Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebrating Brennen

We spent the weekend celebrating Brennen's tenth birthday with food, family and fun. We not only enjoyed our immediate family but also Theresa's in-laws who always guarantee a blast. Ten kids spent the night at my sister's after a glo stick pool party! Greg and I went down the road to my parent's house and slept in peace and quiet while our children partied until 2 am! Ty says Aunt Theresa is awesome and we have to agree.

Today I asked the birthday boy if I could take his photo.....
this was his smile

he says he is king of the world

I suggested he be serious

maybe try relaxing

At this point I asked him if he had to go to the bathroom

he said he'd look more like this if he did

He is a nut.
Happy birthday Brennen Riley! We love you and all your silly faces.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

These kids

Ty's decided he is allergic to storms. This weekend he was heard stating, "you know I am allergic to thunder so I can't get my jammies on". Or, "don't forget I am allergic to storms for 100 days". He's also gotten creative in his avoidance of Sunday school. On the way this weekend, he announced he felt a cold sore coming on. He then added that his throat hurt and he might be getting sick. Within the next breath, he mentioned it may not be a good idea for him to go to his class since he might get his friends sick. Ahem. Guess who was gently pushed into his classroom anyway. His mom needed to breath deeply in worship for an hour in order to best cope with any further antics.

Our freshman is not coping well with high school. Heck, the senior isn't either. High school is hard and emotions run strong. We had a face off with one that typically goes with the flow this weekend and finally reached an agreement of sorts when I requested her phone until further notice. It's funny how magical that little contraption has become. She is avoiding all responsibilities and hiding from the world. Given how social she is typically, it's tough to see her struggle. We not so gently pushed her into a class commitment this weekend too.

My sister sent a panicked text six weeks ago. "Marlo just delivered kittens under Mason's bed". I am not going to lie; I cracked up. The next thing I knew, I had agreed to take two of them for Makenna who loves kittens. They will have to be mostly outside cats since we have two who are allergic. Interestingly enough, Makenna is one of them! I don't know how I find myself in these situations but Spidey and Oliver will be coming home with us next weekend.

And now random photos of a baby I watched today. Ty was smitten and wanted to keep him. As it turns out, his Momma kind of likes him too so we had to give him back. It was a fun baby fix and we may get to see more of him in the future. Is there anything more peaceful than snuggling with a newborn?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thank you God

Today Ty and I planted our fall lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots and onions. Thank you God for watering the garden and my children. Both appreciated your generous downpour . God's sprinkler is free.

Thank you God for Greg's Friday night off and the promise of a lazy weekend ahead.

Thank you God for awesome friends.
Thank you God for sibling bonds. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh Ty

Ty was reminiscing the good old days while being tucked into bed the other night. He recalled that at age one he wasn't able to race so being one was not fun. At two, he could race but not very fast. At three, ahh that perfect age of three, he was fast and life was just so much more fun than being five. Being five is hard.

I walked into the bedroom and I found Ty watching the weather channel. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, “just sitting in here alone watching the weather like Dad because I haven’t done that in a long time”.

He'd like his daddy to stop by the dress up store on his way home from work to buy a Luiji costume because he can't always be Mario. 
He took a quick trip to Target with Lauren and returned home to get all his money so he could go back for a Spiderman mask. He doesn't have enough and is eagerly working a deal with his parents to earn $10 because he has to be Spiderman some days too.
He's still struggling with Kate's school schedule. He misses her and watches the clock for her return each day. At bedtime last night he informed me very firmly that Kate would not be going back to that dumb school because it is taking too long.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grandma's Birthday

If you ask a five year old what his grandma would want for her birthday, you may find yourself buying a pinata.

If you buy the pinata, you will also buy chocolate to go into it.

If you buy a pinata and chocolate, you will also need candles. And a birthday cake. And balloons.

Happy birthday Grandma! We love you. 

And finally, if you ask Ty to get dressed, you will need to be specific if you don't want to take Mario to the grocery. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Crew

Maverick 1, Anna 2, Devyn 3, Gleason 4 and Ty 5

Chalk on feet is worrisome.

Sharing Hullaballoo game spots.

Trampoline fun.
Rolling playdough

Devyn figured out the playdough mold. She is clearly pleased with herself. Smile.
Anna's sweet chubby fingers

Such focus...playdough exploration is serious work.
Once or twice a week the entire gang spends the day with me. They are a blast, each with their own personality and quirkiness. I love my job.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

According to Brutus

Hi folks, I feel the need to interject a few opinions about my family since Mom typically is the only one talking about everyone.  First, I love all of them. I even like the dude who shows up several times a week to eat dinner which significantly reduces the table scraps that should be mine. He makes it up to me with french fries from McDonald's now and then so I tolerate the intrusion. After all, Erin really likes him and seeing her happy makes me happy.

Second, this house is crazy. People are always coming and going. The front door is open so much, it's ridiculous. So, I no longer feel it is my responsibility to greet everyone. Frankly I am too tired to get up every time someone comes to the door. As I said, someone is ALWAYS coming to that door. And the vehicle situation? It's out of control. I never know who I am going to greet when one of them returns to the driveway so I don't often bother to find out. I should have learned this years ago as the people now come to find me when they get home.

Third, I have resigned my post as body guard unless we are all outside. I still protect my yard and people from neighbor dogs but I have gotten to old to care about much else. Except food. I still like food as long as it's people food. My dog food has lost it's appeal so Mom buys me yogurt to mix with it. I still often pass on breakfast and dinner since Justin or Lauren could show up with fries. I really like fries. Erin says I probably have high cholesterol. I don't know what that means but it can't be bad because the fries are so good. I probably should have given up dog food years ago too.  It seems as though the parents have relaxed a lot about the table food rule now that I don't eat much.

Fourth, the little people in the house love on me all the time. I like them but I have to admit they make napping difficult because they are so loud! I need a day at the puppy spa for a long quiet nap, but I spend most of my days hiding in Mom's closet under the air conditioning vent for quality sleep. The only interruptions I have in there are when Mom sneaks away from everyone else for chocolate. She hides too. I suspect she would also appreciate a good nap.

Finally, I still love cuddle time, treats, sunbathing and attention but this getting old business is tiring. My people tell me I have a big birthday coming up next month. I will be ten years old. I hope I get fries and maybe some steak. 

All photo credits go to Makenna who pestered me well beyond nap time today. She thinks I am cute. I like her and nap time too. And fries. Did I mention the fries?

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Boy oh boy did we need a Friday around here. There were bedtime tears Thursday night and several requests to just stay home. Back to school novelty as officially worn off so I took Ty and Devyn to have lunch with Kate Friday. She was delighted. When a student has guests for lunch, they get to sit on stage and invite a friend so we met Kate's new friend, Kendall who was rather shy but sweet.

During Devyn's nap time, Ty curled up onto my lap to chat. We've been doing a lot of that since his best buddy started school last week. Yesterday his little inquiring mind let me know he remembers being zero, small and in my belly. He also remembers the day I bought him. I told him I didn't buy him because he was a special gift God gave me. He immediately needed to know what wrapping paper he was wrapped in.

After dinner treats in the yard were thoroughly enjoyed. Theses two missed each other all week.  And we went to bed at 8:00 because the mommy was tired. Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Senior Year

She's grown before our eyes. The little bright eyed girl who entered Kindergarten refusing to participate in placement tests because she "didn't feel adequately prepared" has turned into the intense yet spirited young woman who still fights her teachers to an extent with a smile that almost always allows her get away with it. In Kindergarten she wanted to be a fabric cutter at JoAnn's, a "cooker man" like Emeril Lagasse and a veterinarian whom she called "a pet doctor". At this point in her life, she is overwhelmed by just how big the world is and what her place is within it. She is considering a year off after high school to find herself. Her perseverance being what it is, we are comfortable allowing that year of exploration. She is pretty amazing and her strength the last few months has been highlighted. We are proud of her.

It's bound to be a year of further growth and life choices. Having weathered this season with one teen prior hasn't fully prepared us for this journey Lauren's way. She is as unique as she is strong.Ten minutes after school started this morning, I received a text, "so, can I leave now". It could be an interesting year.
Dad didn't want to be left out of the "fun". The resemblances between Greg and Lauren are remarkable both in spirit and appearance.