Thursday, June 30, 2011


Kate's been asking to go to the park all week. I had both babies until today so we took advantage of our lighter load and headed over to play. Prior to leaving, Kate and Ty were helping  playing with the laundry and I attempted to get a few shots of Colby in his adorable overalls. He has to be bribed with toys to sit still now....such a busy boy! While I was working on Colby's photos, Ty was looking pretty cute himself wearing his engineer's hat backward.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Slowly Progressing.....

Greg's finished the retaining's been a job! The leveling process Greg used to make sure we ended up with a straight and level line across the front of the house was complicated once we realized the patio and walkways he used as a reference point were not level. Rain has created several delays too. He's earned his stripes on this job! We will be filling in the landscape with top soil, especially the corner of the house under the arched window as there is a two foot drop there. Once we have that soil in, we will transplant our existing bushes and then add new plants. The final stage will be the river rock on the finished beds. We hope to have a very productive July 4th weekend.
And speaking of progression, Colby is now mobile enough to follow Ty, his partner in crime. They ended up in Ty's room and played quite well together for a long period of time today. I kept peeking in on them but love how they interact without me hovering. Marley spent the weekend with us while his family traveled. He doesn't know enough to be afraid of Colby and tried to sit on his lap! Marley didn't even notice Colby pulling his fur or tail! He is just a happy little dog. Lauren will be going through some serious Marley withdrawals once he goes home.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Date Night

Kate needed a date night with Mom. We had ice cream and then went shopping for a kiddie pool. Once we arrived at the store she remembered she wanted a baby gift for our neighbor too. It was a nice evening of togetherness. I was even able to sneak in a quick stop at the new craft store! That never happens without a lot of groaning from the "under 18" crowd! She fared well as we ended up with two little projects I will be making for her while she waits in her p.j's tomorrow (at least this is what she believes!). One will be her outfit for her special BBQ with Andrew, who happens to be Cameron's dad. They are coming over as a family but the official "Andrew countdown" has been taking place for the last two weeks! This girl is the president of his fan club for sure!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And then we blinked.

Lauren 7, Erin 9

Kate playing dress up with Lauren's old dance team costume, age 6.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw Kate descend the staircase yesterday afternoon. Playing "dress up" left me wondering where on earth the time has gone. That stage of Erin and Lauren's life seems like yesterday. I love the teen phase we are in now, but still miss those days of innocent playtime and how much they adored their dance coach.

They are still friends, or more honestly, friends again and I love it. However, their bonding tends to take place after I have gone to bed and they are raiding the freezer for ice cream, making Lauren's famous grilled pesto, mozzarella and tomato sandwiches or scrambling eggs.

We have Paige here most nights to take photos and aid in the cleaning out of said freezer. She's like one of the family.
And in the morning, I attempt to keep little ones from climbing all over what remains of the sleepover.
Makenna has a series of friends who are in and out around here but time with Hannah is extra special because we have to schedule those gatherings. Hannah doesn't live in the neighborhood and usually gets to stay a few days when she comes. They have a blast and are constantly giggling together.

Candy enjoyed cuddling with Colby while I coaxed Ty into the water. He was having no part of it!

We checked out the free water park in Louisville this afternoon for 20 minutes. It took me longer than that to get out the door but a thunderstorm blew in once we arrived! Ty was not impressed with the "showers" or the rain! Colby was pretty laid back about it all. Kate was freezing! We'll try it again another day. Candy's family fosters two little girls right now and the oldest wanted to play at the water park so the day was for Hailey and she had a great time. Fortunately, they arrived an hour before us so Hailey was not disappointed. 
The boys like to "help" me.
And so do the girls? They better hope I don't hold them to their idea of a meal plan! This is what I get for failing to update this week. Did I mention how much I enjoy the teen years?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Our card read, "Happy Father's Day to a Dad who's fun, terrific, good looking, kind, thoughtful, talented and smart!.....Just like his kids!" We're a humble bunch.
We spent the day relaxing as a family since the weather changed our landscaping plans. It's just as well. Greg clearly needed his regular Sunday afternoon "Nascar Nap".
We enjoyed a grilled steak dinner complete with roasted cauliflower and slow cooked green beans. Kate asked me if the cauliflower would turn into broccoli when it was cooked. We don't use that particular vegetable often, but I ran across this recipe in a blog I enjoy. (Not all blogs encourage me to eat chocolate!) And cauliflower will now join asparagus as my two favorite roasting veggies.

Ty, in an effort to keep things balanced, woke up with a cold sore today. It's his third since Mother's Day. He loves us equally.

And our Katebug continues to be as colorful as ever. She has been wearing her life vest out to play? I have no idea why but she's cute! She is also modeling what she calls her "new smile". It involves her strategically placing her larger top tooth into the space where she's missing a tooth right now.

Fridays are always homemade pizza nights here. It's a tradition and one the kids (even those not living here) look forward to every week. This week though, I was pretty busy with the boys and the girls were hungry early. So, they made the pizzas! They did a great job and  have rather boastfully declared them, "the best pizza ever"! New tradition? Mom gets Fridays off???
I am currently reading a great book, Becoming More Than A Bible Study Girl and I love it. For me, it's like a conversation with a trusted friend. I am also starting a new bible study this week with some ladies in the area and looking forward to it. Just knowing accountability and camaraderie are available in new relationships locally will help make this place feel more like home. I've been missing my girlfriends lately.

And Brutus, well, he's the matter what day is on the calendar. It's a perfect life and Lauren makes sure it's comfortable too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

He's sick....thank the Lord?

So it wasn't the best start to my week and I blew it. I was frustrated, tired and whiny. Once I finally made it out for a walk last night, my friend asked about my week and I confessed that I actually screamed at my daughter. At the top of my lungs. And used a swear word. Me. The mom who would be fighting every ounce of my being to take a child home with me that I heard being spoken to that way (and the reason I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart). I was horrified and even more so once I realized my windows were open and new neighbors were in their driveway! Welcome to the hood folks! Anyway, my friend patted my back and said, "praise God you ARE normal"! What? Holy cow. I felt anything but normal but her response made me laugh at myself which I probably needed to do more than I realized. The walk was great as we then went on to discuss our relationship with God, the need for accountability and how easily we slip away from much needed down time with the Lord so we can remain sane in the moments of motherhood that are anything but sane. Today is a better day.

Ty has a cold. It is minor and with a little Tylenol, he is human again! WOW! I am so grateful his behavior appears to have been linked to how he was feeling more so than the date on the calendar. Hallelujah! He missed his paci the first night but has stopped asking for it and went to bed last night after a few escape attempts. I have had to resort to using a gate in his doorway to keep him in his room. Given how easily he used to go to bed, this is a little frustrating but he will soon learn that leaving his bed is not an option. Anyway, just to make his point, Ty was throwing toys over the gate and out into the hallway saying, "uh-oh, what happened?". It took everything in me to refrain from laughing. After a few minutes, he found his way back into his bed where he slept all night.
Kate has asked to paint lately and I finally found the courage to drag out the supplies. Paint and play dough are not my favorite things as they are so messy. She spent over an hour on her little creation. She dabbed paint and then used a wet wipe to blend the colors.
Love the concentration tongue! 

I had the opportunity to sit and enjoy some beautiful weather today with my older girls as the little ones played in the needed sunshine. Lauren shared with me that she was listening to the radio in the truck on the way home from church Saturday night with Greg. Greg flipped the radio off and noted that any song that had to have that many lyrics bleeped out was not music she should be listening to. Lauren accused him of being jealous that he couldn't rap. She says Greg promptly started a "Lil Wayne needs his mouth washed out with soap" rap! I would give about anything to hear that one first hand! What a riot! My husband is really quite funny and the things he comes up with to make his point impresses me (and his girls too even if they aren't ready to admit it).
The cups on my counter at the end of any typical day because the kids have so many friends floating in and out. I have gone to disposable cups with a sharpie for writing names on each one because I was running my dishwasher twice a day just to keep up with them. Everyone would use a cup and forget which one they had and get another each time they wanted a sip of water. Being that we live in the town where water costs about the same as gold, something had to give. This was my solution and we do recycle the cups. But, this is also part of the reason we take two vehicles to church every week. We bring so many kids from the neighborhood and beyond that we need two sets of wheels. I tease the kids that we are one step away from driving a church bus.

Colby loves Brutus. He uses his new found mobility to try and catch the dog any opportunity Brutus allows. Today, Colby seated himself like this and Brutus stuck around this time!

Well, for a few minutes anyway! But, Colby also used his crawling skills to score Ty's half eaten peanut butter sandwich today! He had both fists wrapped firmly around that sandwich absolutely determined to eat it as I pried it out of his hands! Colby was not pleased with me and I had to call his dad to laugh. Brian wanted to know if I took a photo. I answered that I was a little busy preventing his son from choking! As Brian pointed out, there are a lot of differences between Moms and Dads because he would have gotten the shot! I prefer choking to occur on his watch, not mine.
Makenna has been a huge help lately. She is the one I can count on to pick up a fussy baby or stick with a project for hours around the house. The teenagers are a little too self absorbed to do anything that doesn't have a direct benefit for them. Anyway, Makenna's willingness to work hard has stood out for several months and the back breaking landscape work proved she will stick to it. We felt she'd earned a reward and surprised her with that news on Sunday. She chose a barbie house that arrived yesterday. Much to her dismay, Ty was immediately excited by the toy and both boys descended upon it like ants on a picnic!
And just for fun....a shot of our favorite toy in use