Monday, April 28, 2008

Delicious Strawberries




My girls love strawberries. Elise will say, "Can I have some delicious strawberries, please?" It's a hoot. So I decided that we should plant our own strawberries and watch them grow this summer. She was all for it. So off we went to Lowes and bought our strawberry plants and potting soil. She had great fun and was a very good listener when I was showing her how to layer the plants. I added some scrapbook pages of the pictures that I took. Hopefully she'll enjoy gardening as much as I do. I know you are asking, "where is Amelia?" Let's just say that things got a little complicated and Baba took her to the playground to swing :-)
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Bubbles....

So what is it about bubbles that is fascinating to a child? When my girls see the bubble bottles, all activities cease and the blowing begins. Naturally, I indulge them with huge bottles of bubbles, bubble guns (is that politically correct???), bubble wands of every size and we even have a bubble machine (compliments of the neighbors). So I took some pictures of them while they were so focused on the task at hand. They are also sporting new sunglasses. Amelia can't seem to get hers on straight, but that is what makes it so charming.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

A trip to the Zoo

Friday was a perfect day in Cincinnati, sunny and 70 degrees. You couldn't ask for a better day to head to the zoo. So we did just that and so did about 1000 other people. We almost scrapped the trip after sitting in traffic for well over 30 minutes to go less than two blocks. Actually, I did scrap the trip. But I was going around the block, pass the traffic and I accidentally fell upon the old zoo entrance and there were no cars in line. So, I zipped in, parked right in the front and hauled the girls inside.

This was a big deal for me since I was braving the zoo all on my own, without an extra set of hands. You might think that's not a big deal, but you have to remember that Amelia isn't walking yet and most places aren't big enough for a double wide stroller to fit into, including the eating establishments. But we did o.k. I was rather proud of myself.

The girls were great, the flowers were in full bloom and we had a grand time. Until....the train ride and everything went down hill in a hurry. Fortunately for Amelia, we left right after that so she wasn't too tramatized.

I got some o.k. pictures of the girls sitting around the flower gardens. It was so sunny that I couldn't get them to look at the camera too much.

Friday, April 18, 2008

EaaaarthQuaaaake

It's not a secret, I'm a light sleeper. So for me to wake up before my alarm goes off is not big surprise. At approximately 5:40 a.m. (my clock is a little slow), I wake up to my bed shaking. So in my grogginess, I think, "If Tucker is doing laundry again, I'm gonna wring his neck". Seriously, I was thinking something far worst than this~but it's not very nice to post.

Let me digress for just a second. We have one of those front loader machines, kinda looks like something from outer space. Well, unfortunately, it's off balance. Nothing due to what I've done, but something that a service guy did when he installed the storage drawers~but that's another long-winded post for another time. When that washer goes into a spin, my entire house shakes!!! It's unbelievable~kinda like a jet engine taking into flight. No joke-True Story!

So, I start to come to my senses and I realize that my entire bedroom is shaking~the bed, stuff on the shelves~everything! And I start to think~is this a dream or what.

Finally, I get up, come downstairs and Tucker is eating 10 minicakes with about 1/2 cup of syrup (on my new sofa...grrrrr) and I say, "Hey, did you feel something shaking this morning?" He jumps up, all excited and starts blurting out that his door was moving, thought I was coming in to wake him because he overslept...blah blah blah! Then the news comes on and says it was in fact an earthquake.

So, yep, The Miami Valley experienced an earthquake today. No damage~just a whole lot of shakin' goin on!

Life is so exciting in Ohio~

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prom

Matthew & Jessica




Steve & Matthew

Saturday was Lakota West's prom. I can't say we made a big "broo-ha-ha" out of it. I guess that's the way it is when you have a boy. We did have to be at church at 6 p.m. for Tucker's confirmation, so that was another determining factor.

We took a few photos and then tried to get a shot with all of us. All I can say is that there is no such thing as getting seven people to do the same thing at one time~especially when toddlers are involved.




Steve was very successful at staying hidden behind me~I don't think I have any decent shots of him~drives me crazy!!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hair~Before & After

For those of you that are interested, here are some very weak before and after photos. I have so FEW photos of me...that I had to use two so you could get an idea of my hair length....


This really shows how long it was~I do not like the way it's looking here!


But this is much better! Ten inches later....I'll probably let it grow a bit, but I really like it this length.



Thursday, April 10, 2008

Confirmation retreat and morning ramblings

Sunrise...


I love the early morning, when everyone else is still in bed and I can sit at the computer and watch the sun come up. Since the trees are not covered in leaves, I can see the sun rise. Right now, the sun is a beautiful shade of pink/purple. The house is quiet and I have a delightful cup of coffee made by my wonderful, teenage son. Tucker and Matt have left for school. I got to spend a few quiet moments with Tucker before he leaves and that is always nice. He still gives me a hug and tells me he loves me before he goes. "I love you Mama!" It's the best! He has always been so affectionate.

This is the best part of the day...before the chaos of feeding two toddlers and getting them out the door to Elise's preschool. Lately, I've been sleeping in and missing this time. I always regret when I do. This is my time, even if it's just 30 minutes. Gordo even likes it...he gets a good "rub-down" in the mornings and then goes out to watch the world go by as he lays on the sidewalk declaring his position as "Supreme Chow" of the neighborhood. He's just too funny~our land manatee.




















Last weekend was spent at Tucker's confirmation retreat. I wasn't sure he was going to go~we've had our ups and downs lately. Tucker is experiencing the "teenage years". This school year has been a challenge for both of us. All of the freshman in Lakota school district (15000+ students in all grades) go to the same school. We have two high schools that have the 10-12 grade students. So the freshman school has around 1300 students in it. It's a zoo! The administration does a pretty good job with the situation, but it's hard on some of the kids. Next year, a new freshman school will open and the Lakota East freshman will attend the new school and the West students will stay at the old school. And did I mention that freshman girls are just "MEAN"! I'm talking hateful mean. Some of the boys aren't much better. I'd like to spend a week with a few of them. We'd see if they are all "high and mighty" after a week with me. That's not a very healthy attitude, but it breaks my heart the way some of these kids make other kids feel about themselves. I've been covering him in prayer (which I should have been doing all along) and things seem to be getting better for him~Praise God! But I digress...



Tucker~claiming the new house as "HIS HOUSE"


Back to the retreat. We went to Camp Kern and it was a family retreat. But I didn't feel that it was a good place to take the girls since we were sleeping in dorm bunk beds and Amelia would need a port-a-crib, blah blah blah. So Baba stayed home with them. It was one night, so not so bad for him. Tucker and I shared some good thoughts about God's grace. It was such a wonderful blessing to share those feelings with him. I believe he gets it~but his inquisitive mind has so many questions. I just pray that his heart remains open to the our Lord!

There was a moment during the retreat when he was holding my hand and I yearned for those days when I could hold him in my lap. Do you ever look at your teenager and think about just that, holding him or her in your lap? I guess you kind of forget about it (at least I did), but with the one girl or both sitting on my lap all the time, I tend to think about it. It was one of those special moments when I just wanted to hug him. Naturally, it's not cool to sit on your mom's lap at the age of 15. It was so strange that my heart ached a little for that. But in my mind's eye, I was holding a little tow-headed boy, his head tucked under my chin, head resting against my chest, listening to my heart beat. I could still smell his hair and feel the softness of his hand in mine. We were at Ichthus and it was during the alter call. He looked up and told me he loved me. Do you have a memory like that? A memory that you can go back to and remember everything about that child at those point in time? I always try to make those memories with each one of my kids so I can go back to it some day. I can't remember where I picked that up, but I'm glad I did.


We were able to participate in a high ropes course. It was so much fun. We went through 9 different areas and my favorite was when we used a rope to swing across a bridge. I was told that I had to do a Tarzan yell while swinging. Oh happy day! I LOVED the Carol Burnett Show! I watched it faithfully and her Tarzan yell was amazing. So I grabbed a hold of that rope and with my best "Carol Burnett" impression, bellowed out my Tarzan yell as I swung back and forth across the bridge opening. Tucker was mortified. I was positively gleeful! Tucker was even more shocked when he learned that one of the boys got it on video. His mother emailed it to me this week. Take a look.....you can see Tucker standing off on the right side of the video. Body language says EVERYTHING....



Well, the troops have risen and I must clean up the body glitter that has found it's way to my child and the kitchen table. The fun never ends

video

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hair cut

As you may or may not know, I've been growing my hair. But for a good reason...I decided I would donate my hair to Locks Of Love http://www.locksoflove.org. It's an organization that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children under the age of 18 that are suffering from long term medical hair loss.

I was inspired to donate my hair after a friend of mine, Deb, told me she was donating her hair. I'm not a fan of long hair for myself. I believe I'm too old and I have fine/thin/semi curly hair. All of these characteristics do not add up to nice looking long hair. But I perservered only because of a new weapon that fights the frizzies....a flat iron. I paid a pretty penny for my flat iron, but it made my hair tolerable.

I almost didn't make it in China~if my stylist had not emailed me during one of my "bad hair" rants, I probably would have done the same thing I did when I got Elise. I had my hair cut to within 2" all around my head. It was a smart cut and looked very nice for Gotcha Day photos. I was so very tempted~heat~humidity~no flat iron. It was ugly! I have to say, that I do not care for the photos of me in China this last time. Hate the hair!

So, last Friday, I went to Amanda (my stylist) and told her to cut it off! She HATES cutting my hair short. She was so nervous. But I have a philosophy about hair~It GROWS! So after about 18 months of letting my hair just grow, they were able to cut a 10" pony tail. Being the jokester that I am, I squealed when Amanda took the first snip at my "tail". She did jump and did not laugh. But I did!

Now I'm sporting a sassy new doo! I love it! My hair loves it...it's bouncy, curly and not frizzy! All things I just love about hair. I'd post pics but I'm always the one behind the camera so I can't oblige you! But I did want to share.

I'm off to a church retreat with Tuck's confirmation class this weekend. We'll be doing a ropes course tomorrow. I LOVE high adventure stuff! Big surprise huh!?!