Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Music Camp

Em had music/piano camp this week. Her teacher doesn't do lessons and the girls all go for 3 days in the morning for some crafts, learning about different music and Emily's favorite part, snacks.

Monday was Mexico Day. We try not to buy anything and just gather what we have.  She's a pretty senorita.

Tuesday was Hawaii.  I did buy the lei and grass skirt from the dollar store.  

Today was Texas.  We got the cowboy hat for a quarter at a yard sale.

She had a fun time!

Chores and enrichment hour has officially begun this week.  The kids are doing pretty well.  They've done so well that there really isn't a ton to do today.  I'll have to give them their "bigger chore" like baseboards.  That will make everyone happy.  :)

We leave for camping in a few days and the kids are super excited.  I, on the other hand, am running around like a crazy person with 1,000 things to do.  The great thing about camping is there is nothing to do.   Well, there's plenty to do, but nothing that feels like work or chores.  Just fun stuff like hiking, shooting BB guns and roasting marshmallows.  I like that! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Around Our House

When I pick up Emily at her violin class, her teacher leaves the door open for me and I just go in. I usually just have a seat on her sofa and wait for them to finish up. When I went in on Thursday, Mrs. Kim was playing and she had her daughter, Ellie, playing too with Emily. Ellie plays the cello. Ellie played harmony and Kim and Emily played melody. It sounded so great. Em is coming along so fast since she can already read music. I'm so proud of her.

Emily wanted to kick off the summer with a slumber party. At first she wanted them to sleep in a tent in the backyard, but I didn't want to bother putting it up. Plus, the neighbors across the street found a huge snake the other day. So, they slept inside. They did water balloons and Just Dance on the Wii and had fun. Just what tween girls like to do.

We had Mom's night out and I met the mom's there. I dropped the kids off with David and he took them to Costco to get pizza. I ran a few errands, but finished up 20 minutes early. I went into Chili's early and got started with a margarita. And because I was in the bar and it was happy hour it was only $5!

Today, David and I went yard saling. He was looking for a saw to redo the wooden slates in our fence. In the community next to ours, they were having a big yard sale, so we circled around there. I could tell, David wasn't thrilled with the idea at first, but after a couple, he was like, oh this is kind of fun. Then, he tells me that he doesn't ever remember going to a yard sale. Like ever. What? We found just what he was looking for and several other things too. He was thrilled. Then, we went to the Swap Meet and they had tons of tools there too. Then, we went to Chipotle and Home Depot. It was a date day! At one point, I told him we should get the kids and make them come with us.  We left them at home with chores of cleaning windows and dusting.  He said, he'd rather just be with me.  We had fun just being together. And oh my gosh, Chipotle is so good. I could eat it every day. Maybe I should try some diet where I only eat Chipotle twice a day and I'll loose like 20 pounds. No rice or tortillas, I'll just get their salads. I could totally do that. Then I could become a Chipotle spokesperson and get a lifetime supply of Chipotle for free. I have big goals!

We also ran into Sprouts for a couple of things and let me just say how thankful we are that our weekends don't consist of having to shop. It's a madhouse in stores. So many people. I have the luxury of going every week on Wednesday morning and the stores are about 20% as full as they were today. I couldn't believe it.

We are also thankful that I get to stay home and work and go grocery shopping when I want and be there for our kids all summer long. We have lots of fun things planned and I'm determined to make the kids step up a little this year and learn some stuff. I got all organized with chores and things that they need to do every day. They weren't too happy, but whatever. The way I look at it if they do all this stuff daily, it shouldn't take more than 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The other 11 hours a day, they can do what they want which probably means putting their face in an electronic device.

I really don't think it's asking too much of them, 1 hour of learning, 30 minutes of getting off your ass, and an hour(ish) of something to contribute to this house. David and I do way too much for them. Have I mentioned at Emily's age, I had a job I went to every weekend, made donuts, waited on customers, cleaned bathrooms, swept and mopped.

I already had them doing chores yesterday and today. I did give them the weekend off before we start enrichment hour on Monday.

I'm sweet like that!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Home and Awards Galore!

My girl is HOME!!! Yippee. David and I were in the gym for the end of the year assembly and she walked in. I walked right over and gave her about 10 kisses. I didn't even care if I embarrassed her. Luckily, she wasn't too mortified.

I gave her kisses and rubbed her cheeks and told her I loved and missed her. And then I said, "Did you not wear sunscreen?" That's a Mom for ya!

Her assembly was great. She got perfect attendance for the 4th quarter and Principal's List, which is all A's.

Doesn't she look cute.  They had color coded bandanas for what group they were in.

She loved camp!  She had a great time.  She did fun things like owl pellets, panning for gold, hikes, night hikes.  She said it was a blast.  I'm so happy that she had such a great time.  Oh and one of the camp counselors was a walker on Walking Dead!  Awesome!

David and I were there for Ben's assembly too.  Ben cleaned up at the assembly.  He got Principal's List (all A's) for the 4th quarter.  He also got all A's for the entire year.  Then, they pick a kid to win a Harkins movie gift pack, and his name was drawn.  Yea!

Then, he got perfect attendance for 4th quarter.  And, he also got perfect attendance for the entire YEAR!  He did not miss a single minute in 181 days of school.  The Principal called down the handful of kids who accomplished this and they all got Kindle Fire tablets!  Ben was super happy about that.

Then, he got called down as they all drew pictures for this farming thing they do every year.  It's not through the school, it's done through the county.  They picked some winners from all the schools and Ben got third!  So, they put his drawing on a shirt.  You can't see it very well, but it says, "Some fruits and veggies you don't want to share" and it's a bunny and person (Ben) playing tug of war with a carrot.  He got 2 Harkins gift cards for that too!

Poor Noah, the kids all came home and we were going on about all their stuff and he just felt left out.  They don't do assemblies until 3rd grade.  I told him, he could get a tablet too, but he wouldn't be able to fake it and stay home from school!  But, he had a great report card with almost all Outstanding and just a couple Satisfactory +.

The odd thing is Noah missed 10 days of school.  Emily missed 5 and Ben missed 0.  I don't even know how that's possible in the same household.  Well, Ben washes his hands so well that they will sometimes bleed in the winter, so I guess that's how.  And Noah won't quit picking his nose.  So, there you have it!

We are happy that Emily is home and our kids are doing so well.

Tomorrow is the last day of school!  The excitement is through the roof around here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dear Emily...

I told you to keep a journal while you were away at camp and write about this new experience and everything going on; what you are doing, what you are eating, funny stories, if you're sad, if you're happy.  Oh, I hope you are happy.

But, I feel like I should write you a letter too.  Because your time away is a new experience for me.  Sure, you've had a sleepover at a friends house a few blocks away and Dad and I have gone away for our anniversary a few times for a couple days. But, I've never been at home, in our routine, but missing our girl.  You've always just been a phone call or text away.  But, I'm in the dark now.  I can't hear your voice or send you silly emojis.  It feels like 1980, and I don't like it.

I called your Dad after he dropped you off at school to see how it went.  He said he fought back the tears as you seemed confident and he didn't want to ruin that.  I  missed you all day.  Everything felt off, making one less lunch, not making you an afternoon cup of coffee, waiting to pick you guys up after school and not seeing your pretty face come around the corner.

Then, Dad came home from work and his eyes looked red.  He said he had a hole in his heart because he missed you.  I felt the same.  Dinner was different without you.  You and Noah are the two that sometimes fight, so without you, I thought it would be quiet.  But, go figure, Ben and Noah got into it a few times.  Your ipad sat untouched.  Your spot on the sofa and at the dinner table empty.

I made dinners you don't like as much, orange chicken and meatloaf, so you wouldn't miss anything special.  Dakri invited us to the pool last night, and I didn't want to go without you.  It somehow felt wrong to do things that I knew you'd enjoy.  We did loving as usual and the bed had way too much space in it.  We needed your little body to make us whole.  We couldn't decide on what TV show to watch.  We needed our tie breaker.

Noah said grace and prayed that you were having a nice time and that you weren't sad.  I know you are having fun, but I still miss you.  We all miss you.  Always know that you are loved and you fill a special place in our family.  Without you, we're not the same.

I just got the boys from school and thought tomorrow everything will be back to normal.  I'll walk out of the school with all three of my kids.  The fights will start before we even reach the car and I'll yell and everything will be perfectly imperfect.  I can hardly wait.


Monday, May 16, 2016

My Girl, Violin and Noah's Confession

I've been meaning to share this video of my girl and her violin teacher for a few days.

She's had five lessons.  I think she's doing great for 5 lessons.  We are hoping she sticks with it. She's not the best at practicing, but I'm going to threaten encourage her this summer.

My girl left today for a 3 day, 2 night camp with her sixth grade class.  
I only cried a little.  
David wanted to cry, but held it together for Em's sake.
Emily was fine.

I know she will have a blast.  I just wish she could call me or email me or something.
But, we will all survive and she will be home soon with some great memories.

It was so weird today only picking up one kid.  Why one?  Well, Noah stayed home from school today.  He got a cold Saturday night and was running a low fever and coughing a lot yesterday.  He woke up today and David said he could here him coughing a lot in his room.  He came out and said he didn't feel good.  We believed him.  SUCKERS!!!

I knew he was fine about 9:30, but figured it was fine.  I didn't want to change out of my pj's to take him to school, and grades are already in.  This week is just a fun week.  He finally came clean about his faking it on the way home from school.

My girl will be back in 44 hours.  I got this!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

End of the Year Wrap Up

The last few weeks of school are always chaos.

I had Muffins with Mom last week in Noah's class.

They are having donuts with Dad today, but David has to miss it.  He rearranged going out of town for work this week to be there for their music concerts and then the donuts came up and he couldn't postpone it.  So, he promised to take Noah to Fry's on Saturday and have donuts.  Noah was cool with that.

Their music concerts were this week.  Noah's was on Tuesday.  Emily and Ben on Wednesday.

Here's Em and one of her friends, Cynthia.

This was Emily's last concert at this school.  That makes me sad.  She's growing up too quickly.  Here are their videos:

Noah sang Sesame Street, You are my Sunshine/Keep on the Sunny Side and Ooby Dooby

Ben sang Beauty in the World, Summertime and I Want You Back

Emily sang You Be Illin' and One Day.

Ben looked scared to death for some reason.  He said that it was so hot up there from the lights that he wanted to pass out.  Guess he's not made for the bright lights of stardom!

I'm so thankful for their school and their awesome music teacher, Mr. Johnson.  He teaches them such diverse music and opens them up to music they may normally have never been exposed to.

The kids have 5 days left of school and Emily is going to a camp next week for 3 of those days.  She'll be spending two nights away from home.  She's never done that.  It's a little scary for all of us, but we know she'll do fine and she'll have a great time.  Summer is almost here and with that, I already have chore charts and workbooks ready!  Bring it on!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For My Wife...Happy Mother's Day!

This special lady holds a unique place in my life. Yes, Gina's a mother, she's a daughter, she's an auntie, and a friend who is loved by many. She makes life so easy for those around her and all are fortunate to know her. I have never gotten the sense from anyone who has met her or spent time getting to know her that she is less than stellar. She is creative, intelligent, extremely adept at finding the good in almost every situation, she is not defeated in any endeavor she chooses to undertake, and is not easily undone by any situation, except if creepy crawly bugs are involved. She loves to laugh, yes even at her own jokes, and she makes others laugh with her. And she is passionate about tasks she sets her mind to, and fiercely loyal to those she loves with all her heart, choosing to shoulder the hurt and disappointment that always come with relationships of every kind, rather than pass it along to others. Of all the things she is, she is foremost a laborer for the sake of love; love is not a word in her vocabulary unless accompanied by actions...and she is all about showing love in deed. She does get tired, yet she works as though tireless when making those she loves happy. She holds herself to that standard in her friendships, with her parents, our children, and with me as her husband. She is many a splendid things to others, and there is something to gloat about when others say to me, “Gina is so wonderful, so funny, has such a great personality, is so pretty, and the list goes on.” I don't need those times to remind me that she is special, but the compliments never hurt. And then I say to myself, “Yup, she's incredible alright...and the fact that I get to be in her world, well, put it this way; there's no present nor reward like her.” It is in those times, but not limited to those times, when I realize that of all the things she is to others...they all just get a glimpse of Gina; she is more than that to me.

She is my wife; Gina is uniquely that to me and with no other does she share that relationship. I love her so much, going on close to 13 years as a married couple, and as a couple for nearly 14. In truth however, I love her less than she deserves; and for that, I am deeply sorry. She is my best friend, my lover, the mother of our children, but again, she is my wife. That place is occupied by only her, and I am a privileged and blessed man for that.

I know she'll read this, so I guess I want to say “Thank-you for being mine, Sweetheart, and for staying the course even when having to sometimes endure the worst of me; thank-you for taking your vows to me seriously. Thank-you for you, and for giving our children the best mother possible.” Happy Mother's Day! I Love you!  Always yours...David

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Zoo Field Trip

I chaperoned Noah's class on a field trip to the zoo.  Oh, what a fun time we had.  This bald eagle was hysterical.  He was totally facing us until I pulled out the camera.

He turned his back.  Not nice baldy! 

This is Noah and Caleb.  I was lucky and had a group of 4 boys.  
All of whom were very nice and easy to take care of.

When we had some ramada time with one of the docents, Noah wanted to come sit by me.
So, here he is all chilling with me.  I'm glad he wasn't annoyed by me or acting like I wasn't there.

Then, the lady came around with some animals.  The first was a bearded dragon.  Noah didn't want to pet it.  I pinky promised him that if he did it, I would do it.  Then, I totally didn't do it!   That's just the kind of person I am.

My picture above wasn't good, but Noah's teacher got a good pic, so I copied hers from Facebook.

And here's a cute turtle.

And a selfie.

And this snake...I couldn't believe he pet it and I didn't even have to pinky promise him.  Which is good because there is no way that I would touch that gopher snake!

Then, the teacher said we had 45 minutes to do whatever.  I suggested we go to the petting zoo.  The four boys voted for the playground.  I was over ruled.

And this is cute viola.  I tried to get Noah in the pic, but he was playing hard to get and channeling his inner bald eagle.  Like three kids came up and said, Viola wants Noah to be her boyfriend.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Viola's Mom was also there and she had no clue about the "wetting" or the "I love Noah" notes we get on a weekly basis.

This was the playground.  Chaos!!!

It was a fun trip!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Noah's Trick

Noah learned a new trick today at school. He can completely turn his foot around.

I think we will call him Gumby.