Thursday, July 30, 2009

A couple of things you would not have heard me say this week...

Let's not worry about "doing" you hair while you're sitting on the potty.

Why are you wiping your nose on my arm?

You can go in the pool or take a shower - it's up to you.

We definitely do not refer to the pool as a white trash bath either!

If you do not stop crying this minute I'll give you a reason to cry!

Kool-Aid is not acceptable for breakfast.

No, you're not having pop for breakfast.

It's 100 degrees out you are NOT wearing jeans!

You are not wearing flannel pajamas to bed during a heat wave!

Do not speak another word to each other!

I also did not skip sun screening my boys out of pure laziness. Nor did I feed all of them noodles for dinner more than one night. I certainly did not completely forget to pick up Caden's friend on the way to VBS either.

It is summer. It has been unbearably HOT here! We've loved having house guests a couple of nights. The boys have worn themselves out every day at church camp. I'm stressed about buying a house. AC makes it much easier to sleep. House hunting/buying makes it harder. In summary, we are all pretty wiped out tonight and plan on getting to bed early! At the moment I'm also planning on doing darn near nothing tomorrow!

So, how was your week?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fun days...

The boys have been going to Kids Camp at church this week. They love, love, loved it last year and have talked about it all year! Our church's children's pastor feels really strongly about making church a place that kids want to be. A lot of things are done that other church's might think shouldn't be done - like playing spotlight tag in the sanctuary! I love it though. The boys do want to go and often ask if we could please go to church. Tomorrow is water day and I know I'll be picking them up soaking wet and happy as ever.
A couple of weeks from now we will have Summer/Servant festival. Part of that is Night Meetings. They throw frisbies into the audience that you can redeem for candy or just throw candy and t-shirts. The music is loud the sermon short. Then everyone goes outside to watch a Spongebob marathon, roast marshmellows, play soccer and just about anything else you can imagine! So much fun that it is another thing the boys wait all year for!
This is a quick picture of Caden just befoe pick-up time today (he's in the center). The music is blaring and they are showing a slide show from today's events at the same time. Tons of fun...
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

House hunting can be hazardous to your health!

Who knew? So Rick and I decided to do some drive-by's before dragging the realtor with us again. The last house happened to be waaaay out there. Far enough that we were both laughing as the road seemed to go on forever. We finally found the place and it was empty so, of course, we decided to have a walk around. Well, unbeknownst to us a massive swarm of bees had set up residence under the old hot tub out back. To get to the upper deck you had to pass the hot tub on a little path that was about 2 feet wide. As I went past my hand brushed against my shorts and something hurt my knuckle - felt like a sliver or a thorn. I shook it off until Rick followed behind me a minute later. He hollered "ouch!" in the exact place that I did. As he hobbled onto the deck holding his calf I stood shaking my now stinging thumb. We were both totally confused until I decided to go back the way I had come and see what was there. That's when I discovered about 20 or more angry looking bees swarming in and out from under the corner of the hot tub. So there we were, me on the lawn and Rick on the upper deck. We started laughing again when Rick emphatically said he was not going past that hot tub again. Since there was no other way down he opted instead to go over the hot tub! Once he made it over we both made a beeline to the car (no pun intended - well, ok maybe a little). We collapsed into the car laughing and whining at the same time. I now know that the house is precisely 10 minutes from town and about 25 from the nearest hospital (no we didn't go there!). So we laughed at how stupid we were sitting there complaining about how bad our stings hurt and yet how amazingly fast and angry those buggers apparently were! Rick is convinced they were African Killer bees and I wouldn't be surprised if they were! Dang though we are a couple of babies! Here it is three hours later and Rick just took some Advil and is still icing his leg. My thumb seems to be doing much better than his leg either from not being stung as badly (?) or by nature of our genders - I'll just leave it at that. One thing is for sure though, if one of our kids ever gets stung I'm going to be the most sympathetic mom ever!

I tried to get a picture for this post but couldn't get a decent one and since I'm sure you are heartbroken over that you'll just have to imagine!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life's about change...

I'm getting old(er). Do you know how I know that? Well I have a ten year old for starters! Not too long ago I noticed a picture of a friend(who shall remain nameless!). Her face was starting to look old(er) and it kind of took me by surprise. The other day I saw a picture of myself and guess what - there were those same lines! Where did those come from?

A few weeks ago I was in line at the grocery store waiting to buy some beer. As I stood there I thought to myself that I'd better get my ID out because they'd want to see it. I was still holding the card in my hand when the clerk handed me my receipt and told me to have a nice day. I was feeling a bit stunned as I tried to discretely tuck the ID card back in my wallet. This is the second time that has happened in the last couple of years ( I don't buy alcohol much) and as I walked out of the store I realized that an era had passed. I won't likely be carded ever again!

The other day I had my women's annual exam. I laid there on the table waiting for the doctor to come in. As I looked at the ceiling I was feeling pretty peaceful (even the ob's office is relaxing when you don't have any kids with you!). The cheery yellow walls and the sun shining outside brought me back to the many times I had been on those tables waiting to hear my baby's heartbeat. I remember the drill so well, weight, blood pressure, measure the tummy. The drill is much the same still but thank goodness they no longer want to measure the tummy! Funny thing is though, the weight, blood pressure and tummy size are all going up again! What's up with that? Then it dawned on me that if I were to be pregnant right now, I'd be considered high risk! How can that be? I don't feel any different than I did eleven years ago.

The gray hair is coming in faster and faster - Sally Beauty Supply is becoming a regular stop! Clothes don't fit the same. I'm noticing the veins on my hands standing out and the lines on my face sinking in. My blood pressure is going up, I've possibly got a tiny bit of arthritis and the darned scale refuses to go anywhere but up! (That's the last complaining about physical ailments I hope to ever utter!) When I asked the ob about the weight she simply circled my age. I guess that says a lot doesn't it? My "ideal" weight is no longer 120. I should be happy about that! I guess I am, I just didn't realize that what I've been seeing emerge really is the new me. I know, I could work out more but lets face it if I haven't done it up til now...

So, the signs are there. I am getting older. I am not OLD, just getting older. There is a lot to think about with that realization. How do I want to age? Kicking and fighting or gracefully and contentedly? Maybe a little of both. I really want to be comfortable with myself and with time I am beginning to care less what others think or look like. I'm not in competition with anyone. We all look different. Suddenly appearing in public in my swimsuit doesn't bother me so much. I'm not eighteen - and lets face it, no one will ever mistake me for that again either! Strange isn't it? We can't wait to grow up but we never really think we'll get to this point.

So for now, I'm going to learn to accept who I am and who I am becoming. Rather than continue to wear shorts a size too small (it really was getting old pulling them out of my behind) I finally caved and bought myself a couple new ones in the right size - man do they feel better! Life's about change and nothing ever stays the same...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look at this girl!

Every so often a picture will really capture one of the kids in a way that just takes my breath away. It is almost like seeing a glimps of them in the future. When I first saw this one, I just stopped for a moment and thought, "she is so beautiful!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun, fun, fun...

Rick was home for a couple of days so we decided to take a quick trip to the beach. The kids were really happy to be going camping with Dad! It was a nice weekend, just windy and a little cool.

The caged animals!

Look at that little face! That is so Paige!

My fishermen...

And the one who actually had the patience for it!

Caden was totally excited to fly a kite for the first time. It didn't last long though, the wind was too strong!

What a cutie.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

X marks the spot

What is it about house hunting? I know exactly what I want but it doesn't exist! That happens to me at the fabric store a lot too but that's another post! Anyway, we have spent the last two weeks looking at or planning to look at houses in our area. My first and biggest concern was to keep Trace at his current school. He has already moved schools 4 times and he is just going into 5th grade. I want him to have some lasting friends and to fit in and I worry that constantly moving him will destroy his chances at that. So we have limited our search to only our school boundaries. We have good taste apparently. This seems to be one of the most expensive and stable areas around which means there is nothing we can afford. So this week we expanded our search to within 5 miles of our school and figured we could try for a boundary exception and I'd just take the boys to school. I did it for three years when Trace was in private school so I can do it again. Unfortunately that was causing me some serious stress and upset stomachs. I didn't want to tell Rick because then he'd get upset at me for worrying about schools again. But seriously, next year Trace will start school at something like 7:30, Paige starts at 8:15, and Caden starts at 8:30! So do I take all of them when I leave with Trace at 7am or leave the youngest two at home and just take him then come back and take them (ok, that's not really an option). So maybe you can see why that was a little stressful for me. THEN...I was in the pool with the boys yesterday and telling them about a couple of the houses we had looked at. I told Trace that he wouldn't be able to ride the bus but that I'd make sure he still got to his school (not having a clue how). That's when he says, "I'll go to a different school Mom, it's not like I haven't done it before and I'm moving to middle school anyway so what's the difference." Had my child sized floaty been sunk just a bit more in the water I probably would have choked when my jaw dropped! (As it is both boys shrieked in amazement when I got off of it and it had formed an indent where my lovely body had been - nice). So back to the school issue... I drilled him on his motivations and asked him what about friends etcetera. One big issue though is that he doesn't really have any close friends. There just hasn't been anyone that he really bonded with. He always has before so is it one too many school moves or just no one there like him? A new school might give him the opportunity to find that best buddy that every kid needs. However, moving schools is not such a simple issue as walking in and registering. Trace is allergic to peanuts remember? So it will involve transferring his 504 plan to a new school and possibly a new district, educating the staff and getting to know the staff well enough to trust them. Not to mention I've gotten quite comfortable there and feel like I know a lot of people. I'm sick of starting over. I'm sick of educating the world about peanut allergies. But I do want my own home. So that brings us back full circle to the horrible house issue. What we can afford and what we like are two completely different things. Because we lost our shorts on the house in Chicago we have no down payment and because of this stinking economy Rick hasn't moved up the pay scale as planned, we are in a rotten spot. If we settle on something older there could be more maintenance issues. If it needs updating where is that money going to come from and just when does Rick seriously think he'll find the time to do it? If we look in the higher brackets we have to get help and it is no longer "our" house. We feel indebted and tied to the apron strings. So which is it? Of course now that Trace has allowed us to broaden our search we still have to narrow in on only the "good" schools and districts. Does this sound like fun? My stomach is starting to churn again. Oh and lets not forget the debate between a neighborhood and property which is a huge issue. My house is falling apart around me and I took a nap this morning. I know the nap was my way of escaping - maybe I'll go take another. If I sleep long enough will this nightmare be over? I am praying hard for God's guidance but He isn't exactly putting a huge red x on the house He wants for us. I know we are going to have to take a few steps and see if He paves the way or the bottom falls out in order to know some answers. But dang I wish there was a red x somewhere!

Can you see that smile?

Well it finally happened. Caden's tire popped on his bike. We knew it was comming because he kept skidding on it and you could literaly see the threads but we were hoping he could make it to his birthday in eight weeks. That was not to be. So last monday morning we headed out to the big three - Target, Walmart, Freddies - to try and find a new bike. As you can see the trip was successful! Rick and I wished him a happy birthday and off he went - so proud! It is the first bike we have ever purchased just for him and not a hand me down or used one which is partly why he was so excited.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Growing. Or not.

I don't give growth percentages a lot of merit around here, but I do find them interesting. As a result I tend to keep track of where the kids are at. Little Miss P. is still at the bottom and even off the U.S. chart completely. On the Chinese charts (which aren't particularly accurate) she is about the 10th percentile. At least the way I read them which could be totally wrong! The boys are pretty funny in how opposite they are too. Poor Trace really needs a growth spurt though. He is just above average for height but hasn't grown much in a long time. Anyway, there really isn't a point to this post, just that I find it interesting. So there it is.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

That's my girl!

Nope, not one of the two boys - my daughter - holding worms! She was so proud of herself too. Robin and Collette taught her the joy of picking them up and once she got started nothing held her back! What a nut.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

We had a fun, busy and bright Fourth this year! Our trailer is down at the beach for the summer so the kids and I loaded the car up Thursday morning and headed out. Friday morning we wandered around town checking out all the tourist shops before the crowds hit later in the day. Then we headed out to the beach.

It was a beautiful day! So unusual for this part of the coast too. The kids dug in the sand and gathered water while I read and got sunburned.
By the time we got back to the trailer it was time for a quick dinner and some smores before bedtime. I'm am not so hot at fire building, but we managed to get enough coals for the s'marshmellows.

Saturday morning we joined up with friends and family for the day. The kids played lots of air hockey and ping pong. And Paige made a new friend! (Well two but the human one isn't pictured!)
The guys had gone fishing all morning and brought back quite a catch! I'll spare you the gory wonderful pictures. Caden was absolutely fascinated by the whole process and pestered the guys with questions non-stop. He stayed out and watched all the gutting and cleaning!

Early evening we finally got around to what Trace and Caden really wanted to do though. Blowing things up! The kids lit off all the daylight type fireworks and had a blast doing it.

Paige seemed to make her own fun. She was quite enraptured by the sawdust from the pop-it's boxes.

Not quite sure what she was doing with it though!

We finally made it down onto the beach around 9:00. Because the huge annual event was cancelled back home we think everyone decided to go to the beach. It was insane! There were cars as far as you could see and huge bonfires and of course fireworks going off EVERYWHERE. It is really quite something to be literally sitting in/under a show like that. There was a bonfire like no other right in front of us. Apparently everyone in the group had saved their Christmas trees to burn! Made quite a fire!

So that pretty much sums up our holiday. Oh-yeah, it took us an extra hour to get home on Sunday and we had to come home a different way because of all the traffic! But, whose complaining? We had a great weekend!


I was in a bit of a hair slump recently until I found a new website. Paige's hair is a little tricky to do since it is so thin and has a few added short layers thanks to the little haircut she gave herself a while back. I got a lot of good ideas from this site though and I think the results have turned out pretty well so far. She is amazingly patient to let me do all this too!

"french braid headband to pony"

"butterfly braids"

"criss cross"

This picture should be titled "why we don't need any more stuffed animals!" It was actually a fortress that Caden built and this was the command center. I think the animals were either the guards or his army. Trace had a matching on in the living room but the pictures were too grainy. (still learning with the camera)