Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nobody likes a control freak, unless she bakes

One of my favorite quotes, that sums me up is; Nobody likes a control freak, unless she bakes. I'm a bit of a control freak, I like to know what's going on and what to expect. I'm the one that's over prepared. I have freezer meals in my freezer, a stockpile of groceries, and an emergency box in my car full of clothes, food, sunblock, band aids, ect. When I feel helpless, I bake and cook. When Grandma was in the hospital last fall, I cooked and baked and brought food to Grandpa a couple times a week. I canned all of Grandma's peaches and pears, because it was the only thing I could do to help.

Grandma was rushed to the hosptial again last night. I don't have updates or details, but I'm feeling helpless again. So what am I doing? Well, the cookies were made this morning, I have soup done, and next is dinner rolls. That's just what I do. It makes me feel like I'm helping.

Please keep Grandma in your prayers!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sugar trail

The kids and I made a trip to Costco today. I have been busy making jam and was completely out of sugar. We picked up two bags of sugar (among other things) and kept shopping. What we didn't know was that one of the bags had a hole in it. Now, picture this. My 9 year old is pushing the cart. He's trying to keep up with me, who is trying to get in and out of Costco as fast as I can. Picture a very crowded store, where you must weave in and out of people. Now picture a very frustrated Costco employee (who had just swept the floor!!) who follows the trail of sugar to find us almost at the checkout. We look back to see our path throughout the whole store, left in sugar. The frustrated Costco employee takes the broken bag of sugar and just gives me this helpless look. I told him we would go get another bag, and quickly got out of his way. I wish I could have taken a picture of the trail of sugar. It was hilarious. Of course, it's only humorous if you are not the one cleaning up the sugar trail!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mr. Sandman

Today was the Sandcastle contest at Birch Bay. It's an annual event and this was our first year attending, let alone making an entry. Mom had the idea of making a bed, and putting one of the kids in it. Nate was our first choice because he was the oldest, and more likely to hold still. Mom and Tiffani spent two hours making the bed, the last half hour Nate was in it. The people on the beach loved the idea, and the judges gave us first place for best use of sand materials. Not bad for our first attempt! We had a blast, even all the little kids who just ran around and played. The girls helped collect shells and decorate the quilt on the bed. Poor Nate got really cold and after an hour, we pulled him out. They fixed the bed to make a sand person in Nate's place. What a fun day, even though it was kinda cold. We are already planning our creations for next year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

You are a Mother of Preschoolers if.....

I read a blog today that gave a list of how you know when you have teenagers. It reminded me of my list I wrote a few years ago. While I may not have preschoolers anymore, it's still funny!

You Are A Mother of Preschoolers…..

By Holly Snow

• If you are sleep deprived
• If you have stickers and cheerios stuck to your socks
• If you have spit up, snot, or drool on your clothes
• If your shoes are older than your children
• If the idea of heaven on earth is a full night of uninterrupted sleep
• If you can cook dinner, do laundry, pick up toys, feed the dog, talk on the phone, with a child on your hip, all at the same time
• If your TV has been taken over by Disney channel, Nick Jr and Noggin.
• If you can’t sing a single Top 40 hit, but know all the words to Blues Clues
• If you can’t remember a single thing from Chemistry, but have Dr. Seuss’ ABC’s memorized
• If you can’t remember the last time you ate out without French fries
• If you have ever called everyone you know when your child did something new
• If you are missing a bottle or juice cup and are scared to find it
• If you go through a bottle a month of spray-n-wash
• If you ever bought a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, ran around the house cleaning walls, and truly believe it’s magic
• If you can’t remember the last time you bought yourself something pretty and not practical
• If your floor is booby trapped with legos, hot wheels, train tracks, barbies, or polly pockets
• If more people call you Mommy than your real name on most days
• If your cookie cutters, rolling pin and spatula are used more for play dough than cookies
• If you have ever driven aimlessly just so your child will sleep longer
• If your backseat has car seats full of cracker crumbs
• If you have more crayons on your floor than in the crayon box
• If you have to point out every farm animal, tractor or train while you are traveling
• If you feel like you deserve a gold metal for getting out of the house this morning with your hair done and makeup on
• If you are scared to look under your couch
• If you have ever locked yourself in the closet to talk on the phone
• If you have ever played hide and seek with your kids just to get a moment of silence
• If you stick your nose in your child’s bottom to tell if they are poopy
• If poopy and potty are in your everyday vocabulary
• If you go through the McDonalds drive thru more than you shave your legs
• If you speak of yourself in third person, ”Mommy got a boo boo.”
• If you have ever let your child talk to a telemarketer
• If your first response to any invitation is “Let me see if I can get a babysitter.”
• If you can’t remember the last time you went to Walmart without buying diapers
• If you are pregnant or have a potty training child, and must know where the restroom is everywhere you go
• If you just need a break, a friend, a snack, a cup of coffee, or just some time without screaming, squirming, slobbery children
• If you all the bandages in your house have cartoon characters on them

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! This picture is my Dad and I on his first Father's Day.

My Dad has had a rough week this week, and I want to say I love you Dad! You have taught me so many great things, and have always been there for me. You love me enough to tell me what I don't want to hear. You've always trusted me to make the right decision. You laughed at me when I got my first speeding ticket (and my only one!). You showed affection by embarrassing me and my friends. You took me on dates to show me how a real man should treat a woman. Thank you for everything Dad!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Questioning my sanity

We have had yucky weather lately. I have been letting the kids watch far too much TV, but it's just been too wet and cold to play outside much. The few days we have had sun, I force us all outside. Mother's Day weekend was beautiful, and we hit 6 parks in 3 days.

Today I was watching my two nephews, and the sun was out. I decided that it was a no TV and computer day. The kids were going to (shocker!!) have to entertain themselves. The first hour was glorious. They played in the sandbox, no fighting, no complaints......I was giving myself a pat on the back. I should have know it was too good to be true. Right after I gave them permission to fill the water guns, the phone rang. (I apologize to my friend who had to hear this conversation!). This is what she hears as she's trying to ask me Scentsy questions.

"Don't squirt each other, you don't have extra clothes!".
"No, you may not have water balloons".
"Leave him alone".
"Stop, I said STOP".
"No, you may not have water balloons".
"Don't throw the Frisbee on the......well, it's gone now, find something else to play with".
"No, you may not have water balloons".
"I don't think so, don't even try".
"That's not a good idea".
"NO, for the 4th time, you may not have water balloons".

After that, I got off the phone, and realized that it was going to be a LONG day. The best quote of the day came later when they were shooting Nerf guns. They had been told not to shoot at others, but maybe I should have been more specific....."Do not shoot your brother in the privates".

I did hold true to the no TV and computer today. The kids had a fun day, but I'm ready for bed!

Life Skills, part 2

So the other day I was in the front yard with Nate. He was using the push mower to cut the grass under the apple trees. I like to stay with him while he does this, just until I know he's got the hang of it. As he's doing this, a nice couple is walking their dogs and stop to ask what carrot I am dangling in front of my son to get him to mow the lawn. This question dumbfounded me. They told me that they can't get their teenage son to mow the lawn. All I told them was that I told Nate that I was mowing the lawn at his age, and it was time he learned. No carrot, no threats, no bribes. It's just part of his chores.

That conversation made me think of my responsibilities as a 10 year old. The day after 4th grade ended, I was getting up at 6am to get myself ready, pack up my lunch (that Mom had ready, I just had to assemble) and catch the berry bus. I would pick strawberries (rain or shine) until late afternoon. I did this for 3 weeks, and was paid something like $104. I then spent that money on school clothes. It wasn't always fun, but I learned about hard work. I learned about being responsible to get my butt out of bed and catch the bus, without my Mom telling me to. I learned the value of the dollar, and had to budget that money to get as many clothes as I could. All great lessons.

Now I won't be putting Nate on a berry bus (I think there are new child labor laws against those) but I will be teaching him responsibility. He will have chores, and when he's old enough, he will have a job to earn money. As a teenager, there will not be fighting over him mowing the lawn. It will be part of his contribution to the household. On that same note, there will not be gender specific roles in this house. Lily will learn to mow the lawn, and Nate will learn to cook and do laundry. These are all life skills that they need to know.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Love Lights Rock

My brother Rob's band, The Love Lights, played a concert at a park last weekend. I try to take the kids to these kind of concerts, since it's the only time they can see Rob play. The band put on a great show, and Lily danced her heart out. Click HERE to see a video. You can also check out more music by The Love Lights on itunes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tears and a little freak out

I don't tend to get emotional about my kids growing up. I enjoy every stage and am excited for them as they move on to new things. Today was the exception. Today was the last day of school for my 4th grader and my 1st grader. They are now officially a 5th grader and a 2nd grader. Somehow I am not ready for that. How is it that Nate has just one year left of Elementary school? And I swear that Lily just started kindergarten yesterday!

Lily received an Excellent attendance award today at the school assembly. They also had the 5th grade moving up ceremony. I had never sat through that assembly before, and the whole time all I could think about was how next year Nate would be up there. BIG YIKES! There were tears at the assembly for the fabulous teacher who is not returning next year, and the Para Educator (known as Grandma to all of the kids) who is retiring. I was wishing I had brought the tissue!

I remembered this morning that the kids wear a white tee shirt to school and have everyone sign their shirts. Thankfully, this year all the ink stayed on the shirts! ( I won't mention which one came home with ink on his sandals last year). I picked them up at the end of the day and they got to wave goodbye to the buses as they pulled away.

The kids had a great year of school, and I loved being able to sub there this year. Ok, I'm done with the tears......bring on Summer!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life Skills

We decided that Nate is old enough to learn how to mow the lawn. We have both a push mower and a rider, and he's learning both. I learned how to mow the lawn when I was his age. I was talking to my Dad about that and we were remembering when he had to put bricks on the seat of the lawn mower, because I barely weighed enough to keep the safety feature on (if your weight came off of the seat, it would kill the mower). Every time I took a bump, the mower would die. So Dad put bricks on the seat to help me out.

I have been talking to friends lately about how Nate is learning how to mow the lawn. Others have questioned when to teach their kids also. I think as parents we know when kids are ready to learn, and are responsible enough.

I think it's very important for kids to have chores, and learn responsibility. On top of that, things like laundry and dishes are life skills that kids need to learn and practice (for years!) before they leave the house. They need to be confident in these skills, which takes time and practice.

So if you pass my house and the mowing job looks a bit shabby, know that Nate is learning, and practice makes perfect!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another Field Trip

This week it was Nate's turn for a field trip. We headed out to Semiahmoo for a beach walk, boat ride and tour of the cannery museum. We were lucky that they weather stayed dry and the sun even came out by lunch time. The kids had a blast on the boat (I stayed on shore, the max limit on the boat was 17 people). It was a fun trip, and I'm so blessed to get to tag along!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Soggy Camping Trip

Our 4th annual camping trip on the river for Memorial Day Weekend was anything but dry. It rained almost constantly, and we were all wet and cold. We still had a ton of fun though! We managed to have campfires and smores every night. We had our 2nd annual family softball game, which were were all looking forward to. The kids had fun and slept in the tent with Uncle Marty (brave soul!). Sunday night we had our deep fry night. Everyone brings different things to throw in the deep fryer. It is always fun to try new things, like deep fried tuna. In the picture above you can see Wayne as the fry master, with Tiffani holding an umbrella to keep him dry. While it was soggy, memories were made, and we wouldn't trade it for anything (well....... sunshine would help next year!).