Friday, May 29, 2009

We are nothing, if not competitive

My friend Trish is the bomb. Activity coordinator extraordinaire. Last year, for our annual Sun Lakes campout, she decided to organize some competitive games to keep the children engaged and having fun.

And so, the Sun Lakes Olympics were born.
She ordered some trophies, dreamed up some games, and the kids had a blast. Last year, Chance won a trophy for catching the most fish, and Colton won a trophy for best time on the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course.

Two things I should note here -

#1 - our Olympic Games are totally a Socialist activity. Every kid gets a trophy. And to ensure that every kid gets a trophy, the best kid in any given event may not win that trophy. We will manipulate times and rules in order to ensure each child tastes victory. So really, we are the Sun Lakes Olympic Games of France. Or something like that.

#2 - if you were one of the families who had the poor timing of being on the Sun Lakes play toy during the period of time our children wanted to do their timed Ninja Warrior Obstacle course, I'm sorry. Kind of. You were there in force when we showed up, but only a few of you had the gumption to stick through until the end of our competition. I guess we didn't push you off the slide enough times in our haste to beat the clock. Again, I'm sorry. Kind of.

ANYWAY

In an effort to remain frugal and save the planet, we recycle the trophies. You must bring your trophy back to subsequent Sun Lakes campouts, and it is on the auction block for the best time of the current year - or the most deserving time, as the committee might say. This KILLED Colton. I heard about this trophy for 3 weeks preceding the campout. He didn't want to give it back. He didn't want to have to win it again. He just wanted it to sit on his shelf every day for the rest of his life.

We practiced the Ninja Warrior Obstacle each day. He would have me walk over to the playground with him so he could practice. He was determined.

Then he caught a fish.

And that dusty old ninja warrior looked like a punk compared to the glowing, sparkly trout trophy that was to go to the fishing winner.

It wasn't the first fish. It wasn't the biggest fish. But dang-it, that's about the cutest kid catching a fish we'd ever seen. So he got the trophy.
Chance, despite some health issues on Sunday, and missing the Ninja Warrior competition altogether, came through with a respectable prize for longest toss in the egg throwing competition. It was a LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNGGGGG toss.


What a bunch of fun. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Remember When - an interactive post


Sun Lakes seems to be my spot of parenting firsts. Last year, Chance's group of friends that we camp with, as the aptly labelled "older group", got to finally experience many freedoms we had not yet let them embark on. Fishing on the dock by themselves. Renting a paddle boat without a parent. Playing board games and watching movies late into the night. Riding to the little store on purchasing errands. It was a big leap for me, and I held myself back from following him on each excursion to make sure he'd be okay.


This year was the year of the great kick the can marathon. They would fish on the dock until dark, and then head back to our cluster of camp sites to play.


Do you remember the first time you had to wait up for your kids?


That time you realized they were growing up before your eyes, and you no longer put them to bed first, but instead longed for the comfort of the bed while you waited for them to finish their day?


Saturday night, we were sitting around in our camp chairs, listening to the joyous laughter that epitomizes children playing. Colton asks to go to bed. ASKS to go to bed. He is beat. He wants me to come to bed, too. But I can't. Not that I don't want to. I'm tired from a fantastic day of friends and fun. But I can't.


I have to wait up for my 9-year-old.


Do you remember the first time you waited up for your child to come "home", whether it was really home or a camp site? Am I the only one feeling melancholy about this next great leap of growing up he is doing??

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks . . .

The baseball fun is almost over.

Next week is it, and I am sad. The weather is finally cooperating just in time to be done.

One's been doing lots of pitching.










The other, catching as much as his coach will let him.







And both have been very successful with the batting.




For those of you with keen eyes and enquiring minds, who can see that the ball is just coming to the first baseman's glove as Colton approaches the base, please know that this is the first time (of I'm sure many) that my son decided to argue with the first base umpire. With tears and everything. Because he was called out. And he didn't think the kid's foot was on the base. Looking at the best evidence I have available, I have to agree. Silly umpire. It took lots of convincing, a stern talk about respecting authority, and two pepperoni sticks to calm the boy down. With this picture as concrete evidence, I can see why.

And through it all, we are still learning.


Man, I'm gonna miss this . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Business of Busyness

So, this is what May has looked like. Probably not busier than any other working mom, but for posterity reasons, I have it all written down. I don't know if that's to save my sanity, or just give other people a good reason why I've lost it.


Anyway, blogging has been at the bottom of the list of busyness.


This week, I hope to do some catch-up posts: Colton's birthday party, girls' weekend, baseball, and camping. Much, much fun has been had by all!


Stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Spunky Brewster

Dear Colton,

Happy 6th birthday, buddy! I'm wishing you a most fantastic day.

Last night, as I was praying for you on your birthday eve, I thanked the Lord for your spunk. When I was done praying you asked me what this "spunk" thing was. I'm not sure I answered you well, so I'll give you spunk, personified . . .









I love you, son! Happy Birthday ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let the children come to me


Dear Jesus-


Please take away my cough so I don't have to be sick on my birthday tomorrow.


And help me to sleep good.


Amen.

Under Construction

The boys continued with their tree house construction this weekend. Why have a ranch-style tree house when you can have a split level?













Do you think girls will be allowed in the 2nd floor???

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Special Day

So, we have a tradition at our house. It's a hit-n-miss tradition, but we try. We have this "Special Day" plate. It's a red plate, and when you are having a special day - birthday, accomplishment, etc. - you get to use the special day plate.

Sunday was my special day. My birthday and Mother's Day all rolled into one. My mom always says I was the best Mother's Day present she ever could have gotten. I think they gave her too many drugs in her epidural, but I'll take the compliment.

Anyway, with all this "specialness" happening in one day, Matt decided to extend my weekend with a nice dinner on Friday night.

I got a text on Friday after lunch that said - "Not for nothin', but dinner reservations have been made."

Verna was coming for the weekend to help with the boys on Saturday, so she showed up a bit early on Friday evening so we could have a night out on the town.

When we got to Michael's, the table was already adorned. What a sweetheart!



We started out with my favorite appetizer, and ate like royalty from that point on. Crab/artichoke dip, salads, steak and coconut prawns - with a couple lemon drops mixed in for good measure.

The manager came over and offered to buy our dessert for this special occasion, and we decided to split a mud pie.

It was fantastic!

A word to the wise, though. When your husband goes to such extreme romantic measures as to have the table adorned with candles and roses before you get there - your dessert might come to the table gloriously displayed on your actual "Special Day" plate. And you should notice that it's your plate. And therefore gush about the romantic planner that is your husband for making this evening so perfect. Cause if you don't, everyone (including the manager) will be waiting expectantly, in vain, and your husband may think such romanticism is unappreciated.


Just sayin'.

Honey, you are a gem. If I forget to tell you later, I had a fantastic evening on Friday night. You are (and always have been) a better planner than I am a noticer. Thank you. For everything you do. Great and small. For those I've appreciated, for those that have shown up on the radar a bit late, and for those I've yet to discover. You are my dream come true.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

The boys (with much help from Matt) gave me a great Mother's Day celebration today. In an effort to pay it forward, I'm going to pass on a little present of theirs.

Matt had them fill out a survey about me. Each with their own unique answers. In turn, I will answer the same questions about my mom. Let's see how well they translate . . .


  1. My mom is the best cook I know!


  2. I am better than Mom at computers and always will be!


  3. I always beat my Mom at Scrabble and always will.


  4. My mom always whips me at last minute cleaning, but her time is coming.


  5. My Mom makes me cranky when she doesn't believe in herself.


  6. I know my Mom is cranky when she stops joking.


  7. I can cheer my mom up by a phone call.


  8. My Mom knows I'm cranky when I am ranting and raving.


  9. Mom cheers me up by helping me see the light side, but it doesn't always work.


  10. I love to help my Mom clean up the house, but sometimes she says "NO WAY!"


  11. My Mom always has to help me entertain even though I could do it myself. (Thank goodness)!


  12. Mom's favorite song is bluegrass, but she should listen when I'm not around.


  13. If Mom was a super hero, she would be Wonder Woman.


  14. If I could grant Mom one wish, I would let her live the rest of her life pain free.


  15. My mom always wants me to slow down, but I would rather do it all.


  16. I don't like to eat my mom's tuna casserole for dinner.


  17. If I could cook (I can!), Mom would have to eat my homemade pizza.


  18. Mom is better than dad at Christmas presents, but he's gaining on her.


  19. My Mom will never be better than Dad at towing the trailer no matter what she tries.


  20. If I want to make Mom laugh, all I have to do is call her - we're usually both laughing within the first 2 minutes.


  21. If I want to make Mom mad, all I have to do is be mean to someone in her family.


  22. If I was the boss, Mom would have to make Oatmeal cake once a week.


  23. I show Mom how much I love her by blogging ;)


  24. I know my Mom loves me because she shows it 100 different ways.


Happy Mother's Day, mom! Hope your day was fantastic. I love you!


Here's what Chance and Colton had to say.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Surprise!

It's an insect.



A real scrappy one, at that.



Although not a meat-eater.



No water required. (Thank goodness!)



Not picky about food - any pulp tree will do - just needs to be small enough to digest easily.



It's cage fits easily on my desktop.



With my new little friend keeping me company, productivity and quality of work should skyrocket.



It's cute.



Cute as a bug, in fact.



It's a ....................



Thanks, Darla and Annette. You guys are too sweet. Can't wait to make you a thank-you card ;)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The green, green grass of home . . .


Dinner Question:


Name three things you like about your home.


Chance - Relaxing, playing video games, playing outside (baseball and stuff).


Mommy - Having dinner with our family, peace and quiet, and the general noise and commotion that means there are little boys growing up in our house. To which Colton screamed - YES! I knew you were gonna say that! I knew you liked it when we're noisy!!


Colton - Having lotion rubbed on my back, playing in the tree house and the swing set.


Daddy - Puttering outside - doing all the chores to keep up our little "ranch", having dinner as a family around the table, being able to go to the shop and make stuff.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Because it's one, two, three strikes, you're out!

Part of the joy of watching Colton's antics on the baseball field is knowing that soon, the pictures will turn from silly into this:


His first at-bat of the game.
A double on the first pitch!

Ready to run . . .


One of 9 strike-outs that game.

It is so fun to watch Chance play. To see the game finally clicking. To watch him strike kids out, and see that gleam of pride in his eye when he does. Accomplishment is as captivating to watch as entertainment.
Way to go, Chance - you're a star!