Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Swimming

Last weekend we went camping with a family very dear to us.  They are how Adam and I met nine years ago and while we don't get to see them as often as we'd like but it's always a fun time when we do.  The M-sette's have grown with us from the beginning and our family lives have somewhat happened at the same time, them being a little ahead of us most of the way.  
Adam and I have each had our own adventures with them before any of us had children and boy were those fun!  Now we all have children, who are all about the same age, and our adventures have changed.  
Two years ago both families traveled out to South Dakota's Black Hills together.  This year we were only able to get away for a weekend but it was a memorable one!  Next year we hope to be able to do something a little further from home and a little longer.
Of all the things we did over the short weekend, this was by far and away this kid's favorite thing to do.



Well, except for maybe one child.  She kind of preferred to sit by the stairs.  If you look a little closer to the picture, or maybe you don't have to look that close, she is terrified and clinging on for dear life with Daddy.  {I think you'll notice by Daddy's tan, he doesn't spend much time in the pool and I'm not one to talk.}
On the way home we make a few decisions about our kids activities, or lack thereof.  We haven't put them in too many activities.  Henry was in soccer for two years, Karley for one and this summer neither one wanted to do it at all.  They both did a round of swim lessons through community ed last year and this year.  This year neither one passed to the next level and I was left with little to zero information with why, but to repeat the level.  That was a little heartbreaking, but not surprising, considering how much time they really don't spend in the water.  Lastly, Karley has two years of community ed dance under her tutu.
We live in a pretty remote area and unless you're willing to drive and spend money, community ed is as good as it gets.  In all honesty, I haven't been willing to drive, be out late, over dinner and ask to spend the money.  That is until last weekend after spending time with the M-settes. 
In the end I had some conversations with the kids on what they want to do for activities over the next school year.  They want to swim.  I've even finally convinced Sophie or so I think.  {She's my attached child who left dance last year bawling and wouldn't go back}  I may just end up getting in the pool with her, please no.
So this week and next the big two are taking classes at a swim school 45 minutes each way for a 30 minute lesson.  It's a good school and I could tell the first five minutes into the class just how much better it was.  The place is set up for everything you could need or want for swimming lessons.  The best part is the kids love it.  Or maybe the best part is that Sophie said she'd take lessons solo!  {I will be praying for this!}
During the school year if we can work this out the girls will start gymnastics at a gymnastics academy which is only about 20 minutes away, but almost 40 from school.  Henry will continue swimming and by the grace of God, we'll work the girls into swimming as well. I'm going to have to be more prepared for dinners, menu plans are going to be the rule {unlike this summer}, crockpot meals and soup ahead as well as snacks prepared for the drive to these places.  And most of all a good attitude especially come January when I'm tired of driving all over and feel like my homebody self is never home. 
The kids will have fun and that's what it's all about!

Joining 52 Photos Project

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Break 2013 Catch Up Volume 1

It's pretty safe to assume these days that I'm not going to be able to post every day like I think I'm going to when I linked up to this project.  I have great intentions but the busyness of our summer has gotten away from me. 
We are operating on little structure other than what just comes along.  For instance, I thought August was going to be less busy but we've just signed up for another two week swim lesson camp that is 45 minutes away and starts at 11:30.  You can see how that eats up a good chunk of the day. 
Sophie's birthday is on Saturday and her party on Sunday.   That makes for some extra shopping, cleaning, cooking and house guests.  All good, all great, all allows for little extra time for blogging.  
Our summer has been great, we have enjoyed many many things that hopefully I'll be able to post about soon.  While we are still in the summer mode we are also getting stuff ready for the school year.  Yesterday uniforms for Karley came.  Half of the order was a hit, the other a miss.  I knew that was about how it would go, hence the early start.  Shirts are itchy and waists are big.  Thank God for a Gram that can sew!  The itchy on the other hand is going to take a lot more work and searching.  We also picked up some school supplies on the way back from swimming lessons.  Wow, two in school full time one starting pre-school.

So back to the August Break 2013:

Here is a small recap of my stretching this August Break 2013 photo recap:

1. Breakfast (Need to fill)

2. Circles:

3.  Yellow:

4.  Love:

5.  Close Up (Need to fill)
6.  Diagonals (Need to fill)

So that's all I have for today.  Off to make breakfast (oh....ideas), swim lessons, Shred etc.  Hope you have a great day!


Friday, August 2, 2013

August Break 2013

There are so many exciting things going on for the month of August! 

I'll share my August Break 2013 photos on Monday after we get back from another camping trip.  This time we are headed out of state.

I have been working on a big new endeavor that I'll share as soon as some of the basics are taken care of.  Its' been keeping me awake at night and busy any moment I can, even the ones I've been stealing, during the day.

And because all posts should {cause I read it on the internet somewhere} have a picture, I share my county fair entries {I'm a late bloomer in the county fair experience}:

Digital Enhancement ~ 3rd Place

Color No Enhancements ~ 2nd Place
See you next week for the August Break 2013.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blog Lovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Apparently, I'm behind because even my blog is on Bloglovin' when I was not.

I have remedied that and thank you to the people who already follow me on Bloglovin'. 

Wow, that was something to already be started.  :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

52 Weeks Photo Project: Down Below

We had a great little summer vacation.  I have many photos to go through and a story to recapture but wanted to quick share this photo for the 52 Weeks Photo Project I'm going to try and keep up with.  I knew I'd see last weeks challenge of "stacks" on vacation but by the time I got home the collection had closed.  I'll share my idea of "stacks" in a couple of days.

But for now, here is "Down Below" the kids favorite place on vacation, the park {in addition to the ice cream store!}.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crazy Daze Weekend Part II

Our town Daze end on Sunday with a day full of activities.  We signed up with the kid's school to be in the parade.  Adam wasn't really game for it but said he'd be at our house or our neighbors house, which are on parade route, to take photos.   
It was a hot humid summer day and I was so thankful the Aleve kicked in as I was still feeling sick!
We had a great turn out of kids for our little float.  The girls were a little scared, mostly Sophie, so I walked by her until she got the hang of it.  I have to say, the girls did an awesome job getting the candy to the curb for their age.  Henry and his buddy had a good time throwing candy too.

Parade Line Up

Going past our house ~ I see no fear
 We caught the end of the parade with friends as we walked back to our house.  The kids were happy with that because they were then able to get some candy for themselves, because you know, they didn't quite have enough candy already.

I was surprised but I actually felt pretty good during the parade.  So thankful!  The rest of the day was easy from then on because we sat in our own driveway to watch the water game the fire department was doing.  The kids were in and out of their little pool and back and forth getting sprayed by the fire truck.

Good times here in our little town.

Sad to see our little town daze over.  But we are all super excited vacation starts tonight!

{I got a call from the doctors office late Monday.....I do indeed have strep.  I'm praying that I'll be the only one who gets it especially heading into vacation.}

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Crazy Daze of our Weekend

Our town had their annual celebration this last weekend.  We had our 8th annual party on Friday night for the big fireworks.  We live in one of the most perfect spots for all the activities.  Either the events are right from our driveway, a short walk to the park or a few blocks up the hill, certainly one of the perk of living where we do!
I was feeling a little under the weather on Friday during my cleaning but brushed it off with a couple of Aleve.
The kids were so excited for the party.  The continual asked, "When are the party people coming.  Who is coming to the party again?  Why aren't they here yet"  It went on and on until our first guests arrived.
The fireworks were really really good.  Adam and I were both surprised how good they were and how long they were for our small town.  It was during the fireworks that I started to realize that Aleve wasn't going to kick my under the weather.  I was really feeling sick.  Everybody left and I immediately went to bed, shivering.
Saturday morning the kids all ran the Kiddie 1/2 Mile Race.  The plan was the Adam was going to run with the girls even though when I entered them I promised I would.  I just didn't think I could.
Until I saw these little faces going by me on the start line. 

Sophie behind Libby (79)

There was no way I could leave Adam hanging and there was no way Sophie was going to pull out of this without me.  She really likes me.  Karley does too, but Karley can be lead out of a crying spiral by Dad or Mom, Sophie....mostly just Mom. 
We each took a girl and Henry ran all by himself (second year in a row, big kid!).
The first 100 meters Sophie cried she was too scared, didn't know where she was going and then she was fine.  I had to remember to tell her that we could walk a little.  She had a lot of encouragement and soon came to love it.  I reminded her of all her practice running she's been doing and how this was the big run. 
Sophie was a little scared to turn around, not sure why but by the end she was absolutely loving every bit of it.  And just before we rounded the corner for the last 100 m she told me I didn't need to hold her hand any more.  Oh, we were dead last and it was so fun.  The kids had a blast.


Adam was super and took the kids to the lawn mower pull (yes, lawn mower pull).  I went to the doctor for a strep test.  The rapid test turned out negative and I kind of felt stupid for having gone.  The rest of my day was spent in bed.
Sunday's activities to come.
I so love these "daze" in our town.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Master Bedroom Room Make-Over

Our kids went to stay with Gram and Grandpa over the fourth of July for FIVE days!  The week to weekend went a little different than I thought.  I thought I was going to get the basement cleaned, our desk cleaned and the house, top to bottom. 

Instead, we eradicated this {color} mess, not the boy.  He's not a mess. 

Duvet matched the curtains.

The walls were supposed to be a brown/gold color but really, it was just yellow. 
We lived with that for way too many years. 

We lived with the yellow walls because really, what difference did it make with inherited green carpet?

I didn't even bother with before pictures.
We had hoped to finish our room and the other bedrooms before Spring but after I broke my leg everything was pushed back.  We aren't quite finished with the rooms.  New windows and doors are coming any day and then we'll finish the trim and window treatments.   Unfortunately, this will be a few months off since this side of the house will have siding last.  In all honesty, that's just fine because the road side of the house needs to be finished first!  I should show you that as it looks now!
The crucifix still needs to be hung and I can't find our wedding picture but here's the almost final look. 

The night stands were my Grandpa's.  They are too short but they look better than what we had before. 
I think I might have to do something more white for a lampshade.

I really wanted to paint the dressers white but Adam said no way. 
His Mom re-finished these and actually I do like them the color they are in the room.

New door and trim coming soon. 
We also switched out all the off white switch plates, huge difference.

That's one of the re-models, I'll post the other bedrooms soon. 
That was our fourth of July week and putting it all back together earlier this week. 
I am blessed to have such a hard working husband.  We did all this instead of party it up on the 4th of July.
Linking with Cari on Room.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Theme Thursday: Black & White

A very quick link up with Cari for old times sake.  Not even the greatest photo but there's just something about this photo that I really really like.  I took it on an android phone and messed with some editor that I downloaded.  It was taken after I picked up my race packet (shown below) for the marathon down by Canal Park. 

My Crew

Have a great day and wow....check out the photo links at Cari's,

Mr. Chad

Sitting in the backyard watching the kids over at our neighbor's house I had a memory from way way back of Mr. John.  I was probably no older than Henry is now at age six, most likely I knew Mr. John even earlier.  As soon as I remembered Mr. John I realized that Mr. Chad is my kid's Mr. John. 
When we lived on Clover Lane my sister and I, along with the other neighborhood kids would gather at Mr. John and Mrs. Kay's house for ice cream.  I have few memories other than we got treats over there.  We always called them Mr. and Mrs. and we were always supposed to be grateful and respectful.  Mr. John died sometime around those young years but Mrs. Kay lived for many years after we were long gone from Clover Lane.  
As soon as I remembered Mr. John I grabbed my camera and ran over to take this photo.  Some of the kids were scattering but I made them come back.  I'm sure glad I did.  Notice the kids's treat?

Mr. Chad has been our neighbor for the last nine years.  We don't see much of him during the Winter but in the Summer we see him quite a bit, as does all of our little town.  Everybody knows Mr. Chad.  He wheels our neighborhood with one of his nurses, stopping to talk to people, checking out the town and neighborhood projects.  He stops to see what we have been up to and catches up for a visit.
Chad likes to give the kids suckers, candy and juice boxes and they really enjoy them and him.  He's been generous and bought them sparkers for the fireworks the town puts on and countless other fun things for the kids.  We were also honored to go to his 40th birthday party this past Spring.
More than anything else, he has been planting seeds for our children.  This is where I'm so thankful to God for Mr. Chad.  He's been giving us lessons on charity, compassion and suffering, just by being.  We have been blessed to be able to teach our children not to be afraid of people with disabilities. 
Mr. Chad has been kind to us, more than just by fetching our habitual sneaking off dog.  I think of Mr. Chad as a gift straight from God.  One which we will miss terribly.
Last Saturday night Mr. Chad passed away.  
It was really hard for me to tell our kids.  They had a lot of questions, which they haven't asked before with all the other funerals we've been to in the last month.  Henry determined that heaven is a very large cloud because it has to have a lot of room for all the people. 
While we are happy for the end of Mr Chad's suffering here on Earth, we are sad for our loss of a great neighbor and friend.  We will miss you Chad!  We will also miss his nurses and PCA's we've gotten to know over the years.  
Thank you Chad for being you, our friend!  Our neighborhood will never be the same without you.  We will miss you!
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

With Sympathy

Adam and I have sadly remarked how we haven't had wedding showers, baby showers and weddings to attend in awhile but rather have had funerals, funerals and another funeral.
I mentioned that my Mom lost her first sibling a little over two weeks ago.  How sad it was for her family to lose their first of eleven siblings.  What I didn't say was that she has two very sick siblings who battle with congestive heart failure, yet as sick as they are they have been maintaining.
Tuesday after we got home from Memorial weekend Adam's sister called to let us know that his Aunt Sue was in the hospital with many complications (I can't remember all the things she said) from stage four lung cancer.  We had no idea she had cancer.  Things were so bad that Aunt Sue's family were calling people to let them know she had cancer. 
Meanwhile on Tuesday my Mom who cleans for my Uncle Ken, called to say that on what was to be her care day (cooking, cleaning, shopping & talking) for my Uncle Ken, she brought him to the hospital.  He was having a hard time breathing and needed to go in.  "This might be it," he said. 
Adam's Aunt, my second Uncle in two weeks, in the hospital fighting for their lives.
Thursday we received the call the Aunt Sue left this world for the next.  It seems still so strange to think she's gone. 
Friday my Uncle had two stints put in his heart that he absolutely needed to survive.  Then the plan was to wean him slowly off the ventilator, hoping that his body would take over.  It was tried a couple of times, unsuccessfully.  He also left this world for the next yesterday.  He's been so sick for so long, fighting the good fight but it's still hard to think he's not here anymore.
I have many sad feelings for those closest to my two Uncles and Adam's Aunt.  I find it hard to see so much sadness this close to me in such a short amount of time.  I am sorry for the pain my Mom is going through, as well as my Aunts and Uncles.  It must be very hard to lose two brothers in 17 days.  I am also sad for my cousins who have just lost their Dad and those that lost their Mom.   
I believe as the saying goes, "They are in a better place", but it's still sad.  It's sad to see people cry from their pain.  It's sad to think that you'll not see somebody here in Earth ever again.  I am still saddened that I can't take my Grandpa out for lunch or call him.  I still think it's sad that Adam's Mom is gone and our kids never got to have her for a Grandma.  I have no doubt that they are in a better place, yet, we still miss them. 
It's a hard start to Summer.
My sister's girls are with us this week.  We planned on having them and then bringing them back home mid-week.  My hopes were to be able to do something fun with them, take them to the zoo or something.  Adam & I both feel bad that we've had to get a babysitter for all the kids yesterday and again today.  I'm thankful that the kids seem pretty happy just being able to play together.  Not quite the Aunt of the Year award material happening but we have managed a smore's party featuring smore's from our backyard fire pit.  Tonight we hope to get back early enough for a pizza party followed by a trip to the nearby ice cream shop.  I've seen a lot of swinging in the playground, scavenger hunts, school with various teachers, reading, coloring, toad catching & kissing.  I am also very thankful for good babysitters!


We are very blessed, even through our grief. 

God is good......

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Weekend 2013

The end to our busy week last week was our annual trip to northern Minnesota for a family fishing weekend.  We left Friday morning early as early could be considering the week we had and how much time we didn't have to make wheels up by 8:30 AM.  I think we were on the road by 9:30 or 10:00 AM. 
We made it to our favorite truck stop for breakfast at just the right time.  When I was a kid a truck stop was some greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere, bordering on the side of dirty.  The truck stop we visit was nothing of the sort.  Nelson Bros is absolutely amazing!  I always get the Minnesota Omelet.  It is a three egg omelet with a hollandaise sauce, tomatoes, wild rice and a lot of cheese.  It's heavenly.  I digress, I'm hungry.
We finally made it to camp about three hours after that.  Usual Friday night camp night, fishing for Adam and Henry, campfire for the ladies.  Saturday some of my Aunts and Uncles came to visit us at the campsite and get in on the fishing action.  Most of the crew went fishing and I stayed back to visit with some family.  The sun was shining, the kids were playing as fish was being brought to the table. 

Usually we are scrapping to have a fish fry on Sunday night but this year we had to have one on Saturday night to be able to fish the rest of the weekend due to getting close to our limits.  We fished more on Sunday, sat around the camp, ate a lot of good food, biked, played and had another fish fry on Sunday night. 
Two things about this weekend that might be considered a little strange.  First, I'm pretty sure we managed to leave with more food than we arrived with and this our core group:

Top Left:  Adam, Me, Jim, Tonya, Mom, Dad, Sally
Bottom Left:  Henry, Karley Sophie, Hannah, Hailey

Maybe you missed Mom & Dad haven't been married to each other for at least 35 years.  So how does this camping trip happen?  My best guess is that a few years back we invited my Dad & Sally to come visit us because it was my Dad's birthday.  I think I was pregnant with Sophie?  Well, it turns out that Dad & Sally have friends that camp at the campground too and liked coming to visit their friends as well.  Then a few years back we sold our first camper to Dad & Sally so last year they came camping with us.  It was stranger last year!  That year I didn't take the usual camping photo but did mark the weekend, just because.  I'm not sure what to make of it this year either.

I also wasn't sure what to do about the photo this year and was going to let it go.  But my sister or somebody rounded everybody up and even asked somebody else to take the photo.  I clearly wasn't ready {zero make up} but it's marked for history.

Memorial Weekend 2013.

It was a great weekend.  Zero rain, a lot of fish, food, great weather and good times {not a lot of pictures though}.

God Blessings!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Henry's Kindergarten Graduation

Henry graduated from Kindergarten on Thursday, May 23.  It was a busy week for us and the Thursday wasn't an exception, the entire day was busy.  The morning was filled with the Teddy Bear Band and a picnic for Karley's pre-school.  After that we went to another park in town for Henry's picnic day, home for a quick bit to eat and then Kindergarten graduation Mass.


We gathered in the social hall at church where the kids put on their pint sized cap and gown.  I thought I'd get all choked up and spill tears like I did at Mass a week prior for the seniors, but I didn't.  The seniors took the pews that the Kindergarteners usually sit in and my mind flash forwarded years down the road, years that are going so quickly already.  Eemotions got the best of me as I envisioned my son having his last class Mass to the point of tears washing my face. 
Kindergarten Mass was different, it was cute and God willing it won't be the last school Mass.  So the good-bye was cute, fun and not the end but more the beginning.  The kids all did so well and were so grown up.  At least they all seemed so grown up until the cake and ice cream that was served afterwards started kicking in.  After that point the kids broke out running around the social hall.  
We are very blessed by our school which has been both a guide and an extension of home.
You've had a wonderful Kindergarten year.  You loved your teacher Mrs. B {we couldn't ask for a better Kindergarten teacher} and all of your classmates.  You've learned to add change, starting to tell time, read, you've learned additional Spanish {I think}, your art has been wonderful  {especially the Hopson Hats that you and your classmates created at the Hopson Hat Shop},  You've learned how to participate in the Mass, sing new songs, addition, subtraction, writing, sounding words out, how to assemble, additional prayers, Pledge of Allegiance, and much more.  You love school, yet were ready for the break.  You've enjoyed your classmates and have broadened your comfort zone in making friends.
I missed having you at home with me for lunch everyday and was very grateful to be able to volunteer in your classroom on Friday mornings.  I enjoyed helping your teacher and class at Mass, cutting & pasting many art projects for your assembly.  It was fun to put your homework in your mailboxes and I'll never forget sorting your very first school workbooks on my first volunteer day.  It was a blessing for me to drive you to school every day {with the exception of the broken leg days} and an even bigger blessing to pick you up from school the days that we did.  I had a hard time the first half of the year letting you go and adjusting to a quieter home without you here all the time.  It wasn't until I broke my leg that I felt more at peace with you being at school {I think it was forced}.  Your Dad does a great job at knowing what's best for our family and that school is the place for you and your sisters, even if I missed you and wanted you with me all the time. 
You've have blossomed right along with all your classmates.  But just to keep you grounded I'll remind you that you still don't like going downstairs by yourself and request that Sophie goes with you.  Your heart is so kind that you currently want to buy each of us motorhomes so we can all camp together and hop from trailer to motorhome each night.  Somehow Dad and I are going to drive them all as you recognize that only the adults can drive, yet somehow you are springing the bill.  You want to be a racecar driver, a "worker" {as in road worker}, you've mentioned a priest and a racecar driver {I think this could be more because I offer the former as a possibility} and I haven't had the heart to tell you that both of those careers have Sunday at the "big day".  You don't want a girlfriend because "you have to be with them all the time during the week but on the weekend you don't have to be with them".  You love playing legos, your Kindle, you've moved away from some of the baby cartoons and would prefer Sponge Bob {even if I don't}, you like swinging and making forts, tunnels, and attempting to grow watermelon in your "garden of ease".
Henry you're a sweet boy and Dad & I love you very much.  You a blessing to everyone you meet!

Happy Kindergarten Graduation!

Mom & Dad Love YOU!