Sunday, July 24, 2011

School's Out for Summer!!

Wow. It's been almost a year since the last time I blogged...

Having a great summer so far. We kicked it off with a cub scout pack camp out at Rotary. It just so happened to fall on the same weekend as the Young Eagle flights were going on at the Ray Airport. The boys got to fly alone with a certified airplane pilot. The roundtrip flight took about 30 minutes. Sam was very nervous about flying alone so he opted to wait until next year. Zack loved it. He wasn't the least bit afraid and I swear he was still flying high when he got off the plane. He had a huge smile and was so excited to tell us about it. Pretty cool.

The boys are in the Parks and Rec program at their school and they love it. Which means I love it! They go M-Th 9 -12. Fridays are optional field trips, which we opt to send them on! They've seen Cars 2 in a special showing at the Romeo Theater; picked black cherries at Westview Orchards; Sam went swimming at the high school (Zack opted not to go and we visited with Alice instead) where he learned to "swim" wearing a swim belt and flippers - came home asking us to buy him his own, and we got the flippers not the belt (more on this); and had a water field day event at the Romeo Rec center (it was in the 90s this week!). One field trip left for a Bingo day.

I took them to see Mr.Popper's Penguins when John was in Saginaw. Great movie, they loved it!

John changed jobs in May and now works for GM. His schedule changed a bit and he was getting home about 2 hours earlier (4 vs 6pm) and I had a hard time adjusting in the beginning. Now I love it! Love that he is no longer in management, carrying a Blackberry, and basically "oncall" all the time. We are all much happier with this new position. It's been a great blessing.

With the job change came an unexpected and last minute 11 days off so we used the time off to do a few fun things: Estate Sales- found some pretty neat things: at typewriter and metal table from 1931 in excellent condition for $12.50, some collapsible fishing rods for John, agate slices and UP copper for Zack, and a golf club and balls for Sam. Really great stuff for CHEAP$$.

We went to Huckleberry Railroad and rode the train and went on the boat, fun but hot, went to the Magic show and there were only 3 kids in the audience so the magician called all 3 on stage to do all the tricks with him. It was cute and cheesy. They liked it.

We rented the mini cabin at Metamora for 2 nights and invited Jonathan and Haley to join us. JV came and Haley joined us for dinner and smores one night. We even took Pumpkin although we were worried how she would do. She did great. The family enjoyed swimming, hiking, campfires and peanut butter cup smores (thanks Shannon!) It was a great time and the weather was cooperative.

We saw Rio and X-men at the drive-in. Sam has a thing for parrots lately (Echo on America's Got Talent) so it was perfect setup for everyone. I really like that we can save money bringing our own snacks. Sam watched Rio and fell asleep before X-men started. I made 1/2 way through X-men and John and Zack made it through both (I think).

Throw is some fishing, trips to the beach, and playdates and it has been a busy fun, fast paced summer.

This weekend John's parents invited us to join them at the cottage they rented. It's beachfront right on the lake and perfect, or so we thought. Jeff and Marilyn (with Ava) came up Friday night, we arrived on Saturday afternoon. The weather was hot. It's been in the 90s and even hit 100 on Thursday. Yesterday when we arrived the boys raced in to say hi to Grandma and Aunt Marilyn. John and I started to bring Pumpkin is and set her up. The guys get back and they are hanging in the backyard. The boys put on their bathing suits because there are shells to collect and swimming to be done. I'm unpacking the car. I see Sam's kickboard and fins in the back of the van and grabbed them to take to him. I stopped because I thought "No, he can have these once I'm in the water with him. I don't want him to try these on his own. and I'm not ready to go in yet." So I leave them in the car and grabbed my bag of clothes and some food stuff. and this is where it gets wierd.

You know how time and the concept of time just stops or goes in slow motion? Well, I swear I took the bag of food in and I start to make sandwiches for us when I go outside to see if they want to eat. I know that Sam and Zack have been in the water and Zack is still walking along the shore collecting rocks. I notice that John is soaked. His shoes, shirt, shorts, up to his armpits is soaked. I asked him in a teasing way "what happened to you?' (he doesn't like to swim at all.) He said "Sam went in to deep and I had to go in and get him." I wasn't really hearing him. Then it dawned on me what he was saying, Sam almost drowned. I asked where he was and they thought he came inside to get me. I went in and asked my MIL and SIL if they had seen Sam come in. He hadn't so I was getting panicky. I was calling him and he wouldn't reply. I found him hiding and sobbing in the garage. I made sure he was okay. He is. Thank God (literally)! He was embarassed and thought the adults would be mad at him! Of course we weren't. John told him that if something had happened to Sam and if he hadn't gone in to save him, everyone would have been mad at him(John). Sam was still really shaken and said he wasn't swimming ever again. I told him we understood he was frightened but that he had to go back in (with adults, CRAZY short beach area with a murky steep dropoff. Unlike any of the lakes we swim in around here. lesson learned for all of us!) and that we would make sure he was safe. After lunch, he used a float ring and we all went in with the kids. He did great and got really brave about how far he could go. Success. We called John a hero. Everytime Ava would get in the water with her ring and her mom and I right next to her she would cry "Uncle John, Uncle John, save me!" So sweet! Eventually it rained and we made a dash to get out of the water and get the towls into dry spots. After dinner the guys took all the kids on the rowboat to fish. Ava came in first, the twins stayed out with John and Jeff. We started the campfire and when the guys came back in we were ready for smores! The kids ate their smores and then we put them on the pullout couch all in a row with the dogs and the Transformers on while the adults enjoyed some beverages and the fire. Again, Sam and Ava were sound asleep by the end of the first rounds and Zack lasted to the end of the movie! After John's parents went to bed we stayed up talking with Jeff and Marilyn until after 1 in the morning. It was an amazing time.
The kids got up this morning begging for muffins and to know when they could go swimming! They didn't care that the wind was strong and everyone was wearing sweatshirts and jeans. John did take the boys and I out on the boat and then just he and I went out alone. Such a great time and a great weekend.
So thankful for our family and for my hero. I swear I love him more everyday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Traffic Court

Not sure if that is the technical term for going to court to fight a ticket. I wasn't fighting the ticket (speeding 10 over) just the points that go with said ticket (2). I have a great driving record and it was my first time ever being pulled over. The officer handed me the ticket and said to "go before the magistrate to have the points taken off because you have a perfect record". So I did. But gee officer perhaps when you looked up my record you could have decided to NOT give me a ticket. :) I know the economy is bad and cities are forced to cut the budgets so they need the revenue. SO I happily paid my ticket and the extra $40 fee because the points were waived. John kindly pointed out that a one time $40 fee is better than a $40 semi annually fee from increased insurance premiums. So I think the court basically blackmails you so they don't tell the insurance company!:)

Let me tell you about the people there waiting to go before the magistrate... First let me start by saying I did wear a cute sundress with a sweater to cover my shoulders (plus I get cold in AC) and bought new ballet flats because I didn't have black ones and I didn't want to wear flips or strappy sandals.
There were a few people (men and women) who dressed up compared to everyone else. Many women wore tank tops, strappy sundresses, flips. Both sexes wore jeans and tennis shoes. The guys wore baggy athletic shorts, tees, just crazy. By dressed up I do not mean formal or even business, just skirts and khakis, button down shirts, etc. Just so weird to me. John says it's the new normal. I don't know. When I was called for jury duty in April they said no tanks, jeans, halters, tennis shoes, sandals, etc. were allowed in the courtroom. Maybe different rules apply for traffic court.

until next time...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I heart Fat Guys!

Well Two Fat Guys to be specific!

We went to a bbq contest in BayCity this weekend. I think the technical term is Pig Gig. The drive was nice and the bbq delicious!

We tried two pull pork sandwiches from two different vendors and the two fat guys from Ohio was really good! Loved the flavor of the smoked pork and you added your sauce on the side, we chose the sweet and spicy sauce mixed with some hot! YUMMY!!!

The Touch of Smoke team from MI had great sauces but the pork wasn't as smoky as the Fat Guys. We really liked the apple and cherry sauces and were surprised that the maple was fantastic too! We didn't care too much (as in not at all) for the jerk sauce they had. Funny I preferred the bun from Two Fat Guys and John liked the onion roll Touch of Smoke uses.

We had a blast several years ago when we went to a BBQ / Hot Air Balloon festival in London with some friends. (Hi Liz!) We have been to several Balloon festivals since but this was the first bbq one we've been able to make. So glad that the drive was a bit shorter (only 1 1/2 hours) and no border crossing traffic or backups.

The car ride was interesting. Every other song on the radio was Eminem. Luckily we like him so we just sang along.

I still need to post about our fantabulous vacation to the Upper Peninsula. 10 days and 1400 + pics. Feels like we never left and yet so fresh all at the same time. why is that???

Until next time...

Monday, April 13, 2009

I lost a small child!!

here's the proof!!

Don't mind the sweaty girl in the pic. I just finished working out and was showing my sister how much difference there was from before

and after.

These are the jeans I wore to my first Weight Watchers meeting on August 13, 2008. I weighed 218 pounds!! (did I really just type that???) So far I am down 61 1/2 pounds (as of the Wednesday before Easter). I add that disclaimer because my FIL made some awesome cinnamon rolls for Brunch yesterday. And I ate my share. and probably John's too. :) they were that good! I also brought 3 home. 2 are left. I am in a size 12 comfortably. I haven't worn a 12 since high school. I also weighed less then than I do now. Is that Vanity Sizing? I have no idea but I do like being in a smaller size! I am still losing wieght. Ideally I'd like to lose another 21 1/2 pounds (don't ask!) for 83 pounds total. I workout an average of 3 days a week. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. Much less. Like zero. But it's okay. I want this to be something I can do forever. I've lost weight more weeks than I've gained. I follow the plan more than I cheat. When I do "cheat" or "fall off the bandwagon" it's NOTHING like it was 8 months ago. Now I cheat on baby carrots or pretzels, not chips and wine. I miss wine. I still drink it occassionally, just not weekly. I have different habits, different comfort foods.

My favorite Easter candy is the mini cadbury milk chocolate eggs with the hard candy coating. LOVE them. Sam's Club had a huge ginormus size bag for less than $8. I picked it up. I held it for a minute before I put it back on the shelf. I told myself I would eat the whole bag and that it wasn't what I wanted. If I wanted the candy I could get a small bag at Meijer. Which I did. I ate it for 4 days. Last year I could (maybe would) have eaten the whole bag at one time. There are still some left in the bag. But I've moved on to something else now. Remember those cinnamon rolls? In all seriousness... I am also picky about jelly beans. I only like the Starburst ones. I bought them for the kids' baskets. I ate 3 as I was stuffing their eggs. I spit them out. They were waaaay tooooo sweet. Didn't think it was possible.

Anyway here is an after shot without any props, but I'm still the sweaty red faced girl in workout clothes. NOT the most flattering pic by far. But at least it's proof that I do exercise. Hopefully I'll post a nice after pic soon.

Easter pics are still on the camera. That's a different post all together though, isn't it?!

Until next time,

ps... Thanks for all the nice comments on my last post!! So afraid of being judged and criticized. You're the best!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I can't sleep...

Thanks Shannon. I hope you are! :)

So let's purge some of the thoughts in my brain and maybe I'll get a few zzz's before John gets up. Sam came in at about 2:30 and after laying (or is it lying?) in bed for almost 2 hours I decided to blog instead of thinking about what to blog about. It's your lucky day. I've got tons to say!

Where shall we start?

Sam lost his first tooth on March 20th. Already has a new tooth coming in! Came out while snacking on some goldfish crackers! Here is where we put it for the tooth fairy to find.

We just had his IEP meeting at school in March and he has tested out of Special Ed support for First Grade! Yeah! We are so proud of him. They will keep an eye on him and he'll get intervention if he struggles and needs it. He was so excited to read to the class during March is Reading Month. He chose to read Eight Silly Monkeys.

He still loves all things SpongeBob and yellow!

Next we can talk about Zack. Who just so happened to wake up and need my help getting back to bed. It's a good thing I was already up! ;)

He has been in Speech therapy since December and has made great progress. He works so hard on his lip exercises and announciating his "s", "l", and "f" sounds. He is also realizing that he misses sounds at the end of his words and is trying to self correct. It's not perfect but it's huge! My sister talked to him on the phone and commented to me that it was the first conversation where she understood everything he was saying! :)

He and Sam were talking tonight about whether we could go for a walk. Zack said "no, because it was night." (Normally Zack doesn't pronounce the "s" sound or pronounces it like a "t".) Sam thought he was saying "nice". So he didn't understand why Zack was saying no, they couldn't go for a walk! I had to explain that Zack was saying night and not nice. And boy was that nice to explain!! Anyway, I am so proud of how hard he has worked!! The submucus cleft seems to not be a factor according to the Speech Therapist. For that we are THANKFUL and blessed!

We also had his IEP meeting at school and he will continue with speech, occupational, and physical therapy in First Grade.

Perhaps the biggest newsflash here is that we will be separating the twins in First Grade. It will be the first time in three years they will not be in the same class. We're hoping that it will help their relationship and alleviate some of the competetion.

Not as many pics of Zack this time. He still doesn't have any loose teeth...

Let's talk about Jonathan shall we? There won't be many pics of him because he doesn't let me take them! But that's just the tip of the iceberg...

9 months old! Hard to believe that he's 18 already! I can't believe the young man that he's turning out to be. Yikes! MAN! I mean that in both a good and bad way. We have had our fair share of struggles in the pst few weeks and months. He has moved in and out of the house a few times. He needs to grom up and I need to let him make his own mistakes. It doesn't matter how much I want things for him. He has to want those things for himself AND be willing to work hard for them. Right now I'm just praying that he'll pull it together and graduate with his class in May. I'm happy that he's still working at Meijer and has been for over a year now. I think a strong work ethic is important. Certainly more important than a college degree. I'm trying to be supportive of him and his choices. It's hard! I had him when I was young. I have worked so hard and sacrificed (willingly and happily!) so much to give him what every mother wants for her child. I am thankful that John is here to help support me and we are a team. When I am sad and out of control angry, he is calm and reasonable. Jonathan will have to make some difficult decisions, but so did I. We both turned out okay then. We will be okay now too.

Blogger is being funny! I'll post more later. Brain purge almost complete and John's up! Maybe now I'll get some sleep!

until next time,

Monday, November 3, 2008

June was crazy busy...

So we'll give it its own post. :) For the record I like blogging so much more when I add pics. Thanks Kelly for telling me how easy it is!!

Last day of school.

For the picnic I made these.

Two days later they went in for surgery.

Zack had some complications and could only have the tubes put in but not the adenoids removed. Two days later he was in the ER getting a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. SCARIEST day ever!!

He came through like a champ!

Father's Day
You are my rock and our children are lucky to call you dad! Truely blessed.

Strawberry picking.
I took the boys strawberry picking at Blakes with my family. It was girls against the boys (plus the twins) and the girls won! Woot!!

We picked four of these and then made this!

while the little boys played in the sprinkler.

We headed to Battle Creek for the zoo and water park with John's parents, brother, sil, and Ava. Here we are hanging out in the hotel.

and our annual pic from Binder Park Zoo...

also where we came home with these two furry friends - Thanks, Grandma!

The next day was spent at Full Blast Water Park and we had a blast!! This is my favorite pic from the water park. I smile every time I see this pic of John and Zack, probably one of my favorites!

There you have it, June reviewed in pictures!

No, Sam isn't waving. he's telling me to stop!

Until next time,

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let's play catch up!

Since my last post here's what's been happening!
March 2008:

Jonathan, Sam, and Zack with sweet Ava.

Jonathan's first job!! He works at Meijer and was NOT happy that I snapped this pic of him. (he also just got a haircut! I was so happy to see the long locks GONE!!)

My 35th Birthday found us at the Ann Arbor Children's Museum. We also stopped at a famous burger place, Krazy Jim's Blimpie Burger, that we saw on Food Network's Dine Ins, Drive Ins, and Dives. The burgers were yummy!

Sam had his first alone sleepover with John's parents. We have never had alone time with Zack so we took him to play at the Bounce House.

Evidently nothing picture worthy happened in April so we'll move right along to May.

Mother's Day:

Me and my boys! I can't believe how much I love these guys!

Evidently the weather was nice pretty early on, here we are at the park.

John received a promotion at work and here we are checking out his new office! (love you, hon. so proud!)

I also spent some time volunteering at school.

We replaced the diamond earring I lost shoveling snow New Year's Day. :)

Memorial Day:

Despite the colder weather the boys had fun blowing the bubbles!

I think that's enough for now. Stay tuned for the next update!

Until then,