My angels

So, as you probably gathered from my last post, me and the three Els have been staying away from home while our house work is being completed. Moustapha is still there and keeping an eye on things.

But, while we are away, the most amazing thing has been happening. All three Els are sleeping in the same room. Trinity- 21 months, is in the crib. Maddux- 3 1/2, is on a blowup bed on the floor. And, Bakri- 5, is sleeping on a twin bed. It’s not just the miracle of them sleeping together. Bakri and Maddux share a room, so they sleep together every night. But, adding Trinity to the mix and it being successful was a pleasant surprise to me.

Here’s are routine for the last 4 nights:

The kids eat dinner. The kids get a treat of watching a movie. The kids go to their room. We do all of our bathroom stuff and then everyone lays down in their beds and I turn out the lights. I sit in a rocking chair and tell them a quick story. Then I sing a lullaby to them and they each sing one to me….Maddux first, then Bakri, then Trinity. We pray and then I give them each a hug and a kiss and they say “goodnight, mommy” as I walk out the door………And……..that’s it.

After that, I don’t hear a peep from them. I am so blessed. Last night I actually slept all night long without any interruptions and didn’t wake until morning.

As for Baby El4….we’re still moving along. No activity yet. Tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant. Yippee! Shouldn’t be more than 2 weeks before our baby arrives. I can’t wait.

Updated Pictures of Our Kitchen Remodel

As most of you know, our home was built in 1928. And when we bought it, it pretty much had the original kitchen (or at least a kitchen that had not been updated in a really long time.) In early 2008 we encountered a leak which flooded the kitchen and forced us to make a decision- either patch up the problem with the old galvanized steel plumbing or fix the problem long term. We opted for new copper plumbing and a brand new kitchen.

In the 60s the previous owners (who raised their large family in this house and lived here for 50 years) added on to the home. They added a den and an upstairs bedroom and a second stairwell. It is really a great addition to the home. However, they added directly on to the back of the house, without ever removing the back wall including the brick. The pictures below show what the kitchen looked like before. It had the original kitchen window which looked into our den. Check it out! Our remodel is nearly complete- only a few minor touches remain.

The picture below is of the before kitchen looking into the den. You can see the fan in the window and the back windows in the den if you look carefully. We removed this wall.
The picture below is the same view of our kitchen now. We removed the wall and added support columns. Moustapha and I designed this kitchen ourselves. We love it!
This was the back corner of our kitchen before. It had a hot water heater in the corner of the kitchen. It was awful. There was absolutely no storage space in the before kitchen.

And now….this is the same corner! We have storage above the refrigerator. And, a pantry on the right side.

Here is another view looking into the den. The original house had a telephone cubby built in as you went up the stairs. We left that and opened it to the kitchen. You can see it on the right of the picture.

Here’s a view of the kitchen from the den. Two things that need to be finished in the picture are the rangehood- it is going to be wrapped in stainless steel. And there is currently a microwave on the left counter. That microwave fits in the cabinet below. We are just waiting on a piece from the stainless steel fabricator, so we can move the microwave off the countertop.

This last picture shows another view of the kitchen. In the before kitchen, we had a bathroom where this window is. We were able to relocate the bathroom under the second stairwell. And we put in a beautiful new window. Our O’Keefe and Merritt stove still works wonderfully and Moustapha is nearly finished restoring it. I’ll post more pictures when the kitchen is complete. Thanks for checking it out!

Christmas Day Lunch with the Maddux Family

Our Christmas tree…it is absolutely FULL of ornaments. I joked that we needed another tree for all of our ornaments. But, seriously, its no joke. I am going to be putting up another tree next year! I have so many ornaments, that I think I can put a tree together with a theme…but, you’ll have to wait until next year to see what that will be!Each year my parents give each of us ornaments. I am the one who writes everybody’s names on them. And this year the ornaments are big red trucks. You can see them sitting on the tables.

Our Christmas table.

The food was amazing. My mom cooked everything and brought it over warm. All I had to do was put it in the oven and thanks to my wonderful husband, my 50 year old O’keefe and Merritt stove was up and running for the first time in almost a year. Moustapha took it apart to restore it. It is looking really great! And it works! That is the most important part.

The kids (James, Bakri and Maddux) sat at this table. Bakri had already enjoyed some sausage balls and water, so that is why one of the plates looks dirty….because it is!
Our fireplace included 8 stockings this year. One for each of us…and 1 for each of the kids “first Christmas” stockings.

We put the kids table in the entry way. The hope was that blocking one of the “tracks” in the house that the kids like to run on, we would decrease the amount of running. For some reasons when cousins get together, they begin running and they seem to never stop. And in our house they can run a big circle around the first floor. It is so loud and a little frustrating for the adults in the house. This table in the entry way did help a little, but it certainly did not stop the running game completely.

Christian joined us at the adult table. He’s 18 months old. So, he’s not quite ready to join the big boys. Next year, though, he’ll definitely be part of the running crew at the kid table!

More views of dinner. Here is grandmother enjoying her great cooking and Moustapha also enjoying.

After we opened presents, we had our annual Birthday party for Jesus. The boys look forward to this very special tradition.

Grandmother and Grandfather gave each of the younger boys wheel barrows and yard tools and they gave the older boys Krazy Kars. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the Krazy Kars in action yet, but you can see below all the yard work that was taking place on Christmas day!

Trinity had some special time opening presents, ornaments and a few Christmas cards. My parents also stayed to watch her reactions. She got a beautiful new abc blanket with her name and birthday on it and some precious ornaments. She was very happy!

Here I am showing her a new dress. She loves bows and flowers!