Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Week in Review

It's been a busy week. I told you it was just going to be this way. I've come to enjoy the pace. Here's a small catch up:

1. We've been to the pool three times this week. Besides being able to check that off the list for the week, I've come to realize that these visits to the pool are essential to me and my mood. With the new faster pace that this summer is going to be about, I need to be at the pool in order to feel like even though I am going non-stop, I am not missing summer. Does it add just one more thing to my already bulging to-do list? Yes. Does this mean I have a bit more laundry each week with all the towels and swimsuits? Yes. Does my back feel like it is going to break at any given moment from lugging around our HUMONGOUS pool bag full of all sorts of toys, towels, sunscreens, snacks, and drinks? Yes. Do I care? No. The pool is that necessary to my well being. I will make the sacrifices needed. End of story.

2. Along with number one, The Little Man is swimming like a little fish. A fish with water wings, but a fish nonetheless. This is such a far cry from where we were last summer, heck where we were even mere months ago, and I am just happy. He has had such a fear of water that I thought we were going to be stuck at the baby pool for years to come. Instead, we are now at the big kids pool.

With water wings.

Hopefully, he'll grow out of them and won't demand a larger size.

3. We are about to depart for a small rendezvous with some family. Just a short time to get away and have some fun. In preparation, we went to the library and loaded up on some books and movies (thank you, Lord, for portable DVD players). We also signed up for the summer reading program, which rewards readers for reading for 12 hours with a stuffed moose. This is right up The Girl's alley. Also, she was excited to get something new to read. So, all that to say, we have to go back to the library before we leave because she has read through all but one book that I got for her. Yes, some of these books were picture books, but I also got her a Nancy Drew mystery as well as an American Girl book. Who knew you could read through an entire mystery in one afternoon when you are only six?

4. Our poor garden. I don't know if we will have much of a harvest this year. The hail, oh the hail. It has been a fierce severe weather season here. I replanted the cucumbers because I just didn't think they were going to make it through the last hailstorm. Then, shortly after replanting, we had another hail storm with close to golf ball size hail stones. I am hoping when these new seeds actually break through the ground, the severe weather will be done for awhile. The good news (if there could be any) through all this is that we may get a new roof, which we are desperate for. We find out tomorrow.

5. I am redecorating the bedrooms this summer. It has been fun. I am trying VERY hard to be resourceful with what we already have, and just use it in new ways. Spray paint has become a new best friend as well as garage sales. Maybe I'll post pictures. In my mind, the end result will be nothing short of rooms that are beautiful enough to be photographed and published in Decor magazine, but the reality is that, well, I am doing all of this, and did I mention I am using spray paint? We'll see.

I think that catches us all up. I get to spend the day packing, doing laundry, and now, going to the library.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Heart You Nintey Degrees

On the first day that has actually felt like summer this year, what did we do? Hit the pool.

Twice.

Yes, after we came home for naps and dinner, we packed back up again, and took on another round.

It was beautiful, warm, fun, and tiring.

It was everything I hoped it would be.

Times two.

I'm wondering if the kids are so pooped out that they may actually sleep in a little.

I am not holding my breath, though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fear Not

Sometimes you wonder what all they pick up from school and Sunday School. It's hard to tell because when you ask what they did today, all you get is, "I don't remember," or "I don't know." Usually, if I ask what was their favorite part of the day I hear, "Recess," from The Girl, and "Snack time," from The Little Man. So, really, at this point, I am not getting much from them as far as what they learned or what they are talking about.

However, today, as I listened in on The Little Man talking to his sister, I found that he is learning something after all.

D: Come on Bro. Come to the back yard with me. I don't want to go by myself.
P: No, I want to play basketball. I'm going to stay in the front yard.
D: Please! Come with me and we can check the garden and you can watch me release the lady bugs.
P: No, I don't want to. I want to stay up front and practice my basketball.
D: Please! I am too scared to go back there by myself. Can you just please go with me for one second?
P: Sister, you don't have to be scared. Just remember, God is always with you. He'll be with you in the backyard to. He'll always be with you to keep you safe.

And my heart was mush.

Thank you, Sunday School teachers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Editor In Chief

My kids still take a quiet time everyday. I don't think they realize that there is an option. Not that I would give them that option freely, but what I am trying to say is that I don't think they even know that other kids their age probably don't do the same.

I so need quiet time. I need that time to recharge, get stuff done, and mentally prepare myself for the rest of the day. The kids need that time to unwind, unplug, and be by themselves. In summary: Quiet time works well for our family.

The Girl likes to spend her time reading, writing, and playing with stuffed animals. Yesterday, she came down from quiet time with a piece of paper in her hands folded so many times times that it was about the size of a quarter. She immediately asked for an envelope. I asked why she would need an envelope and she responded that she, "Needed to send this very important letter", and she shoved out her hand that was grasping tight to the very small folded piece of paper.

Seeing that it was for this very tiny piece of paper, I had doubts that we would actually be sending this "letter". I told her instead of using a real envelope, that she could make one instead with tape and notebook paper. That's when I casually asked, "Who's the letter for anyways?"

D: The book company.
me: Huh?
D: The book company. You know, the people that made some of my books.
me: Hmmm, why would you want to write a letter to them?
D: Well, when I was reading my princess book, I noticed a misspelled word.
me: Really? What word did they misspell?
D: Well, instead of saying princess's with an apostrophe "s" they just spelled princess and added an "es" to the end.
me: Well was there more than one princess or were they talking about something that belonged to the princess? If something belongs to the princess it is princess's with an apostrophe "s". If there is more than one princess in the story it is princesses with an "es".
D: Oh. Well, let me think about it before you mail off that letter.

You know I was DYING to open that letter up and read for myself what The Girl had to say about their "misspelling". I waited though because I didn't want her to know that I was totally going to invade her privacy like that.

You've gotta be stealthy in these types of situations.

When The Girl went outside to play, I went for the letter, but to my surprise, it was gone. I asked The Hubs if he saw a homemade envelope lying around and accidentally threw it out, but he had no clue what I was talking about. In my panicked state of knowing that I could have possibly lost a true gem from The Girl, I went dumpster diving.

Oh, yes. Yes, I did.

Thankfully, it was near the top.

Apparently, after much consideration, she must have decided that they did, in fact, use the correct spelling of "princesses". I did read through that little gem of a letter, though. Yes, I will share it with you now.

Dear Book People,

I saw a miss spelled whrd (word) on your book Stories of Princes and Princesses. I thinc (think) you goofed becuse (because) princess's is spelled like this and not like this princesses. And you now (know) that.

The Girl (except she used her real name)
Age 6

Please send me a new book back.
(address).


Nice.

I like how at the end, she gave a little tongue lashing, but still had enough guts to ask for a new book.

And also how she is totally guilty of misspellings herself, and doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

Today, she came down from nap with another letter. This one was to Beverly Cleary. The Girl is currently reading the Ramona series during her quiet time. The Girl doesn't appreciate the slang that Ramona uses. She feels that when she says things like "Gonna" and "Shoulda" that it sets a bad example for those that are learning to spell and speak correctly.

I think she might be referring to me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

He's Four...Continued

We had a fabulous time this weekend celebrating The Little Man and his fourth year. We spent the majority of the day on Friday together as a family. We took some self-family portraits (will share those later), in which I have NEVER run as fast as I did (more explanation with that when I share the pics), had a delicious lunch at Red Robin, played some laser tag with family, and then had a delicious chocolate cake with more family while we put together last minute party preparations.

It was a day.

And it was fun.


Besides the gale force winds, the party went over very well. I was nervous about the fact that it was outside, and for some reason we can't go a day or two without a tornado or golf ball size hail, and also we had a VERY tight time line for the day. The Little Man and the cousin we shared the birthday party with, both had activities all the way up to party time. Alas, the weather held out (besides the wind), and we made it over to the park in time to have stuff somewhat set up before people arrived. All was good.

And can I just say two things about that party? First, NO ONE cared that there were no decorations/theme to the party. Because of the winds, we couldn't set up anything. Nothing. NADA. Although it was all purchased, it all stayed in the bag. I was sad and a little embarrassed as people began to arrive, but NO ONE noticed. So, in the future my parties will have NO THEMES.

Oh, I kid. You know I couldn't do it.

Secondly, I was mildly terrified about arming the children with water guns and water balloons, but it was by far the BEST thing about that party. We had so much fun blasting one another with water that we just laughed, screamed, ran around, and totally forgot that the winds were so strong we could barely stand up straight.

Did I mention the wind on that day?

Mercy.

Lastly, here are some four year old pictures for The Little Man. He's so stinkn' handsome it hurts me.

But that's just my opinion.

And I could be partial.

Here, decide for yourself:













Friday, June 12, 2009

My Baby is FOUR!

My sweet little boy is four. He's been counting down the days until his birthday since MARCH! Today, it is here. Yesterday, he came running into my room saying, "Today is the last day that I am three!" My heart broke for a moment, but then I recovered, and I have been happy ever since. I can't help it. He is so happy to be four, it's difficult to be sad about my baby being four when he can't stop singing, "I am four, I am four. Today is June 12th, and I am four."

I want to do something special for him today, but haven't quite nailed down the specific plans. Until then, and like all other birthdays, I will leave you with a montage of his past year.

Sweet boy, you are a sweet blessing in our lives, and tangible evidence of God's perfect plan and His goodness. Your sweet tender nature, silly antics, and all that you do that reminds us how "boy" you are has been the highlight of our lives these last four years. I can hardly wait to see what the years to come will bring for you, and to watch how God works in your life.

This is the day you've been waiting for for over three months now. Enjoy it, laugh, be silly, eat tons of chocolate cake, and don't forget to dance!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New

Today I had a strong urge to photograph the flowers and color all around me. This is weird. I don't photograph flowers. I photograph people. To photograph flowers nicely, you need much different types of lenses than the types you use to photograph people with. I started at first with my professional camera, but was not satisfied with the results.



So I went back inside and grabbed our point and shoot.

Yes, our point and shoot.












While snapping away at the flowers, I didn't want to leave out our garden, which is just so new it's kind of cute.


The beans stretching as high as they can to reach the sun:


Little cucumbers:


You can't see the carrots or the green onions because I can barely seem them. They are so small and minuscule right now. Have no fear, all their growing is going on underneath.

I am so thankful for this weird urge I had. Not only did I stretch my brain a bit, but not more than 5 minutes later, it was almost all wiped out with hail. Thankfully the garden still looks OK, but the flowers, notsomuch.

I figured if the hail didn't take them out, it was only a matter of time before I did.

Also, if they can survive hail, then they can survive me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

He's At It Again

I seriously should start taking notes.

His moves warm my heart and make me smile.

video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Big Spender

I've come to terms with the fact that our weekends are booked solid ALL SUMMER LONG. I will have to be lazy during the week. Which sounds nice, but seems so wrong. Especially, considering it's hard to be lazy during the week, what with all the appointments, chores, errands, etc. What I am trying to say, is that I am coming to terms with the fact that a lazy summer may not be possible. I am learning slowly that as your kids get older, life gets busier. This past weekend was no exception.

I did get to introduce the kids to a new favorite thing. Garage sales! Every year our community has a garage sale weekend where you can drive or walk all over and score some great deals. Oh sure, the kids have been with me when I have gone to garage sales before, but this weekend, I armed them with some of the loose change we had around the house. Now garage sales have a whole different meaning to them.

The kids were fascinated with rummaging through other peoples stuff looking for the perfect treasure. After they got what they thought was the best they could find, they would politely walk up to the person running that sale and ask how much their perfect treasure would cost.

This did cause us to move much slower through each sale. It also cost me the opportunity to score on some of my own great deals. None-the-less it was fun to watch the kids have a good time. The Girl was very careful about what she looked at. She was shopping for stuffed animals and jewelry mostly. The Little Man, he just wanted to buy anything and everything that he could get his grubby little hands on. If it looked like a super hero or anything that could be launched, shot, or used as a laser he wanted it. That's when I realized that it was important to also make sure that they were checking with me first before making any purchases.

The Girl did end up getting a stuffed bunny, a necklace, and a book. The Little Man scored three transformers, a Batman motorcycle thing-y, and a pair of sunglasses. Here's the kicker: The Little Man only spent ten cents.

TEN CENTS.

A DIME.

He would take his new found treasure up to the previous owner and say with the sweetest voice and the cutest of chubby cheeks, "How many of my moneys is this?" And guess what? pretty much everyone would say, "OH! You can just have that one cutey!"

That was it.

Deal made.

Somehow I didn't get the same reaction from my chubbiness.

Or the same sweet voice I used to yell at the kids to stay out of the street.

Plus, I thought it would be weird to ask for stuff with baby talk.

I think being under the age of four had something to do with it too.

Next time I see the perfect treasure for myself, I am sending The Little Man up to the garage sale attendant and have him ask, "How many of my moneys does it take to buy that dresser?"

I'll let you know if it works.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Fashion Police

As we are driving to the museum yesterday:

P: Oh my gosh, Mom!
me: What? (looking all around to see if I am about to hit someone with my car.)
P: What are you going to do?
me: What are you talking about?
P: You still have your jammies on!
me: What? No, I don't.
P: Oh. Well, that shirt looks like you are still wearing your jammies.

Gee, thanks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Randomness May Have Been Passed Down

Since it was raining and cold all day, I thought I would get at least one thing off of my Summer To-Do list. I figure if you can't go outside, and you don't feel like doing chores inside, you may as well do something fun inside.

The museum it was.

This particular museum is currently running an exhibit where you get to visit about nine different biomes. We trekked through dessert, tundra, Savannah grasslands, and a rain forest to name just a few. There were all sorts of hands-on activities for the kids to enjoy as well as all sorts of trivia and information stations. It was pretty fun, and very appropriate for my kids' ages. We also took in a movie on the "Extreme Screen". It was about elephants, which I love.

The Girl loved every second of today's adventure. She soaked in as much information as she could. The Little Man had fun too. He was excited to be able to look around and explore stuff without being told he couldn't. He was also very excited to be able to share the fun with his cousins, who came along for the adventure as well.

He hasn't changed one bit when it comes to movies though. When the popcorn runs out, he's ready to leave. For him, it's all about the food, and the movie is something going on in the background while he chews. Thankfully, the movie was just under an hour long. I rationed the popcorn accordingly.

Tonight, as we sat around the dinner table, the kids re-lived their favorite parts of the day for their daddy. At some point, The Girl, thought it would be appropriate during her story-telling to act like a statue.

It just keeps things interesting to freeze mid-story.

We weren't really sure what she was doing. When we asked, she wouldn't answer us.

She was a statue.

Statues don't talk.

Finally, she held up her hand, as if holding up a torch.

The Hubs asked, "Are you the Statue of Liberty?"

Finally, she answered, "Yes, I am a statue!"

Going off topic from our museum tour, since we had pretty much left that conversation somehow, The Hubs asked, "Do you even know where the Statue of Liberty is?"

She answered, "Yes, DAD! It's in New York City."

"Uh-huh. Very good! I didn't know that you knew that," he responded.

"Yes, it was from France. It was a gift to the US from France. It's like the biggest gift EVER," she came back with.

Then there was a pause.

"Well, it's not the biggest gift ever. No, it was just slightly smaller than Jesus. Ya, Jesus was the biggest gift ever."

Biomes, The Statue of Liberty, and Jesus all in one ten minute conversation.

At least that's all cleared up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

This is Just the Short List

Things I would like to do this summer:

1. Wear flip-flops every day.
2. Go to the pool at least three times a week.
3. Hit the Zoo.
4. Maybe the Museum too.
5. Eat fresh salsa from our garden.
6. And cucumbers too.
7. Don't forget all the green beans.
8. OH! and the carrots. Mmmmmm.
9. Watch The Little Man be a baseball star.
10. See The Girl become a tennis champ.
11. Run in the rain.
12. Camp in the backyard with the kids.
13. Enjoy dinner out on the deck.
14. Ride bikes as a family to get ice cream.
15. Read a few books.