Friday, July 30, 2010

Hi there, My Name is Christine and I'm An Addict

Hi, my name is Christine and I am an addict. A house addict. Or a better name, a House-a-holic. My weakness...model homes. They just do it for me. But, I can even get a high from the vacant, foreclosed homes that dot the neighborhoods. I get my daily real estate listings emailed to me and when I find a house that speaks to me I drive to it, listening to it call my name. As I get closer and closer to it, the voice of the house gets louder and louder. I park in the driveway and instruct the kids not to move a muscle. Sometimes if I know I'm going to be awhile, I'll throw on a movie in the car for them while I go about and prowl. I'm surprised the police haven't been called on me yet, lol. I stand on my toes to peek into the windows. I open gates to the backyard. I even try the door handles praying that maybe, just maybe, the realtor might have accidentally forgotten to lock up; I've been lucky a few times. The other day, I found a vacant home with painters inside. I knocked on the open front door and called out to them. And in my best attempt at broken spanish I asked them to let me walk through it. They agreed. Later that day when daddy got home, I took him over there to look at it too. I'm sure they understood his spanish much better than mine, lol. Again we asked the painters to go inside just so we can marvel together over the wrought iron balusters on the staircase and large floorplan. It had over 4100 sqft! Call me crazy but I can't help myself. I haven't always been like this. I think buying our house and fixing it up has slowly conditioned me over time. Daddy used to HATE it, but I think this weird hobby has grown on him too. When we see something we like in a model home, I'll take pictures and he'll come home and try to build it for me. The kids are aware of mommy's addiction and accept it. In fact, they are beginning to show signs of house-a-holism too! When Matthew is bored, he asks me to take him to go look at models. Just the other day while driving around doing my house hunting, Elizabeth mentioned that traditional houses are her thing. She likes the white houses, with white siding and black shutters. That used to be my favorite too but I think I've moved on. I'm starting to enjoy the characteristics of the craftsman style. High baseboards, crown molding and the sight of dark wide-planked wood floors makes me weak in the knees. Kitchens with subway tile or travertine backsplashes makes me wanna do backflips. And the furniture, OH- the furniture! Leather cocktail ottomans with button tufting- I start to salivate at the sight. Freshly manicured backyards with the perfect outdoor furniture makes me sigh. Landscaping and hardscaping with just the right colored concrete and maybe throw in a stone covered outdoor fireplace for kicks and giggles. Oh, I wanna just jump for joy at the mere mention of it. What's wrong with me?! Surely, there must be something wrong. This is not normal. Normal people don't get excited for the future homeowners of the empty houses thinking of all the things they could do to make it beautiful. A few weeks ago we were in the Pasadena area. We had some time on our hands so can you guess what we did? Yup, we scoped out a few well known homes and since we just happened to have our camera on us, we snapped away. We found the Father of the Bride house and the house from my FAVE show Brothers and Sisters! It turns out they are right around the corner from each other.
You should know that we are not in the market for a new house and we don't plan on selling or moving anytime soon (at least I don't think so, lol). I just LOVE houses. My friends, extended family, and co-workers also know about this little issue and have threatened me with an intervention if I don't do something about this addiction. They are pressuring me to put my passion to use and get my real-estate license. So, after giving it much thought and since being done with college, I think I'm actually going to do it. I'm going to get my license (as if I don't have enough things to do with my spare time). But NOT so I can sell a house or two (if I do, then that's just an added bonus)but rather so I can LEGALLY go into the houses that catch my eye by entering a code rather than my current prowling behaviour, lol. Until I do make it legal, I will continue my house hunting, with my husband and 6 kids in tow. I will continue imagining all of the possibilities and all the what-ifs. I will continue to jump for joy for the next homeowners. I will continue to visit the model homes and pretend to live there if only for a minute or two. So, if you ever see the van loaded with kids parked in your neighbors driveway with a MAD woman (and maybe her husband) walking around the empty house, just know it's me (or us)!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Halloween Sneak Peek

As promised, here's a peek at dad's latest Halloween project. It's a zombie cooking on a barbecue grill. The light effect makes it look like this guy is cooking above real fire embers. So cool! He doesn't have the motor running in this video but the zombie continues to turn as if he's being roasted alive. Dad used our rotisserie motor from our actual bbq grill in the backyard for this one. There's a few final touches left to be done but you get the idea. Only daddy would think something like this up!

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Day of School

We are going on wk 3 in the 2010-2011 school year. Because we are year round, we start in July, the kids are already getting accustomed to their new teachers and classmates. This was a VERY big year for us, can you guess why? Matthew started kindergarten. He was soooo excited (an understatement- at the least)!!! Here we are kissing our baby boy goodbye!Once he got into the classroom, the teacher asked the kids to have a seat on the rug. Our boy ran to the rug as fast as he could so he could get a front row seat at his teacher's feet. His eyes were on her the whole time and he listened so attentively at what she had to say. I almost cried that morning but when I saw his behavior and his eagerness to learn I knew it would be so selfish of me to feel sadness for me rather than excitement for him. I think he has a lil crush on his teacher too (how cute)! But.... we all know that mom is #1 in his life, right!!!! I better set that teacher straight before this crush goes too far! We've all heard the media stories of teachers falling for their students before, haha. This boy's mine teacher, so BACK OFF!!!! (I'm really kidding, she's a great teacher and I love her sooo much)We're pretty lucky because every teacher this year is a past teacher from another sibling, so we already knew what to expect from them. Matthew's teacher was once Emily's teacher from kinder. Emily's new teacher was Elizabeth's teacher last year. Here's Emily grabbing her name card from the teacher. Elizabeth's 3rd grade teacher was once Brianna's 3rd grade teacher. This is the teacher that Brianna made the baby quilt for. She's still out on maternity leave but will be returning soon. Poor Brianna, got her SAME teacher again for the 3rd year in a row. He keeps moving up a grade as does she. I think it's because she is such a good student he doesn't want to let her go, so he follows her to the next grade! Bree wasn't needing mom and dad to walk her to class anymore, apparently she's soooo beyond that!!!! And, next year our 1st born will be a BIG JR. HIGH SCHOOLER! Scary-- for mom and dad!!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday

Why this pic, you're probably wondering. Well... daddy's been busy lately building some new Halloween Props. I'll have to post some teaser pics later. But because the garage looks like Halloween is fast approaching and starting to get us all in the mood, I thought this pic was picture perfect for today's Flashback Friday. This is Emily, 2 years old. She claimed daddy's halloween rat as her own and took care of this thing like it was her baby. She carried it around with her and wouldn't let anyone touch it. Gross, huh?! Apparently, daddy's halloween spirit runs in this child as well. She's her father's daughter. I loved Emily at this age! She had THE MOST GORGEOUS HAIR and big brown eyes and she was JUICY!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beautiful Boy

Ben. My Beautiful.
Beautiful. Beautiful.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Forf of July

I got home from work (yes, I worked. How sad, huh?) to find the kids in the pool and daddy bbq'ing. After enjoying some burgers and hot dogs we munched on a few cupcakes for dessert, thanks to this lady
Megan enjoyed eating ONLY the icing
There's nothing like celebrating the birthday of our country in the company of good friends and a few fireworks.
And lucky for us, the sheriff deputy who came to reprimand us and to enforce the No Fireworks Rule had a soft spot in his heart for children and didn't want to ruin their fun.
Besides, who could say "NO Fireworks" to these two cuties?
This was Ben's first fourth of July. He didn't seem all that impressed with the fireworks; he fell asleep in his auntie's arms.
Thanks to the daddies for putting on the show.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You know you're a mom when...

You open the kitchen drawer to get out a sponge and instead find a fresh, empty pudding container. And of course, nobody knows who did it!

10 Years of Marriage

We just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! To mark the occasion, we renewed our vows in our backyard. It was perfect. Thank you to everyone who came. This is a video- if you don't see it on the screen, try refreshing it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

They're not good, they're grrrrrreat!

I'm talking about the kids grades! They finished the school year off with some incredible accomplishments; so good, that I had to share, brag, and blog. Brianna: got all A's in every subject. Most subjects were A+! She made the honor roll. She also got the very coveted Principal's Award. With this award, the teacher chooses one boy and one girl that stand out above all others in the class. Brianna was chosen. The teacher also has to write a blurb about that student and why they were chosen. Here is what he wrote about her: Once in a rare while a student comes along that embodies the word 'scholar'. Brianna is that student. She is an outstanding reader. Her mathematical ability is top notch, Brianna's understanding of social studies and science is excellent. In spite of all this, what makes this young person so special is the quality of her character. Brianna has the maturity and self understanding to do what is right. She defines the term "moral compass." You are a tremendous person, Brianna. Elizabeth: She got 7 A's and 1 B! This kid got the outstanding reading award! Emily: She also got 7 A's and 1 B! She got an award for Stellar Speaker. My observation about her...she loves the public attention and all eyes on her!