Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marathon prep

The Disney Marathon is less than two weeks away! Chris and I will be running it on January 10th, beginning 5:30AMish. You can track our progress by going to this site:


Put in your cell phone number and it will text you as we cross certain points. Just don't look for fabulous times. Our goal is to finish. We're shooting for 5 hours, but just finishing will be fabulous!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dance Recital Time

The Y Dance program had a Christmas mini-recital. It's the first time they have done a recital during Christmas time, and it preceeded the high school dance recital. Benjamin and Alexander were both in it, and did great! It's hard to tell from the video, but they really looked like they were enjoying themselves!

Alexander performed a jazz piece. He felt a bit unprepared - he had missed two of the rehearsals right before the recital - but he did a great job anyway!

Benjamin was in 3 different dances. His favorite was this modern piece.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The hanging of the pictures...finally

Yesterday we finished hanging pictures in the downstairs. Our Christmas stockings are hanging on the stairs, waiting to be filled.
Fish tank, with two pics above it

We found a great place for our Weinrich chocolate picture - right by the back sliding glass door.

This is probably my favorite part of our house - I LOVE our new washer/dryer.

This is probably the boys' favorite part of our house, and our only true splurge. 52" plasma TV.

We opened one Christmas present early, at mom's suggestion. Aunt Denise and Uncle Bob bought us these three awesome pictures of the boys. They were taken on the cruise, while they were dressed up in western clothing.
Our family portrait, which we bought on our summer cruise, hangs in the dining room. It's big!

Living room, with my Florida Christmas tree by the window.

More living room

Dining room - including my angel curio cabinet and our portrait. This was Grandma's table, the one where she kept all of her plants in front of the window. We also have her embroidered chairs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Moving day, part 2

Last Monday night, the movers came with mom and dad's furniture. They arrived at 9:30 PM, and were out by 10:45. Although it's hard to tell from these pictures, the moving van was HUGE! It was an 18 wheeler, chugging through our neighborhood. The movers were very efficient and set everything up for us. The house is almost arranged and we hope to be taking interior pictures soon!

Alexander's birthday party

Here is the cake Alexander requested. He wanted a Strawberry cake. I used a white cake recipe and added strawberry jello mix, which turned out quite good. He wanted purple icing!
Alexander had 3 of his friends (and 3 of Benjamin's friends) sleep over that night. Lynnlee and Tanner also came by for cake and some of the activities.

Blowing out the candles with gusto

It really was good!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Benjamin's Christmas Band Concert

This is the First Christmas March that was performed at Benjamin's band concert on Friday. They have really improved since their first concert. These kids have been playing their instruments since October!

An Ode to Jonathan

It has been so much fun to watch Jonathan grow up. I think we appreciate it much more, knowing he is our last one. It becomes bittersweet, in a way. Jonathan has had a huge year. This year, he lost his first tooth, learned how to swim, learned how to ride a bike, and learned to read. First grade is such a wonderful year. He's developing quite a sense of humor, and boy, can he talk. Just ask his teacher.

Last week, he got an unexpected (and unwanted) chance to prove just how grown-up he is. It was a day of pouring down rain. Alexander had been picked up early from school to go to a doctor's appointment, so Jonathan rode the bus home alone. No big deal.
Because of the terrible weather, I went straight from the doctor's to the bus stop. We arrived there at 2:25 for a 2:45 pick-up time. I looked down the street, but didn't see him. And why should I? We were there 20 minutes early. I waited and waited, but the bus didn't come. Finally, it was 2:45. Traffic had been bad for me, so I thought the bus could be late. I had a funny feeling, though, so on a whim I picked up my phone and called home.
"Hello?" Jonathan answered. I couldn't believe it. I quickly drove the half mile down my street to find him sitting calmly in the kitchen, a little bit damp. He had walked all the way home by himself, let himself in through the garage keypad, taken off his wet coat and shoes in the garage, closed the garage, and come in the house to wait for me. Incredible. He's six years old.
Since then, I have lodged a complaint with the transportation office. After questioning the other boy at our bus stop (a fifth grader), I have discovered that the bus driver ran the route backwards, dropping our stop off first instead of last. Since my complaint, they've had substitute bus drivers. Hmm.
I've also taught Jonathan how to dial the phone and call my cell, something we should have done a long time ago. We have praised him for his maturity. He now seems to think he can stay home alone by himself. While that won't happen, it sure is nice to know how responsible he can be when something like this happens. He isn't my little baby anymore.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


My favorite picture - all of them ages 6-11.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Day and other pictures

We're finally getting organized in our house. Yesterday, Mom and Dad Weinrich brought over our new quilt. It looks awesome on our bed, and goes well with our new paint! It's fun to look at and see all the old pieces of material. There are a few that came from clothes that were mine as a kid. Benjamin's first Halloween costume, maternity and nursing shirts, and old quilts are all included. It's wonderful!

Benjamin and Jack are ready for some football. Benjamin, on the right, is 9 months older than Jack. He may not be taller, but he does have more hair.

Kids enjoying our "Harry Potter" closet.

The first night the Martins were here, we celebrated Joey's birthday.

Thanksgiving Day - after many attempts to get the "men" to carve the turkey, Cindi and I were given the job by default. And we did a good job of it.

The kids' table. Jack and Joey are wearing their running shirts from the Thanksgiving 5K.


Benjamin, in a lovely pose.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moving in!

Monday was our official moving day. The movers arrived at the apartment about 8:30 and loaded everything up. We used the same company as we did last time, but this crew was not as careful as the other.
While Chris was at the apartment, I was at the house, letting the solar guys in to start their work.
John had finished painting the downstairs and had started working on the bedrooms. The movers just piled everything into the middle of the bedrooms, and we had to move it later, once the paint was dry.

Anything we didn't know where to put ended up in our back porch.

The first thing I made in our new oven - flappy. It was a bad batch of flappy. Sorry, Grandma.

After 4 days, here is our pile of boxes. I put them on freecycle, and some were picked up. The rest are going out with the recycling tomorrow morning. I am so sick of boxes.

Here's Alexander's room. He decided to de-bunk the bunk beds. He also chose the color. Not what I would have picked, but he loves it and that's what matters.

Jonathan chose "banana cream" as his color. He has plenty of room for all of his toys. We also attached the canopy to his bed.
On Wednesday, the appliance installer came and put in our microwave and dishwasher. They are wonderful!!! I don't think we've ever had a dishwasher that actually cleans. The others were just sanatizers - we had to almost wash them by hand before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
Great fridge, too. We sure missed the in-door ice machine and water dispenser.

Solar Power!

On Saturday, the solar guys came and finished up all of our solar. On the right is the "inverter," which makes the electricity. On the left is the meter, which will be running much slower (and hopefully even backwards).
I was trying to watch them put up the panels, but our roof is too tall. I walked way behind the house to get this view. There are 20 solar electric panels and 1 solar water heater panel (on the top).

Close up

Close up of some of the panels before they went on the roof.

They had huge ladders to get up on the roof. They carried the 50 pound panels up the ladder. Not something I would want to do!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

20 mile run

Sunday we have to do a 20 mile run!! I've never run that far. So I figured we should at least make it fun - we're going to run to the beach and back. Here's the link:


Think of us on Saturday morning, when we're out running for 4 hours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lutheran Observations

Got this email from a friend - thought I would pass it on.

1. Lutherans believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.

2. Lutherans like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a hymn with more than four stanzas.

3. Lutherans believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even ifthey don't notify them that they are there.

4. Lutherans usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is their way of suffering for their sins.

5. Lutherans believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

6. Lutherans feel that applauding for their children's choirs would make the kids too proud and conceited.

7. Lutherans think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace. (not true at my church!)

8. Lutherans drink coffee as if it were the Third Sacrament.

9. Some Lutherans still believe that an ELCS bride and an LCMS groom make for a mixed marriage. (For those of you who are not Lutherans, ELCS is Evangelical Lutheran Church Synod and LCMS is Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, two different divisions of the same Protestant religion. And when and where I grew up in Minnesota , intermarriage between the two was about as popular as Lutherans and Catholics marrying.)

10. Lutherans feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

11. Lutherans are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at church.

12. Lutherans think that Garrison Keillor stories are totally factual.

13. Lutherans still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the season and think that peas in a tuna noodle casserole add too much color.

14. Lutherans believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never take themselves too seriously.

And finally, you know you're a Lutheran when:

*It's 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service;

*You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you can;

*Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee; *The communion cabinet is open to all, but the coffee cabinet is locked up tight;

*When you watch a 'Star Wars' movie and they say,"May the Force be with you," you respond, 'and also with you';

*And lastly, it takes 15 minutes to say, "Good-bye".

May you wake each day with His blessings, Sleep each night in His keeping,And always walk in His tender care.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Move-in Time!!!

The day has finally arrived!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday we closed on the house. It was not without trial, though. When we arrived in Maitland (45 min away), we found out that the title company gave us the wrong closing amount and we were short $1600. You can't, by law, just write out a personal check. Instead, we had to find the closest bank compatable with our credit union and get a cashier's check. We found one 5 minutes away, returned with our extra check, and walked out with the keys. Needless to say, I won't recommend this title company to anyone else. Her response was, "I didn't mean to send you that closing statement. That's the wrong one." As if we were supposed to know better.

So, finally at 4:30, we returned to Port Orange with keys in hand. Here we are, opening the door for the first time.

The Wedges stopped by with a bottle of Brandy that we can open when we pay off the mortgage. Hmmm...we'll be 70 by then!

John the painter arrived at 5:00, ready to begin the dining room. He'll be back on Sunday to work on the family room and whatever else he can get done before the movers arrive on Monday.

Front door

More front door

We had a ton of boxes to unload in the kitchen - but finished all of them. We need to leave all the counters clear for painting tomorrow.
Right on time (!!!) the appliances arrived. They installed everything but the dishwasher and the over-the-stove microwave, which will be put in on Tuesday.

A bunch of our friends helped us move everything out of Chris' parents' garage. We took over one whole side of it. It only took two trips with 6 cars.

In this picture, we're about 1/3 of the way done.