Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Morning Thoughts

The boys went to Grandma and Grandpa's last night. Noah was super hyper so I am very worried about how he did last night. I guess I'll find out when they get home some time this morning.

The reviews for the Indiana Jones movie were spot on. The first half, although a little weirder than previous ones, was still like an Indiana Jones movie. I can't say the same for the second half. People were right about the sci-fi thing. It was WAY OUT THERE. About the moment where the skull started controlling everything, it stopped feeling like an Indiana Jones movie. It was like they had this great idea for an Indiana Jones movie, but somewhere got lost when they were writing it and ended up with a big bunch of nothing. Now, in general, I am not usually very hard on films, but this thing really was pretty ridiculous. I want to go back and read other people's reviews now that I have seen it. Here's the deal, if you were not an Indiana Jones fan to begin with, DON'T go see this movie. If you were, you MAY want to just because it's Indiana Jones. As we were walking out, Steve summed it up, "I guess we will only OWN the first three" and I whole heartedly agreed.

In van news, they did end up re-doing the transmission. The manager said he couldn't tell if it was one of the pieces they replaced, or a piece that they didn't replace the first time around. I didn't care as long as the warranty covered it. When the boys and I were running errands in the morning in the Blazer (Steve's man-truck) the windshield wipers stopped working in the middle of that rain storm. So I pulled over and begged him to be done with van so we could drive a car that was safe. He said to come pick it up. When I got there, I told him that I would be leaving the Blazer there until we could pick it up later. He asked what was wrong with it and I had mentioned the wipers and that I really didn't know what else. He offered to pull it in and assess it and fix the wipers for no charge as a courtesy for the van problem. When we picked it up last night, there was a assessment in the truck as well as a paper stating that they replaced the circuit board for free. Now, when it was raining when Steve left for work this morning, I know he will be safe. We will talk more about whether we will actually fix the other stuff. This truck cracks me up. I think it is the kind of vehicle that we will just keep on running until the bumpers fail off and Noah can learn to drive in it (in about 9 years). Thank you Matt and Jenny.

No plans today. It looks like the rain is done now so we will just play it by ear. I have no idea when the boys will be home so I think I'll go take a leisurely shower without refereeing fights from the bathroom, as is the course on normal days.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Birthday Thoughts and Parade Photos

Today is my birthday. I am 35. Not really a big deal, just thought I would mention it. I don't really celebrate all that much. The boys will go to Grandma and Grandpa's tonight and Steve and I are hoping to go to the new Indiana Jones movie. When I was little, for something like five years in a row, we had tornado warnings on my birthday. We used to think it was rather odd. They are calling for a slight risk of severe weather...possibly tornadoes. I hope nothing dangerous happens anywhere, but it would be kind of funny if we did have something happen around here.

As usual, my friend Deb has figured a way to make me special. She just always knows what to do. She did a very special post for me today. She posted a TON of pictures of us that I haven't seen in over ten years. What a fun post. I hope you go visit her today to see some pictures of us in our younger days. Thanks, Deb

I never shared any of the pictures from the parade on Monday. My sister runs a preschool about a half hour north of here and we were invited to be part of her Memorial Day parade float. I had never been in a parade before. She had a CD running with different songs and each song had different props to go along.

We got there kind of early so there was a LONG time of waiting before we started.

During which the boys and their cousins needed to inspect the candy buckets.

During "Hot, Hot, Hot", Noah joined the class in throwing leis to parade attendees. They kept trying to throw the leis, but the wind kept throwing them back, so finally they started walking up to people and handing them to them.

Most of the children wanted to walk some of the time and ride some of the time. I must admit, it seemed that we were moving pretty fast most of the time. Poor Aaron didn't want to sit in the float, but couldn't keep up, at which point Daddy scooped him up and he got to ride in style.


Of course guess who the only one who got sun burned was ?

Have a happy Friday. I will report any interesting birthday tidbits if they occur.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen Kindergarten Moments

In honor of Noah's Kindergarten "graduation", thirteen pictorial moments from this year.

1/2. First/Last days of school (Doesn't he look so much older in the second one?)

3. Christmas Concert (3rd from right)

4. Musical chairs (Noah's in blue)

5. First girl friend

6. Aaron drawing on the chalkboard with Noah's classmates (far right). No, his name on the board is NOT from getting in trouble.

7. Handing out valentines (remember the pink cast?)

8. Mother's Day gift he made all week at school

9. Walking in for "graduation"

10. The graduating class of 2008 (3rd from left)

11. With his teacher

12. After opening his end of the year present from his teacher, he stripped down in the middle of the class and put it on...a tee shirt with his whole class picture and name on the back. Complete with hi "horse stance".

13. Each student got an individual award along with their certificate. Noah's was the "Outstanding Reader Award". He loved looking at his awards with the "gold letters"

I can't believe my baby boy is now officially a first grader. Wow how time flies.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday; Aaron "Reads"

Please see first comment for request...

#1 Tackle It Tuesday: Stuff

I've never done a Tackle It Tuesday before. However, because I am overwhelmed by the things I need to get done today, I will list them for my own benefit.

A. Call the transmission place and beg them to get to the van before Friday. Last time it took them forever and I will be in a panic all week waiting to hear how much of our Disney vacation fund is going to be depleted. Call done, they will actually be able to look at it today.

B. Go to the transmission place to retrieve my driver's license, church paycheck, and several severely overdue library books/CD's that were left inside. Signed the form, people heard th e"rattle" but didn't feel the" jut". Supposedly will get to it tomorrow.

C. Go to the library to return above items and pick out come easy readers to keep Noah reading. Done, picked out so many books that the bag broke on the way out.

D. Tomorrow is Noah's last day of Kindergarten. Mrs. S. has been a good teacher for him this year. He has had many ups and downs and she has weathered them all. So today we are off to find her a flower as an end of the year present. The biggest tackle will be to get Noah to write a heartfelt message on the inside of the card. Got a pretty daisy plant and a balloon.

E. After a weekend of playing outside and MANY little filthy feet tramping through the kitchen, I need to sweep and mop every hard surface in the house. Mopping done. I love the mop I got a little while ago. We have been through too many to count. Thanks to Diego, I was able to let the floor dry before the boys ran across and messed it up again.

F. Laundry, laundry, laundry Didn't get even one load done

G. Get to Verizon to find out why my somewhat new phone will not stay charged for more than a day and I have terrible reception everywhere I go. Steve got the same phone at the same time and hasn't had a single problem. Didn't get there...maybe tomorrow.

H. Piano recital is on Sunday. I only have six out of 24 students performing but, in contrast to past years, they are not ready. So lessons tonight will probably be pretty high stress. Tonight's students are ready...big sigh!

I wonder if I had made a list like this last Tuesday, maybe I wouldn't have dropped the ball and forgotten to put the extra music for this past Sunday's service in the bulletin. I got docked $50 for screwing it up. I think my brain is becoming more addled in my old age (I'll be 35 in four days).

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not Again!!!!!

Remember this post?

This was the scene this afternoon...another fun visit from Hansen Towing.

Oh yeah, less than two months later, the BRAND NEW, $2200 transmission in the car blew again.

Don't know what to do this time...we already cleared the savings and Christmas money. The only thing left is the chunk we were saving for Disney next Spring. The trip may be severely affected. I guess we'll see after they look at it on Friday.

How To Use a Kiddie Pooll Effectively

Invite some friends over for a cookout
Abby, Noah, Hannah Becca, Aaron

Wait in line

I loved how they formed the line without any grown up prompting

Throw all danger signs out the window and put the Little Tikes slide into the pool

Five kids in a pool; kind of like "Three Men In A Tub"

Discover that you can make hand prints...

and footprints on the side of the house.

Stop for a bite to eat
We discovered that if you pour WAY TOO MUCH Mrs. Dash on chicken before grilling it, Noah WILL actually eat it. No one else will, however.

Now, take a look at the pool and how disgusting the water is and decide to dump the water. However, it may be more fun for the kids to bail out the water into the grass. So give all the kids a bucket and send them to their task.

Aaron then decides that it is more fun to pour the water over his head, rather than on the grass.

Of course, Noah decides to turn it into throwing water at others.

Amidst the fun, Daddy will decide that he must also get into the action. So Daddy grabs a bucket and soaks any kids he can find...

I love these shots of water in mid air

and the kids get him back.

Trouble begins brewing when Aaron decides to go after the photographer.

After most of the water is drained, Daddy needs to spray off the neighbors driveway which was more fun to pour water on than the grass. However, then the sprayer get nasty and once again unleashes his wrath on any child running nearby.

What a fun afternoon in the backyard.

P.S. I am quite certain there will be a very similar story on Deb's site in the days to come. We were both shooting pictures like Mad Women.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Contest Entry

We had lots of fun today that I will write more about later. I got a lot of great pictures of the fun with Deb's kids today but I will be saving them for posts later this week. But for now, as a contest entry to The Kid In You photo contest over at 5 Minutes For Mom,
I would like to share a photo of the boys (all three of them) playing in the sprinkler from last year. Notice they all have their clothes on. It seems that some of the best fun they have usually happens when we're least prepared.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Welcome Holiday Weekend

It's Memorial Day Weekend...The unofficial start of summer..

Summer 2006

Let's celebrate with pictures of the kids when they were VERY little, just for fun.

Noah at 2 Years and Aaron at 9 months

Let's play while it's hot...

Noah's 3rd birthday, Aaron 22 months
Summer 2005

all weekend long.

Noah almost 3
Aaron 7 months
Spring, 2005

It's supposed to be sunny...

Summer 2006

let's go swimming...

Noah at 22 months and Aaron in my tummy

Summer 2004

and go places...

Noah's 3rd birthday pulling Baby Aaron
Hannah, Matthew, Abby, and Emma in the background
Summer 2005

If you know Deb Mom of 3 Girls, then you'll know these girls

and have summer treats

Noah at 2 and a half

Summer 2005

and hang out with friends...

Aaron, Hannah, Abby, Noah
Summer 2005

and family.

Noah and Patrick
Summer 2005

I love this picture of Jamie and Aaron as little babies in the summer of 2005.


Summer 2006

Have a wonderful weekend with your families and I can't wait to hear about it next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Sad

I know you have all read as many posts today about the tragedy in the family of Steven Curtis Chapman. I feel the need to add one more. It was a shock this morning, and even more so as I learned more of the details. It is just so sad.

As it has been on my mind all day, I feel I must share the feelings it has brought to mind. This will not be the most upbeat post, but I need to write.

First of all, Maria was the same age as Noah is now. The family was celebrating SO MANY special events in this short time when it had to be clouded by tragedy; a wedding, a birthday, a graduation. It puts the thought into my mind about how fragile our lives really are. One minute I could be getting frustrated at a boy for peeing on the other but the next minute they could be gone. Steven Curtis Chapman has given us so much through his music, and now to have had his family struck so hard makes me wonder again about the faithfulness of our God.

I don't doubt it...just brought to wonder about the testing of faith. I actually spent some time thinking about Job today. How God picked the one person whom he knew could resist and put him to the test. It's not the way I like to think about someone who tests us to see how well we will stick with Him. I am quite sure that the Chapman family has stayed strong to their faith and that is most certainly what will bring them through.

But I wonder...would I be that strong? I'm not so sure but you can be sure I have been praying about it all day and will continue for quite some time in the future. I found myself scared to pursue our Disney trip planning today because I am scared of any tragedies that could happen between now and then.

But what does that say about my faith if something that happened to someone so far away is raising questions?

So guess what brought me back to reality? Believe it or not, the music of Stephen Curtis Chapman. As I was coming home from teaching, "His Eyes" came on the radio. I found myself tearing up on the drive and came home and announced to my husband that he will be singing that song on Sunday for special music in church. As I sat down playing through the book of his greatest hits, I was just struck by the lyrics of the songs, with the current situation in mind. It was really eye opening. I don't know that I have REALLY studied the words of all the song sbefore; "Hiding Place ", "His Strength Is Perfect (this video made me cry)" most recently "Cinderella" ( an interview about "Cinderella"), to name a few that got me going.

Music is such a powerful thing. It has a way of getting under the skin like nothing else.

So Sunday, while Steve (and hopefully Chris) are singing "His Eyes", the words will become even more poignant than ever before and I will be thinking more closely about how dear my family is to me and how I need to cherish EVERY moment I have with them. They are a gift on LOAN from God, until it's time to return home.

If anyone would like, to, and hasn't already, here is the website set up for condolences to the Chapman family.

I would love to hear other thoughts that came to people's minds as they learned about this today and I hope you will all pray for the family for healing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 4Hydrangea update et. el.

1. This week marked 6 years in our house. I was largely pregnant with Noah and couldn't do anything with out yard that was truly DEAD at the time. To prove my point, this was the picture taken the day we brought Noah home from the hospital. Look at the lawn, not my big belly.

13. The following spring, this was my only attempt at foliage.
These bushes have since died and been recycled. The two lilac bushes and the cherry tree below, along with the bricks, are in that space now. This is the only way I can feel that there has been any growth in our landscape plan.

So over the next few years, we have attempted MANY different things. Each year for my birthday (next week), my parents take me to a local greenhouse and get me some plants for our yard. Some have taken, some have not. I have reseeded our lawn twice and I swear by Scott's 4 step plan for fertilizer. If it weren't for the %^&# moles, we would be sitting pretty.

Yesterday when I was sitting in the living room folding laundry with the window open, I got a wonderful breeze with the scent of lilac blowing in. I was so happy to know that something was successful in one of my little garden beds. Here are the best and worse of my attempts.

3. Hydrangea Week 1

4. Hydrangea Week 3

5. Hydrangea Week 4

6. Hydrangea Week 6 after the transplant

7. Hydrangea week 8

I think it looks A LITTLE better than a week ago

8. New hydrangea week 3

9. Lilac bush that will hopefully still is definitely bigger. Last year it didn't reach the top of the window frame.

10. Lilac bush that's actually blooming

11. Noah's apple blossom tree that had blossoms a week ago

12. Aaron's cherry tree that is too young to blossom

13. Scant hostas that will hopefully fill in the next decade. I have tried flowers around this tree every year for five years. The moles eat them every year. I decided to put in perennials instead and then I won't have to worry about it every year. After my birthday next week, there will be four more added.

I know this yard is certainly not glamorous, but when I look at pictures from when we moved in 6 years ago, I feel as if we have done the very best we could. I imagine we will still be in the house 50 years from now, so 50 years more of changing landscape could bring amazing things.

Happy Thursday.