Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nana's 90th Birthday

We had the honor of recently attending a ninetieth birthday party in Pittsburgh, PA.  We were celebrating Nate's Grandmother on his Mom's side, along with his siblings, his parents, and all the great-grandkids.  It was quite the gathering!

We had a whirlwind trip, packing the travel as well as the festivities into a single weekend.  We all started off excited!

Some of us were more excited than others . . . ;)

We were blessed with a great trip.  It was long, but the kids were fantastic, and our van made it there and back without any issues!  The next day, it was party time.


Although this wasn't a surprise party, it was so fun to see Nana's reaction to the decorations, and everyone waiting in anticipation of her arrival.

Olivia wanted to give Nana a "ballerina birthday hug".

It was so sweet - the kids had drawn pictures for Nana and hung them on the wall.  They matched her rainbow decorations.  :)

My sister-in-law, Dawn, prepared a wonderful birthday dinner for us.  She worked hard!

Finishing all those "last minute" details . . . 

Then it was time for eating, toasting, and merry making.  :)

And the part the kids had all been waiting for - CAKE!

We were so blessed to be able to celebrate Nana, and be together as a family.

This picture makes me laugh.  The kids were extra enthusiastic about pictures.  ;)

And no family gathering would be complete without a big, group shot!

Happy 90th Birthday, Nana!  You sure are loved.  :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sidewalk Junkies

Recently, due to a program the city has implemented, we were selected as the lucky homeowners who had the joy of replacing/repairing a section of the sidewalk in front of our home.  Even though I know you probably all secretly wish you had the same honor, I thought I would share the photos from the recent construction.  :)

First, the contractors had to tear out the old sidewalk.  We just so happen to have this strange sloped section, which the contractor said was pretty unusual.  It made it extra fun for the tractor to dig out!  The kids were completely enthralled the entire time they were working!

Levi absolutely loved all the noise of the demolotion - and kept banging on the window and saying "LOUUUUD!  LOUUUUD!"  Miss Olivia, on the other hand, was quite distraught that they were "ruining her sidewalk!"  She felt better after she had her trusty blanket (one of them, at least) wrapped around her shoulders.

The poor construction workers had quite the audience.  Between the kids, Nate, and myself all huddled on our front porch, I'm sure they felt like being in a goldfish bowl! They were so kind though, and a few times waved to the kids.  :)

Because of the odd slope, they had to change the grade to make it less steep and bring it back up to code.  This involved hauling in tractor-fulls of gravel, and then tamping it down.

Then, at long last, the next afternoon brought the cement mixer to our house!  The kids had been waiting all morning, and Olivia was asking me every twenty minutes if the "workers were here yet".  :)

Nate's generous manager was kind enough to allow him to work from home that afternoon (we are seriously so blessed by her continuous kindness toward him!), so that he could be on hand to answer any questions the contractor might have.  I have a small sewing table and craft area set up on the porch, so he was able to set up his computer there, and work while watching out the window!  It was a really handy set up.

Levi was absolutely beside himself this time, and kept pointing and squealing "TUCK!  TUCK!" and showing us the cement mixer.  Olivia also enjoyed seeing the cement come down the shoot, and was asking all sorts of questions about how it worked.  It was so cute to see her inquisitive mind processing all that information!

It didn't take long at all before they had a new sidewalk in place for us!

They did a terrific job, and we are thankful to have this major project out of the way before the snow begins to fly.  :)