Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And the winner is...

We have been in our house for a few months now and we have realized we need to improve a few things. One of these things is that it only has one bathroom. Another is the kitchen. There is not nearly enough coutnertop space and there just seems to be a wall in the way. If you have ever been to our old house you know how we feel about walls. We recognized both of these things from the very start but herein lies the dilema. We can only really take on one project at a time, so which one? Over the last few months we have had the privelage of people coming over, some for just a few hours some for a few days! During this time we have been keeping track of what remodel would be the best one to do first, the kitchen or the bathroom. When a kid runs in from outside, in desperate need for a bathroom only to find a "NO VACANCY" sign we would give a point to the bathroom. When I would be in the kitchen cooking for the masses and run out of space for the food we would chalk another point up for the kitchen. Not to mention that I would be missing the terribly interesting conversation going on between the occupants of the living room- add another point! Then that same night someone would be brushing their teeth while another is waiting (albeit patiently) for a shower we would have to dole out another point for the bathroom. And on and on we would go about giving points here or there.
Ultimately, after all is said and done we had to make that really hard decision... I am happy to report that the kitchen won! It was actually pretty easy. My mom called one day and said that it had occured to her that she hadn't informed me of their thanksgiving plans. My aunt sue from Colorado and her husband were going to be in town and so we are going to get together, oh and by the way it is at your house. Was basically how the conversation went! As soon as I heard that news the decision was made... let's knock a wall!
My incredibly talented father came over the beginning of November and designed this awesome new kitchen for us. We had spent some time thinking about what we would do. Cut this wall down, add in a couple of cabinets, in an L shape and of course a bar. Sure it would eat into a lot of our walking space in our kitchen, kind of making it more galley-like, but who cares! The extra cabinet and countertop space would be worth it, right? The bar would protrude well into the dining room, but you can always just squeeze through, right? Well then mom and dad came in and blew our socks off with a completely new idea and I have to say, we are thrilled with the results so far! Of course, a remodel isn't excactly the best time in the world to misplace a camera so we don't have a whole lot of pictures of the process. But what we do have I will post on facebook when it is all said and done.
None of this would be possible without the amazing talents of my father and his incredibly patient wife. So thanks again Mom and Dad!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ready or Not

Life has resumed, ready or not. The kids have settled into a routine here. Like I mentioned in a previous post, there are a TON of children in this neighborhood. Not a day has gone by that the kids haven't spent time outside playing with the neighbor children. They are all great kids so this new habit is sitting very well with me. I used to have to force my children to play outside! Now I have to beg them to come in. It has proved to be a useful tool to get the basement cleaned each evenig as well!
Work is work for both Tim and I. It will be nice when both of us settle into a routine as far as work goes. Between my three jobs it really feels like I am working full time. This is nice, for obvious reasons, we have some pretty ambitious goals, but figuring out how to keep the house clean and the clothes cleaned and kids cleaned has been a bit of a challenge. We are working on this...

School has started, ready or not. So far we are... surviving. I have a lot of ideas of how to run "my school". I look forward to the day that all of these ideas are put into practice and I can say we are thriving. That day is not today. We are still doing okay. Like I said, we are surviving. The kids have their different strong suits, and it has been really interesting seeing how they differ. They both love it when we do art, nature walks and singing, however Peyton is going to be a little reader where Veronica would much rather do ten math lessons in place of one reading lesson. She is just not motivated in that area. But her penmanship is excellent, where getting peyton to write a straight line is a struggle. Like I said, they are two very different kids, and I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know them this intimately. Now not wanting to bop their heads together when they are challenging me that is another story... (don't worry thus far their heads are bop free!)

Church responsibilities are abounding, ready or not. It never really felt like they took a break so this isn't all that different. The part that is new is that the children have started their classes again. When I told the kids that we were going to be going to "church school" the first day the results were a little unexpected. They literally got up from their chairs, started jumping up and down, hugging each other and screaming. I was ecstatic to see this response, to say the least.
I am teaching again this year, 3 different sessions, which is a bit much. I really enjoy sharing this time with the children though, so whatever hardship three sessions may be it is made up for by the children and joy I receive from them. I am also very involved with the Respect Life Group both at our church and in the diocese. This is definitely where my passion lies and I am excited to be a part of this life saving movement.
Tim is Grand Knight at our parish, and the responsibilities this includes are many. WAY more than when he was just deputy. I am not sure he was expecting this, but I think he is handling his new role admirably. In just a couple of weeks he will be going through his Fourth Degree, the highest level as a Knight of Columbus. He just bought his tux and is very excited for this ceremony. I am delighted for him. Between all of these activities we have meetings or sessions nearly every night. This makes for a busy schedule, but ulitmately we are glad to offer this to our Lord.
Children are growing fast, ready or not. Veronica will be seven in just one short week, Felicity will be three. These girls are getting so big, so fast. Felicity is close to being potty trained, and in light of three other children, a move and working full time, I am pleased with this development. Sure the other ones were done with diapers (even overnight) by the time they were three or there abouts, but life changes and so do our expectations. The fact that she is even a little bit potty trained is a source of happiness for me! Her language has also grown leaps and bounds in the last few weeks. I am sure there are only a precious few that understand what she is saying, but at least she is talking! As for Veronica it seems sometimes that she is a grownup in a seven year old's body. She is so helpful with Justice and around the house. The things she says and the way she acts makes me want to just stop time and keep her like this forever. Other times she acts like a 5 year old in a seven year old's body and I am reminded that she is indeed seven and I look forward to her growing up. Peyton and Justice are doing great right now too. Peyton is a typical five year old. Whatever that means. Justice is a sweet baby, he is teething right now, so it is really important for us to remember he is a sweet baby.

Well ready or not, life goes on. And as you can tell, there is a lot going on right now. We continue to count our blessings and just know that this (craziness) too shall pass. Either that or we will adapt and crazy will become our new normal. Whatever the case may be, right now is our time to thrive, ready or not.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My kids are a bit wild today!

So after one month of being homeless we finally have a home. We closed on our new house on July 29th. Justice's half birthday. When I think of it this way I can do nothing but be amazed at the greatness of God. I had no idea, when Justice was born that our life would go the way it has. We owe a lot to my dad for even making that crazy, hairbrained suggestion that we try to qualify for a mortgage while still having a mortgage! Who knew that we would even qualify for anything let alone enough to purchase this home. Who knew that finding great renters would just fall into place the way it did. Obviously God did, and after all this time I don't know why it still amazes me, but it does.

So what is life like now you ask? Well much the same it has been for the last couple of months. In fact, one day recently, we still lived at my parents house, Veronica was playing mom, her children were Jon (my nephew), Felicity, and Peyton, she was trying to get them to do something and finally she threw herself into a chair, looked at me and said "my kids are a bit wild today." I told her I knew the feeling! In fact it pretty much sums up my life to this point.

So the house: We purchased a split foyer home in North West Ankeny. It has three bedrooms one bathroom upstairs, and one bedroom and one bathroom that needs remodeling downstairs. When I say needs remodeling that includes needing a sink and toilet, shower and a floor because presently there is not any of those things.
There is a fresh coat of paint throughout the house as well as new carpet. We have a fenced in backyard, which has been really nice for the dogs (excluding the times the dogs figured out how to get out!) and a really weird three tier deck that I am starting to get used to. We have a formal dining room and living room. The kitchen is an eat-in kitchen that we will eventually tear a wall down and put in a bar to open it up and add more cabinet/countertop space.
The bedrooms are all pretty good sized. For the first time the kids have room to play in their bedrooms so each of them have a few toys that they get to keep in there. This has worked out pretty nicely. The master bedroom is also huge!! We actually have a rocking chair in our room.
There is a pretty big playroom in the basement which is also nice for the kids. Also in the basement is another living space, where we have a love seat and four chairs, as well as a game table and our desk. It is pretty big!
As for the neighborhood- I feel like we moved to a small town. We have great neighbors, all very friendly. Everyone knows everyone, we have already had a block party and it has become pretty evident that 4 children in a family is by no means a large family on this block. There are sooooo many kids! It was a bit of an adjustment the first week we lived here. Little kids rang the doorbell what felt like constantly asking if the kids could come out and play. Just about the time when our kids were going to bed, the rest of the neighborhood really started hopping. We have worked on boundaries with the kids and I am sure it will all settle down as the school year progresses!

All in all we are pretty excited about the house. We have had to do a few repairs, but nothing too hard for us (Tim) to do, and not too expensive. We have a lot of other projects we want to do but nothing pressing. As each day goes by it starts feeling more and more like home. I can feel the "wild" is starting to subside just a bit. We are getting settled into the house and neighborhood and we are close to starting school again. Whatever normal is is starting to return. Until that day actually arrives you will just have to excuse me because my kids are a bit wild today!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cautiously Optimistic

Hello faithful blog readers from your not so faithful blogger. Due to my facebook hiatus I have decided to try to become a more active blogger. A lot has changed over the last year. One of the biggest things has been the birth of our fourth child, Justice Burke Loraditch. He is a doll and truly a joy to be around. However, now the blog's name is in question. It could be changed to three redheaded monsters and one sweet brown haired baby!

So, cautiously optimistic, that is the way we are living these days. We trust God has a great plan for our lives, He just hasn't revealed it to us. Currently we are a household of six living with a household of two. Yes, we have moved BACK in with my parents. So far it is going well, as far as we are concerned. Who knows, mom and dad may have a different story.

Why are we living with mom and dad, you ask? Well, we put an offer in on a house back in MAY that was accepted and we were due to close in June. We decided not to try to sell our house, with the market the way it is now, so we searched for the first part of June to find a renter. We did, and we think we found a good one, everything was settled there, we would close on the 20th of June and she would move in on July 1st. That was the plan anyway, our plan. By mid June it became apparent that we would not be closing on the 20th, maybe the 24th, maybe the 27th, maybe July sometime! It was time to move out of our house, but where, we didn't know. We busted our bums getting out of our house, getting it in some sort of nice shape before new people would move in. So with our stuff tucked safely at Kelly and Sven's, Mom and Dad graciously allowed us to move into their home, it was only going to be a week or so, no big deal. That was the plan anyway, our plan.

It quickly became apparent that we weren't going to be closing by July 6th, maybe the 13th, maybe the 15th, maybe the 20th. Now it is extended to the 26th and things are looking bright(er). There is hope that we may close within a few days of that very date. That is the plan anyway, our plan. Who knows, all we can do is stay cautiously optimistic.

As far as the blog goes I encourage you to do the same. I am going to do my best to keep updating the blog. I can't promise pictures, I can't promise posts, I can't promise anything even remotely entertaining, but I hope to provide some combination of all of the above. That is the plan anyway.