Monday, June 30, 2008

Traditions, New and Old

After driving across the country to attend a family reunion (the annual PCW), I had high hopes for a good time...and it didn't disappoint.

It was so fun to see our extended family, to play and to visit.

The day started with a horseshoe tournament, followed by swimming, and then lunch. (On a little side note, my favorite part of this horseshoe picture is Troy's dad there in the corner...it's good to know where Troy's fashion sense comes from.)
We then had some fun games for the kids and a little program.






















This was the first reunion since Troy's grandma had passed away and it was nice to remember her and what a wonderful person that she was.

I have to say that we have developed some fun family traditions over the years, and I think that those traditions really add to our lives.

Last year, when Troy and I were in charge of the family reunion, we did a bunch of crazy activities, one of which was a potato race. You had to tie a pair of pantyhose around your waist that has a pototo in one leg. Then you swing your hips and hit another potoato on the ground.

I am happy to report that we did this again this year, and it was no less funny the second time around. Troy won this particular contest...his various skills never cease to amaze me.





Paris, Day 2

Paris is a funny little city.

It was everything that I had hoped for and more than I expected. I have really enjoyed seeing all the sights. Today was no exception.

I went to see Notre Dame and it was awe inspiring. As I was standing out front, taking photos, the bells rang out and I could imagine Quaismoto up there, in the tower, pulling the cords.

The chapel itself was really wonderful. The stain glass was just beautiful and all of it was so serene. There were people lighting prayer candles and crossing themselves from a basin of Holy Water. It made me think that it would have been fun to be Catholic at that moment.

Then, came to endless wait for the an entry into the Tower, and the first of many stairs that I would tackle during my stay in Paris. The only amusement during my time in line was a funny little French man, wearing a Quaismoto mask taking pleasure in scaring the beejeebees out of passersby. Of course, he got a little more than he bargained for when one woman did not like his arm around her…she reacted instinctively and whipped his arm off her and twisted it into a painful knot behind his back.

Anyway, 300 stairs later, and I was looking face to face with the gargoyles that decorate the top of the church…I think it was worth the climb.

Later, I visited San Chapelle, a beautiful church filled with stained glass, the Ministry of Justice with all of enrobed personnel, and the Concierge, the former prison of Marie Antoniette.

I also went to the Louvre. I tried not to get too excited about this, because I have heard mixed reviews, but for me, it was really wonderful. I think that the Louvre is a really great example of something truly Parisian.

It is this amazingly old building, made of stone and weathered with age. But as you get to the entrance, and it's new, great glass pyramid, you find that the inside of the buiding has been completely renovated.

I really enjoyed the art. I even managed to elbow my way through the crowds and see the Mona Lisa.

Later, I met Troy for dinner and we dined at a little French bistro. I really enjoyed trying so many new and wonderful dishes while here in Paris. For dinner we had, crostini, gazpacho, crisp sardines with artichokes, duck with cherry sauce and polenta, and ├ęclairs. Troy had a little French toast with confit that was to die for! Just picture in your mind that little scene from Lady and the Tramp with the checked table cloth and the single candle…I’ll leave it you to decide who was the Lady and who was the Tramp. Hehehe

The perfect French evening.

So, just a few more random observations.

The French like to smoke. They also like their wine and their coffee.

The French do not like to stand in line, and in fact, they really don’t. If there is a line, they just go right up to the front and butt in.

The French are not quick. Except when they drive.

And, finally, Paris is awesome!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Insanity in Three Easy Steps

[ETA: here's the photos.]

Well, we did it.

We travelled across the country, from Washington D.C. to Hurricane, Utah in just three days.

The first day we drove for 26 hours straight and made it all the way to Kansas City.

Mikayla asked, "Dad, do we have to sleep in the van again tonight?"

Luckily, we were able to visit with Mike and Amanda, and their cute kids George, Henry, and Clifton. It was so fun, and such a great break in the craziness of the drive. They even invited us to spend the night. We were loathe to inflict ourselves on them in this manner, but they insisted, and we got to go swimming, had some fabulous Kansas City BBQ, and a really lovely visit. Hopefully, next time, we can stay more than 12 hours!!!!

The next day we left Kansas City at 3:30 a.m. and made it to Moab at 7:30 p.m., where we got to visit with Eva, Angie, and Jason. That too was so great. We even took some time this morning to visit Arches National Park. It was wonderfully beautiful.









And finally, today here we are at Grandma and Grandpa Beatty's.

We made it, and I can hardly believe it.

So, three easy steps to insanity?

1. Well, visit a foreign country with your spouse immediately before a cross-country road trip and farm your kids out all over town. (BTW, a HUGE thank you to our wonderful friends for the help!)

2. Pack like mad and leave to drive cross country less than 24 hours after your return.

3. And, then drive like crazy people and make the entire drive in just three days to attend a family reunion on Saturday. (I might add here, that because we drove so quickly, we passed up opportunities to see many of our nation's wonderful treasures, including the world's largest ground hog.)

Well, I am sure that it comes as no surprise to anyone else that we are insane. You probably knew that before.

And, driving cross-country with six kids and your spouse is like sitting in 6 x 8 box crammed so full of crap that the only movements you can make are just slight turns to the left and right to check the mirrors.

And can I just tell you, you never realize how LOUD your children are until you are trapped in a car with them for three days and not more than six feet away from any of them the entire time!

At least when you are at home and the kids ask for stuff, they do it one at a time and from a distance. But in the car, when one kid wants something, you can bet that they all want it. And heaven forbid someone should have to go to the bathroom, because suddenly, everyone has the same urgent bladder need at the EXACT same moment.

It was an experience. The kids were real troopers, and we're proud of them.

Becky kept saying, "Dad, I want to go home." And, "Mom, when are we going on our trip?"

Oh, little one, this is the trip, and I am sorry for it.

And, just think, we get to do it again in just a few short weeks.

Um...maybe we'll just have someone send the rest of our stuff out West...I mean, after everything we brought with us, there can't be all that much left at home!

Monday, June 23, 2008

1st Day in Paris!

[ETA: Here are the photos.]

[Note by Troy: Unfortunately, Denise didn't give me her correct login and password for the blog, so I couldn't post this while in Paris. We just returned today. Safe and sound. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but we are glad to be back together with the kids. We very much appreciate everyone who watched them while we were away!]

Well, I made it. I didn’t forget my passport, and I didn’t get lost.

I know, I’m shocked too!

And, while nothing crazy has happened, I have already enjoyed a couple of fun adventures.

It started right way, on the plane when I sat next to the nicest man. Good thing too, since I spent most of the flight practically in his lap. He was so big, he took up his seat, part of mine, and still spilled into the aisle. Gotta love air travel.

On a related note, I sat behind a woman traveling alone with her four children. I really felt for her, but I have to say that I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to fly without worrying about anyone but myself (and my large seatmate).

All the worries about the metro were also unfounded. I made my way to the hotel no problem. On a side note, I ran into a couple from my flight at the hotel. They had taken a cab and got there just about the same time I did. They paid $150. I paid $12. Troy was pretty pleased with himself here.

I made it to the hotel in time to have breakfast with Troy. I also got in a little nap before meeting Troy for lunch.

I was really looking forward to sampling French food and was excited to see where Troy would take me. Wouldn’t you know it, but he took me to a Chinese restaurant. Oh well. It was good, but I was looking forward to dinner.

We went and saw the Eiffel Tower. Amazing. Wondrous. Awesome! I mean, you know how sometimes, when you see something in person that you have longed to see, it doesn’t always quite measure up (this is how I felt about the White House)…well, this was not the case here. It rocked!









Now, on my own I went to the Musee D’Orsey, an impressionist museum. I really fell in love with some of the paintings and am really looking forward to spending more time with the art tomorrow.

Now, I got lots of advice on what to see and do and I’m happy to report I was able to check off having a crepe with chocolate, walking along the River Seine, and strolling the Champs Elysees.

I also got to see the Arc du Triomphe. Another fabulous monument.

Later, I met up with Troy for dinner. Guess where we went? If you guessed Chinese, you were right! Hahaha. Can you believe it? It was super good, but tomorrow, if it isn’t French, I am not eating it! [Note by Troy: Since I’m posting this for Denise, I’m taking the liberty of adding that Denise agreed to go to Chinese because it was fast (as compared to a typical 3-hour French dinner) and she didn’t want a long dinner because she wanted to do more sight-seeing; and I encouraged this decision because it was significantly cheaper than a French restaurant. No worries. We’ll have more than our share of French food soon enough. But doesn’t Chinese food in France qualify as French food?!?]

We also got to see the Eiffel Tower at night. Spectacular.

All in all, a truly amazing day.

And here’s some random thoughts:

The French never smile. They aren’t rude, but they don’t say hello, and they are not overtly friendly.

The French are very quiet. No one talks or makes noise on the metro. You could hear a pin drop.

The French have a different fashion sense than Americans. All the rage for women is to wear a long dress with slacks, and for the men, it’s pink shirts. Troy and I just have no hope here!

And, last but not least, be grateful for free, public restrooms. You never know what you got ‘til it’s gone!

Miss you all. Wish you were here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Omens and Signs

Several months ago I had a dream that I was going to Paris.

Now, keep in mind that at the time I had NO IDEA that I would actually be going to Paris.

So, in this dream I get to the airport and realize that I have forgotten my passport. I frantically try and get my passport and run all over the airport in seemingly endless corridors only to miss my flight.

And, now, here I sit, sure that something is going to happen to prevent me from getting on that plane...so, this is either my last blog post before Paris, or the one just before you hear a funny story about why I didn't get to go.

Keep your fingers crossed.

p.s. Troy's only comment about my paranoia and worry is that we SO could NOT do the Amazing Race together.

Uh. Yeah.

I think I already knew that...for reasons that have nothing to do with travel phobia.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So Many Men...

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what I could write that would honor the fathers in my life.

First, there is my own, sweet dad.

He is a great guy and I have always admired him. Thinking back, some of my favorite memories from my childhood were spent with my family, and in particular my dad.

When I was young, he worked a lot, so it seemed like those times that he was home were particularly special. And even though he spent a lot of time at work, he was really good about taking vacation and we would always go someplace really great.

We have seen a lot of this country because my parents took us everywhere! I didn't realize at the time how wonderful this was!

One thing that I really remember is that my dad used to have a motorcycle and he would take me for rides. Holy cow, but that was fun! I know my dad really enjoyed riding. And then, when it came time to get a car, Dad took his motorcycle and used it as the down payment on my car. I don't know if that was hard for him, or not, but I really loved that motorcycle and I appreciate that he would give that up for me. (I appreciate even more now that I am a parent.)

My dad is a big kidder too. Sheesh. He lives to give people a hard time...I do think that I may have inherited this from him.

He is funny and kind and I really love him.

The second dad in my life is my good father-in-law. He is such a hard worker and has done so well by his family.

I wish that Troy were here to tell you some great stories from his childhood, but I can tell you that Lewis (Louie to his friends!) is funny and generous. He is always willing to help whoever is in need, no matter what.

I have always admired his ability to let go of things that bother him and never to hold a grudge. He is such an example to me of someone who believes that everything will work out in the end.

I really love him too.

And finally, my own dear husband, the father to my children.

I wish that Troy were here to celebrate Father's Day with us. It isn't the same without him.

But, the children were able to talk to him today and wish him a Happy Father's Day. They even sang to him on the phone. It was super cute!

I know I give Troy a hard time about a lot of things, but he is the BEST DAD EVER! He is good to the children, he loves them, he teaches them, and is endlessly patient with them.

He is the fun one (sigh). But, that's okay. I'm glad they can have at least one fun parent in their lives.

He too is kidder, as is my father-in-law, so between these three men, I don't stand a chance.

But I love it. And I love all of them.

So, Happy Father's Day to my three favorite dads!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

World Traveller, NOT

So, I just dropped Troy off at the airport and discovered something about myself...

I do not think I am a world traveller.

It has been a hectic little while for us preparing for our trip to Paris and our subsequent vacation to the west.

So, really, we haven't talked too much about the ins and outs of Paris, nor of me getting there, except that I am to get on a flight on Tuesday and make my way to the hotel.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Except that once I get to the airport I have to take a train into Paris and then transfer THREE times on the metro to get to the hotel. Even then, once I get off the metro, I still have to figure out where the hotel is.

Troy is an especially seasoned traveller, and this doesn't seem to both him at all...not to mention the fact that he gets to take a cab from the airport to the hotel because work is paying for his trip (unlike mine).

So, as he is telling me what to do and where to go, I think I started to panic. Not to mention that I got to thinking about the two days I have to "adventure" on my own while Troy finishes up his meetings (gulp).

I am TOTALLY excited, I just hope I can get my knees to stop knocking long enough to get there!!!!

Withdrawal and Rehab

I think as our summer begins, the blog posting is going to become a little more sporadic.

I am going to have to beg, borrow, and steal computer time, so we will see how I do.

I liken the summber to blogging rehab...I am probably going to have withdrawl symptoms, and it won't be easy...but I will try not to let thoughts of the computer fill my mind...it's going to be hard!!!!

But, for now, the computer is close at hand and we have happy events to discuss.

First, Mikayla graduated from elementary school.













I am so proud of her! She did such a great job this year. She was one of only 15 students out of her class (150 in all) to get straight A's the entire year. She earned a Presidental Award for Academic Excellence, compelete with a certificate and a congratulatory letter from the Presdient. So cool!

It was a really terrific, albeit somewhat long and hot night. The gym was filled to capacity, standing room only, and the air conditioner was not working! Plus the principal decided to show a silde show with 600 photos!!!!! Yeah.

But, it was wonderful to see Mikayla complete this chapter of her education, and we are excited (and a little FREAKED OUT) about middle school.

So, our second milestone was celebrating Katie's first birthday. In my never-ending quest to be the worst mom, ever, it turns out that Troy and I will be in Paris on Katie's actual first birthday, so, we had her party last night.







It was really great. She was so fun and LOVED eating cake for the first time. We made spring rolls and had a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who could come.

And, as many of you know, it is our tradition on a baby's first birthday to do a little ceremony where they "choose" their destiny. We put out three bowls in front of them, one with money (which means they will be wealthy), one with pencils (which means they will be smart), and one with noodles (which means that they will live long, healthy lives).

Mikayla, Emma, Joe, and Josh all chose pencils. Becky choose the noodles, and Katie...also chose the noodles. It was fun, and she did not get all freaked out like Becky did on her first birthday.

Now, just don't tell her we missed her actual birthday and everything will be fine!

And, just for fun. Joe's new summer haircut.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good News, Bad News

Well, we took Emma in for another fitting on her hearing aids.

They couldn't do all the testing the first time because she had too much wax in her ear (and of course this will continue to be a problem as the hearing aids push the wax back into her ear - who knew?)

So, we took her to the doctor who did a very thorough job (just ask Emma) cleaning her ears out. She did not enjoy this!

Anyway, prior to making the adjustments to her hearing aids, they did a hearing test. So here's the bad news. She has lost even more hearing!!! Just since we did the original test in December. So, they are going to do hearing tests more frequently now to determine if she is still losing sounds.

The good news is that her hearing aids work great and she is hearing a lot better. The other good news is that her slight case of OCD is finally paying off because the doctor feels very strongly that Emma is very reliable and consistent during testing, so they have very accurate measurements.

So, all in all, it's mostly okay and we are dealing with it.

Also, the school agreed to have the county hearing specialist meet with Emma's teaches to discuss her hearing loss and strategies for helping her cope.

Baby steps!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys

So, I forgot to tell you about our field trip.

On Monday, only the hottest day of the year, we were supposed to go to the Baltimore Aquarium and Fort McHenry (the fort the Star Spangled Banner was written about).

Mikayla and I arrived at the school at 9 am to board the buses at 9:15. Well, 9:15 came and went, and no buses. 9:30, 10:00, 10:15. Did I mention that it was the hottest day of the year? (106 degrees with the heat index!!!!) I could a good long time without waiting in a hot, crowded hallway with a bunch of loud kids again! (Am I showing my age? At least I didn't ask anyone to 'stop making that racket'!

Finally at 10:30 the buses came...four bright shiny charter buses complete with dvd players and air conditioning. Oh, wait...one of the buses that they sent didn't have air conditioning! AHHHHH!

How do we decide who gets to be on this bus?

I vote that if you have been a problem child during the year you should have to ride this bus...I mean what better way to calm a bunch of rowdy kids down than the stuff them into a metal container for 2 hours with no air conditioning? hahaha

But really, they decided that we would wait for the bus company to send another bus...so we waited for another half hour. (At this point one of the mom's suggested that they send some of the kids now and make some of the kids wait...so basically, as long as she and her kid were on a bus that got to go, she didn't really give a darn about anyone else. Nice.)

So, finally at 11 am we left for Baltimore. It was actually a nice drive, and by far the nicest bus I have ever been on. Of course, we had to skip Fort McHenry because there just wasn't time...but, that might not have been a bad thing given the heat warning!

And the aquarium was AWESOME. We have never been before, frankly because it is so expensive, but taking one kid at a time wasn't so bad. And it was worth it!

They had so many fun exhibits, and it is an amazing building of glass and metal, filled with cool waterfalls and every crazy animal you can think of!



They also had a dolphin show which was Mikayla's favorite part. She made sure to sit in the "splash zone" and was thrilled when she got totally soaked.

I, however, had no such desire (I know, I'm a fuddy duddy) and made sure to still well above this area.

And, on a side note, I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new camera. There was group of loud women behind me all trying to take pictures of the dolphin show. Every time one of the dolphins would do a neat trick all I heard was, "Oh, I missed that shot" or "Dang my camera" or my favorite, the mild obscenities and laughing statements about having to watch their language (although not doing it) since they were part of the Catholic School field trip.

Of course, after listening to them carry on for 30 minutes I really had a strong desire to turn around and tell them that I had gotten the perfect shot, many of them in fact! hehehe (I resisted this impulse, but it's just a little reminder of one of the many reasons I am NOT getting into heaven.)

Other than trying to stuff six hours worth of stuff into three, it was a pretty great day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let's Talk About Me

My cute niece Katie had this on her blog and challenged her readers to post.

So, I am posting my answers, and asking you to do the same.

All you blog stalkers out there...you KNOW who you are...if you have a blog, let's learn a little more about YOU!

All About ME

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Yes, my uncle Denis.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Last night. (How sad is that?)

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING
Yes. I am dork who practiced til it looked the way I wanted. Actually, my friend from HB Amy had the BEST handwriting EVER, and when we were young I used to wish my handwriting was as pretty as hers. It isn't but I can live with it now.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Roast beef or Pastrami. It's a tie.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Yes. But there are now so many of them I can't remember who they all are. Okay. Really, if you don't count my husband...I have six.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I don't know...I'm kind of bossy and REALLY opinionated...It would take some getting used to. haha

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A Lot?
Uh, yeah.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS
Yes.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No sir, no way, no how. And I would kill Troy if he did it (if he survived)!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I like Honey Bunches of Oats, grape nuts, and raisin bran cruch, but I am not a milk drinker, so I don't have cereal very often.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No. No shoe laces on flip flops.

12. DO YOU THINk you 're strong?
I liked Katie's answer. I am emotionally strong. Sometimes I am spiritually strong. But physcally, I am a wuss.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Vanilla. (I know, I am SO boring!)

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their clothes. I have a serious wardrobe problem and wish I were a little more put together.

15. RED OR PINK?
Red.

16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
Too many things...I hate that I am a yeller. Sigh. REALLY working on this!

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST
My family. They are just too far away.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
I want a blog post. Can't wait!

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Tan shorts. No shoes.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Hummus.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Melanie, she's on the phone. hehehe

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Red, bright, obnoxious, fun.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Katie put down a perfume here, but I'd rather smell chocolate, or anything baking!

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Melanie, still on the phone with her, hehehe

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Yes!

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
None.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Brown

28. EYE COLOR?
Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No

30 FAVORITE FOOD?
EVERYTHING! It's a problem. I am particularly fond of anything Asian.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGs
Happy Endings.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Indiana Jones, the new one.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Blue (Troy would be so proud!)

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer. Live for the beach!

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Cheesecake Facotry, Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Gosh, this is a toughie. Maybe Andrea. Maybe Hilary? Amberlyn?

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND
Robin and Aimee...it's a tie!

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Skelton Coast by Clive Cussler

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
No mouse pad.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV.Late LAST NIGHT?
Nothing.

42. FAVORITE SOUND
Laughter.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles...no contest!

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
So far Korea, but next week, I can say PARIS!!!!!!!!!

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I can go to Wal-Mart, not need anything, walk around the store for an hour, and spend (wihin pennies) $100.00. It's a gift.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Bangkok, Thailand

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
All my blog stalkers...I know you're there!

48. I am adding one here because Hilary wanted to know:

If you could go back and major in something else or do something else career wise what would it be?
I would have loved to have been a book editor.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Woo hoo!

So, I am happy to tell you that the contest that I put my life (and my family's life) on hold for during May is over and today they announced the winner...

I won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (See here if you are interested.)

I have really enjoyed digital scrapbooking, as I am sure you are aware, since I reguarly insist on boring you with my layouts.

But I actaully really LOVE it. It is a creative outlet for me that is so exciting, and I really feel like I have something that is just mine.

There are so many parts of my life that belong to other people...and I wouldn't change my life for anything. But I am so excited to have something that I am really passionate about and that brings me some external validation.

...again, I wouldn't change my life, but if I am being honest I will tell you that there aren't very many thank yous or much appreciate for being a mom. That isn't why I do it, but having had a "job" for so many years, there is something to be said for paychecks, raises, and performance reviews.

And now with my scrapbooking, I get to share what I love and recieve feedback from others who also love it. It is such a great feeling.

So, the prize I won?

Well, it was supposed to be a one month guest spot of the creative team of the scrapbook site whose contest I won. But, they have actually offered me a full time spot on their team.

This basically means I get to scrapbook to my hearts content with all the digital scrapbooking products they have available....basically a scrapaholic's dream come true!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Beckyism and a Joeism

Beckyism:

So, Becky was passing by me on her way to someplace very important. (I don't know where, but I AM SURE that it was important.)

I asked if she would give me a kiss, to which she replied, "I can't right now, Mom. I'm very busy."

Oh. My bad.

And a Joeism:

I was working on my food storage and I was teasing Joe about being a slacker.

He said, "What's a slacker?"

Andrea was there helping me and she said, "A slacker is someone who sits around all day not doing anything but playing video games."

Joe didn't miss a beat. He said, "I'm not a slacker, but i'd sure like to be one!"

Update

So, I just wanted to post a quick update on 1. the dirt baby, 2. my attempts as a self-portrait, 3. my food storage.

All are going well.



















Saturday, June 7, 2008

Joy, Pure and Simple


I just wanted to share this layout of Josh.

I am loving my new camera, and although there is still so much I don't know about it, I love what I CAN do with it already!

Move Over Beethoven

Well, yesterday was a really great day.

Mikayla performed in the end of the year strings concert and she was, of course, fabulous!

It is so amazing how well the kids played. They did about a dozen songs from the star spangled banner to ode to joy. And they really were wonderful.

When you consider that these 5th grades only started playing the violin this year, and all of them only received instruction once a week with 30 or so other kids. It really was incredible.

Mikayla did so well. She doesn't get quite so nervous when she is in a group. And she is playing really well.

She is going to bring her violin with us when we go west, so feel free to ask her to play something!

And for a little update on Joe.

He got new shoes.

It kills me to have to buy new tennis shoes just days before school gets out, but he literally did not have anything else to wear. I considered duct tape to repair the old shoes, but...I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Luckily, the shoes we on sale so we scored new tennis shoes for just $7.00 (and really that was the deciding factor...for $7.00 he will have tennis shoes for the summer too.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crazy to Spare

Tornado Update

So, a quick update on the tornado that blew through here.

Good News: We are all fine. Yeah.

Bad News: None. Yeah.

Crazy News: Lots.

So, we have lived out here quite a while and there have been many tornado warnings, but we have never actually had one touch down near us, or any where close to us.

Until yesterday.

I guess what I should have done was rush the kids down to the basement, but instead, I got a baby sitter for the three little ones and took the other three out.

In my defense, I didn't realize that there was a tornado warning! I mean, how do you find these things out when you aren't watching TV?

I have to say, it was a little freaky to see the rain go sideways at 60 MPH, and we did lose power, as did the school. But Mikayla had cheerleading tryouts and there was no way in heck she was going to let us miss that!

So off we went (after dropping Joe at scouts), only to find the middle school in lockdown and having a tornado drill. It turns out the tryouts were cancelled, as was scouts, so off to pick everyone back up and drop the baby sitter off at home.

We were without power for several hours, but the storm had passed and all was well.

Of course, Troy couldn't get home because there were trees on the train tracks, so finally at 9 pm last night he took the metro to Vienna and our (REALLY GOOD) friend Ben went and picked him up.

I guess there were trees that fell on houses and on some cars, but right around us there is just a lot of debris.

So, in the future, I guess I should check the forecast whenever I see the rain moving in a direction other than down!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Worst Mom, Ever

So, in my quest to win as many awards as possible, and having recently collected meanest mom, ever, and most unproductive person on the planet awards, today, I win worst mom, ever.

I know, really, is that bad?

Well, here is the photographic evidence to support my claim.

My son, the son who in this post had to stay home from church because I was trying to win the meanest mom award, wore THESE shoes to school.

Hello.

So, the following conversation ensued.

"Um. Joseph. How long have your shoes been like that?"

"I don't know."

"Okay. When were you going to tell me that your shoes were like that?"

"I don't know."

"Why didn't you tell me that your shoes were like that?"

"I don't know."

"Let's try a new question. What do you know?"

"Well, it's fun to run in these shoes. My feet don't get hot."

(This is of course the point in the conversation where I try NOT to run screaming down the road.)

Instead, I ask, "Didn't anyone say anything about your shoes?"

"Oh yeah. My teacher wanted to know why I didn't get new shoes."

Oh, good. Your teacher noticed. And I didn't. I get to be THAT mom today. (So eat your heart out Melanie!)

P.S. Confidential to my FEMALE readers

Question?

What do you get after pumping breast milk for an entire year?

Answer.

In addition to this cute bit of loveliness?


Well, the correct answer would two giant rocks where my boobs used to be.

(I know, TMI.)

Six Million Dollar Daughter (Almost)

So, today was the big day!

Miss Emma can hear again. Woo hoo!

We were supposed to get the hearing aids last week, but they were back ordered, so she had to wait a whole other 7 days to get her hearing aids...but it was worth the wait.



And aren't they so cute? They are little pink, behind-the-ear hearing aids, and her ear molds (the part that fits into her ear) are made of clear plastic with pink swirls in it.

And, they aren't just cute...they even work!

Emma has already noticed a big difference in what she can hear and what she can't...it is so wonderful.

I think it will take some time for her to really get used to them, but we are working with a wonderful audiologist and I think that we will have it down in no time.

It was so fun to watch Emma REALLY hear...she was so happy to know that she wasn't missing anything. The cutest was when the audiologist gave her a stuffed animal who also was wearing hearing aids. It was really sweet!

Now, between Emma's glasses, her retainer, and her hearing aids, she is walking around with just about $7000 worth of stuff on her head. Sheesh.

But...she's worth it.

The hearing aids are really the latest in technology...they actually communicate with each other so Emma is able to localize sound...which means, rather than making everything louder, the hearing aids are actually stereophonic...they make the sound louder in the ear closest to the sound...something you and I take for granted, but something that people with older hearing aids cannot hear!

They will also dampen really loud sounds and block out some of the background noise around her so that she can better hear what is in front of her...so, if you want to talk to Emma, and you are someplace noisy, make sure she is facing you so that she can really hear you.

Really, she hears pretty well now. Noise is going to continue to be her nemesis...but we will work with her teachers (hopefully, they will work with us) to ensure that she has the best experience possible.

So, if you run into her, ask to see her hearing aids. She is pretty excited, and so are we!

Monday, June 2, 2008

True Courage

So, I have blogged before about Mikayla and her stage fright. And that she has worked really hard to overcome it.

She still has stage fright. And she still gets really nervous.

But she continues to push past it and do things WAY outside her comfort zone.

Today, she tried out to be a cheerleader at the middle school.

I am not sure how I feel about this, cheerleading is a whole other blog post, but I am so proud that she tried and so happy that she continues to push herself beyond what is comfortable.

I wasn't able to get a picture, but we have two more days of tryouts, so there is still time.

I just wanted to say, publically, that my daughter continues to set a wonderful example for her dear, old mother. And thank goodness for that.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Most Unproductive Person

Yes, that's me.

I have OFFICALLY been given the title of most unproductive person on the planet.

I have spent the month entered into a scrapbooking contest which ended last night, much to Troy's great relief.

So, while there wasn't much house work done this month, I do now have several very full scrapbooks.

So, if you come over, feel free to take a peek, and if you see me looking longingly at the computer...Troy is prepared to stage an intervention...you are more than welcome to participte.

Here's a few of my favorite layouts.






And if you didn't see the boys and I at church today, it was because we stayed home to do housework.

I am again competing for the meanest mom award, and when we went to get them dressed for church, where do you think I found the boys church clothes?

Well, if you guess in their closet or in the dirty clothes hamper, you would be wrong.

The correct guess would be under their beds, rolled up into a ball.

Just where they go.

And if you made it this far into the post, your prize is getting to read this HYSTERICAL story from my friend Brianna...about...well, you'll just have to read it.
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