August 29, 2013

  It's always obvious when I've sent pudding in Erik's school lunch. He ends up with little flecks of it on his face.  Yesterday, when I picked up Ryan from school, he had peanut butter on his cheek.  I bet the teachers secretly get a giggle out of this.

August 28, 2013

A perfect evening for some outside silliness.

August 27, 2013

  I caught these two buddies watching t.v. like this after school today.  I guess he missed her as much as she missed him.

August 26, 2013

The obligatory back-to-school pictures:

 1st grade

 4th grade

 6th grade

Sulking on the stairs.  She kept saying, "I hate school."

I have to include this picture of Ryan at his desk his very first day. I was nervous because he's been anxious about starting school.  I figured he'd be about one notch above crying.  But he was more like three notches above, so all will be well.

August 25, 2013

  So long summer.  I used to look forward to school starting so much more when I didn't have to drop off/pick up kids four times a day.  Or make lunches for three kids who like very different things.  They're just going to have to all learn to like the same sandwiches/chips/fruit/cookies on the same day.  Look how prepared I am on the night before.  Lunches made except for the sandwiches and Gogurts.  I'm sure that every night this school year I will be this prepared.

August 24, 2013

    Have you ever had a monster cookie from the Target food counter?  If not, go get one.  And when you discover that they are delicious and want more, use this recipe.

August 23, 2013

  Tonight was meet the teacher night at the elementary school.  Ryan changed into his favorite yellow shirt because he wanted to look nice.  The star glasses are from his new kindergarten teacher.  I finally allowed Syd to wear some of her new school clothes.  Do you see how many layers she's wearing?  It's 95 degrees outside.
Erik couldn't have cared less what he was wearing, so he's not in the picture.

August 22, 2013

  In the spirit of back-to-school, today I'll share one of my favorite school moments.  When we were in Michigan, thirty or so second graders in the elementary school were invited to participate in a spelling bee.  Shelbi was one of them.  It wasn't a typical spelling bee.  The participants met after school for a couple of weeks to practice general spelling rules.  No official list of words was ever given out.  The day of the spelling bee Jeff was working, so I had Erik (3) and Ryan (2) with me.  They were impossible to keep quiet in the gym, where the bee was held.  So I had to stay with them in the hall and poke my head in every time it was Shelbi's turn to spell a word.  I couldn't hear much out in the hall, so I'd be surprised by how many kids were left each time I'd go in to see Shelbi. 
  It finally came down to Shelbi and another boy.  It was his turn to spell.  He got his word wrong, so Shelbi had to correctly spell his word and one of her own.  She spelled them both right and was declared the winner.  I was pregnant with Bailey at the time, so of course I cried.  One of the judges was Shelbi's speech therapist, and she, too, was beaming.  She had been working with Shelbi weekly for three years to help her overcome her stutter.  This was quite an accomplishment.  
I adore this picture because I remember her picking out her favorite dress and bow to wear.  I love the earnest look on her face.

August 21, 2013

  Next up on our Tour de Amarillo was the local waterpark, Splash. To be perfectly honest, Jeff and I weren't very excited about going here.  It's on the other side of town and we don't hear of people visiting it very often, so we thought maybe it was gross and kind of a joke of a waterpark.  But we were pleasantly surprised.  We unknowingly showed up on 2-for-1 day, so we didn't have to pay much.  Even with it being a promotional day, it wasn't very crowded.  There were five or six water slides, a wave pool (Erik's favorite), a kiddie pool, and a lazy river.  They offer free tubes and life jackets and there were a lot of lifeguards at each attraction.  An unexpectedly fun day.
  Don't we look good?  I'm not sure how I got a sunburn on the bottom half of my face but not my forehead.  Huh.

August 20, 2013

  Now we can check "Go to Wonderland" off of our Amarillo bucket list.  At the beginning of the summer Sydney lamented that she was the only one in her school class that hasn't been to Wonderland.  Jeff promised her that we'd go sometime this summer.  Well summer's a few days from being over, so it was time to make good on the promise.

August 19, 2013

  I get mail from St. Jude's hospital every once in a while, asking for donations.  Usually they send me a "special gift," like address labels.  This time the outside of the envelope said there was a very special bracelet inside, just for me.
  It was a hospital bracelet, with Bailey's name on it.  I really thought they were implying it could be my daughter's name on the bracelet someday, and that's why I should donate money.  That's some seriously messed up marketing.  But then I saw the picture of the real Bailey, who really does have a tumor.  Ok, that makes more sense.

August 18, 2013

  Ryan wanted to watch Toy Story 3 tonight and the other kids complained when I put it on the main t.v. because they didn't want to watch it.
  Yeah, just look at them hating it.

August 17, 2013

  This was going to be a post about how nice it will be when the kids are back in school and I won't have this mess.  But looking more closely at the mess made me change my mind.  I don't love the mess, but I do love that five kids were playing "city" together this morning.

August 16, 2013

  Why do kids always think food is ruined if it isn't whole?  (Pancakes, sandwiches, etc.)  
Bailey's trying to put her banana back together.

August 15, 2013

  School shopping went way better today.  So good, in fact, that we had to stop for some sustenance at McDonald's to keep going.
  Incidentally, the stripes in this restaurant gave me the inspiration for the stripes in Shelbi's bedroom.  McDonald's is awesome.

August 14, 2013

  My mom's way nicer than I am.  I cringe at some of the clothes my girls want to wear, but forget that I once went to school looking like this:
This was eighth grade, when I should have had some things figured out.  If fact, this was the first day of school, so I was wearing my best outfit.  Oh dear.  I really should be nicer.

August 13, 2013

This is the face of a little girl who isn't very happy that I made her wear underwear and "plastics" today.

August 12, 2013

  Sydney has been watching Toddlers and Tiaras on the internet.  She's begging me to let her be in a pageant.  Yeah, right.  Tonight the kids held their own pageant.  (I'm sure the boys will be mortified someday to learn that I told the world that they played pageant.)  They had casual and dressy categories, with a clothing change for each.  Shelbi judged.
It looks like Ryan won Grand Supreme by the way he's holding his trophy up in the air.

August 11, 2013

  School shopping with my girls has gone from fun and exciting to frustrating.  Am I so old that I don't really know what's in style any more? Or are they really picking things out that are as unattractive as I think they are? It used to be so much easier when I got to pick what they wear.       
Wasn't Sydney stylin' in Kindergarten?

August 10, 2013

  While shopping for new shoes for Shelbi today, we learned that a size 4 in girls' is the same as a size 6 in women's.  Shelbi was ecstatic about this.  Of course she had to try on some "women's" shoes.

August 9, 2013

  We've been having a cold spell lately.  Temperatures all the way down in the 70s!  The kids insisted it was chilly enough for hot chocolate.  I made them a deal--if they cleaned up the bonus room really well, they could make hot chocolate.
Believe me, Shelbi was more excited about this than she looks.

August 8, 2013

  I picked up a few basics for back to school for the boys.  This year I got Erik boxer briefs.  A big deal.  He ripped the package right open and admired them, even carrying a pair around with him for a while.
  I was reminded of when I bought him his very first pairs of underwear, when it was time to potty train him.  He carried those around with him for a few days.

August 7, 2013

  I'm sure I've expressed before how much I love this big driveway.    It made for a perfect evening of riding bikes that have been neglected for nearly a month.

August 6, 2013

  This is the picture I took of Ryan eating his first real meal in four days.  He got sick on Saturday morning and hasn't felt well since then.  He's been on a strict diet of crackers, bananas, and little sips of water.  But today he went a whole day without throwing up or suffering through the other symptoms of this sickness (which I won't go into the gross details.)  He was happy to finally have real food...
...and then he threw up again.  This is one ugly virus.

August 5, 2013

  Ever since the hail storm in May, we've had trouble with our satellite.  Direct TV has sent a repairman out two or three times, thinking the problem was fixed each time.  But the same problem would happen just hours after they left.  We had a guy here this afternoon who seemed to finally figure out what the cause was and set about to fix it.  There was some cable in the front flower bed that had to be repaired.  Unbeknownst to him (and us), in the holly bush right by the flowers was a wasps' nest.  He said he didn't even see it until he started getting stung.  All over his right arm.  I sure hope the problem is fixed this time, because I'm pretty sure we can't convince him to come back.
The fallen nest

August 4, 2013

  I'm a much better gardener when I'm out of town than when I'm home.  I was worried about how these flower beds would look after being gone for three weeks.  I set a up a watering system, but wasn't sure how it would work.  The beds have never looked better.

August 3, 2013

  The famous "Hole in the Wall" hotel in Gallup, New Mexico.  "Hole in the Wall" of course referring to the actual decorative holes in the walls, not the condition of the hotel.  It's a kid favorite.

August 2, 2013

  I was pretty proud of myself for taking all our dirty clothes to the laundry mat to be cleaned all at once, instead of sitting around at home all day waiting for each load to be done.  This left us time to do some shopping in the afternoon.  A trip to Utah wouldn't be complete without going to Tai Pan, my favorite home decor store.  It didn't disappoint.  They were in the process of putting out the Halloween stuff and I picked up a few goodies.

 Aren't these branches with lights cute?  I'm going to find a way to do this to the arch over my front door for Halloween and Christmas this year.

  The real fun happened tonight when the kids were playing Red Light, Green Light.  We adults joined in for a few rounds.  As you can see, my dad was a serious contender.  After Red Light, Green Light we introduced the kids to No Bears Are Out Tonight.  Unfortunately we are not as young as we may think we are.  Some of us may have fallen on our backsides trying to run away from the bear.

August 1, 2013

  All good things come to an end.  Our last morning at Bear Lake was spent cleaning the cabin.  We had one final lunch with everyone at La Beau's.  Following lunch the girls and I walked over to the Raspberry Days craft fair to look around while Jeff finished packing up.  It was a nice way to complete our vacation.  Especially knowing what I would be doing when we got home.

July 31, 2013

Jeff and Sydney surfing, another proud dad moment