Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter Weekend and Blog update #3 for this weekend.. WOW!

We had a wonderful Easter weekend altogether! Caleb sings in the choir at our church, Prestonwood Baptist, and had to sing in all 4, ahem, 3 of the services. He was supposed to sing in 4, but he says the alarm "didn't go off"... haha! I think his body didn't want to get up so his mind forgot when he pushed the snooze button earlier that morning! Nonetheless, he still sang in 3 of the services that weekend, 1 Saturday and 2 on Sunday. I decided to go to the Saturday night service with our wonderful friends Trog and Mendi so that I wouldn't have to be a loner and go to the service alone like I normally do on Sunday mornings! It was absolutely incredible and they, as always, came through with the most incredibly moving music that perfectly fit the occasion! On Sunday morning, I got up and got to cookin' to get ready for the Easter lunch we had with Caleb's mom and family. I also had to clean house and get ready to go back to work after Spring Break since Plano ISD hates their teachers and decided it would be a good idea to "double dip" and have Spring Break and Easter all in the same weekend and not give us the Monday after Easter off like they always have in the past. Whatev... Not bitter. Anywho.. So, I spent Sunday morning being a housewife, then when Caleb got home we took off to his sister Emily's house to celebrate the resurrection of our savior with some fried chicken and an Easter egg hunt! Don't you think that's how Jesus would celebrate today?? I think if Jesus lived today He'd be a southerner and would LOVE him some fried chicken while He fellowships with His disciples. Well, at any rate, that's how we celebrated! It was a true Baptist potluck at the Thornton household, complete with enough easter eggs to let the whole neighborhood participate. I think we actually spent more time stuffing eggs than we did eating lunch and letting the kids hunt. Oh well! By the time lunch came around, most of the kids were already full from sneaking candy, so all the adults enjoyed some good food and fellowship. Lunch was followed by hiding eggs and the kiddos hunting. And it wouldn't be a true celebration without a little drama, right?! Well, our neice Elyza had the opportunity this year to help hide eggs since her mom told her that it would be her last year to participate. Since Elyza decided to hide eggs, Chloe decided that she wanted to as well, but since she is much younger, mom said she had to wait a few years. Well, that just wasn't going to cut it, so Chloe decided to boycott the Easter egg hunt altogether. That wasn't going to work either, so after some serious coaxing, Chloe somehow managed to make it outside to atleast be amongst the hunt, but spent the first 10 minutes outside crying about how she didn't want to hunt eggs? I know..really cute, but seriously.. when I was her age, I don't think I'd ever cry when my parents told me to run around in the yard and get as much free candy as your basket could hold! She finally caved and decided to hunt eggs, which was great because there was half of the Thornton backyard that seriously had not even been touched and all of the other kids were done with hunting! All-in-all, the Easter hunt was a success and we are glad that all age-appropriate children enjoyed themselves and have enough candy for at least a weeks worth of candy stomach-aches! Enjoy the pics...
Grammy and Kaylee Bunny chillin out'
Maya Bunny grinning from ear-to-ear!
Sam Bunny itchin' to get those ears off his head!
Such a cute pic of Mattie hunting Easter eggs!
Maya looking for more eggs.. she looks pretty deep in thought here!
I have so many more pics, they'll have to wait for another blog. It is way past my bed-time!

Happy Belated Birthday, Don!

Happy Belated Birthday to Caleb's dad, Don Morris! On Saturday, we celebrated Caleb's dads birthday with a surprise lunch at Dos Charros! It was a great time to catch up with him and see how they are doing! I think he was quite surprised to see the whole gang sitting at the table when he walked in! Dos Charros is one of those small, family owned Mexican food restaurants which is my favorite kind! They always have the best salsa and are always really cheap for some good food... if you know me, you know that would be the best possible combination, good and cheap Mexican food! Here are some pictures from lunch...

Caleb's dad, Don and Sheree enjoying his birthday lunch at Dos Charros!
Chloe and Mattie being super cute at Dos Charros!

Elyza, Emily and Baby Kaylee (Alli's baby!)

We had a grand ol' time stuffing our faces with chips and salsa and chit-chattin about what's happenin' in each of our lives! We are so blessed to have such wonderful family that is so close to us!

We're on 3rd base..rounding in to home!

Wow... I cannot believe it is nearly April!! We have just around a month until we absolutely have to be out of our apartment, which means we also have to be in our new house. That means, life for the next 30 days are going to be sheer chaos!! If I can last through the next 30 days and maintain sanity, I think I can handle a heck of a lot for a 24, almost 25 year old! We have 1 month left in the CARES Apartment Ministry, which means we still have 70 hours of service to the apartment complex and 384 apartment residencies to love on, 1 apartment that has to be packed and ready for the move, 2 full-time jobs, 1 husband trying to study intensely for the GMAT which he'll be taking May 10th (pray for that!) and 1 house to complete, from refinishing the hardwoods to painting the walls to tiling the floors and bathrooms to putting in gutters to helping our yard live to SO MUCH MORE! Mylanta.. does that make you want to come help us?? Well, if you feel ever so inclined, we'd love to buy your lunch on a Saturday for some help painting, etc, etc, etc! Sorry no pics.. just a short post to let you know we are alive and the house is coming along. I will post pics soon. The house looks totally different!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Walls, windows and a workaholic!

Here's a big update, one the few of you who keep bothering me have been waiting for! Sorry... I am just so busy these days I can barely keep up with myself! Between work, CARES, the house and my family (husband and 2 dogs at the moment), I have to remember to breathe sometimes. I am really enjoying every bit of the remodel, but will be very glad when this labor of love is complete! This week is my spring break, and since there is no relaxing with this much work to be done, I have been over at my house working my tail off. I have to say, though, that I am very proud of all I have accomplished! I do have to share a quick warm fuzzy story! On Thursday, we had A LOT going on at the house. We had 2 inspections that we had to pass, so I had my framing crew on my job shimming up some spaces in the wood, spraying foam in the holes the electricians and plumbers left, framing out a new window space and installing insulation in all of the open exterior walls. I also had all of the windows being installed throughout the house. On top of that, I had a mason on the job patching up the spot where the new window would be. And as icing on the cake, I was there removing ceiling tiles (156 to be exact), ceiling nails (somewhere around 700 of those) and peeling up what we think may asbestos tile from the old sun room so we can refinish the hardwoods that are under there. Sound busy? It was! Well, around 11:00 a.m. I realized that I really needed all of my workers to keep working through lunch to get everything done that needed to be done prior to the inspection, so I decided to go buy them lunch! Well, you would have thought they won the lottery or just accepted Jesus because there was some serious hollering, excitement and thankfulness in my house! It was such a blessing to bless them with lunch and just reminded me that we can touch peoples lives in even the smallest ways, and even when I think I am doing something to motivate people to work, God can use it in a much bigger way! He just reminded me of how blessed I am and how even the little things can be used to spread the love of Christ by being self-sacrificial with my money and servant-hearted with my gifts!

This is the master bedroom carpet that I rolled up all by myself! I didn't think it was such a big deal, even though it was pretty tough and took a bit of time.. but when I told my father-in-law, Geary, who is a contractor, that I did it all by myself, he was quite impressed! He said that is normally a 2 or 3 person job.

Our windows, woohoo!

The "hopefully not asbestos" and linoleum flooring I am peeling away to reveal the beautiful hardwoods.

New window in the front bedroom. If you come visit us, you could open those windows as you will stay in this bedroom! So fun!

The truck with the windows, and me on the sidelines praying that none of them were broken.. my prayers were answered!

The old front window is gone and the frame is just waiting for the new one.. Aren't they shiny and new!

The master bath with insulation.

The hall bath with the new, much smaller and much more private window plus insulation.

The ceiling, sans tiles. That was some tedious work. See that faint blue chalk line on the ceiling?? That chalk line centered the room for the original owner to install the ceiling tile probably about 50 years ago... Crazy!

Hope you enjoyed the picture walk through our journey in the last few days!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Electricity that won't kill us!

Soo.. whenever we began the whole process with this house, one of the fun and interesting things we found out is that all of the electricity in the house was wired basically illegally! Fun huh? What previous owner, graciously dubbed "Handy Homeowner" by Caleb and me for all of the ways he ghetto-rigged the house, did was take all of the non-grounded wired in the house and put grounded plugs on them. Now some of you may be confused, so let me explain. When wired are not grounded, by putting a grounded 3- prong plug on them does NOT make them grounded. They just look all pretty and grounded. Really, though, it is extremely unsafe and can ruin all of your electronic equipment, kitchen gadgets, etc. And you all know that between me, the kitchen guru, and my husband, who thinks its a sin to not own the latest piece of electronics, we would be out a TON of money if something happened to all our stuff. But even more important than that, we just really wanted to do the safe and legal thing for our home. With that, we now have legitimately grounded wires and plugs in our home, in addition to some fun new can lights for our living, kitchen and porch areas. Enjoy the pics!

Living room can lights

Kitchen can lights

Porch can light
Sorry if these pics weren't as exciting... more to come soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Health Alert.... This makes my drinking habits very sad =(

So, you are going to think I am crazy for saying I am broken-hearted over this YouTube video, but anyone who knows me knows that I ALWAYS order water with lemon at a restaurant. AND.. If they bring me water with no lemon, I always ask them to bring me a bowl of lemons. Why?? I don't know, but I do know that lemon always makes my water taste better. Well, from here on out, I am going to be a lemon-free girl in public, and I venture to guess you will be too after watching this video. YUCK!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Funny, funny... Just HAD to post!

Valentine's Day.. Only Slightly Past Due!

I have to brag BIG TIME on my husband for making this Valentine's Day an extraordinary one! Caleb and his friend, Trog, got together and planned an unusually special evening for Trog's wife, Mendi, and I. It all started when they told us to meet at the Trogdon apartment at 5:15pm. Through the lies of both of our husbands, we thought the boys would be joining us there but were soon instructed over the phone to open Trog's dresser drawer. There we found a green envelope that contained a puzzle with OUR FIRST CLUE! We were about to partake in a scavenger hunt, yippee!! Our first destination was Starbucks where the cashier granted us gift cards and another green envelope. After solving a word puzzle, we were led to Barnes and Noble at Stonebriar Mall to receive a book and another clue which sent us off to Victoria's Secret.. or at least someone's secret, so we thought! Little did we know it was the V.S. at a different mall! We learned this important little tidbit of information only after walking back to the car to get the camera, then around the wrong mall for more than 30 minutes, asking every store that seemed like a "secret" (about 10 total stores) if they had a green envelope. Needless to say, we got lots of "what are you talking about?" looks! We faced the reality that not only were we at the wrong place, but we also were not donning the proper shoes for the occasion and had the bloody heels to prove it! After finding the right mall and the right V.S., we obtained our next clue and another little gift.... Sorry folks, Victoria said this gift was a "secret"! We then found ourselves at Bath & Body Works for some bath essentials (and band-aids for our heels!) and a clue leading us to Whole Foods. No gift this time, just our next clue hidden under a jar of Oregano! After solving a Sudoku puzzle and talking to my mom on the phone for directions (she asked if we were cheating... we didn't care at that point because we were starving and our feet were killing us!), we were led to a flower shop on Beltline where we were each given a beautiful red rose and another green envelope. It was now off to the Marriott Hotel in which we had a hunch that our hunt was coming to an end and that we were about to spend a romantic night away from home. To our dismay, the front desk hostess handed us an envelope not holding two room keys but a piece of paper saying "text NOT STAYING HERE to get your next clue"! Our last clue landed us at our apartment for our final surprise......a candlelight dinner! Little did we know that as we were scavaging the entire North Dallas Metroplex, Caleb and Trog had been grocery shopping and cooking (actually learning to cook) a meal for us! The table and mood were set and we were served a full course meal including bread, salad, chicken, veggies, and cheesecake. It was absolutely perfect and was the best Valentine's Day a girl could have. Mendi decided we wouldn't mind celebrating the Day of Love together more often... and really anytime our husbands decide it's a occasion worthy of cooking up a good meal!! Thanks for all your hard work babe! It was well worth it! 143!

Monday, March 3, 2008

You must tear down before you rebuild.. I guess that's our motto!

Soo for all of you who are itching for an update, here ya go! Here are pictures of our house with some serious demolition going on! Basically at this point, everything that needs to be torn out of the house, barring the carpet and the load-bearing studs that have to be redistributed, has now been torn out! Yippee! Starting tomorrow, the rebuilding process will begin! We will begin to see new walls going up. Our space already looks so much more open with all of the walls opened up in the kitchen and living room areas, as well as the bathrooms. What an exciting time!

View from the 3rd bedroom into the kitchen. Currently the space is open and you see pipes coming through the floor. Where the pipes are is where the washer and dryer will eventually be, with access from the kitchen. To the left of the washer and dryer is where the refrigerator will be inset. This room used to have the built-in seat and bookshelves, which are now gone gone gone!

View from the entrance of the house into the dining room area. Notice from the ceiling, the fur-down space separating the living and dining area has been shrunk to almost nothing (it couldn't be completely demolished because we cannot replicate the ceiling texture-records!). Also, one of the biggest transformations is the removal of the wall between the kitchen and dining area. Eventually, there will be a 4 foot wide roman arch walk-in to the kitchen and a 7 1/2 foot wide half-wall with a roman arch to keep the space looking really open!

Straight-on view from the dining room into the kitchen. The framers removed all of the fur-down above the old cabinets and the walls so that the new arches could be put in! The space looks HUGE now!

View of the dining room from inside the kitchen. WOW... what a different 8 hours of hard labor will do for ya!

View of the hall bathroom from the hallway. That big pipe with the orange cap is where the toilet will be and the tub-shower combo will be under the window, which is going to be smaller.

View of the master bathroom from the master bedroom. The opening is where the hot water heater used to be and it will be walled off. The big hole in the floor is the piping for the garden tub!

View of the master bathroom from the current hole in the wall where the hot water heater used to be. The orange pipe in the floor is where the toilet will be and to the left of that is where the sink and counter will be!

Used to be the closet in the 3rd bedroom... future additional closet space for the master. 'Nuff said!

My best attempt at getting a picture of the first snow at our new house... its really fuzzy!
Well, that's all for now folks.. I hope you enjoyed your stop at the Morris blog and were filled with lots of prayer requests for us, haha! We need lots of it as this is the time where the schedules are really starting to fill up and we are starting to feel the pressure! It will be a neat home when it is finished!