Friday, October 30, 2015

Fun With Kids

Fifteen minutes after arriving at my house, little Anna let out the most dramatic, deep sigh and announced it had been a very long day. It was 7:30 am and I felt warned as much as amused.

Ty wore the tread off his sketchers in two months. Two months! So we went shoe shopping Wednesday night for shoes with a lot of tread. They happen to be Buckeye colors so he is quite happy with his new shoes. These will require he learn to tie his shoes and he is excited about the prospect. But more importantly, these shoes have such great tread, Ty is convinced he can climb buildings in them. I may set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for impending ER visits.
The elementary school hosted an indoor trick or treat tonight and Erin surprised us by showing up as the tooth fairy. A precocious little girl whispered into Erin's ear the tooth fairy isn't real because her mom said so. Erin replied her mother was mistaken because she takes teeth and people pay her to do it!

Due to unfortunate circumstances with one of my families, I only had one kiddo today so I emailed Kate's teacher at the last minute asking if I could help with her fall party. Rumor had it her class didn't have a room mom to help and no one wants to face 25 sugared-up kids with craft supplies alone. She and I surprised Kate with my arrival and it was priceless to see her face when I walked through the door. She may be getting big but I still got a warm hug in front of her friends.
The kids sleep with me on Friday nights. They look forward to it all week. Greg is off the next two Friday nights. Little people will not be happy with this schedule change.

Devyn got to have two sleep-overs with me this week and on the second night we went out for frozen yogurt. I have shared sweet treats with Devyn in the past but for some reason the birthday cake flavored yogurt went straight to her head. She was a giggling mess of laughter that ended with a belch that would make a grown man proud. She cracked up, "I just burped birthday cake!" We are obviously very prim and proper around here.
Lauren went to Florida with Taylor's family the first week of October. She finally sent me a copy of a photo they had taken while on the beach.  I happen to think they are pretty cute.

In other news, we are entering into what is known as Tech Week in Makenna's world. This means we will be driving to and from the school every day and night before adding six showings of 42 Street over the following two weekends. The good news/bad news is that Greg will be on vacation for those two weeks. Whereas I love having an extra driver and his support, he isn't big on following routine. We will all be a hot mess by November 15th. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Layla's World

I have become a member of the family and am still getting used to my people because this house has a lot of rules. Don't jump on people. Keep your nose off the table. Sit. Stay in the yard. Don't bark. Calm down. Get off the bed. Leave Brutus alone. Stop chasing Oliver. Don't back talk. (I am so good at this one that Mom says I sound like the teenagers.) Not every guest is an enemy so don't bark at them. (How do they know? I think it's best to be safe and not sorry.)

I don't actually care to remember all these rules much less follow them so everyone says my name a lot. It's okay though. I kinda like the attention even if everyone says, "Layla, you are too much!" But, one can never have too much fun and I like to have a lot fun. With enough effort on my part, I am convinced my family will learn to love playing as much as I do too.  After all, my people are worth the trouble.

Speaking of names, Mom says I should have been named Pipi Longstocking or Ramona Quimby after characters in books who were awkward, mischievous and would rather not follow rules. Erin calls me Sis and Dad calls me Knucklehead. He loves me.

I share my food and water with Oliver and sometimes he shares his food with me too. I like to kiss Brutus but he is grumpy about affection and barks at me until my people make me move away from him. Oliver loves to play tag. He runs really fast when it is my turn to tag him. And again the people make me stop which is very disappointing but I never let their scolding bother me. I can always find more exciting things to get in to.

Sometimes getting into trouble means I hurt myself. Again. Mom is always grumpy about taking me to the vet but I don't understand why because those ladies are so nice. They give me lots of treats and don't mind my kisses. I like visiting them even if Mom doesn't.

Well if you will excuse me, I think the construction workers have pulled out more trees I can haul into the yard.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Color Of Fall

These shots were taken from my yard. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty and never fail to note that fact each fall. However, construction has started in this field and I am afraid my view will be drastically altered by next year. My neighbor and I have contemplated chaining ourselves to the trees to save them. We're reasonable like that.

In other news, wind and rain arrived in our area overnight so everything will be bare and brown for the next several months. I have soaked up gorgeous tunnels of gold on back country roads and pointed out more highway tree lines than anyone in my car cares to look at in expectation that I must enjoy it while I can. It never lasts long enough but I suppose that's part of it's charm.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Boo! Party

Kate made this for Aunt Theresa. We think it's pretty cute.
Theresa hosted another awesome pumpkin carving party this weekend. Erin, Lauren, Taylor, Makenna, Kate, Ty and I loved it as usual. We enjoyed creative snacks, carving pumpkins with Halloween music playing in the background (a dance party or two broke out) and dressing up for fun. Afterward we all met up with Jamie's family in the Daniel Boone National Forest for trick-or-treating. The weather was so mild we carried jackets we never needed. It was a beautiful night. We ended the evening on a scary note of a different kind. Mason had an allergic reaction to something and his airways were closing as result. It took 45 highly stressful moments to get him to medical attention. Praise God he is in perfect condition today but he shook us all up last night.
Our little biker chic had a tough time making a tough-girl facial expression

This is our biker gang

Nerf glasses were a cool accessory in said biker gang

I don't want to brag but my nephew Brennen is a heck of a ball player. He beat Taylor 22-14 and Taylor was cheating.

Once again she is attempting to look tough.

Batman and Makenna were ready to Trick-or-Treat together. Makenna chose to be Holly Golightly from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's this Halloween but wasn't going to wear heels around a campground. She is rather smart as it was a lot of walking.

Red Riding-hood and the Big Bad Wolf are still working on their pumpkin. In the end, it will be Ironman's face.

Mason dressed as a gangster and gave candy to a kid who posed as a homeless man begging for candy only to have his mother yell, "Mason, you are a gangster! You need to extort that kid for candy not give it to him!". She cracks me up but Mason is just that sweet.

Did I mention the Daniel Boone National Forest was beautiful?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recently Overheard

"The lunch ladies are so nice. They give me chocolate milk sometimes". I later received a bill from those nice lunch ladies for an account I didn't set up because I send lunch, snack and water every day. So I paid the balance for six chocolate milks and included a note asking they not let my son charge chocolate milk in the future. In what world do we let kids choose sweets over packed lunches and send the bills to their parents? This is kindergarten not college. And for the record, my college kids pay for their own chocolate milk.

"If I could choose one super power it would be to stop time. I would sleep in as late as I wanted and do my hair everyday........Wait! Who am I kidding? I still wouldn't do my hair." Makenna dresses for comfort 99.9% of the time.

"I got so mad at Maddie today. She was coloring pictures of me and making me purple. I told her to stop and she didn't so I told her I was telling Lauren." I asked if Maddie knew who Lauren was and he answered, "she didn't but I told her it meant big bad trouble". Lord help me. Lauren is pleased as punch with this story by the way. And I would love to be a fly on the wall in kindergarten.

A new doctor Makenna is seeing recommended we check out essential oils to treat some of her health complaints. We've recently invested and are still on a steep learning curve but we are seeing some results. Greg didn't say much as we started but has recently requested some peppermint be rubbed into his temples to deal with a headache and mentioned he'd done some research on fractionated coconut oil and found some recipes he thought were interesting. Never in a million years would I have guessed he'd spend anytime investigating oils or believe they were worth trying. After more than twenty years, he still surprises me sometimes!

Anna announced she had six brothers the other day. She claims their names are Cereal, Cookie, Shoddy, Sad (but he isn't sad), Khaki and Zuma. They were all in my living room and going to be coming with her every day. I text her mom. "I am going to need a raise".

Lauren and Taylor were debating what famous couple they could be for Halloween. I about died when I heard "Bruce and Caitlyn Jenner" tossed into the discussion. I have no words.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slowing Down

So what did you wear to church this weekend? Ty is loving the current super hero theme!
We had dental appointments scheduled for three of us Tuesday morning. The dentist had to cancel at the last minute for an unexpected death in the family. I couldn't reschedule because I honestly don't know when to make the commitment. Two of my girls need haircuts and I can't figure out where to put that in our schedule either. We are once again in a season of "too busy". I don't like it and want to be more intentional about how our family spends time.

Today we took the kids for a walk on the bike trail at a local park. I found myself unable to keep up with my family which is quite unlike me. I tend to be a fast walker and have to deliberately slow my steps for a leisurely stroll. By the end of the trail I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. My legs felt like lead, my entire body hurt and I was exhausted. For the first time in two years, I was hit with a flare. I cannot begin to explain how sad this made me. Greg drove us home and I napped a bit this afternoon. We spent the rest of the day lounging around the house enjoying one another. One way or another, I will get rest but this was not what I had in mind.

But I have had time to recover and thank God for the minor intensity of this particular flare. My body is telling me it's time to reign in my diet, reduce stress and exercise more regularly. So I sat by the fire tonight with a hot cup of tea contemplating the blessings in my life to help lift me out of the fog I found myself in all day. Today's most notable were clear blue skies, crisp fall air, cozy sweaters, the crunch of fallen leaves under foot, the scent of those same fallen leaves, sunlight filtering through golden tree tops and the giggles of my children as they explored nature. Today was a blessing. They all are.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall Days (with masks)

Apple cider, pumpkin picking, hot tea, veggie soup, pumpkin pie, cozy sweaters and a hayride. Today was a perfect fall day in my world. It was so good.

I had fall themed plans for their art project today but was informed by the younger crowd they had their own ideas. Alrighty then. Paint away young people, paint away.

In other news, Ty swears his bed is uncomfortable. He spent all of last night asleep in this box. I text Greg a photo at work and he replied, "Fantastic. Our son aspires to be a hobo."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happy Fall Ya'll

Sometimes my children share my vision. Most often, they do not. I have learned to roll with it. It's his wedding and graduation I will be sabotaging with these photos anyway.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


My parents and I headed into a hurricane, ready to endure whatever Mother Nature doled out. It started off as cool sweatshirt weather but quickly turned over into more typical days of sunny skies and warm sand. It was perfect. We had the beach mostly to ourselves and shared the indoor pool with friendly elderly residents who enjoyed children. Makenna relaxed and the kids played. Mom and Dad took shifts giving me a break now and then too. Did I mention it was perfect?

We brought home more sea shells and rocks than I will ever know what to do with but each one was a treasure as it was located.

Makenna buried Kate with flair.

This was the first time Ty saw the ocean. Kate was a toddler the last time she saw one and didn't remember it.

I wish I had the camera ready when Ty first encountered the ocean. His dance looked like something a chimpanzee would do in nervous excitement. It was hilarious. He never did venture far into the water but loved running up and down the shore, chasing birds and finding treasures.

"Grandpa, remember when I was little and believed everything you told me?" Poor Grandpa, the gig is up when the youngest grandchild realizes your stories are a bit exaggerated.


Early mornings and evenings were quite relaxed on the shore.

Sunsets were stunning.

Makenna used my dad's old 35 mm camera and loved it. We now need to locate someone to develop a roll of film for us.
Someone was smack talking during Racko

Game time is exhausting

The "Shark Store" where we found warm hoodies to survive the first two days of our week

Ty read a book to Grandpa. This was the first time he'd ever initiated reading on his own.

We went crabbing one night. There was a lot of squealing and five crabs captured. The kids loved it.

I woke most mornings to watch the sun rise. It was peaceful and beautiful each time. I suppose it would be too much to ask for every morning to start with tea on a balcony with this view....

Kate loved everything about vacation. She spent hours jumping waves with Grandma's supportive arm holding onto her as the tide remained strong after the storms surged. She wanted to be on the beach at all times.