Sunday, July 15, 2018

Celebrating Weekend

I made labels for birthday items (hutt dogs, luke sky-water, jedi juice, may the forks be with you, etc) Ty created another one and added it after I thought I was finished, "choose your weapon well,  young padawan". He put it in front of the inflatable light sabers.

I invited all the parents to stay and hang out with us. All declined. Hmmm......As it turns out, we had a great time. Ty says it was the best birthday ever. He lost a tooth during the party and was pretty excited about it too. The tooth fairy failed to show up both Friday night and Saturday night. She apparently made a magical appearance during church today. All four girls were pretty shocked she made daytime stops. The tooth fairy is tired and obviously forgetful.

We spent Saturday on a friend's boat and loved it.  I went tubing with Kate. I managed to stay on the tube despite our friend's best efforts to toss me off. Getting out of bed for church today was no easy task. As it turns out, I really am 44. But this year has been a blast watching Ty. We went from hanging out on the ladders in pools last year to jumping off boats and loving the water this year.

In other news, I took Kate shopping for both a bathing suit and jeans today. Good news. We all survived. Barely.

Friday, July 13, 2018

9 Years Old

My favorite Jedi is nine today. Where the time's gone is beyond me. He has a half dozen little boys invading our home this evening for hot dogs and Star Wars cake. Keeping his list at this manageable size was not easy for him as he has a lot of friends.

He still considers himself a hero of sorts, as he cares for others and has a deep sense of empathy. He has loved this summer full of wonder and exploration. He worries some about what third grade will hold but is excited to be one of the big kids in the building this year.

Fishing has recently become a favorite past time. He still loves shooting hoops in the driveway and is curious about trying to play on a team someday. He would prefer one; however, where no one gets in his face. Good luck with that, little man.

He loves music and  recently taught himself how to play the Star Wars theme song on our friend's keyboard. From there he requested additional classical music on cds so he can listen anytime he wants. Grandma supported his curiosity with the gift of a keyboard for his birthday. We love the possibility this holds for him.

Ty remains an intense little man but we are seeing his self confidence grow. The tension he often carries is lessening. Our prayer is that trend continues once school starts back in two weeks.

For his photos, he selected a light saber to represent him. When I suggested one of the new red ones that isn't being held together with tape, he scolded me. "Mom, red ones are for bad guys and I am not a bad guy". So a taped together favorite green one it was.

Happy 9th birthday, Ty David. You continue to amuse me. I love you more than you love Star Wars.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

School Preparations. Already.

We are already in the throws of back-to-school errands, paperwork and meetings. School starts in our district on the 26th and as much as I love routine, I am not ready.

We spent a few weeks stressing how to best simplify our world and knew we needed to get both kids on the same school schedule. This meant one of them was going to make a change this year. Knowing we have a supportive team caring for Ty and Kate was underwelmed with her choice last year; once she started campaigning for her base school, we consented. Despite the boost in confidence we saw last year and the cheer team she loves, she is moving. We are already seeing a few negative ramifications of that decision but in truth, both options had it's share of concerns. We doubt the bigger school (class sizes in the 500's vs 60 total in 7th grade where she was last year) will be best for either of the kids' personalities; however, they have the most resources for Ty's needs. All in all, this parenting gig isn't any easier to navigate with kids #4 and 5 as it was with the first three.

Kate is more self conscious about the larger school and has requested to wear makeup like Makenna (who wears it very infrequently) because all the girls she knows at that school wear it. At 13, I am okay with permitting it but also trying to send messages about beauty that counter the world's.
Either way, Makenna and Kate had an amazing afternoon shopping for supplies and then working together on skin care and proper application. Kate felt special and grown up hanging out with her older sister. Besides, her mother is rather clueless in this department and refuses to change that reality. I will stick with my neutral lip stain as my only cosmetic, thank you very much.

And now that Kate can stay home alone and has watched a little one for a friend, we realize she needs access to a phone. We don't love this. We had decided a flip phone with calls and texting only would suffice when we were leaning toward the smaller country school. However, in the larger school full of kids who've had smart phones since the 5th grade, the flip phone would be worse than no phone at all socially speaking. We still aren't certain what we are doing about this one. We aren't the kind of parents who care much for the Jones', much less want to keep up with them but we also know our sensitive kiddo will have enough challenges with or without the phone and makeup.We are also reaching the point where it is assumed she has a phone when she visits friends and feels uncomfortable asking a parent for access to a phone to call mom if she needs something. Borrowing a cell phone is somehow more intrusive than the old days of using the phone in the family's kitchen.

And as a side note, we do have a secret code word in our family. If anyone sends a text with only that word, we as the parent calls and orders that child home. The child is free to object and plea for more time but they will still have to come home immediately. This has helped more than one teen save face in an uncomfortable situation. So social media and access to phones doesn't have to be all negative but it is a larger responsibility than I love putting on my thirteen year old.

Monday, July 9, 2018


We spent the weekend visiting my parents and my sister's family. Theresa hosted a glow stick pool party and mom provided Ty with a Star Wars birthday cake. All in all, it was a great weekend.

Greg and I are celebrating our twenty fourth wedding anniversary today. He is still the guy I have the most fun with. We have a weekend getaway planned soon to celebrate because believe it or not, a weekend with the kids was not quite what we had in mind despite how much we enjoy them.
Ty asked me which was cuter, Austin or all the other babies put together. Obviously I selected Austin. Lauren cracked up, "this child has no hope of being humble". She is right. We will ruin him too.
And our son tried his hand at writing words of encouragement.

That went well.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Road Trip

On Friday Kate, Ty and I joined Greg on his commute to Columbus. While he worked, we played.

 Ok I would like to see your face.

We explored the awesome indoor play structure and walked to our favorite book store while enjoying the local art displays that adorn every alley and corner in downtown Columbus. 

We of course had to get our traditional root beer floats and revisited the children's museum. We were pretty wiped out by the time Greg was ready to be picked up. From there, we made our way to Dayton, Ohio in time for dinner with Kristin and her family.

After a giant fort sleepover we headed to Greg's parents for outdoor play and an early ninth birthday celebration for Ty.

Ty in true fisherman style, spent six hours in the sun repeatedly casting his line even though it was 100 degrees. When asked how many fish he caught, he said "about 20". The truth? 8. I think he might have the hang of this. But he did surprise me. I honestly thought he would lose interest after about ten minutes but he could barely be persuaded to stop for cookie cake. He was casting and reeling like a pro. However, he was pretty sad to see a few of his fish bleed. He didn't want to hurt them, just catch and release.

Meanwhile, the girls canoed, rode the dirt bike, drove the tractor, took a ride in Grandpa's old convertible and performed many gymnastics stunts. Ty never left the pond.

We planned to surprise old neighbors with dinner tonight but after an afternoon in the sun with the kids, we couldn't stand the stench of ourselves so we drove home and fed the kids Subway from a gas station on the way. We are classy like that. Now it appears we need to head back soon to steal additional visits with friends and apparently support our little fisherman's desire to fish in Grandpa's pond. This was a good road trip and two of the kids' summer bucket list items were crossed off their lists.