Friday, September 30, 2011

Keepin It Real

I got to giggling with my neighbors yesterday. One of them has four little ones....she "gets" me! We had a discussion about our bathroom issues and how much we long to go alone! It was full of laughter as we both confessed to stretchy pants (in a lot of cases, maternity wear!) so that we could be quicker. Promising the kids that what ever they ask for from the other side of the door while we are taking our 20 second break will not be given to them. Threatening "don't bother me unless there is blood involved or there will be blood involved!". (I am not proud of that one and only used it once.) And then there's my personal favorite, walking out of the bathroom to have the phone handed to me that has been sitting there waiting on me rather than taking a message. Don't you love it when the director of your kids' school gets to hear you in the bathroom?

"Mommy! Watch me!" I hear that all the time. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of her. She lives life fully and has a blast practicing new skills and especially loves climbing all over the swing set like a monkey. But, more importantly, I want her to be proud of herself, without an audience. Besides, I've seen this trick ONE MILLION times.....I promise. I give the thumbs up signal and attempt to go back to my conversation, book or housework only to hear "Mommy. Watch" once again and again and again...... Yes sweetie that's great but Mommy has things to do. On one hand, I wish I was better about letting go of housework and such and just enjoy my kids but frankly, I am not that mom. I need order. I need a clean house and I need my kids to entertain themselves.

And finally, what was God thinking when he blessed me with this beautiful boy? A two year old boy, I am learning is a whole new energy level ballgame! I am either older or he is honestly busier. It could quite possibly be a combination of the two. But throw that into the mix with two hormonal teenage girls and what you've got is a sitcom waiting to happen. I tease that God is either teaching me patience or how to drink. I don't drink but my best friend keeps telling me sobriety is overrated. She is smart and well adjusted. I am just saying.

My mom is coming for the weekend. My dad has a cold so she is coming alone to make me celebrate my birthday. I love that about her! We are going to lunch, shopping for a pair of dress shoes (mine were purchased prior to my 17 year marriage and have literally fallen apart) and then off to an art show in town. I am looking forward to it. "Me time", without the stretchy pants, unless I choose them to best enjoy my birthday lunch. Perfect.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alexis Hope

We have a new niece! Alexis Hope arrived as a tiny 6lb 19inch bundle this morning. Congrats to big sister Lizzie who is not yet thrilled by the arrival and her parents, Brad and Jessica. Isn't she beautiful? Lizzie wanted a kitten.

In other news.....
Greg headed out to work this morning (day shift this week) and left Ty sitting in his chair with a cup of milk watching Mickey. He woke me prior to leaving but it took me ten minutes to venture out into the living room. I walked in to find him with the basket of candy corn on his lap and a huge grin on his face. Greg later confessed that little man was all too eager to tell him good bye this morning! Now we know a plan was in the works!

Kate was sent home from school on Monday with head cold symptoms. She wasn't complaining but Jana, her adviser noted that she kept laying her head down and was glassy eyed. We picked her up and felt she was fine to return Tuesday only to have her start showing signs of fatigue and a lot of drainage in route. I kept her home again. She slept three and a half hours that afternoon and then got a full night's sleep so she was ready to return today. As we were waiting for her drop-off time after Lauren went to class, Kate declared that she no longer liked school because they make her work there and "apparently you aren't allow to color until after lunch". It turns out that Kate wanted to color rather than work on class assignments the other day and was told she had to work even though she declared she didn't want to. I didn't respond to Kate; however, I am glad to hear they are finally pushing her into actual work!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Post

Kate has thoroughly enjoyed school. She is in bed asleep by 8pm every night and up before the alarm at 7 each morning. Except today. Today she was tired and did not want to go to school. She had no reason other than it was picture day and she didn't want a stranger taking her picture. Hmm? She wore mismatched clothes and even attempted a backward shirt in hopes that it would keep her away from picture day. I'm shaking my head. I did not order photos but will be interested in seeing the results in her yearbook! She ended up having a great day despite her little attitude this morning.

I had to use my sister's bath time analogy on her this week when she told me she likes to play at school and still wants me to teach her at home. Essentially, she didn't want me to send her current sight word list to the school for her to work on there. Phonics and sight words were her least favorite subject as reading was a skill she thought she'd pick up in around 5 minutes at age 4. This has taken entirely too long by Kate's standards. By the way, she wasn't impressed with the analogy.

Remember the cows hiding in trees? Ty is still watching for them. He saw some in a field (of all the crazy places) and declared they fell out of the trees. I LOVE MY DAD! Mickey Mouse has not helped the situation as one of the episodes we've down loaded has an elephant stuck in a tree. Have mercy.

I would like to get some updated photos of Lauren and Kate but neither feel much like cooperating these days. I have threatened to take pictures of Lauren sleeping in hopes of gaining her cooperation. We'll see what the weekend holds. At least she dressed up for her school pictures. When she was in first grade and Erin was in third, I let the girls choose their own picture day outfits. Erin chose her best dress and requested her hair be curled. Lauren wore sweats and chose to not have her hair combed. We appear to have cycled back. Memories.

Our little bridge issue is still a mess but the school drive is reasonable once again. Praise the Lord. The President made some comment about it in a speech today. Washington is involved so this should only take a decade and a billion dollars to rectify. Still shaking my head.

Lauren had a 700+ word writing assignment to do last week. She despises creative writing (and poetry, but that isn't relevant here) and put off the assignment until the last possible minute. The end result was a charming 701 word paper about how much she hates writing, her friend's involvement in helping her with ideas, quoting me reminding her that 11 pm on the night before and assignment is due is not the best time to start the assignment and even threw in some of the crazy details of our home life. I have to say for someone who hates writing, it was rather entertaining. I hope she will let me share it here.....

Speaking of writing.....Kate has decided to make a book about animals. She has drawn several animals and written a fact about each one. She has lofty plans of making it about EVERY animal but has thus far covered about ten. Anyway, Greg really chuckled when she read it to him tonight because she has hearts and peace signs on the cover but opens the book with "Tigers like to eat people". How's that for love and peace?

She loves having access to a microwave and kitchen sink in her classroom that are geared for kids' use. She says "we GET to wash dishes!". Funny, I HAVE to wash dishes. We are seeing her take the lead in experimental play, reading and writing. Tonight she rubbed sidewalk chalk down to dust and added sand from the sandbox to make colorful sand. She was rather pleased with the results.

Our house is relatively quiet during the day. Ty is learning to play more independently. Colby is not quiet but has started napping at the same time as Ty and opened up an hour for me to read, exercise or call hour of "me time"! I hardly know what to do with that! Makenna is glad she has a neighbor friend doing the same online school as they are still able to socialize during the day. She is quite helpful with the boys and they both tend to prefer her over me at times. She soaks up that baby love! She has sleepovers regularly and enjoys spending time out and about, away from Mom. I think she likes me but finds me rather boring.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What just happened?

Tuesday night at bedtime the director of Lauren's school called and offered Kate a spot in the 6-9 class. We were on a waiting list that was so long we doubted we'd be getting this call until third grade at the earliest. The catch was that we had to start today if we wanted the position. Given how well Lauren is doing and how strongly I wish we could turn back the clock for her to have had more years learning in this environment, we took it. Kate started school today with a huge grin on her face. She literally hugged me as we approached her studio, said a quick goodbye and tried to walk away from me prior to me making eye contact with her teacher! She was welcomed by a group of smiling girls and a warm, friendly teacher. She is sure to have a great day and year. I wasn't prepared for this so soon and have found myself tearing up frequently this morning. This is an amazing opportunity for her and we know she will thrive socially and academically. Makenna and I will have a lot of time to spend together. There is one person ahead of her on the waiting list but the director seems confident she won't be placed until the fall. Until then, we have a few projects we'd like to get into during the boys' nap times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Louisville Bridge is Falling Down"

Kate was singing, "Louisville Bridge is falling down, falling down....." as she drew cracks in the bridge in our sidewalk chalk town today. If this weren't so frustrating, it might be really funny. We are looking at a six month minimum closure at this point. Trips to Lauren's school, church and Greg's job are taking anywhere from the typical 20 minutes to an hour and a half. You just can't plan because there is no way to know what you will run into until you are out in it. Life this winter will be interesting and a true test of patience. Our gas budget will have to double and that means we will be eliminating our trips out of town and quickly wearing out the nine year old van. Yes, Kate's little song would be funny if the situation wasn't so frustrating.
Ty says Pa Pa will be moving into the new house across the street. That would be nice! Kate says it is a castle.

The stop sign is more accurate than she realizes!

And a quick bath time shot from last night.......just because it's cute.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago life as America knew it changed. I was glued to the TV all day, everyday. I was working part time for our church and we even had the TV on there for some new conferences. It was difficult to pull myself away. After about three weeks, I couldn't do it anymore. I empathized too strongly and felt the pain too deeply. I turned off my TV. I still refuse to have the local news on in my home. There simply isn't much on that is newsworthy. The negative far outweighs the positive.
Our church did a memorial service last night that included Todd Beamer's father sharing his testimony of losing his son ten years ago today. He said Todd was a hero on September 11 but more importantly he was a Christian on September 10. The reality is that we all have a "September 10" because we all have numbered days on earth. I was sobbing as our pastor did an altar call at the end of that service and multiple people rose to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. There was a large biker looking guy and younger tattoo covered man within my immediate vision and I just couldn't pull myself together. Seeing even the toughest of the tough with tears in their eyes submitting to the Lord is an amazing thing to witness.
Ten years later, the impact of that day's events is still raw within me. Having the president of the United States, George W. Bush declare our enemy as "evil" spoken as a noun, not an adjective defined what we as a nation and Christians are honestly fighting. Satan is on a mission to destroy all that we love. Our families, our children, our churches, our finances, our walk with Jesus, our country's values... it's all fair game.You don't have to look far to see someone struggling.
I continue to pray for so many in my life to come to know the Lord before their personal September 11. Seeing that great big biker guy gave me hope.

Festival Fun

Our neighbors invited us to join them at a local festival today. We've never gone before but thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was the first time Ty has ever been on rides and he took a little while to warm up to them. Once he decided rides were okay, the cars were his favorite and he had a blast. Makenna enjoyed riding the larger ones with her friend too. The rest of the family hung out around the house finishing homework or playing with friends. All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hey Ya'll, Watch This!

Colby turned 10 months this week. He is as busy as ever and has become quite the risk taker too.....we are back into baby gates and child locks. Did we ever leave that phase? Not sure it matters. He is a happy boy and pretty noisy too. He loves to be heard, especially during school. If I am teaching Kate, Colby is yelling over me with a big grin on his face. I can't even get aggravated with him because he is so stinking cute.
Colby brought his mom, Robyn over today for the community garage sale. We scored a few bargains and enjoyed the beautiful morning. I sent Lauren and her friends back over to the neighbor's sale for a computer chair I debated all afternoon. It was $10 and in much better shape than ours but I still had to think about it awhile. I noted that Lauren and company were gone longer than anticipated so I stepped outside to investigate and found her riding the new chair down the hill. Very fast. With an audience. Ahem. Greg says there is a red neck joke in there somewhere.
Kate helped the neighbor kids run a lemonade stand for the garage sale today and they made $50! I assume there was a cuteness factor driving sales but they've already decided that coffee will be added to next year's product line!

Lauren is thriving in her new school. We are thrilled with her teachers and the school in general. The Montessori style of teaching and discipline techniques have challenged me a bit but learning and growing are good things, even for mom.

Erin had to write a paper for English class. We just found out she made up a story about Greg and I lying to her about Santa until she was 6 years old when we sat her down over ice cream and told her the truth. No part of that story is true and she has appropriately titled the paper, The Lie. Nice. Ever wonder what others think of you?

My sister called this week. She was working on a phonics book with Mason who is 4. She said Mason drew a butt for "B", a fat guy for "F" and icky stuff for "I". We'll all remember that phonetic lesson! Little boys! Our niece on the other hand started preschool this week and isn't yet interested in schoolwork. It's all social for Lizzie who is 3. She was supposed to make a self portrait but opted out. Her mom tried to aid a do-over and was only able to get the circle for Lizzie's face onto the paper before Lizzie declared that it looked just like her and hopped down, pleased to be finished. Does it get any cuter?

The bridge we use to cross into Louisville was shut down yesterday because inspectors discovered a crack in the structural support. It was being worked on the last few weeks, closing one of three lanes. That lane closure created a 50 minute commute to Lauren's school. (It is only 12 miles away). With the total closure, we have no idea what to expect Monday morning. There are no real back road options so a lot of people are pretty stressed as they attempt to plan for the weeks ahead. Greg is fortunate enough to work an unusual shift so his drive Friday night was an hour instead of the typical 25 minutes so I cannot imagine what this will look like for the 8-5 crowd. I am grateful it was discovered prior to a tragedy but pray they are able to secure the bridge and re-open it quickly.

I had to take an alternate route to church this evening because the expressway was at a standstill and passed a church sign that said, "if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, the water bill is higher". In this case, I'd say if the boot are brightly colored animal prints, they are most likely your sisters!

I'll leave you with this photo Colby's dad hoped I wouldn't publish. I'm nice like that.

Brian's on the phone with Robyn saying something along the lines of "there is this picture you may be seeing..."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Kate made a mask and is quite proud of it.

We snacked.
This old boy appreciated having Lauren around for four days. He has been going through some doggie depression with her new school schedule...we seriously had an appointment with the vet until we realized what was going on with him!

Does this grin not say it all?

We built a few "castles".
Can you get enough of the new fall jacket? Hand me downs rock.

Kate is quite the monkey lately and practices her flips and climbing skills regularly.

These two are together as much as possible. Kate misses Mabry when she is in school all day.
We hosted a few extras......I think 9. They ate well and enjoyed the 40 degree temperature drop.

God showed off a bit....beautiful sunset tonight.

Bedtime tickles wrapped up our weekend. It was good.