Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Ran the Race.

I am done working! We had a jury trial scheduled for the rest of this week, but the guy decided to plead guilty, so now I'm home again. Yippeee.

I found this out yesterday, so I raced home and took Grace to the doctor. She had to get shots. Then this morning I needed to go back to tie up loose ends and gather my things. I left home, and as I was driving they were talking about a very bad storm heading our way. The kids were by themselves for just a couple hours until the sitter would arrive. I was worried about them and called home as soon as I got to work. It all worked out, and the storm wasn't too terribly bad where we are.

We had a good day, and ended it with a swim in the pool and movie afterward. It was fun. Gertie went to bed well.

She is getting her tonsils taken out on the 21st of this month. They really don't look good, and I thought the ENT might recommend this, and he did. They want to keep her in the hospital overnight since she's so young, but it's pretty routine. I'm trying to be a big girl about the whole thing. I can do this.

John is at his mom's house trying to help her prepare to move. I miss him.

I'm sleepy and I need sleep. ZZZzzzzz....

Monday, July 28, 2008


I've been having a hard time with this Blogger. I don't know if it's Blogger, or it's me. It's probably me. But I was posting pictures, and they were showing up and looking fine, and then I'd go back later and they'd be gone. And then I was having a hard time uploading pictures into Blogger. This morning I finally got it all straightened out, but if you've checked in in the last couple days, please go back and look at my pictures to make sure you saw all I wanted you to see. I'd hate to have you miss out on some really cute kids.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Would You Swear or Smile?

And one important note: Spaghetti is not on the menu.

You're Outta Here

Can you tell I'm in a collage sort of mood? Ethan's baseball season came to an end this week. I love watching that kid play. And these are some memories.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I had to get this one on here as well. This was some more of the fun from the Jazz Fest with the Morris Family. Good memories.
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Jazz Fest '08

I know too much time has passed. When the time gets away, it is harder to sit down and recall with any sense that you're holding the attention of anyone reading, but I'm going to try. Last weekend we went over to Sioux Falls for the Jazz Festival. My social calendar hasn't been so full in a long time. I had a very fun time with my husband and children on Friday night. We had arrived in Sioux Falls at about 4 p.m., I think. We checked into our hotel, let the kids jump in the pool, grabbed some dinner at the Cracker Barrel, then headed over to the show. The kids had a lot of fun watching the crowds and enjoying the music. John took the kids up close to dance around a bit and Gertie came back reporting that she "stood in line" with Dad for a while. We were there until midnight. It was way too late, but well worth it.

We switched hotels the next day. We found one with a water park that was very reasonably priced. We checked in just in time for Gertie to take a very long and much needed nap, and the kids put on their suits and swam all afternoon.

My best friend from high school brought a couple of her boys over and we got to sit by the pool and watch them run around and go down the slides as we caught up with each other. It was so fun to see her and her kids. Her son Jacob is starting to look so much like her.

And then after we ate some dinner together, John and I took our kids back over to Jazz Fest again for another dose. We were going to meet Ethan's great friend from school that had moved away a couple (boy, does time fly) years ago. He was so excited to see Marisa, and I loved watching them meet up again. They looked like they wanted to give each other a big hug, but they restrained themselves. They had a good time catching up while we got to visit (as much as you can while music is blaring) with her parents. It was good to see them again. We were up and down and over there and back again so much that the time flew by and it was time to get home before I knew it. There was no room for another midnight journey home again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's a Wrap

Just to continue my embarrassment, last night after Ethan's last baseball game of the season his team went to Taco John's. His coach is a police officer. He came over to the table some of us adults were sitting at, including me and the coach. He rattled off our story in a very confusing manner, ending with asking his coach to write Gertie a ticket. Then I felt like I had to explain the situation, which was VERY embarrassing, although he was very kind.

Yesterday I worked a very short day, so John and the kids drove up to Rochester with me and we shopped for a bit. Basically, we only went to Sam's Club, where I looked again for my chai tea and they still don't have it. I can't recall if I told you all the I joined Sam's Club about a month ago, paid my $35, so that I could get my hands on this fake chai tea powder drink mix that I like so much. I had been asking a friend from church to pick some up for me whenever she went. I was starting to feel a little cheesy doing that, so I thought I'd better pony up and get a membership. John hates it, because he hates WalMart, but I NEEDED that tea. So I pay my membership, head in to pick up my tea, and they don't have it. I was so upset. I wandered aimlessly for a bit, but I was very disappointed. Now yesterday, still no tea. It can really ruin a girl's day. I can still taste that tea!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Up and Down

  • We were supposed to have jury trials today and they all settled!
  • I ate my leftover salad at lunch for the second day in a row, which wouldn't be so bad except that the salad wasn't that good the first day.
  • I got great bargains when school supply shopping with Grace.
  • I fell down the stairs when trying to race out the door to Grace's cello lesson. My arms were full of library books and Gertie. My knee hurts, but other than that, we're okay.
  • We were only four minutes late to Grace's lesson.
  • I got pulled over by a police officer on my way to pick Grace up from her lesson.
  • She didn't give me a ticket!

And as a side note, when the police officer took my license back to her car, I was explaining to Ethan that I had been speeding, I shouldn't have, and I was going to get a ticket. He was asking some more questions as Gertie started saying, "I want a ticket. I want a ticket." When the police officer came back to my window carrying only my driver's license and no ticket, I was thanking her, and she was walking away, Gertie was starting to cry that she wanted a ticket. If I'd had more time, I would have asked the officer to oblige--for Gertie, I mean.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Duct Tape Purse

I should let Grace create her own post about her birthday party. I just wanted to say that the duct tape purses turned out pretty well. But that was all they did. It took forever. I finally gave up, with some last-minute instructions to help them out (as if I know what I'm talking about) before I went up to bed. I said, if I'm still awake you may ask me a question, but if I'm asleep you may not wake me up.

I never heard another peep from them. The last I knew they had the Newsboys blaring in our living room, and they were hovered over a table full of folded duct tape. I fell asleep to awake at 4:26 a.m. with a start because I wondered if they got them done.

It is such a strange and ridiculous thing that I want to feel so needed (or important) that I almost got out of bed a 4 a.m. just to check on the scene. As I was falling asleep I had said to John, you're in charge now. Grace and I had agreed on bedtime around midnight. He was now the enforcer.

I don't know if I'm saying it right, but I just couldn't believe it was now 4 a.m. and nobody had needed me all night. They got settled into bed on their own, they apparently ate junk food on their own, without my setting limits, they completed the purses on their own. I guess the world still spins when mothers sleep.

I did inspect the area when I did get out of bed at 7 a.m. It looked good. They had opened up the bag of chips, but tucked it neatly away in the kitchen. They had cleaned up the duct tape mess and the table was clear. The one purse I found looked very good. I'm not sure if it was Grace's or another's, but I approve.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Night

I just tucked the kids in. I just love those kids. It's way too late, almost 10 p.m. I am thinking about how much I've loved spending time with them over this last week, and how I will be going back to work on Monday. I can't wait until this stretch is over. I'll be happy to spend my days with my kids and husband again.

Gertie has been calling things "stuffses," as in, "Mommy, throw those stuffses into the water and I'll pull them out." I love that. She is still going through some serious whining spurts, and I'm still plugging away asking her to say it again without whining, but progress is slow. It is getting better, though. I took her to the doctor yesterday because her tonsils are the size of grapes, and there are some white spots on them. The strep test was negative, so it is just a virus is the word from the doctor. Tonight I asked her if her throat hurt, and she told me no, that Dr. DeSilva made it better. It still doesn't look good. The other issue was the snorting and snoring and foaming at the mouth as she sleeps. She always sleeps with her mouth open, and she creates these foamy bubbles. She stops breathing for a few seconds pretty regularly. It is very restless. She's going to see an ENT. I'll be glad for solutions, but I am not hoping for surgery. I need to not get overly concerned yet.

Ethan is just as goofy as ever. I just have the most stereotypical kids in so many ways. I don't think he's as naughty as John was at his age, but he loves to pester his sister, or me, for that matter. I bought him a new bat yesterday. $30! That was after we'd shopped around a bit. I really can't believe they are that expensive. Anyway, he is so thankful, and telling me over and over how great I am. Today we were outside, he was hitting the ball around, and a guy from the neighbor's yard said to him as he was chasing a ball close to their yard, "You throw like a girl." I didn't hear it, but he came to me almost in tears. I am not sure that they really said that, or that they said it to him. I just don't know. I can't imagine an adult shouting that to a 9-year-old boy in his own yard. But he was really hurt by it. I kind of wanted to say something to them, ask him if he said that, ask him why, tell him how rude it was. I don't know. I also don't want to get riled up about something that isn't that big of a deal. We've had a pretty good relationship with our neighbors. They weren't outside at the time. I think they were drinking beer, which could help a person come up with a mean-spirited remark to a child. Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm writing it down. It is just on my mind.

We are preparing for Grace's birthday party. She invited six girls, and two can't come, and three can come for only part of the time--it's a sleepover. She is disappointed. I'm sure it'll be a good time for her, though. They are going to make duct tape purses, eat pizza, play Apples to Apples, jump on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath it. I wasn't really going to make another cake, but maybe I should. I better see what she'd like.

My husband is asleep on the couch. He's not been feeling the best either. He turns his grades in on Monday, so that will be the end of his summer work. We just found out that his mom got an apartment. It opens on the 1st of August. I am so happy that she'll get out of her house. It is just that now the big job of getting her out of that house is fast approaching. It will be such a relief, though, and she is so excited. I am thinking maybe I already blogged about that. Sorry for the repeat.

Dial M for Murder is on tv. Good old movie. I think I'll sign off. Church in the morning. I've been missing it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This was one of our days at the beach. I guess I just don't feel like writing much. I can't say enough about how relaxing it was, how my spirit enjoyed visiting with family, how much I love that I'm not at work today, or the next day, or the next. This is a good week of vacation.

Oh, and one tag-a-long pic of Grandma reading to Gert. She (meaning Gertie) was a bit stand-offish much of the time, so this was a sweet moment. And Grandma soaked it up. But she always has. I have many memories of her reading to Grace and Ethan at bedtime, and it would take FOREVER. Marge really enjoys it.
These are some pictures from our South Dakota vacation. We had a great time visiting with family.
John's mom lives right next to a big park with the local public pool. We went a couple times. The kids had a great time, and Aunt Lisa likes to swim even when it's not sweltering hot outside. That makes her a little more fun than mom. That is Cousin Quinn in the picture with them. Ethan and Quinn had a great time getting reacquainted.

I just thought this was a sweet picture of Quinn.

Uncle Dan bought a bunch of fireworks and we drove out into the county to set them off. It was just us and the bugs. I wish I could have captured Ethan's excitement at "blowing stuff up." He had so much fun. Gertie desperately wanted to be part of the fun, and when we let her have a sparkler, this was the look. She kept asking for more and more, but she crunched her shoulders up and always made this same worried expression.

And here is my birthday girl. She's twelve now, and seeming quite grown up. She had a fun day with swimming at the beach, lemon delight cake (thanks, Judy!) and a late-night viewing of "The Princess Bride."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ho hum...

What to say, what to say?...It's been a busy week. Grace had her first summer cello lesson this week. Her teacher just graduated from high school. She hadn't met him before today. She said he is a nice guy. She said she didn't do as well as she could have during her lesson, but I'm sure she'll work on that. She really hasn't practiced since school was let out.

Ethan was hurt pretty badly at the last baseball game. He was playing catcher and as one of the hitters released the bat, he swung it loose to strike EJ in the arm. Ethan loves being catcher, though, and he made a really great play called a collision (I hope that's right) where the runner came at him pretty fast, but he was able to tag him out. Ethan said it hurt, but it was a badge of honor. This guy came and took pictures, and these are some of them...I just really like that kid.

My long vacation from work starts this Friday. We are headed back to South Dakota, and John's brother Dan and his family and his sister Barb and her hubby will be there. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up. I am very much looking forward to a week of not having to go to work. And then I just have to finish out this month of July. When I review in my mind that today is only July 1, it is again seeming so far away. I'll make it! As Gertie and the Little Engine that could like to say, "I think I can. I think I can."

A funny little note on Gertie. She must have heard me call Ethan "Ethan James" too many times because she seems to think we're all named _____________ James. The other day I wasn't listening so well, and she said, "Mommy James!" And then tonight I was asking her if she was a princess or a fairy, and she said, "I'm Gertie James!" I know she's called Grace "Gracie James" as well. Funny little kid.