Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Frog Shirt and Shoes

We received a package in the mail the other day from our dear friends the Blaschkes.  They sent Anders a cute new frog shirt and shoes.  As soon as he saw the shirt he grabbed it out of my hand and brought it to Hans to put on him.  My kid also likes shoes and couldn't wait put them on.

The shoes are super cute. 

  Anders wasn't staying still enough for me to grab a picture so I set him down on our coffee table.  Apparently sitting on the coffee table is only cool when he has gotten up there by himself.

 Gus was feeling a little left out and needed his picture taken.

 The box from the shoes came in handy as well.  John is saying, "You're an imposter!" in his best robot voice.

This was Gus' lightsaber.  What good imaginations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Master Closet

It has been a few days since my last post.  And while it seems I have been a bit lazy, I want to assure you that this is not the case.  At least not lately.  When we moved into this house I had and have continued to make plans for each room.  All closets included.  I was so excited to actually have a closet in my bedroom big enough for more than just Hans' suits.  This was not the case in Denver.  I saw great potential in this closet, but put all plans on the back burner while I tended to more important things.  Then my parents and my brother gave me Ikea gift cards for Christmas.  This gave me the kick in the butt I needed to start and finish this project.

There was nothing technically wrong with the closet before.  I just needed a little more organization.
Shocking right?

A lot went into the prep of this space.  After taking down the wire shelving, I had to patch all of the holes.  There were 78 holes in all.


So much more room and organization.  I love the space and Hans does too.  He is actually putting his clothes away everyday.  AMAZING!

 I also decided to change the light fixture.  I had wanted a cute chandelier, but there wasn't enough room.

I bought the light fixture from Ikea.  I've purchased and changed several light fixtures in my house, but this one was, by far, the easiest.  Ikea included a little S hook in the lighting kit so you didn't have to hold the fixture while connecting the wires.  Genius.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ready Or Not

I have a reader on my hands.  John has done exceptionally well this year learning how to read.  He is in the top reading group of his class and is often the one picked by his friends to read to the group.  John is not short on enthusiasm and, if he is reading for an audience, he will do his best to make the story come alive.  When he asks to take a book to school, he usually picks ones that we have read over and over and over again, so I'm positive he has them memorized.  When he brings an assigned reading book home from school to practice reading, they are pretty short and he whips through them so fast I assumed he was reading them at school first.  I was wrong.  When he brings an assigned reading book home and reads it to me, it is the first time he is seeing the book.  So while I knew he could read, I never thought he could read as fast as he actually can.  And, while he will do the assigned reading for class he much prefers a longer book with more of a challenge. 

I realized at the store the other day that my life has now changed since there is a new little reader.  As we walked down the game isle, John was quickly reading the names of all of the games and telling me we had to have them.  He went as far as to tell me that a few of these games said they were "educational".  Sure enough the game box said educational.  Waiting in line to pay for our items, John was reading the headlines of all of the magazines and asking what words he didn't know meant....like "scandal."  Yep, this boy is no longer allowed to accompany me to the store.

As if the reading weren't enough of a change for me, John is also fiercely trying to figure out the words we spell out loud.  The other day Hans and I were talking about the boys having cookies, spelling the word cookie each time.  I could see John's lips starting to form, trying to remember the letters in the order they were said.  My only saving grace at this point is that I can spell faster than he can sound out the letters.

While we all rejoice in John's reading abilities, I'm going to hide any book in our house that may have a word or words in it that I don't want to have to explain to my 5 year old.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tile Away

I'm at it again.  Well, I don't think I ever stopped.  Remember when I blogged about my kitchen and how I said I had a lot more projects that I wanted to do?  Since that post I added the pot rack and now I've added some more tile to the backsplash.  At some point, we (meaning me) will add cabinets on top of our existing cabinets so the kitchen storage goes all the way to the ceiling.  I am always in need of more kitchen storage.  I also hate how much wasted space I have now.  I was contemplating what to do above the window in my kitchen.  Should I add a cabinet there, or would that look funny?  If I added a cabinet what would I do with the light above the sink?  These are the kind of questions my husband LOVES by the way.  I usually get an eye roll and an "I don't know Katie.  Call your Mom." response when I ask him things like this.

So, after consulting my mom, I decided to continue the tile along the sides and above the window.  It didn't take me too long and it gives the space a nice effect.

Well, sort of before.  I started tiling up the side of the window and remembered I needed to take a picture.  If you look closely you can see the pencil marks from the top of the cabinets to the ceiling.  I figured I shouldn't just eye-ball a straight line.

Here it is before the grout.  You can see there is a difference in the tiles right below the cabinets.

 All done!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

God's Own Child I Gladly Say It

...I am baptized into Christ.  I love that hymn.  Hans taught the kids the first couple of verses of this hymn at VBS last year and I loved hearing it sung over and over and over again all day long.  It is also the first hymn that pops into my head when I think about baptism.  We had a baptism at church on Sunday.  This is technically the second baptism since Hans' arrival at River of Life, but the first baptism held on a Sunday morning with the other church members present.  Unfortunately I was not there due to two of my kiddos being sick, but John made Hans promise to get pictures of the baby.  John has recently decided he would like a little sister.  I'm not sure where this came from, but I'll blame Hans.  For now John will be have to be content with looking at pictures of sweet little Aubriella, the newest member of our church family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My niece is a princess fanatic.  Actually, I think both of my nieces are.  When in princess mode, Eva swoons and smiles and bats her eyes.  She loves playing prince and princesses and, begrudgingly, John has married Eva about 113 times.  For the most part, this is part of being a girl.  I'm not sure if I ever said I was a princess, but I sure felt the love for all things poofy, sparkly and twirly.  I don't find anything wrong with this.  While boys are loud, smell disgusting, play in dirt and smash their trucks together, girls dress up, play princess and are, by and large, a little more delicate.  However, I've seen my fair share of princesses playing in the mud.  Who says they can't?

I never really gave much thought to the whole girl=princess, boy =gross thing until I started compiling a list of good princess books for the library.  Just googling children's princess books brought me to a number of different sites where I would inevitably read how one mom didn't want her princess loving girl reading about helpless females waiting for a man.  It was a bit nauseating.  What is wrong with the prince rescuing his love?  In many of these stories the princess is under a spell or trapped in a castle.  These are not problems she can solve on her own.  It isn't as if the solution to her problem is that she needs to open a door and she just doesn't know how to turn the knob.  Nowhere in these stories do they insinuate that the princess is stupid. 

I'm all for teaching girls that they are powerful, smart and can grow up to be successful in their chosen field.  But if we constantly talk in disgust about a man coming in to save us, it will inevitably lead to men no longer acting like men.  I'll post later about my thoughts on feminism, but for now let me leave you with a scenario I encountered yesterday.  I went to Menards to purchase some supplies for my new closet.  You know me and I love doing projects.  While my husband would have gladly gone to the store to pick up my supplies, some of which I knew would be heavy, I thought it would be easier if I would go since it is my project.  As I was attempting to put 8 foot pieces of laminate shelving into my cart, not 1 or 2 but 6 MALE employees passed by me and didn't even bother to ask if I needed help.  While I know this doesn't speak well of Menard's costumer service, it also screams that chivalry is dead.  Could this have a little something to do with the fact that women are constantly screaming that we are equal and can do it all with out a man?  I think so.  I did indeed load the shelving myself, but I would have gladly taken the help if offered.  Rest assured the Fiene boys will restore chivalry...even if it kills me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh, Gus!

He was saving that chunk of sucker for later.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tug of War

I find that I must immerse myself in the good qualities of our dog on days like today when I want to give him away.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

While I can't say that tax time falls under "the most wonderful time of the year,"  I can say that I don't mind doing taxes.  Scratch that.  I really enjoy doing taxes.  I think it has something to do with my love of paperwork.  Yes, I know, I'm a weirdo and a big nerd.  And, sadly, the joy I get from doing taxes doesn't even come from the "big" return I get at the end.  I enjoyed doing my taxes when I was single, considered self employed, and had to pay at the end.  Yep, total weirdo.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I secured my place in Hans' heart when I did his taxes after two weeks of knowing him.  If Hans were one to plan ahead, I'd say he snatched me up just so he would never have to think about what is or isn't deductible.

And just so you don't finish the rest of your day thinking that I'm the kind of fool who does my taxes by hand, I use and recommend Turbo Tax.  It's very easy to use.  Even for the financial situations of a pastor or a self employed individual.  You can even start your return online and, if you think you're in over your head, they have 24/7 customer support, or you can just give up and take all of your receipts and W-2s to a tax guy like you did last year.

And, as much as I like doing taxes, I'm not available for hire.  I'll have to get my paperwork fix some other way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Great Grandpa Ruppert

I didn't have any Great Grandpas when I was growing up and neither did Hans.  Our boys are very lucky to have a Great Grandpa and 3 Great Grandmas.

Great Grandma Ruppert actually came with Great Grandpa Ruppert on this trip...and yet I have no pictures of her.  
Oh, Katie!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Chronicles of Anders

Anders has the habit of going into a room and shutting the door.  The problem for him is that he can't get out.  The problem for me is that, since he can't get out, he decides to explore and usually finds something to play with that he isn't supposed to have.  His two favorite rooms are the laundry room and the bathroom.  He loves playing with the broom and dryer lint trap in the laundry room and, in the bathroom, the plunger and toilet bowl brush are the main attractions.

I know.  Totally disgusting.

It kind of makes me want to gag just thinking about it.

The other day Hans was watching the kids and lost Anders for a bit.  In Hans' defense, Anders freely goes up and down the stairs so we usually assume that he has gone downstairs to play with his brothers.  What is that saying about those who assume?  However, on this day little Anders was not downstairs in the playroom, he had gone upstairs into our bathroom and shut the door.  Usually when Anders shuts himself in a room after a few minutes, he will start banging on the door so he can be let out.  He won't stay in one place for very long.  Our poor little boy must have been banging on the door but no one could hear him.  He worked himself into a tizzy.  When Hans realized Anders was missing, he looked upstairs for him and could hear him crying.  He found our poor little fragile boy huddled against the wall of our closet, surrounded by my shoes, sobbing.  Hans said it was just he saddest thing he ever saw.  Poor kid.  I wonder if that will teach him not to shut himself in the bathroom.  One can hope.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Adventures of August

Gus always seems older that what he actually is.  He loves doing everything John does.  But Gus can also throw a two year old fit with the best of them.  These days you just need to be in my house for 5 consecutive minutes and you're sure to catch a show.  He usually plays it up for an audience.  My husband and I are rather mean and tend to ignore the rants.

Lately Gus has been telling people he is older.  And it isn't just that he is 4 or 5, but it is 4 1/2 or 5 1/2, so it makes it a little more believable.  Last week we attended Story Hour at our library and the librarian was asking the kids how old they were.  Without hesitation Gus said, "I am 4 and a half."  The other kids hadn't even divulged their age yet, so it wasn't like he was feeling left out by having to say 2 when everyone else was saying 4 or 5.  John just looked at Gus and said, "No he isn't.  He is 2 and a half."  Gus did not like being called out on his fib.  He looked at John with a glare and said, "Johnnnnn!"  in is uber-cute little raspy voice.

What happened to my little 2 year old?  Oh, that's right.  I can still find him when he is throwing those terrible two fits.