Friday, September 30, 2011

To catch a chipmunk

About nine years ago my mom moved out of our childhood home into a new house down by the lake. Ever since then, she has had a chipmunk or chipmunks living in her backyard. I have no idea if it is the same one or relatives of the first one. Hmm...maybe I should have one of the boys google the life expectancy of a chipmunk. Anyway, it has always been a favorite activity to try to catch "Chippy" while they were at Grandma's house. It started out as kind of a joke - because c'mon how are you going to be able to catch a quick little chipmunk.

They tried to catch Chippy. They put out seeds for Chippy. Sometimes they would stick the hose down Chippy's hole and flood him out...Can't you just picture that scene from Caddyshack right now?

Chippy has become very brave and would come around when the kids or my mom was out there. He would get almost close enough for them to touch him. And then one day, Hailey did touch him. He ate sunflower seeds out of her hand.

I had a hard time believing it at first, but my mom and Hailey swore it was true. The next time we were over there I brought my camera to document the feeding on film. Or memory card I guess. We went out back looking for Chippy, but he was no where to be found.

The next morning my mom called and said that he was out running around her yard and she had just fed him out of her hand. I grabbed my camera and the two kids that wanted to feed the little munk and sped down to the lake.

The chipmunk hunters. Hailey picked her own outfit. Can you tell?

Chippy watching us from a branch. We had to hang out back there for a while until he would trust us enough to come close.

Evan making a move. Close, but unsuccessful.

Even closer still.

He got about that close to Evan and then got spooked somehow and took off. Or maybe his mouth was full - those cheeks look pretty stuffed.

Then it was Hailey's turn to try. Maybe Chippy remembered her from before or something because he wasn't tentative at all to eat out of her hand. Notice her shy tongue hanging out.

She was trying to hold still, but I could tell she was starting to freak out a little bit. She was very brave. I don't know if I would want that thing eating out of my hand.

Finally it was Evan's turn again and this time all his patience paid off. He was so excited. He told us that he could feel Chippy's little claws on his hands and they kind of hurt a little. It was a cool experience for them.

At this point Chippy was about full and Hailey was getting bored of waiting on the time clock of a chipmunk so she decided to water Grandma's flowers and plants.

This photo really has nothing to do with the story, but I just can't get over that outfit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Turtleneck sweater - I think this came from Goodwill or a garage sale.

Skirt - I made it yesterday with scrap material left over from her bed skirt.

Tights - I think they were hand me downs.

Shoes - Walmart clearance. I have had to paint the toes three times now because she drags her toes when she walks sometimes.

As you can see the braids made an appearance for school today. I hope this is the beginning of some better hair days for her.

They've got spirit!

Last week was spirit week at the boys' school. They love these days. Evan especially gets into it. He is such an individual in the way he dresses. He likes what he likes and doesn't really care if anyone else likes it or not. I hope he always keeps that attitude. I can already see Spencer starting to fall into the mindset that others might not think its "cool".

Monday - Pajama Day

It was pouring rain on Monday morning so we had to take a photo inside. It didn't turn out very good on a dark morning indoors. I asked Evan if he was sure he wanted to wear his Santa skeleton jammies - I feared that kids might pick on him because they were clearly Christmas pajamas. He didn't care. He wanted those jammies and that was that.

Tuesday - Team Day

I am sure their Daddy couldn't be more proud!

Wednesday - Mismatch Day

I can't even convey in writing how thrilled Evan was to wear a sport coat and tie to school. Maybe we should have considered prep school for him? Ha! He said his friends told him he looked like a businessman. So funny.

Thursday - Hat Day

I had to pick the boys up from school on Thursday because I had to make sure that Spencer had tennis lessons and Evan had to go straight to karate. So many people commented on how Evan had the most creative hat they had seen. He LOVES this coonskin cap I found him at Goodwill. It is part of his Halloween costume, but he would wear it everyday. Most likely with a sport coat and tie.

Friday - Blue and White Day

The day of the homecoming game. Little sister wanted to show off her school duds with her brothers.

I can't think of any clever way to tie this all together and end it, so I am just going to end it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This morning a miracle occurred at our house. Hailey let me braid her hair. Not without complaint mind you, but I managed to finish two sketchy little braids before the crying and running away.

She looked so cute and reminded me of Laura Ingalls every time I looked at her.

Of course Laura Ingalls never had blue teeth.

Or a blue tongue. And she wonders why she has cavities....

Fourteen years

Today we have been married for fourteen years. In honor of the occasion we had chicken tacos for dinner in our messy dining room and then Trent took off to lead his scout troop through a hike in the rain. Can you feel the love? I'm kidding - sort of. This is our life. This is reality. This is how we live and love on a daily basis. Real life isn't all romantic and viewed through rose colored glasses. Marriage is not always easy, but most things that are worth it aren't. So we will eat our so-so dinner, surrounded by our children, in the home we built together and then the best dad ever will go spend time with his son and his friends - in the rain no less. Now can you feel the love?

I love our real life, but it is also nice to get away and be a little romantic. My mom was nice enough to baby sit for us last night so we could go out and celebrate Trent's birthday and our anniversary. We went to Grand Haven and while we were eating Ahi tuna bites and drinking yummy red wine, I reminded Trent that our first kiss happened right down the street. After dinner we set out to reenact it. Seriously, how has he put up with me for fourteen years?

It is quite picturesque now. When the first kiss happened there was a row of Port-a-Jons behind us. Our first kiss was right in front of some Port-a-Jons. Can you feel the romance?

Not bad after two glasses of wine and a self timer as a photographer.

Happy Fourteenth Trent! I can't imagine this life without you !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What She Wore Wednesday

The color in pictures I take in the morning always looks weird. No matter what I do to it. Frustrating.

Here is Hailey's outfit for the day. It looked much cuter in real life. In this photo it kind of looks weird to me. Today must be a weird kind of day for me.

Shirt: Thrift store (I don't know the brand. I bought it last year or the year before)
Skirt: Garage sale (Thanks Aunt Day Day!)
Tights: Children's Place - Garage Sale
Shoes: Garage Sale

Another entire outfit plus shoes for less than ten dollars. I don't know if the mismatched prints would show up on any runway, but she wanted to wear those tights so I went with it. She has been fighting a runny nose for the past couple of days so now I am off to fight with her to get her down for a nap.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Clouds and sun

Hailey and I went for a walk this morning and ended up at the beach for a while. It was a warm day, but windy and judging from the sky, I don't think Mother Nature knew just what she wanted to do with the day.

While we walked along the shore, Hailey exhibited some "inner Evan" and found a plastic ring that washed up onto the beach.

The sun kept on popping out intermittently and we kept trying to catch our shadows but without much luck.

We saw a brightly colored leaf seemingly out of place right near the water which screamed to us that fall was right around the corner.

I wasn't kidding about that sky!

We left the beach and took the long way home that goes by the park. We stopped there and played Rapunzel for a while. Hailey always wants me to be Mother Gothel then laughs when I use my own made up pet name for her - Punny.

Rapunzel in silhouette.

Then it was time to swing. This little girl could swing for hours and she always wants me to push her higher until she can touch the trees.

I love these last two swinging pictures. They make me smile.

It was a good walk.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I am thinking that Thursday might become my day to head to all my favorite thrift shops. Of course on Thursdays I have Hailey with me and that leads to some unfortunate impulse buys.

Our first stop this morning was Meijer. I had to pay my credit card bill and pick up a few things. I caved and spent the dollar to let Hailey ride in the "movie" cart so I puttered around a bit to give her some extra fancy cart riding time. I found her a dress for next summer for four dollars. I got a pair of shorts for Evan for three dollars. Pajamas for both her and Evan (three piece sets) for six dollars. I still haven't decided whether or not I am going to save these for Christmas. I always get my kids pajamas for Christmas. They certainly could use them now though. How do pajamas get so ratty so fast?

Our next stop was the Goodwill closest to our house. I found two pairs of jeans for one of the boys - whichever they will fit best. Three dollars a pair. Also a cute little dress for Hailey. I think that was three dollars as well. Oh and an impulse buy - that little flower bucket she had to have. At least it matches with her room decor.

Next stop was back to Valueland where we had scored the awesome deals last week. We didn't do quite as well as last week, but not bad at all.

A suade leather coat for Spencer for Halloween. Honestly it is nice enough for him to wear out on dressy occasions. It cost me a dollar fifty. Hailey wanted the Tinkerbell dress to wear to her daddy's play this fall. How could I resist for two dollars. Plus another quarter for the wings.

One of the main reasons I went was to find a Bundt pan. I found this Nordic Ware one and got it half off. A dollar fifty. I was so happy!

I am starting to think I have some sort of obsession with buying little girl shoes. Each pair was two dollars, how could I resist?

Finally, three sweaters for myself. I am so tired of my clothes lately it is nice to have some new options, especially when they cost about two dollars a piece.

I am loving my thrify Thursdays!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What "She" Wore Wednesday.

I have seen a couple of blogs where the super trendy fashionable moms do a post called "What I Wore Wednesday". It is a cool idea - but what I wear on most days no one would care to see. I am thrilled when I wake up on a Tuesday or Thursday and realize that I can leave my pajamas on for a while and not take a shower.

Since Hailey now has school on Wednesday and I have taken it upon myself to live fashion vicariously through my tall and slender daughter, I decided to do my own version of "What She Wore Wednesday". We will see how long my muse goes along with it...

Shirt: Gap Kids - garage sale
Skirt: Gap Kids - garage sale
Tights: Children's Place - garage sale (I can't remember if I bought these or my sister)
Shoes: asap (never heard of this brand) - garage sale

I can't remember what I paid for each item but I know the whole ensemble would come to less than ten dollars. She looked so cute and got so many compliments. I am a little bummed because the tights already seem to have a hole in the knee. My next task is to see if I can mend them. I guess you can't expect too much from garage sale tights, but I loved this outfit so much and the tights are an integral part.

This next picture I just had to post today because it made me laugh. Evan woke up early today to take a shower with daddy because last night while the kids were horsing around brushing their teeth, he got toothpaste in his hair. Seriously.

He combed out his hair after the shower and was so proud and excited that you could still see the comb lines in it. He told me that he should take a shower the morning of school pictures so it would look that good in the pictures. I told him why not let me take a picture of them and then he wouldn't have to worry about it. He agreed. I pray that it dried before he got to school. He makes me laugh so hard.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hailey's first day

Hailey didn't really think it was fair that her brothers got to go to school a whole week before she did. She couldn't wait to see her teacher, her friends, her new classroom and her new school. Our district just shut down the building where the kids had previously gone to preschool. I was kind of bummed because that building is less than five minutes away from us. Now our commute to the new school is about fifteen minutes. I know it isn't that long, but my two and a half hours of free time suddenly dropped to two hours.

I know in this first photo she doesn't look very excited, but she was. The problem was that she heard a garbage truck the next street over. She is terrified of the garbage truck and therefore the garbage men.

A picture of me and my girl with the tripod and self timer. Could we look any less alike? Also my hair looks so dark in this photo. I guess our summertime tans and lightened hair is fading faster than we know.

She is such a big girl now that she gets to keep her things in a locker outside of her classroom. Her locker partner is her friend Addison from soccer.

Have a great year big girl! I know you will love school and have a terrific year!