing up way too fast!

She insists that she is a puppy, and can go an entire day with out talking, except for yelling at us when we call her Finley. Yup, "I'm Puppy" and barks are the only things that come out of her mouth.
I even caught her drinking out of the dog bowl on all fours, {Gag!} and scratching her head with her foot. I am debating on having a puppy birthday party this year if she keeps it up? I dunno, maybe a kennel and some dog bowls for her presents?
Should I be encouraging this behavior?

She loves animals more than any kid I know, and could live up on grandpas farm.
 Helping feed the animals and collect the chicken eggs, are her favorite chores.

{That is one of our baby Bunnies that she is squeezing!}

{Up at the farm}

Fin is Strong willed and sassy. She pretty much has everyone wrapped around her little finger. Especially her daddy!
 I am always telling Chris that I hate it when the youngest in families are so spoiled, and that I am not going to let that happen.
I think I am in denial.

Finley is far from a girly girl. In fact she insists that she is a boy. Even when she is a puppy, she has to be a boy puppy.
She will only wear little boy underwear, {which I have to admit fits little girls way better than little girl underwear}, and she loves when Gabe outgrows his clothes because they become her p.j.'s. She even insists on wearing a tie to church, which gets a bit tricky.

She probably loves camping more than any of us, and asks at least twice a week if we can go. She, like her brother, loves to fish and get dirty. They are two peas in a pod and do most everything together. She looks up to her brother and wants to be just like him.

{Camping at the White Clouds!}

Fin is Obsessed with Toy Story everything! It is her favorite movie to watch, her favorite book to read, her favorite underwear to wear, and her favorite p.j.'s and slippers to have on. For Christmas she pretty much got everything Toy Story related, and she was in heaven!

Finley is now in Sunbeams, and misses her beloved Nursery and her Brother and Sister.{That is what she called Brother and sister Gerard, her nursery leaders.}

I can't believe she will be in Pre-school this year.
 It just seems like Yesterday that she was born. She wants to do and be a big "Boy", and it makes me so sad.  Her spunky personality adds so much to our little family.

We love you, our sweet lil' huckleberry!


Bubba Binks...

{Gabe, Gabers, Bubba,  Bubba binks}

Where to begin with this little boy?
He is 7 years old and is in the second grade.
His teachers love him every year, and I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the kid is a sponge.
He is always spouting out random facts, and teaching me and Chris something new everyday.
"Do you know what schema means?"
 I still don't remember the definition of that one.?

Gabe loves to learn, and loves to read. He complains about the 20 min. of reading he has to do after school, but almost always ends up reading way longer just so he can finish his book.

He also has a great imagination. He loves to wear costumes year round, and although he has outgrown most of them, he still insists that they fit perfectly. It's funny and creepy at the same time.

{This is his favorite picture. He loves that his eyes are red. He says it makes him a real ninja!}{He also told me it makes his Butt look tough! laughed so hard at that one.}

Gabe is a Gamer!
Sad I know, but if I would let him, he would live on some sort of electronic device! 
 His punishments are always Nintendo time taken away. Without it I'm afraid I would have no control over the child.

G is a comedian. {in his mind at least}
He seriously has us laughing everday. He tells jokes and comes up with his own in every situation.
His Favorite..{My least favorite}
G"What's your name?"
Me "Hanna"
G "What color is the sky?"
Me "blue"
G "which way am I pointing?"
Me "Up"
G " Hanna .Blew. Up." hahahahaha
He added this part to the end..
G "what's your enemies name?"
Me "Atlas" {Our new puppy that is NOT potty trained}
G" Hanna Blew Up Atlas"
I'm sure you are all laughing just as hard as we do. Everyday!

Gabe loves sports. He was on a flag football and T-ball team last year, both undefeated!
He packs his dads football in his backpack everyday so that he and his friends can play at school.

 He loves the outdoors, and could fish for hours on end. He loves to get dirty, and would possibly sleep outside if I would let him.

{Camping at Lava}
His best friend is his "brother," Thor. {Our boxer} He tells me all the time that he doesn't need a brother, because he has Thor. He spoils that dog!

Gabe is super outgoing and talks to everyone. He makes friends where ever we go. It is so funny watching him walk home from school with kids twice his size.
He has equally as many girl friends as boy, and it doesn't bother him a bit. 

He has a new favorite color everyday, and he is not afraid to admit if his favorite color is pink that day.

He is Stubborn, loud, and dirty, but is also sensitive, kind, and loving. He is such a special part of our family, and adds so much to our lives.

We love you bubba binks!


I am horrible at journal keeping, and that is why it is so important for me to do better and document all of the sweet, and not so sweet, memories that my family have made.
 I am starting fresh, playing a little catch up, and committing at least one day a week to my poor, neglected blog.
 I wanted to have a little fun and brag about my three little lovelies.
First off... 

{Chan, Sissy, Sissykins}

Chandler turned 8 years old!
Can you believe it?
My sweet baby girl is growing up way too fast. 
She was baptized last August, and I don't know who was more nervous, me or her!? So many questions and worries filled my mind, and I was the biggest bawl baby the last few months leading up to it. I kept wondering, did we teach her enough? Is she ready? Will she truly understand the importance of this day? 
Although I still worry and hope she makes good choices throughout her life, I know that she was ready, and that she really does understand how special that day was. I am also learning that I need to let go a little bit, and allow her to make her own choices. Not always easy.
Who am I kidding,
Not Ever Easy!
{Her Baptism invite!}

{Love this sweet picture! Doesn't she look just like her daddy?}
 C is my sweet, little girly girl.  Here is a little convo we had recently.
C "Mom, a lot of girls wear really cute clothes to school."
Me "You don't like the clothes you wear."
C " I do like them, but I think you like to dress me,... country."
Me {literally, laughing out loud} " If you could only wear one outfit to school, what would it be.?"
C {before I even finished}"A dress!"... "Or a skirt!" " I could even wear leggings under them if you want."

Yes,  without question, she is our girly girl!
{We let her practice self expression on Saturdays! haha}

Chand has such a wild imagination. She loves anything and everything make believe, and I hope she never grows out of it.
She has one of the biggest hearts.♥ She constantly worries about helping and pleasing others, and  hates making any choices that she feels might upset someone else.
 I love asking her who she loves the most out of me or her daddy, and it makes her so crazy.
She is our biggest helper at home. She is such a good little cleaner, and even helps her brother and sister with their jobs when she is finished. {I'm pretty sure she ends up doing their jobs every time!}
She loves to cook, sing, draw, sing, dance, play piano, and sing. Did I mention sing?
She is never. not. singing!
Chris even started a "no singing in the car" rule. 
I have to admit I was annoyed about the rule at first, but lets face the facts., The second she starts, Gabe and Fin go bonkers! It's like being shoved into a small room with an opera singer and two cage fighters. Nutso! Needless to say, the rule is a keeper, and there is no singing in the car! 
 She can sing everywhere else til her little heart's content.
And believe me,....she does!

{She made a stage while we were working on our treehouse!}
C's favorite Holiday is Christmas, just like her grandma Coon. She wants to listen to Christmas music year round, and begs to keep her little Christmas tree in her room forever. I usually give it til the end of January til the tree is boxed away until November.
 She really does light up when they start playing Christmas music on the radio, and I have heard "Silent Night" more than I'm sure most of you. She is the perfect example of how we should all carry the Christmas Spirit throughout the year, and it always puts a smile on my face to see how much she truly loves it.
A few things Chandler accomplished this past year...
 Played in her first piano recital.
Ran her first 5k.
Learned how to do a back flip!

{Christmas Recital}
There is so much more I could write about our sweet little sissykins. From the day she was put into our arms and we became parents, she has made our lives complete bliss!
We love you so much baby girl.