"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Week 18- Three Months

There has been a lot of confusion about how we have been working on "our house" for three months now, but still haven't had much progress.  Dallas and I have been putting in a minimum of 35 hours a week for 3 months now, and there has been a lot of progress in the group- just not on our particular home until the last week or so.  Just look at what we have done in the last three months!

House 1- The Jensen's.  This was the first house we started on, and took the longest because we were all learning our tasks.  It is currently in subcontractor hands as they do the Hardie board siding, insulation and drywall.
 House 2- The Robinson's.  We are sooooo close to getting this one out of our hair for a bit as well.  We have a little bit of roofing left and a few minor things to tweak on the inside.  The four-way inspection is scheduled for next week.
 House 3- The Seawright's.  This house is also in subcontractor hands!  I will also add that this house was the easiest (and will be the easiest) of all the houses to shingle.  I will always love this house for that reason alone.
 House 4- Dexter's.  This house was kind of a "cheater" house.  It looked just like this the day we started as we absorbed it from the group that was before us.  Dexter's house is getting finish work and prepped for paint.  It is projected to be completed by the end of January.
 House 5- The Norton's.  We still need to shingle this roof, but it is completely dried-in (covered in tar paper and ice shield), and will likely be ready for its four-way inspection very soon as well.
 House 6- The Baker's.  Lots of progress has been made here in the last little bit.  Two dormers go on the roof (it is the same plan as the Jensen's), and then it will be ready for the roofing as well.
 House 7- The Nicoll's.  Our house!
They finished our sub floor this week and it looks awesome!

So if you were keeping track, in the last 3 months we have been building SEVEN houses.  Not too shabby, I say!  We still have 3 more homes in the group that are currently just foundations, but we are about ready to bring them out of the ground as well.

This work week included Christmas Day. We still put in nearly all our hours, but were only required to work 25. I took one night off to wrap up some loose ends for Christmas and was grateful for it!

It is getting colder and we have experienced our first snow hurdle. We spent quite a few hours just clearing homes so we could get to work. January is going to be a grin-and-bear-it sort of month, I have a feeling.

Here's to the next 3 months!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays!

The Kaiserman brood all waited for Santa to arrive at Carolyn's annual Christmas Eve party.
 Below you will find the best Christmas moment ever!  Annie jumped out of her seat and gave Santa the biggest hug when he called her name.  It was followed by a Christmas fail.  Annie received a football from Santa.  She was barely able to hold in the tears.  You see, Santa had noticed that for weeks at school she had been playing football at recess.  Annie was always searching for a football around the house, so Santa thought this would be just the thing for her.  Well, Santa didn't know about Max.  Max had recently told Annie that she couldn't play football anymore and she had to be a cheerleader.  Max.  That kid ruined Christmas.

 We opened presents on Christmas morning with the Nicoll crew at Grandma Kaiserman's house.  There were 14 of us.... and way too many presents to not feel ashamed.
 This was as good as it was going to get.  Either Paige was looking away, or Dallas was.  Tsk, tsk.  There are plenty of other pictures of Paige, but not as many of that handsome husband of mine.
 Teagan, as you can see, was unimpressed with Christmas morning.
 Seth and his Christmas socks.
 Dallas gave Will his first pocketknife for Christmas!  He's a scout now, so he needed the proper tools.  Will was excited!  And promptly cut his finger open less than an hour after this picture was taken.
 My favorite part of my Christmas presents- this tag.
 Abby gave Annie this book and wrote the sweetest note saying she hoped that every time she read it that she would think of Abby.  I couldn't even read it because I immediately started to cry.  Annie has a soft heart just like her mama.

 I fulfilled all of my childhood wishes and surprised Annie with an American Girl Doll.  Oh, how I loved to see her face when she opened it!

Will and Annie got matching electric scooters from Santa!  Amazing that we have had the warmest weather for all of December, but Christmas day we are buried in snow.  They will love them in the spring though!

 It has been a long time since we have been able to look forward to a missionary phone call.  This was my favorite part of Christmas day as well all gathered around the speaker phone and talked to Abby for 30 minutes.  She has been mistaken for a Brazilian because of her olive skin and soccer skills, and the language is coming well!

 We topped the day off with a visit to Grammy and Grandpa's!  Sam was sick, but everyone else was able to be there.  It's wild with all of those grandkids running around these days!  I sure love that crazy bunch of Wilson's.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

She's a Christmas dream, that one.

Week 17- Our own home!

Working on our own house feels so different. It's not that we do any better quality of work on our own home- we always do our best no matter whose house we are working on- but the love is different. We know this one is ours, and it makes us happy to work so hard on something that will be so good for our family. 

Finished our floor joists this week, as well as stairs!

Under the top stair I buried a little love note to my sweetheart!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

If under the tree you could find eternal life, forgiveness for your sins and missteps, an example to follow, and someone who loves you with a perfect love, would you take it? Because it is there for you. HE is there for you. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Juanito Bandito

Our elf Ledger brought us a surprise- tickets to see Juanito Bandito's Christmas Carol! He even brought the kids a mustache to put them in the right mood.

 Juanito Bandito is the most guapo villain you have ever seen! One cannot underestimate his awesomeness. We laughed our heads off and loved every minute together. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

See you later, Abby!

It finally came!  The day the Nicoll family gets to have a missionary!  Abby left to Santiago, Chile today, and we all got together at Robinitino's before she took off.  It was so fun to be together and be able to visit with Abby as one last final goodbye before her mission.

We all drove in a caravan to the airport where we hung out, cried, laughed, and cried some more.  I felt like we were all doing pretty well until Annie lost it, and then we all did.  It was such a bittersweet moment to send her off.  We are so proud of her!  There is nothing better that she could be doing with her time than spreading the message of Jesus Christ, but we will miss her.  So much.

Sister Abby Lisette Nicoll, may you have the time of your life!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 16

This week was a good week. We addressed some issues, and are digging in with greater resolve. It seemed like after Jeremiah got injured that we kind of started floundering a bit. We were still working hard, but we weren't very efficient. Hopefully moving forward we will have better progress. 

I finished my first roof, and Dallas finished building walls for the vaulted ceilings in two of the houses, and they are now ready for their four-way inspection. Yikes! Hope that goes well. 

We saw an awesome sunset, and the stairs got started at our house. Next stop, floor joists and a sub floor!
Look at those slaves! Brianna Robinson, Molly Seawright, and Jenna Baker hard at work building braces and stairs. 

Sweet, sweet Annie

Annie stayed home sick from school today on account of she woke us up at 1:30AM to tell us how she "barfed."

Isn't that the worst? As a parent, the worst bodily fluid you have to deal with is by far vomit. 

Moving on. 

Annie was so quiet today. She was humming and singing Silent Night softly as she played with salt dough and I cleaned. I checked on her to see that she had made her own little salt dough nativity! She was so proud, but I'm willing to bet that I was even more proud than she was. 
PS- Isn't that nightgown that was handmade by Annie's great grandma the cutest ever?! The answer is yes. Yes it is. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grandma Nicoll's Nativity

It just wouldn't be Christmas without my favorite nativity.

My perfect angel daughters.

And these wise guys.