Thursday, October 2, 2008

Title-less entry

Haven't posted in a while, so I decided I would.
Matt and I are going to go out to dinner this evening. Not sure where yet. We need to pick up Nate first from soccer practice at 7pm. The practices have already been ending sooner due to the shortened daylight. How sad is that?
We have a tournament for nathan this weekend. Next weekend is Jake's tournament. Mom also comes to visit us next weekend. I am looking forward to that.
Both boys are excited about Grandma seeing them play.

Nathan hurt his hand yesterday on the playground. Something about hitting it against a metal pole. He has complained about it since. With him being his team's goalie, it may not be so pretty at the tourney this weekend! He also has a bruise on his cheekbone, that he got today. I asked him what happened to his face, and he said, "Emily kicked me!" I said, "She kicked you in your FACE? How did she manage that?" So, he said, "I was just walking under the Monkey Bars, minding my own business, and Wham! she comes swinging her legs and knocks me down! " (I should mention that he said this all like it was HER fault, like she is a mean and terrible person, and he had nothing to do with it.) So, I said, "Uh, did it ever occur to you that you shouldn't be walking under the playground equipment?" He responded very matter-of-factly...."Nobody was going across". To which I responded, "Well, Emily obviously was." Anyway- Nathan is battered and bruised.

I also took Ben driving today for the first time. That was an adventure. We went in a local parking lot. Let's just say, he is not ready for the road yet. :0)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Up Early

So, I was awake fairly early today-- for a Saturday, anyway. My inner alarm clock must have started working, as I have been waking up at 6am every morning since school started to get the boys out the door in time. My alarm was shut off last night--but my body still woke up at 6am on the dot.

I figured I'd update you on what is going on with my job placement this year. It has actually been a very weird beginning for the elementary school where I work. Let's just day there has been more drama than necessary, with many women (teachers and aides complaining about how the placements were made.... ). This is the first year this has happened. It is also an unusual year for the amount of people needing to be hired, or placed within the school. There are 5 student teachers, 8 high school helpers and TEN enrollment aides! It is a busy place, let me tell you. I am not going to go into all the details--I am actually tired of talking about it. (It has been the main topic of conversation for me in the last week, as far as work goes.) So, I will just tell you the main events that involved me.

I originally was placed in 2 first grade classrooms with two great teachers. I was happy with this placement--but disappointed with the hours I was given. Normally, an aide is given an equal amount of hours or increased hours than she held the year before. I worked 5 hours last year--which was perfect. I worked 2 1/2 hours, ate lunch, changed classrooms, and then worked my final 2 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, when I excepted the long term sub position last year, I forfeited my hours as an aide, and so I was kind of starting over as far as hours were concerned. (Silly rule, if you ask me....) Anyway, 4 hours was the best my principal said he could do.) So, this week I worked in the first grade and became more relaxed about it....because the company was good. My principal was aware that I really did desire more hours though, (believe it or not just one more hour a day, really does make a difference on my paycheck) and by Thursday I was called into his office. He told me that just that morning he got the go ahead from HR to hire a "program assistant" for LDR. He offered that position to me, and said he felt I was more than qualified. It would be more instructional in nature, and would ultimately add one more hour to my day. (Back to 5 hours--the schedule I like!) As far as I know, the pay will be the same an hour....but the experience would be extremely valuable to me.

I thought that right about now, a description of what "LDR" stands for and what that job entails would be good. Here is something I found on the internet:


LDR: Learning Disabilities Resource

(written by Mrs. Brenda Walton)

LDR teachers provide specialized instruction to students who have been found eligible to receive special education services in the areas of reading, spelling, writing, math, and academic skills. Most of the students who receive LD Resource services have learning disabilities; however, some students who receive services have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Emotional Disturbance (ED), Developmental Delays (DD), and Other Health Impairments (OHI). The LDR teachers serve children in all of the elementary grades at the elementary school. LD Resource instruction complements instruction delivered in the general education classroom. The students are taught in small groups or are given one-to-one individualized instruction.

The LD Resource teachers provide services to students other than instructional services. Some students receive services on a consultative basis. The LD Resource teachers provide services for these students by consulting with the general education teachers, the students, and the parents. LD Resource teachers also evaluate students who have been referred to them due to learning or behavioral difficulties in the general classroom. They participate in eligibility meetings and develop Individualized Educational Plans as well. Serving students at an elementary school is a collaborative effort of the team of professionals, parents, and the students; the LD Resource teachers are part of the team designed to maximize the achievement of the students found eligible for special education services.


While I feel slightly under-qualified for this position (my degree is in Elementary Education which included some Special Education classes, but I did not receive my degree in Special Education, nor did I choose to minor in it.) Now, I wish I did!

The good news is that I will be an assistant--I will have two wonderful highly qualified Special Ed. teachers guiding me, and helping me along. I am excited about this new position, and the opportunities for learning it will surely bring me. I am not totally sure what it will look like exactly, until I start doing it, but I think I will like it. This 3 hour. position will be combined with a 2 hour enrollment aide job (In the first grade still, but with a different teacher than I was with this whole week)--and I think it will be a nice combination for me. As my principal said to me...."God works in mysterious ways". It is true, if I got the hours I had originally wanted to begin with, I wouldn't have inquired about additional hours, and might have not been considered for this new job at all, and a entirely new person would have been hired for it.

Well--the house is beginning to wake up I am going to watch the news with the sound turned up, and see the hurricane damage in TX...and also listen more closely to the flash flood warnings given to our neck of the woods. The rain has been incredible around here....non-stop since yesterday early afternoon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Should I?

I need opinions....

What do you think of these chairs, if the seat covers were recovered in a great looking fabric??

the chairs are $25 each, and the money goes to Habitat for Humanity. I could even spray paint the wood part black.....

I wasn't sure where I'd put one, (or two).....but I liked the lines.

I thought about placing one in each corner of my living room near the archway to my dining room, to be used for extra seating for company......but I don't know......(I suppose they could even be used as extra chairs at the dining room table if need be, rather than pulling the ugly kitchen chairs in......)

what do you think? they are sturdy, and would be easy to recover--I checked that out already. :0)

OR- are they ugly?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Bye Dog Days of Summer!

Photos courtesy of The Weather Channel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day

The kids went back to school today. :0)

Last night, instead of hovering over my children while they picked out their clothes, and got their backpacks ready, I lay in bed with a fever and terrible headache. Today I get tested for Strep Throat at the doctor's office. (Although, my fever is gone today, so who knows??)

Of course, since I wasn't hovering...and I was just yelling the checklist out to them while laying there like an invalid.....I wasn't completely sure they had everything. It seemed so last night when everyone fell asleep. I stayed up until 11:45pm doing laundry, because my dear Jacob crumpled his PE shirt into a ball and stored it in his dresser all summer without putting it in the hamper. GROSS!!! Yup- the darn thing smelled......BAD. He was supposed to bring it the first day, so I stayed up to wash it and put it into the dryer.

This morning....everything went off seemingly without a hitch. I asked each child if they had their ID cards, I asked them if they had their schedules, gym stuff, snacks, etc. Yes, mom. All three were ready early, and waited impatiently to leave the house at their three different respective times. Ben- 6:35am. Jake-7:35am, Nate-8:10am.

At 7:40am I received a phone call. It was Jacob on his cell. He was on the bus. He informed me that he didn't have his schedule.
What?? Didn't I ask him if he had it?
He said he grabbed the wrong paper by mistake--a map of the school...not his schedule. Immediately I considered reading the whole list of teachers, subjects and room numbers off the paper to him to write down. I told him to get out a pencil and paper and listen.
Then, he said...uh, mom?
I also forgot my PE shirt and shorts.....sorry.
WHAT???? Oh my are kidding me.

So.....I was in the car at 8am this morning driving to the Middle School across town--one half hour after my 7th grader left from our house......EARLY, I might add, because he was tired to waiting....and he was ready. Sigh.
I should also point out that I left before my elementary school child was on the bus. YUP. He went off to the bus stop, where all of the other parents gathered with cameras, and smiles, sending their children off while watching and waving....and I, on the other hand, just left my kid there without as much as a kiss goodbye...because my other son needed his stuff PRONTO, before his 2nd period gym class began. Sigh. Double sigh.

Here are my cuties in their annual --"please your mother, and just stand for a picture outside, before you leave" first day of school picture. We did this picture-taking in my backyard, so as to not humiliate my dear boys in front of anyone that might notice their crazy mom insisting on a picture. :0) I am so thoughtful, aren't I??

Here is Ben....a Sophomore, the day before he turns 16. Not exactly sure why he chose not to wear any of the new clothes we bought him....(???) And by the way--don't you know it is not cool to smile when you are a teenager?

And a head shot...ain't he cute? :0)

Here is Jake. He is starting 7th grade today. When we went shopping, he was pretty excited about this shirt. He is a funny kid.

And a headshot of do you like that faux hawk? He got his haircut yesterday....actually all the boys did. Ben was sad most of his curls were cut off. Jake said "sweet" when his hair was done.....although I noticed most of his summer blond
highlights are now gone. Oh well--I'm over it.

Finally-here is my "little" one. Nate is in 4th grade this year. Hope he remembered who his teacher was when he got to school. We only spoke about it once....3 weeks ago.
Nathan insisted on wearing these shoes--they are old, and definitely have seen better days. I haven't found him any "slip-ons" to replace them yet, so this is my punishment. :0) He does have almost brand new adidas sneakers sitting on the floor in his room. Yes, I know.

Keeping with the pattern...Nathan's headshot. And before you say it....I am aware that his hair is a lot crooked. That would be the hairdresser's fault. I guess it is also my own, for not noticing until we were gone from that place, and I had already listened to Ben complain about how short HIS hair was. I didn't bring it up to Nathan when I finally noticed. He didn't seem to notice himself, or care. So I decided not to either. There you go. I will also be glad when his braces are a go. As of now, we need to wait at least until January for more tooth loss and adult tooth eruption. Until then...I will love my Bubby's gap toothed cutie patootie grin.

It is now 1:30pm. I have not gotten much done today other than getting my own hair cut, making a doctor's appt., driving to Jacob's school, putting drops in Emmy's ears, and generally putzing around. This post took more time than I would have liked it to, but Matt also called me twice during the process. I now need to run to Campton United Soccer Club's office to hand in medical forms, and arrange my carpool options for this afternoon's practice. Then--the kids will be home. Where did the time go??

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

short lived


yesterday was a hard day for me. ben decided not to play soccer.

for those of you who know me, (and lets be real......if you are reading this stuff---you must know me.....why else would you bore yourself with my life's details?) you know that ben's "finding his way, and niche" has been somewhat of a struggle.

I was so thrilled when Ben decided to try out for soccer again after taking a year off. last year was a difficult one for him, and us. he just didn't seem like himself. his grades were down, he didn't want to be involved in anything....he was generally fairly difficult to live with---and i spent most of last year concerned about him and the decisions he was making. so, this summer, when he announced he was going to try out for the HS soccer team, we were thrilled because we felt it was a good sign. maybe, just maybe, he was working his way out of the "funk" he has been in.

but alas....his soccer days were short lived. ben started complaining after the second day of tryouts. we chalked it up to him being out of shape. we told him it would get better. the whining continued, though. his "what was I thinking?" statements continued. we encouraged him and held our breath.

yesterday ben flat out told us that he was not enjoying soccer as he hoped he would. that he woke up everyday thinking about how he had soccer practice, and it immediately would put him in a bad mood. he did not look forward to practice, and did not look forward to playing games. he wanted to quit before the season took off.


okay--i feel it is important that you know that it is not the fact that he doesn't want to play soccer that is so hard to take. it is the short lived hope that maybe things were changing and looking up for him. i just want him to be happy. i just want him to realize there is more to high school than going to classes. i wanted to see some sort of self-motivation in him. i want to see him passionate about something other than hanging out with friends and spending time on the computer.

it is a fine line to walk. this whole teenager thing is difficult. he is so sensitive, and moody. we have been trying for a year to light a fire under try and help him find something he can be excited about..... some of our attempts have been interpreted by him as us thinking he is a loser. (not our goal here, folks....) some of our attempts have resulted in him thinking we are trying to run his life. some of our attempts have been listened to and pondered, and maybe made a difference for about a week's time. (more frustration....)

yesterday, we concentrated on the whole aspect of just wanting him to be happy, and to feel supported..... he agreed that last year was not a good year for him, and that he wanted to change things a bit. he wants to concentrate more on his classes. to put a little more effort in. i know he is nervous about his heavy course load. but, we also told him that we feel he needs to find something worthwhile to do. to get involved somehow. to find something to get excited branch out a take a chance. we are not going to force him to play soccer--even though we are more than disturbed that he wants to quit something else. again. but, at this point in his life, there is no reason to force him to do something he is miserable doing. our goal is to help him be happy-not depressed everyday!

i have to tell you, though.....
this is hard on parents that were both very involved in numerous things in school. it is also very hard to see lack of motivation, and desire. it is also VERY hard to see your child struggling to find his way.

please pray for us---for wisdom. we want to make the right decisions. we want to help him build character. we want him to know above all else, he is loved.
please pray for ben---that he finds "that thing" to capture his interest. that he finds success this year for his efforts. that his heart is softened, that he seeks God, and and that he has the desire to make the most out of his life, rather than just coasting through it.

it is hard to be a parent.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Houston, we have a problem....

Okay--so I thought I'd share a little problem I have here.

I have always collected underwear. I am not sure what my deal is. I never think I have enough. need just the right pair for certain occasions, you know what I mean?

For instance, you need a few thongs for those tightish shorts and pants, so no panty lines show. You definitely need the ugly comfy pair for when you just want to sit around in sweats and eat ice cream. You need a few normal useful regular ones for everyday--the ones that are really the most loved. A few crazy funky ones for when you feel the need to be a bit silly and fun. The ones that work best for that time of the month (you know the ones....admit it). Then you have ones that sit in the back of your drawer that you pull out occasionally when you are feeling a bit romantic. AND--then there are the ones that mostly fit, and you don't wear very much.....but they are perfectly good, and you can't seem to get yourself to throw them away, in case you have a time that you just didn't get to the laundry, and you need to resort to the ill-fitting less favorites.

Like I said....this has always been a problem of mine. I remember in college....I had two full drawers dedicated to just underwear. It was more important then to have plenty--because doing laundry was never a guarentee. Time did not always allow for getting it done.....and I never wanted to be the one having to turn a used pair inside out to wear again. How gross! My closest friends knew of this "collection", and kidded me about it. I was even given a few little girl ruffled pairs for my birthday from my RA staff as a joke.

I thought, though, I had mostly outgrown this need for an incredible amount of underwear.....UNTIL.....I recently tried to cram all my pairs into my underwear drawer. Sadly, I guess this was one of the few times all of my laundry was clean at the same time, and I had nothing left dirty in my hamper.

And this is what my underwear drawer looks like now.....

What am I supposed to do about this??? (And please do not suggest that I actually throw some of these away......)

These are packed tightly in, BTW. The drawer is halfway shut....and I have now added three pairs to the hamper since this problem occurred. So....maybe I just need to wear two or three at a time until I can shut the drawer??? My hubby just shakes his head at me......

Thursday, August 14, 2008

maybe I should go back to bed.....

this has not been a good day. and it is only 9:00 in the morning.

my bad day actually started last night, when my cell phone refused to accept a charge. it has been slowly dying the last few days, and i have been in denial, i guess. i am now facing the fact that it is gone now, and what is a girl to do when her phone dies and we were waiting until sept. 7th to change phone plans? (when our other contract is up). i spent some time last night using the last bit of juice in my phone to copy down all my phone numbers i had stored in there. :0(

jacob has a tournament in milwaukee, wisconsin this weekend. it started out that matt and jake were going unless i could find someone to dog sit. this is not incredibly easy when there is no family around to help us. since i haven't been to one of jake's out of state tourneys in a while....(well at least since last fall)... it was important for me to find out a way for us all to go. you know, we'd have a family weekend--as the summer comes to a close. so....i need to ask my dear friends. which i hate having to do, by the way. then--yesterday, when i thought it wasn't going to work out, i was excited to have not one, but two offers of people volunteering to take care of emmy. the second offer was also to have nathan stay with his friend (along with the dog) so that he could attend the said friend's birthday party. matt and i spent a while last night discussing the options, wondering whether it was necessary to have nathan with us, or whether we should let him stay with his friend (which is what he wanted to do....). we did not reach a decision about this, really. we were back and forth, and matt basically left in my hands to do what i thought best. WELL....this morning, i woke up at about 6:45am after thinking i heard emmy bark (she didn't--i must have been dreaming). I started my day checking email. matt IM'ed me, seeing i got on the computer, and told me that he thought he should stay home this weekend, due to the amount of work he had to do, and because he has been so tired, and he never gets good sleep while away at tourneys. (maybe because games usually start at 8am and jake as to be ready for the team breakfast by 6:30am???) anyway, i was fairly shocked by this turn of events----and to be honest, a little disturbed by the thought of having to do it all on my own. although, it would solve the problem of deciding where emmy should go, and most likely ben would jump for joy when he found out he could stay home, too. it is just a bummer for me. (plus...i have no phone!)

then i came downstairs to mull everything over, get my tea and glance at my calendar to figure out my day. hmmmmm....ben has his materials pick-up at school from 11am-12pm. 1:00pm i need to take jake and 4 other boys from his soccer team to a team building event in sycamore (about an hour round trip). at 3:30pm i need to get ben to his second day of soccer tryouts. at 5:45pm I drive nathan to his soccer practice. 7:30pm he gets picked up. matt is late tonight, hmmm...i should really go food shopping, too. oh yeah, i need to get Austin (nathan's friend) a birthday present.... let's see....what else? maybe i should get my cup of tea and think it over.....

i get my mug, my teabag, my sugar substitute (I know.....don't talk to me right now about how bad this probably is for me....), and my hot water from the cooler (i love that thing!).....and then reach for the milk....

what?? what's this?? NOOOOO...... Nooooo.....please don't tell me.....


oh dear...this is bad. very bad. i looked inside, hoping that matt was maybe in there this morning to get OJ or something, and it really WASN'T open all night. I knew that was not the case when i felt in there, and noticed it was actually HOT in there! The light was on all night too, and so it heated up the whole inside of the fridge. My butter melted....into puddles. I almost burnt myself on a pickle jar located right next to the light. I made the realization that everything would need to be tossed. OUCH! i think the only things that can be saved is the ketchup, (maybe), the pop and beer that hadn't been opened yet, and maybe..... nope, i think that is it. ARGH!!! this is an expensive mistake someone made. and i don't want to point any fingers....but ben, jake and jake's friend were up late and hanging out down there last night because jake had a sleepover. you know how boys are with late night fridge raids......

so now, i guess i also need to fit in a trip to the food store today to re-buy everything that went bad. of course, that is only after i throw it all out, and write down a list of everything i am tossing..... do you feel bad for me yet?

here are a few pictures I took this morning after my discovery....

here is my butter dish...yup, threw that away already.

the light that caused all of the heat...darn light....

and finally...a view of the fridge before i emptied it of all it's contents. good bye food and all the things i took for granted inside....the mint jelly i don't think about until we have lamb....the minced garlic....the specialty salsa and marinades i bought from "Little Traveler" and "Pampered Chef" ....yogurts, and applesauce.... pickles and olives.... salad dressings, ice cream sundae fixin's......oh the sadness.....

at least the freezer door stayed shut. gotta look for the silver lining... right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

checklist overload

I have got to get something accomplished today. For sure. I don't care what it is, but I feel like each day flies by and I have nothing to show for it. My easy going non-eventful summer life is about to come to a close, and the crazy days of Fall, soccer and school are about to take over.

So, what should I do? I need to wash dishes. I need to make beds. I need to vacuum. I need to straighten the little messes all about the house. I need to drive my son to soccer tryouts, and my other son to goalie training...... I need to shower, and get dressed, and make myself generally presentable. I need to RSVP to a birthday party. I need to do laundry. I need to figure out a plan for dinner. I need to sweep up the dog hair scattered about my tiled hallway and kitchen floors. I need to dust the stair banisters because I noticed yesterday that they have been way too neglected. There is more I should do, that falls into the category of general house cleaning and clean toilets, and wipe finger prints from the stainless steel. I need to finalize plans for this weekend--who is going with Jacob for his tournament in Milwaukee?? Will we have a dog sitter? Is the whole family going? Or just Matt and Jake? Or just me and Jake?? If it is just me and jake...I need to print out lots of maps, and schedules, etc.....that Matt usually handles when we are all going.

When do I find the time for the other stuff? Like going food shopping, and school supply shopping? When do I set my children up with a few new shirts and jeans, etc. for their first months at school? When do I shop for Ben's birthday on the 28th? (He will be 16!!) When do I finally spray paint that darn light fixture? When do I contemplate what I'd like to put on the shelves in the front office? When do I start tearing the wallpaper off my dining room walls? When do I paint? How long will it be that my boys need to suffer with the hideous blue and mauve fleur-de-lis, and grids (hand stamped by the previous home owner) all over their bathroom walls? What about the Living Room furniture? When do I shop for that? That's a biggie by the way..... I can't stand the LR right now the way it is.....

Seriously.....there is ALOT to do around here. I need to cross something off the list. TODAY would be nice. Why do I get the feeling it will just be like all the rest of days in the last few weeks..... doing little jobs/tasks that take up the whole day, and then the day is gone. AGAIN.

Better get moving.... time flies.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Museum Mom

I thought this was really fun. Check out this picture I made at
I think my mom should use this as her facebook profile pic....what do you think mom? :0)

Art Museum by

Friday, August 1, 2008 happened

Poor Nathan's frog bit the dust.

I think he may have drowned. He normally would be sitting in a dry portion of the tank, or near his frog food....but this morning he was floating at the bottom of the tank under water. We have witnessed him swim before, so we know he can do it---but Nathan would also give him a little push up onto land when he seemed tired. Maybe this time, he needed a little shove and no one was there for him. :0(

At least we got to see him change into his froggie form. Sadly, he was only a frog for a few days....after months of tadpole living.

Sorry, froggie.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I love stars....

Did I mention I love stars?

I don't know why I love them so much. It may be their bold design. It may be because it reminds me of a time when I used to doodle them all over my notebook pages in school. It may be because I happen to be rather patriotic. Or possibly, it is because I relate them to images I have seen in home decor magazines, where they are prominently displayed and the rest of the room looks warm and clean, and family-friendly.

Whatever the reason.....I love them. Always have, probably always will.

Today I bought three distressed wood stars from Kirkland Home Store. I didn't know where I'd put them....but I knew I'd find a place! I love the way they look together. I finally decided to place them on top of our wood built-in bookshelves in our front office. Most of our boxes on the floor are gone now, thank God, and I am hoping the stars help warm up the joint. :0) Our shelves are still rather will take some time to fill them with books and things we love. But, I feel the stars above already make me feel like it is a little more like "me" in there.

My first star I hung as a decoration was a large one I hung right above my front door in our old house. I loved it there....and I worried I wouldn't find a place for it that would be as appropriate as it was there, when we moved. I knew I wanted to see it all the time....and I knew if it weren't there, it might not feel like "home" to me. I thought it would be really spectacular right over our fireplace in our Family Room. I got really excited to put it there. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that the mirror that was "hung" above the fireplace and left there by the previous owners....was actually attached to the wall, framed in moulding! If we tried to remove it, it most likely would leave a huge mess, resulting in lots of drywall repair. UGH.
Thankfully, the last homeowner must have decided they wanted more than a mirror there, too, because they left a big giant screw right in the middle of it!
I am sure you see where I am going with this....but, it seemed logical to me for us to try and hang the star right there on top of the mirror. I wasn't sure if I'd like it.....but at least now it is the center of attention. The room just wouldn't have that family feeling I was looking for without it. Here is the result...(try to not pay attention to how little the surrounding shelves are decorated so far, or that the TV is on, or that there are wires all over the place for our electronic equipment... )

I have a feeling this is not the end of my obsession with stars. I believe that another star or two may make their appearance somehow into my decor. I am left wondering just how many stars are too many?? (Because there was this adorable star lamp I saw at Homegoods......and I just know it would look cool someplace........) :0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More random Colorado shots....

Just thought I'd post more pictures from my fun weekend in Colorado with my peeps....

to start--here is a picture of the three sisters on a swing....(Thanks Abby for taking this picture!)

a very skinny mom :0) go, girl!

the Wilkinson family and me....

Why is it I look so huge in that picture?

And finally (for now)--here is a very cute shot of Kerry and Caleb....

Being with family is great......wish I saw more of them. We did a lot of laughing, a little bit of crying (which of course, was laugh-induced), and generally just enjoyed each other's company. Who wants to come visit my nest in Illinois?

I am up too late....

So...I am up, and I should be sleeping.
But, while I am here, I will post a cute picture of my parents. I miss them already.

Thanks for letting me invade your house for a few days! You are the bestest mommy and daddy ever! Love you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cheyene Mountain Zoo...Colorado

Can I tell you how much I enjoy this zoo? I went to visit my family in Colorado for a long weekend, and this is what Mom and Dad and I did one morning...we went to the zoo! Why? Because it is cool, and unlike any other zoo I have ever been to.
For one thing, it is up in the mountains! YUP. It is. Way cool, right? For another thing, it has the BEST giraffe exhibit ever. Seriously, folks...if you love giraffes as much as I do, which is a whole lot, you NEED to visit this zoo sometime in your lifetime. Not only do they have many giraffes to look at.....which is cool enough, right? They also let you get up and personal with them. You can feed them, and stand right where you can see their faces, and actually pet their noses if you wanted to.

No, I am not kidding.

So, of course, I need to show you some of the pictures I took of my favorite attraction at this zoo. Let me tell you, I have more pictures of giraffes then what I am even going to post here. But, in interest of blog space, I will try and refrain from posting all of them. Look how cute and awesome they are, though.....

Look at this guy's face. He is being fed a cracker.....this is what I mean.....WAY cool, huh?

I know...cute, right?

These two were lovin' the whole time we were there--kissing. French kissing. They couldn't get enough, let me tell you. I almost thought I shouldn't be looking. Yes, even giraffes need some lovin'.

See how this is set up so you can get close to their faces?? It is a view, most people never get of these beautiful animals...

This is a nursing giraffe....WOW.

All these beautiful giraffes....and look at this view (!!!)....can't get much better...

Of course....I wouldn't want you to think I only came to the zoo just to see giraffes. I looked at other cool animals, too. for instance, check out this porcupine! Did you know they climb trees?? I didn't! Check out his feet just hangin' there...totally cracked me up.

And here is a silly orangatan in a bucket. Funny....

We also saw a sleeping Mountain Lion. So harmless looking when sleeping, don't you agree??

And Hippos....

I like to think that God will allow all of these wonderful creatures to live in heaven with us---and they will be walking among us, and even the fierce animals on earth will be gentle there with Him. Wouldn't it be cool to be walking down those streets of gold alongside a lion, or bear, and know you can pet them, or give them a hug--like you would your pet dog? And the giraffes! They'd be there, too! Maybe they would lower their necks and let us hold on while they swung us onto their backs for a ride. Hmmmmm......

Okay--just one more picture of the giraffes......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

off to Colorado and tadpole surprise...

I may not be blogging until Tuesday. I will be flying to colorado to see my mom and two sisters tomorrow. I am very excited for our "girl's weekend". I will fill you in about that next week.

Also-tadpole update. If you have been following the tadpole drama.....
We had two in a tank--Nathan found them in June at one of the last soccer games. One has already died. :0( We didn't expect the other to last much longer than that. Tonight, Nathan came into my room very upset because he couldn't find his tadpole. I immediately asked him if he left the tank where Emmy (our dog) could reach it. She has been fairly curious about the little guy and the occasional splish splashy sounds coming from the tank. She jumps up to see into the tank, and we have already had to take away the jar of tadpole food from her mouth on three different occasions. Nathan said the tank had been up high on his shelf. When we looked in the tank--the tadpole was not swimming around as usual. We couldn't find him. I was thinking he met a bad end, until we saw a lumpy looking thing seemingly squeezed between the tank wall and fake rock. It wasn't moving, and we thought maybe the tadpole got stuck there while swimming by. Upon further closer inspection with a flashlight, we discovered a tiny frog sitting there! We got pretty excited. It's tail is completely gone, and it was balanced on his own small legs. It was tiny and froggy! I actually felt a little bit of wonderment....and pride....we didn't kill it by accident!

It will be fun to see that TINY frog grow. Nathan was so happy about it, it almost makes keeping the thing worth it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Projects- big and small

I have been thinking about doing a lot of projects.
Some are quite small, and can be done easily. These usually refer to the "crafty" kind. A few days ago, I sat down and created a few cards, which I hadn't done in a while. I "doodled" some, made a couple of bookmarks for Nathan and Jacob, who specifically asked for them, wrote other ideas in a notebook for another time, and fiddled around in my craft room a while. Here are some samples of things I did:

and this is the mess it left behind.....

I have a few LARGER projects to tackle, too (which are really more important, but not as easy):

the outdoor patio furniture needs to be repainted

here is an ugly light fixture to be spray painted black, and rehung into the dining room (only if it looks fabulous, of course, after its makeover)

then there is the whole dining room and living room to decorate and furnish.....(although we got started in the DR by buying a new table and chairs). We still need to take the dated wallpaper down, paint the walls in the DR (see the paint chips?) and hang new window treatments....see these ghastly ones? They dress the LR and DR windows. :0( I don't even have a plan yet for the LR, except to decorate and buy new furniture.....

And, all I keep thinking is, if those little projects at the top can cause a mess I have avoided cleaning up.....what kind of messes will be left behind when I finally get around to tackling the BIG ones??? Of course, the big projects make the biggest changes and impact.....right?

Maybe I should start by finally getting these boxes in the front office unpacked. UGH.