Friday, June 29, 2018

I'm Baaaaaack

Hello out there!  Is anyone left to read?  I had to look at my archives to see what my last post was.  It was June 1st, and I said I would be getting the Internet on June 7 at the new house.  Indeed we did but life has been nothing but chaos since then and until two days ago I wasn't even sure where my computer was.  Yes, true story.  It was in my backpack against the wall behind this:

Yes, I know.  It's terrible. The bad news is there are areas like this in almost every room of the house!  And we've been here a month!  It's so overwhelming that each day I think I am going to just pick one thing to deal with and I often just can't face it.  It's a clothes, toys, crap overload and yes, I know, someone is going to say "just get rid of everything" but that's just not how I roll and I've already stripped it down as much as I could.  I finally put my clothes in the closet yesterday.  There have been multiple conundrums and setbacks (furniture wouldn't fit through the door, the boys' bunk beds were too tall for their bedroom and we had to have them welded shorter, we lost the combination for Justin's gun safe and had to have a locksmith call the company so he could open it and replace the guns which were in our closet so we couldn't fit the clothes in, Tessa's and Calvin's dressers full of clothes fit in the opposite know, typical moving problems...not).  

So, here is a very quick update post. Maybe I will elaborate on things later, maybe not. 

Moving...was horrible.  I am still upset about how bad it was.  We packed all of our heavy furniture ourselves until we were on our long couch and our neighbors saw us struggling with it stuck in the front door and insisted on helping.  The house was absolutely trashed and dirty with dust, scum and wreckage from the kids everywhere.  I think I covered in my posts from May how Calvin was constantly crying from ear problems and I wasn't able to do anything above the bare minimum for the last month we were in there.  We left it there planning to return the next weekend before the closing to finish.  Our neighbor/realtor/buyer's father entered the house during that week to turn on our lawn sprinklers and I think he walked around and saw it all and he was shocked to see we had cleaned it up in time.  They were afraid to enter for the walk-through.  It was bad and beyond embarrassing.  We were practically shoveling crap into bags and boxes at the end.  And then the worst part-unpacking it all.  Lord have mercy it has been bad.  If there is a time it is useful to be organized it is during a move.  And I am not.  And I still have no time during the day to do anything because the four kids in the house did not just disappear.  They are still here.  

Here is a funny picture of the kids in a giant box which we filled with toys and it ended up dumped on the basement floor of the new house where most of them still are scattered. 

Allan had a bit of an adjustment period.  Justin drove him because I couldn't face the trip with him "mrrreeeeooooow"-ing for three hours.  Well, Justin let him out of the kennel and he was just fine.  

He snuggled up in a jacket in the passenger seat and slept.  I couldn't believe it.  When they arrived he immediately ran and hid under the couch (the living room had some furniture already because Justin had been living there for a month already).  He stayed there for a long time and I lured him out to show him where his litter box and food was in the basement.  There is an obsolete fuel oil tank in the basement and he ran under it and hid in the corner where no one could reach him and he didn't come out for 24 hours.  Justin even went to the store and bought wet cat food and he wouldn't come out.  I finally came (I was staying at the farm with the kids until we could get their beds set up) and got him to come to me with deli turkey.  I brought him upstairs and we petted him for awhile until he felt more comfortable and after that he started exploring.  Now he owns the place and is doing fine.  

Here a picture of the old living room and eating area after we got it clean.  I don't like to see it.  It makes me sad.  It was a good house on a good street.  

What else has been going on...

We planted our pumpkin patch.  This is me sitting in a loader bucket after Justin raised me up and trapped me there as a joke. Haha.  

Ben played t-ball through the month of June.  It was a good season.  He loved it and got to know the other kids.  He even got to have "batting practice" in the cage at the big diamond on Fridays.  Finally he can move on to actual pitching next year at age 7. 

I got a bike trailer for Mother's Day.  This caused me to verify that I can still, indeed, ride a bike. 

Here are the blasted bunk beds that were too tall for the room.

This is after they returned from the welding shop.  

We've been going swimming a lot.  A family season pass costs barely anything at $75 for the family.  Admission daily is $2 per person so it's definitely a steal. 

This is the water slide they got when they had to remove the diving board in order to get approved for a pool improvement grant a few years ago.  It's not the same but at least they have something.  

More baseball.  

More swimming. 

I went to California last week.  It was my birthday present.  

The trip deserves it's own post.  I'm still in re-entry mode and the first day was a bit rough.  

Just today, I donated blood for the first time.  I tried once back in college and got turned down after I told them I had a cold the week before.  When I was doing to pre-donation interview it turned out they still had my dorm phone number and my parent's old Rural Route address on file.  From 17 years ago!  I used to be afraid to donate but since having kids a needle in the vein doesn't really phase me anymore.  I'm following my dad's example.  They keep track of your donations and he's donated sixty something times!  His goal is to make it to 80.  

No low iron and no passing out=success!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Stand Bye

In case anyone has been checking in, we are in the process of moving and I won't have Internet until June 7!  You will have to amuse yourselves elsewhere... now look at my cat. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Last Week of School

It is the last day of school for Ben and yesterday was Tessa's last day.  I feel weird saying this but I wanted to hit pause this last month as the days just flew by because I don't want to say goodbye to their schools.  Waaaah.  Moving is hard.  Tessa was crying after we got home from her graduation because she was going to miss the Y.  Her teachers gave the kids little stuffed emoji keychains (try explaining what that is to my grandmas!) and she has been clenching that thing in her fist since.

Of course, this really isn't much of a graduation at all since she's still going to preschool again next year but it's fun for the kids so whatever.  Some kids in her class are 5 and heading to "big kid school" next year some it was.  They had black mortarboards and everything but the teachers kept them to use for the other classes.  Those things do look like a pain to make.  

After the ceremony, which was held in a church across from the Y for some reason instead of the usual gym where Ben's always was, we had cookies in the classroom and Calvin was a very popular guest.   

This is out of order but here is Tessa walking in with her huge hat on.  

They sang the classic "These are the Months of the Year" and some other fun songs and then got their diplomas.  

Here is Milo climbing all over the kitchen toys that were shoved in the corner for the summer.  

As a record of progress, the preschool has the kids draw a picture of themselves each month of the year to display how they are developing.  There is a normal continuum that this process follows for most kids.  I'm pretty impressed with hers.  Ben's people drawing is still solidly in the "mat man" and stick figure territory (his pictures of boats, guns, animals and scenery are pretty good though).  Check out Tessa: the Pink Marker Version. 

And this was the first month of school:

Pretty amazing I think. She  loves to draw hearts and she can draw a really good freehand circle which I am pretty bad at so it intrigues me.'s 1:15.  I have approximately an hour and 45 minutes left of peaceful school afternoons.  I wonder-did my mom feel this way about summer?  We are going with a bunch of Kindergarten classmates and a few old preschool friends to a well known kid themed restaurant when school is over and it should be a RIOT with a baby and a 2 year old along but oh well.  I can watch the other moms visit while I chase my maniac toddler around.  At least everyone is always willing to hold the baby. I'm sure I'll be stressed and sweating when it's all over. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spring Excitement and Nostalgia

Happy late Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.  It is my 6th Mother's Day.  I said I didn't want anything because I would rather just spend money buying stuff for the new house.  I have been so out of sorts and distracted and I can barely handle my kids in public so I didn't get anyone even a card!  It's a year for the books, that's for sure. Yesterday Tessa's preschool had a parent party and they made these very cute flowers for us. She had the biggest grin on her face when she gave it to me.  

It's actually a pen and the cap is embedded in the rocks.  This is one of the better kid crafts I've seen for that age group.  Ben brought home a painting of a vase of flowers with a letter on the back which said, to summarize, "thank you for making the best chicken nuggets and thank you for making my bed".  Hmmmm OK.  Yes, I do indeed make some good chicken nuggets.  I'm so good at setting the oven to 400 and slipping the pan in there. The bed thing though...I NEVER make anyone's bed in this house unless I'm changing the sheets or someone is coming over.  So I don't know where that came from.  

There was exciting news this weekend.  I tried to embed a video but I couldn't figure out how.  Ben started riding a bike without training wheels!  Now, I'm not bragging here.  I know many kids his age who have been doing this for at least a year and probably longer for some. We haven't really spent much time practicing because our street is at the top of a hill and it always worried me that he would go tumbling down it.  He learned at the farm by starting on a long expanse of grass and then moving to the gravel driveway.  It was crazy because I learned to ride a bike at the farm when my grandparents lived there!  I was a big older, between 1st and 2nd grade because we had been living overseas and I didn't have a bike there with me.  The old banana seater was waiting when I got back though!  I remember it took me weeks of falling in the grass in front of the house to get it.  It was a dry grasshopper summer and I'll never forget the first time I stayed up and rode in a straight line across the grass and grasshoppers were jumping away from me like the Red Sea parting.  Ben was on a roll after one push from my mom.    

When I was a kid, a bike helmet was a rare sight and the person who was wearing it was probably a big old nerd.  Actually, I can't even say that because I didn't know a single kid who wore a bike helmet in the 90's.  But, we know better now I guess.  Also, I had a friend in law school who had a serious head injury when she was 12 from a bike accident and that always stays with me.  We are the same age so kids in the 90's did indeed get hurt.  Yesterday morning I ventured out with Calvin and Milo aka Mr. I Want Everything I See in Stores and Don't Understand the Concept of Paying and Money and When My Mom Puts Food I Like in the Cart I Want to Rip It Open Immediately" to find some helmets.  Of course, every store was picked over by this point but I found what we needed.  I found the perfect style for Tessa. 

Ben's is black and red with a spike Mohawk and Milo's has Lightening McQueen.  

These weeks in May are always full of nostalgia for me.  May 10th kind of caught me off guard when I saw a friend from law school mention it was our 10 year graduation anniversary.  Then, a few days later was the college anniversary.  And today is the day I left for Norway 12 years ago in 2006.  The pictures always pop up on Facebook and remind me. 

Ahhh, the glow of a 22 year old. 

And, the joy of a person who is finally done with formal education.  Actually, I still fantasize about college academics sometimes.  If I didn't have any morals I would love to be a research paper writer.  Haha.  I'm sure I could still bang one of those out in no time especially if it was a liberal arts topic. 

The Norway pictures could be shared again but all a person has to do is to the link for May in any of the years along the side of the page and there will be some there because I love them so much I have shared them every year I think.  

Monday, May 7, 2018

Spring Update

Do you all remember your Kindergarten graduation?  I really don't-I remember more clearly my preschool graduation.  I lived in Wyoming when I was in Kindergarten and I remember things about it but I don't recall a graduation.  I remember my sister's and brother's Kindergarten graduation because the school that became my hometown school liked to make a big old deal out of it and I still remember the often used "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" essay fill of wisdom like "wash your hands" and "share" and "take a nap".  The current version of that would include "outline a book and write a little report" and "deconstruct numerals in groups of ten" which are things Ben has done this year.  I wasn't even sure what deconstruct meant when I saw it on the report card but it basically refers to learning subtraction.  There is a lot of controversy about Kindergarten and whether or not it is too much.  I'm glad to say, at least for my first kid to enter the world of school, it has not been too much even though a March birthday apparently now makes him of one of the youngest in his class.  He is an extrovert to the max which probably helps.  I love seeing the papers he bring home and deciphering his entry level spelling.  My favorite was when he brought home a picture of an oval with a line coming out of it and it said "Sosaj Rap".  Hmmmm...well obviously it was a picture of his favorite lunch which is a Sausage Wrap.  Anyone could see that. Also, he loves to draw pictures of tanks and guns and he always chooses books from the "Military Missions" series at the library and one day he brought home his own "Milutaree Book" that he made. Sounds first, then phonics I suppose.

So, even though there are still a few weeks of school left,  the Kindergarten had their music concert for the year along with their graduation.  They theme was "A Day in the Life of a Child" and the songs were traditional folk songs and camp songs we all know accompanied by music class instruments like tambourines and drums.  In the grand tradition of events held in school gyms, it was crowded, hot and hard to see and the pictures from where I was sitting were bad.  Everyone was holding up phones and tablets to try to get a good recording so it was hard to see.  After the show the classes went to their rooms so we could take pictures with the teacher and get their "diplomas".

I love this tree on one of the streets near the school where I always end up parking because there is no parking lot except a small one for the teachers and staff.  It is huge.

I was worried about handling Milo during the concert because he's crazy.  I had suckers, candy and drinks in my bag do distract him.  He actually calmed down when the singing started.  He liked it.  

I shouldn't have worried.  The Kindergarten demographic is known for having preschool and toddler and baby siblings so there were plenty of other screaming, running, meltdown having kids around.  

Speaking of the "Milutaree" aka the Military, my dad has worked as a civilian at an air force base for the past 11 years and last week he officially retired at the age of 60.  I wish I could have been there for his retirement party.  It was a lovely send off.  

He received a flag and a picture of the plane that flew the flag.  I don't exactly understand this (was the flag on the outside of the plane?  Inside?  It's an Air Force thing).

He also received a medal for HVAC unit members which is pretty unique and had to be tracked down and one was finally located and sent from a AFB in Texas.  He received a custom made NDSU sign for the farm and a statue with a Viking because the airmen of the base refer to themselves as the Northmen.  

The coworkers had hashtags for him which are pretty funny and true.  #AGNEWS

Here is the Viking statue.  

Pretty fitting because I am convinced that my family must have Viking blood.  

Both of those items above deserve their own post but I just haven't had time to post regularly.  Calvin has been sick for almost a month now and is on a second antibiotic for an ear infection after the first round didn't work and it spread from one ear to both.  It has been hard to put him down and the house is in absolute shambles.  My neighbor's grandkids came busting in last week and the 4 year old said "it's messy in here!".  Yes, it is kid.  Get over it.  Of course, they then proceeded to make it even worse.  

I have been trying to pack and move things each weekend. After packing our bags there isn't much room left and it has taken two loads just to move our coats from the coat closet. The amount of crap is completely overwhelming.  On Friday I loaded the closet from h3ll which holds old Halloween costumes, not two but three lettermen's jackets and two grad school graduation robes with hoods.  Minimalism is the latest "thing" and most people would advise me to just throw it all away but guess what.  I don't want to.  I like having costumes around should the occasion arise.  I like my letter jacket.  It was a big deal to be in 9th grade and get to have one and I was proud of it.  Same with the graduation robes.  And many of the costumes were made by me.  Back in 2008 I made the flapper dress below by sewing fringe to a clearance Old Navy dress and the matching headpiece doesn't work anymore because the elastic is stretched out.  

It fell off the hanger in the car and this morning Milo was afraid to get in because he thought the big fluffy feather was a spider.  Hahaha.  If it was that would be a very terrifying spider!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Draft 2018

It was the NFL Draft over the weekend.  I'm sad to admit that this year I only devoted passing attention to the spectacle.  On Thursday we were driving and I arrive at my destination just as it was starting, we were working at the new house which only has an antennae for TV and it has a weak signal and both Calvin and I ended up at the doctor's office on Saturday morning because I knew I had a sinus infection that was making even my teeth hurt and Calvin was constantly crying and arching his back in pain and it was discovered that he has an ear infection.

I was pretty excited for Saturday because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had plans to have their real live parrot mascot read their draft pick.  Oh yeah. This is the rounds 4-7 foolishness that I love. The macaw's name is Zsa Zsa and she's one nice looking parrot.  I like the ones with yellow as their main color.

See the source image

How does one become a parrot handler at an exotic bird sanctuary anyway?  Also, doesn't this picture remind you of another often re-shared photo...of me?

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Mexico, 2008...that was a fun time.  Something interesting about this picture is a friend of mine went on a cruise this winter and she posted pictures on FB of her 5 year old holding parrots in front of this same exact background in the same mall.  I REALLY hope those poor birds haven't been spending the last ten years in a mall being held by tourists.  Maybe they get rotated from a sanctuary where they return every day.  HOPEFULLY.

Well, back to the draft...I walked in the door with Calvin after our doctor and pharmacy run just in time to see the Bucs fourth round pic. This was the scene.

Zsa Zsa the parrot is perched on the shoulder of Stephanie Dripps during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft announcement. (Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Then...the pirate woman bird handler read the pick. NOT THE BIRD! Well, it turns out the parrot wouldn't cooperate.  Poor bird.  Guess she got stage fright.  In case you were wondering, because I was too buy watching the parrot to listen, the pick was Jordan Whitehead from University of  Pittsburgh.  I had trouble finding him because the google searches all involved the parrot's failure to repeat the name.

Jordan Whitehead

He's a safety with "character issues" which his college coaching staff has been kind enough to keep secret even though he was suspended for three games last year.  His hands are 8 1/2 inches wide and he's 198 pounds in case you were wondering. Best wishes to him anyway!  Everyone makes mistakes (as long as this doesn't involve some type of sexual assault.  I'm so over people excusing that).

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Milestones Keep Coming

Does everyone remember when they lost their first tooth? I was in Kindergarten in Wyoming and it happened in the middle of the school day.  I was pretty young and apparently I was one of the first kids in the class to lose a tooth (redshirting wasn't really a thing yet back then except for the boys with the latest summer birthdays) because everyone really got excited.  I didn't really understand what was going on because losing teeth wasn't really the talk of the class yet so my mom was even surprised when I got home. I hadn't mentioned that it was loose.

Times have changed and kids in Ben's preschool class were losing teeth already last year.  He has had a few "wishful thinking" loose teeth that weren't actually loose but he was still waiting.  On Wednesday he came home from school with an actual loose tooth.  He said he used his teeth to pull his soggy wet glove off his hand and that's when it became loose.  I don't use my teeth for many activities besides chewing so this makes me cringe.  He wouldn't leave it alone and by the time he went to sleep it was really loose.  I had a feeling he would come home with a gap and I was right.

He said before lunch a boy in his class told him to pull it out so he did.  Hmmm OK.  I admire this audacity.  I was always afraid to pull and mine would practically hang out of my mouth.  Once my mom pulled one out by tricking me and saying she was just looking at it and I didn't even know she did it.  

So, next up-the Tooth Fairy.  This is another one of those plot hole filled magical legends that is really hard for me to play along with because it's just so ridiculous.  But might as well enjoy the childhood lack of logic while it last, right?  Too late, I thought it would be pretty cool to leave one of those golden $1 coins with Sakajawea on them.  I know I have some because I got a bunch for high school graduation. But, I have no idea where they are and Justin has some too but he also doesn't know where they are.  They are packed away with our de-cluttered clutter.  It's been almost a year since I saw it.  Not looking forward to getting reacquainted.  

I really felt like I should do something cute since it's his first one so I went on Pinterest and immediately facepalmed.  Too...much...magic...decorative tooth boxes, glitter thrown thank you.  But I did see some fun paper folding techniques for folding money.  There was a really cool fighter jet that looked like a more complicated version of a paper airplane. one dollar that I could find was so wrinkly it just looked terrible so I ended up making a normal paper airplane.  

Special, isn't it?  I can't believe I almost didn't even have a $1 bill for this purpose and I didn't figure it out until 9 p.m.  That was a close one.  I suppose a handful of coins would have been OK too...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The New Neighborhood Hero

I've been really absent on the old blog lately.  I think about things I want to post often but it's just really crazy right now.  Calvin has not adopted a nap schedule yet and instead he sleeps for short intervals which barely allow me to get anything done and the blog is the least necessary thing.  He's been fussy and I realized last week that he was getting a tooth.  Well that explains so much!  I noticed a day before he turned four months old which is around when Tessa got teeth.  Ben was six months old and Milo...ummm...maybe he was between four-ish and six-ish months...sometime in there...

Also, on Friday we got our new house!  I am still living in our old one with the kids while Justin works on the new one after work every night.  We spent the weekend there and I have multitudes of ideas to post about.  This blog is about to go back to it's roots almost nine years after our first house was the original main feature.  But, before I get into that, I have to post about a recent adventure I had.

Since we've owned a house, I've always enjoyed being neighborly.  I know it's common in America for neighbors to barely see each other or talk to each other for years because people drive into their garage, close the door before entering the house and they don't come out until the next morning when they leave for work.  Happily (for me) both of our streets have included active retired people, people who don't work traditional 9-5 hours, and me, a stay at home parent.  People who happen to be coming and going and who are often around during the day.  On our current cul de sac, no one has fences in their back yards and the circular arrangement means we end up visiting whenever anyone is out shoveling, doing yard work or getting the mail.  We have an association which means we have meetings and dues which have to be handed to the correct person which has been our house for a few years so people have no choice but to come over!  We have a block party every summer and we all end up helping each other.  We water plants, babysit cats and kids (like when a person goes into labor at 11 p.m. for example) and I am the go to person when someone needs their house opened up for a delivery or repair person.  This friendliness leads to silly neighborly antics like arguments over what the name of the male pheasant who lives behind our houses is and lots of roof climbing to retrieve kites (that was Ben) plastic swords (our neighbors grandson threw one on our roof) and various winter related roof nonsense like frozen sewer vents and massive snow drifts that threaten to pull down gutters.

So, the Wednesday before Easter our neighbor from two houses down came over to let me know they were babysitting a cat for a friend who was overseas for a month and he was really scared and had slipped out of the house somehow and they couldn't find him.  Of course I said I would be on the lookout and I put cat food and a box with a towel out on the deck.  On Thursday he had been spotted but then he disappeared again.  I was worried because it was really cold for the time of year (cold as January) but I saw no sign of him and we left for Easter that afternoon.  When I returned the following Tuesday I saw some cat prints in the snow in our backyard but I wasn't sure how old they were or if the cat had already been caught.  But the next morning there were prints all over the yard and when I returned from the school drop off run there were fresh wet prints on the deck by the food dish!  Uhhh I just missed him!

I knew the cat had to be close so I tried to think of the smelliest, most enticing food I could put out there.  All the online advice says to use tuna or wet cat food.  But...I thought of the times I had seen the most civilized dogs and cats, well fed pets, lose their minds over dead game during hunting season.  I've seen cats drink blood and dogs turn insane over organs so I decided wild game was the best idea and we have a freezer full of it!  How perfect! 

 I found a pack of Elk hamburger from 2015 in there and cooked it and put a small dish outside.  

Allan was annoyed that I don't cook wild game for him...

There was no action all day, much to my disappointment but the next morning the bowl was licked clean.  So I called the neighbors and they were thrilled because they had seen no sign of the cat for days and were starting to give up because it was really cold out.  They brought over a live trap they had set for a few days with no success and I put the elk inside and the next morning it was still open.  Dang.  It turns out the food dish was placed such that the trip pad didn't need to be stepped on to eat the food and activate the trap.  So Friday night I placed two small bowls way at the back of the trap and went to sleep that night hoping but always worried that it still wouldn't work.  The low temperature was going to be 7 degrees that night and I really was worried about that cat.

Saturday morning Allan woke me up in the predawn hours by being his usual annoying cat self and walking on my head, purring really loud, all the usual moves.  I couldn't get back to sleep because I was thinking about the trap.  I wasn't sure what time of night the cat was visiting and I didn't want to turn on all the lights and scare him away.  But finally around 6 a.m. I couldn't take it any longer and I went to look.  And I was thrilled to see the door was closed!  I went out and carefully pulled back the blanket covering the trap, hoping a crazed squirrel or rabbit wasn't in there and there was a fluffy cat face staring at me!

I went and woke Justin up so he could help me bring the trap inside and we carried him to the basement bathroom so he could get warm.  Later that morning we called the neighbors to tell them the news and everyone was so happy.  When the owner in Europe heard the news she got my number and called to thank me.  She said she celebrates Orthodox Easter and it was that weekend and it was their Easter miracle.  I told her about the morning our missing cat showed up on Easter morning when I was a kid and it was a happy phone call for us both.  There were a lot of people on the hunt for this cat on all the missing pet social media pages and my elk idea is now all over although I don't take all the credit because they gave me the trap.  I just love cats and I imagined how upset I would be if I was away and Allan was loose in the cold.  I hope someone would help me if they could.

And here he is...the sneaky Maine Coon himself who caused a two week long neighborhood cat hunt during a record breaking April cold snap which included at least two blizzards.  I lost count there have been so many.

Apparently since being brought back into the house he has become very comfortable and snuggly as he waits for his owner to return where before he only hid under the bed all day.  Also, he was snubbing dry cat food.  I guess he acquired a taste for the good stuff.  

I'm still thinking back to that morning with happiness and I'm glad I was able to help some fellow animal lovers and I'm glad we all knew each other well enough to work together.  And, I admit I have enjoyed being recognized for my efforts in something.  It's the life of a mom-you constantly do thankless work and often you are completely ignored, your work is undone within minutes, you are considered lazy for not having a job and people assume you and your kids sit around the house doing nothing all day, and things you do are complained about (ahem, every meal I present to my kids).  At least the cat wants the food I make!  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Easter 2018

YWe had a nice Easter weekend.  The kids had Monday and Tuesday off from school which gave us a five day weekend.  Tessa had an Easter party at school and came home with these:

These are now turning up everywhere I look.  On the floor, on the table, on the counter, back on the floor, in the entry.  I need to sneak them into the garbage.  Also, sweet mother, the entryway looks like a sandbox.  

We headed to Easter ND for Easter and the weather and conditions were just horrid.  We arrived at the farm and I immediately got stuck in the driveway in the muddiest mudhole I've ever seen.  Usually, an April Easter is more pleasant than a March Easter but this year...ugh.  It was cold as January while also being muddy everywhere.  There was also a winter weather warning for Friday night.  Good thing I was able to travel ahead of it.  

We have always taken the kids to a big public egg hunt (more like grab-no skill involved at this event!) and the two year old hunt was scheduled for 8:30 a.m.  So we get up really early only to arrive and discover it has been delayed two hours because of the weather.  But eventually...

This was after Milo had his turn.  We had Ben and Tessa both go during the 4-5 year old hunt so we wouldn't have to wait around any longer.  He turned 6 less than a month before so...

Off they go!

Be is in the blue and black shirt and Tessa is in the polka-dot pants.  

Milo was starting to lose his composure after waiting for the older kids' egg hunt to start and Calvin was crabby too.  

Here Milo is whining because he wanted to open the eggs even though he already opened his own earlier.  

We had another egg dying session at the farm  that afternoon.  My parents were talking about how when they were kids they did the "blow out" technique where you poke holes at each end of the egg and blow the yolk.  At the church my mom grew up going to the ladies would decorate elaborate eggs every Easter and keep them through the years.  I recall doing this once when I was younger but it was probably 25 years ago.  My dad demonstrated!

It still works!  The key is sticking something like a skewer up one end to break up the yolk before blowing.  

On Easter morning the kids were excited to get their baskets.  Then we went to church and made it at 7:30 a.m.  Amazing!  At the end of the service during the recessional hymn, which was "Lift High the Cross" the minister invited all the kids to the front where they had a basket of small crosses which they could hold up during the refrain.  Milo ran right up there and we were worried he would whack someone but he didn't!  Amazing!

Here is Tessa with her basket.  I didn't get many pictures. 

Ben wrote a note to the Easter Bunny asking if we could hunt for eggs inside.  He said yes.

He's really an artist with those streamers, isn't he?  

In addition to Easter, the weekend also included some birthday fun for...ME!  My birthday was on Wednesday but I had my fun ahead of time.  First I had a cake which is actually a layered pudding desert my mom made.  

Yee haw PARTY TIME!  The kids were not too impressed when I opened my gifts, which included clothes, a coffee mug and some pot holders.  Oh, and a plane ticket to California this summer!  YEAHHH!

I got another cake later in the weekend.  Justin's mom only had the numbers 1, 2, and 6 in candle form so I picked an age...will I be 12?  26? 61? 62? Nope, I'm going to be 21 of course!

Look!  You can see my pajama pants!  I had to change because Justin and I went to Olive Garden for supper (by ourselvessss!) and I got a free desert and I was so full I could barely move.  You can also see Milo peeking over my shoulder.  I don't think I'm fooling anyone.  I couldn't quickly locate a picture from my actual 21st birthday but here is one from May of 2004 when I was newly 21.  

Now why on earth was I wasting my tight and toned legs by wearing pants like that...the world will never know.