Thursday, May 31, 2012

Megan turns 7.

Bring on the streamers!

I wonder if Mathew has guessed what is going to happen on his birthday?

Since we are officially out of school and have an entire day to celebrate, we decided to go over to Deanna Rose Farmstead for a little fun with the animals. We invited the McCauleys to come along. 

After feeding the baby goats (who are we kidding...I'm convinced those are not babies. They are just short little greedy adult goats), we bought a couple of buckets of worms and went fishing.

Zach caught a fish.

 Christopher caught a fish.

Mathew and Ethan caught fish after fish after fish....

 Then they stuck a baited pole in Anna's hand and she instantaneously caught a fish.

Megan languished with her unlucky pole. She tried worms. She tried fish bait. She swapped poles and sent good fishing thoughts out into the universe. Those fishies were not coming her way. 

For crying out loud, it's the girl's birthday! 

I literally said a little prayer...."If there is anyone up there that can help this girl catch a fish on her birthday, that would be really great."

And viola!

Birthday fish! Thank you, Dad. I pictured you there with your old seminary slacks helping your granddaughter with her technique.

After Deanna Rose, we headed home for the birthday dinner.

Megan requested "Casserole"...which means Sausage Potato Casserole. To her it is the only thing that qualifies as a casserole. It could be considered casserole royalty.

Raise your hand if you hope mom thoroughly washed the worms out from under her finger nails before she made dinner!!

And then onto a cake featuring Flynn Rider stepping out with Belle. Don't tell Rapunzel and The Beast.

Megan asked for a fish tank for her birthday and she received the tank and two glo-fish. Unfortunately, as many little Walmart fish do, they were dead within a week. So I suppose you could say that she got a valuable lesson about grief and loss for her birthday....the gift that keeps on giving.

Never fear.  She ended up with a beta named Coppertop that is a little more hearty.

I love you, Meggy Moo. Happy 7th!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Talent Show...dun dun DUN!

He never misses a year.

The Talent Show was upon us.  And Mathew was rearin to go.

But this time I suggested he do something besides "Freestyle Breakdancing".

I suggested he learn The Pledge of Allegiance in sign language.

Much easier on my nerves. I live in fear of being laughed at. Sign Language is very respectable and I think it might be a sin to laugh at the Pledge of Allegiance.

I was onto something.

Here he is waiting to audition:

I was stressed for him, but not "he's about to freestyle breakdance for the principal" stressed.

So there's that.

Meanwhile, Ethan and Megan had found a gigantic bag of red plastic cups left unattended and had organized their grade-school minions to building ever more complex tower structures.

I was fine with it.

But I also made a mental note to refrain from drinking out of any red cups given to me on school property for the next couple years. I don't even want to think about how many boogers have been wiped on that floor since the school was opened.

Oh, so many.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Speaking of Motherhood....

Not a week after mother's day....we got a little surprise.

Number 6 is on the way.

I'm a little shocked, but also relieved.

A package of hamburger buns/ding dongs/donuts is a lot easier to divy up between 8 people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The graduate.

I always think of that part in "The Incredibles" where Mr. Incredible and his wife are arguing about going to their son's graduation.  You know the part:

Helen: I can't believe you don't want to go to your own son's graduation. 
Bob: It's not a graduation. He is moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade. 
Helen: It's a ceremony! 
Bob: It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional... 

So I personally have no recollection of ever wearing a graduation cap before I completed high school.

And I'm positive Ethan has worn at least 3 in his short 11 years.

I'm not really making a statement about any of this.

It is what it is.

And I think it was pretty fun to get a babysitter and go to an activity where our oldest was the center of attention for a few minutes. That hasn't happened for him in 9 long years.

He received an award for being artistic. Which he is....have you seen his drawings? They are pretty amazing.

He also tripped on the stairs on the way up to the stage and smiled and laughed about it. He didn't get that from me. I would have burst into tears and run bawling from the stage. I wouldn't have come out of the bathroom till the whole thing was over and the janitor was ready to lock the doors. Thank heavens for Mark's genes.

I laughed when they all threw up their caps at the end, because for some weird reason, a lot of the parents were gasping with disapproval.  huh? I thought that was the whole point of having caps in the first place, right? I mean, sure, you might not get your exact cap back, but let's be serious,

a) the thing was made of blue felt.

b) you have 2 others at home...the ones from preschool graduation and kindergarten graduation.

c) your probably going to get 3 or 4 more before all is said and done.

d) if they are going to get lice from someone at school, they probably already have.

One of my favorite parts was watching my son interact with his friends.

I had really great friends in school and it made a big difference in my life. These ones look like keepers.

On to middle school!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Mother's Day has turned into one of my favorite days of the year.

1.  It's always on a Sunday, so I don't have to pack anyone a lunch. So great.

2. My kids are old enough that they attempt to do fun and special things for me without it being someone else's idea. And they are usually trying to be sneaky and secretive about it. Double the fun.

3. I don't have to cook. Not that I cook everyday, mind you. Mark often jumps in and whips up a meal for the family. But Mother's Day is different. He cook cooks. Like pork roast, cornbread, pretzel salad, coconut cream pie cooks.

4. It is lovely to be sitting down and looking around at my family and getting that feeling that I am ridiculously blessed to be "the mama".

It's like playing house for decades and always getting first pick.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ethan turns 11

Being 11 is.... in a word,


On one hand, there is a definite feeling that things are starting to change. Some things you used to love just don't seem cool anymore. It seems like a given to pretend you are strangling on the streamers that your mom insisted on placing on your door.

And it is a little silly that you have been awake for an hour and are already dressed for school but you are still pretending to be surprised...

It's important to Mom.

It's also important that you give a nice smile for Mom when she wants to take a photo of you with you Shepherd's Pie Birthday Dinner. So you do.

And you are very attentive while Megan reads to you from "Ethan's Apreshiation Book". Made especially by her with love and staples.

And then you do what you really want to do...


TOTALLY awesome.

But then you are excited that you have caged dragons for your cake decorations. Caged dragons are and always will be....


And dragons caged with fire is....


Happy 11th, Ethan.

Oh. And I know you still sleep with your stuffed horsey, Yellow Wings.

Don't worry.

I think that is incredibly awesome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mathew gets stitches

Are you like me?

Do you "wait and see what happens" when your kids get sick?

Do you do everything in your power to avoid going to the doctor with your kids?


I'm the mom that feels vindicated when I read that most ear infections will resolve themselves just a couple days after most kids finish their big pink bottle of amoxicillin.  I feel a sense of satisfaction when we manage to get over whatever germiness has come our way without dragging ourselves into the pediatrician and getting a healthy dose of " could be..."

It could be?

Sir. You do not deserve my 30 dollar copay.

You deserve the mess that my other 4 kids made of your 3rd circle of he_ _.
I mean, examination room.

Yes. They touched every one of those sterile tongue depressors. And that's what you get.

So then the nurse calls me from school. She says that Mathew has fallen and I'll need to come pick him up.  And I'm thinking she needs to bust out her box of bandaids. But you don't get to say that to the school nurse because then the jig is up and she knows what kind of mother I am. THAT kind. The "It's not THAT bad" kind.

So I go down there and I take a look and give him hugs and I have every intention of bringing him home and treating his wounds with a movie and a little Sonic drive-thru. Then he can wear jeans to school tomorrow and no one will know that I have avoided the doctor once again.

And then she says it.

"I'll call you after school to see how many stitches were required and check up on him."


I either have to stitch this kid up myself, or we have to go in there.

So we admit defeat and we head to Urgent Care.

And he gets his 5 stitches.

And for good measure, the well-meaning nurse gives my kids three very sticky cherry flavored otter pops. This nurse obviously did not understand what kind of mess an 18-month old can make with a melting stick of dyed sugar water.

It was awesome.

But when the nurse called, I dutifully informed her that he had received his 5 stitches and even though I believe in my heart of hearts that a little super glue and a bandaid would have done the trick, I know that my secret is safe with me.

The jig is not up.

I live to rationalize ear infections another day.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Separate but equal.

Last year Mark was able to take a trip to the Kentucky Derby with Ethan. It was a dream come true for the kid and gave both of them some great memories and much needed one on one time.

But you can imagine that for son #2, there was a little jealousy and feeling left-outedness.


But we also felt that it was time to stop treating them like twins. That means:

a) when someone gets something they are needing (shoes, jeans, school supplies) we are not obligated to purchase additional shoes, jeans, school supplies in various colors to avoid any accusations of unfairness from the other kids. It's a slippery slope, my friends.

b) we can avoid bankruptcy

c) in time, they learn to not go into shock when someone gets something that they don't. Eventually I wouldn't mind if they went so far as to be happy for that person.  These are lofty goals, I know.

So this year, we talked about Mark taking Mathew to spring training in Arizona. Mark's brothers like to go down and enjoy watching the baseball players and spending time together. But as the time drew nearer and nearer, it was obvious that the timing wasn't going to pan out with Mark taking work off.

So, Mark decided it was time to take a road trip to see the Cubs.

Chicago bound...with a borrowed hat from Dad.

They rode on the "L". Great fun for a kid that has never even ridden in a public bus. (I relate...can I get a witness, Paysonites?)

They rectified the "borrowed hat" situation at the game. And threw in a pullover and new jersey for good measure.

Mathew chowed down on the delights of the baseball vendors.

I don't think he enjoyed himself much.

While in Chicago, they took the opportunity to:

Stand in Lake Michigan

Catch a 3D movie

 Meet a lady with an unusually large head

Eat at the Hard Rock Cafe

See tall buildings

Endanger young lives on the top of tall buildings

And ride in a taxi

It was a great weekend for both of them and even though I felt a tiny little jealous at being left out, I plan on buying myself a purple spiral notebook next time one of my kids need school supplies.

And then there're the times when Mark texts me during one of their 'camping in the cold tundra' scout campouts and I feel even better about staying home with the babies.