Wednesday, August 30, 2006

favorite things

Jordan had to do a writing assignment which started with a list of her favorite things. Those are:
Mom and Dad
The Beach
My Sister Grace
Spring Break
Light blue

and from that list she had to choose her subject for the next descriptive list. She choose "My Sister Grace" as her topic. Here is the list:
Cute as a button
Sweet as candy
Loves to read
A good friend
Can walk
Can talk
Is two years old
Loves babydolls
Can listen
Has a short attention span
Loves piggy-back rides
Is fun to play with
Is smart
Can say whole sentences
Still sleeps in a crib
Likes Little Einsteins
Likes to watch Backyardigans
Loves her family
Loves to play in water
Likes to swing
Likes Disneyworld

Monday, August 28, 2006

creatures, checkups, and celebrations

First I should tell you that strange creatures in odd combinations are taking over our house. William has been letting Buzz and Woody ride the dinosaur and I've been enjoying the narration he gives while playing. It's pretty fun to watch. I snapped this picture the other day.

Grace went for her two year appointment last Thursday. I guess technically it is her 25 month appointment since her mother isn't the most organized. We had a rather peaceful appointment with all good news. The little girlie is now 29 lbs and 35 inches tall...putting her into the 75-80th percentile. Here is a photo of Grace with Dr. Nevius.

Finally I am in the midst of trying to plan William's 5th birthday party. He had a hard time deciding on a know, so many superheroes. Actually I was proud of him because his final two choices were a space theme or pirate theme. He finally decided on a pirate theme and I finished the invitations this weekend. I did the basic design and got it onto parchment and then Dave burned the edges to give them a older look. I thought they turned out very well for homemade. I really enjoy this part of the party planning process. It's a lot of fun bringing everything together. I've found some good websites with good party ideas and I plan to implement it all to keep those kids busy. I've placed the order to Oriental Trading Company for the basic necessities and pirate booty and now I have to get the other things organized for the party games. (I guess I should clean house too. We handed out a lot of the invitations at church yesterday and then took some around the neighborhood and William was so darn cute giving them to everyone. He was about to burst with excitement. Here's what they looked like (with personal info blurred):

Monday, August 21, 2006

waiting for jordan

Last week Grace waited for Jordan at the living room window. We normally pick up William at 2:15 and then beat it back home to meet Jordan by 2:35. Some days we get near the bus stop before she unloads, but last Friday we waited inside. Notice the bracelets -- oh so many bracelets -- on her upper arm? She insists on decking herself out each day with bracelets and purses. She wears it all like she's done it for years. It gets a smile out of everyone we pass on our daily errands. You know you've got quite the little personality with you when some big dude stops weightlifting long enough to remark how cute the kid is. Grace usually just waves back in a queenly way. Is it possible that Dave and I have produced the most outgoing child of our family?

Today also marks the end of our tomato crop for the year. I walked out to pick a tomato and found some big wicked looking red ants eating just the tomato I had in mind for our meal. I've really enjoyed having the convenience of a fruit bearing vines outside on the deck. I hate to see the season end, but when the critters start digging into the crop my limited gardening experience must bow to nature. The signal must go out to every animal and insect capable of feeding off the crop. Last year I had the plants in the ground near the fence. Around the end of July some really gross, huge caterpillar (fruitworm?) attacked 5 plants overnight and took my whole crop out. Leaves, tomatoes, and many of the vines. The only leaf left was the one the worm was hanging out under. I figure the ants are just the forerunner of one of those nasty worms, so tonight the vines made it to the yard bag in time for tomorrow's garbage run. At least we got an extra month out of the vines.

so true

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts…
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips…
Last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip…
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth…
The last time that you crawled across the floor of this old house.

Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you’d marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past.
Would I have held you longer if I’d known they were the last?

Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade…
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made.
Last time that I tucked you in for one last midday nap…
Last time when you wore your beat-up Green Bay Packers cap.

The last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two,
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who!
Last that that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower…
Last time that we held devotions in the evening hours.

Last piano lesson, and last soccer goal you kicked…
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there…
The last time that you spent the night with that old tattered bear.

Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test,
Last time when I shouted that your room was still a mess.
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past.
Would I have stretched the moments if I’d known they were the last?

I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could’ve frozen time to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same,
You’ll pledge forever to your girl and she will take your name.

And I will watch you, knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, Son, to somehow make you stay.
They say a son’s a son until he takes for him a wife.
You’re grown-up now; it’s time to go and start your brand-new life.

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss…
One last time to understand just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held on longer if I’d known it was your last?

---Karen Kingsbury

Friday, August 18, 2006

so far so good

I just finished getting the last of the morning crew off to work and school. Jordan usually heads for the bus around 7:20 am. William and Dave are just five minutes behind her getting on the road to the school dropoff. Everything has gone well this week. William is beaming when I pick him up each day and is eager to go to school each morning. I hope this continues. He must have a fantastic teacher. Each day he comes home with stories of what happened and I am overwhelmed with the amount of information Ms. Molly has already covered. On the first day William proudly got to be the flag holder for the Pledge of Allegiance. He was walking around spouting the plege all night using the word "invisible" instead of "indivisible". (Drove Jordan crazy.) Apparently they covered the letter "i" and did a science unit on rocks on the first day. On Wednesday the class got two frogs for pets, got to name them, and see tadpoles the teacher brought. I think we are off to a good start.

Jordan seems pleased with her classroom. It's a little hard to tell how the workload and daily schedule is going to go yet. The first week of school is always a little busy -- especially as they get older. We've only had reading as a homework assignment each night so I am bracing myself for the load to drop soon. I am anxious to hear the teacher's plans next Wednesday at the open house. She's a younger teacher (5 years teaching experience) and seems to have a lot of energy, but we don't really know her classroom methodology yet.

Grace and I have been trying to pick up the pieces each day around the house. We've played cook in her kitchen many times and she's enjoyed some quiet time with me alone. The little stinker is talking up a storm. We've been eating outside on the screened porch each day for lunch and she's loved this. Lately she has a habit of saying "huh?" to everything I say. I repeat my words and she'll say "huh?" again. Just as I am about to get frustrated with repeating the conversation she then rephrases the whole idea back to me and asks an intelligent question. I suppose we are in the language burst.

There are so many projects that got delayed this summer by all the camps, trips, and kid chaos. I'm digging into some of the big ones now and I think I have several weeks to get my house back into order. I'll get there eventually.

Monday, August 14, 2006

the school year begins

These pictures are from our Back to School morning. Jordan headed off on the bus to 4th grade and William began his first day of Pre-K. No tears and mostly smiles. It was a good morning. William commented on the way to school that he was very happy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

the sleepover

This is not the first sleepover Jordan has hosted, but somehow I sense that we are getting to the stage where this will become a more regular occurance. Girls love to talk for hours and what better opportunity than at a sleepover. Here is proof that we are hosting a successful sleepover:

- Three movies and counting: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Barbie Diaries, High School Musical and Nannie McPhee awaiting an early morning viewing

- Tomgotchi Networking

- Several raids by a little brother dying to see what it's like to hang out with Jordan's friends

- A little sister who wants to sit in the girls laps

- Bowls of ice cream with Magic Shell Chocolate topping and Peanut Butter/Chocolate chips

- Bowls of popcorn, Hot Dogs, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches

- A room made clean by the motivation of the party

- One round of a board game

- Lots of pillows, lovies, and fancy pajamas

- Sleeping bags everywhere

- An immenent pillow fight

And in other matters, we attended all the open houses today. Jordan's teacher is one of the 20 new, young teachers at her school so we are hoping and praying that this year goes well. We had promised William a chance to meet his teacher all this week. When we got to the Meet and Greet tonight for his K4 class we found out that the primary teacher had been held for jury duty this week on a court case. Poor William, he had looked forward to meeting her. The teacher's assistant was there and did a great job fielding the classroom of anxious parents. William seemed right at home in the classroom and went to building some kind of double decker lego airplane. He also inspected the computer situation and book titles on the shelf.

I was cracking up today. It is becoming more apprent that William knows much more than he wants to reveal. Lately he keeps making these slipups which show us that there is a lot going on in that mysterious boy mind. Today we saw an ambulance and he said, "Look there is a two on that firetruck -- no actually it is a twenty!" and he was right. Then he immediately played dumb when we responded to his discovery. ("Oh, is that a number or a letter on that truck Mom?") Two days ago he just read the word "puppy" on a Blues Clues special, but then feigned innocence when I praised him for it. LIttle stinker. Are boys just like that about learning?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

summer winds to an end

It's been a whirlwind of a summer. Jordan is doing the last summer camp this week. It is a cheer camp at the local high school. It's always a fun time to get together with her friends before school starts. I'm not sure any of them have aspirations to be a cheerleader.

I can hardly believe that we are now in the last few days before school starts. Monday morning will be a busy and happy day. Somehow I always love the official "back to school" photo and the way it chronicles change from year to year. Until now it has only been Jordan in these photos. Now it'll be Jordan and William and I am thrilled to see this new milestone approaching. It's not that I want them in school to help me out during the day...though I suppose that is the obvious thought when you have multiple children...but more that I am excited to see them growing and learning. Don't worry, I won't have too much quiet time once they head off each morning. Grace has begun to chatter non-stop while playing.

Jordan is currently upstairs cleaning her room. We really need to get things organized before the school chaos begins. As motivation I have promised to let her have a sleepover on Thursday night with her two best friends (twin sisters) before school begins. We also have William's "meet and greet" that night so it should be some interesting kid juggling with 5 total kids in tow. On Friday Jordan has another birthday party/spend the night party to attend. Think she'll be tired from all that partying? I'm going to slip away with Dave for a fun date -- one I've planned especially to make Dave smile -- and my dear niece Laura is keeping William and Grace so we can escape. I'm sure Dave thinks he has it all figured out, but he doesn't. (Are you reading the blog dear?)

On Saturday I meet up with some friends at The Cheesecake Factory. I'm so excited to have a lunch out with some girlfriends. It's been a long time since I've gotten some time to be "just myself". I'm sure everyone can relate to that. ;-)

Finally, I must admit that I had a hard time turning the other cheek today at the YMCA gym. I was waiting patiently for the treadmill. I got my music ready and kept my eye on the people almost ready to get off. A group of women came into the cardio room at the back. Most of them loaded onto ellipse machines. One of my targeted treadmill users got off and a woman from that group RAN to the treadmill and hopped on as if no one else mattered. I was just a few feet away from the machine when this happened since I had already headed toward the open machine...and I had been waiting for almost 10 minutes. I know it's not right, but my blood just boiled at how inconsiderate the other woman was. It even affected my workout. Finally I was able to let it go, but still... I felt like George Costanza. What do you say to someone who is rude like that? "Excuse me you rudely took my slot on the treadmill AND I saw you running to beat me to the machine!" Argh!

Monday, August 07, 2006

daily adventures

I took William to the doctor today for something minor. I signed in at the window, made sure that William headed toward the "well" room and not the "sick" room, and then completed the insurance questions. Finally I turn around to walk into the waiting room -- which was thankfully empty with the exception of my crew -- and I saw this:

William had taken a bunch of chairs and quickly lined them up like a train. He then got Grace on board and they sat and read their chosen books and magazines on the train. It's one of those moments where you almost say, "What in the world are you thinking?!? Put that back!" but then you stop and think about your silly four year old boy and his world of imagination. I snapped a picture and let them set in the train until the nurse called our name and then I quickly put the chairs back into the place. Truly a moment where I realized that they will only be little for a moment. I need those reminders sometimes, don't you?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

complaining again

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Mayfield Dairy Products. How may I help you?

ME: I've just opened a box of your Toffee Ice Cream Bars and found two of the popscicles unsealed.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Oh my Mam. Let me get the date stamp information off of the box. Following that we will get your mailing address and send you a total replacement coupon.

ME: Sure, the stamp reads....and my address info is... AND by the way I have a second comment. When I went to dial your 1-800-MAYFIELD number I found a typo on the box. It is spelled 1-800-MAYFEILD in the contact information area. Oddly enough, it is spelled correctly everywhere else on the box.


Ahhhh, nothing like using your proofreading skills to make a corporate emergency.