Friday, August 30, 2013
We've all been there right, behind the dreaded "Please void this" lady. How many of us have been that lady? Today that lady was me. Those misbehaving kids were mine. That stack of voided items were mine. It's a horrible feeling opening your wallet and realizing that the $50 that was there, you spent it two days ago on gas; and now you have to be the "Please void this" lady. I can tell you I wanted to get out of the store as fast as the lady behind me wanted me out. My kids wanted to get out of the store as fast as the lady behind me wanted them out.
How to you respond when we get stuck behind THAT lady? Do you empathize with her, knowing how she might be feeling? Are you the guy who sighs heavily and switches lanes?
Slowly throughout our time there Jacob slowly started to inch his way away from the wall. During the last few songs he was rolling near the center of the rink. YAY, Jake!! I'm so proud. Joey learn to move with a little more speed and can sure put on a show with his "Skate dancing". Jordan made a couple attempts to learn to skate backwards, but preferred to whiz past everyone instead. We all had an absolute blast and plan on visiting again sooner. I'm so proud of all my boys for pushing themselves to try new things. (I'm proud of myself for staying out on the floor the whole time, and my legs for keeping me upright the while time)
Monday, August 26, 2013
Being that we were already down by Grandma's we'd head that way. First we needed to stop and get a new gas cap, it had snapped in two Saturday night (and I kept forgetting about it yesterday). Luck was on our side that the bowling alley is right next to the auto parts store. With a couple spare hours on our hands, why not stop. After purchasing a new cap and securing it safely back where it should be (I don't know what happens if you drive around without one. Maybe the car blows up, maybe nothing, but I wasn't chancing it.). Knowing my family is once again safe, we went bowling.
I love bowling with younger kids, because you get to use the bumpers. Oh Boy, do I use the bumpers! Joey was in the lead up until the 9th frame, I stayed 2 or 3 pins behind him the whole time (not on purpose, I'm just not that good at bowling). Jacob had a rough game, only knocking down 2 or 3 pins each frame. We came up with everyone had to wiggle their fingers to help his ball that bounced side to side down the lane reach the pins, that worked for a while. He decided it was the bowling alley, we usually play out by our house, if we were at the other one he'd have already gotten a turkey. Jordan maintained 3rd place until the 10th frame when he tied me for the win.
Having not gone swimming yet, and about coffee time for me, we went to Grandma's. I had the fixings for water balloons in the back of the van, so we played Hot Potatoes with water balloons and balloon toss for a bit. Then got in the pool and really get wet. The pool thermometer lied, there was no way that water was 80 degrees, but not cold enough to turn our lips blue. I got in with the kids anyways, and they splashed and dunked be for a few hours. Grandma came home and rescued me by having donuts for a snack. After coffee it was time to go, the boys were reluctant to leave so we changed plans and ended up staying for dinner too.
I like to plan things ahead of time, but the last 13 years as taught me not to hold too tightly to my plans. I'm very fortunate that my boys are easy going and don't get too upset (usually) when plans change.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
We also had helpful hands pet sitting for a friend that is out of town for a couple days. They have gotten a taste of what it is like to take care of a dog. They have had to make sure they wake up early enough to head over and let the dog out and to feed him. Also stop by during the day to let him back out, and again at night to feed him and let him out again. They like that the dog was excited to see them (our cat could care less about when we're home and when we're not).
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Before school even let out Jordan has inquired about working at a nature center we frequent. This was a choice he made totally on his own. After learning that he was much to young to get paid, but was more than welcome to apply for a volunteer position. Jordan has spent every other Sunday throughout his summer vacation volunteering at one of our metro parks nature centers. He loves it and doesn't realize that he being a huge help to the center. He does it because he loves the animals and sharing his knowledge about the animals there. He has learn a lot of cool facts about both animals within the center and in near by areas.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
We have been working hard on our summer bucket list, we're getting close to completing our list just over 25 left. We've had so much fun doing the activities and have been focusing on finishing our list. So last light when I heard my youngest crying at bedtime, I was concerned.
All the fun we have been having had him thinking about his father and his daddy not being here to enjoy our activities. His father had passed when he was only a few months old, and he's never known him. occasionally he misses him, he has only ever known life with mom and his brothers. We had a very heart felt talk about how daddy watches us through the holes in the floor of heaven and how he can talk to his daddy whenever he wants and he'll hear him.
Talking about his daddy not being here had also brought about worries of losing another family member. Both of my younger ones were very upset that one day everyone will die. They expressed that they want everyone in our family to live forever because they don't want our family seperated. That they would miss us and wanted us to stay forever to do fun stuff with them. I did reassure them that I plan to live a very long time, as do Papa and Grandma.
I wish I could tell them that of course we'll live forever, but I won't lie to my boys. I wish I could tell them that only really sick or really old people die, but they know that's not true. They know that my brother passed when he was young and J3's daddy was in good healthy when he died.
Mortality is a tough subject even for adults. Its heart breaking to see my little guys try and understand it and to have the worries so heavy upon their little hearts. Although its common for children their age to have concerns about death even when death has no affected their lives.
How do you help you children deal with sure a tough topic? What books are videos did you share with them?
Saturday, August 17, 2013
I was really proud of how well they all did. It was a little scary for me to have my babies behind the wheel. They did real good and ended up not bumping into any other drives or side barriers. Now knowing their need for speed has me a little worried about when they will be behind the wheel of a real car...lol. There were many more cool things to do there and the boys can't wait to return to try the laser tag, batting cages, and bumper boats. We chose to stick with the go karts and save the other stuff for another day.
Friday, August 16, 2013
With the temperature only in the high sixties we stayed snuggly warm in our pj's all day. It was a great day to be lazy and recuperate after a busy weekend of holding a garage sale and camping. Everyone slept in late then lounged around in in jammies watching movies and playing video games. Until I couldn't sit still any longer watching them overload on screen time. We broke out all our less than 200 pieces puzzles and put them together to see if any still had all their pieces (they didn't).
Later that evening we broke out the snacks and a deck of cards. We played many rounds of "trash", one of their favorite card games. I almost never win cards verses the kids, but for some reason I managed to hold me lead and win. The boys say its because Jordan taught me how to cheat and that's how I won. Ha Ha, mom doesn't cheat (not unless its let one of the kids wins). Our game took longer to complete them we had thought, so we are planning another card night soon. We had hoped to play trash, war, and king's corner.
Friday, August 9, 2013
It has taken us over a week to sort through everything and decide on prices. The boys have been a huge help from sorting toys, scrubbing down outside toys to sell; clearing out some of their less used toys from their rooms to helping move tables.
Today was our first day of sales, and everything went pretty smoothly. Everyone woke up earlier enough to head down to grandma's (where we are holding our sale) and they were exceptionally good about keeping themselves entertained and out of the way when customers were present. J2 was so proud of himself for earning a dollar tip for helping a couple carry some larger items to their car (that was within my eyesight and running distance). They even took turns (somewhat) manning their table of 25 and 50 cent toys. The deal was whatever they chose to sell from the toy boxes that they could keep the money they earned, either to split amongst the 3 of them or to use for an outing as a family. They are torn between a new Xbox game and going to a the go-cart place. There is still a couple more days of selling before they can make the chose based on what they earn.
The boys have money on their brains now, due to our garage/mom2mom sale. They want to make sure they earn enough money to do something cool. After we cleared the tables away they got to work helping out Grandma and Papa to earn some cash. J1 and J2 cut the grass and did some gardening.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Monday, August 5, 2013
We have a habit of saving toilet paper tubes. You never know when they'll come in handy for a craft. We had about a dozen on hand and used them to create bird feeders. The tubes were much easier to spread peanut butter on versus using pinecones. Except the only peanut butter we had was chunky (I don't recommend it). I had left over yarn from my crochet projects which served as hangers for our feeders. The only thing we had to buy was bird food to roll the peanut butter coated (really really coated) tubes in. We had to wait a couple days to hang them due to more rainy weather.
Even though we've been to a new zoo this summer, it's tradition to visit the Detroit Zoo. We chose both a great day and not so good day to go. That evening The Verve Pipe was playing (a band I'd loved back in the 90's, but now does children's songs). It also rained for most of the time we were there. We thought most of the rain had passed before we headed down to the zoo, but played it safe by my carrying a little umbrella with us. (I know if we would have carted our big "keep the whole family dry" umbrella with us , it wouldn't have rained a drop.) Once we reached the far corner of the zoo the constant drizzle started. We took turns with the little umbrella so none of us had to get too wet and made our way towards where the concert was being held, only seeing the animals that were on our way there. We sat on our rapidly getting wet blanket huddled under our little umbrella and listened to half the music performance. During one of their breaks Jake, Joey, and I went to get pictures taken with the band members. Jordan stayed put on his tiny dry square of the blanket with the little umbrella. The band's drummer even let the boys go up on the stage so Joey could get his picture taken at the drums. A short time later, we decided we had had enough of the rain and ventured back into the heavier downpour to the butterfly house to warm up (with the rain came even cooler temperatures) before taking our soggy selves home.
After too many rainy days, we got a small break of sunshine and found a bucket list activity we could do outdoors. Joey loves paper airplanes; every note that was sent home from school was fashioned into a plane of some sort for me to have to unfold after he threw them towards me. With some of bucket list activities not being something Joey was into, this one was geared towards him. We made basic airplanes, nothing fancy like the ones we tried from the origami books a couple months ago. We decorated them to make them more personal, went out to a nearby field, and flew them a whole 2 yards before they crashed. This was another great in theory activity, we had envisioned flying them at least 5 yards. We soon switched out our paper planes for foam planes. These ones we much more fun; not only did they fly more than 5 yard but also glided, looped, flew upside down and dive-bombed. Where as the paper airplanes had kept them entertained for 5 minutes, the foam planes kept the laughing and running around for 45 minutes (that's when one finally landed in a tree).
Friday, August 2, 2013
We had planned to complete blow bubbles while we were watching the sunset over the water at the park, because it would have looked so cool. Instead we headed to a nearby field and blew bubbles until someone dumped most of their bubbles. You know its going to happen, and that it will be a complete accident, but someone always spills the bubbles (when I was a kids that someone was me).
Later that evening we headed back up to the field to see if we could catch fireflies. I tried to get picture, but by the time we got out there it was to dark for pictures. Jacob really liked seeing hundreds of fireflies blinking amongst the trees that surround the field. Jordan was the first to catch a firefly, actually he caught two. Joey didn't catch any, but not from lack of trying. Jacob caught his while it was walking on the ground. We would have stayed out and caught more, but we weren't the only ones out there. There were 3 or 4 bats that were swooping down pretty close to us trying to catch their own bugs. Jacob and Joey decided we should just let the bats have the bugs before we ended up getting a bat tangled in mom's hair. The boys named their fireflies Jacob called his Jacob Junior and when he released it, it wouldn't fly away it just kept walk around on his hand. Jordan named his Peanut butter and Jelly, while releasing them only one flew out of the jar. Joey quickly captured it and was very excited that he had caught one, he called it Flick.
It was a really rainy day and Jacob and Joey were disappointed they couldn't play on the playground while Jordan worked the nature center. We walked the nature path to keep them busy, using the trees to help shelter use from the constant drizzle. Along the way I took pictures in preparation for our upcoming picture scavenger hunt. Also we hung out at the nature center for a bit and the boys talked another volunteer into ducking down behind furniture and being part of their play they preformed for me. Normally I don't like spending time at the nature center while Jordan is working. It makes him nervous and feel like we're watching his every move and the boys ended up following him around most of the time. Thankfully this time Jordan was in another part of the center while we were there. As the boys practiced for their puppet show I took more pictures for our scavenger hunt. On our way back to the car we started a game of tag, we had to end our game after about a half hour because we were starting to get really wet from playing in the rain. Instead of heading straight home we did a couple Geocaches. It seemed that while we were driving it would stop raining, but as soon as we got out to search for our cache it would start again. Eventually it started raining too heavily to continue. So we hunkered down in the van and ate pizza while we waited for the storm clouds to pass before heading home.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
We had planned to spend the whole day at the park so we had an itinerary of what we had hoped to accomplish. After our (tick free) walk through nature we set off to spend a couple hours playing at the beach. Then off to my first time taking all 3 boys in a row boat by myself. In the past row boats and I haven't really gotten along, one time my mom and I took one out on the water for a while and almost crashed into a much bigger boat when we tried to dock it. Knowing my history with boats, I was prepared for just about anything, like maybe dropping an ore and watching it sink. Thankfully luck was on my side and we had a pretty uneventful ride. Each of the boys took turns rowing and we spend a great deal of time going in complete circles and getting splashed when they smacked the ores back into the water. While on the water (more acturately in the seaweed) the boys spotted a few paddle boats and now would like to try their hand (their feet?) at them, we'll have to put that on next summer's list.
Once we were back on land, we set up our little barbeque and painted rocks until the coals were ready. With all the planning I did in advance you would have thought I would have checked to make sure none of the paints had dried out, well I didn't and we only had a handful of colors to use. The boys didn't mind much but would like to do the project again with a complete rainbow of colors. Each of the boys completed at least 3 or 4 rocks. There were some cool smooth rocks that came in the kit we used, we also had some Jacob had found with some new friends at the beach. I think they actually prefered the more textured rocks with the different sizes and shapes.
We roasted hot dogs and had a delightful dinner, followed by s'mores. We had hoped to watch the sunset over the water, but we were on the wrong side of the park. By the time we almost reached a great viewing spot the sun had already set. All of us were a little disappointed about missing the sun setting, so on the way home I took a detour to a frozen yogurt place a friend of mine had told me about. There were about 15 different flavors that lined the wall and 50 different toppings to chose from as well as syrups . We marked off make ice cream sundaes, although it wasn't ice cream (yogurt is better for you anyways). The boys made some very interesting sundaes (I even lifted the no food dyes for the night). Jordan had chose brownie batter yogurt topping it with cookie dough bits and white chocolate chips. Joey knowing what he likes, chose vanilla topped with Fruity Pebbles and gummy bears. Jacob had a small taste of the cheese cake flavor and chose to get a whole bowl of it topping it with sprinkles and cookies dough bits. I took a simpler route of pineapple twisted with coconut and toppings of pineapple and shredded coconut. Joey and I were the only ones happy with out concoctions. Jordan and Jacob ended up sharing mine and I ate theirs. I had them scrape the topping off the best they could and combined the brownie with the cheese cake, actually it wasn't bad. The only thing about the trip that surprised me was it had cost me $26 for yogurt. I had been warned before hand that they charge by the ounce (Jordan's was almost a full pound), and the bowl/cups they provide are HUGE thus making it difficult to judge just how much your actually putting in them. The kids absolutely loved it there, they plan on saving their allowance so we can return. The atmosphere there was fun and upbeat, with thick plastic orange and white chairs and tables even couches to lounge in while enjoying your $7 bowl of froyo.