Category: Family

Minecraft Explosion

It started as a normal situation, Teddy and Stella got into a fight. Nothing new, it happens seven to eight times a day (with three kids, there’s always an argument over something).

This one was over one of Teddy’s light sabers. He came downstairs all in a lather saying Stella broke one of his light sabers. He said she grabbed it and broke it. It was in two pieces, but it was able to be slid back into place. He was all worked up because it “wasn’t the same anymore”.

Stella is known for grabbing things, so I was pretty miffed about this whole incident. I called her into the room and was ready to tear into her. Then she fills in the rest of the story…

Teddy held out the light saber for her to hold on to as he tried to lift her. Poor judgment on both of them.

I confronted Teddy with my new found information, which he had no choice but to admit his part in the terrible decision. I told him it was just as much his fault as it was Stella’s.

He wasn’t happy.

A few minutes later, Stella came running done stairs in tears.

“Teddy blew up my world!”

She has an array of Mi World shops in her room and I thought that was what she was talking about.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! (It took me a few minutes to figure out what happened.)

All three of the kids have there Minecraft world linked up on their tablets. Well, Teddy went into Stella’s world and set off a whole lot of TNT and blew up a bunch of her stuff.

Working together, a rare sight!
Working together, a rare sight!

Man was she upset. She was crying about not being able to get her animals back in their pen.

This is where my parenting skills are lacking because I started laughing and couldn’t keep a straight face (I tried SO hard). So I told her we need to go take this problem to Daddy.

This conversation went on for twenty minutes about how what happened with Stella and the light saber was an accident, but what Teddy did was on purpose and that was a big difference.

It was just another weekend in the Kraus House.

The Christmas Countdown

Wow, all of a sudden it’s December and the countdown is on, I’m somewhat ready.

I’ve wanted to make an advent calendar for the kids the past couple of years, but next thing I know it’s November 30th and I’m out of time. Now I do get my kids the “24 Chocolate Days” as Stella calls it, the advent calendars where you open it each day and eat a piece of chocolate. But, I wanted something bigger and better.

Stella and her 24 Chocolate Days
Stella and her 24 Chocolate Days

This year I started my efforts three weeks ago. I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t find what I needed to make the advent calendar I pictured in my head. (I get real fancy in there.)

I did find a great alternative, and guess what? I didn’t cost me the $42 it would have for my “vision” advent calendar. I found it at the Dollar Spot at Target. It was actually $3, but that’s still $39 less than I would have spent if I went with my original plan.

Kraus House Mom
My Target Dollar Spot find, perfect advent calendar

Now to come up with twenty four things to do with my kids. Let’s face it, I’m pretty lazy. Doing things once or twice a week is no problem, but keeping up with something everyday is going to be a challenge, but it is the holiday season.

Here’s what I came up with, many of these things we do every year and some of these things are new.

  1. Decorate the house
  2. Make a wreath
  3. Decorate Gee’s tree (my mom)
  4. Go to a tree lighting
  5. Cut down our tree
  6. Do the Jingle Run (this is mine)
  7. Celebrate Maizie’s Birthday
  8. Deliver our Elf gifts
  9. Pancakes and cocoa for dinner
  10. Write out cards
  11. Look at light displays
  12. Go to Winter Wonderland
  13. Kids shop for each other
  14. Make a gingerbread house
  15. Visit Santa
  16. Go to La Salette Shrine
  17. Make giant snowflakes
  18. Make Christmas trees
  19. Make Christmas cakes
  20. Movie day
  21. Make cookies and fudge
  22. Put out all the presents
  23. Make reindeer food
  24. Go to Auntie Sally’s House

Some of these things are subject to change. Teddy is having his surgery on the ninth and that may throw some things off, depending how well he can see. Not to mention this is the time of the year that the yak attacks seem to hit us.

I’m thinking positive and hoping we can get it all done.

Hope you all enjoy this holiday season! What have you got planned?

Cataracts…Teddy’s Blind Again

In July we found out that Teddy was pretty much blind in his right eye because of cataracts. He had it fixed right before Halloween and for a few short weeks he could see again.

When he went to the doctor to get checked after the surgery, he checked both eyes and everything was fine. He did have a cataract in the other eye, but it hadn’t changed in months.

Ted told the surgeon he wanted it fixed right away considering how fast the other eye deteriorated. The surgeon completely agreed. He said it would have to be corrected eventually and since it wasn’t cosmetic, there’s no issue getting it done before it became a problem.

That appointment was on November 2nd. The only thing was, the ophthalmologist had to approve the surgery, just a formality. Teddy’s doctor was on fully booked and then on vacation, no big deal.

Kraus House Mom
Teddy could see on his birthday

The office called to make an appointment for the day after the doctor returned, November 19th. Good because we knew the surgeon was already booked at the hospital and could get us in soon.

The night I made the appointment, Teddy told me he thought his eye (the other one) was getting bad because he was having trouble seeing. He could hardly read (he can’t see close up with the new lens) and I already knew his nearsightedness was becoming an issue. (I took him in September because he was having trouble, but it wasn’t the cataract.)

I told him he was going to the eye doctor and then we could schedule the next surgery. Then he would be able to see. Little did I know what we were going to find out.

The cataract in the other eye had pretty much quintupled, the new eye couldn’t see as far as they hoped and he basically has no sight in the other eye.

He can see people and objects far away, but he can’t read the board and he can’t read his work. When is he going to catch a break?

Luckily he will only have to wait a couple of weeks for the next surgery. He is scheduled for December 9th. He will finally have sight in both eyes.

Kraus House Mom
This time he’s not nervous, he’s excited to see

When it’s done, he will have to wear glasses. The doctor did tell us that he may never have to change his prescription because his eyes will be surgically corrected.

For now we do all we can at school so he can manage for the next couple of weeks.

I’ll keep you updated!

The Elf is Watching you!

He’s coming, it’s almost time.

Every year he shows up on Thanksgiving. We wake up and he’s next to the Wampa.

Kraus House Mom
Chatting on the phone and catching up with his pal, the Wampa.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Elfel (my oldest named him).

Then the countless nights of hoping he’s going to be somewhere else in the morning.

Kraus House Mom
Stuck in some things

I don’t want my kids to be disappointed if Elfel doesn’t get to “fly home at night”, especially if someone was awake upstairs, causing a ruckus.

The pressure he has of finding a new place to hang out can be intense.

Kraus House Mom
He likes the chandelier…a lot

He wants to be creative, but he doesn’t want to be touched (he is very tempting) and he wants to be out of reach from Alabama.

He also wants to be somewhere he can see everything so he can report it all back to Santa.

Kraus House Mom
He sits on things. Stella sings Wrecking Ball when he’s here.

We have asked him not to make a mess and he has listened.

The kids are getting older, so maybe he can get a bit more daring with his spots.

We shall see.

Does the Elf on the Shelf visit you? Where does your elf hang out?

Life in a Haunted House

I hear people say all the time that they think their house is haunted. Well my house really is haunted. There’s nothing creepy or malicious that goes on, mischievous and sometimes annoying yes, but nothing to make us want to pack up and leave.

First of all, we know the “ghosts”. It’s my husband’s family. We bought my husband’s grandmother’s house and there’s a lot of history here.

Kraus House Mom

Why do we think our house is haunted? A bunch of things happen around here that have no explanation, but the biggest reason is that each of our three kids have talked to a different relative that lived here, but passed away.

When they were young, under 3, they had information that my husband and I either didn’t know about or never told them about. Maizie keep talking about “Scoop”. We didn’t know who Scoop was, but said she talked to him. Later we found out that it was Ted’s grandfather’s nickname (I believe in WWII). We had no idea.

Teddy started asking my mother in law about her brothers, he knew about two of them, but one of them passed away before Ted and I were even married. This happen right after a cousin of my mother in law’s passed away (the uncle and cousin were close and mischief makers). He asked about the other brother by name and then said the cousin’s name (something my husband and I didn’t say anything about) and he told my mother in law that they were both happy. Let’s just say it freaked her right out.

Stella used to have full on conversations with my husband’s grandmother. We would hear her on the baby monitor in the middle of the night. We heard her ask her where her glasses were one night. During the day, she would point and call her name, like she was in the room.

This went on until one Easter when we were all at my mother in law’s house. Stella kept saying Naunie was there, then she said “Bye, Naunie,” and waved. She didn’t talk to her again after that.

Do I still think they’re here? Absolutely! Strange things happen all the time. At night it sounds like someone is walking down the stairs, if you go to see which kid it is, no one is there.

Something will go missing, and we (usually me) will search the entire house looking for it then give up the hunt. Later on, the missing item will show up in plain sight. Not in a place that could have been overlooked, somewhere that I physically picked up every item looking for it.

The bathroom light always goes out, Alabama will bark at thin air (but like she’s barking at a person), there is always a refection of a face in the small window next to the fireplace (only for a split second), from the corner of your eye you see someone walk by and there’s no one there, these are the things that happen.

Kraus House Mom
One of these lights goes out all the time, even with new lightbulbs

If we’re talking about things from Ted’s childhood, sometimes he gets an instant chill or goose bumps all over.

Smells are another thing. Sometimes when we come home and walk in the house, my husband can smell his grandfather. There a so many times when I’m in bed and I can smell food cooking.

Kraus House Mom
I swear I see a face in this window every night, it’s way too far off the ground for it to be a real person. I just keep it closed now, so I don’t keep looking at it.

The toilet flushed by itself the other day and toys used to go on by themselves. When the coffee maker makes sounds, Stella always announces, “Naunie’s making coffee!”

We don’t care that the house is haunted; they keep an eye on us!