Friday, May 30, 2008

Watch out, girls, Colton's got it figured out

Colton secured his place in the will this morning - as if he wasn't already getting a cool 50% of the bills and debt :)

I was rushing around, trying to get everyone ready as usual, when I hear his little voice:


Yeah, buddy?

Remember when you used to be kinda chunky?

Used to be??

Well, you're getting sorta skinny now, and you used to be chuunnnnnnkkkkkyyyy!

Then he giggles, and giggles, and giggles.

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Death by Caramel

This was my contribution to the brownie bake-off we had over Memorial Weekend. They were excellent! Be careful not to overbake - my edges were a bit crunchy.

Death by Caramel Bars
These showy brownies are nice and tall with pockets of caramel goo. They are wicked enough on their own, but for an over-the-top dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Prep: 24 min.; Cook: 1 hr., 5 min.
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 (2.07-oz.) chocolate-coated caramel-peanut nougat bars, chopped (Snickers or Milky Way)
1 (14-oz.) can dulce de leche*

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in chopped candy bars.
Spoon batter into a greased aluminum foil-lined 13" x 9" pan coated with cooking spray, allowing foil to extend over ends of pan. (Pan will be very full.) Spoon dollops of dulce de leche over batter; swirl slightly into batter with a knife. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, and cool completely. (This may take several hours.) Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of pan. Peel foil away from sides of uncut brownies, and cut into bars.

*Find dulce de leche with other Mexican ingredients or on the baking aisle.
Yield - 2 dozen
Head over to Overwhelmed with Joy for more Friday recipes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wii are getting Fit around our house

As briefly mentioned in a previous post, this is the chick that's kicking my butt this week:

She looks pretty harmless, don't you think? Don't let her fool you - that electronic little body can stretch into Yoga gyrations never known to modern man - and she expects you to be able to do so as well, all while measuring your "steadiness" and "balance" and "core muscle strength".

If you haven't seen the game yet, I'm talking about Wii Fit, the latest brainstorm from Nintendo that will have parents buying their kids a video game system so they can skip the gym payment each month. It's awesome. There are over 140 different activities you can do, in 5 categories - Strength Training, Yoga, Aerobic, Balance, and Favorites.

I believe this is the sorest I've been since college basketball days - if you take the time to do it, it's a really good workout!

It is a bit disconcerting on the first day, as it measures your weight, BMI, and balancing abilities. Then, it plumps up your Mii accordingly. :(

It keeps track of all the scores in the different activities, so you have a little family competition going on as well. The boys haven't played another game since we got it.

For the record, I am the MASTER at Running In Place, Basic and Advanced Step Aerobics, and Super Hula Hoop - let's just not talk about Slalom Ski, Ski Jumping, or Penguin Balance Board, or Tightrope walking.

Check it out if you have a minute - I guarantee it's worth the three months gym membership.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weekend Highlights

It was a fun, long weekend - Memorial Day camping. We went to a nearby lake with our good camping buddies. Here are some of the highlights:
  • First annual Sun Lakes Olympics - Chance and Colton both brought home trophies - okay, every kid brought home a trophy - but I am proud none-the-less.
  • Chance's trophy boasted him a winner of the fishing derby - apparently the fishing luck skips a generation, and Chance will not be laden with the heavy burden of carrying on his dad's legacy.
  • Colton won the Ninja Warrior course in the 5-year-old boy category. You're right, he's the only 5-year-old boy in the group, but it doesn't make the trophy any less impressive.
  • Other trophies given for "Best Splash Down" at the pool, "Stick Pony Races" - this may have been rigged for the 2-year-old, and "Egg Toss Champions". What a fun time.
  • We also had the inaugural "Brownie Bake-Off", which is the primary reason that my fake instructor on Wii Fit mocked me both Tuesday and today - more on that later. Back to the Brownie Bake Off - here is a sampling of what we had - Death by Caramel, Banana Split Brownies, Mississippi Mud Brownies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch, Espresso, M & M, and good old Chocolate Fudge with Frosting.
  • My dad, ever the strategist, decided to wait to bake his until the evening of the contest. I saw the Betty Crocker box mix that he used with my own eyes - although he spruced it up with the Mississippi Mud Topping - but we all figured out that nothing beats the warm, gooey brownie. Doesn't matter how fancy the recipe. And so dad took home the Golden Brownie award for '08. Don't think I'm not already planning my revenge for '09.
  • Chance is officially a "big kid". I didn't lament on it too much through the weekend, but it was absolutely killing me. When did he get so big? Each of the families that we camp with has an older child about Chance's age, but he is the youngest of the 4. This was the first year that we've given the older kids some extra freedom. Fishing on the dock by themselves - we let them rent a paddle boat - bike rides - swimming at the pool. It was good for us both, but so hard to see him be so independent. Sighhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, much fun was had by all. A great kickoff to our camping summer. Can't wait for the next trip.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

Belated birthdays . . .

I'm growing to love them. Because for a short while (or even a long while) after your birthday is over, it's still going. And, when that means more presents, who can argue??

This was my birthday surprise from Darla today. Good thing I still have my mad money from Annette, cause I think I'll need a few more chalks to fill them up . . .

Now how dang cute is that???

Thanks, Darla - you're the bestest. I can't wait to fill 'em up. It's a sure bet it will cost less than filling up my gas tank . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

He's coming - and He's gonna surprise ya

The unquestioning faith of my children never ceases to amaze me. Faith in God, faith in their parents, their family, their friends - they have no question that things will turn out as they are meant to be. I envy that.

A couple weeks ago, Matt was out of town for some training, and had to miss a couple baseball games. He was to be back in town on Wednesday, but not until late in the evening.

On our way to the game on Wednesday night, Chance asked, "Is daddy going to be at my game this time?"

"He's not going to make it back in time, bud."

"Are you sure? He said he might make it back."

"I'm sure - he told me he'd call when they left Seattle. He hasn't even called yet, and Seattle is a few hours away - there's no way he could get here in time."

Silence. Then, a quiet but confident voice.

"He's coming, mom. My dad will be at my game - I know he will. He's just gonna surprise us."

Instead of the unbridled optimism I am so envious of, my heart had two very different things going on:

Cynicism - He is still at least 3 hours away - there is NO WAY he can catch even the tail end of the game.

Guarded - Don't get your hopes up, Chance - I don't want to have to turn tricks to get your attitude back so you can concentrate on baseball once you realize you are wrong.

Now, here is where I must insert - EMPHATICALLY - that Matt is a fabulous dad. This training is the only time he's missed a game or practice. He is so present in their everyday activities, and does a great job of supporting them in all of their endeavors. My cynicism did not come from past disappointments from Matt - it came from a hard heart that didn't want to pick up the pieces.

I'm sure you can guess what's coming next - at least, if you've seen enough chick flicks and read enough romance novels.

I got a call about 20 minutes before the game from Matt - "Which field are we at, so I know where to park? I'm just pulling up now . . ."

Chance was right. And, I thank him for the lesson.

We have a Father in heaven that promises to be wherever we are, whenever we ask. How many times have I allowed my cynicism of the moment to quiet my voice, when I really should have been saying - "My Father is coming. I know it. Better yet, He's here."

We have a Savior, poised and ready, to triumphantly return to this earth - just waiting for the nod from His Father. How many times have I allowed my guard to creep up, and not talked about my Savior, before it's too late?

Your Father is here - He's just waiting for you to notice.

Your Savior is coming - soon - you can bet on it - and He's gonna surprise ya.

Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A bit anti-climactic

After my ranting and raving yesterday, the pictures of the cake don't seem quite as wonderful as I made them out to be. It's cute, but may not actually be the "cutest cake in the world". To make up for this, I'll also include a few pictures of the bestest, horse riding-est, fun birthday party in the world from yesterday afternoon. That oughta make up for any shortcomings . . .
The requested "Construction Theme" cake that Colton saw at Safeway for $28. I knew I could do it just as well, cheaper, and with real tractors that wouldn't fall apart after the first round in the dirt. Colton wasn't so sure - he requested that I at least buy the "map" from Safeway, so I'd know just how to make it. I told him they let me get it on the Internet. Which, by the way, if you are looking for neat kid cake ideas, check out - it's a fabulous site with pictures and instructions for fun birthday cakes.

The kids had to practice being both the horse and the rider, so they would know what to do with the reins when they were actually riding. Some of them really took to this game, some of them really didn't like the idea of being reined in, and were pretty obnoxious little ponies!!

Colton gets some instruction from Miss Tereesa before leading his horse to the steps and hopping on.

Chance and Colton, atop their trusty four-legged friends. They both had a ball. Chance wants to do his birthday party here, on the condition that since he's bringing an "older crowd" they can graduate to the running part - because actually, all that walking got a little "borrringggg."

Here's the first group of riders right before they dismounted. I think they all had a great time. Thanks, JT Ranch - we had a great day!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shhhhhhhhh . . . . . . . bats!

Well, it's been quite a morning. I thought I was just an ordinary gal - Super Mom, maybe, but definitely not a Super HERO! Until this morning.

Apparently, I am . . .

This is the only explanation I can think of that THIS GUY . . .

. . . could possibly be comfortable crawling around in the truck, nonchalantly crawling up out from under my coat while I was trying to DRIVE, and perching himself right on top of the cutest cake in the world that I made for my son's birthday party tonight. That's what this post was supposed to be about - the cutest cake in the world made for Colton's birthday party - instead it's about BATS.

Scary, freaky, crawly, gross, FRICKIN' BATS that would dare to think they could cohabitate with me in my vehicle.

And, if I was still cranky, it would be about husbands who think I am not smart enough to know a bat from a large fly when it slowly crawls up the passenger seat and perches itself on top of the cutest birthday cake in the world. But, I am slow to anger, or I won't let the sun go down on my anger, or I'm turning the other cheek, or something else that sounds very biblical and holy and completely opposite of what is actually raging inside my stomach and causing me to eat the rest of the box of Sugar Babies that helped decorate the cutest birthday cake in the world.

I'm thinking Calvin & Cali & Ande would have caught the thing, studied him, and let Jane take a bundle of pictures for her blog. And, frankly, this is what I would hope my next bat experience might be - me, looking at pictures on Jane's blog, of Calvin & Ande & Cali studying this most interesting creature. (Ande, do you notice that if you had a blog, your name would be a little linky thing instead of just plain old, regular text??)

More on the cute cake later - my stomach is still in knots . . .

PS - thanks for saving me, Tom. My truck is still across the street at the shop being exterminated. Guess there are some perks to working for a chemical company :-)

PPS - Thanks for the Batman Bubble Bath, Jay. Sarcasm and humor always make these types of situations better, and I'm sure it will help me to really relax once I get home tonight.

What do you guys think about bats?? Love 'em, hate 'em, give you the creeps?????

Monday, May 19, 2008

How long is too long?

As you can imagine, with two boys in the house, as well as a playful husband, there are often games, tricks, and pranks happening every time you turn your head.

As you can also certainly understand, while raising two rambunctious, yet intelligent boys, that we have had to have more than one conversation about fibbing, stretching the truth, misleading, and outright lying.

Now, while these two scenarios don't usually go together, you can understand how they could be tough concepts to merge in a 5-year-old's mind.

So this is what I get from Colton in the car . . .

Okay, mama, ezackly how long do you have before a trick turns into a lie?


Like, when you want to trick someone, so you have to tell a little lie, ezackly how long do you have before you have to tell them it's a trick or it turns into a lie??

Yeah, this one's going to be pushing the limits for a long time to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Weight Watchers

This is a great recipe for a basic grain mixture - once you cook it up, it's good to use in fried rice, stir fry, or a side dish. Tons of fiber, and the variety of grains gives it great flavor. I did not do the calculation on the points, so make sure you double-check it with the packages of grains you use.

Healthy Mix
Weight Watchers
10 Pts. Per cup dry mix.

Mix the following & store in a container until ready to cook.

1 Bag Red Mill Whole Grain BULGUR Cracked Wheat

1 Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice

1 Bag Lentils

1 Bag Pearl Barley

Cook as you would Rice. I added three cups water per 1 cup mix.
Head over to Overwhelmed with Joy to get more Weight Watchers Recipes today!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birthday Good Mail

Okay, so I am starting to, a little bit maybe, get into the whole card making thing. When I am around Annette and Darla, and have some inspiration, I make a few and think maybe it's something I could really do. I get lots of inspiration from Tracy's blog, and think with her and Annette's patterns, maybe this is something doable.

Then, I remember how far behind I am on scrap booking, curse myself for thinking of taking on one more project, and I go straight to Wal-Mart and stock up on 87 cent cards for the rare occasions when I actually remember someone's birthday before the fact.

Subsequently, my friend Annette makes me a card like this, and I feel more than a little guilty that she will get the Rainbow of Birthday Wishes from the Wal-Mart bargain card aisle again this year. But it's the thought that counts, right??

I guess it's pretty obvious that Annette has a lot more going on in the whole "thought" department than I do.

And, to top it all off, the card contained some "mad money" tagged for use at one of my favorite scrapbook stores. I tell you, a girlfriend's birthday just doesn't get much better than that.

Thanks, Annette - you're awesome!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude - I don't wanna miss it

Here we are, a few days after Mother's Day. I've seen some great blog posts about the incredible ladies on this earth that we call "Mom". There's no denying it - mom's are special.

That said, I have to admit - there are lots of times I resent the responsibilities that motherhood brings. Don't get me wrong - I don't resent my children - just all the baggage that we allow into our lives along with them. And don't worry that I'm calling down the wrath of God by resenting the blessing he's allowed in my life - He already knows my successes, failures, and heart wrenching cries for help about motherhood - and He loves me the same. Not a day goes by that I'm not on my knees, asking for help, guidance, patience, or a couple extra minutes on the clock. I thank Him everyday for my boys, and I choose gratitude for all the things He allows me to accomplish throughout any given day - it's a miracle, for sure.

As I have raced through another almost impossibly busy week, the cry of other parents begs me to slow down, cherish the moment, be grateful for each new day and each new challenge:

  • Colton's teacher, talking with joy-filled eyes about the days her son played baseball being some of her fondest memories of family time. Slow down - don't miss it.
  • The thought of my friend who lost her son way to soon in life - who would give anything to be juggling baseball schedules right now. Slow down - don't miss it.
  • The thought of another friend who recently lost his teenage son - and the reminder that we have no idea how many days we get with these blessings entrusted to our care. Slow down - don't miss it.
  • Darla, who is closing the chapter with her older kids, and just opening it with the younger ones, but this time with the knowledge of how fast it goes. Slow down - don't miss it.

So this week, as we raced through a metal show, my birthday, Mother's Day, baseball practice, Colton's birthday, a baseball game, ice cream, cake, and presents late when we got home, two games tonight - instead of the resentment that threatens to rise to the surface, I try to remember - Slow down. Don't miss it. Be GRATEFUL for the blessings God has given you, and for the talents He has given you to pull it all off. Don't miss it.

You're Gonna Miss This
Trace Adkins

She was staring out the window
Of their SUV
Complaining, saying,
I cant wait to turn 18
She said, "I'll make my own money"
And I'll make my own rules"
Mama put the car in park
Out there in front of the school
And she kissed her head
And said 'I was just like you"

You're going to miss this
You're going to want this back
You're going to wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're going to miss this

Before she knows it
She's a brand new bride
In her one bedroom apartment
And her daddy stops by
He tells her "It's a nice place"
She says "It'll do for now"
Starts talking about babies
And buying a house
Daddy shakes his head
And says "Baby just slow down"

Cause You're going to miss this
You're going to want this back
You're going to wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're going to miss this

Five years later
There's a plumber
Working on the water heater
Dogs barking, phones ringing
One kids crying, one kids screaming
She keeps apologizing
He says "They don't bother me.
I've got two babies of my own.
One's 36, one's 23.
It's hard to believe..."

But You're going to miss this
You're going to want this back
You're going to wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're going to miss this
You're going to miss this
Yeah you're going to miss this

You're Gonna Miss This Lyrics

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weren't you just a baby like 2 months ago?

Colton is 5 today.

So grown up. Such a big boy. And it's killing me.

This morning, I was going to take the boys to school instead of meet Tina, so I was letting them sleep in a bit, but Colton ended up waking up on his own at about the same time as usual. He walks out to the landing of the stairs, which looks down on the living room where I was sitting, and says, in the cutest little voice, "I was just laying up there waiting for my breakfast in bed."

Yes, I felt approximately 3 inches tall. After the grand display the boys did for me on Mother's Day.

I told him that I was taking him to school that day, and had planned a trip for us to have coffee together before school. He loves having coffee. I take each boy out on his own once a month to give them some "mommy time" by themselves. Chance usually chooses Shari's for breakfast - Colton usually chooses Starbucks. We order coffee and scones, and sit in the big fluffly chairs by the window, guessing what color the next car through the busy drive-through will be.

Today, this is not enough.

"So, that's it? That's my party?"

No, buddy - that's not your party. It's just something special I thought we could do this morning. You actually have many celebrations ahead of you - cookies at school today, birthday cake and presents tonight, dinner after baseball with Grandmother tomorrow, and your extra-special horse riding party next week.

Now there are tears.

"I have to wait until next week to have my birthday?"

No - just the horse riding part. Everything else is today or tomorrow!

"So, I get some presents tonight?"

"Cause, I didn't see any presents laying around yet."

(Thank you, that I only procrastinated this long and we wrapped presents last night).

Your presents are in the dining room, just waiting for us to celebrate tonight.

"Yippeeeeee! We're gonna have a party, we're gonna have a party!!"

"Okay mama, I guess we can go to coffee now."

And so we did.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The first of many battles better off not fought at all

Chance has been wanting to dye his hair for a long time. He wanted to bleach it, or at least chunks of it, or maybe just the tips of it. I've put it off for as long as I can - not too excited about starting this season of his young, 3rd grade life. But, I also recognize that there are so many more battles to come, and more important ones at that. This was one we wouldn't fight over - just put off as long as possible.

At his last haircut, he asked the guy how much it cost to bleach your hair, and the $35 price tag was enough to buy us a few more weeks. One of his friends made an attempt at bleaching his, and ended up with red hair - this bought us a few more weeks.

Then, as I was picking out hairspray in the Wal-Mart hair care aisle, he saw some home dye kits. He was pretty concerned that they all pictured girls, and was not convinced when I told him that the kits were not discriminatory - they would work on both male and female hair. We got a kit on sale for $6, and decided Sunday was the day.

He whined the whole time (insert 2 hours) I was pulling his sensitive little locks through the highlighting cap. Could have been that I'm not very experienced with the whole knitting hook thingie that you have to use.

About halfway through the cap process, Matt came in the house. He mouths to me "should I take a picture?" Yes - definitely yes! This is sooo blogable.

Chance is onto me. He has seen the blog on occasion, but I had no idea how intuitive the little bugger was - he hid the camera before we got started!!! And wasn't revealing it's location on any terms!! It was hilarious! Thankfully, Matt has a camera in his car for work, so we were able to record this historic event :)

I think it turned out pretty good. By the time we left for school today, he was a little hesitant, and wanted to wear his coat with the hood on it in case he needed to cover up his hair. Thinking back to my haircuts, perms, and highlights, I can totally relate. No matter how good you think it looks when it's done, there's always a bit of trepidation at allowing other people to see it and have an opinion.

Here's the final results. Pretty dang cute kid, huh?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day To Me . . .

The boys treated me so well for Mother's Day - I am blessed beyond measure! Here's how the day started . . .

. . . and it just got better from there.

Both boys had made projects at school, and they were great. They also got me a gift certificate at a spa in town, so I'll be pampered for some time to come!

Matt made spaghetti for dinner, which was fabulous, and topped it off with German chocolate birthday cake for dessert.

I also found out that there is something better than a nice, long, relaxing bubble bath - and that's a nice, long, relaxing bubble bath that someone else has gotten ready for you - complete with a pre-heated bathroom, flowers, and candles. Thanks, honey, you are the best!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I got this on e-mail, with no author listed, so I cannot give credit. Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy friends, and most of all to my mom . . .

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football , hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot. And vice versa.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us.

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray.

After 4 children, my mom experienced more of the above bullet points than she probably would have chosen, and did so with grace, poise, and love. You are the best mother anyone could hope for. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You shoulda seen it in color

The Parade

The Parade

My little catcher

and my big pitcher

My cabinets

And God smiling down on our baseball game . . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Life is just more organized with a list

Okay, so I've gotten a bit of flack from lurkers, family members, readers, and other bloggers who have no idea what's going on in our lives if I'm not typing. I guess this is my official apology.

Lately, things have been so crazy, I've got about 7 lists going to keep me from losing my head (or at least from losing the baseball snack list). What better way to update the masses than with a bloggy list of my own?

A picture version of the list will debut some time tomorrow, when I get my computer running again. For now, here it is, in the full text version.

  • We attended an Arts & Crafts show at WSU, where we had a fabulous weekend of selling, topped only by a wholesale order taking the lion's share of what was left in the trailer. A huge blessing, indeed, but one that set Matt up for more late nights in the shop than either of us anticipated. Thanks for all your hard work, honey!
  • My brother went and got himself smacked in the chin with a pressurized cam-lock - ended up at Harborview Medical Center getting an as-yet-undetermined amount of stitches to go with the steel plates and screws holding now his jaw together. The day-trip to Seattle actually turned out to be an enjoyable time of visiting and catching up with some of our good friends who met us in Cle Elum along they way - a silver lining in that cloud, for sure. My brother is doing well, recovering, and probably already tired of milkshakes. Standby, I'm betting by week 8, he'll have figured out how to make pizza in to a milkshake!
  • The boys started baseball games, and had opening day and a parade the last weekend of April. Obviously, this one will be more enjoyable on the picture post. With both playing, we are getting to be experts at ball field dinners, dividing our time between two games (or just sitting smack in the middle of two fields), and at the same time trying to take a somewhat equal amount of pictures of each child. This is actually easier than it seems, because Chance is advanced enough in his skills that it's fun to take pictures of him pitching, at first base, and batting. Colton is just plain cute in his uniform, and when he puts the catcher gear on, my shutter on the camera just doesn't get much of a break.
  • I ordered some antique ceiling tiles on eBay, and Matt replaced my kitchen cupboard inserts. Another one obviously better shown in the picture, but you're gonna love it (I do)!
  • That next week, between the two boys, we had baseball games each night. Yikes!! How much pizza and sandwiches can one family have?? To make it a bit more complicated, it was month-end at work, and we had an art show that weekend. My friend Jackie saved my bacon and fed the boys and got them to the field two of the nights. We have been switching back and forth with dinner and pick-up, so that we both don't have to make the whole loop after work, and it also gives each of us at least one night that we can breath for a 1/2 hour or so before we have to be at the ball field. Thanks, Jackie!!
  • We attended the Apple Blossom festival, and had a good weekend. My parents live close to this show, so we can crash there in the evenings and still see the boys. We had our now annual Red Robin dinner after we packed up on Sunday - yum, yum, yum!!
  • 3 cases of measles are reported at Chance's school. It's been a week of verifying immunization records, limiting access to those not vaccinated, and proving vaccination for adults who want to chaperon their son's field trip this coming Friday - yes, that would be me - and my vaccinations were forever ago, and apparently a bit hard to get a hold of. One nurse said, "If your mom kept that little vaccination card that you bring back to the doctor each visit, then that is an official copy, and should suffice for any records requests." Yeah, I don't even know where my 4-year-old's card is, let along this 34-year-old's!!
  • I broke my computer. This is only my excuse for the last two days of not blogging, but it will be my excuse for the next 4 weeks of not getting my work done. It will sound something like this "You know, my computer was down, and I just haven't gotten everything back to normal yet." It works well, and for a long time, doesn't it Darla????
  • We are in the middle of busy week number 18 for the year - tonight will be our 3rd baseball game of the week. Tomorrow is free, but Friday starts another busy weekend - here we go . . .

And, as if the above wasn't keeping me busy enough, there is also the mundane side of the last few weeks:

  • We have done approximately 34 loads of laundry.
  • and 10 loads of dishes.
  • and packed 6 baseball dinners to feed 2 adults and 4 children
  • and enjoyed 6 baseball meals that consisted of nothing more than Starbucks and sunflower seeds because Jackie fed my kids
  • and packed 15 lunches and 30 snacks for boys for school
  • and provided baseball snacks one evening for 15 hungry and excited 5&6 year olds
  • and folded approximately 28 of the 34 loads of laundry (no, miraculously, the rest are not still on the floor in my bedroom [although I'm not saying that's not impossible], they just got stuffed into a bat bag so fast, there was no use in folding them)
  • and poured about 40 bowls of cereal
  • and made about 20 pots of coffee
  • and cut 15 - 4 x 10 sheets of steel (okay, no we about this one - Matt did that)
  • and put about 1500 miles on our car
  • and tried to remember to love every minute of it - because I know it will be gone before we know it - but that's another post all it's own . . .