Category Archives: Projects

My Heart REVS For You!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ben’s preschool class celebrated Valentine’s Day last Thursday by exchanging cards and small goodie bags.  This year we opted for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts.  We took our inspiration from a car show that Jake and Ben stumbled upon while out running errands one Saturday afternoon.  Jake just so happened to snap some cute shots of Ben standing by various cars and trucks and I thought they’d make great Valentine’s Day cards!  So, I let Ben pick out three of his favorite photos, we printed them, glued them to colored card stock and then wrote some catchy little Valentine’s Day phrases on them. 

Here are the photos and phrases we used… 

“My heart REVS for you!”

“Have a MONSTER sized Valentine’s Day!”

“Glad you DROVE into my life, Valentine!”

A special card just for his teachers…

“You make life SWEET!”  (This is a photo from Ben’s Christmas party in December.  That’s his teacher Mrs. H on the left and the assistant Mrs. B on the right.  We absolutely LOVE them both!  They are really REALLY wonderful!)

Ben decorated the back of each card with Valentine’s stickers and we attached each one to a bag of homemade chocolate dipped pretzels with heart sprinkles.

Ben had so much fun acting as the “sprinkler”.  His philosophy…some for me, some for you.  Each time he sprinkled a chocolate covered pretzel, he sprinkled his mouth!  I got the pretzel inspiration from my sister-in-law.  She made these for Christmas and Ben loved them!  Thanks, Candice!

The finished products!  Ben was really excited to hand these out to his friends!


Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Food, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects

Closing Day…Oh What a Day!

Closing Day...The Keys!!

Closing Day...The Keys!!

We’re homeowners again!!  Approximately six months ago we made an offer on a house in our neighborhood (it’s only eight houses down from where we currently live)!  And yes, you read that right…it’s been half a year since we made the offer.  The home was in pre-foreclosure status…also known as a short sale.  So we were not only negotiating with the seller but also with two lending institutions AND working with two Realtors.  Needless to say we’ve had quite the journey full of highs and lows.  I won’t go in to all of the details, but I will take this opportunity to share about closing day…it had plenty of it’s own highs and lows! 

So finally the glorious day (last Friday) had arrived.  My friend Katy watched Ben for me which was a HUGE help!!  I met Jake at the bank in order to pick up our down payment check.  After waiting for twenty-five minutes we were feeling the pressure to get on the road in order to make it in time for our 10:00 am closing…so we left…without the money.  I drove while Jake made several calls to the banks, title company and mortgage company.  I should note that during the phone call chaos Jake was informed by one person that we were on our way to the wrong location (after we had passed the exit) only to be told a few minutes later that she was wrong…we were headed to the right location.  Surprisingly enough we managed to arrive at the title company right on time (I was driving after all) with smiles on our faces.  Our Realtor (who has been wonderful through this entire process) was there waiting for us and the lady at the title company (I don’t know her official title…we’ll call her the “title lady”) was super nice.  So we drank coffee, ate cookies and signed a mountain of documents.  The title lady even let us use her computer to wire the down payment.  (It turned out our on-line banker forgot to put the approval order through the night before and we were told we had to put the order in by 11:30 am that morning in order to get a same day transfer.  We made it with about five minutes to spare!!)  As we were leaving we were told that the seller would be in to close at 1:00 pm that afternoon and then we’d receive the keys.  We were truly elated as we left the office.

At about 3:30 pm that afternoon Jake received a call from our Realtor.  We were informed that the seller was not pleased with some of the language in the closing documents and would not sign them.  The documents were being sent to his lawyer for review and the lawyers for the title company were being called in as well.  What?  Was this really happening?  We went from all smiles and cookies to “we’d advise you to contact a real estate attorney.”  By the time Jake got home from work that evening we were beat.  After dinner we took Ben for a ride in his wagon.  We just kept looking at each other and saying, “we’re speechless” and then we laughed.  We laughed at the absurdity of it all.  We laughed because we knew who was in control…clearly not us.  We felt like God was either protecting us from something or allowing our character to be tested.  So we left it there…in His hands and we went to bed.  We were exhausted!  The next morning we were both up early.  I jokingly asked if we’d heard from the Realtor yet and Jake checked his blackberry.  And there it was like a light shining from heaven illuminating one single e-mail on the screen.  The e-mail was from our Realtor (sent at 4 am) stating that the seller had agreed to sign the documents.  Hallelujah!

Here are some pics I snapped the day we got the keys!  The lot is on a cul-de-sac and the house is 3 bedroom, 3 bath w/ living room, dining room, family room, office, and three car garage.  With some fresh paint, a good cleaning and a little TLC on the yard (it hasn’t been watered in months)…the house should be back in tip top shape again soon!



Entry, Living Room, Dining Room

Entry, Living Room, Dining Room

Hallway to additional bedrooms/bathrooms/laundry/garage, Office

Hallway to additional Bedrooms/Bathrooms/Laundry/Garage, Office

Family room, Breakfast, Hallway to master, Kitchen

Family Room, Breakfast, Entry to Master, Kitchen


Filed under Ben, Dakota, Orlando, Projects

Happy Valentine’s Day…Razorback Style

I guess you’re wondering what Valentine’s Day has to do with the Razorbacks.  Well, typically I would say that the two are completely unrelated.  However, as you can see from the picture, on this particular occasion they go hand in hand.  










For some time now we’ve been teaching Ben how to call the Hogs.  It all started when he received the book, “Hello Big Red!” from his Uncle Tim.  There is one particular page that says, “Finally, Big Red arrived at Razorback Stadium.  As he ran onto the football field, the crowd called, “Woo.  Pig.  Sooie!  Go Hogs!””  Now whenever we turn to this page Ben immediately throws both of his arms up in the air with his hands over his head while opening and closing his fists…just like he’s calling the Hogs.  He also has started doing this anytime we even mention the word “Razorbacks”, while he’s watching ANY sporting event on TV with his dada and at random times like at dinner and riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store.

So here’s how the picture came about in the first place.  We decided to make Valentine’s Day cards for Ben to hand out to his little buddies at the playgroup party this week.  So in my attempt to take an ever so cute Valentine’s Day picture (which proved to be incredibly difficult because he would begin crying anytime I handed him the paper heart to hold…typically he LOVES paper, but for some reason he wasn’t digging the heart) he decided to call the Hogs and there you have it…1 Valentine’s Day Heart + 2 Little Arms Calling the Hogs = A Whole Lot of Cuteness!  The cookie treat bags were a big hit at the party too!  I posted some pics of our little project below.

















Happy Valentine’s Day!  XOXO, Ben

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Filed under Ben, Food, Friends, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects