Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

We have finished another task! We needed a break from all of the inside to do's, so we started taking down the ugly grapevine that was growing on the fence in front of our house.


In progress.

Finished! You can now see our house from the road, fancy that!

We have plans to remove this fence and replace it with something a little more pleasing to the eye. I hate that all of the chain-link makes our place look so much like a compound! For now, we'll leave it up so that Elizabeth knows the boundries of the yard. I think it looks tons better!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Carpet Installation

Our carpet was installed today, four days sooner than we had expected! The carpet guys had a cancellation today and our carpet came in yesterday, so it all worked out perfectly. I didn't get everything I wanted done (like more sanding on the shelves next to my vanity), but that's ok. I can lay plastic down whenever I think I'll make a mess...which is always!

Here's a roll of pad and three of the rolls of carpet:

Elizabeth had to be in on all of the action. The hardest part of today was trying to keep her out of Louie & Randy's way! This is her taking her first steps on the fully installed carpet in the guest room.

Now for the before and after pictures. This is the guest room before:

And after:

This is Elizabeth's room before:

And after: It's hard to see in this picture, but the chair rail is up on the right wall. The rest will hopefully be installed sometime next week. It just depends on Travis's work schedule.

This is the master bedroom before:

And after:

So now all of our walls are painted and carpet is in! We moved our bed into our room, and Elizabeth is asleep in her room right now! It will be so nice to get to use the rest of our house now! Don't be too fooled, though; I still have plenty of work to do! The next thing on my list is sanding and painting all of the shelves that go in the closets so we can start using those, too!

While all of this fun was going on, I also made pasta sauce. I didn't get any pictures because there was so much going on and I totally forgot! I ended up canning 5 pints and 12 half-pints. Why half-pints? Two reasons: 1-I ran out of clean pint jars and did not want to use quarts, 2-I think I'll like having half-pints for when Travis is out working and Elizabeth & I are the only ones eating. I hate having lots of leftover pasta sauce anyway!

The Things Daddys Do

Travis is great at playing with and entertaining Elizabeth. Of course, there are things that Daddy thinks are fun...until she loses a finger!

Like making noise in front of the box fan. Elizabeth looks like she's saying, "No, no, Daddy!"

But, she's not! It's just too tempting for her not to join right in. I can no longer count the times I have said, "That's an ouchy! We don't touch the fan. You can make noise in front of it, but no touching!!" (Repeat until you're blue in the face.)

Daddys are good for hugs and play-wrestling, though! He makes her laugh and laugh and laugh.

And that makes me happy. Almost happy enough to forgive him for teaching her how to make noise in front of that fan! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Today, Elizabeth & I took a little vacation and went with Travis down to Weslaco. That's what I like to call almost-Mexico. It's been a few months since my last trip down there and so much has changed! I did go down there to do a little work, too.

Here's Elizabeth in front of the Jatropha cuttings that are just 4 months old. They are already taller than she is!

This picture doesn't look like much, but these trees were direct seeded (not planted from transplants). A few of the trees are much bigger than the rest. Those are the seeds that germinated right away after planting. The smaller trees decided to wait for a rain before they came up. What a difference a few weeks will make in growth!

These trees are less than 1 year old and are already 7-8 feet tall. In February, they were only 2 feet tall.

Hanging out in the shade. These large Jatropha plants gave plenty of shade, which we needed since it was over 100 degrees there today.

These trees are the oldest and are just 13 months old. Most of these trees had been pruned back to 1 meter tall and are now anywhere from 7-10 feet tall. Elizabeth looks so tiny standing next to them!

She liked playing a little hide-and-seek in some of the thicker planted trees. I had to be sure and keep an eye on her. It would have been so easy for her to get lost!

These trees are massive compared to Elizabeth & me!

I'll leave you with a picture of this Jatropha plant that's probably 5 feet across and 8 feet tall. I know that this may not seem like exciting cutting-edge stuff, but the characteristics and growth habits of this plant are truly amazing to me. We are doing research that has never been done in the US before! How neat is that?!

Working is Easier With Help

This past weekend, we finally sat down to put together a work bench my parents won at a raffle and gave to Travis. Elizabeth loves tools and all hardware that comes with putting things together, so you can just imagine how much help she was! You might even think of her as quality control.

Where should we start? Are you sure Mommy knows how to read the directions?

It's important to clean your tools before you use them!

Ok, let's start!

Are you sure the bolts go in here?

I think you have a loose screw! Here, I'll do it!

See, wasn't that easy?

Daddy, I told you Mommy couldn't read the instructions! (We did have to undo a couple of things because I skipped a step. Accident! Accident!)

All finished! I don't think I'm over the weight limit just yet!

Don't these two look just exhausted? It looks so simple, but with me directing production, it might have taken a smidge longer than it should have! Oh, still got assembled!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

15 Month Check Up

Elizabeth had her 15 month check up today! She's growing to be such a big girl! 21.8 lbs and 30.5 inches tall. She didn't really like the doctor's office today. She hates being made to lie down. Dr. A didn't even have to use the tounge depresser to look in her mouth because she was screaming so big and loud. It really didn't help that she had to get three shots today. As for everything else, she's as healthy as a little foal! What's even better is that there are no shots at her 18 month check up, only a physical. Yay!

Elizabeth's Recent Events

There has been a lot going on this month for me (Elizabeth). Here are a few things I've been up to:

My first taste of a Rice Crispy Treat. Yum, yum!

Mmm, so good! Gooey stuff that's okay to eat...toddler heaven!

Of course, I wouldn't be related to momma, Aunt Kate, or Uncle Matt if I didn't have an early obsession with Dr. Pepper!

Now only if I can get these things open with my teeth. Good thing these are my baby teeth!

I like playing with my Fridge Farm and alphabet, but sometimes it's fun to put these things in jars.

How much stuff can you get into a bullion cube jar? Aparently a Blue Sheep head, a Purple Cow booty, and a few stray letters!

This was the only picture taken on the Fourth of July. Silly momma forgot to take pictures of me in my cute outfit that said "Daddy's Little Sparkler". So cute! Here's our little firecracker all burned out!

Well, we can't forget about Chick-fil-A customer appreciation week! Don't you like my Cow Crown!?

I've had a busy month and it's not even over yet! I'm getting the hang of this toddler thing and all of the new opportunities that come with being able to walk! I sure have a hankering for a trip to the coast...let's see how I do with the Gulf! Sand castle, anyone?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm Not the Only One?

Most of you know that Elizabeth spends many days not seeing any other children. That's why it was such a treat for her to get to spend a couple of days playing with her cousins at my Great Aunt's house. She now knows that she's not the only little girl around!

Elizabeth & Hannah hanging out in the little pool.

Ooo, this is fun!

Who knew common kitchen items could be so much fun. Oh, wait, momma knows since I'm always in her kitchen drawers!

Water may be fun, but dirt+water= way more fun! Hey, people pay big bucks for a mud bath; she got one for free!

After a bath, it was back to the toy closet. Hmm, I think I'll empty this thing from the inside!

Elizabeth & Zach playing through the glass doors. Such cuties!!

Now that Elizabeth knows how much fun other children can be, I'm sure she can't wait for another playdate! We hope to see you all again soon!