Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leave it to MY son

Brendan has really been enjoying basketball camp this week. I'm so glad, because this is the sort of situation that he normally avoids. Up until now, he's never wanted me to sign him up for any kind of sport type thing like this. He didn't even like gym class, and would get very upset if he couldn't do something just right. Then he would sit out and refuse to participate. But he has come so far this year. By the end of the school year he was having fun in gym class. And I was really surprised when he did want me to sign him up for this 1-week basketball camp.
He has been having so much fun and learning a lot.

Last night at the dinner table we were asking him about it, and what they did, etc. He was telling us that they have them split up into smaller groups and that one of the girls (from the women's college basketball team) was his leader. He said they were in their group and he was acting like Hammy (the hyper character on the movie Over the Hedge). I'm thinking, oh great, he was probably annoying the heck out of his leader. And then he said, "I raised my hand and said Oh Oh Oh until she called on me and then I said Can you help me find my nuts?" OMG, I died laughing when he said that. I can't believe he said that to her! I wonder what the heck she must have been thinking when he said that! LOL What the heck goes through that little boys' mind is beyond me. He knew it was funny, but he didn't really understand the "adult" part of that line! lol I just hope she has seen the movie and knew what he was talking about! lol I asked him what she said, because I was curious how she reacted to it. He said "she just laughed and said no." Oh my, leave it to MY son to say something like that.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Day of Kindergarten!

Well, Kindergarten is officially over. Brendan got home a little while ago from his last day of school. As if we don't already have a thousand papers from this year already, he stepped off the school bus toting a huge 3-ring binder with a whole bunch more, as well as his folder stuffed FULL of various pictures, journal entries and other things he had done throughout the year. They had an end-of-the-year party in their classroom today. He cried for about 10 minutes straight last night when he realized that Joe and I wouldn't be able to come for it. It wasn't really a thing for the parents, of course parents were welcome, but it was mostly just for their classroom. And it was at 11am, while we are both at work. I didn't know Brendan thought we were coming. I felt terrible that he was so upset about it. So I suggested that we have our own celebration tonight at home for him. Nothin' like the promise of cake and ice cream to cheer a boy up! lol He was instantly happy again. So, tonight we will have cake and ice cream, and I got him a Kindergarten graduation card along with a new Superman game for his V-Smile. I bought a separate Weight Watchers Smart Ones piece of cake for me, so that I wouldn't feel guilty eating the "real" cake, but wouldn't be left out either.

Speaking of WW, I've completed my first full week, and weighed in again today. I've lost 2.8 lbs this week. Not too bad!

But, back to Brendan...I don't think I mentioned on here that earlier this month he got Citizen of the Month award at school for the month of May! Now this is a great accomplishment considering the way he started out the year! He had a hard time following the rules, listening and participating in some things. He was quite obviously one of two "trouble makers" in the eyes of his teachers at the start of the year. His teacher repeatedly has said how very smart he is and more advanced than the other students, but we were continually getting notes home about his behavior. His behavior has improved so much! So, for him to be chosen as Citizen of the Month is a great honor. Here was what his teacher wrote (this was read at the flag ceremony where he was awarded a certificate, pin, ribbon and pencil)...

"Brendan has been chosen as May's Citizen of the Month. In our classroom, he is always the one who willingly helps assist students with computer problems. It doesn't matter what he is doing, he stops and goes over to tutor someone on a game or help them figure out a problem. Everyone in the class calls him our computer expert. Brendan also takes his time when doing his work and does his absolute best work at all times. Brendan has grown as a good citizen and now comes to class with a smile and a desire to do his best job! He's a great example to others."

Here he is with his award:

He also received a Reading Circle Award and his Kindergarten completion "award". Throughout the year he worked towards earning a free Big Surf ticket, a free Six Flags ticket, free pizza from Pizza Hut, and free meal at Denny's coupons. He earned all of these things from reading certain number of book and/or certain hours of reading. We read with him and Adam every night before bed, so that helped. So now, we shall make plans to take them to Big Surf and Six Flags this summer to redeem his free tickets :)

It's hard to believe Kindergarten is over, and that now he is considered a First Grader! Ack! And I actually got tears in my eyes when he told me all of the teachers, librarian, office staff, principal, even janitors all came out of the school together while the kids were on the bus and they all stood there waving as the kids left school today. That was really neat! Picturing it got me choked up. (I'm strange that way though...I'm much more likely to cry at neat or touching things than I am sad things. Yes, I'm one of those people who cries while reading cards at Hallmark, but can sit through most funerals without a single tear.)

I am just so proud of Brendan, and had to share! Now it is on to basketball camp, summer school, and day camps galore!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Can they DO that?!!!

Considering the way the school year started, (with very little communication and information and still not knowing what time the bus would arrive until the first day, etc) I guess it is only fitting that it would end this way. The last day of school was supposed to be this Friday. (originally it was Wednesday, but after snow days and such it got pushed back to Friday). So, for the last several months it has been set and on the calendar as Friday being the last day.
Yesterday they sent home the school newsletter, and at the top it says Calendar Update. And goes on to say that the last day of school is THURSDAY and that Thursday will be a HALF day! And they are changing this NOW?! And giving us 3 DAYS notice?! Hello! Working mom here! I had not planned any care for Brendan for Friday or Thursday afternoon because he was supposed to be in SCHOOL! So now, here it is Tuesday and suddenly he only has 1 more full day of school left. Ugh! I'm just wondering how many parents didn't even read the newsletter! Something as important of a change as that should have AT THE VERY LEAST had it's own separate notice on brightly colored paper, not just another item on a newsletter! Geez! Thank goodness I took the time to read it, or Brendan would have been dropped off on Thursday and been alone for hours until I got home from work!

Can they do that?! Just change something like that with only a couple days notice?! Well, I guess they can, since they DID. Crazy. Guess I'll have a "helper" at work Friday. Grrrr.

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Roof, B-day Party and Last Week of School!

Wow, it's Monday again already! My weekend consisted of cooking and cleaning for 6 males. Joe's dad, brother and my dad all came down this weekend to help Joe replace our roof, and I tried to keep the boys out of their way. We are putting a metal roof on (supposed to be more energy-efficient, apparently) and they got most of the way done. My dad ended up staying last night too, and he and Joe both took off work today to finish it up.

Tonight we have my nephew's 7th birthday party. It's at this big indoor family center with huge 2-story tall crawl-through play structures, video games, skee ball, etc. We always have fun there- that's where we had our boys' birthday parties in November also. And being on a Monday night this time, it should be MUCH less crowded! Have I ever mentioned how much I like skee ball? I love it! I could play it all day. So I'm looking forward to playing that tonight :) Usually Brendan is like "Mommmy, are you done? Mommmmy, stop playing skee ball, let's play something else!" lol

This is Brendan's last week of school! After today, only 4 days of Kindergarten left! The other schools around here don't get out until June, but Brendan's school used up their spring break to make up snow days, so they get out earlier. But, I work full-time year-round so really that just means we have to find things for Brendan to do every week for the next 12 weeks! lol He has basketball camp next week, followed by summer school for the month of June, and then outdoorsy-type day camps the rest of the summer. It will be interesting to see how he does with all the new situations and activities. I hope he has tons of fun! I wish I could go to camp instead of work! lol

Friday, May 18, 2007

Officially a WW member

Well I finally did it. I joined Weight Watchers. I don't have a lot to lose, but my youngest is 2-1/2 yrs old now so I can't hardly blame the extra 20 lbs on baby fat anymore. lol I thought I could get it off by myself, without help, because before children I was always thin and I was dumb enough to think that there was no way that *I* could ever become/stay overweight. But 2 years later it's becoming pretty obvious my body just likes being this weight, and I just won't be happy with myself until it is gone. I know me. So, when WW was offered through my work, I went to the open house. And when they said the meetings are during our lunch break and our company would pay HALF, you bet your ass I jumped on that! So, yesterday was the first "official" meeting and weigh-in. Ever notice how the scales at the doctor's office and other places always weigh you heavier than your home scale? Ugh! Why is that? So I'm actually even heavier than I thought! But I'm fairly tall too, so it isn't quite as bad as it sounds. But still.

So, the goal to conquer is 18 lbs. Once I do that, I decide if I want to set another goal to lose more. I'm sure I will go for another 10 lbs after that. Then that should do it! That should be enough to make me comfortable wearing a swimsuit again and put me well into the range of what I should be for my height. So I'm a point-counting fool now ;)

I figure by mentioning all of this on my blog it will help make me more accountable. I'm in one of the photos from our trip a few posts down, if you want to see a "before" pic, but really, I would need to post a nude and/or swimsuit photo for a good "before" comparison photo for the full effect, but yeah...that's NOT happening. I will save your eyes the pain. Now the after photo...maybe. LOL

So, 18 lbs, here they go! Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Home Improvement Plans

Thirteen things we're planning to do to our house

1. Finish the garage: hubby has been working hard on building a 2-car (un-attached) garage with workshop. It is almost complete, just some finishing touches left.

2. Replace the roof: this weekend hubby, his dad, his brother and my dad are going to replace our roof with a metal roof.

3. Turn finished part of our basement into a playroom: part of our basement is finished, and we will soon be turning that into a playroom for the boys. Right now it is full of random stuff that we need to go through and clear out. It will be so nice to have 1 room for all the toys, games, etc instead of them being strung all over the living room and boys' bedroom.

4. Get all of the tools and stuff out of basement and into new garage: Now that the garage is almost complete, we will be able to start moving all of hubby's tools, hunting/fishing stuff, etc out into the garage, which will free up a bunch of room in the basement.

5. Build a new laundry room: once all the stuff is out of basement we are building a new laundry room down there- a finished room with a ceiling and walls, even! lol

6. Build a new bedroom for the boys: the other plan for finishing the rest of the basement is to build a new bedroom for the boys. My 6-yr-old has changed his mind 3 times already as to what kind of room he wants...Power Rangers, dinosaurs, and now Transformers. We'll see what he wants once it is time, I'm sure he will change his mind again.

7. Put in new steps or make the ones we have safer: we need to do something different with the steps leading to the basement, since the boys will be going up and down them a lot once their room and playroom are down there. Right now, due to the lack of space, the staircase is this funky spiral staircase with small steps. We either need to rebuild the staircase to be normal steps, or add backs to the existing ones.

8. Buy padding for bottom of the steps: also in regards to the staircase, we will be buying some foam padding for the landing area, just in case, God forbid, the boys ever do fall down the steps.

9. Remodel current laundry area to be entry-way: once we have the new laundry room finished, we will change the area that we are currently using for laundry into an entryway/mud-room like it should be! I have plans for a bench, cubbies, baskets, hooks, etc to make it very functional for all the coats, shoes, backpacks, umbrellas, etc. Can't wait for this!

10. Change boys' current room into workout/scrapping room/office: originally we were building a bedroom in the basement for my 6-yr-old, and we were planning on his current bedroom becoming my 2-yr-old's room. However, now they have been sharing a room for long enough that they want to keep sharing a room, so, they will both be together in the new bedroom, and that frees up the current bedroom for other uses! (until they decide they don't want to share, and then we'll move one of them). So, I hope to turn the current room into a room for working out, scrapping, and move our computer in there too.

11. Change flooring in master bathroom: for whatever reason, the master bathroom is carpeted! A carpeted bathroom is just not ideal. Hubby would like to eventually pull up the carpeting and tile instead. Oh, and he also wants to build a "shitter room" around the toilet too.

12. Change closets around and make into a walk-in closet: we have the most pitiful bedroom closets I've ever seen. They are 2 tiny closets in the bathroom, each is about the size of a small coat closet, and that's all we have for our clothes. Granted, I don't have many clothes, but still- they are ridiculously small. So, we're thinking of knocking out the back of the closets, expanding them into the bedroom to be a walk-in, and having the access to it be from the bedroom side instead of the bathroom side.

13. Long-term plan of big addition: all of the above things are to hold us over until we can eventually do a big-ol' addition on the house. We have it planned out, but we just can't afford it yet. But eventually, the plan is to add on a new living room, main level laundry room, attached garage, and 3 new bedrooms. Then turning the current living room into a dining room.
It will be many years before we can do the big addition though!

If you are participating in Thursday Thirteen, please add yourself to the auto-linky below. Thanks to Uisce for the linky and Goofy Girl for the TT banner at the top.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothers' Day

Okay, so after Joe bombed out on my birthday (and various other special occassions over the years) and I vented about it, I have to give equal treatment and point out the good things he does too! lol One of the mornings while he was out of town last week I got in my car, there was this black cord thing hanging down from my visor. I was like, what the heck is falling apart now, and when I pulled my visor down I saw what it was. Joe had an early Mother's Day card for me along with a really cool glass necklace (black cord was the necklace). He must have put it in there before he left. A guy at his work makes these necklaces and other various glass things, and he was telling me about them the other day. So I knew he was probably going to get me one, but he did surprise me with the way he gave it to me :) So I just had to brag on him a little :)

Then he got home Friday afternoon, so I was able to go to the scrapbooking crop on Mother's Day. And Joe did great this Mothers' Day! lol In addition to leaving the necklace & card, he also made me breakfast on Mothers' Day morning and he and the boys brought it up to me in bed. That was around 6:30 or 7am, would have been nice to sleep a little more first, but oh well. lol The boys were up and Joe knew he needed to do it fast so that I wouldn't get up and tend to the boys. I could hear them and knew what was up, so it wasn't really a surprise, but it was still nice. I just stayed in bed and waited so I wouldn't ruin what they were trying to do. Brendan had made me a little bowl/pinch pot thing in art class for me too.

The night before I had asked Joe if I could leave him a list of things to do while I was gone at the crop Sunday, and to my surprise he said "Sure!". So I made him a little list of things that I've been asking/wanting fixed around the house for a long time but they always take the back burner and don't get done. I also put on the list to make dinner, and to give the boys a bath and put them to bed so that I could watch the Survivor Finale show without missing parts. He did everything on the list (even cleaned off his nightstand which has been piled high and messy for at least 2 years now!) except for one thing, and that was because he didn't have something he needed for it. So, I was totally impressed with him, considering the bombed birthday and other past special occassions. lol

How was everyone else's mother's day?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Super Hero

Saw this on Melissa's blog and Carolyn's too, so I decided to see what mine was...

Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Finally Posting Trip Pics!

Okay, so back in March we took a family trip to Branson. I've been promising pictures and I'm finally posting them! We went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and Silver Dollar City. Here are a few pictures from our trip...

This was the boys' first time staying in a hotel:

This is Brendan and me in front of the world's largest ball of string at the Ripley's museum (the digital image makes our faces look funky, but you get the idea. lol):

Then we went on to Silver Dollar City:

And of course, the rides...:

We all had a great time together. It was kinda chilly, but still fun. Mostly it was just nice to get away from the daily grind for a few days! We had planned this trip for part of Brendan's spring break week, and did all of our booking and ticket-buying way ahead of time for a discount. Well, with the terrible winter we ended up having, and all the snow days, they ended up losing their entire Spring Break week! But, we went ahead and went anyway and he missed a couple days of school. We figured he wouldn't miss too much since he's only in Kindergarten! lol

Playing the Single-Mom Role

Well, hubby is out of state this week for work. He left Saturday. So, I get to play the single-mom role. So far it hasn't been bad. I had more mower issues again, this time by myself. After about 6 phone calls to Joe trying to get the damn thing going and find everything I needed amongst his tools and such, I finally was on my way mowing. On one of the phone calls I told Joe I was about 5 minutes away from either calling some hot man to come mow my yard for me, or go to Home Depot and buy a new mower. In addition to everything I mentioned in my previous post, I forgot to mention that it also has a flat tire. So in addition to jump starting it, and having to start it by touch a piece of copper to two little black things, then by the time you do that, the tire needs aired up again. So I was mowing a section, then going back to fill the tire, then mow another section, then go fill the tire, all while trying to avoid the strapping (see previous post) and watch the boys to make sure they didn't wander off into the woods while I'm mowing or kill each other or what have you. About 2 hours into it I realized that I had no idea how to shut the mower OFF. Since you don't use the key to start it, you can't use it to shut it off either. So, when I got to the very back section by the woods where only we see anyway and it died on me, I decided I was done. I took that as a sign that it was time to stop, because if I re-started it then I may not be able to get it to turn off. lol

Sunday I took the boys outside again to plant some Mammoth Sunflowers. I've always thought they look really cool. Since they grow to like 12 feet, I thought the boys would get a kick out of them too. So, we marched outside with their new $1.00 garden shovels from Target and started digging. Who knows if the flowers will actually come up, but hey, we tried. My plan was to plant them in a semi-circle so that when they grow it will be a little area the boys can sit in/play in. It ended up more like an L-shape, but oh well. I'm half expecting them to not even sprout, since our "soil" is really more clay-like texture, and because I know NOTHING about gardening, planting, etc. We have tons of beautiful plants and flowers every year, but I can't take any credit for that- all planted by the previous owner. We just enjoy them as they come up each year. And every year they look a little less pretty. I'm sure that's because we are supposed to be doing *something* to keep them looking nice, but I have no clue what to do. I keep hoping my boss (who was the previous owner that planted it all) doesn't stop by our house or she might have a heart attack that all her hard work is going down the drain :( But what can I say, it's just not my thing.

Anyway, after the planting of the sunflower seeds it began to look like a storm was coming, so I brought the boys back in and we watched Night at the Museum. It was kinda cute- actually better than I expected. Brendan really got a kick out of it- he thought it was really funny.

Things have actually gone fairly smoothly getting both boys and myself off in the mornings too. I have to come in to work late and leave early though, because I can't leave until Brendan gets on the school bus (usually I work 7am-3:30pm and Joe stays until Brendan gets on the bus because he doesn't go into work until 8am). Then I still need to drive Adam to the babysitter before I go to work. And I still have to leave early because I have to be home when Brendan gets off the bus, and then drive back in and get Adam. It's a lot of driving and rushing around, but at least it's only for a week.

Well, I'm just babbling, and should get back to work now. I'll try to get around to visit some of you as soon as I can :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mower woes

Wow, here I go again falling out of blog land. Days just go by so fast, then weeks. This past weekend was the annual MS Walk that several of us walk in in honor of my mom. It was a good walk- 4 miles, and a nice sunny day. Then on Sunday Joe and I work outside all day. We had quite the adventure with our riding mower. I was trying to help him by mowing while he painted some trim and fixed some boards in preparation for putting on a new roof. But our mower is SO old that it just doesn't stay running. We didn't even buy this mower. It was left as "junk" from the previous owners. But Joe being Joe, he knew he could fix it, even though the former owners said that even someone who specializes in mowers said it was toast. But alas, Joe worked and worked on it and eventually got it running. And we've been using it for the last 3 years to mow. So yes, it "works" but it is to the point where there are so many little jerry-rigged tricks to do that have to be done just so, well, it just doesn't like me. Every few minutes it would die, we'd have to push it back over to the car and jump-start it off the car. It was rather frustrating and time consuming. And stupid me ran over some strapping and it got all caught up in the blade. Joe had to take the whole belly of the mower off, take the blade off, and pull the strapping (that was now totally shredded) thread by thread out with pliers. Ugh! I felt so bad. Maybe I should just NOT help next time. lol Oh, and did I mention the "key" to start the mower? There isn't one. Well, there is, but it is useless. Instead, to start it you have to use a piece of copper wire and touch it to 2 little black things on the mower at the same time. After that day I told Joe to just buy a new one. It's ridiculous to spend that much time and such every time he needs to mow. We are both already short on time all the time, and mowing takes long enough as it is. We got 3 years use of free riding mower, and that's great, but I think it's time to get a new one! That thing is at least 30 years old, if not older. (previous owner is my boss, and she just laughed when she heard we were actually using that thing). I think I've just about got him convinced to buy a new one. We'll see if he can actually bring himself to really do it.

Okay, so this was a terribly boring blog entry, I'm sorry! Pretty sad that I disappear for a few weeks and come back with nothing but a lawn mower to talk about! LOL Actually there is more going on, but will have to write about that later.