Sunday, May 31, 2015

summer fun

Even thought school wasn't quite out yet, summer adventures for us really started in May.  It was then that Chad's brother, Michael and his family came out for a visit and test run.  They were coming to check Ohio out to decide if they could handle the area, and probably us if they moved out to apply to medical school.  We must have not made it look too bad, because in July they U-haul from Idaho arrived!  Mike and Saundra, Carter and Kamry moved in with us!  While I would be lying if I said I wasn't more than just a little nervous about the whole thing, we had a really great experience.  I think we learned a lot from each other, made lots of memories, and had a whole lot of fun doing it.
We were able to take them to some of our favorite parks.  The one below is surrounded by woods and a stream with small fish and crawdads.  We always have to bring cups to try to bring home a few new friends to live in the fish tank.
Summer in Ohio isn't nearly as humid as Omaha, but still has enough heat and humidity at it's height to warrant some good sprinkler time.  The cousins had lots of fun soaking up the sun and running through the water
One of my personal favorites in the summer is cooking out.  It means fewer dishes, and less prep time.  Plus, can you really beat hot dogs for dinner?  No way!
Porter and Pratt loved having another bug/amphibian hunter on their team.  I save "bug jars" all year long.  But this summer I ran out early!  They had a great time filling them up with creatures and habitats.

This is one of my very favorite pictures (actually the black and white version with just the colored goggles is better), and it speaks volumes of the summer to me.
We don't golf.  But since Uncle Mikey does, it was fun to see him introduce it to the kiddos. 
Poco and Roni may not have been close enough to ride, but we figured out a way to still get a small fix in for the kiddos.  One of Chad's attending  owns a beautiful ranch.  She invited us over to meet her horses and a few walks around her training facility.

Aimee is basically the best big sister ever.  May has to put up with being dressed up from time to time, but she doesn't mind.  Aimee makes up for it by giving her some extra attention, and making things more interesting for her.
Sycamore Trails got a third Williams swimmer this year.  They kids had a great time playing in the water, getting their teachers to make exceptions for them, and actually learning a few things.

While I haven't made a great deal of progress in talking Chad into letting us get a trampoline, I'm glad the kids get chances to enjoy it our friends houses.

I can't even begin to count the number of times I got flowers from the kids.  Most of the time it is dandelion bouquet.  Sometimes a few other weeds make it into the mix.  Sometimes, I get really lucky, and Porter brings me the weed in its entirety.  That way I can enjoy it longer!
Did I mention that we ran out of bug jars this summer?
We live in a relatively quite neighborhood where our kids are definitely the loudest and craziest.  By the end of the summer, he made sure to add to it when he picked up bike riding.  That makes two boys who taught themselves to ride a bike!  It helped that he had this mini bike our neighbor gave him that made it easy to figure the process out.  It was the cutest thing in the world to watch this little three year old peddle at about 100 miles an hour to keep up with the big kids, but he had the will and found the way!
Now if only I had taken pictures of the rest of our adventures, one might get a taste of what a great summer it was!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

dad gets 30

Most years Chad finds out his birthday is coming up because I bring it up.  He isn't exactly known for being a big partier.  I didn't want that to stop Chad from enjoying his milestone birthday.  About two months in advance I enlisted Chad's co-worker, Roman, to help make sure that on his birthday I would be able to pin him down.  I had my plan all set.  Nothing to crazy so he wouldn't be annoyed, but enough to make certain it was a memorable day.
That morning as I was cutting up strawberries for Chad's traditional strawberry short cake, I got a phone call from a frantic friend needing someone to watch her little boy so she could go to work, until her husband got home from work.  It was only supposed to be for an hour or less.  I could do that.  Sadly, the hour got longer and longer.  Two and a half hours later I started calling around to get this little guy home.  His dad had come home from work earlier but decided he needed a nap first after a busy call night.  By the time I dropped him off, there was no time to surprise Chad with lunch or pick up balloons.  We had to settle for just surprising him with cake to share with everyone who happened to be around, and listen to our kids tell others not to drink coffee or that they were going to the wrong church.  For Chad that was plenty.  And for me, I was just happy to be celebrating 30 years of the greatest dad and husband in the world.

dress like a cow day

I am proud to say that I am cheap!  When I heard that Chick-Fil-A was having their annual Dress-like-a-cow Day, you better believe I was all over the idea!  If you dressed like a cow you could order any meal you wanted!
I cut out a few patches of black felt, made five sets of felt cow ears and added a little face paint to make it extra fun!  My friend Julie, who likes free as much as I do,  and her five kiddos joined us for the fun.  Her kids are a little older and risk more embarrassment to do this, so I was impressed we had full participation.
As one might expect, the place was packed!  We didn't mind though.  After lunch we topped off the afternoon with some park time!  I kept the spots and ears so that we can make this an annual event!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

hello dr. jody

First of all, I have to note that this is a very painful post for me.  I am supposed to be above all of this.  I am the one that tells other moms how to avoid this.  But, here I am, a flawed mother and hygienist.
Porter started to complain of mouth pain.  I admit, I initially wrote him off.  The truth is, with Porter it can be difficult to tell if he has just stubbed his toe or if the apocalypse is beginning.  When I finally decided it was legitimate, I called the office I sub in and made an appointment.  We had to wait three weeks to get it.  What did we find?  With the first bitewing ex rays he had ever had we were able to see that he had 8 cavities, one that would need a stainless steel crown.  For Porter, this meant he got to come back and get more prizes.  For me this was a blow to my personal pride as a mom, and a hygienist, and a blow to our pocket book.  We are locked in to our insurance for two years at a time.  I had hoped we could make it until renewal and save two years of dental coverage.  I should have known better.
(Porter all drugged up, and ready to get his teeth fixed.)
It was over a month before we could get him in (Dr. Jody is pretty popular).  A little bit of sleepy juice did the trick.  I am pretty thankful he had it because, while he doesn't remember, there were lots of tears shed.  They offered to do the rest another day.  Knowing that it would just be another episode, I helped hold him down to get the job done.  They usually have moms and dads sit in the waiting room because parents get upset seeing their kids struggle.  I just wanted to expedite the process.

Porter was back to normal in no time, and milking it for all it was worth.  I vowed to be better at practicing what I preach.  And the biggest blessing of all was that Dr. Jody gave me an employee discount, even though I only sub in her office 1-2 days a month.  It just made me even more grateful to have found such a wonderful office to go to when I do work.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

super family

It seems I get lazier every year.  I insist that we all dress up the same, but I have run low on the energy needed to make them.  When Porter chose for us to go as super heroes this year, I felt pretty good about that.  Some shiny material for capes, a logo on a t-shirt and a little face paint.  BAM!  Done!  
The best part was letting the kids all pick their logo and face paint.  Aimee of course was a very girl

y hero.  She went with Butterfly Girl.  Butterfly logo, butterfly face paint.  Porter wanted to be Dino Boy.  Pratt thought that was a pretty good idea so he jumped on that band wagon.  They chose different dino logos and different colored face paint.  Basically we just copied our face paint from a couple of years earlier. 
May was a little Mayflower, and Chad went classic Super Dad.  His face paint was pretty cool.  I wish I had photographed it better.  
Chad has called me Bullet Girl since we got married.  I have a habit of verbalizing the lists in my head, in a prioritized order.  When I start to get a little frantic, Chad will call out, "Bullet Girl!"  Then everything is still a list, but with less stress behind it. 
   We trick-or-treated at the Y, with our ward, and around our neighborhood.  Chad took Pratt and May inside when they got cold and started the hot chocolate while Porter, Aimee and I held out for just a bit more candy (Aimee wanted to sell it to Dr. Jody to make money).
Once the kids were in bed, Mike and Saundra, Chad and myself enjoyed some Mario Kart and munching on the kids Candy.  You can't beat a year like this one!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

piano lessons

My mom can play anything on the piano!  I loved it growing up.  You need to sing for church?  Mom had your back.  Someone is playing for state solo competitions?  She had that one covered too.  Basically it is yet another talents that I failed to learn, so my children will never have that luxury.  I am determined to not have my children suffer the same fate.
We were going to start at the beginning of 1st grade.  My mom recommends waiting until they can read.  But with the craziness of our house having Chads' brother and his family living with us, we held off a bit.  We got started in October.  Being the tight wad that I am, I opted to teach her what little I do know.  In spite of her teacher, she is doing great.  She practices every school morning for 25-30 minutes before the bus comes.  To date, she has almost finished the first set of Alfred's books, and is hoping to be done by the end of school!