Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I think I'll go for a walk outside now...

Yesterday the kids and I went to one of the big box pet stores and forty eight dollars later we left with a collar, a harness, a leash and a small bag of kitty treats.  

Do people even put cats on leashes?  I honestly don't think I have ever seen it done. 

We are trying to cover our bases for our first overnight away from home with Dickens.  We are bringing him up to the cabin for a couple of days.  I think I have put the fear of God into the boys with horror stories of what will happen to our poor little kitten if he manages to escape from us at the cabin.  Spencer asked me yesterday if we could just leave him home where he will be safe. 

I wish we could leave him home, but I know that he would go CRAZY!  This little cat that we have is the most people loving cat that I have ever seen in my life!  That is a good thing when you take in account that my kids want to torture him play with him constantly, but it is not so good when you want to go somewhere and leave him ALONE for a couple days.  I am hoping as he grows up he will grow a little more into not minding being left alone. 

Whatever the future holds, the boys sure loved taking him outside and trying to take him for a walk.  I guess that is money well spent.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I can hardly believe it. My little girl almost has enough hair for a ponytail. I put one in the other day and she managed to keep it in for a little more than a half hour. The little barrettes only lasted about five minutes.

New options for Hailey's hair is big stuff around here. Last summer I posted about her pigtails. If you look at those pictures her hair doesn't look that much longer now - 11 months later. Why does her hair grow so slow??? You can see she has been working on her mischievous grin though. She definitely has that look mastered!

The title of this post is a shout out to Michael Jackson who passed away a few days ago. Whether you loved him or hated him, you have to admit that the impact he had on music will most likely never be duplicated. I was a fan of his. I will never forget staying up late to watch Friday Night Videos in hopes that they would play "Beat It", "Billie Jean" or the ever elusive "Thriller"! When my Mom rented the "Making of Thriller" VHS tape for us that had the actual video at the end of it - it was nothing like we had ever seen before. We were mesmerized by the dance moves and his ability to make a story out of a song. He had an amazing talent.
I don't even pretend to understand any of his recent erratic behavior. I think it is obvious he had sort of a tortured soul and was desperately trying to fill parts of his life that were void. I believe he would have made a great comeback at some point. I think he had more to share with this world. He was a man of unsurpassed vision in the music industry. I hope he has now found the peace and contentment that he seeked so fervently on this Earth.

Friday, June 26, 2009

This is the life!

We had intended to go to the beach today. Not our beach. We were going to drive to one where we actually had sand to sit on and play in. The water is finally warm - mid seventies. We were all looking forward to it.

Then while watching the news last night I found out that "they" were urging people to stay out of the water, especially children, because the water was filled with green mucky goo that they called "algae blooms".


So, when the day is 85 degrees and you live next to a huge, beautiful lake that is full of sickness causing algae blooms - what is a person to do?

You call Grama and see if she will take you to the yacht club pool. That is what we did and we had a great time.

Hailey would "mump" off the side of the pool all day long if she has someone willing to catch her and "hep meeeee" back onto the edge.

I love this photo of Ev. He looks so proud of himself. He is really doing great this year in the water. I can't wait until parent watch day at swimming lessons next week to see how much he has improved since last summer.

Our little Mark Spitz. Literally. Spencer still amazes me with his fish like qualities. He never wears a life jacket anymore. And he NEVER gets out of the water.

Trent joined us twice this week at the pool. He was amazed that he could sit in a chair and someone would bring him an ice cold beer. Look what he has been missing all this time!

The girls hangin' pool side in their hats. I burned my scalp the other day so my Mom let me borrow one of her sun hats to protect my tender head. I got Hailey's hat at Old Navy on the clearance rack. I think it is left over from Easter but I think it makes a great sun hat.
We really have been living these summer days to the fullest. We are going all day long and trying to make the most of the beautiful weather. The kids fall into bed every night completely exhausted.
The dog days of summer - you gotta love 'em!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

My own little Bobby Flay

A couple of nights ago I decided to make a veggie pizza for the kids and I for dinner.  

Kids and me? Seriously, I should know this.  I was once an English major.  

Anyway, I know it is not the healthiest choice on Earth with the buttery crescent rolls and the cream cheese, but I feel like the broccoli and carrots kind of make up for the badness.  I even managed to sneak on some orange sweet peppers because they blended in with the carrots and the kids could not tell the difference.  

When Spencer saw the pizza he asked me if that was the kind of veggie pizza that he liked.  I told him that it was.   He bit into it and devoured his whole piece.  Then he told me "When I took the first bite I didn't really think it tasted like the kind that I liked.  Then on the second bite the flavor of it really seemed to pick up!"

I guess all the nights we watch the Food Network together are really starting to pay off.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I have no idea why they are tired...

9:00 am - Evan's first t-ball game.

10:15am - Spencer goes to swimming lessons.

10:55am - Spencer comes home from swimming lessons.

11:15am - Scarf down some Mac n' cheese while watching Spongebob.

11:45am - Evan goes to swimming lessons.

12:25pm - Evan comes home from swimming lessons.

12:35pm - Pack up wagon and Burley to walk to the beach.

12:58pm - Walk to the beach.

1:15 - 3:15 - Play in the water and sand at the beach with friends.

3:35pm - Home from the beach.

4:00pm - Friends from beach come over to play.

5:30pm - Friends from beach get picked up to go home.

5:31pm - Sit on the couch and watch Spongebob.

5:50pm- Pick at dinner and beg to watch Penguins of Madagascar.

6:15pm - Play outside on play set and in driveway with scooters.

6:50pm - Leave to play at the park while Dad meets with scout leaders at the park.

8:00pm - Home from park. Sit on the couch and watch "the crab fishin' show".

9:00pm - ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!

Now that is a full 12 hour day!

Blog note: I have no idea why my lines will not space evenly. I tried about twenty different times and couldn't get it to work. Extremely frustrating.

It's beginning to look a lot like summer...

Our beach has taken a huge hit by the rising lake levels this summer. Last year the sand continued a good fifteen to twenty feet beyond what it does now. See that log protruding out of the recently formed dune grass cliff? I swear that wasn't there a month ago when the kids and I walked down to play around on the beach. I know that because I had my camera with me and I know that I would have wanted to get a photo of the kids sitting on it. I know that because I wanted to do the same thing today and they would have none of it.

The water is rumored to be in the mid sixties but it felt warmer than that to me. It was very dirty though. Last week we had a ton of rain that caused many rivers in the area to swell over their banks. There is a lot of flooding in areas around us. The water was calm as well which didn't help to wash away the floating debris. Once you waded in past ten feet or so it was OK but the thought of raw sewage and swimmers itch was just kind of giving me the willies.

The kids didn't seem to mind at all. Spencer was in the water from the minute we got there until the minute he had to be physically removed from the water. He ran into some of his buddies down there and played around with them the whole time. He seemed like such a big kid wrestling around in the water with friends, trying to dunk his buddie's older brothers, and tearing down the beach at a pace that I have never seen him move at any sporting activity he has ever participated in.

Evan and Hailey are pretty content to hang around at the waters edge and make castles or look for treasures in the sand. There were plenty of "treasures" today - I was just not sure I wanted them to be touching any of their new found loot. After Evan grew tired of yelling at Hailey for wrecking his creations for about the nine hundredth time, he joined all the boys in the water and had a great time splashing around.

I am about at my picture limit with this post, but I can't get over how cute my kids are all sun kissed and brown. And seriously - Hailey's bikini - I have a serious case of clothes envy with her wardrobe. I am dressing vicariously through my daughter. Hey, she has the bod for it - my body was sacrificed by bringing them all into this world.

If you listen closely, you can hear Jillian Micheals screaming.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rainy day

I told you that there would be more pictures of Hailey in her new raincoat.

I figured since today was a rainy, dreary day - it was the perfect day to make that happen. The day I took these photos, the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to peek out. I was hoping to see a rainbow, but no such luck.

We have had some wonderful summer like weather the past few days. Today's rain has really thrown the boys for a loop. Evan's t-ball practice was cancelled this morning. They still had swimming lessons - in the rain - but I guess wet is wet. They are both jonesing to go the the yacht club pool with Grama. We were going to go there yesterday but the boys were still feeling a little sick from the virus they both came down with the day before at the EXACT same time. It was the same thing that Hailey had the week before - it was just so weird that they both were fine all morning and then walked in at the same time complaining of a headache. Fevers soon followed. And Evan copied his sister completely by getting up in the night to throw up. On our freshly cleaned carpet. At least it was only one little spot in his room. (And to be totally honest, I was thankful that it wasn't in his bed because I had just finished putting his whole bed back together from his latest pee "accident".)

Anyway, back to the raincoat. Hailey loves this coat as much as I do. The size is supposedly a 4T. I don't know if it is mis-sized or not. (Is that even a word?) It is from TJ Maxx so that could be a possibility. It is a bit big for her, but I wanted her to be able to wear it for several seasons. I think that will happen - unless of course she wears it out!

I just can't get enough of those giant, yellow buttons. The coat just screams happiness - don't you think?

I love the vintage feel that these last two photos have. In the last one she was looking for a rainbow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Belated birthday blowout!

Evan's request for his birthday was to go to dinner at the MAC and then play mini golf. We had dinner at the MAC, but eating out with a big group always seems to take longer than you think it will. When we got to the mini golf place around eight o' clock, we were devastated to find out that they were closing for the night. Evan was pretty bummed out, but took it like a trooper. The lady at the ticket counter felt bad for him so she gave him a coupon for a free game that he could use on a different day.

It only took us over a month to get back there, but yesterday we had Evan's fake birthday mini golf extravaganza! In our defense, this week has been the first week that it has actually started to warm up around here. Yesterday was a real summer day. It was gorgeous out. On a side note, don't neglect to check out Hailey's little purple skort set. She got to wear three brand new outfits yesterday - a dress to church, her bathing suit and this little number for golf. She has so many adorable warm weather clothes and this is the first chance she has had to wear any. Seriously, I am so in love with her summer wardrobe options I would change her four times a day if I could avoid the laundry!

Hailey actually got to "play" golf for the first time. In the past she has always been in the backpack on Trent's back while we play. They didn't charge us for her but they gave her a ball and a club. She did pretty well on the first hole and then dropped the club and the ball and just wanted to fill the ball cups with rocks. Or dangle her fingers in all the "waaaarrr" (water). Or just lay on the artificial turf and watch the "hazards" spin or flip. She was pretty much in the way the whole time.

The boys game of choice is "speed golf". They take turns hitting their balls near the cup and then just keep hitting them until they go in the hole. Each hole takes them a minute and a half at best. Then they move on to see what wacky, zany contraption the next hole has in store for them.

On the last hole our luck started to kick in. Eighteen is a straight shot down with a built up mound around the cup. It is a pain to get the ball up that mound and into the hole - I think I had a seven or so on that hole. Evan got a hole in one! His first hole in one! He was so excited.

His luck continued when he took his turn at the dynamite shack. The shack is what they use for ball retrieval at the end of the game. You have to aim for this little wooden "gully" just a tiny bit wider than the ball that leads into the shack. If you miss, the ball just rolls into the collection bin inside, if you make it in the gully - you blow up the dynamite shack. Evan hit his ball and missed. Then he hit Dad's ball and HE BLEW UP THE SHACK! In my whole life of playing that mini golf course, I have never done that. I don't think he knew what to think - he just kind of looked at it with a mixture of amazement and embarrassment. Then it was Spencer's turn. He hit his ball and missed. He hit my ball and missed. I could tell he was pretty bummed out. He is always so excited to try to blow that thing up and now that he saw that it could be done - by his little brother no less - he was so determined. We still had Hailey's ball so I told him he could hit hers. I told him to try to bounce it off the side a bit like Evan did because that is how he did it. Spencer bounced it off the side and the ball headed toward the gully - it sort of stopped in the middle right in front of the gully as we all stared in disbelief. It was seriously like it was happening in slow motion as that ball rolled toward and eventually into the gully. HE BLEW UP THE SHACK! He was so excited! Both boys won free rounds of mini golf. They were so stoked!
The funniest part was later that night as Spencer was re-telling the story to Grampa Dan he told him that as the ball slowed down it just kind of stopped and then Mom and Dad GASPED! Gasped! Seriously, when did he get so old?

The boys with their free passes. Can I just say how much I love Spencer's "Jim Halpert" hair? This is the hair I wanted him to have all year, but for some reason it won't lay like that when school is in session.
I never got to post anything about Evan's birthday because at the time of his birthday our computer was on the fritz. I love to try to make the invitations for my kid's parties. I love doing it and I think they are so much cuter than store bought. Not to mention - cheaper - since I have all the stuff and I might as well be using my scrapbook stuff for something...
I always make an extra invitation for their scrapbooks (cough, cough) but I usually don't ever "document" the thank you notes that I make. So here it is. I just sent them out last week - extremely belated. I wanted to try to include his five year old picture which I still have yet to get. I tried the other day, but Evan is so hard for me to photograph - he just doesn't have much love for my camera.

I thought they turned out pretty cute. And because I am totally shameless I have to post a photo of his dinosaur bone cake. I LOVED how this cake turned out. I got the idea from Family Fun magazine and their website is where I printed the template for the bones.

Happy 5th birthday Evan! I love you to all the planets and back again!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I did on my first day of summer vacation...

Today was the first official day of summer break for our whole family. This is how the boys spent the majority of the afternoon.

It may look like a pretty normal summertime activity, but on this particular day the high was 65 degrees. It did feel warmer in the sun, but seriously, where are our summer temperatures?

The boys didn't seem to mind the temperature at all. Except for Evan, as you can see by his choice of swimming attire. Evan does not like to be cold. Not at all.

When we finished our basement, Trent had the inspired idea that while the plumbers were here they could stub out an outdoor hot water faucet next to our outdoor cold water faucet. I asked him what the use of that would be and the answer he gave me was that it would be good for washing our cars in cold weather. I wondered how often that would happen since the amount of times we wash our cars in any weather I could count on one hand.

I have to give him props for a good idea. The fact that the boys could make the water warm was a big part of their fun today. It was actually pretty funny. Since the air was chilly, they were begging each other to squirt and dump water on them to warm themselves up.

It was a good day today. It was nice to have Trent home (between golf dates) to help out. Having him around just makes everything much less stressful. Of course, on the first day of our break Hailey wakes up from her nap with a fever. When I got her out of her crib she felt warm, but her room was warm so I didn't think much of it. She was a bit clingy but we went outside and she was acting fine. After dinner I noticed she was warm again and took her temp and she is a couple degrees over normal. I gave her some ibuprofen and put her to bed. Then I came down here to Google West Nile virus since she got two big mosquito bites right before lunch. Hypochondriac - I know.

I just had to post this picture of Spencer from this afternoon. If anyone can remember this post, you may remember how Spencer seems to have a problem dressing for specific seasons. This is just some further proof. Easter time - tank top. June - black turtleneck. The boy has a style all his own.

Welcome to Sprockets. I am Dieter. Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What we did instead of going to the baseball game...

Evan has been waiting for this day since he opened his new dinosaur umbrella on his birthday. We have had plenty of rain since then - we just never found the right moment.

Last night was that moment. Trent and Spencer were at the baseball game. We had every intention of following a bit behind them, and then the rain started to pour down. I was sure that the game would be called because of it, so I decided that we would abandon our plans to watch and just wait for Dad and Spence to get home while playing in the rain.

Evan grabbed his umbrella and Hailey begged to wear her new raincoat. How much do I love her raincoat? SO MUCH! There may be some other pictures soon to make an appearance on this blog of her in the same raincoat from the day before. My cousin knew that I admired little girls raincoats from afar and so badly wanted to purchase one, but didn't know if I should spend the money on something that Hailey might not wear very often. She told me last week that TJ Maxx had cute raincoats on clearance. I went the next day and found a little gem that Hailey has worn twice in the past four days.

And the game never did get called. Spencer came home very wet.

Evan so happy to be "singing in the rain"!

I LOVE this picture of Hailey letting the rain fall on her face. I am bummed out a bit by the blur though.

Cute, cold, wet, blurry toes! I couldn't resist. She does not have a deformed big toe. She just has it turned under in stubbing mode.

Photo note: These pictures were shot with my long lens - the 40-150mm in aperture priority mode. I don't know if it was the AP mode set to the wrong aperture that made them blur or if I am just use to my "good" lens where the blur seems nonexistent. I like the background blur I get with this lens but the lack of tack sharpness drives me crazy and makes me remember why I tend to keep it in the bag.