Tag Archives: home builder

Weekend Re-cap July 11-12

On Saturday, Kevin and I had to run a few errands. Ryleigh needed some baby food (she has texture issues), so we picked up that… but while we were in Target, I was browsing the toy section and picked up a bunch of toys for the kids. They were all on Clearance AND on Cartwheel for an extra 20% off! For a Nerf Bow, a VTech InnoTab Max, two InnoTab games, two flutter fairies, some play-dough, a talking Stuffy from Doc McStuffins, a small little Doc McStuffins toy set, some little 3 pack of whistling rockets, and a Monster High Doll. We ended up paying around $120 for all the toys (before taxes). It was a such a great deal that I couldn’t pass it up. The VTech InnoTab Max was originally $112… so all the stuff we got was so worth the money we spent. The kids are enjoying their new toys.

After dinner the other night, we took the kids outside to play with the whistling rockets and the Nerf Bow. The kids had a blast, but poor Zachary is in the mine phase. Everything he touches becomes his; in his opinion. So we had to cut our outside time short, because Zachary needed to get his butt ready for a bath and bedtime.

Sunday, we packed up my truck with camera & camera gear, the kids and all the stuff we needed for our trip! Spent 2 hours in the truck to get to a birthday party for a cute little 1 year old. Took some photos, spent time with the other guests, let Zachary, Bailey, and Ada play in the kiddie pool. Around 5:30pm, we packed up the kids and left. We got to see the sunset on our ride home, while stuck in traffic. It took almost 3 1/2 hours to make it back to the house. An hour and a half of sitting in traffic with 5 kids was a lot more pleasant than I had expected.

I took some video footage while we were stuck in traffic including some footage at sunset. I have to upload it to my computer, so I can edit it tonight and tomorrow. I’ll be posting it on our YouTube channel on Wednesday (once it’s done, I’ll post it here on this post).

 

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Canon Vixia HF R600


For the last month or so, Kevin and I have been discussing the idea of buying a new “vlog camera” that doesn’t have a retractable lens.
I have a little FujiFilm FinePix Z90.. but it has a few drawbacks.
The FinePix Z90, has a slide down face plate that covers the lens, this also is how it’s turned on. If I left this in my purse to capture snippets of video of my little ones, 90% of the time the battery was dead when I went to use it. It was always opening in my purse, draining the battery, and of course I didn’t know it.
It’s a decent “vlog” camera. It’s a shame that it doesn’t allow me to change more settings, but for less than $50 (before taxes)… it isn’t horrible. Plus, if you’re known for breaking cameras, this would be one of those you could easily replace because of it’s cost. If you’re just getting into vlogging this could also be a cheaper way to see if you like making videos.
Right now, I’m still waiting for the Canon Vixia HF R600 to charge. It takes 5 hours and 35 minutes according to the instruction manual. So I can’t really say how I feel about it just yet. But the reason we bought a camcorder versus a compact digital camera is because it doesn’t have a retractable lens. Once a retractable lens gets off track, the camera is basically useless. So you’re out about $110+ for a Canon PowerShot Elph model. The other reason we bought a camcorder over a compact digital camera (point and shoot) is because the majority of them do not have articulating screens. So you can’t see if you’re in focus or if you’re in the video or not.
From time to time, I may use the FujiFilm FinePix Z90 as long as the battery is charged. Maybe I’ll use it for when I go out by myself, I can vlog without having to carry the camcorder. We’ll see, it mainly depends on the difference in the quality of the video footage between the Z90 or the HF R600.
If you’re a vlogger, what’s your favorite camera/camcorder/phone to record your videos with? I’d really love to know, so leave me a comment below!


Living the American Dream

While Kevin and I want to live the American Dream, right now we’re far from living the American Dream. Days like today, make me miss our military life so much. Granted, we didn’t have a house that was ours, it was just a rental. But we had a place to temporarily call home. A place where our kids had space to play, space to grow and learn, and space to call their own.

Right now the kids have no space to do much of anything, no space to run, craft, play video games with the Kinect (xbox360) that they got for Christmas while we were still in Virginia (2012) or the Wii. There isn’t much of a backyard for them to play in, so they don’t get to go outside very often. The kids hate being in the house all the time. Our oldest son wants a tree house, our youngest son and daughter would enjoy a swing set with slide, all the kids would enjoy a little above ground pool during the spring and summer months. Kevin would love to have a place to entertain and grill (an outdoor pizza oven would be a nice thing to have as well). I’d love to have somewhere to plan my lilac bushes (all three of them), some morning glories, and a few little trees where we can hang some bird feeders. I’d love to have a gazebo, as well so I can use that for some portrait photography sessions.

In all reality, we just want a place to call home. A place of our own. We just want a roof over our heads, that has enough bedrooms & bathrooms that isn’t riddled with asbestos and lead based paint for our family of 7. Then we’ll be living our American Dream. Everything else is just a bonus for us. Having lived in military housing with the basic bare minimum for living arrangements, everything else is just an upgrade for us. Not a necessity, but a luxury.

I just hope we’ll be able to live our American Dream sooner than later. Our kids need the space to grow, play, and learn. Kevin and I need the space for our sanity, ha. Living with someone else, plus our 5 children has been a challenge. I’d love to see our kids cut back on the arguing because they don’t have any space to call their own. I’m dying to give them all their things back that are in storage.

I just want to give our kids some normalcy back. I’d also like to have some normalcy back in my life.

Right now, we feel like we’re stuck in limbo land with nothing to call our own. Hoping that things will change so we can finally start living our lives the way we want to live them. All we need to do is find a home builder that can help us achieve our goal of home ownership.

 


Hot Cocoa & Early Morning Soccer

We’re up way to early for Summer break, but when your 3 year old and your 1 year old get up before the sun comes up, you get up with them. They’ve been changed, dressed, and fed. Now they’re both content playing and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVR.

I’m sitting here with a nice warm cup of hot cocoa, watching Zachary (our 3 year old) kick his new soccer ball around the room. No matter how early he or Ryleigh wake me or Kevin up, we cherish every moment we get with them. Because these little moments won’t last forever and tomorrow is never promised.

Since it’s pretty quiet in the house, I thought I’d post a new blog. I know I’ve wrote one everyday for the last few days. But things have really been on my mind now that the kids are home for Summer Break. I’m also surfing the web, looking at furniture for our dream home. As much as I don’t want to buy new furniture, I know that our old furniture won’t fit in with a new home. It may be saved for the basement, so the kids can use it. If anything gets spilled on it, it won’t be a problem. But for the main portion of the house, I want to buy new couches/loveseats/chairs. I want to DIY a farmhouse style dining room table with benches on the long side instead of chairs. I’ll have to get Kevin a table saw, because we don’t have the space for one of those at the moment.

Once we get our dream home, we’re going to make the kids custom loft beds, with a couch, desk, and shelf-unit. So they have more space to move in their rooms. Plus they can have somewhere to sit when they watch T.V., somewhere to do homework, etc. Hopefully, we can find some corporate sponsors to help us reach our goal of home-ownership.

Well since it’s Summer break, I guess I should make a nice breakfast for the other kiddos. They only eat cereal and pop-tarts during the school week. So now I need to step my mommy-game up and make them something delicious in the mornings. Since I have some time before they get up, I think I’ll make some homemade cinnamon buns (Cinnabon Style) with cream cheese icing.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. We’re going to try and make the best of the day.

 


Dream Home Wishlist

Most people have a Dream Home Wishlist, so here is ours…

  • Basement with carpet and dimmable recessed lighting so the kids can have a media room/playroom
  • Upper Level Laundry room (cannot be a stackable washer/dryer; Kevin and I are only 5′ 4″ tall)
  • 2.5+ bathrooms
  • 6 bedrooms (so each kid has their own room)
  • No carpet on main living level (dark hardwood all throughout the main living level to give it a nice flow)
  • Large Kitchen with island (lots of counter space) preferably with Eat-in kitchen area that opens up to the family room
  • Gas Range
  • Garbage Disposal
  • White Cabinets (including the bathrooms); lots of cabinets (some with glass fronts with lighting inside)
  • Mid-tone Granite Counter tops for kitchen
  • Double sink in kitchen
  • Double Vanity in Master Bathroom
  • Garage (mostly for storage; 4 wheeler & trailer, upright freezer, kids bikes and outdoor toys, etc)
  • Sunroom (so I can blog and drink my morning coffee while the kids get ready for school)
  • Walk-in Pantry with Lazy Susan corner shelves.
  • Rev-a-Shelf for my Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • Rev-a-Shelf for pots and pans
  • Chair rail throughout the main living level
  • Stairwell’s that we can install baby gates at the bottom and top to prevent kids from falling down the stairs
  • French Doors that lead into the living room (this room will be used as a photography studio/makeup room/and YouTube filming room
  • Large Windows
  • Fenced in back yard for Dog & kids

Since this is our dream home, we can dream big. I just have to find a way to be able to afford our dream home.

I hope you enjoyed our dream home wishlist. Please check out our Pinterest account for visual ideas of what we want our dream home to look like.

 

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As each day passes Kevin and I feel like we’re failures for not being able to purchase a home for our family. Our children don’t have the space they’re used to having, 90% of our items are in a storage unit in Maryland collecting dust while wasting money, and we’re just not happy with our living arrangements.

 

Life is too short to be unhappy all the time. Life is to short to not enjoy the little things in life. But the thing is… all the things we keep trying to do in order to give our kids a better life keep falling through. It’s beyond frustrating. I’d rather be posting updates about how awesome our new house is, or what new DIY project we’re doing, or what craft project the kids have done, or what we’re baking/cooking, etc. I know Kevin and I aren’t perfect and that we’re doing the best we can for our family, but it still hurts to feel like we’re failures.

 

I would never say that I feel like a failure in front of my kids, but I do feel like a failure. I should have used my time as a stay-at-home mother to further my education, to dedicate more time to saving money by clipping coupons or finding better deals on things I buy regularly. Or I feel like I should have found a job that I could do from home, or found a way to make money blogging sooner than I did. Some days I wish I was more “popular” online so I can earn money through YouTube and Blogging, or that I became well known for my photography skills. But at this point in my life, it’s obviously not meant to be like that. I have to find a way to earn money that isn’t illegal, but also isn’t as traditional as a regular job. I want to continue to be a stay-at-home mother as long as I can be because it’s what’s best for my children.

 

So in doing what’s best for my children, I’ve taken to social media to help my family. See I’m one of those people who love all things social media. Why? Because it allows me to express myself and to post creative things. It allows others to get to know me and allows me to meet people I wouldn’t meet every day. Social media has so much diversity in it’s users that it allows people to meet that normally wouldn’t cross paths.

 

I may not be the perfect journalist (my grammar and punctuation are lacking at times), but that shouldn’t stop me from blogging. People get better with practice. I’ve been blogging since Myspace and Xanga days.

 

I want to get out of this rut of feeling like a failure. I want to show my kids that they can do anything they set their little hearts and minds to doing. So Kevin and I will keep on pressing forward and doing whatever we can to get our family a home to call our own.

 

We’re hoping to find a Corporate Sponsor or a home builder to help us achieve our goal of home-ownership. We’re willing to work hard for what we want in life. I’m here to turn our failures into a big, bright future for our children.

 

We don’t want to feel like failures anymore.