Monday, August 19, 2019


After the boys left for camp, Michael got to work staining the deck. He had planned to do it that day and he wasn't going to let a little lice infestation stop him. :) Plus I was the one dealing with all the laundry. 

A few days before we stained the deck we had to move everything off so I could wash the deck off. With me burning all the wood and us walking all over it it had become quite dingy. 

With nothing on it the deck looks huge!!! 

So gorgeous! 

These pictures aren't the best with the glare from the sun! 

Still so pretty! 

Michael didn't want to paint the deck like we did last time, but he did want a little color. We ended up going with the natural cedar tone. It has a little bit of orange in it and since we used the Fired Brick color as an accent on the house and it has a bit of orange in it I think it goes quite well together. 

Michael started with the stairs. 

He worked and worked for hours. He didn't finish until almost 8pm! 

Here it is fleshly finished! 

The next day with the sun shining on it....oh la la!!!

On Monday, August 5th Michael helped me organize the garage a bit so we could spread out tarps so I could stain the furniture I built. I knew I wanted a rich brown color so I chose Russett from Behr. I wasn't going to stain them until the next day, but then I just started and got the first coat on everything. 

It was exactly the color I wanted. 

On Tuesday, August 6th I finished the second coat and it looks glorious! I can't wait for it to cure so we can finally set up the deck! 

I also started staining the kids play structure. It has needed to be done badly for a couple years. I was only able to get so far and then I ran out of stain. That night we took Papa's truck back to him and then stopped at Home Depot to get another gallon of stain. 

On Wednesday, August 8th I was able to finish staining the play structure and the kids picnic table. It's all coming together and I'm so looking forward to the last finishing touches. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Lice Is Not Nice!

Okay this is quite a story and since this is my online scrapbook I want to document it. Let me start with....we made it over 12.5 years of having kids without getting lice. I'd say that's pretty good! 

There's some backstory so bear with me. Since June I've been having this allergic reaction to something. I actually ended up having to go on three rounds of steroids and then I finally figured out what I was allergic too. 

When my parents watched the kids while we were in Maui they stayed at our house. My mom went and bought one of those thick foam covers for our bed since she can't stand to sleep on our bed. When we got back from Maui she left it on our bed since they already have one and they don't need a king size one anyway. We figured we'd give it a try and see if we liked it. I loved it!!! Michael not so much, but he could deal with it. About two weeks later I started having the allergic reaction. I thought it might be the foam and I mentioned it to my doctor, but since it wasn't coming directly in contact with my has a mattress cover on it and the sheets we figured it couldn't be that. 

My dermatologist thought it was most likely one of the many supplements I was taking so I went off all those and went on the steroids to get my body to stop freaking out. Even being on the steroids I was still itching...not as bad, but still itching. It also seemed like the itching was having to work it's way through my body. It would move from my thighs to my knees, from my forearms to my wrists. From my shoulders to my scalp. I was itching everywhere. 

Fast forward to the end of July and it finally dawned on me it has to be the foam. So Michael takes the foam off our bed. The kids saw the foam all wrapped up in the playroom and asked if they could sleep on it. Even if I'm allergic to it doesn't mean they will be too so I figured why not. The boys room is big enough for the foam to be on the floor. Jack, Ella and Zeke decide they all wanted to sleep on it. During this whole summer Ella has been all about having sibling sleepovers with her brothers. A few days later Ella starts complaining about itching. I tell her she's probably allergic so she shouldn't sleep on the foam. Then the next day Zeke complains of itching so I tell him he's probably allergic to it as well. Jackson is completely fine! 

The next week Ella is still complaining of itching on her head. I check her for lice, but I don't see anything. Then I remember she went swimming at the lake with Rachael and her kids and didn't shower. I tell her to go bathe and she'll feel better. Later that night she says she's still itching because she thinks she didn't get all the soap out of her hair. She takes another shower and all is fine. 

Fast forward to the day we go to the movie theater and bowling and she's complaining again about her head itching still. She's been itching it so badly she's actually scratched herself. I check her again for lice, but don't see anything. That's when Michael tells her to come to him and he gets a flashlight and really looks. Yep....lice!!! For some reason I thought the eggs or the lice were black so I didn't see anything. Plus they are so tiny they are hard to see...the flashlight really helped. By this point it was 8:52pm on a Saturday night...the night before the bigger boys leave for camp! I grabbed my purse and drove to Bartell Drugs and got there just in time. The checker was actually standing there waiting to lock the doors. I bought a couple lice kits...thankfully they were buy one get one free...and I got two combs as well. 

When I got home we started treating the kids. Oh and we had Hansi at our house since he was also going to camp. Michael brought down all the kids bedding and clothes. We were each combing through the kids hair after they was a crazy mess! Poor Michael had to comb through Ella and my long hair which took forever. We ended up not getting to bed until midnight. 

The next morning Michael went to check us to see if there were any stray eggs leftover....yep! It was a nightmare and something we really didn't want to spend days dealing with. Plus the boys were supposed to go to camp and we did not want them bringing lice with them to camp. Michael looked online and found Lice Clinic of America in Kent. He started texting back and forth with the guy and he was able to get an appointment for the boys at 11am. The boys were scheduled to leave for camp at 12:45pm. 

All 5 guys...Hansi included ended up getting treated. Michael and Owen didn't actually have lice they got checked and got treated with the Active Rinse, but they didn't have to be treated with the special hair dryer. They use this super heated specially designed hair dryer to dehydrate your scalp and any lice or nits on your scalp. Then they comb out all the lice and eggs and then treat your scalp with the Active Rinse. It was around noon when the boys got home. Michael jumped in the shower and then each boy did as well. I ran to MCD's to get everyone lunch. I had called my friend who was picking the boys up to take them to camp to find out if she was okay taking them. They had officially been cleared and deemed Lice Free, but I didn't want her to feel like she had to drive them. She was totally fine with taking them. 

Later that night it was time for Ella and I to go to our appointment. We both had lice, but Ella's was worse. I had what the guy would deem not even a mild case. 

We got got treated with the hair dryer, combed out and they put the Active Rinse on. They put a shower cap on you and then basically a belly band that wraps around your head to keep everything all nice. While we were at the clinic it dawned on me that when Zeke got home after being treated he rode his bike. Meaning he put his helmet on! So I bought the take home kit and we retreated him once I got home. 

The clinic was NOT cheap....not at all, but it was worth it! It was worth it so we could be sure we were lice free and the boys could go to camp. It was worth it so we didn't have to spend weeks and weeks trying to get rid of these things. Now here's hoping the boys don't bring lice home from someone else at camp. We will most definitely be checking them right away! 

As for the itching....I do still believe that the foam was the cause of my itching especially since I had such a mild case of lice. I'm not 100% sure if some of the itching for Ella and Zeke was the foam or if it was only the lice. Needless to say we've moved the foam out to the garage and we are going to be throwing it away. 

As for where we got lice my best guess is that Jack picked it up at Riverview Camp earlier in July. The timeframe fits since it takes nits 7-10 days to hatch and they only live 30 days and Jack was the one with the adult size lice on his head. The crazy thing is he never itched at all. That kid!!! As for why Owen didn't get lice well he's not a joiner. He did not want to sleep with the other kids on the foam. He was happy to be in his bed so he wasn't exposed. Me on the other hand I snuggle my kids so it was bound to happen. As for Michael not getting it we found out from the guy at the clinic that 90% of the time people with grey hair do not get lice. Something about how grey hair isn't hydrated yay for more grey hair!!! 

As for the cost we were told it would be covered by Michael's VEBA account...think Health Savings Account, but they have denied the claim. A lot of times that's due to just needing more documentation so we'll probably just need to get a more itemized receipt from the Lice Clinic and then they'll cover it....hopefully! If not like I was worth it to be over and done with it so quickly! 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Riding His Bike!!

In the beginning of August, Zeke all of a sudden decided he wanted to learn to ride his bike without training wheels. I had tried to teach him before, but his legs were just too short for me to be able to teach him like I did Ella last year. I figured it would be easier to wait and let him grow a bit. Well...he finally grew so his feet touch the ground! I spent two afternoons with him and taught him exactly like I did with Ella. He was getting a bit frustrated, but mainly I think he was too hot so I let him stop. 

The next time the kids wanted to ride bikes he went out and started practicing over and over and over all by himself. 

Then when Michael got home he wanted to show Daddy and he just started riding his bike. He didn't even need a push he started all on his own. 

He was so determined to learn! 

I am so proud of this guy for sticking with it and working it out! He's absolutely amazing. Now we just need to work on having him looking at where he's going and not down at his feet and then we'll be good to go on some family bike rides! 

Check out this takes him a bit to get going, but once he does...he's off! 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Uncle Bucks Bowling!

For the whole month of July, Michael and I had been so focused on the house it had been work work work. We hadn't really done anything fun with the kids as a family since going camping in June. Also on August 4th the bigger boys were going away to Awanas camp for a whole week so we knew we needed to do something fun. The morning of Saturday, August 3rd we took the kids to see Spiderman Far From Home at Kent Station. After that we drove down to Tacoma to use a Groupon I bought months ago for Uncle Buck's Bowling. 

This bowling alley is actually attached to the Bass Pro Shop and it's got this great underwater theme. 

I love how the ball return is a sharks head. 

The area where the lanes are have these fun lights shining on them so it looks like you are actually underwater. 

Even though we had popcorn and soda at the movie theater we were getting hungry so Michael ordered three appetizers....fried cheese curds, brisket nachos and a side of fries. 

They also have all sorts of colorful fish hanging from the ceiling above where you sit.

Zeke and Ella both used the ramp to help them send the ball down the lane. One of the cool things was the guy programed the lane so Michael and I didn't have bumpers, but the kids did. I didn't know they could do that! 

Sweet siblings!

In the end Michael won and all the kids beat me!! Hahaha!!

After playing we did go over and check out Bass Pro Shop, but we didn't buy anything. I would really like to buy a gun and get a conceal carry permit, but that's something we really need to do more research on and I'd like to go shopping for that sans kiddos. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Papa's Truck!

On Thursday August 1st, we went down and got Michael's Dad's truck to use it to make a trip to the dump. If you know me the dump is one of my favorite places. I love getting to chuck stuff down in to the pit. Yes...I'm weird!! 

We got back from getting the truck and I decided to get right to work loading it. Michael wasn't wanting to do it that night, but after a while he came out and helped me finish up getting it loaded and then he helped me strap it down. I have been working him to death so he's really tired. I asked Owen if he wanted to go with me to the dump and he was a little apprehensive, but he wanted to go. The last time he went he got yelled at by one of the workers to get back in the truck. I told the guy he was almost 10 and he was going to help me. I swear people need to stop seeing kids as helpless creatures. He was totally capable of helping me and the guy finally saw that, but he told Owen he had to stay in the bed of the truck. This time around no one said anything and we had a blast together. 

I love this guy! 

The next day Ella begged me to drive them around the neighborhood and let them sit in the bed of the truck. They were so cute!!! When we were driving people were smiling. We stopped at two different friends houses, but neither of them were home. While I was driving it dawned on me that this is something we are missing nowadays. Driving around going slow in an old pick up truck just enjoying life. Not necessarily going anywhere just enjoying the trip and each other. 

I wanted to get a picture with all the kids and no I did not let them stand up while I was driving. 

We have a free Little Library in our neighborhood so we stopped there so the kids could each get a new book or two. It was such fun little outing! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Painting The House!

Here's the next chapter in of the story our house! 

The painter was supposed to show up on July 2nd to paint the window wraps inside the house. I was at home and no painter showed up. I texted Michael and he contacted the painter. The painter told him he didn't show up because pressure washing had not been included in the bid that the contractors gave him. Not sure why that mattered at that moment since he wasn't going to be doing the pressure washing that day and when Michael looked at the bid yes it did in fact include the pressure washing. By this point Michael was done! He wanted the money so we could get this taken care of THIS summer! This yahoo was taking forever and we just wanted it we wanted someone that was going to treat us and our house right. 

Thankfully the contractors had submitted another invoice to the insurance company for the correct amount to do the painting so there was more money to work with then they had originally told us. Since we were done dealing with them we also told them to not worry about the blinds we would just take the money they had allotted, buy them and install them ourselves. We were so ready to part ways with the contractors and get our house finished! By this point we had been dealing with this claim for 18 months!!!

Michael and I thought about contacting the painting company he used to work with, but in the end we just decided to do the work ourselves. Who else is going to take better care of your house than yourself. Michael had already had vacation time lined up for us to go to his Family Reunion in late July so instead of going to that we decided to stay home and paint. I was thinking of going to the Family Reunion for one day with the kids, but in the end the Family Reunion ended up getting canceled due to Michael's Uncle Bob needing to have surgery so it all worked out. 

I took the kids down to my parents house on Wednesday, July 24th. They were going to spend 4 nights with them so we could focus on the house. 

Thursday morning Michael got up and started prepping the house by masking everything. The Sunday prior to painting we had had a BBQ with friends and one of them mentioned he had a paint sprayer we could borrow. Michael has a paint sprayer it's just not working right now and it takes a couple of weeks for them to get repaired and we didn't have that kind of time. We were planning on renting one, but when this friend offered to let us borrow his so that was great.

Unfortunately, that morning we checked it out and noticed it's more of a small job sprayer. The back of our house is 3.5 stories high and the hose wouldn't even be long enough for Michael to paint that. We looked into renting one and then Michael called Sherwin Williams and ultimately decided to buy a new one. When you rent a machine you never know the condition it's going to be in and if they cleaned it out well enough. Also you end up feeling rushed to get it back in time and then you fork out hundreds of dollars and have to give it back. This way Michael didn't feel rushed and we've already used it to spray the house, the fence and the doors. Plus we now have it so we can loan it out to friends when they need it. 

Getting ready to lay down the tarps. 

As well as painting the house we were also going to paint the fence and the mailbox area. 

The first bit of color going on! 

The week prior while Michael was at work I had order all the paint and went and picked it up and all the supplies he needed. Of course that didn't mean that I didn't have to run to Sherwin Williams almost every single day!!! 

Michael sure didn't think he'd ever be painting again. It's been almost a decade!!! 

The wall that started it all!!! 

By the end of the first day Michael had sprayed the front and south sides and part of the back of the house. When I was looking at the house like this I kept telling myself it was beautiful mainly talking myself in to it. I loved the color, but it was dark!!! We have always had lighter colors on the house so it was a bit shocking. 

Moving onto the back side that's 3.5 stories high. Thank goodness Michael kept all his extension ladders. First thing he needed to do was mask off all the windows. 

This is the wall on the deck. I was the one that masked the floor and put the tarps down. I also used the plastic and masked the Hemlock that's on the ceiling. We definitely didn't want to get paint on that. 

During this portion of our house project I didn't really feel like I was that much help...not like when we built the deck. There wasn't much I could do except run to the store or refill Michael's tea. It was mainly all on Michael's shoulders. On Friday, July 26th that's when I decided to try to find things that I could do in order to take some things off his to do list. 

I got a scraper and some steel wool and I scraped away at the brick under the mailbox and then I repainted it. Later on Michael came and painted the mailbox itself white. It was cream colored. 

I also removed all the masking on the house. Once the masking was off the windows the house felt and looked so much better. Seeing the white trim really brightened it up even if it hadn't actually been painted white yet. 

By the end of the second day Michael had completely painted the whole house. 

The third day we sprayed the fence and then he started working on trim. 

And touching up areas that were masked off and needed a little attention. 

Yes our house is really tall in the back! 

It's a bit scary when he's up so high! 

On Sunday Michael sprayed the front door and the basement door. I was busy painting the underneath side of the deck. That was a lot of work...I calculated that it took me a total of 12 hours over 3 days to paint it all. Michael did help a little bit, but it was mainly me. It really did turn out nice though being the Fired Brick color. 

This is actually one of my favorite pictures of our house. It's an angle that I've never taken a picture from before, but I love the way the deck looks and the combination of colors. It's so pretty! 

The deck is gorgeous and it's not even stained yet! 

I'm absolutely in love with the blue!!! 

During the week while Michael was at work I was busy with some finishing touches. I repainted the two red chairs and Jack and I even painted the bench red since it was green. I love my patriotic house!!!! 

A few days later Ella, Zeke and I went to War-Mart for a few things and we found these cut outdoor accent pillows on clearance! 

I love love love how it all turned out and the best part is it's finished!!!! 

The only things left to do now is paint the window wraps on the inside of the house, but I think we will wait until fall to do that. 

As for the blinds I ordered those online and decided that I would try to install those as well. 

This is how our rooms have looked for months.

Of course when I got the brackets up I realized that I incorrectly measured for the blinds. So I loaded them up and took them back to Lowe's and got the correct size. 

We got the exact same blinds we had before...the faux white wood blinds. Except now they don't come with pull strings you just push them up and pull them down. They are really nice and now I'm a total pro at installing blinds I can do one window in 15 minutes flat! :) 

And now that it's not a blanket that's stapled to the wall I can actually let natural light into our rooms. It's amazing! 

And now the windows on the second floor look so nice with white blinds in them instead of all these different colorful blankets! 

Next up is installing the storm door that I's just glass so it won't hid our beautiful front door, but it will make it so I can leave the door open, get some fresh air and not let in all the flies. Speaking of flies we still don't have window screens. The contractors have them and we are hoping to get them soon. Once they give us the screens and get one more thing figured out with the final invoice we should be completely finished and can finally part ways. I'm so ready!!! 

We also have new garage doors on order...they should be here by August 18th. They are white with little windows on the top. I can't wait for all that natural light in the garage. I'm also thinking of revamping our posts to be more like chunky columns. That's going to be a bit outside my skill set since I've never really used the nail gun or the table saw, but Michael will teach me and then I'll get started. I have one more post about the staining the deck and then hopefully my next update will be the final update to this saga!