October 31, 2010

Halloween Weeeeeeeek

It has been a week of activities and P-A-R-T-I-E-S!!!
Monday ...
We carved pumpkins.
(I developed my pictures and deleted them off my disc - BEFORE putting them on the computer :( )
Tuesday ...
We got 6-8 inches in our backyard. (No pictures of course.)
Thursday ...
School Parades.
The kindergartners paraded the classroom early so I didn't get to see Hayden.
He planned to dress as Batman but found out a few other boys planned to be Batman so he changed his costume last minute.
He was a Wounded Soldier
Mackay's parade was later and "Open to the Public".
He was a Pittsburgh Steeler Fan (???)
Josh joined me for the parade.
I don't know why but it made me miss my mom (what's new, right?).
She would go to the parades. Those of us without kids in school would dress up our little ones and go with with her. She would have loved watching our kids and having Josh bring his little ones.
Josh forgot his boys costumes but we managed to find two matching costumes.
Sorry, Ben... You took one for the team!!

Friday ...
Kenzie got to dress up at school.
She was a Panda Bear.
Saturday ...
After Football we waited for the RAIN and WIND to lighten up,
then got ready to Trick-or-Treat!
Mackay was Joker
Hayden was a Soldier.
Mackenzie couldn't decide... A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or an M&M.
(No pictures of Kenz :()
Aaron took Hayden out for a while in the rain.
Mackay went with friends until he got poked in the eye.
Mackenzie went out with friends for a few minutes but then watched movies.
Sunday ...
Finally the REAL Halloween!!!
We had a family party with Chili, Grilled Cheese, Salad, Apples with Toffee dip, and fun Halloween Dessert and ...
We played "Trick or Treat" (Fear Factor Style) -
Forced Games with Gross Food!!
We also did the "Hands On" Body Part Story - it is always a kid favorite.
Bug in a sucker
Anchovy FilletsSome how we managed to make Halloween last ALL WEEK LONG!!
Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

October 19, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

Jenn and Scott invited us to spend the long UEA weekend in Park City with their family. Scott's parents have a beautiful home at the top of Main Street that they use as a rental. It was awesome!! Not many homes sleep 14 plus people. If you are ever looking for a place to stay right in the heart of Park City, consider this home. Amazing!! (I wish I had taken better pictures and MORE pictures - I forgot.)

We couldn't arrive until Saturday afternoon because of football, but once we got there the vacation began. My kids are in heaven when they are with Jenn's kids. Kenzie and Mackay enjoyed playing games and watching movies with Jessica, (& Tyler) Tanner and Sam.
Hayden entertained himself most of the time or was found eating all of Jenn's (or Adam's) Cookie Crisp Cereal... :(
Adam and Steph spent the weekend with us as well.
Scott and Jenn treated Aaron and I to a Mexican dinner. Our waitress was a crack up. She was a cute girl from Chile and (doesn't like "change in her a..."). :) After dinner, we all walked up Main Street, stopping at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, of course, and then headed home to end the night with a big slice of a Strawberry Cake that my cute friend Jeni Gardner made (I wish I had a picture, Dang!) - Delicious!!

Sunday morning, I couldn't sleep in and found myself sitting in the hot tub at 7:00 am. I wasn't too upset. Starting my actual birthday soaking alone in a HOT hot tub on a crisp fall morning ... I wasn't complaining. It was quiet and calm!! I chatted with my mom for a minute - she never adds much to the conversation these days. Why do birthdays make me miss my mom??

Mackay and Hayden joined me shortly after and then Jenn (who is used to getting up early) got in. After chatting for a while with Jenn, Aaron woke up and joined the hot tub party. Two hours in an 104 degree hot tub is HEAVEN (and pruning)!
Scott made his yummy pancakes for dinner even though he was in horrible pain due to a bike crash he suffered the day before - Possible concussion, broken ribs, and a little road rash - just another day on the bike. I sat and read decorating magazines and even closed my eyes for a bit. Jenn made a big Sunday (Spaghetti) dinner to end the day and the trip.

It was so nice - SO RELAXING - so laid back and easy. Aaron asked on the way home if I had a good birthday. He had a look on his face that made me think he was nervous to hear the answer. My reply may have surprised him... "It was PERFECT!" Just what I wanted - a relaxing weekend surrounded by my family. Everyone was happy! I couldn't have asked for a better day. Well... my mom could have called and THEN it would have been perfect - but even without her phone call - It was one of the best birthdays.

Thanks you Jenn for all you did to make it a great day!!

October 13, 2010

Miracles Still Happen

Miracles Still Happen
days no one knew if they were alive.
70 days they waited in Darkness .
Hungry, Homesick, Hopeful!

I can't stop watching the live footage as each miner is brought up
One by One.
Over and Over - it is the same reaction - and yet, I stop what I am doing.
I sit on the couch.
I turn up the volume
to listen to family members welcome their loved one back
in a language I can't understand.
And it makes me cry.
It reminds me that
Miracles still happen.

October 11, 2010

Football's Not the Best

A while back, I picked Hayden up from preschool and as he got in the car he said; "Mom, Preschool's not the best." I laughed. What a nice way to say you don't like something. Since then the phrase has stuck. In our house, USUALLY, Football IS the best. As a family, we love football! We love to watch football, play football, even chat about football.

Mackay getting instructions from his coach as he goes in to play QB!! :)
BUT - this week "Football is NOT the Best!"

This Thursday, after Football practice, we planned to join my sister's family in Park City. We knew we would have to come home for his 10:30 am game on Saturday. But then we'd head back up for the rest of the long weekend. With it being UEA - maybe they would even cancel THURSDAY'S practice! Nope - we just aren't that lucky!! Practice this week:
Monday 5:15-7:15

THURSDAY 5:15-7:15

FRIDAY 5:15-7:15!!!!!

Game Saturday (9:30) 10:30 am. So this week -
"Football's NOT the Best!"

October 8, 2010

What REALLY Matters

I was up late last night trying to "clean up" around me. (I know, I know... I have a problem.) Anyway, I was alone and couldn't sleep. Earlier yesterday I had printed an obituary of a man I don't even know. His obituary was sitting on my counter top.

My sister lives in Indiana, on a close-knit street. They are all friends. They all go to the bus stop early to let their younger kids play as they await their older children. They sit in their lawn chairs late into the summer nights sipping on their choice of beverage... ;) chatting together. They are aware of what is happening inside the homes of their neighbors. I love this kind of neighborhood. They know they are there for each other no matter what.

For the last few months, Manda has watched her neighbor slowly be taken from this earth. She has waved to him as she passes his living room window, where he lays in a hospital bed. She has chatted with his wife about the struggle of getting him to a hospital when it "is time" so that he won't die at home for the kids to remember. She has taken them dinner and has offered many heart felt prayers in their behalf.

She watched him arrive home from the hospital, a few weeks ago, in an ambulance when the decision was made to stop treatments. As he was getting out of the ambulance, Manda hollered "Welcome Home, Rick". Rick then blew a kiss to all those waiting for their children at the bus stop. And then on Tuesday afternoon, she watched as he was put back in an ambulance to go back to the hospital to pass away. There she waved "Goodbye" to Rick. Rick's wife, in a familiar way, blew a kiss to those watching at the bus stop.

This man was "Welcomed Home" in the early hours of Wednesday, Oct 6th. He was a 49 year-old father of two kids ages 5 and 9. He was a husband of a kind and strong wife. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a neighbor, coworker, and a friend.

As I sat up, frustrated in my messy (unfinished) house, I saw his obituary. I didn't need to read it. I saw his picture and wondered if this man's wife was up, awake, maybe trying to straighten her home, because she couldn't sleep.

I was sad and embarrassed for venting about my surroundings.
I have a beautiful home. I have a beautiful yard. I have a car that works.

More importantly, I have giggling children that are healthy, happy, and good.
I have a talented beautiful daughter who is every one's friend. She strives to choose the right and set an example for those around her. She makes mistakes. She doesn't keep her room clean. But she is happy and genuinely LOVES people.

I have two strong boys who love to run, play, and get dirty. But they can't go to sleep at night until prayers are said and I have tucked them in. They won't leave the door in the morning until they have knelt to pray and have kissed me goodbye. They, too, make mistakes and hate to take baths and take their clean clothes upstairs, but love to hug me and aren't offended when I tell them they smell like "puppy dogs."

I have my health. I have a body that works (even works-out when I get it to the gym.)

And I have my husband. I have a man that is strong, healthy, and kind, and is here on earth with me. He listens to me complain and doesn't tell me I am spoiled. He loves me and he knows that deep down I KNOW that messes and unfinished projects really don't matter.

I have learned this lesson before and unfortunately have to be reminded now and again.

So... today, I am grateful for:
Unfinished Projects, Messy Houses, Greasy Hair, A Few Extra Pounds, Rainy Weather, The Family that I grew up with, And the Family that I am raising, and for My Husband and My Testimony of Forever Families - because THAT is what really matters.

October 7, 2010

"Lay the Foundation"

Warning: This post contains a bit of venting... reader discretion is advised.

Many years ago, I had a conversation with my mom.
I had had someone come, unexpectedly, to my home & I was MORTIFIED with how it looked. It was messy & dirty & I was SO embarrassed.

My mom simply solved my problem with three little words -

She explained that before you get in your bed at night,

Fill the dishwasher, pick up toys, fold blankets & set throw pillows, & wipe off counter tops.
Take a few minutes to Lay the Foundation so that
A: you can sleep peacefully at night &
B: if someone knocked on your door, you won't be embarrassed to let them in.

Simple!! I have lived by this rule.
I ALWAYS Lay the Foundation.
Even Aaron teases me when I come to bed after him asking in a mocking voice, "Did you LAY THE FOUNDATION?"

Unfortunately, this rule has made me a little crazy too.
I can't think straight, sleep sound, or even start doing anything else until my house is in order & I have Laid the Stupid Foundation.

A few weeks ago, I told you about my "new project".
Well, one idea/project has led to another & I am surrounded by so many UNFINISHED projects.

Unfinished Project #1: The Basement.
Decorating has always come pretty easy to me, but not in my basement.
I love the furniture but can't get that warm cozy feeling.
I can't tell if it needs blinds on the doors or what...
I wish I had a before picture... I forgot.

Unfinished Project #2: Basement Cupboards
I am waiting on Cupboards that will go above the counter in the basement.
They are supposed to be here TOMORROW... I am not holding my breath.
Unfinished Project #3: Fireplace Mantle
My fireplace is waiting for a mantle. Once the mantle is in - I will hang the floral arrangements somewhere else & will need something ON the mantel. I am thinking ahead to what will look nice but can't purchase or move forward until the mantle arrives.
Unfinished Project #4: The Deck

Picture of tiny rotting deck BEFORE they started the new one.

I am SOOOOO EXCITED for our new deck. It will be big & beautiful. I can't wait.
In the meantime, I can't use my back door.
I never knew how often I escaped out the back door -
to take the dog "out", to chat quietly on the phone, to check if coats are needed for school,
to find children, to hide from children, etc.
It will be so nice when the deck is finished but I wish it would be finished TODAY.

Unfinished Project #5: The Hot Tub
Okay, so this project is still in the convincing stages.
Soon as Aaron realizes that there is a hot tub missing under the new deck, then we will need to put in a new outlet that can handle a hot tub, purchase the hot tub, have it delivered, installed, filled, & heated. Won't that be nice when it gets done??
Finished Project #1: Gas Fireplace
Aaron doesn't like unfinished projects any more then I do, & this is one he had some control over. So, we purchased the fireplace. He spent a day digging out & building footings for it.
Voila...we have a fireplace in our lower patio.
We wish we could enjoy it, but there is patio furniture, nails, trex material, & garbage from the unfinished deck all over it. I am SURE we will love it once we can use it. Thank you, honey, for starting a project & finishing it all in the same day. XOXOX!!

Lastly, I wish I had taken pictures of where I put my Fall/Halloween decorations last year. I loved my house last year & I don't love it this year.
So Unfinished Project #6: Holiday Decor

I sound so grumpy!!!
Unfinished is almost worse then messy in my opinion.
I know it is a sickness that I have.
I just really like my house in order & not UNFINISHED.
I like it when the FOUNDATION is LAID!!!
I'll keep you posted when projects get finished...