Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cali, Day 1 ~ Travel Day

Before I start on our travel day, I was looking at the pics I took and found this one of the kids from picture day. I uploaded a pic from my phone, but I like this one way better.

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Now, back to my story in progress.

Our travel day was pretty uneventful which is how you want travel days to be with three young kids.

We hit the road at 10, and Noah asked us within 10 minutes if we were there yet. My Mom, who is staying at our house watching our dog, said we used to ask that 100 times. But, that I can understand. It was 1980. My kids have movies, Nintendo DS, tablet, iphones, cool air conditioning, and me serving snacks and making sandwiches for them. Did I ever mention that once when I was a kid, we drove to California in the back of my Dads pick up truck? We got a little ways and our station wagon broke down. So, we drove back home and the kids piled in the back of the truck and there we sat for 7 hours. My hair was in knots when we got there, but we didn't care. My Mom says we still asked if we were there yet 100 times through the sliding back window. My point being, my kids have got it made.

When we get to the windmills in Palm Springs, I know we are close.
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The best thing that happened was my Mom was texting me along the way. She does that talk text stuff where it types what it thinks you say. So, she told me she just left the Yavapai Smoke Shop where she gets cigarettes. And her text read "I just left you have a pie smoke shop and I'm on my way to your house."  The, she meant to say she was the traveling granny because she goes everywhere and it wroe tranny granny.   David and I were dying laughing.

Anyway, we got to our hotel safe and sound and headed down to the pool and hot tub.
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We got pizza delivered to the pool.
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Then, we headed out to Joe's Ice Cream. This is by far the best ice cream we've ever had and we always go here at least twice when we go to Disneyland. They opened a new location, so we just had to walk a half mile down the road. It is so so good.
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It took me an hour to pack back packs and get sandwich meat and stuff ready for tomorrow. We always take in lunch. We just don't do well with chicken fingers and fries for too many days in a row. We are hitting Disneyland early tomorrow. It opens at 8 and closes at 6, so we are hoping to get lots in since it closes so early. Fingers crossed the lines aren't bad. That's the whole reason we pull the kids before their Fall Break. Because next week, everybody from Phoenix flocks over here in droves. I mean it's a 6 hour drive and a tank of gas and you are at Disneyland and the beach! You can't go wrong. Cali never disappoints.

Friday, September 26, 2014

White Cake Plates

I've followed several blogs for years.  They are on the bottom right of this blog.  There is one in particular that I adore.  It's a Mom in Phoenix who seems like she has it together.  Well, more together than me.  She sews.  She bakes.  She collects white cake plates for the love of God.

I always think I need to take her ideas and put them into action at my own house.  But, I don't know.  I just never seem to find time to walk around my home and redesign a corner of the house to a perfect craft corner with crayons and markers hung in perfect tin cups on the wall.  Our craft table is a banquet table that I lugged in from the garage complete with folding chairs.  Because that's just how I roll.  I'm okay with that.  Kind of.

I was mentioning this to my friend Heidi will we were swimming one day.  I told her I think I need to start with a white cake plate and everything will start to fall in to place.  So, low and behold, Heidi brings me an early birthday gift last week.  How sweet was that?  It was begging for pumpkin muffins.

Which come to find out is Noah's favorite new food.  He had 9 of those mini muffins that night.  At least it has some vegetables in it, right?

Now, I'm going to work on not yelling at my kids as much.  It's just they annoy the heck out of me sometimes.  I think I start most days off in a great mood.  Then, I don't know what happens.  They bicker about nothing or Noah throws himself on the floor because I picked out socks that don't match his outfit as well as the gray pair that he's worn for three days in a row.  He wants the gray pair.  Fine, put on the gray pair.  They could walk on their own at this point.  He's very particular about his clothes and matching.

In any case, I've tried yelling at them or grounding them or just putting on headphones.  None of it works really.  I've been watching a lot of 19 Kids and Counting.  That woman has patience unlike anything I've ever seen.  So, I'm going to channel my inner Michelle Duggar and find a different way to deal with them. What would Michelle Duggar do?  I can guarantee it's not scream at her kids at the top of her lungs.  She'd probably hug them.  I'll try that.

And if it doesn't work, I'll bake some muffins for my pretty white cake plate.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Swimming and Flowers

The kids get out an hour early from school every Wednesday.  Usually, we wait to go to the pool until after dinner, but today, we decided to go early.  The pool was cool and it was so warm outside.  It was lovely.  We had the pool to ourselves too for awhile.

You know how some guys bring their wives flowers for no reason?  And you think, wow, how sweet, their Mama must have trained them right.  Well, I now know it has nothing to do with their Mama.  Some guys are just like that.  And Noah is one of those guys.  He picks flowers (weeds) for me all the time.  Everywhere we go, he is looking at the ground trying to find me a flower to pick.

The sweetest thing is that when he gets out of school.  I pick him up at the gate and he reaches in his pocket and pulls out flowers he got me at recess.  I love this.  It means he is thinking about me during the day.  I think that's one of the nicest things anybody has ever done for me.  To know that someone thinks about you like that.  He's the sweetest.

Emily told me today that she went out to recess and she saw Noah walking around the playground looking for something.  She stopped to ask what he was doing and he was upset because he couldn't find me a flower.  Then, she helped him find one.

After we went swimming this afternoon, Noah stopped to pick me a flower.  Again.  :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Picture Day

Today is picture day at school. It's Noah's first one. I told him to smile and show his teeth, but if his pics have this smile, I'll totally love them. 

Noah was insistant that he button his shirt all the way up just like Ben likes to. I'm not sure why he does that but whatevs. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harry Potter

About a month ago, I picked up the first Harry Potter book for Ben from the library. He loves magic, and I figured he'd love it. Him and Emily read in bed every night. So, he read it before bed and it seemed it was taking awhile for him to get into it. Then, he got more than half way through and he was really starting to enjoy it. He sat down when he had about 75 pages left and finished it. He was so excited about it.

Then, I put on the movie for him. I had bought it ages ago and never watched it. Ben loved the movie. It was like the book came to life for him. Now, he's reading the second book. I hope he continues to enjoy them.

Oh, and of course, in try Ben fashion, he's dressing up like Harry Potter and made a lightning bolt scar on his forehead.

Now, he's torn between being Harry Potter or Steve from Minecraft for Halloween.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


We always quit extra stuff when the summer comes. The kids just prefer to play at home and go to the pool. Plus, we seem to be gone more of the summer than we are home. When the school year started in August, I asked the kids if they wanted to start back up with gymnastics and karate. They weren't that enthusiastic, so that meant no. Fine with me. Emily still takes piano though.

Then, she tells me last week that she thinks she wants to take gymnastics again. Ugh. What she really wants to learn though is just the tumbling portion of it. I mean, unless you have the drive to be a competitive gymnast, why spend your time on the vault? She just wants to learn how to do a backhand spring. In her last gymnastics class, it was 2 1/2 hours long. About 30 minutes was spent on vault, bar, beam and floor. You really didn't have a chance to get really great in one area, especially since there was typically 10-15 girls in each class. So, we looked at her same gymnastics studio since we love it there and they have a tumbling class. One hour, tumbling only! Sweet!

Em went tonight to try it out. I don't like that it's 7-8 at night. Normally, we are in p.j.'s by then, but whatever. It's one night a week and we all know Emily isn't tired. Ever. Before her class tonight, she could do handstands and backbends, but that was about it. She came so far in one night. I was shocked and so super proud of her! Well, not shocked that she did so well, just shocked at what she learned.

They started learning backhand springs on this big round yellow mat. She never jumped back like that, so that step is huge.

She did that a bunch. Then, she did some back flips with a spot into the pit. She's never done a back flip before, not even on a trampoline.

Then, she was doing back flips without a spot!

Then, she did a front flip on her own. What???

Then, she did backhand springs on the soft mat! Holy cow!

Then, she did it on the regular floor. Is this fast progress or what???

I could tell she was getting tired at the end of it. But, she ended the evening with one last back flip.

I am so, so proud of all that she accomplished in one night. I wasn't sure how she would do in this class. It's mostly high school girls that need to work on tumbling for cheerleading. But, Em not only kept up but was one of the best.

So, now you know where I'll be very Tuesday night.

As we were leaving Ben said, so what do I get to do now? I think I want to do drama again!

Here we go....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Around Our House

I've been very bad about writing lately.  Sometimes, it's like that.  Then, when I get a text or phone call or email or Facebook message from one of the Grandparents (ahem, Suzy) :)  I know I've been slacking.  So, here's a big round up of what's happened this last week.

I help at the kids school on Friday afternoons.  I go in at noon and stay for 3 hours, doing an hour in each class.  I do whatever the teachers need from filing to sharpening pencils to making copies to working with the kids.  Last week, I sharpened so many pencils that the electric sharpener got too hot and stopped working.  I will say this, my favorite pencil is now Target's Up & Up pencil.  They sharpen like a dream.  My #2 choice, see #2 since pencils are #2 lead is the Dixon Ticonderoga.  They are good.  The worst, say Office Works on them.  I think they are from Office Max or Depot.  They are always the ones that are totally broken with splitting wood.  They take forever to sharpen.  I will NEVER buy those pencils again.  No matter what bargain I find.  Is it sad that I know that much about pencils?

The school has what they call a P.A.W. program.  The kids earn paper paws for doing things like, responsibility, caring, etc.  Then, the paws all go in a drawing and names are drawn weekly for prizes.  Last Friday, I was in Noah's class and his name got drawn for Kindergarten!  Yea!  He wasn't sure where the office was to get his prize, so I went with him.  Then, he was also chosen by his teacher for this program called Character Counts where you get to go on a special walk with the Principal and her dog, Kaia.  She is like the school mascot.  Well, a coyote is, but you know what I mean.  They also have a cat in library named Dewey.  And birds in the front office.  They say the animals help kids, and I couldn't agree more.

Noah was totally freaked out about this walk.  I need my backpack.  Where are we going?  My class is the purple hall.  I think he has a little PTSD from getting lost on the first day of school.  I was glad I was there, and I just asked if I could go on the walk too.  Noah was so nervous.  Then, Kaia started doing tricks.  Roll over, dead dog, up.  And Noah was cracking up and petting the dog.  That dog works magic I tell ya.

She can also go down slides!

What a fun way to reward kids.  An extra 20 minutes of playing and walking a great dog.

That night, Emily and I went with the piano girls and their Moms and Mrs. Stacy to see a production of the sound of music.  Now, we are small town, so I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The cast was great! 
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Here are the piano girls.
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We have been going on lots of bike rides. Too bad the mosquitos are out in full force. Typically, we don't have them because it's so dry. But, it's been anything but dry here.
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I don't know what it is about my kids, but they will argue over the silliest things.  Emily goes to her special owl bathroom now every morning, but Ben and Noah head into my bathroom.  Then, we hear Noah yelling because Ben got to the toilet first or Ben's at the sink he wanted to be at.  We even have 2 sinks in the bathroom.  Whatever.

This morning, I decided that was ending and gave Noah his own bathroom.  I put his toothbrush, toothpaste and a special Buzz Lightyear cup for him to use to swish in the small bathroom.  I told him in the mornings, he can only go in this one.  Geez, three kids and they each have their own bathroom.

Noah came to get me to show me the note he put on his door, like Emily did.  He said it says "Noah's bathroom, don't come in."  He did pretty good!

Then, Ben said he wants my bathroom to become a Bat Cave since it's his bathroom now.  He wants a bat signal above the bathtub and he wants to turn all the dental floss into grappeling hooks.  What did I start?

Speaking of my smart little Noah, I wasn't sure how he'd be in school.  But, he's proving to be a super smartie. They have to get through 6 items to pass Kindergarten, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, letter sounds, then 3 sets of site words.  Noah completed his uppercase letters a few weeks ago, and his lowercase letters yesterday.  He brought home the flashcards for sounds.  Now, I hate sounds.  I honestly, can't tell you what sound u makes.  Forget about y and there are a few others that stump me. So, I have to have Emily with me when we go over these.  Noah nailed them all yesterday.  I couldn't believe it.  We showed David last night and he got them all right again.  I'm so proud of him.  That means  he's really paying attention in class and doing what he should.  

So, that about sums up our week!  Hope that makes the Grandparents happy....until next week.  :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Perfect Evenings

We love living up here in Prescott. The weather is perfect. Right now it's 6:45. The temp is in the low 80's and there is a gentle breeze. Ben suggested a bike ride to the park and we all jumped up and got our shoes on. 
Perfect idea!