Imaginations and pretending have been the highlight of play time as of late. This has been one of my favorite things to watch develop in their little lives so far. Although Adam is still not much of a talker, he understands everything and "gets" whatever they are pretending to do. One evening while I was making supper, I heard chattering in Adam's room and went in to see what they were doing. I was informed, "We're driving our cars!" And of course these "cars" were filled with all of their most precious belongings. Seriously, who needs real toys!
Here, they are being kings. They can both fit inside this cabinet, and that is their castle. Luke also made up a little catchy song that they sing while they march around the house. "I am the king, I am the king, I am the king of the jungle!" Just typing that makes the song get stuck in my head again.
Now here, your guess is as good as mine. I was cleaning the kitchen while they played in the back yard. I looked out the window to see them marching side by side across the yard, complete with their hats of choice, and one with a bat and one with a ratty old broom. This is where they were by the time I got outside to take a picture. These are definitely some of the best parts of my Mommy days!
Truth be told, our Halloween consisted of dressing up, taking pictures, and then heading to church and that's about it. But Adam did stay in costume and handed out candy to our youth group which he thought was big stuff!
The second we were done taking pictures, Luke exclaimed, "Come on, Elephant! Let's go ride our bikes!"
After church we did suprise Trick or Treat Papa and Mimi which the boys were thrilled with (and so were the grandparents).
We've owned this house for 3 years now. In those 3 years, we have done too many updates, projects, and do-it-yourselfers to count. But we saved the biggest project for last...the kitchen! And I might add, the kitchen/family room area is the main reason I didn't want to buy this house. I hated it at first sight. A few of my issues: 1) it was ugly...the orangey-yellow knotty pine cabinets speak for themselves. They actually don't look as bad in the "before" picture as they looked in person 2) while I was fine with having a wall oven, this one was TINY! The biggest thing I could fit in it was my smallest cookie sheet. When we had the boys' birthday party in February, I had to ask our neighbor if I could use their oven so I could cook for our guests! 3) You can't see it in these pictures, but the old (original 1961) porcelain sink was chipped, and therefore had extremely sharp edges that caused some fingers to bleed from time to time. 4) It was not functional. There was no seating in the kitchen, so for me to feed my children, about a million steps were required per meal to the table in the dining room, which had white carpet, by the way, under the table. Eating, children, and white carpet should never go together. These were just a few of my complaints. So, this spring we decided it was time to do something about it. At first, we were just going to paint the cabinets, but that didn't solve the oven dilemma. We got the name of a local guy who does wood working projects as a side job. We had him over to see if he could help us reconfigure cabinets so we could get a new oven. After looking at it, he told us it would cost only slightly more to have him just build all new cabinets. After doing some price comparisons, we found he could build us all new wood cabinets for about 1/3 of the cost of Home Depot or Lowes...and he was doing the countertops for us to boot! We were thrilled and decided to go for it. While the process was long and grueling, there are no regrets here! Of course we saved major $$ because Chad could do so much of it himself (or with the help of his dad).
Here's what the kitchen looked like before we moved in. The only thing we changed after moving in was taking down wall paper and painting the walls red.
This was looking at the kitchen from the dining room. Please note the white carpet and how little of the kitchen you can actually see.
Yeah, it was super fun to try to keep small children out of this mess.
I'm sure this picture was probably taken some night at about 1:00 in the morning. Chad worked diligently late into many nights to get everything done before the cabinets were to be installed. He also did all the plumbing and some of the electrical work. Sometimes being married to a plumber has its perks, ya know? Can I just say, my husband totally rocks! This was all a labor of love, people.
Looks great, right?! Please note the cool backsplash and light fixtures that Chad also installed. But wait! Still needs new flooring since we had holes where old cabinets had been, and needed to get rid of that (totally stained) white carpet.
Tada! New flooring! Installed by Chad and the best father-in-law ever!
Doesn't it look about 100x bigger?! I love how open it is between the two rooms now. So much more family friendly! I can actually see the boys playing in the family room now while I make supper.
Check out that beautiful normal-sized oven! Love it!
We're still finishing some projects in the family room, but I'll be sharing pictures of that too when it's more picture ready.
So we took family pictures...and I could not be happier with the results!! Dale (a friend of mine since we were toddlers!) has an incredibly gifted wife, Tonya. She did a fabulous job and is so creative! For those of you who live locally, it is 4 Little Fergusons Photography. I bought a whole set of frames (for super cheap on sale at our new Kohls!) before I even saw the pictures because I knew she would do a great job! Here are some of my favorites...
All would not be right in the world if we didn't make it the pumpkin patch in the fall. How is it that the smallest people in the family instinctively know that this is fun? Adam squealed in delight the whole time, and I remember that at Adam's age, Luke clapped the whole time we were there. They know it's special! Even though it was a little chilly, it was a great time had by all. They have so many cute activities at this place, too...pumpkin bowling, pumpkin tic tac toe, a big slide, a corn maze, and the list goes on! Why wasn't all this fun stuff around when I was a kid?!
The boys were having so much fun we literally didn't even tell them to smile for this picture. They are normally not so cooperative with pictures!
Oh, I would just love for you to believe this is what our house is like all the time. But truth be told, a lot of the time they are fighting, wrestling, yelling at each other or something. But every once and a while, they allow me to catch a glimpse into their love for each other. This hugging moment happened after bringing Luke home from preschool one day. See, they do miss fighting with each other!