Sunday, August 31, 2008

testing out another one.

Just checking something out again. For some reason different things get sent to different areas when I save them, so I wanted to see if I could do the frame thingie AND find it in the bowels of my hard drive. Oh, and there it is! Yay!

But this picture does remind me of how much I love California and totally miss being so close to the Queen Mary. I have my beloved 40's framed travel poster of her next to me on the wall, but somehow the real thing seems SO far away. Lots of memories on that neat old ship. That ship has a soul.

This photo was taken from our cabin on the Carnival Pride several years ago, before we left for Mexico.

So far so good, I haven't blown up my computer or anything.

I hope everybody has a happy long weekend. Happy Labor Day! - and 18th anniversary for Mike and I! Two goofy kids figuring this all out together!

Testing.... it's TECHNO Saturday!

Today is one of those days where I am so grateful for my computer. There were days early on that I didn't think it would be possible for us to be friends. I was a paper, typewriter, white out and file cabinet kind of girl. I went kicking and screaming into this techno age.
Not only did my little girl get her first email account today, so she can keep in touch with some of her friends, but I think I am finally getting the idea on some of this new digital scrapbooking stuff that has obviously become my newest addiction. I love these date stamps, journaling boxes, swirly things, I love them all.
I got started with them mainly because of my blog album. I just slip photos in sleeves in a kolo album that holds four photos per two page spread. Some pages are journaling and total paper and old school scrapping. Other areas are just photos. Now, I can add type, the dates or anything to photos and slip them in. It's so addicting - and you all know how I get when I find a new thing like this. Remember my photo collage period? Haha!
Now I have become a collector of vintage frames, post card frames, date stamps, overlays and brushes. It's insane. For this girl who travels down the dirt frontage road of the information superhighway... I'm pretty proud of myself.
and my new motto is - Everything needs swirlies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Not to be outdone by Lisa and her new found digital skills...

This is my digital nod to her. Everybody in the world should have a friend like her. One that listens to you, laughs with you, makes you feel better and doesn't judge you on anything. The girl gets me... like for who I am.

Plus she is so dang talented and crafty, beautiful inside and out, and by far the best freaking mother in the whole wide world. All you kids that call her mom - trust me, you totally lucked out. You are in for the best ride of life ever with a supportive and loving mom and dad that you have.

Ok, now that I've sung my praises to my sweet friend... these are all little inside jokes that we have. Not trying to leave anybody out on any of the jokes, but they make sense to her and some you will all know because of knowing me. Sorry, you may have to close your eyes on a few of them.

So hopefully this will cheer up my friend. Hell, I even laughed my butt off alone in the car thinking about some of these. Yeah, she's got that power to make you smile even when you're just thinking of her.

Now I'm off. Life is crazy and apparently the economy and difficult times are singlehandedly the fault of me and my husband. Cuz that's the way we roll. ;)
(that one couldn't fit, sorry.)

Love ya Lisa! (By the way, not everybody has a cool monitor like hers that rivals the size of our big screen tv, so some may have to click on the image to read some of those.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day one was a success!

Here they are, home again! First day down. (BTW, the grass is brown. This seems to be what people from around here say is dry and yucky. I had to show this one to Lisa who was talking to somebody that used to be from here.) Brown.. yeeeah. See those two houses for sale? I need some scrapping people to come move in. Hint hint... I'll hook you up with some phone numbers.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. These are from after school, so Megan is ready to get that backpack off and get on the phone to call somebody she hadn't seen in the last 15 minutes. Note the, "Moooom, pleeeease" look on her face. What happened to my most willing model??

See what I mean? Trevor was already in the undressing process. His shoes are already off, but I got a quick picture of him anyway. For posterity.

Another one of Matthew. He's in this new "I won't smile" phase. He says he looks serious, like he learned a lot in school that day.

Everybody said they had a great day at school yesterday. Megan loves switching classes, and loves having a new teacher every hour, so things seem fresh throughout the day.

Trevor said that the lunch he had was the best ever. His cheeseburger and french fries tasted like they came from In N Out. Typical boy...all about the food. He said they actually GRILLED them and the cheese was melted, not like his last school where he says that the patties were boiled in a huge pot. Ok. We'll go with that.

Matthew's exact words were: "School was looooooong. It took foreeeeeever." But he does love his teacher.

There hasn't been any homework for the kids yet, but plenty for me. Is it bad to admit that I secretly love when I get all of the paperwork to fill out? I love filling out forms!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy birthday T Mc D.

Today is a two post day. It's a big day around our house.

Happy birthday to my boy Trevor. He turns 8 years old today.

Like every other birthday with each one of my kids, I’ve spent the past day leading up to his birthday remembering details of what was going on 8 years ago, and will be thinking of the day that he was born. It’s amazing how quickly time has gone by and really how fast these kids grow up on us.

This kid is awesome. I just can’t put into words what a good boy he is and how much happiness he has brought to us. He’s so compassionate, a follower of rules, a bit of a worrier at times, a snuggler and a huge helper.

He loves to hang out in his underwear and has spent a lot of his summer days like that. He also ditches his school clothes as soon as he gets in the house. I don’t know how that started, but it’s definitely a habit he’s picked up and doesn’t seem to want to give up anytime soon.

He loves Pokemon, turtles and hamsters, riding his bike, video games, and reading.

He has an automatic connection with any baby that he meets. He’s a great big brother, a little brother and good loyal friend. He’s funny and quirky. He loves food. He still holds my hand. He can be a bit messy, but he makes up for it with the other things. ;)

He’s definitely loved beyond belief.

Happy birthday T!

first day of school!

It's sooooo quiet.

Just for comparison's sake: First day of first grade, then the first day of kindergarten this time last year. Hey, and even the backpack is the same! I couldn't talk him into a new one this year, he loves the reliable blue one.

(I'm going to add more pictures to this post in a bit for the fam... my battery does weird things since the soda incident and sometimes it dies with no warning. Like today. Grr. But I did get a picture of Matthew before it died completely. Sorry, that first photo looks more like a senior picture than a first grader. I think this one is a peek into my future of what Matthew is going to look like in high school!!)

And just for one more comparison - Yep Matthew is wearing the same shirt TODAY that Trevor wore on his first day of second grade. My boys are so much easier to please when it comes to clothing. All the new school clothes they got and Matthew wants an old comfy tshirt. Unlike the female child...who went through several wardrobe changes before settling on being Miss Aeropostale the first day of school.

Trevor last year: ----> and this year's first day shirt for Matthew. (below)

Today was the first day of school!!! It was totally different than what we are used to. I walked in the school with all three kids and we were told that everybody was supposed to go to the gym. They had the bleachers out and separated by grades, making it pretty much impossible for me to sit with all three of my nervous kids.

Trevor found a group of boys that he sat next to and by the time the 15 minutes had passed before they were all taken back to the classrooms they all looked like they had known each other for years. Yay for Trevor, he's always been so easy going.

I sat with Megan for a couple of minutes (with Matthew too) and I spotted several girls that were kind of off in their own spaces and looking like they were going to puke from nervousness. I felt good knowing that A LOT of kids had moved here over the summer and were in the same situation as us. I talked Megan into going down to one girl that was somewhat close by. It was funny (although I understand and she had to have been terrified!) She walked up really slowly behind her and paused. Like the girl was supposed to pat the seat next to her and say, "HEY YOU, sit down and join me!" but then Megan slid down next to her and I could see the other girl smiling and nodding like Megan had just asked if she had just moved here too. They started a little conversation and were both smiling when I took Matthew over to the first grade section.

Matthew found one of his friends that he met on our street, so he was totally fine with me not sitting next to him. I thought for sure he'd be the one I'd have to be next to until it was time to go. What a change from last year when he was so scared to begin kindergarten. There was so much more confidence this year - even with being an entirely different school.

So I stood along one of the walls of the gym with some other parents and watched my kids from a distance. All three were busy talking... which was a good sign. It looks like everything started out well for them all.

Megan's homeroom class (she switches classes for each subject this year) is in the library (there is so much growth here right now that this 2 year old school is already adding 8 more classrooms that will be done in December) so until then she meets in the library in the morning. (Which is huge, so it isn't like they are cramped in there.) I peeked in since it is right by the front doors of the school and is surrounded by windows so I could easily look in and find her. There she was sitting with a group of about 6 girls.

I left happy. I left confused. I didn't have to make sure everybody was with me going across the parking lot, and nobody to worry about except myself. I turned on the car and "Where the streets have no name" had just started. Yessss. and then it looked like it must have been push time at the airport because planes were everywhere. I wondered if one of them was Mike taking off for the day. Happy kids, happy mom and possibly Mike flying overhead I thought, "This is exactly why we're here. Today is awesome." It felt like a movie moment where it all slows down (complete with U2 soundtrack!) when it just hit me that the moving process is done, summer is over and I could literally feel a new chapter beginning. It really gave me chills. Everything feels right.

Then I went to Cincinnati to do some errands - after hitting a drive through for a soda. ;) Much success at Target and Costco. Life is good.

I can't wait to hear stories today when everybody comes home!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two kinds of jumping today....

Like everybody else I seem to hear, we've been caught up in the Olympics here at our house. Only instead of the muscular swimming god Michael Phelps, (which he is amazing I'll give him that!) it's the equestrian events. Megan and I have been watching them religiously. I remember getting a box of USET horses for Christmas one year, and I was determined to become a famous dressage rider.
Tonight was qualifying for jumping. It brought back so many memories. (Not that I was an Olympic jumper, but in my mind I was.) I spent a lot of time pretending in the arena at Kyrene Stables when I was an early teen. Half rounds, oxers and remembering what it felt like to hold those thick reigns in light hands and collect the horse before the last stride before the jump. I noticed tonight I was holding my breath each time a horse went over a jump. It's like when you watch A Baby Story after having children and you realize you are holding your breath and pushing with the person on TV.
I have absolutely LOVED being able to share this excitement with Megan on the couch next to me.
I have to blog about it before I forget. The street behind our house has a big dirt hill that was just dumped on it because the lot next to it is getting a new house built. So it has become a magnet for all of the neighborhood kids. Trevor and one of his friends spend hours over on this hill riding their bikes down. So today I took Matthew over because he wanted to see "the hill."
I was afraid of letting him go down on his own. He walked his bike up to the top and started to look like he was going to back out of the deal. Then he started to roll. I don't think he was ready and who knows if he wasn't going to back out - but the bike wasn't. It started to roll FAST down the hill - with Matthew's legs literally airborne behind him and his hands still holding onto the handlebars.
He went down the wrong track, screaming the entire way, until he hit a rock that made the whole bike jump into the air. It was like slow motion while he let go of the bike and started to roll into the air then down into a cloud of dust. I thought for sure he was going to break his neck or come up totally crying. This didn't look like any jump that a helmet could help.
The dust parts.
The bike lands.
Matthew reaches for the sky with both fists in the air.
I'm waiting for a cry.
A few minor scrapes on his legs, and some dirt in his mouth but he picked up that bike and went right back up. It was hysterical, and so NOT the outcome I expected.
I love that kid.

so long summer!

Today is the last official day of summer vacation. The kids start school on Monday. Despite my attempts to get them to bed earlier every night for the past couple of weeks, I know the first day they are going to be exhausted. We've been sleeping in until 8 or 9, then lazily watching some TV in the morning. - Time to get back on the schedule.
We still have the weekend, but when dads are usually home on the weekends, the plans of neighborhood kids are at the whim of the parents most of the time. Which reminds me of how busy our doorbell was yesterday. I think we should just put in a revolving door. There were even times that ALL three kids were gone at other houses. Mike and I would look at each other like, "What do we do now?" It was a strange silence after months of vacation.
The coolest is just seeing the kids get on their bikes and go off to play. It's a great feeling just to know that they are all starting to spread their wings a little, and Matthew is finally gaining some independence too. They're all getting big and making plans that don't always include me.
This is the part that you wish for when it's 3:00 in the morning and you are rocking a crying infant back to sleep, when you can't remember the last time you got more than 4 hours of sleep at a time.... but then as quickly as this stage of life has come I still miss the baby days. It's all bittersweet, but this life is cool. This is what it's all about.
Like the song says, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

random photo - because numbers are cool!

Do you ever go back a year or two in your blog to see what was going on back then? It's kind of fun. I do it every now and then just to see the growth that has happened in our family over the time.

I noticed I definitely scrapped a lot more then. It definitely isn't a passing phase, just not something I've kept up with since the summer here.

Last year at this time was Matthew's first year of school and the anxiety that brought with it. Is he going to like it? Is he ready for kindergarten? I'm blown away that not only did he love kindergarten and thrive in it, but he's going into first grade this year. This time he has a lot more confidence about it.

Trevor was turning seven, and now he's so excited about turning 8 years old. (on the first day of school... bummer.)

The obvious biggest change was moving. I can't even remember if Kentucky was even an idea in our heads one year ago. I'm sure it was at least mentioned because last summer was very hard on our family. If there were ever any doubts about whether or not this was the best move for all of us, there are none now. The kids are all thriving out here, and the area seems to really suit us. Plus even though some doubted that Mike would really be home all that much more to make a difference... trust me, it is so much better than it was before. If he has three days off, it's OFF. Not one day home and two days traveling. The kids are happier and I'm happier.

Today was one of those busy days where the kids were in and out of the house. They all spent some time at different kid's houses, and every now and then they'd pop in the house to check in. Free range children. It's one of my favorite things they've been able to do this summer without always having to arrange playdates. It's so good to see them all with a group of new friends even before school starts. (And I got to finish up a book I've been reading!!)

Speaking of school, the kids start next week. All of the supplies are bought and ready to go in backpacks. Surprisingly they are all really excited about riding the bus this year too. The stop is on the corner of the house next door, so they just walk right out of our door. I'm all for driving them, but since their friends are riding the bus, they want to also. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pure, honest to goodness bliss....

I was looking through some photos to have printed off and I came across this. Once every great while somebody actually gets a picture of me, so maybe some day in the future my children might get a glimpse of what mommy looked like.

Unfortunately... the horse is much prettier! Mwah!

cheesy photo day

This is what happens when you are sitting and waiting for everybody to use the potty at IKEA. You tell whatever child is willing to be silly to go stand in between the 'bathroom people.' While trying to ignore the strange looks from people wondering why you are standing outside the restrooms with a camera. But come on... those silouettes are kind of cool. I wish I could have lined this up for a better photo... but IKEA is always busy!

Matthew is totally into 'stealing' my camera and taking his own pictures lately. We were waiting in the car while Mike and Megan ran into a store really quick. I have about 50 photos of details inside my car, and the cars in the parking lot next to us.

Here is one of his nature photos. The flower box in front of our parking space. Ooh.... ahhh....

So this week has flown by. It seems that they all are right now. Yesterday we went to the kids' new school to finish up registration. Mostly just getting their lunch accounts set up, meeting teachers, dropping off school supplies (which is so nice so we don't have to send everything on the first day) and getting them used to where their new classrooms are.

Megan's school days are going to be so much fun for her this year. Fifth grade is when they start changing classrooms for different subjects, like in middle school. I know she'll enjoy that and it will help the days go by faster. She was kind of bummed that there aren't official lockers, but her homeroom has an open locker/cubby kind of thing for them to go back to all day and get what they need.

Trevor's birthday happens to fall on the first day of school. He's not too thrilled about it (I can't blame him) but hopefully he'll get some special treatment for the day. I'll be bringing in cupcakes at the end of the week, so hopefully that will earn him some brownie points with new friends. It's so hard for me to believe he'll be turning EIGHT years old.

Matthew is going into first grade. He's in for an exciting year. His teacher is really cool and I know first grade is one of those years that the kids change and grow so much.

Looking back this has been such a busy summer. There were days we were bored to death, but there have been some changes in just a matter of months. Some are more obvious than others.... moving across the country.... and others smaller. It feels like we've finally settled in and we all love it here. Getting back to a normal schedule is going to be nice. :)

9 more days!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

peanuts and corn hole.

Ah, some little wildflowers for your viewing pleasure... (I really can't stand to post anything without some sort of photo. No idea why. Roll with me.)

So we got to try out the Union Kentucky emergency response team for the first time. We were at a neighborhood street party, and all of the kids were playing in the culdesac. It was awesome, my kids had a million new kids to play with. They were in a safe area away from the road and I figure all of my kids are finally old enough to not need me hovering over them constantly.

It was great to meet new neighbors all in one spot. There was food, drinks and corn hole. OK.....corn hole. It's everywhere. I kept seeing people playing this game at parties at the parks, and some restaurants like Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings have these out front too. It's basically horseshoes but with a slanted rectangular board with a hole in it. The board is usually painted something, like a favorite sports team. Instead of horseshoes you throw beanbags.

Apparently there are corn hole tournaments. Somebody told me that they figure instead of using horseshoes that could poke somebody's eye out or severely hurt somebody by hitting them in the head, they use the beanbags because... well...usually there is beer involved too... which makes sense. She said if you get hit in the head with a bean bag instead of killing you, it just stings a little. Ok, that makes total sense. Now I need to find out how to get my own corn hole set. ;)

Oh so on to the rest of the party. Things are going well until Matthew comes up and starts to say that he can 't breathe well and his tummy hurts. He had just finished a can of soda and a cookie plus was running with the boys so I thought it was just a bad combination of all 3 things. I took him home to sit with him while Mike was at the party with the other two. Of course, Matthew wanted a mom lap to sit on. Mom laps are good when you don't feel well.

A couple of minutes later he started swelling and throwing up. Megan came running back saying the cookie he had eaten was peanut butter and not a sugar cookie. Crap.

Matthew had two epi shots and was whisked away in the ambulance. Poor guy. He was more upset that he had to leave his new friends at the party. Mike went to the hospital with him, and we had neighbors offering to have the other kids over. (They both were really upset and crying that Matthew was sick, but when they heard that, they were both pretty interested in the invitations to go play at somebody's house for awhile. Here they were with their PICK of houses to go to.)

I was going to wait until I heard from Mike when the ambulance got to the hospital about where I was going to send the kids so I could go sit all night at the hospital with them. When he called, he had already seen the doctor, the epi doses had already started working and they were monitoring his oxygen. WOW. Now that was fast. Sure enough, an hour and a half later (after the very beginning of the whole episode) they were back home. I was planning on an all nighter. I'm not used to such a short visit.

Long story short, he's fine. Like nothing ever happened. He's usually good at asking about what is in cookies or anything because he's very aware of his allergy, so it was surprising that he ate a cookie without showing it to me first. I guarantee he'll ask every time now. He said it looked like a sugar cookie because it didn't have nuts in it that he could see. You know how usually there are some small chunks of peanut.

I heard Trevor this morning asking him, "So... since you ate a bite of peanut butter cookie and had never tasted peanut butter before, what did you think?" Like he can't wrap his mind around never having tried peanut butter. Matthew just said it was awful. Even if he could eat it, he doesn't like peanuts.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Matthew. This kid is beyond excited about school starting. He's going to be a big kid in the first grade. He has been talking about it like crazy since we went and started the registration process last week. I know he's my son because he seems to be the most excited about the cafeteria.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in such a hurry for him to grow up. I feel this way because out of the three, (I'll be honest) he is my most challenging. There's always got to be one. But I also mean that he seems to have a lot more energy contained in that little body compared to the other two when they were the same age. Add to that he is not afraid of anything. He was the climber when he was a baby, and the one who always wanted to see how many stairs he could jump between him and the floor below. The fact that he's made it close to 6 years without a broken bone is really kind of a miracle!

He also doesn't back down from anything. It's frustrating at times getting into a battle of wits with a 5 year old, but as an adult that is a characteristic I think is good in life. He's not going to take crap from anybody. That is for sure. Matthew is a leader.... not a follower.

But today he reminded me of the sweetness and innocence of a 5 year old. He has been carrying this little Thomas catalog with him everywhere for a couple of weeks now. He even falls asleep with it in his hand at night. Plus it has been out of state to Ohio and Indiana. It's a well traveled little catalog.

Today he decided he wanted to send it off along with a letter to santa, so santa would know what he wanted for Christmas this year. He's my last believer. He wrote the cutest note asking for one (or all) of the things in the catalog. He made sure to include "Please" because as he says, "If you don't say please then Santa gets mad and sends that toy to some other kid."

He was out in his sandbox the other day (we had to buy one because Kentucky does not have any sand. The nerve. Seriously, it is kind of weird that all of the parks have wood chips which aren't all that fun to dig in or play with construction trucks.) I was sitting on the deck outside with him and listening to him talk nonstop. He was telling me stories. He started to tell me how he wants to go on vacation to that place where we went that had the cool beach. (It was in Cabo) Of all the beaches he's been too, he remembers that being the best beach in the world.

He said, "All we have to do is hop on a plane and woo woo (with his hand flying through the air) we are at the beach and we can play in the sand." Ah, if only it was that easy. No packing, no planning, just hop on a plane and woo woo... you are there. I love the mind of a 5 year old. Infact I'm going to try that theory out with my housework. Woo woo.