Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yard work

I'm embarassed to say that we've lived here for going on 5 years now and we are just not putting more effort into our lawn.  Other than the mowing, pulling weeds, planting flowers, we really haven't kept up on our lawn and plant bed maintenance.  Regretting that now, bc we have SO much work to do.

We killed all the weeds, tore out a bunch of bushes (with help from neighbors), aerated the lawn, tore up the moss (LOTS, UGH) and put seed down. I'm happy to say that most of the seeded areas are looking pretty good.  Some still need work, but we got a free load of fill dirt today to help cover some of the areas that have not sprouted grass.  If it would JUST RAIN ALREADY, we'd be in perfect shape.  Not liking having to water it all by hand 2x a day.

Grooming up the lawn and making it look green and healthy has really helped the overall appearance of our house.  It's like night and day.  Brian also is constructing a barrier around our tree in the front.  I will take a picture now and another when it's finished to show you what it looks like.  It's looking amazing already.

Help me do a rain dance or pray for rain, whatever is your cup of tea, so we can get out of this drought condition we're in already.  It's not looking good for the summer.

I really enjoy working outside with plants, flowers, etc, so it's been fun for me.

Curtis= Safety first.

My men finishing up unloading the dirt.  (Neighbor's truck)

Beginning of the barrier wall

Freshly trimmed tree and new grass.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring update

Everyone is doing well here.  To recap our fall/winter, we've had some ups and downs.  Brian went back to school for civil engineering, which is great, but it was really hard to transition to him not being here hardly at all.  I try to keep reminding myself that it's only temporary, even though it's really tough.

I continued with my previous clients from the year before for babysitting which also meant I'd have another baby to care for in October.  Thankfully she is a very good natured baby and we have lots of fun with baby L.  Everyone seems to get along with the occasional scuffle that you expect from kids who are more like brother and sister than friends/clients.

Curtis got pretty sick right before Christmas with pneumonia that went undetected, but thankfully he got much better after we discovered what was making him so sick.  Poor kid.  We had a great Christmas both here in NC and up in Ohio.  The boys are more into holidays this year than ever before, which brings back feelings about Christmas that I haven't felt since I was a kid.  So fun!

Curtis has 2 more months of preschool before he "graduates".  Before he went to preschool, he could identify some sight words and now, thanks to his love of reading and to preschool, he can now read entire books with very little help from me.  He gets so proud of himself and it's truly a proud mommy moment for me.  When he was born, I made it a point to be sure to make time at night to read him stories before bed.  He LOVES books and Wesley has caught onto that as well.  They love to sit down and pick out their favorite books at the end of the day.  Curtis will attend the local school for kindergarten this fall.  He's pretty excited to ride the bus for the first time.  I'm sure I will cry.

Wesley is growing up so fast.  We're still (ugh yes, still) working on getting rid of his paci for good, but he's been a lot better about leaving it for nap and bed times.  He's VERY attached to it, which is awful, but it's such a comfort item for him and with me doing bed time solo 5 days a week, I can't handle a melt down every night over no paci, so... he still has it.  Potty training got put on the back burner since I have 5 kids in the house and it's hard to focus on him not making a huge mess on the floor to add to the clean up.  Ha!  For the past 3 or 4 days, we have been diaper and pants free at home and he hasn't had any accidents as long as he's half nakey.  Wes will be going to his first year of preschool this fall for 2 days a week.  I'm really excited and so is he.  I was hesitant to send him to pre-k for 3 years since he misses the school cutoff by 2 days, but we need the break from each other.

I can't believe how big the boys are getting!  It seems like yesterday that Curtis was born and now I have 2 adorable boys.  Sometimes I forget to stop and smell the roses and enjoy them to the fullest.  My days are hectic to say the least and I need to remind myself to enjoy the time while they are little because they will grow up SO fast!

Brian is doing well at school.  He got a 4.0 his first semester and is aiming high for his spring semester grades too.  His classes have been pretty challenging.  Most of them have to do with intense math equations etc (as is expected with engineering) so they can be difficult.  I'm proud of him for going for his goal of getting a second degree.  He originally had planned to get his degree in engineering when he started out at Ohio State in 1998, but changed his major to aviation and then resumed his aviation degree at BGSU.  Unfortunately, due to an eye issue, he is not able to fly commercial planes anymore which led him to pursue a job in aviation operations instead.  He's looking forward to a more challenging career in engineering in a few years!  He should graduate (hopefully) in 2016!

I have been doing fairly well.  My stress levels, as you can imagine, are pretty high some days.  I have had to learn to manage some depression symptoms again, but I'm doing a pretty good job of that.  Exercise has been a huge part of that and eating right.  I recently decided to go gluten free for myself and that has made a big impact on how I feel overall.  It's been interesting to find foods I can cook that are gluten free.  I plan to stay this way long term, so I better get used to it :).

I'm going to try to blog more often.  It's hard to make something like this a routine!  My lent was about giving up wine (sad face) and adding a Bible study.  I got a Kindle Fire for a Christmas bonus (thanks to my clients) and I downloaded a great Bible app on there that I can select a Bible study course that fits me.  I chose one that allows me to read a little bit of the bible every day for 365 days!  Pretty neat and I'm learning SO much by doing that.  It also can read it aloud to me, so I can even "read" it when I do dishes etc.

Well, if you read all this, you deserve a medal!  HA!  Enjoy some recent pix of the kids :).

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Hey everyone (which is very few bc no one reads this LOL), just wanted to update everyone on what's going on here at the Voll house.

  1. We're getting a new roof.  YEAH!  Finally after 3 1/2 months of waiting after we had the claim put in.
  2. The boys are sleeping in the same room now!  I'm so surprised how easy it's been.  3 nights in a row now of them falling right to sleep and staying in their beds all night :).  I hope it continues.
  3. Since Curt's room is open now, we get to have an office!
  4. Brian is going to school at UNCC to start a new degree in engineering. 
That's about all of the major changes, everything else is pretty much the same.  I'm still going to be running my daycare this year with 2 of the same kids and one extra (sibling of the one little girl).  I'm looking forward to a new year and looking forward to having income again after a summer off.

We had so much fun and if you have seen the pix on Facebook, you can tell the boys had a blast in Ohio (and I did too).

I've still been sticking to my workout routine, but since Brian will be attending classes in the morning and working 2nd shift, I'm going to have to find a different time to squeeze in my workouts.

I'm also doing a little bit more photography now but I wish I had time to focus on it more.  I really love taking pictures and I'm still learning.

I hope to keep the blog updated a little more.  I know not many read this, but it's nice for me to type out my thoughts anyway :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Curtis having fun in the tub.

I'm behind on my posts! {Big surprise}

Oops, looks like I've been slacking on my posts.  Sorry!  I'll try to do better.  Also, if I forget a "B" when I type, it's because the key fell off (thanks Wesley) and won't go back on.  Super.  Replacement should be here as soon as I can send this one back.

Wesley got a haircut.  I cried cutting off his "clown curls" but he looks more respectable now.

Curtis's new haircut!

Nakey time.  Not great lighting, but just a quick snapshot.

B mounted the TV up here a couple months ago.  I love having it up there so there aren't as many fingerprints on it ;).  Also notice he did a matching cord concealer :).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

9/365 and 10/365

Every day he has at least one smoothie.  This kid is addicted.

This is what happens when I forget to take a picture all day.  Sorry B.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7/365 and 8/365

Baby Marie, almost 6 months old.

Look, I can grow something!  Grass and Marigolds.
If you have been to my house in the last 2 years, you'd know we used to have a bed of pebbles lining this sidewalk.  At first, it looked great, we had solar garden lanterns in it, the pebbles were white and it was really nice.  Well, that faded fast.  Within a few months the pebbles started turning red like the clay whenever it would rain.  Then the weeds and grass grew in it and of course the children would NOT stop taking the pebbles out of it and throwing them everywhere.  This year, I started by digging up the pebbles.  Well, since we had taken dirt out to put them in, there was a huge gaping trough around the "grass" patch.  The grass also wasn't growing, much like the rest of our pathetic front lawn.  I made the executive decision to scrape the entire top layer off of this area and start fresh.  I started it and Brian finished it.  Then we planted grass seed and watered it like crazy.  Of course, before it sprouted, a huge torrential downpour came and washed away half the seed!  Good thing we bought a lot of seed.

Now we have this!  It's not all the way filled in yet, but it is nearly "mowable" now!  If we could just get the rest of our lawn to do this, we'd be all set.