Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This and That

We woke Tuesday to a slight dusting of snow. Heads were buried deep under covers; all were more than reluctant to face the day. It is Spring. We'd spent the weekend enjoying seventy eight degree sunshine and refused to accept Mother Nature's latest curve ball. My five children share two closets. They each have their own dresser but let me assure you transitional seasons are tough on this uptight perfectionist. I like to have everything neatly put in it's place. Coats and shorts do not share the same space well.

Ty smashed his finger Sunday and will be losing a fingernail as result. It only bothers him in his sleep, when he is still long enough to notice pain. We've had a few long nights.

The kids and I have spent our Monday evenings with inner city kids the last few weeks. It is a rough crowd that breaks my heart. Kate and Ty love the energy and are making new friends. I don't yet have an official role but serve alongside some pretty remarkable people. One inquisitive fourth grader asked me how old I was and before I could answer, suggested "twenty five". I told him I would like to accept his offer; however, I am forty. He yelled, "whoa!". Sometimes it is still a shock to me as well.

I recently read a blog post written by a woman who lost her mother when she was young. She reflected she thought true love was a cup of tea. Her father was an early riser and her mother was not so he woke her daily with a cup of tea. Sounds familiar. My true love wakes me almost daily with a hot cup of tea. And at the end of the day, I wake him with coffee. Love demonstrated so simply.

Ty has been watching Kate take care of some food prep and has decided he too can help in the kitchen. He made Gleason's sandwich on Tuesday and was so proud of himself. Once again, the transition isn't easy on the uptight mother who cringes at the mess but he is paving the way toward independence and that needs to be celebrated.

Lauren has also taken a determined lead in dealing with some adult issues. I have wanted to step in numerous times and yet, she's handled it. She has thrived under pressure once again. I am so proud of her but allowing my kids up to be more independent is scary at times. Kate started riding her bike throughout the neighborhood last weekend. She was so excited and ready last year but it takes me time to let go. The goal is independence and yet, the result is bittersweet for me. And I may or may not have parked myself strategically where I could see her round each corner. Ahem. Baby steps count.

Ty sings constantly. Sadly, Justin Bieber is his artist of choice followed closely by the Frozen sound track. Daddy is less than thrilled and I suspect there will be an "accident" with a few disks if we can't convince him there are more worthy artists available. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Grandma Date!

My mom passed through town for just under 24 hours and spent that time with a few of her biggest fans.
Kate created a few clay owls for them to paint. They took  a walk together while they dried.

We can't have a Grandma visit without a tea party; Ty's request. Cookies are always involved.

Grandma treated us to lunch and dessert at Chick fil a before hitting the road toward Evansville. We are so glad her little trip included some time with us.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I took the kids to a local park to soak up warm sunshine on Thursday. Erin and Justin joined our picnic. Erin brought iced cookies and scored all the cool sister points for the day. We all hung out for hours, postponing needed quiet time but Ty worked in a snack-nap anyway. Spring is really in the air. We've had open windows, bare feet and lots of outdoor time this week. Of course, we are all fighting allergies but it is worth it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


 Just after dinner tonight a gorgeous rainbow appeared out our back door. The kids were immediately convinced it ended in the field behind our house. They quickly threw on rain boots, grabbed an umbrella and headed out to prove it. Within minutes they were yelling excitedly because they found Leprechaun tracks they had to follow. I was thrilled to have twenty minutes peace and they have some hunting stories to share if you are interested. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Day Out

Check out my little date. We discovered we would be alone for the entire day and planned accordingly. First, we checked out Bounce Time at a local gym and then met friends for lunch at "Erin's Subway". We ran errands until my little partner let me know he was ready to "just go home now". It was an easy day as a mom of one and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Break Re-Cap

Fair warning. This will be a long post. It was a great week, full of relaxation, fun, adventure, long drives, good food, awesome friends, incredible family and snow showers.

We started our week working on the yard. The trampoline still does not have a permanent home. This job has become a little bigger than we anticipated. Ty and his buddy have been very helpful. Greg was starting to lose patience with his assistants so I equipped them with tools for excavation. The little scientists were in their glory. Cuteness wins every time.

On Tuesday, we hit the road for the Schmucker's house near Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were welcomed by our sweet Colby and his baby sister Josie, who isn't sure about me. She loved Greg. I kept trying to explain to her that babies love me but she wasn't buying it. I got a kiss on our way out the door Wednesday anyway. It was a sympathy kiss, but a kiss none the less.
Indoor trampoline? Yes, please!

Checking out the deer out back....Brian and Robyn own a gorgeous log home in the woods. To say we relaxed by a large stone fireplace for over 24 hours would be an understatement. We loved it!

Colby and his buddy, Makenna.....he hasn't forgotten who to turn to for entertainment, cuddles or giggles.

Kate checking out Robyn's ipad with strict supervision

Isn't she beautiful?
Wednesday evening, after dinner, we headed to my Mom's house. We drove state routes the entire way through very rural towns. It was a beautiful drive and also quite relaxing. We saw gorgeous churches, cool old barns and very few other cars. We enjoyed ourselves. We arrived at bedtime but spent some time unwinding and chatting before putting little people and Grandpa to bed. I woke Thursday morning to the sound of Ty's chatter as he followed my mom around the house while she prepared for work. I attempted to rescue her but was met with a grin that let me know she was enjoying his constant banter. In fact, on Friday evening Mom took Kate and Ty on a Grandma Date to the park. As they were backing out of the driveway, Ty told Kate, "Now we get to talk to Grandma a lot"! By the way, the park was both kids' highlight from the entire week. Ty says, "it was awesome".
On Thursday we saw Kristin and Avry. Ty and Avry are still not friends. Darn kids. They will not win this battle. Their mommas love each other too much. We also stopped in on Pam and Ken who lived across the street from us on Hile Lane. We were a bit sad to see the condition of our old neighborhood but our little house is still being well cared for. We have a lot of precious memories there.
Friday we went to the jewelry shop because Greg has had his eye on tungsten wedding bands for awhile. He likes the gun metal look. It is pretty sharp. He started talking to me about it a few months ago in anticipation of our upcoming twentieth wedding anniversary. While we were in Ohio, we sought out our favorite jeweler and Greg ordered his new band. He had been persuading me to also update my wedding set. My mom offered a great suggestion and Kristin can always be relied upon for an opinion about jewelry but I still entered the shop feeling uncertain about a change.  I had ideas of maybe trying on a new band in white gold to better compliment Greg's new band but once I walked across the threshold, I lost my nerve. I can't do it. This is my wedding set and seeing Greg turn his yellow gold band over to Bethany to be scrapped, made my heart sink a bit. There is a strong possibility I will be calling her on Monday to retrieve that band. I just can't bear to think of it melted down after representing a solid marriage for twenty years. Generally speaking I don't consider myself very sentimental; however, I am also in need of new dishes and can't bring myself to upgrade our wedding dishes yet either!

I saw Jill for a very quick lunch and then took the kids back up the road to JD's Custard which has been a family favorite for years. Kate and Ty now understand why. This trip was a walk down memory lane for us. A lot has changed and we know we won't be making as many trips up once Mom and Dad move away from Englewood this summer. 

Friday night the family had Donato's pizza and I salivated. Oh how I still miss pizza. Anyway, Kristin and I were able to walk for quite awhile and Dad entertained Kate with his favorite music. Kate watched videos of Eric Clapton with him and noted that he has likely "had a lot of lessons". Dad was pretty pleased to hear her observation. Miss Kate would like to take lessons as well.

Of course, I don't know if you have heard but there is a big deal basketball tournament going on. It appears we have teams that mean something to people in our lives competing against one another. I couldn't care less and slipped off with a book for a bit Friday night and woke suddenly to Greg getting sick. It was a long hard night for him and we made the tough decision to go home early rather than see extended family on Saturday. Mom and Dad jumped in to help pack and Ty requested their cheese puffs and oreos as if Grandma and Grandpa were a grocery store! (We brought them both and a whole lot of other food too). Greg had what appears to have been a migraine but we aren't sure. The weather was horrible for driving home but we arrived safe, content and ready to prepare for the real world week ahead. Reality may hit a little hard this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


We played hooky from church today because it was the only time this weekend the entire family would be together to celebrate Erin and Greg. Lauren had to be at work by eleven so we chose to have brunch together. It was a great morning. Erin requested homemade cinnamon rolls. This recipe is somewhat like the biblical fishes and loaves story. It claims to take 30 minutes and make 12 rolls. Thank God I decided to make them on Saturday because three hours later, I had 38 rolls. I pawned pans of them off on unsuspecting neighbors and still had far too many lying around the house after this morning's brunch. After breakfast I asked Erin what she wanted for dinner knowing Greg's pork chops are on the agenda for his birthday tomorrow. She answered far too quickly, "ice cream". Ty's mouth dropped open! He was shocked! Is this a possibility? He looked from me to Erin in a state of disbelief. I hesitantly agreed and he celebrated by hugging Erin. I then looked at Greg and suggested we make use of his birthday gift card to Longhorn because there was no way I was eating ice cream for dinner, birthday or not. Everyone won. It was a good day.
My superman. I love him.


Nineteen years ago today our beautiful honeymoon surprise entered the world after a very quick labor. I woke a little after 3 in the morning convinced the baby was kicking my bladder and the previous night's nachos were causing gas pains. After about thirty minutes in the bathroom, I woke Greg. He timed my "gas pains" lasting over a minute and coming every thirty seconds and decided I was in labor. Being a young woman determined not to be sent home from the hospital with a leaky bladder and gas pains, I made him call my mother before the doctor. My mother yelled at Greg, "why are you calling me? Call the doctor!" Poor Greg. The doctor sent us to the hospital. Greg was ready immediately. I was doubling over every minute at this point and needed a few extra minutes to get dressed while Greg lovingly held the apartment door open and instructed my bent over body to "come on!". I did not cuss at that point. My sister rode with us and my parents followed. By the time we were in the Blazer, there was no doubt I was in labor. I could not believe I would be in that level of pain for 24 hours or more like the childbirth education classes prepared me. I hurt from head to toe and was vomiting out the window. I begged Greg to hit me over the head with a baseball bat. Fortunately he declined. I can still see the big silly grin on his face as I cried. He was pretty pumped about this whole baby business. At that moment, I was certain I wasn't going to survive. We arrived at Miami Valley Hospital in record time around 4am and I was already dilated to 9. It was Erin's birthday. Greg quietly asked if perhaps I thought I could hold on until midnight so she could share his birthday. Again, I did not cuss but my eyes may have.

At 4:49 am on March 23, 1995, I became a mom. She was gorgeous. She was perfect. She was ours and we were smitten. Greg who had never been exposed to babies prior to his own was a natural. He took to her immediately and their bond is strong to this day. She still calls him Daddy.

She has grown into an intensely passionate beautiful woman. We are proud to be her parents and are still rather smitten. Happy birthday to you, Erin Gabrielle. We love you.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring has sprung

Spring officially kicked off yesterday and we celebrated by taking the entire family out for Orange Leaf. All eight of us filed in after dinner and enjoyed being together for a bit. Justin was our eighth family member since he tends to be around these days and he torments all my children as though he is a sibling. I had my camera in my purse and desperately wanted to take photos for no other reason than we were all together and it was fun. I do have snapshots in my mind and didn't irritate anyone taking those.

So it was the first official day of spring and the sun showed up to help us celebrate. I rediscovered my spot on the swing with a book and made time for a walk around the neighborhood where I spied flowers in bloom and Ty initiated another rock collection. Not all rocks are thrown into the creek but are saved on his dresser. Yay. Or not.

Tonight I tossed a few buckets of balls while Ty practiced swinging his bat for the first time in months. The boy has quite an arm as several balls were retrieved from the field.  We are soaking up the warmth and sunshine while we can. Rumor has it we are in for another cold spring break this week.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A few things about Ty

When he grows up, he wants to be a dad.

He needs to know how animals hug.

When he is five, he will fly a rocket to the moon because he will be sooooo big. (Stated with his hand stretched way up above his head.)

We were wrapping up prom shopping for Lauren and ended up at Old Navy for flip flops because she won't wear dress shoes. Ty discovered a shirt and tie on a rack and determined he needed to wear it to Aunt Theresa's house for Mason's party. Given that this child is so much like his tee-shirt wearing Daddy, I was shocked. I can't easily get a sweater on the boy, much less a tie! When we got home, he grabbed his fedora hat from the dress up bin and declared he had an outfit. He also planned on wearing flip flops. Shirt, tie and fedora works with flip flops about as well as a formal prom gown does, but I am not judging. They are both cute enough to pull it off. However, when it came time to get ready for the party, Ty opted out of the tie and fedora.

Last night I rounded the corner and heard my little boy singing to himself, "I know I am feeling bad. And I want to play with someone but no one wants to play with me". I sat down beside him and asked what he was doing. Ty answered simply, "just singing the song I sing when I am sad". It broke my heart.

He would like his grandma and grandpa to move to Georgetown because Ohio is too far away.