Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pictures for your viewing pleasure

My Mom and Dad just left. They brought my cousin Wayne to visit. Wayne was always more like an Uncle to us growing up because he is SOoooooo much older than us! :) He was married and had babies when we were teenagers. We always enjoyed visiting his family growing up... and times don't change much. He's still fun to be around and now my kids get to enjoy his crazy humor! He even does card tricks. I'll show you one. I'm a real expert now. The trouble with cousin Wayne... he lives in Indiana, or Ohio. They all live right on the border and depending on who you're visiting determines what time of day it is. You know those Indiana people don't change their clocks forwards and backwards like the rest of the union. It IS a crazy practice anyway.
Anyway... Mom brought all the food even though Dad's the one who planned this thing. :) Thanks Mom! We had ham, corn, beans, potato salad, and she baked 3 cakes. Yes, THREE cakes. Like we need cake to begin with... and we had 3. I won't share the flavors or pictures of the cakes. That wouldn't be kind.

Leslie came too and brought the kids. I'm really glad because it gave my 4 something to do with themselves since the weather outside is frightful. Was frightful. There were tornadoes in south Georgia and Alabama but nothing came up north. They are calling for snow... but you know how snow in Georgia usually goes??? A slight dusting to greet us at dawn and then melted before you get out of church. The kids hate that process. We'll see.

Leslie was tired. I'm tired. Neither of us wanted to try to figure out sleepovers between cousins... here or there. So we vetoed ALL the requests. And there were requests. And pouts. And whines. And then plans for "maybe next weekend". I think it will work for a while.
Maggie is yelling her desires to the car riders as they load up. I'm not sure... I think it was to Grandma. Come back! Come back!
The boys attempting their usual scheming to stay together and play.
Ruth pleads for a turn with Anna Grace and Esther.
Lydia calls for Grandma... "I wanna go with you!!!!!!!!!!!"

I think Micah wins the pout award. He really didn't want to go home tonight.

This is my favorite time to watch Ruth and Grandpa. This is THEIR time and she insists they play cards when he visits. In fact, she uses this plea to melt his heart to actually make the trip north on regular occasion. She is adorable as she tells him how to play each time, which card wins, if they look first or just play, how many cards to hold. And he is always so good to do what she says. Melts my heart too!
Grandpa was pretty worn out too.
We got him to play the Wii and enjoyed watching that. He was breathing pretty heavily after taking down the boxing bags! :)
Grandpa did his German commandant impersonation for the girls. He did this often to us as kids, only he used his little black plastic barbershop comb as his mustache. He'd point that finger and in his best German accent "you vill obey!". It was always funny. And we usually obeyed. Mostly. He was a much scarier father than he is grandfather. Go figger!

Speaking of scary... Wayne is scary! Would you mess with him? He claims to be ATF or DEA or some federal agent... but it's all an act. If you meet him in the airport... just give him some cake. That's what Mom does!

Saturday morning + sleeping family = long blog post

It's 5:30... in the morning. It's not unusual for me to be up this early, but it's Saturday. I'm supposed to be sleeping in. I actually woke up an hour ago, started a load of laundry and caught up on a couple blogs I like reading. I also checked the weather channel because it's raining, we're having company today and they're calling for snow tomorrow. Seriously! A whole inch! I'm sending Curtis to Ingles this morning for milk.... just in case we get snowed in for an hour. I would love to sift through the latest pictures of the kids and create a post about what's going on around here, but there are no "latest" pictures. Those crazy faces of Lydia were the last time I had the camera out around here. It's sad. Pitiful. Inexcusable. Today... I will take pictures today. I have spent a significant amount of time and energy the last 2 weeks completely focused on putting together the kid's school yearbook. I did it last year too so I thought it would move a little quicker, be a little easier, fall into place a little more seamlessly. Things just don't happen that way around here. The teachers sent, and I gathered over 1000 candid shots of the happenings around school over the past 6 months. The majority of my time was going one by one through each shot, editing, cropping, and renaming so it would show up in the right place. It's not hard... just very time consuming. AND it's dedicated to the computer... at our house. So, I can't take it to school to let other people help. I invited them into my home to help... but no one did. Anyway, long story longer... the yearbook is finished. Curtis was able to mail it to Missouri on Wednesday while I was at work. It was due in the plant on Thursday. I haven't checked to make sure it arrived. I just can't imagine having to do it again if something happened to it, so I'm not asking. Not really. I asked, I just haven't heard back.
SIDENOTE... it's raining really hard right now! FILL THE LAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok... so, the yearbook is done and I can get back to my real life. We started soccer practice... spring season, this week. Bennett and Maggie returned to the STRYKERS with Jaelen and a few new faces. Brendan, another friend from church and school who has played before. Jesslyn, who (if she's played I can't tell) can't remember not to use her hands to just pick up the ball whenever she wants. Cory or Cody... I think it's Cory and I don't think he's played before either... but he's a boy, it won't take long. In fact, I told his mother that he and Bennett were on a course for a head injury or broken leg if they didn't settle down. Both of them were full tilt sliding, running and just being generally crazy on Thursday. You can't get red carded in a youth soccer program... but if you could, they would probably get one! (they don't yellow card either)
And Audrey is our last player. I work with her Grandma in the NICU. She's quiet and sweet and pays attention. :) Our coaches (yes, plural) are a pair of Truitt students. They are young, energetic and full of fun ideas. They ran the kids from 7:00 until well after 8 when all the other teams had packed up and left. The kids do whatever they say because they're COOL and young and pretty. :) They run fun drills and do silly dances. AND they give prizes at the end. On Tuesday they challenged the kids to work on their juggling and if they could juggle the ball 5 times without it hitting the ground they would get a prize. Maggie was ready to give up on everything else so she could practice and wanted to start as soon as we walked in the door. Talk about motivation! PRIZES!!! Didn't matter what the prize was... it was a prize. We may have real soccer players by the end of this season.
SIDENOTE: I can't hear anything more than the pounding of rain on the roof... it's loud!
Ruth has returned to the CRUSH along with Riley and Reagan. (the 3 R's!) I think the rest of their team are first timers too. They're young. Very little focus or desire. Very little motivation. Except Ruth and the coach's daughter Chey. They practice after practice. And they're very cute. The U-6 teams are always fun to watch but there's rarely ever any skill involved. I think this season our coach wants them to learn the actual concepts of the game. You know... kicking, throwing, passing, scoring. We'll see how it goes. I think I have all the names but one... R, R, R, Trey, Cadence, Chey, Katherine, and unknown. Trey is big and has power. That will come in handy. Ruth is really good... coming from her mother. She dribbles well. Her coach last season said that too. IF she can stay focused and run... she controls the ball well. When no one is running and trying to steal the ball she looks great. :) She also likes to bounce up and down, put cones on her head, talk about the latest happenings with the other girls... you know, important stuff! Her team practices from 6-7 and the other is from 7-8. I practice small skills with the older two while they wait and then usually just goof off with Jaelen's siblings and Ruth while we wait for 8 o'clock. My right arm hurts from throwing football with Thomas. Like it could fall off hurts. I didn't really notice it hurting until I threw a few on Thursday and then this morning it's really sore. I didn't have time to hurt yesterday while I was working!
Speaking of... yesterday I spent my entire 12 hour shift in the NICU actually taking care of my babies! I haven't worked a non-charge shift since November and it was great. I thoroughly enjoyed my babies and their parents. The nice thing is they all belonged to the same ones so I didn't have to worry about splitting my time between many families. It always hard to give the parents attention when they're visiting when they visit at the same time as the others. This family is really nice, normal, and forgiving of their crazy nurse. :) We (all the nurses) hit the ground running yesterday and I don't think anyone stopped until an hour after our shift was supposed to end. I was walking down our hall to put breastmilk away at 8 and every other day shift nurse was still scurrying about trying to tie up loose ends. This is why I can't quit my job though. As much as being the charge nurse really frustrates me and makes me want to stay home... I love the babies. I love being able to help them get comfortable with their life, their attachments, their parents. I love being able to put in an IV in a 2 pounder and give her blood so she can feel better. I love being able to "one hand" her brother and put him against his daddy's chest. I love being able to wipe their dirty little hineys with ONE wipe the size of a postage stamp! I love that they open their eyes and look at me when I let them have their pacifier and 2cc's of milk. Now, don't ask me after I've dealt with a big fat term kid who screams all day! :)
Ok, you guys don't come here to read about my work mess. I just like to put it down for me to read later. I'll use that to motivate me next time I'm ready to quit again.
So, today my parents are coming up and bringing one of my cousins to visit for the day. Since I've been at work the past 3 days the house is NOT ready for company. I would clean instead of writing here... but it's dark and quiet in the house. I can't risk waking the monster... or the kids. I fell asleep on the couch as soon as the kids left me side... which is why I was awake at 4am. My 6 hours were done. I even went and got in bed for a few minutes trying to go back to sleep. Then I started the laundry. Curtis apparently fell asleep in his chair because he's still there. That's the main reason I can't do anything else right now... no lights, no noise, no cleaning. He's in the way! It's his fault the house is so dirty. :) Right???
I guess I could make an elaborate breakfast for the kids... but then that would just add to the kitchen mess. Mom is bringing enough food to feed all the homeless people she'll be passing on her way through Atlanta. Anyone need lunch?
Photos to come............
SIDENOTE: the rain is gone.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Many Crazy Faces of Lydia

SO... the goal of the 3 year old is to try and contort into as many odd and weird expressions as possible... while Mom snaps photos driving down the road. No, Mom wasn't driving... Dad was driving. Mom was laughing. Also, Ruth turned her crayon box into a cell phone and was talking to her brother (not Bennett) and very emphatically saying "WHAT??"... until she realized I was watching. Then she gave me her own crazy face. For posterity's sake, of course!

The Preschool Choir sang for church this morning. That means the two little girls got to shine on stage. Well, 8:30 is awfully early for little people and only a couple of the boys really cooperated with the whole process. Thankfully, they fed the kids some sugar during Sunday school and the 11 o'clock service was much more animated. Nolan and Elliott sang next to each other and they're about the only voices you hear. But they did a good job considering... um, well... considering nothing. Any other day they would be up and running around the house well before 8:30. They speak in loud tones at all hours of the day. They jump up and down, wave their hands in the air like they just don't care, spin around and perform any time you ask... except this morning. Oh well... at least they are entertaining.
Please pardon the shakiness at the end... Nolan was making me laugh.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

...or any of the other names people have given this day. Lots of people have opinions on this day. I actually don't think much about it. We're just not mushy-gushy romantic around this house. He bought two bottles of Starbuck's syrup and called it my gift. I figure I'll cook today and maybe even wash some laundry. Now, that's romantic! The kids enjoy this day. They both brought bags of candy home from school. I'm sure there is no real education on the meaning and history of Valentine's day. They didn't even talk about Abe Lincoln's 200th birthday this week. So the whole "no real education" just guides me more toward that K12 homeschooling program... but I digress.
I promised a new post 2 weeks ago. January 31st I believe was the date. February 1st was SuperBowl Sunday and I had things to do! :) We did our normal Sunday church activities and our evening shifted an hour up so everyone could go watch the game and party like the wild things we are. See, last year I stayed home with a puking child after having prepared food for all our friends and I didn't get to taste and enjoy any of it. So this year... well... I stayed home with 2 sick girls after preparing food for all our friends and I didn't get to stay and enjoy. This year it's officially the flu. All 3 girls enjoyed having the same diagnosis. They are so kind to share. So far Bennett is asymptomatic! He's strong and mighty. I also had symptoms of illness for the past week. So, that's my excuse for not having posted like I planned. Maggie ended up missing 4 days of school. I missed a day or two of work... I lost track. I did take flu photos so I would be able to post.

Here I am almost 24 hours later than when I started this post. It seems impossible to do all the things I WANT to do with all the things I HAVE to do... like work, cook, clean. So, my pictures are loading. The post isn't as complete as I wanted. But it's getting into tomorrow and I have to get ready for the little girls to sing in church in the morning... 9 hours from now.
So here are a couple girl pictures from this week. We had playdough day. They made birds, frogs, and cakes. Maggie actually vacuumed up the mess all on her own.
Tonight, for the big V day, we took the kids to our friend Rebecca's house and then went with another couple (and parents to 4 kids also left with Rebecca) to drink coffee and play cards. We have done that around our kitchen tables, but the kids usually interrupt every 6.4 minutes for some disaster or hunger pain. We enjoyed our hour of cards and laughter. It's good for the soul. And the coffee was mighty satisfying. Now all Cleveland needs is some good sushi! :)

Oh... the school's yearbook is due to be finished in 10 days so all my "free" time will be doing that. Don't look for a new post until after the 24th! :) Just so you know.

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