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Welcome!!

Welcome to the crazy life of the Sandman's. We hope you will enjoy the journey of our life as shown in photos. We are continually updating this and are learning how this works. Let us know what you think!!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Our family would like to wish each of you a very Happy & Prosperous New Year. We are so thankful for the gifts from above and are blessed to have such an awesome family and great group of friends. Thank you for your many blessings. May you all be blessed in 2008.

The True Meaning of Christmas

I almost forgot to share this awesome story with you all. Probably the week or two before Christmas Haylee looked at our Christmas tree and noticed that there was a really neat ornament of baby Jesus in the manger and Mary and Joseph on each side. She asked if that was baby Jesus and I said yes. And then she noticed the angel at the top of the tree and said, "Mom, that looks just like the angel that told Mary she was going to have a baby"! I said, "yes, it does and I would imagine that the angels did look alike". I couldn't let another day go by without sharing that special moment. She knows what the true meaning of Christmas is and with the reinforcement from preschool and AWANA and Sunday school she has absorbed it all!! I feel truly blessed that my children are learning so much each day, not just in the world, but from God too. The circle begins to feel complete doesn't it!! I hope that Christmas was special for all of you as it was for us. And Alexa just thinks that Christmas is so much FUN!!! She can't wait for it to roll around next year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The New House (finished)





These are the photos from outside to show the finished look of the house. We moved a couple tree rows and while I was watering I took photos of the outside. The photos are from the top: the front; the back (the little shed out is the old fireplace area that was built to house the small pipe and above that is the original upstairs; everything to the left of that peak is new); a nice view from the west looking at the garage and office windows; and then the view from the east (the left two windows are the kids rooms and then the door is into the kitchen). We even got our lawn started!! That was a very busy 4 weeks of constant watering. As many of you know that while your building/remodeling a new spot you don't always have the funds to put in underground sprinklers, so I am the watering crew (if you will). We feel pretty fortunate to get the lawn started so the kids can enjoy it next summer and not have to play in the dirt. But I am guessing that Noah will probably prefer the dirt over the nice soft lawn. Alexa will always prefer to play in the mud because it is so much fun! And Haylee would rather be clean most of the time. I will try to get some finished photos of the inside so you can see how we chose to finish the look. That will be tricky since we have three kids that love to make messes! And as always, when you are in the area please stop in to see us.

Alexa turns 4!!!

Thanksgiving at the Sandman's






We hosted our first ever Thanksgiving at our new home and it was AWESOME. At least in my opinion. We had lots of space and lots of people too. I think 16 adults and 8 kids. We had a table dedicated to the little ones and they sang, yelled and laughed the entire time. It is so much fun to get together with your cousins and be crazy. I am not sure that they ate too much, but they loved the cookie turkeys that Tami made them. I think this was the staple of the meal, forget the nutritious stuff!! As for the adults, we ate too much. Which is the usual story, but we are good cooks and have great recipes to share. You can see that we enjoyed the food too. And then there is a photo of Mary Jo pushing the kids around on Great Grandma's walker. It was truly hilarious to hear the kids laugh and giggle as the air flew through their hair!

Noah pulls himself UP



Noah is pulling himself up in this photo, but he was doing it long before I could snap a photo of it. He thinks that he is pretty big stuff and is even crawling stairs!! YIKES. I didn't plan on that so soon, but we are putting the gates up. I couldn't believe it when the girls told me that he crawled up the stairs behind them. I was sure that they had helped, but they said no. Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe it. Then that afternoon he did it again and I caught him two stairs from the TOP!! Wow, he is growing up too fast!!

Happy Halloween 2007





Halloween was a princess repeat at our house. The girls love being princesses. What could we say to that?? Several families from the MOPs group got together to take all the kids treating before the sun went down and it got too cold. So we started off at the Wheelers and made our way around the countryside and then into town. As you can see, Noah didn't partake or really cooperate too well. So, we are hoping for a more visible goblin next year.

We have TONS of turkeys!!



Several mornings we would see these turkeys wandering into the yard and the girls thought is was so neat to have them so close. Close until the dog would chase them off. And of course the girls wanted a photo of them. This is taken out the front door to the north and they were running off as soon as we quietly opened the door. But we did have right next to the house a week before. These are perks of living along the river--wildlife. We have seen the deer crossing our drive with their babies early in the morning. Did I mention that we are very early risers here at the Sandman house? We are and some mornings I wish we weren't.

Noah's Crawling!!




Oh my goodness, Noah is by far the busiest of the kids yet. I had always heard that boys are so much different then girls when it comes to getting into things. But I thought...yeah, right. Well they are right on and I have to be one step ahead of him in search of the next object that he will try to put in his mouth. Our girls could have cared less about eating anything (that includes food), but then we have our busy boy who isn't content very long with much unless it is playing in the water dish until he is SOAKED!! And he just smiles and laughs which melts my heart. And he started crawling on October 23!! Here are the photos for your enjoyment so you can see for yourself.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Friends and Family,
I guess that I didn't realize that because of my photos many of you thought that we weren't in our new home yet. I am really far behind the 8 ball and am uploading photos of the project as I have time (which isn't very much). We have been in the newly remodeled house since August 1st and are loving the space to accomodate us. We just hosted our first ever Thanksgiving for Derek's family and my folks too. We had a great time with lots to eat and great new recipes. We are truly blessed to have a super awesome family (on both sides) and can't thank God enough for them all. If you are in the area on December 7th around 7 p.m. MT, we are hosting a Pre-Christmas/House Warming Party. So join us and bring an appetizer or dessert and your favorite holiday spirits. I'll do my best to get photos of the upcoming party too.

Happy Holidays from the Sandman's

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Drywall Action






Here are more photos of the house in process or progress. There is one photo of the contractor mudding the kitchen. This is the process that takes so long because mudding is an art and you have to do things just right or you can have goofs. We did run into some goofs when the mudding would start from one end of the seam to the other and before the contractor could get back to the starting end, the mud was drying. So we experimented with new mud to get the right drying time. You'll notice that the next few posts will not have as many photos because I was busy taking care of Noah and it seemed to be challenging to get photos before he would start crying because we weren't paying attention to him. The photos are from the top: the girls toy room looking to the south (this is the room that I did the most demolition because I pulled down all the closets and little tile ceiling and the paneling from the walls too. The girls loved this because they got to help pitch things out the window and watch it fall to the ground--pretty cool!); the toy room looking to the north; the kitchen under mudding; and the dining area.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Haylee turned 5!!!

Noah @ 6 Months w/ Sisters

Good Bye Kody

It was a bit of a sad day at the Sandman's on Wednesday, the 24th, because my dog of 10 years had to be put down. She was becoming more and more sick and doing things in the house that would make several of you vomit (so I won't share!!). But she wasn't the same old Kody she was just two years earlier. She was beginning to be so grumpy and growly that I didn't know who would be safe around her. After taking the girls to preschool, I came back home and loaded Kody for her final trip to the clinic (which was never her favorite anyway). And I was very strong, I didn't cry or sob; I just said good bye and we'll meet again someday. I did really well until on our way home from preschool: (this was the part that nearly broke my heart)
Alexa: How did Kody's visit go at the doctor's office?
Mom: Well, Kody is very sick and isn't going to get better.
Alexa: Did she die? (this is coming from a 3 year old!)
Mom: Yes, she did because she wasn't going to get better.
Haylee: (sobbing her eyes out!) I miss Kody and I want her back.
Mom: I miss Kody too, but she is in Heaven now and will be healthy and her playful self.
Alexa: (crying because her sister is) I miss Kody too!!
Mom: I promise that someday soon (a couple of years) we'll get another dog.
Haylee: I want a Ricki dog (this is a miniature daschund like my parents have)
Alexa: Me too.
Mom: Well, you'll have to tell Daddy about this and see what he says. (Derek doesn't like small dogs)

As you can imagine this have been the topic of the rest of the week. And if you'd like to read a great book, check out "Marley & Me". It is a great story about a neurotic dog and his life. It is full of ab hurting laughter.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Drywall Construction






Finally it looks like there is progress when the rock goes up!! The girls had so much fun looking at the changes each day and loved that their room was nearing completion (a little closer anyway). A little story about their room; there was fire place in the basement and the previous owners added a huge (larger than a closet) space to the outside for a chimney and just decided to paint the window rather than taking it out and covering it with drywall. There was a tiny little pipe in there when the window broke during demolition. I was totally amazed at all the space. Well needless to say their chimney wasn't tall enough and the house would fill with smoke because of the lack of draw. So rather than take it off we incorporated it into the girls room as a sitting area. It really did give the room a neat look. You're looking at from top: The girls room; Haylee & Alexa standing in Noah's closet; the girls sitting area in their room with drywall needing to be cut and lots of insulation; the huge wall in the great room; & another photo of the great room looking towards the hallway to the laundry & office and Alexa is headed towards the garage.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Inside Construction






This is the part that goes pretty fast because every day we could see progress. Whether it was getting some of the old out or watching new walls erect. Well as we continue with more 2 x 4 photos; you are looking at (from top): you'll have to tilt your head, but this is the new stairway going up to the play room; master bathroom; master bedroom looking at the bathroom on the right and the double closet on the left/center; and the last is a shot of the great room/living room looking toward the garage and office (you can see the window).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Inside Construction






Here you see lots of 2 x 4's that will soon be walls. I'll do my best to recall what these were and what they will be when complete. The top photo is of the kitchen; then the basement (which had a fireplace in it that didn't draft well at all and that will be a storage room with HVAC; next is a photo of the dining room bay window; followed by a photo of Noah's Room (on the right w/ window) and to the left is the pantry, you can also see the stairs going up, but none going down yet because those have to be cut first; and then the last photo is of the main bath looking through the girls closet.

Pink House






For a long time, we were known as the pink house. It seemed to never change. We thought that the siding should go on as soon as the pink happened, but I guess we don't know much about building. So our home remained pink until August!! This really wasn't funny. Because so many referred to our home as the "pink house" that no one thought any progress was happening. There was always something happening on the inside, you just couldn't see it from the outside. How sad it was that when we were expecting deliveries for the house we would tell the drivers to look for the pink house :-(

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Who gave us a GOAT??



Very early in the morning, someone (who is quite sneaky) chained and padlocked this cute goat to the entry gates at the feedlot! Derek was less than thrilled. He had to take the gates off the hinges to get in. Someone took a lot of time and money planning their prank because it happened before 6 am! The joke is on the joker because we sold it within 6 hours to a little cowboy that needed a pet goat! Haylee & Alexa thought it was cute (and it was). But the Sandman's don't do goats, just cattle.