Monday, March 5, 2012

What we did on our winter vacation ...

This past week the kids were on break from school.  Our sitter decided to take a vacation, and thankfully a friend (or cousin-in-law as she likes to call me ... she is married to my husband's cousin) said she would help us out.  She had made plans for her children, and added ours into the mix, and so they even got to have a little more fun ... beside playing with their cousins! :)

Furthermore, the plans ended up moving into the evening hours, and so I was able to join them after work.  We went roller skating for the second time this year.  (The first time was because of her, too!)  And, we went to an indoor water park.  Both were just one night events, but they really helped to make the week special for my kids.  I need to remember to give my friend something to thank her for everything!

My husband and I are not the planners of fun events like these.  I am truly grateful that my friend loves to get out and DO things, and that she doesn't mind initiating an invitation to us.  I'm sure that without my friend's ideas (and my parents' too) my children would have a pretty boring life.  The extent of "fun" from me is taking them to soccer and t-ball, baseball or softball.  (With our opposite shifts, the available time to plan these fun events - much less pull them off - is limited, and we are both very unwilling to spend the money.  It's a shame, I know.)  Don't get me wrong ... sports are great, too ... but it's hard to compete with flying around a roller rink to music with friends, or riding an inner-tube 'round the lazy river.

But, to focus on the good times from my children's winter vacation:  Chase got 3rd place in the scooter races at the roller rink!  There was a little group of boys, and Chase was luckily in the middle of the pack as far as ages go, and so even though he was far behind 1st and 2nd place, he still won a prize.  He was ecstatic!  He picked a little spinning top as his prize.  He enjoyed riding on the scooter, and riding the train ... which they STILL have.  It is the same train from my childhood.  It's awesome that some of the great things from my childhood are still there!

Julia wore some new quad skates that my mom had picked up on clearance, and she did much better at staying up this time!  It was still nerve-racking to watch her, but my mom sent the wrist and knee guards that we'd purchased many years ago for ourselves when we roller-bladed home from Shopko (story for another day), and so my daughter had wrist-guards on, at least.  I learned from our previous trip and made sure Julia had better fitting pants.  My daughter is NOT a plumber, if you catch my meaning!  She enjoyed the scooters, her quads, riding the train, and playing with her cousins.

Blake gave both roller blades and quads a try, and he learned that quads are not that easy!  I think he's more comfortable on roller blades, and as long as he's happy, I'm happy.  I just need to learn how to replace the wheels since he was complaining they are wobbly.  I don't think they are actually wobbly, but they are definitely worn a little unevenly ... probably because they were used on a road for several miles!  Blake is getting more adventurous on skates.  I saw him going up on the ramp a few times.  Seeing the roller skating rink from a parent's perspective is an amazing thing ... so many ways to get hurt, and yet I went there for YEARS and don't ever remember getting hurt.  Good times, good times!

Then, the very next night, we went to an indoor water park.  I wasn't able to join them in the water.  Our swimsuits ALL disappeared after our last swimming trip to the same water park the day after Christmas.  I haven't had the guts to shop for a new suit, nor to spend $30 or more on one.  So, I instead practiced taking pictures with my new camera while the kids swam around in their new suits.  (Yes, I admitted I'm cheap, and then talked about a new camera.  The camera has a purpose.  I am working toward creating a business at some point in the hopefully near future.) 

So, the kids had a great week!  The week kept getting better for me, as I watched Sue Bryce on Creative Live over the weekend.  Her posing tips are amazing, and she makes so much sense.  I've seen Sandy Puc', Zach and Jody, and Sue Bryce now ... and if it weren't for the fact that I HAVE to pay for this camera I bought, I would be the proud owner of each of these courses.  Each had something different that I took away from them, and none of them was any less valuable to me.  I was in amazed awe all weekend long when I watched as I could.  I even took out my phone as I bought groceries Sunday night and watched the re-watch from my phone as I shopped.  People must have thought I was nuts, but I didn't want to miss anything!!!  I just propped it up on my purse, cranked the volume and shopped.  Of course, my trip took longer than necessary because I had to stop to watch, too ... but it was still amazing.

To top it off, my friend ... the same amazing friend who orchestrated the fun events for my kids ... invited me to go with her to an award ceremony on Sunday for a local National Guardsman.  It was a chance to practice with my new camera, so I said yes.  I didn't know what to expect, but it was a great experience in so many ways.  We were welcomed.  People wanted copies of our pictures, and I was allowed freedom to walk around to get a good angle.  And most of all, I had the honor of being present for, it turns out, two ceremonies which were very special ... and we got to help preserve the memory of those events.  What an amazing opportunity!  And to be surrounded by so many people who make a difference for our country?  Priceless.

So, that's the wrap-up of my last week.  How was yours?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

night #2 - fail

well, the big bed time plan didn't work tonight because blake ended up not feeling well and went to bed just before chase.  hoping blake is feeling better tomorrow night so that we can try again.  blake has a headache, and guess what ... so do i.  i felt it coming on toward the end of the day at work, and it's been building.  crossing my fingers i will be able to make it through the day tomorrow, and blake too!

tomorrow is a christmas program at chase's school.  i am fortunately able to go.  looking forward to talking to chase's teacher.  one of my possible solutions to this whole sleep and bus dilemma is to have chase join the afternoon class instead.  still a possibility.

my mom had asked me to make her a digital christmas card to send to the people she bought her dog from, and i made that tonight.  i emailed it to her.  one digital project off of my list ... several to go!

take care,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

night #1

first of all, i apologize for typing in all lower case letters, but i'm too lazy to use the shift key on the right hand side of my keyboard, and the key on the left hand side is not working.  historically, it will be neat to come back and read this some day, remembering the dumb issues i've had with this keyboard which is less than 2 years old.

bedtime has been a struggle ever since school started in september.  chase is new to going to any type of school, and not only that, but he goes to school in the morning after having previously been "trained" to sleep in due to my husband's work schedule.  the idea was to get him closer to the school schedule he will have in kindergarten, and to give him something to do while his dad sleeps in from working until the wee hours of the morning.

well, chase does not go to bed well.  he claims to be afraid of the dark.  it may very well be true, but based on some of his behaviors, i really think it is more of an attention thing than anything.  he seems to enjoy the negative attention it brings him from both his siblings, and me.

tonight, though ... i am hoping that i've finally figured out a way to deal with it.  in the past, i've sent all three kids to bed at the same time. i sent chase to bed first tonight.  chase likes to turn the bedroom light on when he's going to bed, which has always been an issue for poor blake who sleeps on the top bunk and has it shining in his face.  with chase being on the bottom, the light doesn't shine in his face, and so he isn't bothered by it.  for whatever reason, the two nightlights in their room are not enough light for him.  anyway, he was asleep within 15-20 minutes after he was sent to bed.  Hallelujah and Amen!!! (Yes, I broke out the right-shift key for that bit there!)  while he was falling asleep, i did the dishes with the older two kids.  they weren't happy about it because we had a lot to do, but i surprised them with a few oreos and some milk afterward as a reward.  bedtime was supposed to immediately follow that for both blake and julia, but apparently blake hadn't finished a math assignment -- there were some corrections to make on a  previous in-class assignment -- and so he stayed up to do that.  julia was asleep within 15 minutes, and blake went to bed last, and seems to have gone to sleep well also.

you have no idea how excited i was by the quiet bedtime process tonight.  i have been at my wits end and near tears with frustration over kids coming out of their rooms, lights being turned on, and that one child who just plain would not stay in bed.  chase went to bed without a fuss tonight.  wow.

so ... so far the new plan seems to be working.  the test will be to see if he makes it in his bed all night long, but this has promise!!!!

please let this work,
a tired mommy,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Horrible blogger

I'm a horrible blogger.  I think its probably because as far as I know, no one reads my blog but me, hee hee (except for when I enter photos at I Heart Faces, maybe)!  I wouldn't want to read a blog that didn't get posted on though, so I will try to be better about it.  I've updated my blog tonight to have Christmas colors ... kind of ... and added my Christmas playlist to the side.  Turn your sound down or off if you don't care to listen to Christmas music.  I happen to love Christmas music!

Christmas is coming way too fast this year.  Less than 4 weeks away.  I have thought about setting up the Christmas tree, but I'm sure I'll get to drag it up out of the basement again, and am not looking forward to it.  I'll have to enlist Blake's help, as I'll admit I'm afraid I'll hurt myself trying to drag it up the stairs if I do it on my own.

My goal for this weekend is to get some house cleaning and organizing done so that we CAN put up the tree.  Hubby has been doing a bunch of that lately, which is great, but he has a tendency to go overboard.  He's got the chore of laundry and keeps going through the clothes and putting things in a donate box ... except he's not paying attention to sizes and he's put things in there that we can use again in the spring, or that can be saved for Chase for when he's older.  It's good that he understands I'm going through them after him, rescuing things! :)

Blake is almost done with having braces.  He just got them put on in July, and will get them off in January already.  I am really hoping we can avoid "Phase 2" of braces with him, which would be needed if the rest of his teeth come in crooked and messed up.  So far, he still has several baby teeth in the back, as he should.  He's not old enough to be losing those yet.

Speaking of age ... I laughed internally when I took the kids to a restaurant this past weekend.  The hostess asked me if I just needed 2 kids' menus.  Kids menus are for ages 12 and under ... and apparently Blake looks like he might be older than that?  Well, I will give him that he's huge.  Well, not HUGE, but he is tall for his age, and he is wearing braces ... which most people (as would I before going through this adventure) would expect to be done in the teens.  He still has more baby-face than I would expect a 12-13 year old would, though.  So, that gave me some internal giggles.  Thank goodness for places that have menus for kids that he can still find enough to eat on, though ... this kid can't even really tolerate a Mighty Kids meal at McDonald's anymore because it isn't enough food!  I have NO idea what I'm gonna do when this kid IS a teenager, hee hee!

Well, as usual, I'm trying to get too many things done and am not getting to sleep early enough, so I'm going to close up shop for now.  Time to start winding down and get some rest!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Heart Faces: Tickled Pink

This time I decided to feature my daughter who was covered in pink for one of her first T-ball practices of the season this past spring.  You can see some of her face ... hope it's enough to count, as this was just too much pink for me NOT to enter it.  My daughter borrowed a friend's pink helmet, and another friend's pink bat, and so she ended up covered in pink ... it was just too cute! :)

This week's theme is pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  My aunt was touched by this disease.  She beat it several years ago, and now faces another battle with another form of Cancer.  Love you, Aunt Mary Jane, and I think about you every day ... hoping for health, comfort, and as many good times as possible.

See more entries at the I Heart Faces site, at the address under the image below.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Monday, October 10, 2011

So excited! ("Raise Your Hands" challenge at I Heart Faces)

Here is my entry for this week's challenge - Raise Your Hands - at I Heart Faces! This was my little man on his fourth birthday last year ... SO excited about his new Big Wheel!  I loved how expressive his face was with his hands up, so it was an easy pick for this challenge.  See more entries at the link below the icon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School

I Heart Faces is having a Back to School photo challenge ...

I didn't do a photo shoot for Back to School ... I just took some pictures of my kids like I always do.  I really liked how this one turned out though, so I submit a picture of my youngest son, waiting for his very first bus ride to pre-K!

Check out all the fabulous entries at I Heart Faces!