Sunday, January 8, 2017

Adventures in Building: A Long Overdue Update

Do you remember our big huge project we are working on? It has been much to long since I have posted about our house building project! (I know you have been wondering, right?!)

Well, we have been learning TONS the past few months, and I'm working on a few different posts at the moment but I wanted to show you some quick pictures of the progress we have been making.

We had some delays with the permit process thanks to FEMA, and the county we are building it. Lots of red tape and people who need to be paid before we got the green light to build. Stay tuned for a post all about that! But we now have our permit and we have been hard at work!

So far we have dug the hole for the basement...

Formed the footings with a product called Form-a-drain which is both a footing form and acts as the drain tile for the basement...

Poured the concrete for the footing...

Built the basement walls. We are using an insulated concrete form system called the Hobbs System for the exterior walls in the basement and the main floor. (Post coming about this!)

We poured concrete into the ICF walls for the basement... 

And now we are working on installing the support beams and floor joists for the main level of the house. 

It actually is starting to look like a house!
Every time we are out there working, I can't help but look around and think to myself
"I can't believe we get to live here!" 
We have had great help from some friends and family, but Daniel has been doing much of the work himself (and I am at the job site as much as the kids will allow!). It has been a lot of work, and it's not even close to being finished, but it is going to be so worth it in the end! 

More to come...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 6 Months

Dear Caleb,

How can it already be 6 months that you have been here with us? You are getting to be such a big boy! 

This past month you had some exciting firsts. You celebrated your first Thanksgiving!

You got to try eating at the big people table for the first time. You LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat. So far you have enjoyed rice cereal, pureed apples, sweet potatoes, and avocado. And you have enjoyed each new food more than the last. You wave your hands and feet when I put you in your seat and get ready to feed you. I can hardly get the food into your mouth fast enough for you. Each bite is accompanied by a baby soundtrack of yums and mmmms. Everyone enjoys watching you eat as much as you enjoy eating.

You also got your first tooth a few days before your 6 month birthday. It's one of the bottom middle teeth and is just the cutest little thing...and by cute I mean sharp! You and Mommy are learning to get you to eat without biting...and it's a work in process.

You are army crawling quickly but no real hand-and-knee crawling yet (which is okay with me! You are fast enough as it is!) You love to play with things that are not toys, like door stoppers, shoes, the vacuum hose and anything with tags. Mommy really has to keep a close eye on you to make sure you don't get into trouble. You sister is a big help in that area most of the time. But I can see it in your eyes when you spot something you know you are not supposed to have and you start making your way over to it...sometimes I feel bad taking away your prize when you reach it, but mommy just wants to keep you safe. And you usually quickly find something new to go after.

You have only partially unwrapped 2 Christmas presents from under the tree so far. But given the chance your little fingers would work their way into each of the packages and the paper would end up soggy in your mouth.

The hair on the top of your head is getting so very long that I think I'm going to have to trim it! (You sister didn't get her first hair cut until she was 26 months you are going to beat her in that department by about 20 months!) You are starting to outgrow your 6 month clothes and I had to put you into size 3 diapers. You are a big little boy! We love you more every day, you sweet little squirt (as your Mawma calls you.)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 5 months old

Dear Sweet Caleb,

So much has changed this past month! You are really becoming a big boy so very quickly (an mommy is not quite ready for that yet!) The biggest change this month has been in your mobility. You are a rolling pro now. You can go from front to back and back to front from either side. You can inch worm army crawl, it's pretty cute. It takes quite a bit of effort and lots of grunts but you can pretty much get from where you are to wherever you would like to be. Mommy needs to make sure there are not things you can get in to on the floor now! You are wearing 6 month clothes but I have a feeling very soon we will be moving up to 9 months. At your doctor check-up your measurements were the 95% for height and your head measurement was off the chart you are already setting the curve for all the other 5 month old babies! haha! 

We have been spending quite a bit of time out at the farm. You enjoy the fresh air and all the things there are to see. Here is a picture of you, Daddy and Rebekah enjoying a camp fire. 

We spent part of your 5th month up in Minnesota visiting Gramma and Papa Ron. You discovered that you enjoy books...specifically trying to put books into your mouth! 

You are a good little road tripper as long as it's light outside. You are not a fan of being in the car when it is dark and you can not see. Sometimes Mommy has to turn on the back seat light for you to keep you happy. 

Look at you handsome guys! Your smile is just so cute! 

Oh, and we watched the Cubs win the World Series! You were a good little cheerer! 

You are pretty happy most of the time if you are on the floor and free to go where you would like to go. Your hair is still a little crazy, but it makes me smile! 

You love your sister and she is the best person to make you laugh. It is so fun to see the two of you interact with each other. She tries to be gentle with you and you are very patient with her and all of her hugs and kisses. You love to try to get her and when you finally get close to her, she moves and you have to start all over again. But you don't mind. Some day (soon!) you will be able to keep up with her. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Adventures in Life: Planning for Christmas

I'm still working on Caleb's 5 month post (and hopefully will have some cute little chubby cheeks for you soon!) but in the meantime I've been making some Christmas plans and wanted to just share a few things with you.

Gift giving can be stressful for many people - making sure you have the just right gift for the people on your list. I have been using The Gifter's Holiday Tool Kit that Lauren from The Thinking Closet wrote.

Lauren breaks down gift giving into a 5 day, organized list. So if you like lists as much as I do, this will help you! Plus her videos are adorable. You will love her!

I also have some people on my list that are hard to shop for (you know you have at lease one person on your gift list that you have no clue what to get for them) and I saw an idea that is so good, I just had to share it with you...

If you have someone hard to shop for try looking for something they might enjoy at the Feed My Starving Children Marketplace.  They have gifts ranging from coffee to jewelry, decorations to puzzles. Each gift purchased not only supports artisans in third world countries but it also helps FMSC provide meals for malnourished children in 70 countries around the world. (For example a bag of coffee provides 33 meals! Anyone know a coffee lover?!) Great idea, right?!

I am trying to mail out our Christmas cards early this year because I did a combo baby Caleb birth announcement/we moved/Merry Christmas and Happy New Year card all in one. They turned out super cute and if you would like me to mail you one, just send me your address and I will add you to my list - I love getting real mail and sending real mail!! (You can send your address via e-mail at veronicalynnhill (at)

Well, that's about it for today...ok, I can't resist! Here is a squishy cheek picture!

And his big sister (not as squishy, but oh so cute!) 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Adventures in Life: Potty Talk

I have discovered that when you have a toddler there is lots of potty talk that happens. You know, the 4 letter words every potty training mommy uses.





Ok, that last one doesn't work, but you get the picture. These words are constant vocabulary around the house these days....and let's just be honest, as the wife of a plumber these words are pretty common year round for us.

We have been unofficially potty training Rebekah for quite some time. When she was about 10 months old, whenever I would take her diaper off to change her she would let out her pee. On me. On the changing table. Pretty much everywhere. So, I decided to try setting her on a little potty seat, just to try and see what would happen. This started a very long streak of her letting out both #1 and #2 on her little potty chair. For over a year she was still wearing a diaper but when I would change her, she would sit on the potty chair and usually let something out.

Then we had Caleb and moved. We suspended our use of cloth diapers and I became inconsistent with our pee-pee routine. She turned two and stopped wanting to sit on her little potty seat. The battle was just a little much for me to handle. But recently she has been showing interest in using the potty again, and she has been wanting some big girl panties.

We have been experimenting with Pampers EasyUps as a combo "big girl panties" and diaper in one. She loves that "just Bekah" can put them on and pull them up. They are nice and stretch so when it comes time to race to the bathroom because her 'pee-pee is coming out' it is quick and easy to remove. It was a little hard to tell which side was the front and which was the back, but I think we got it figured out. 

Before we moved in with Daniel's parents while we build our house, we used cloth diapers. If we were in our own house, I would probably use cloth training pants. But since we are using someone else's washer and dryer, we are going with disposable diapers, and I think these Pampers are going to work well for us when we decide to full on potty train. 

If you are interested in trying Pampers EasyUps, you can click here for a $1.50 off coupon! I received 4 free diapers to try out from Influenster. These opinions are all my own. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Adventures in Life: Quiet Time Coloring

I always loved coloring. A clean, new, blank coloring book was always an exciting treat. Even as an adult I savor each new page in a coloring book. And I love that adult coloring books are a thing now. They are my favorite! 

One of my newest coloring books is also a devotional book. It's called 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood. A devotional book for mothers. A coloring devotional book for moms. What a great idea, right?!

I have been enjoying this devotional book for the past few weeks, and while I have not completed all 40 of the days, I have very much enjoyed the the idea of this book. Each day starts with a verse or two from the Bible. It is followed by a few paragraph to full page of a devotion on the topic of motherhood as it relates to 6 different topics: self acceptance, self care, reconciling with grief, generosity, presence, and forgiveness. The devotion is ended by a prayer and on the opposite page is a drawing to color. 

What I liked about this book: I enjoyed that it could be a quick 10 minute quiet time or I could go deeper by looking up the included Bible passage and spend more like 30 minutes studying, meditating and coloring. I found that the pictures were simple enough to color and think about what I had just read. I also liked that there was extra space on the pages to write down thoughts, almost like a journal. I tend to write and doodle when I am thinking and this book provided me enough space to do just that.

There were a few ways I thought this book could be better. The actual book itself is kind of flimsy. The pages are thin and you could only really use color pencil on them - marker would go right through onto the next page. While the content of the devotional was good, I wished it would have delved deeper into what God's word says about motherhood. To me, the devotional aspect of the book was more 'milk' instead of 'meat' when it came to the study of the Bible. 

I would recommend this book to moms who are looking for a quick and easy way to get some relaxing devotional time into their schedule. It would be great for someone who doesn't normally have a quiet time, and would make a good gift to any mom who likes to color. 

I did receive this book free in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Adventures of Caleb: 4 Months

I am a little behind with this 4 months post, but here we go!

Dear Caleb, 

What a growing boy you are! You are 4 months old and every day is a new adventure in rolling, grabbing, and baby babbling for you. In the last month you have really started to enjoy being on your tummy and playing with toys. It is so fun to watch you reach for and grab toys. You love to look at them and then try to stuff them into your mouth. You are pretty persistent when it comes to trying to get things into your mouth. Your favorite toy is a stuffed ladybug that was also your sister's favorite...and sometimes she still likes to play with it too.

You are growing so fast that you are already wearing 6 month clothes and 6-12 month socks are to little for your cute chubby feet already. 

You do not have any teeth yet, but you are drooling enough to make me wonder if they will be coming soon. You are almost always sporting a bib because of your drool. I have had to buy a bunch of them for you. Your sister had tons of bibs but never needed them. 

You love your sister and she loves you! If you are crying in the car, usually her singing a song will quiet your cries. Your current favorite is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. And she loves being the big sister to sing it to you. You just light up when you see her and love to watch her play. 

You still do not have much of a sleeping schedule. You will be awake for about 2 hours at a time during the day and then want to go to sleep. Sometimes you sleep for 30 minutes and sometimes you sleep for 3 hours. You normally take 2 short naps and one long nap and then sleep from 9pm to 9am with 2 or 3 feedings along the way. You LOVE to eat and you love to watch other people eat. I just know in a few months you well really enjoy eating big boy food at the table with your sister!

You are such a happy, sweet boy! Mommy loves you!