Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Hailey:  Mom?  Do you want to see me write the whole alphabet?

Mom:  I don't think you can.  You are not big enough to write the whole alphabet.

Hailey:  MOM!  I am in Kindergarten!  I can write the WHOLE alphabet.  And guess what else?

Mom:  What?

Hailey:   I can even write it in whoa-er-case!

Cutest exchange ever!!!!!

BTW...I am now paying for posting pictures on my blog.  So feel free to send money if you want to continue to read this blog without the interruption of annoying ads.  Totally kidding.  I don't even think my mom reads this thing anymore.   I just couldn't stomach the deletion of old pictures.  I don't know where they are or where they go but DELETE and PICTURES are not words that go together in my mind.  So stay tuned for photographic proof of our fabulous holiday season!

Friday, November 23, 2012

On my plate

Right now I am smelling the fragrant pine scent of our just decorated Christmas tree.   I love it.  It looks so pretty with it's little colorful lights and holds on it's branches some of our most cherished memories.

I have pictures to post of the kids picking it out and also of them in their decorating frenzy that I would love to post, but Google has informed me that I have used up one hundred percent of my free space for photos.  I either have to start deleting or start paying.  I don't really want to delete anything, so I will probably have to start to pay them.  Ugh.  I guess in five years of blogging one tends to take up a lot of space in the old webisphere.

So the tree is decorated, but the rest of the house sits waiting.  I love it when it is finished, but it is a daunting task.  I am also feeling a little stressed about Christmas shopping.  My kids need nothing and I have no idea what to get for them.  I feel like I have so much left to do in the shopping department.  Anything I get done before Thanksgiving makes me feel like I am getting ahead of the game.  Now since Thanksgiving has past, I feel like I am racing against the clock.  I hate that. 

There never seem to be enough hours in the day, or days in the year.  How is it the end of November already???  I have done what I can for today, so for now I will go sit with my family in front of our tree with the fire in the fireplace and play a board game.  Decorating, shopping and payments to Google can wait,  being with the ones I love most and enjoying the season - that is what is truly important. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Autumn leaves are falling down...

We were blessed with an unseasonably warm, amazing weekend.   Today was a perfect day to go outside and jump in a pile of leaves.  We do our best to keep weekends screen free ( TV and computer) during the major portions of the day - at least for the kids - I can't deprive Trent of watching his beloved Spartans.   So the weather today helped immensely with our goal.   I don't know if Mother Nature is just giving us one last hurrah before the pounding, but we will take it - I still can't believe that in less than two weeks we will have a Christmas tree up in our house!  

I loved so much about this day, but I mostly loved how well all three kids played together.  No fights.  No tattling.  No begging to do something else.  They played together and had a ball.   

I have to confess that we hire out part of our raking.  Our front yard is usually pretty leave free or can easily be so be running the mower over it and bagging the leaves it picks up.   We rake the part around our house that we call the "U" - that includes the sides of the house and the upper back.   Our yard has a WAY back that fills - I mean FILLS with leaves.  For years we did rake and bag all the leaves we would have over fifty bags of leaves - most of the time HEAVY bags because the leaves wouldn't all be down until the first fallers had sat wet and clumped for weeks.   That wasn't even the worst part.  We would have to haul all those fifty bags uphill to our front yard.  It might not sound that hard, but I assure you it is the worst.   To top it all off, because the leaves don't usually all fall until after November 30th, our trash carrier would no longer take our fifty plus full bags and the city's leaf disposal sites were also closed.   It is well worth the one hundred dollars we pay to have the people tarp up our leaves and take them far, far away.   I bet we spent almost that much in bags and our backs are definitely thankful.

I know these pictures are not very good, but they are images of a day that I always want to remember.   Three smiling, happy faces having fun on a warm fall afternoon.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jolly Dr.Constantinople

Hailey was not feeling well yesterday so I kept her home from school.  I figure two months without a sick day and three kids is not a bad ratio.   Her first ailment was that her throat hurt.  Then that felt better and her stomach hurt.  Then she threw up all the way to the bathroom.  Then she felt better and was ready for a morning marathon of Jessie and Good Luck Charlie.
After she managed to gobble down a bowl of chicken noodle soup and some hot dog toast without it coming back up, I told her it was time to read some books in bed and then take a nap.  I knew what one of the books she picked would be - it is a new favorite and has been for months now.
Talk about an antique.   Just check out that nurses uniform.  Do any nurses wear uniforms like that anymore?  I also like the fact that in this photo you can tell the book has been used as a coaster.  This book was mine when I was a little girl.  That puts it just shy of ancient.

The second page of the book talks about Mary Ann having to get her finger pricked and some blood taken.  Without fail every time I read this book - and believe me I think I could recite it with my eyes closed - when I get to that part Hailey plugs her ears.  It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. 

I am not sure what was wrong with Hailey.  She went back to school today feeling fit as a fiddle.  It may have been a little reaction from the flu vaccine she got the evening before.  Whatever it was, I am glad it was short lived and didn't require going to the hospital for a finger poke from jolly Dr. Constantinople.  Is it just me or does reading his name just want to make you start singing that They Might be Giants song?

Monday, November 5, 2012

The other side of the rocks

 I decided today was the day I banish all remaining Halloween candy and get back on the fitness track.  Since it was a decent day for early November I decided to walk one of my outside routes.  One of the "loops" on my triple loop walk is less appealing to me lately because there is a new house going up on it that I have to walk by twice.  There are always numerous big trucks blocking the road and workers hanging out by their trucks that I have to walk by.  So instead of cutting the walk short I decided to go down to the beach and run the stairs a couple of times.  Believe me, going up and down those stairs twice would out burn any amount of calories that I didn't get on that last quarter mile or so of my loops.
When I got to the beach I was amazed at how gorgeous it was down there.  No wind at all, a virtually flat lake and massive amounts of beautiful sand.   I know the water levels are way down this year, but we have not seen levels this low on our beach ever since we have lived here.  I walked down to our "rocks" and noticed right away that you could walk all the way around them without getting into the water.  I remember once when Spencer was a baby the water was pretty low and we walked around them but were still knee deep in water.   This was all sand all the way around.  I knew the kids would get a huge kick out of seeing it like this and since Monday is their early release day, I knew what we were doing after school.
Spencer made plans to go to a friend's house, but Evan and Hailey were intrigued and all about the little adventure I told them about.

When we got to the end of the rock pile Evan was quick to discover an intake or outflow or maybe both that we had never seen before because it was under water!

As always - he finds something he can't live without.

They were amazed at the amount of beach on the other side of the rocks.  I told Evan we could walk all the way to Grama's house from here.  He thought it would take us a couple of days and was amazed when I told him it would only take an hour or so.

Hailey wondered how it got like this and thought it might be the result of Hurricane Sandy.  Not likely, but at least she is up on her current events.

It was a gorgeous day down at the lake.  We are going to miss days like this when we are buried in snow soon. 

I have no idea what they are doing here, but I absolutely love it.

When we decided to head back over to our side of the rocks we came across a strange site.  A stream of water that had not been there before was cascading through the rocks and making a little channel into the lake. 

It was coming out of the big pipe that Evan had discovered earlier.  I don't know if it only lets water out at certain times or what but it was kind of cool to see.    Hailey who had taken her shoes off to run in the sand was distraught because she realized her shoes were not where she left them.   Of course she had left them right in the middle of the new channel of running water.  It only took a second before we saw one a few yards away lapping at the shore and its partner floating out toward Milwaukee.  I am still utterly amazed that her shoe was floating.  If it was a Croc I could see it, but a tennis shoe?  Someone was looking out for her feet on that afternoon.

After maybe saying a bad word or two, I took off my shoes and socks and yanked up my yoga pants.  Lake Michigan in November is not a comfortable place to be.  By the way, I can't even tell you how happy it made me that my son thought to take a photo of this - not a great photo - but the impetus was there.

We sloshed home and quickly hopped into warm baths and showers.  I hope we have some additional nice days so we can hang out on the rocks again before the snow flies.