Merry Christmas 2013 Style

DSCN1718Merry Christmas from overholt8

As you all know Keith LOVES Christmas Card time.  He looks forward to it.  He anticipates it and even reminds me of pictures if I happen to forget.

Ok, Ok, I lied.  Keith does not actually love Christmas Card time, but because he loves me, he does Christmas cards with a smile.  Albeit his smile looks the same from beginning to end.

This year the fiasco was comparable to the last few years.  We were so hot taking pictures I actually felt sick when we were done.  It was 5pm at night and about 85 degrees.DSCN1689We did get a few really nice ones of the kids.  I thought giving little A the star she would hold still… I think I thought the same thing last year.  Will someone remind me that is a bad idea next year.DSCN1688No snow for our sled.  DSCN1696We ended up getting quite a few like this.  Cute kid walking away.DSCN1697Pretty little girl running ahead to find a picture spot.DSCN1709My mom started getting a little silly towards the end.DSCN1708Baby on the run.DSCN1707I have no idea, as you can see I am in the background walking away at this point.DSCN1712The kids did not want to leave their aunt out of the chaos.DSCN1716Seriously we only took 45 minutes, the kids were silly and laughing and we were able to get a few good shots.DSCN1705We called it a night before the kids had used up all their happy.  {And as the sun set, we ran out of light so they lucked out}DSCN1722We are finished, until next year.  Trying to wrangle a toddler in will be even more fun!  Can’t wait.

Enjoy your Christmas
jen

20 Years And I Am Still Learning

Keith and I have been married for more than 20 years now.  I was but a child bride, since E is convinced that I am just 36 years old.  I have not aged in a few years.  In 20 years you’d think there was not that many things that would surprise you to learn about your spouse.  Well, this year I learned 2 Christmas things about him that I did not know before.  Let me tell you I was surprised.  How I did not know either of these 2 things is amazing to me.

Now before you get all excited and skip ahead to figure out what I just learned I’ll just spill the beans.
1 Keith is a sucker for Christmas Movies.
Oh sure we’ve watched the same ones for years and years now.  Always watching White Christmas on Christmas eve, and squeezing in every Christmas DVD we owned at all hours of the day and night.  In the last 20 years I thought he was watching them to be the “good husband” and make me happy.  I love a good Christmas movie, I love the happy feeling the magic of it all, I thought he was just humoring me.  Nope, turns out he was using me to watch them himself.  Yup the guy has a soft spot for Christmas movies.  He has stayed up until 2am on more than one occasion watching the Hallmark Christmas movie and is still irritated that he fell asleep during one of their less cheesy ones.  {oh come on they have some cheesy ones!}  That is when I learned of his Christmas Movie Passion.  He watches them on the 3 channels that seem to play them the entire Christmas Season.  He watches them every night.    I had no idea he did this.  I often go to another room in the evening so he can work on school things with out interruptions.  {When the biggest kid leaves I think Keith might claim his room as an at home office just don’t tell the big kid}  About a week ago I learned that he watches them all.  Not earth shattering but interesting.  And kind of fun too!  Now I can really get into the movies and watch as many as I want.
2 Keith loves gingerbread cookies.
I never knew this until two nights ago, he made a comment about how good they are, that he loves them.  This might not seem like such a big deal but I love baking, I have never made him gingerbread cookies, EVER.  If I’d have known I would have found a recipe and perfected it for him.  Now the challenge is on for the weekend, find and make gingerbread cookies.

School is out for 2 plus weeks!  I cannot wait.  The rule this Saturday Morning no one may talk until 8:30 no one may talk to mom if her eyes are still shut.  If there is a problem they need to write down the wrong that was done to them.  {Over Thanksgiving the same rule was in place and when I woke up, on my dresser there were post it notes with kids tattling on each other, I never did anything about the notes but both kids felt justified that they could “tell” on each other.}  Because if they wake me up before 8:30 they will be spending some time in their room.  We have the annual Christmas Basketball Tournament Friday and Saturday.  Then the break is ours!  Keith’s class is postponed for the next 2 weeks, we have family from Michigan is going to be down vacationing in the area we plan on getting together for dinner.  We plan on relaxing, watching Christmas Movies, making cookies, driving around to look at lights and possibly squeeze in our Christmas Card picture, since I finally have coordinating outfits for the whole family.

Baby News
I am still growing the baby, my belly button has not yet popped out backwards but it is close.  The baby is starting to show signs of stress we are watching closely, I see the dr at least 3 times a week now.  Getting Old is difficult.  The good news is we have settled on a boy’s name.  We actually have had it for a while, and we are about finalized on the girl’s name.  I tell you what this naming the baby thing is difficult.  I love our kids names, and finding a name that we love, that fits into the same style makes it difficult.  I guess actually not repeating a letter is the most difficult part.

What about you have you learned anything new about someone you are close to?  Are you looking forward to Christmas vacation?  Are you making cookies?

Go hug your kids, hum a Christmas song, and enjoy the wonder and beauty of Christmas.
jen

p.s. words of wisdom from big sister A
“Mom, sometimes you have to keep being patient with guys, you have to just be patient with boys.”
I have no idea what brought about that response, we were alone in the car when she told me the wise words.

To Be or Not To Be… Santa

????????Guess who is coming to our house?
SANTA
We are excited, we sat on his lap at Chick~fil~a, we sat on his lap at ballet, we told him we want a toy Santa and our two front teeth.  We talk about him, we talk to him, we sing about him, and we can’t wait for him to visit our house!IMG_1922

Every time this season rolls around I hold me breath.  I hold it in anticipation of some self-righteous child or adult spoiling my child’s belief in Santa.  Yes, we let our children believe in Santa, actually we tell them all about Santa.  How he is a great guy who delivers presents, how if they want they can write a letter to him asking for gifts.  We watch movies, we sing songs, we color pictures, we get excited.  We talk about how Santa delivers presents after they go to sleep on Christmas eve.  I listen to their stories and anticipation, I see the joy in their faces.  {At our house Santa only delivers 3 presents per child, the rest of their presents come from us.  And their Santa gifts are not always what they ask for, we try, but cannot always deliver}

Oh sure I know that some people don’t think about it, they don’t have little ones, and they slip up and say something that will make my child question Santa and his existence.  Those people I don’t mind.  I don’t even mind the ones that are relaxed about it “Santa, we just never did it…”  they don’t bug me either, mainly because they don’t care what we do with our children and Santa.  But the self-righteous ones, they wear me out.

“What you actually TELL your kids there is a Santa?”  “you lie to their faces?”  “how can you tell them those lies?”  “I can’t believe some parents will actually go to all that effort…”  “Christmas is all about Jesus {really so what do you do to make it ALL ABOUT JESUS?}  “We do NOT lie to our kids, we tell them the truth…”  {The truth about everything I want to ask???} “I never thought YOU would do that to your kids…”  Sometimes it gets ugly.
Blah Blah Blah…

We believed in Santa, Keith’s family did not.  The Christmas before we were engaged, we had a discussion on Santa and wether or not we would tell our non-existent future children, or wether or not we would encourage them to believe, or if we would flat-out tell them there is no such thing.

In high school we had to write a paper for my Senior Bible Class, I don’t remember the name of the paper, just that we had to argue for or against the belief in Santa and how that belief will affect the child’s future belief in God.  I know I used myself as an example.  As a child I believed in Santa, but as I grew in wisdom I realized/learned/observed that there was in fact no magical elf.  The same holds true with my knowledge of Jesus, and God.  As a child I believed in Jesus, and as I grew in wisdom I realized/learned/observed that God did send his one and only son just so his blood could cover my sins.  I did not stop believing in Jesus because I stopped believing in Santa.  In fact my growth in Jesus grew after I stopped believing in Santa.

Three of our 6 children believe, three have outgrown their belief.  4th grade usually is the year, or it has been for the big kids…  That means that this year J will realize the truth.  Do I worry about the kids who no longer believe that they will be come disenchanted with Jesus?  No I do not.

They realize that Santa is a fun tradition, a happy story a sweet little fun holiday time thing to do.

While I tell my children all about Santa, I tell them the real reason we celebrate Christmas, I tell them the amazing news that God sent his only Son to be born of a virgin that he was perfect, sinless, holy and He is GOD, He is the reason for the season.  With out God’s first gift there would be no Christmas.  Because only perfect people get into heaven and we are not perfect, we are sinful and rotten, but the blood of Jesus covers our sin, so we can go to heaven one day if we accept that gift of Jesus.  I tell them THAT is the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

In our family those are 2 different things Jesus birth and Santa’s visit.  Christmas Eve we celebrate Jesus birth, we go to church and listen to the Christmas story {the kids who are in Church every week hear the messages leading up to the birth of Christ} We sing songs of praise and sing the Christmas Carols, we sing O Holy Night.  We are thankful and blessed and we know it.  Christmas day is the day Santa comes, it is about gifts and family and fun times!

Choosing to not believe in Santa, or telling your child there is no Santa, does not make you any better than anyone else.  I am sure you have your reasons, and they are fine and justified.  But hear me out, if your reason is to teach them “it is not all about Santa” than what are you doing the whole season, or year to show them it is not all about Santa?  If your reason is to focus on Jesus, his birth, and the meaning of Christmas, what are you doing to show them that it is all about Jesus?  Do you exchange gifts?  Why? Do they know why?  Do you have a tree? Why? Do they know why?  I am actually curious because the people who are anti Santa don’t ever give me a reason, and the people who don’t actually care tell me just that.

So if you do not celebrate Christmas with Santa, then feel free to enjoy your holiday and I promise not to judge your parenting by this.  But if you could do me a favor, don’t judge my parenting by this choice, and have your child not spoil it for the rest of the children I’d appreciate it.  As my children quit believing I simply asked them not to spoil it for others.

How old were you when you quit believing?
How do you combine both Jesus birthday and Christmas?
Go hug your kids they need your love.  Don’t let the holiday rush keep you from enjoying the season!
jen

Happy Anniversary To ME

I was just notified that today is my 2 year anniversary with WordPress.  While we might have had some ups and downs I have enjoyed this blogging fun!  I love the friendships I have made and the ones that have grown because of this blog.

I have shared successes, failures, sad times, and happy times, I have shared worrisome and hopeful times.  I have enjoyed this blog and I hope you have too.

I did an update post when I hit 300 posts a while ago so I won’t bore you with those again…  Nope I’ll bore you with my normal boring life stuff!

Baby News
So baby #7 is growing and moving and wiggling and today TODAY T O D A Y baby #7 decided Head Down was a great position to be in.  Actually baby #7 moved on Saturday, that was not comfortable but for the effort I give the baby an A+.  But today we have proof, today I saw with my own eyes head down foot in hand other foot in my ribs, head down!  This means we can go ahead and plan for a Vbac {Out the mom hole instead of being cut out in case you did not know}  I am THRILLED seriously I about jumped off the table to do a happy dance!  I have feet kicking my ribs and a head sitting next to my bladder and I am so thankful!  I had a c-section with #6 it was not fun and I have no idea why someone would choose one.  {FYI by not fun, I mean puke in a dish, itchy nose, scary, painful and disgusting, a rotten way to end a 3 hour labor run with the last few kids.  To say I was upset and resentful is an understatement but God and I have talked a lot about it and I apologized to him and my family for my childish behavior}

My Blood pressure is still being controlled by my medication, I am still at High Risk but last week the doctor told me I was the “healthiest High Risk patient he has ever had.”  I am so thankful and blessed because I know people have been praying for this pregnancy to be healthy and it is.

Some worrisome news, the baby is starting to show signs of stress.  We are carefully monitoring the baby, I now go in the office 3 times a week.  I joked with a friend today that I need to set up an RV in the parking lot like Trapper John MD and then I can save gas money by not driving over there so often.  The baby is still growing, heart is beating steady and practicing breathing, lungs are moving, but starting to show signs of stress.  We will continue to go 3 times a week and monitor.  Because of this I jumped both feet into Christmas shopping I have a few things left but by-in-large I am done.  Keith and I went out for hours on Saturday, by the time we were done I was riding in the motorized cart at Target.  That was fun and I only crashed into 1 cart of abandons in the toy section.  I plan on finishing this week Thursday!  Christmas Card pictures this weekend and mail everything on Monday.  But If the plans change realize this, if you normally get a card from us there might be a slight delay, and a new year card will be coming instead.

This week I will take a pregnant picture {Fully clothed} since a few of you have been asking.

Big sister A has run into a bit of a snag sleeping in her big girl bed.  She was getting up before she even fell asleep to tell us she is “not tired”  well this mama is not putting up with that.  I have started sending her to my bed, where she falls asleep in minutes, then we just carry her up the stairs.  Now I know that some of you have just gasped, the pattern we are setting up.  But here is the thing (actually 2 things) 1 we are the ones who deal with it, not you, 2 no child goes off to college and gets carried back to their own bed at night.  So relax, we are.  We think the problem was if E falls asleep before A does, then she is lonesome and comes down.  Putting her to sleep on our bed eliminates that step.  She knows better than to get off our bed so she just falls asleep.  She does not wake up when one of us carries her up the stairs and sleeps until morning time.  It is all good!  We are all sleeping, which really is the important thing.

IMG_1907Science Fair is coming up.  R has once again done it all by himself and I realized last night, as it was down to the wire, that in essence that sounds great but the kid is only 13 and has advanced to where he needs guidance or at least someone in the room to listen to him think out loud.  His project was an extension from last year.  This year he was checking microclimates with natural vs artificial shade.  Using fast growing bamboo to measure temperatures.   He and Keith made pallet planters to grow the bamboo.  I am proud of him for all the work he did on this project, I hope his score reflects the amount of work he has done.

Not to be left out J had a project on a body system.  Now we have played this game before with the older 3 kids, this time, was different.  This time the kids got to pick their system.  Oh how nice, I told J “pick the easiest looking system”  Yes, I am that mom.  In yeas past we have had the digestive system, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system.  Those are not easy, to top it off the teachers do not think a hand-made poster is “creative enough”  what was I supposed to do?  rip out some veins and glue them on paper?!?!  Ha! So I dumped this project on Keith.  One out of 4 he cannot complain.  This is what they came up with.  Thank you random picture on google for the idea. IMG_1881 IMG_1886J working the lungs.  If you need detailed directions for your kid’s project let me know.  I can ask Keith to tell me so I can get them to you.  Basically it is just PVC pipes and balloons in a large box.  He presented last week I still don’t know the grade he earned.  But I do know that he has a great time building this with his dad.  He put the pieces together and he had fun!

We have made a Christmas bucket list, we have even checked 2 things off the list.  This weekend we are going to go to another Christmas Concert then next Tuesday is the school concert.  I cannot wait!  Besides the Christmas eve service it ranks in the top 10 favorite things to do at Christmas time.  It is just that fabulous.  I am excited.  The biggest kid has a solo/trio I cannot wait to hear.

What about you?  Has your family made a Christmas Bucket List?  What is on yours?   We have the parade, movies and popcorn, driving to look at lights, hot cocoa and Polar Express, Christmas Concerts, a visit with Santa, to name a few on our list.

Go hug your kids, and stop and look at the wonder of Christmas from your childs eye.  See how exciting the season can be, and make sure you plan some time to relax and enjoy it!

jen

Dude It Is Not All About You

Today after ballet big sister A and I went to Chick fil a.  I bleached the bathrooms before we left for ballet, so I went in order to avoid breathing in toxic fumes.  At least that is the reason I gave my husband when I told him I went.

Big sister A decided she wanted to sit in a booth.  We climbed in a booth next to 2 men who were discussing youth soccer.  The guy farthest from me was talking to the guy right behind me.  The closest guy had a chip on his shoulders about some “injustice” that had happened when a club coach left their club and most of his players went with him.  This is not the soccer of our youth…  The coach was complaining and the other consoling and trying to talk reason with the man behind me.  The coach who left had an unbeatable team, he went to a different league so his team could be challenged.  They dominated our area and were ready to move on to face a challenge and be pushed harder.  After trying again and again to reason with the man behind me the guy farthest finally said “Dude it is not all about you.”  The man was silent for a second before he went back into complaining.

How often do we need that reminder?  Dude it is not all about you.  I can use it at least weekly.  I get my own chip on my shoulder when I feel that someone has “done me wrong” I get upset or frustrated because I think that the wrong was done as an attack against me.  When in reality it was not.

So do you need that reminder “Dude it is not all about you?”  I will be thinking and reminding myself of this for the next few days.

Go hug your kids, they can sure use the love because if your kids are anything like mine, then they might also need the reminder “dude it is not all about you”

jen

The Attic Fit For A Princess Part 3

I promise this is the last outside of the house post on O’s room.  Looking back on the pictures I realized I made a mistake on the part 2 post, I also realize it took a lot longer to get it all done than I remember.  By the time we finished the outside temperatures were upwards of 100 degrees.  I do not know how outside laborers and construction workers do it down here.

When we got home from ballet I called our good friend MC who came over and helped fix the holes in the wall and close in the bathroom area.DSCN3597They had evening plans but he came for a few hours which was so helpful!DSCN3598They had to add more studs to the bathroom wall as support since termites ate away at the original wall studs.DSCN3600They added insulation, plywood house wrap and then the windows.  O actually held the window in place while Keith secured it from inside.DSCN3605Holding a window in place over your head for about 15 minutes is really painful, the window was heavy but in place so she just had to keep her arms up and pressing the window until Keith could secure it from outside.DSCN3607Ahhhh almost done.DSCN3610For my northern friends this is what termites look like.  Not a clear picture, they kind of look like ants without being segmented  and the fras {poop} looks like poppy seeds.  This by the way is the new window, the termites did not waste any time getting settled in the new windows.  {They are metal so the termites soon died}

The next weekend Keith and help got started on the rest of the siding.DSCN3635I did not get pictures of the damage on the rest of the wall, I had to be some place.  When I came home Keith and his dad were able to get the vinyl siding down, the window out, the insulation in, and the plywood up.  We also put up a tent for shade had a very large ice bucket with drinks and an outdoor fan.  DSCN3640Old window is out and everything is set for the house wrap and new window and siding.  DSCN3641It was so hot, and so much work.DSCN3644C was roped into helping this weekend.  The weekend before he was taking his ACT test and missed all the action.DSCN3648After the wrap was on the lower part they tore off siding all the way up.  Do you see how the wall studs are just open?  Yeah at that part of the house there was a lot more damage than we expected.DSCN3655More house wrap and more child labor.DSCN3657Our work spilled over onto Sunday, after church, our neighbors J and M came to help Keith for a little while.  All the insulation, and siding and house wrap were completed that Sunday.DSCN3658M was waiting for instruction on the cut size that was needed.DSCN3662Starting the siding.  Keith had his fair share of frustrations with this task.  We tried 2 different nail guns, but both of the quit working, no matter what Keith tried they would not work properly.  Our neighbor even tried to fix them, but they were just not working for the job.DSCN3669J and R would get the new hardy board siding in place for Keith to attach.DSCN3671Do you see how Keith is attaching each board?  Yes, the man nailed each and every board into place.  I begged him to rent a nail gun, or go buy a new one but he insisted on doing each and every board by hand.DSCN3688Keith’s grandpa stopped by after work to help for a while, they were creative putting the house wrap in place.DSCN3695Wrapping the top of the house.  Keith’s grandpa was a much better ladder holder than R was.DSCN3728One FINAL weekend to finish putting siding up.  When Keith went to buy more siding, they were out of the original color we had, not a problem, we are planning on painting this next spring.  After we finish the rest of the house.DSCN3732We tried a nail gun again for a while, the guys had a routine down, with measure, measure, cut, pass siding up the ladder, pass up the nail gun, and then take the nail gun back down.  When someone gets a routine it is better to stay out-of-the-way with your mouth shut than offer advice.  The nail gun suit working soon after getting the routine going.DSCN3735The final piece of wood, cut and hung.

The outside took a few weekends of non stop work.  It was exhausting for all those involved.  My boys, R and C, are not outside workers, they are not physical laborers, some people love hard work and sweat to show a job completed, not so for my boys.  Good thing they both have a career plan that involves being inside.  O and J are great workers but are small so they can’t do everything they want to do to help.  I was busy supplying cold drinks, popsicles and keeping the little girls out of the way.

The siding was completed just in time for our busy summer,  we left for NC the week the siding was completed, then Keith went to DC and Europe after that, we followed up with a beach trip then the start of school.  I am so thankful for a husband who can do this type of work, thankful for a FIL who can do this work and is willing to help out, thankful for friends, neighbors, and children, who were willing to come over and help out for a few hours.

We had a big scare with Keith’s dad.  We think he had heat stroke one day.  It was hot, and he just did too much, we ended up calling an ambulance to come check him out.  He refused treatment so Keith took him home.  It was very scary and we are thankful that things turned out for the good.  But heat is something we forget that we are not better than, so here is my advice for you or anyone working outside, full sun, 100 degrees no breeze.  Drink plenty of fluid!  More than you think you need, take breaks in the shade to cool off, use water to cool off, and stop working if you start to feel weird.

Would you believe I do not have a picture of the completed work?  I will look and post that on the next attic post.  I know you are excited to see the rest! Ha

Go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

The Attic Fit For A Princess Part 2

Many of you know or knew at one time that we had planned on fixing FIXING the attic up for a bedroom for O.  We had the contractor put the wall studs for the addition to line up with the existing attic for easy access.  The roof line was over top of the old roof line connecting to the high roof line of the main house.  Four years ago we were relaxed with our time line, this past spring we now had a looming deadline.  Would Keith, his dad, O and a few friends be able to get it done before the new baby came in January?  There was a lot of work and honestly some days were very daunting.  The mess was not even fit for Cinderella for the longest time.  But we knew the hard work would pay off in the end.  Or at least we hoped it would.
These pictures are all from 3 different weekends.  There was so much to be done, we really sacrificed a lot of family time to do this quickly.  And with all home construction there is a “hurry up and wait” with all the things we did.  {I say “We” like I did anything but supply Gatorade and water.}

One of the first things that needed to be done was repair the hole that Keith made when he fell through the ceiling, as the work began upstairs the entire nasty popcorn square tiles, and the sub ceiling {attic sub floor} began to cave in.  Bowing an an unhealthy level.  We stayed out of the hallway as much as possible.  No one wanted popcorn tiles falling on their heads.DSCN2527We replaced it with thin plywood that looks like bead board.  In the boy’s room there is actual bead board ceiling {on half the ceiling} years past we added bead board plywood to C’s room, and if you will remember we added the same thing to C’s bathroom the year before.  So adding the bead board was going to help the hallway look better and match the boy’s rooms.   We still have half of the boy’s room to change over but that is not high on our list of home renovation tasks.  {Keith wants a garage next}DSCN2524The ceiling looks so much better now.  It still needs a coat of high gloss white paint and trim but until the baby comes I am banned from climbing ladders…  I plan on getting this done during spring break.

This is the break through between the girls upstairs room and the old attic.  Notice how they are actually standing on the roof of the house.  Pretty cool.  But oh so messy as they pulled shingles and rotted wood out to secure the new hallway.

IMG_0452Once the attic subfloor was secure Keith and his Dad went back to work adding floor joists and taking out damaged wood.IMG_0454I am not even sure what the hole is over in this picture.  I think it is the roof of the laundry room.IMG_0458Of course there was more electrical work to do up there.  See the big air conditioning duct work?  Every time they wanted to go through they had to climb over and under the ducts to get to the attic room that would be O’s room.

Now this is all taking place in late April which means we have temperatures reaching of 90 degrees.  The attic is not obviously air conditioned it is hotter than blazes up there.  Water and Gatorade and popsicles were required to cope in the heat.

The following weekend Keith decided to quick pull out the old windows that were not double glass, and rattled and leaked when we had big rains, and put in new windows.  Remember nothing is as easy as it seems in our house.  They were only able to get the top window in.  DSCN3353Removal was easy.DSCN3354Hello I see you.DSCN3355Rebuilding the crooked window framing so the new window would fit and stay in place with out leaking during rains.DSCN3356Getting the window up the ladder and it place was a little tricky.  I choose NOT to take any pictures of that.DSCN3357Window is set in place, not to firmly attach it.  I don’t want any children falling out of the window.  Our neighbors came over and helped Keith, his dad was not able to stay longer than an hour that day.DSCN3359R acted as the ladder holder.  It was hot, he was not that into it and there might have been some yelling as the ladder wobbled a bit.

The following weekend was little A’s ballet recital.  Keith wanted to get started on the rest of the windows.  We were in a hurry knowing that it was only going to get hotter as time went on and no one wanted to be out in the heat if not necessary.DSCN3514Pulling off the vinyl siding was such a disappointment.  If you look closely you can see that there was some wood siding but it was ruined, splintered and damaged the previous owner {2 owners back} just covered the entire house in vinyl siding and called it good.  Now we are getting the full grasp of how not good it was.  We are also understanding why the house is drafty and does not keep the air-conditioning or heat inside.  Most of the walls were nothing but vinyl siding and lattice wood then drywall, there was not a single bit of insulation in any of the outside walls.DSCN3518Taking out the windows was the easy part.  Adding insulation and putting up plywood took a little longer.DSCN3520Cleaning up the mess to make it easier to fix up.DSCN3522Most of the wood looked like this.  Termites love our house, for my northern friends, count your self lucky termites have made a mess of our house and many older houses.  This was a 2×2.  We did not break it they ate it all away.  This is what was left of it.DSCN3523Trying to make a new game plan.DSCN3524Trying to decide if her new room was worth all the work.DSCN3525It was slow going, there was more damage than they expected.DSCN3529Keith and O were covered in termite fras {that is termite poop for my northern friends}  It looked like they were in a poppy seed fight.  Because they were hot and sweaty it stuck to their skin.  It was as disgusting as you are imagining.DSCN3592We left O and Keith home to go to little A’s ballet recital.  They were able to put in the window so our house was at least closed in, shower and get to ballet just as they were calling the children to the stage.DSCN3547Little A’s fan club.DSCN3591I need to brag on Keith, you saw in the above picture how he left the house.  He never made a complaint while we were at the recital or taking pictures after.  He did not complain about being dehydrated, or that time was running out, or that the house needed to be finished.  He sat in the shade and smiled as little A danced around, he sat and waited as we took pictures and laughed and talked.  He had miles to go before bed but he was able to put that to the side and enjoy family time.DSCN3588Our beautiful ballerina.  {she was a butterfly this year}DSCN3593We came home to this.  Which had to be done before dark.  We did not wanting any animals coming to nest or stay in the empty walls.

It was a long hot weekend.  Keith with the help of O and the boys, managed to get the bathroom window in and more insulation in the walls.  They were able to put up plywood and the house wrap.  It was a lot of work, hot and exhausting.  But we could feel the difference in temperature in the rooms.

Stay tuned as I update more about the attic room fit for our princess.  This outside of the house was not obviously for O’s room, but a result of her room.

What about you, deal with termite damage, those wood eating blind bugs?  Or have you taken on a huge home remodel task that was like pandora’s box everything you started was bigger and much worse than you had hoped?

Go hug your kids December is here!!!
jen