Friday, April 25, 2008

Without boys underfoot.

Tuesday morning, we started up our new Beth Moore Bible Study. I am excited about it. Unfortunately, while there, AJ decided to have a blowout of infant proportions. Through the clothes, up the back, the whole works. Now, he's at an age where I hardly pack a diaper bag anymore if were are only going to be gone a few hours. I merely throw a diaper and few wipes in my purse. Fortunately, I borrowed more wipes, someone had an extra pair of sweatpants in their van, and he wore a borrowed adult sized t-shirt home. However, we had to stop at Sam's on the way. I'm sure I got funny looks like I don't know how to dress my child.

While there, I got a call from my parents. They decided on a whim to come visit for a few days. They got there Tuesday evening and, of course, the boys were ecstatic.
Wednesdays are usually pretty busy for me since we have our Bible Study at our house, so my folks took the boys to the playground in the morning. It's amazing what one can accomplish quickly without boys underfoot. What is normally a nutty day, turned into a pretty relaxing one.

That evening, we had Taco Night with our young adults. After dinner, my parents ran some errands with the boys during our Bible Study. We then were all outside playing yard games until it got too dark to see.

Thursday, we took the boys to see the Veggie Tale Pirates movie. It was alright. I don't think the boys were thrilled with it, although we did make it the entire movie, thanks to dum-dum suckers. Fortunately, the movie wasn't crowded and they could move a bit. My parents left yesterday afternoon. Because Marc wasn't feeling well, I ended up taking Andrew to his pee wee basketball class.

I am currently at the gym with the boys trying to get a few things done via their wi-fi. Hope your weekend is super.

It's totally different from scrapbooking!

This is Marc's new hobby.. making spinner baits. Not only did he make all the lures pictured here, but he also made the stand they are hanging on.

For sale:
Spinner Baits - $5

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Look what I won!!

My blog friend, Amie, is an amazing seamstess. She made a tote to give away and I won it!! I am so excited about it and can't wait for it to arrive. Thanks Amie!

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of year...

Yesterday we walked to Cone City! Well, Andrew rode his bike. We shared a large chocolate cone and managed to make a complete mess of ourselves and had a great time!

Today we went back to the Gardens. You are going to get so tired of hearing about the gardens and seeing picture of the gardens, but the Gardens are really Grand! I love them! We met some friends there and since the weather was nice, we got to do the outside gardens (which is really the majority of the place) along with seeing the butterflies again. It seemed like the butterflies doubled since we were there last. And, it was the least busy day so far as well.

There is so much to do outside that we were there for three hours and I feel like we only scratched the surface. But the great thing is... We can go back whenever! I like it so much, the boys may even be tired of the gardens by the time the summer is over.

Tonight, I managed another successful attempt at roasting a chicken (if you've read in the past, I am very hit or miss when I try this meal). Then we all played outside for a bit, meaning I got my tail handed to me in MonkeyBall by my hubby. This evening we had a couple come over that we are going through premartial counseling with.

Oh! And I made a cake. Out of the blue, at dinner, Marc asked for a cake for dessert. But of course, not just any cake. A cake with his mom's icing. So- that's what he got. Except, because I made it so late in the evening and since we promised the boys a piece before bed (they couldn't sit there and help/watch me make it and then not have any), I had to ice it while it was still warm. That's interesting. But it still tasted fine and was nice to have around for our company tonight.

Tomorrow, I start a new Beth Moore Bible Study, Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms. It's only a six-week study, but it should be good. Wait, it's Beth Moore... it will be outstanding.
Wednesday we have our young adult study here with taco night. On Thursday, I think I am going to take the boys to see the Veggie Tale movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. They have it this week free for kids and only $2.50 for adults. So, I think we will try. We won't have much to lose. But I'm not one of those pirates, so I need to go get things pulled together for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to impress my boys...

One of the guys from our college/career class stopped by today with his new ride. His family owns a body shop and he does paint work. He's been working for a year on this one. The boys were thoroughly impressed!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's Rootbeer Float Season.

I'm tired. It's past my bedtime, but yet I'm here. I did get to get out this morning to do a little garage sale-ing. I think I did pretty well. For $20 I got both boys water shoes. I got sandals and 2 shorts for Andrew, and swim shorts for AJ. I also got a pair of shorts for myself and 3 brand new in-the-package toothbrush heads for our rechargeable toothbrushes. I also got a few $.50 items as well.

I then hit the grocery store and bought a frozen pizza to bring home for lunch. I now know we've reached the point where one pizza doesn't cover it anymore. I put AJ down for a nap and worked around the household, while Marc took Andrew to Home Depot for yard trimmings. We've spent the afternoon spreading mulch and planting flowers, and getting the house ready for our little dinner party.

Eight adults and 7 kids were over for steak, hotdogs, sides and rootbeer floats. The little kids played in the backyard, the big kids (Daddies) played in the frontyard and we made it through the night with only one head wound. It was a fun night, the weather was beautiful, and we ate great food thanks to Chef Ryan and spent time with great friends, thanks to God. No complaints here and now I'm off to bed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My All-Star.

Last night, Andrew had his first pee-wee basketball class with daddy. They stretched, then had stations set up for shooting, passing, dribbling, and agility. Andrew's coordination level wasn't quite as high as his energy level, but he had a good time. He told every single person about his new shoes (and every single person we've seen since). He even got to wear his 'basketball clothes' (great garage sale find last year).

I took more pictures, but between the gym lighting and trying to keep AJ from running out onto the court... they didn't turn out. During the class, I took AJ out to the playground where he had a blast and got extremely dirty. We stopped at Home Depot for playsand and Burger King for a cheeseburger before heading home.

This morning was gym day. I am going to miss gym day when they stop having it at the end of April. Yes, the weather is nice and the kids can get outside... but it's a nice chance for us mom's to get together and chat without running in 15 directions. Anyway, I met a couple of my friends there today and had a nice time while all the kids played.

We had Noah then from lunch on this afternoon. After naps, I took the little ones on a wagon ride while Andrew rode his bike to our neighbor's house. Andrew's friend, Arianna, claims that Andrew is her boyfriend. Anyway, they have a trampoline, so all the boys and her jumped until they were red and sweaty and all giggled out. We came home and had grilled chicken with the Noah's parents. It's just been a nice day! The beautiful weather helps tremendously.

I am hoping to sneak out a little in the morning. Garage sale season is starting and there are a few rummage sales (efficient!) tomorrow. Then we are having 3 couples over for dinner tomorrow night. So the rest of the day will be getting the house & food ready and possibly sneaking in a nap. It is a Saturday after all.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If Walmart really knew... they would charge more.

Today, at lunch, the new shoes helped Andrew eat his food 'superfast'. Yes, they are miracle shoes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Kicks.

I'm not sure how I did it, but in Walmart yesterday I managed to talk the boys out of character shoes this time around. I'm glad I did, however, it's only been one day and and I am already missing velcro.

Andrew L.O.V.E.S his new shoes. He kept them on the whole ride back home last night and has kept them on all day. He keeps labeling them. Today they are his bike riding shoes, but tomorrow they will be his basketball shoes, and on Friday they are going to be his soccer shoes. And he is already concerned about growing out of them. He keeps asking if his feet will get too big to wear them when he turns five.
Both boys needed shoes badly. Andrew's old ones were too small and had holes throughout them. And poor AJ's feet might be warped from us making him where his too small shoes so long. Poor kids. They still need sandels yet for the summer, but I didn't see anything yesterday that interested me or them.

Anyone know easy tricks for teaching a four-year-old to tie his own shoes before I just duct tape them closed on his feet?

Can I lose my mind by 9:30am?

I have offically lost my voice. I couldn't get it over a whisper to save my life. This makes for a great time with two boys who are grumpy and sleepy and whiny and bickering and needy. I have to clap to get anyone's attention and if someone is upset there is no way I can speak over them. I especially love it when both are crying at the same time. That's a hoot.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Notes from a hotel...

First of all - Praise God. I went down to the front desk this morning to ask for a late check-out. I explained our situation and asked for as late as they could offer. They said 1pm, (which is really 2pm our time). Not too bad if I put AJ down for an early nap. It's now 12:45pm and I went down to get a luggage cart to load up the car. The elevators weren't working. I explained that I was trying to load up to check out and could they call my room when it was up and working. (Loading up 5 days worth of luggage with two boys from the third floor using only stairs was not appealing to me). They just called. The elevators are not fixed yet, but we can stay in our room until Marc returns at 4:30pm. Woo Hoo! We will still probably head out a bit when AJ wakes up... but God is good!

On a side note: I have almost lost my voice. I went back and looked on my blog and it's almost always after our trip to IA. So I don't know if it's the long trip with the dry car air or what. I feel fine... just quiet. Which is great for trying to get two boys attention. Well, I'm off to warm up leftoever pizza for our lunch.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Suite Life

Here I am. I'm sitting in a hotel suite on the Iowa/Illinois border. I'm waiting for my kids to go to sleep in the other room. I want to take a a nice hot tub. My hubby is out at a meet and greet dinner. We are in the last leg of our little get-away.

Monday through last Thursday was fairly busy. Friday was too in that I had to pack up for this little trip of ours. However, additionally, some friends called and were having issues with their home and asked if they could stay at ours while we were gone. I had no problem with that what-so-ever. However, I didn't want the place looking like a tornado hit it - the way it usually looks after we pack up to leave. So Friday went from a somewhat busy day to a little nutty busy day - but it's all good. And really - our house was available since we were heading out of town - so why not let it be used?

We hit the road Friday evening and God blessed up with an amazingly easy trip. Probably the best one since we've taken it with children. There were no construction or traffic issues (even in Chicago). The kids ate, slept, & stayed dry well. Marc had no real issues with tiredness, so I got to sleep. Which, when there is an hour time change and our kids are now up at 6am... I need my sleep.

Saturday, we just hung around their house in the morning and visited. After naps, however, Grandma and Grandpa threw Andrew and AJ a birthday party, complete with noise makers, party hats, and birthday cake! They then took us to Toys R Us where the kids got to pick out a birthday gift. They both chose Coast Guard tub toys - Andrew a plane and AJ a boat. We came home for a nice roast dinner.

Sunday was little busier with church in the morning. We got taken to Red Lobster for lunch which is a always a treat for this mama who usually dines on blue box mac and cheese with hot dogs. After naps, all but Marc headed back to church for a "Taste of the Nations" event where we got to sample some fine cuisine (or load up on sweets - depending on which table you hover).

Then Grandpa took us all to see his buffalo. We thought maybe we wouldn't get to see them after our first pass, but the Lord heard our cry and low and behold the buffalo appeared (I really don't see how we all could have missed them the first pass) and we got a good look at them. Marc got a chance to visit his buddies that he doesn't see often. Hi guys! (yes, he does have a wife and children... we are not made up. I'll work on an updated family photo for you.)

This morning, we got up and packed up and after lunch, we headed to the hotel. Marc has a training all day tomorrow with a meet and greet dinner tonight. (He just called and it looks like it going to be a late one.) Anyway - since he had his family with him, the hotel bumped us up to a suite free of charge, which is SO nice! I don't have to blog in the hall, waiting for the kids to fall asleep.

Tonight, the boys and I ordered pizza. They got to take a tub with their new tub toys and we had a bedtime snack of hot chocolate and animal crackers. I'm really not sure what we are going to do all day tomorrow. The hotel does have a pool, but it's not a kiddy one and I'm not going to try to handle two boys by myself in 3ft of water.

Nope, we will probably take our time at the continental breakfast, watch a little Playhouse Disney, take another tub, grab lunch somewhere and pray we can get a late checkout that will at least get us through naps (truly a miracle). Then we will pack up (if haven't gotten kicked out of the hotel already) and kill time in Walmart or Target or McDonald's or a park... I'm really not sure. The boys need shoes desperately - so I am leaning toward a Walmart trip.

Once Marc is done with training, we will hit the road, grabbing dinner on the way, and head home. (ok, I just gave you more information than you ever wanted to know - can you tell I'm bored?) All right, it's been a little while since Andrew has gotten back out of bed... I think it might be safe to take a soak. I'm off to shrivel myself.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We love ya, we really do love ya, come on home...

Mom, have a fabulous day at work.
You did a GREAT JOB!
(And now you have a catchy tune in your head, also.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

We are down to Thursday night. Good TV night is back! And things settled down a bit today. Monday through Wednesday was nutty and I felt like I was hopping from the time I got up until I crashed at night. Today, however, was much more relaxing.

We got up and went back to the Gardens to see the butterflies with our neighbors. They have a little girl who is Andrew's age. And for some reason, when they get together, they somehow turn two fairly mild children into two wild childs. My goodness, they were ornery. (And a little out of control, if truth be told.) Plus, I didn't think about it being spring break - so the place was p.a.c.k.e.d! So that didn't help that we had to be very strict with the kiddos in order not to lose them. But we had a nice time and a nice visit. I think Andrew might have warmed up to the butterflies ever-so-slightly with his friends' insistance encouragement.

By the time we left, it was rainy, drearing, past lunch time and past nap time... in other words... borrowed time. I still had to swing by a friend's house quick, so we picked up a $5 pizza for lunch. Then the boys shocked me with amazing naps! Even Andrew. And since this week was so crazy... I did nothing productive during that time. I watched a little recorded American Idol from earlier in the week, I checked e-mail and such, I danced a little DDR. Granted, there was tons of stuff to do, since the place was never cleaned up from Bible Study last night and I still hadn't started packing for this weekend. (Or haven't yet for that matter).

Tonight, since Marc was gone helping a buddy, and it hasn't stopped raining since we left the Gardens - it was good night for a movie. The boys got to watch Racing Stripes again while I caught up around the house. We have to return the movie to the library tomorrow, but I see us borrowing it again in the near future. Andrew really loves the movie and AJ just points and screams the name of every animal he sees until you acknowlege him. Osse! Osse! Osse! Osse! Eba! Eba! Eba! Eba! (that's horse and zebra to you and me.)

Of course, since Andrew took a great nap, he was still awake long after he went to bed. The thunder didn't help. And he wasn't real impressed when I sang "A Few of My Favorite Things". One of the rare times I think... "if I had a little girl she would TOTALLY get that!". I guess I'll save it for Lucy.

Ok, it's 11pm, I need to unload/reload the dishes and I really should start packing... but I'm guessing (again, if truth be told) I'll just go to bed. I will probably be absent from blogging until late next week unless I think of something brilliant to share.


"The Office" is back, baby!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I did it.

I've really wanted a Dance, Dance, Revolution game for a while now. But it's kinda pricey, and I couldn't justify spending that money on it. So, I sold some things on eBay and with money from transcribing... I broke down and bought it on Saturday. I love it (and so do the boys).

This video is Andrew bustin' a groove with my new DDR!

The week's spent before it's even here.

Wow - it's been a busy week. It's only Tuesday and it's not slowing down. Monday we tried to get all our housework and projects done like paying bills. I knew the rest of the week would be nutty, so I needed some stuff just out of the way. Plus, I am doing some transciption work and had a job due this Wednesday, so I kicked some of that out. The weather was beautiful, so the boys were helpful by spending some time in the backyard. I also rewarded them with a walk in the afternoon. We went to friends' in the evening for dinner and haircuts.

Today, we had a run a few errands in the morning, get more work done around the house, and work on our Bible Study. Marc and I then had a meeting at church, so our sitter came over to watch and feed to boys dinner. It was good meeting and the kiddos did well while we were gone. However, we got home pretty much just in time to get the boys in bed.

Poor Marc - he was gone all day Monday, met at our friends' for haircuts, then was off to a NCAA final guys night and didn't get home until the wee hours. Then this morning, he has his early Bible Study, gone all day to the other side of the state and back, and home just in time to make it to the meeting. He's tired. He hasn't seen the kids for two days and he's missing them.

Anyway, tomorrow we have more errands in the morning, then it's working to get ready for the evening's Bible Study coupled with a baby shower at our place. We are serving dinner, so there's a little more work to do. On Thursday, we are heading back to the Garden's with our neighbor and packing up our things. And of course, on Thursday THE OFFICE returns! I am SO excited!!!

On Friday, after a trip to the library and after Marc gets home from work, we are heading to Iowa for a visit and won't be home until late-late next Tuesday night. Andrew is super excited about the trip (and playing the piano) and counts down the days hourly. So... I should get to bed, because my kiddos are going to wake me up early squirrally tomorrow for another busy day.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A good day to turn two.

It's been a good day for little AJ. But wouldn't ya know... we just got that kid taught how to answer the question to, "How old are you?" and now we go and change the answer on him.
The day started early with church. AJ got to go to a brand new class today since he is now a two-year-old. He did great in the new class. We then hit McDonald's for our birthday lunch. Then it was time for presents which I am pretty sure Andrew was more excited about than AJ. He got some nice cards, some nice cash, and some nice gifts. Thank you to all who contributed to the gift/card pile! One of the gifts was a bubble blower. We had one in the past that the boys loved, but ours had broke.
While Marc assembled the bubble blower, I served the birthday cake. We then all headed outdoors to try out the new toy. Once the boys filled the neighborhood with bubbles, it was time for naps. The excitement of the day kept them from sleeping for quiet a while, but AJ finally settled down and took a nice nap.

Tonight we simply played... a little inside, a little outside. We ate a little more birthday cake. A good day to turn two.

Happy Birthday, AJ

Wow – my baby turns two today.

AJ, you are no longer a baby, I guess, but a little boy. An adorable little boy who melts my heart and gets away with mischief because of it. You are a solid little man, who has no problem throwing your weight around a bit, when it comes to getting what you want from your brother.
Yet, you have the most tender heart. You love to snuggle and constantly ask for hugs. In fact, you are a hugging machine... often hugging mere strangers, innate objects, even your food. And you are very nurturing. You l.o.v.e. babies. You can’t get enough of my friends’ recent additions, often asking to hug, hold, or rock them.
You are talking quite a bit now and we even hear two to three word sentences now and then. You are very polite… not needing asked most of the time for “pleases” and “thank yous”. You love to sing. Your favorite songs are the “Oh No” song, “Happy Birthday” and “Jump, Shake, your Booty”. Although, I do catch certain letter-combos from the “ABC song”, now and then.
Your favorite word is, “Noooo!” But it’s usually not used in defiance, more in answering a question with your strong opinion.

You are still in love with your “B” (tag blanket) and paci.

You are not a huge meat eater, although you do well with hot dogs and chicken nuggets. You loves pizza. But I think you would be perfectly happy to live off apples, bananas, yogurt and chocolate.
You can tell you’re a little brother used to copying Andrew, because lately, when you ask for something, even if no one else currently has or is doing anything, you add “too” to the end. So, if you want to brush your teeth… even though nobody else is brushing… you’ll come up to me and ask, “Brush, too?”

You love to run, jump, and climb and you’re quite good at them. You are a good sleeper, yet you still wake up during the night about twice a week for a quick snuggle. You love the CARS movie as much as Andrew. You love tubs even more.

You love being outside and no longer are content merely riding in the stroller.
You love your brother to pieces, often trying to do exactly what he is doing. Yet, you have no problem being your own kid and totally ignoring him when he is desperately trying to get your attention. You are already great at antagonizing him to frustration. However, you pay your dues when we found that Andrew throws everything (stuffed animals, socks, slipper) at you from his top bunk into your crib. Take cover, kid.

Here's a video of the boys singing and it ends with AJ singing the "Oh No" song.

Adam Jay, you are a sweet, sweet little boy. Your eyes are the most expressive I’ve seen and I am still in love with your tiny dimple under your right eye. Sometimes, I can’t get over how much joy you add to this little household and how much all three of us are completely and utterly in love with you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's not Cars.

Last weekend, Andrew got to watch Racing Stripes with his cousin, Gideon. That boy has not stopped talking about the movie since then. By Tuesday, I had already heard do much about it that we put it on hold at our library. And he has been asking whether the movie was ready every day since then. Today it came in. I ran a few errands this afternoon, so I picked it up and surprised him with it this evening. After a nice bike ride and some playtime outside in this beautiful weather, the boys are having a popcorn picnic movie night.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Batteries Not Included.

On a whim with peanut butter sandwiches.

It was another dreary day and the kids were stir crazy. Fortunately, they are at an age where, while they do better on their regular schedule, they can manage when you muck it up a bit. Around 11:45am, we headed out the door, on a whim, with peanut butter sandwiches and went to the Meijer Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit.

We went ahead and bought a membership while there (something we had been wanting to do anyway). So we took our time, ate our sandwiches, mosied along, and finally got to the butterflies. AJ loved them and talked to them (loudly) the entire time. He even told the butterfly to say, "Cheese" when I went to take its picture.
Andrew was okay with it all. I had told him before we went to watch his step so he wouldn't squish one and I think he was more concerned with where we put his feet than seeing the butterflies. I really enjoyed myself.

Of course, with the weather being what it was, we didn't really get outside much to the 'good parts' of the Gardens. But that's okay. We can go back every week if we want (and I think we want to). It was a nice break to the day and I felt we weren't 'out' by only being there a few hours. Now, I have a lot to do to make up for our impromptu trip out.
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