Friday, July 31, 2009

"This is going to be the best night EVER!"

I am currently in the middle of having my Big Ass Garage Sale. I really needed to purge some of the "junk" we have accumulated over the years and what better way than to have a garage sale.

In order to make my life a little easier during my Big Ass Garage Sale, my mom came up and took the girls home with her so I wouldn't have to worry about keeping an eye on them. I have such a wonderful mom! Thank you, Mom! Let me tell you that it is so different having just TWO kids. Way different! Much slower paced. However, every now and then, I did look over my shoulder for the girls, and Chi-Chi asked a couple times where "The Law" and
Q-T were.........and for a brief moment I would become panic stricken......then Chi-Chi would say, with his fat little tongue, "Oh yeah, Mom, they went home with Oma. Rememba?"

So for a few hours, we were just a family of four.

Here is the part that just melted my heart. Last night was the "last night" of Bible School for the boys. There was a big finale with a program and carnival. (It was wonderful but will post more about that later. ) After it was all over, the boys and I piled into the car. As the doors the slammed shut, Chi-Chi turned to Dew and said, with his fat little tongue, "You are the best brother I have ever had." I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Was the sky falling?
Dew turned to Chi-Chi and replied, "You're the best brother, too, Chi-Chi." They had this wonderful conversation all the way home, and I sat happily behind the wheel with the biggest grin plastered to my face thinking, "It doesn't get any better than this!"

To top it off, they wanted to have a slumber party with Mommy and Daddy in our room. So they made a pallet out of blankets, and Dew read a chapter to us out of his Magic Tree House book. Yes, they were thrilled about the fact that it was just them for one night. Yes, their prayers had been answered when we said they could sleep in our room. But the highlight of the evening was sleeping with their little lanterns they made in Bible School which consisted of a jar covered in tissue paper and then a glow stick was the candle. (As simple as those lanterns were, they were pretty cool and still glowing brightly this morning when I got up.) Dew and Chi-Chi carefully placed their lanterns on the floor just above their pillows. And as they were drifting off to sleep, Chi-Chi turned to Dew, and I heard him whisper (with his fat little tongue), "Dew, this has been the BEST night EVER!"

Dew answered, "Yes, Chi-Chi, it was!"

Once again, I ran to the window to see if the sky was falling, but it wasn't. For a few hours, they were brothers. Brothers that loved each other. And two little boys who were thrilled to get all of our attention.

And as I drifted off to sleep I took a moment to thank God for giving me that moment and for giving me those two wonderful little boys!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lazy, Hazy Rainy Days

It is no secret that I am NOT a morning person. Never have been and probably never will be. Back in the day, I could sleep in with the best of them. Now I consider "sleeping in"until 7 am as a real treat, instead of the 11 or 12 o'clock hour that it once was. And if I only had to get up twice in the night or wake up in my own better break out the champagne....because that is a celebration in itself!

That is what I loved about today. It was damp, dreary, cloudy and rainy when I woke this morning, and as I rolled over and looked out my bedroom window I immediately exclaimed, "Yes!" because a rainy day gives me full reign to be as lazy as I want.

I stumbled down the stairs, got the coffee pot a brewin', and started to make the kids' breakfasts. Which, buy the way, consisted of cold pizza for the boys and assorted lunch meat for "The Law". Q-T had her usual....blander than bland rice cereal. Blech!

This morning also presented the perfect opportunity to take some photos of the kids. I snapped them all except Dew.....Lilo and Stitch was on the Disney Channel and Dew's day is just messed up if he can't see the "experiment of the day".

Q-T is starting to love having her picture taken. The camera comes out and she is all smiles!

Look at her chunky self......such a big chunk-a, chunk of love!

Bright light! Bright light! She wasn't too sure of the flash. Have you ever seen a more adorable double chin?

Back to normal.

Hamming it up once again. Can you see how much this girl loves her mama?

"What you lookin' at?"

Chi-Chi had to jump in and have his mug in the picture. Now he really loves to pose for the camera. Sometimes he's serious.....

Sometimes he's macho.....

Then there's this little slice of heaven! She is my little ray of sunshine.....even on a rainy day.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goodbye 2741 Scott Avenue.....Thanks for the memories!

For the past several years, it has been my brother's dream to move back to our hometown. Well, as of this past weekend, he's back. He and his family are now living the country life and will love every second of it. I, on the other hand, will miss them terribly. I even asked....more like begged them every time I saw them.....begged them to stay in the big city with me, but they wouldn't even entertain the idea.

This is where they have called home for the last 8 years. So much has happened at this house. So many family celebrations....holidays, birthdays, cookouts, and was the central meeting place for our family get togethers for years.

My nephew had just started crawling when they moved in. It was here where he took his first steps and said his first words. Seems just like it was yesterday....where does the time go? Now he is constantly in motion, and it is hard to get him stop long enough to give me a hug and a kiss.

When my niece was born, she came home to 2741 Scott Avenue. This has been the only home she has ever known in her four little years. She, like Schmax, has experienced so many firsts here.....too many to mention. If only those walls could talk!

Guess I am a little sentimental!

It was here that Dew got whacked in the head with a golf club. Man, did he ever have a that required stitches. Chi-Chi was "golfing" in the back yard, and Dew was pretending that he was blind and therefore walking around the yard with his eyes closed. I am sure you can figure out the rest.......yep......Dew in his "blindness" walked smack dab into the golf club just as Chi-Chi was hammering it down. An event that has been permanently imprinted in their minds.

It makes me sad that Q-T will not have any memories of this house and all the good times that took place here.

Sometimes I am a little too sentimental.

Goodbye house! Thanks for the memories!

Goodbye Uncle Benny and Aunt Aubree! We will miss you!

I am making it sound like we will never see them again....but we will....this house is the new hangout only they don't know it yet.

This is their new home.

The site of many new family experiences and memories.

Hello house! We look forward to getting to know you!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Celebration

I must admit that I do not like to buy fireworks. I love to watch them.....just hate to buy them. All I can think about is that my money is going up in smoke....literally! My kids haven't figured out yet that you can actually buy them and do them yourself....however, my days are numbered and they will soon call my bluff.

We did go to my hometown this past weekend and went to watch the fireworks display the local Jaycee chapter sponsored.

Luckily, we found rock star parking, grabbed our chairs and started our search for the perfect spot to watch the show. The boys were so excited! It was just the four of us. We chose to leave the girls at home with Oma and Brupa as it would be a late night, and we thought that the loud pops would scare the bejeebers out of them.

It has been quite some time since I have roamed around my old stomping grounds, (Believe me, there was a lot of stomping goin' on back in the day. I knew every street and back alley.....escaped many of cop in those alleys....but we'll save that for another post.) and I kinda forgot about this bridge. Well, ok, the bridge wasn't even there "back in the day". I just don't like to think about how much time has passed since I stomped on those grounds!

I love how it is patriotic, yet so simple. Dew actually took this picture....not too shabby!

I also forgot about this. This came from the old bridge that took you across the Missouri River to Iowa. Lord, how I HATED that bridge. It was an old green monster of a bridge, only had two lanes and was extremely narrow. I would hold my breath as I drove across, and pray the entire time, "God, please don't let me meet a semi! PLEEEAAASE don't let me meet a semi! And if I should meet a semi, please don't let me plunge into the river below!" The bridge was so narrow that semi trucks would actually cross over into the other lane to keep from hitting the side of the bridge. I know the drivers tried desperately to stay in their lane, however, they risked losing their side mirrors by doing that as they would hit the sides of the bridge. I am sure if one was brave enough to dive to the murky bottom of the Mighty Mo....they would hit the jackpot of all jackpots of side mirrors that were once securely attached to the passenger side of a semi truck!

After the new bridge was built...the old one was, of course, torn down. But this was saved and the city chose to put it atop the gateway that leads into Steinhart Park which is where the fireworks display is every year.

With chairs and sweatshirts in hand searching for that perfect spot to sit, we walked past the pool. As a child, I spent many of a summer day here just living the life. Brought back a lot of memories. The boys were absolutely astounded that, once upon a time, I actually went near and in a pool! Something I would never do now! And you wouldn't want me to......having 4 babies has taken quite the toll......a sight I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy!

While we waited for the show to begin....we took pictures to commemorate the evening.

We finally found our perfect spot. At the base of these terraces. See that building at the top of the terraces? This is my most favorite spot in all of the world. I have so many wonderful memories of Steinhart Lodge. About 30 years ago, it used to be a wonderful restaurant. In high school our Holiday Dance was held here. My brother and cousin, Heidi, graduated the same year and had their graduation receptions there. And most recently, this is where Ro and I had our wedding reception and dance. It was and still is absolutely beautiful.

Now this was a miracle! Getting Ro in a picture. (Dew took this one, too.)

Finally, the show began. Only after Dew and Chi-Chi asked, about every 2 minutes, "What time is it now?" "When does it start?" "How much longer?" "Why haven't they started yet?" "I have to go to the bathroom! Noooowwww!"

Dew was completely captivated by the show and didn't take his eyes off the fireworks.

Not for one second. He didn't want to miss a thing!

Chi-Chi was another story......

After a day of playing non stop with his cousins.....he was tired, it was late and it just got the best of him.

I tried to capture the fireworks with my camera. A normal person would have given up after the first 20 or so missed shots and realize......this ain't workin'! Me, on the other hand, tried to capture every single one!!!!

I was either too early, or........

too late! ARGH!

Truth be told my competitive side took over. The guy sitting next to me was doing the same thing.....and all of his pictures, of course, were perfect! (I was peeking over his shoulder. He was probably doing the same and laughing at my feeble attempts! I think I heard him chuckling a couple of times.) So, with each picture I was trying to out do him, and cursing him in my mind each time I failed. Not really, but I felt like it!

There were a couple good ones.....but just a COUPLE!

The simple plain, white star bursts were my favorite! That's me...just plain and simple!

Hope you all had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July and that you were able to spend it with those you care about most!


Cousins...New and Old

One of the highlights of my childhood was spending the night at my cousins' house. We would trade off every other weekend. It was a great plan that Mom and Patty came up with...gave them a completely kid free weekend, a concept that is completely unheard of around our house. Although I have to admit that when Ro and I are without the kids...our hearts are empty and we can't wait to get them back home. We just don't know what to fights to stop, diapers to change, or fussy baby to hold!

I loved going to Heidi and Dani's house. It was so much fun! They always had the newest toys, yummy snacks and they had SODA glass bottles! We never had yummy snacks and we NEVER had soda pop at our house. We also got to stay up late and watch Saturday Night Live and sleep on their sofa bed! They were also the first ones to have a TV with a remote....I thought that was sooooo cool! On one of our sleepovers we had a babysitter.....we took that remote and camped out on the stairway and kept switching the channels on her. She couldn't figure out what the heck what was going on. Eventually, our incessant giggles gave us away. Those were such good times. Yes, I lived a sheltered life. A very sheltered life.

This last weekend while we were at the farm, I called up my cousin Dani and invited her kids to come play with mine and my niece and nephew. I have meant to do this so many times, but the weekends always seem to go by so fast and subsequently time runs out. Heidi, Dani, my brother and I grew up seeing each other everyday at school...we were also in the same 4-H club (A shout out to all the Perky Pals out there) and we went to the same church. Unfortunately, the next generation of cousins are growing up virtual strangers.

So they came and a good time was had by all. However it was slow going in the beginning.

You can tell Chi-Chi was unsure of he newly discovered cousin, B.

"The Law" on the other hand warmed up rather quickly. I think she was simply thrilled to have another girl to pal around with.

I loaded them all up and took them on a gator ride with Popsicles in hand. (The Popsicles were nothing more than frozen water...but they loved them!)

This little girl just stole my heart! Just look at her. I don't know how her mommy and daddy can say no to this little girl!

Her brother was just as sweet.....I just couldn't get him to stand still long enough to snap a photo of him. Especially after my nephew arrived....all they boys took off and did "boy stuff" like get dirty, ride bikes, chase each other, sling things at one another...the list could go on and on!

B sure loved the playhouse. She played and played and played in there. I have never had better tasting lemonade or more sinful chocolate cookies than the ones she made for me in the playhouse!

Simply divine!