Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Fun! (Lots of pics :))

We are so excited to be in a neighborhood with so many kids. We have never lived in a neighborhood with this many kids, and most all of them are boys. What are the chances? School is out for Bettendorf so activities abound outside. We weren't planning to be done for a couple of more weeks, but things aren't going so well now! We were planning to "have school" a day or two a week all summer anyway, so that may be starting now. It is too hard to sit at a table for a few hours when the sun is shining and kids are having fun right outside your window! But, that is the beauty of homeschooling, we can be flexible! I love it!

So far all the kids around seem to be nice kids and so far they are all getting along. They bigger boys are all so nice to Gannon, making sure he is included. They are even nice to Callie when she ventures out in the mix. We are truly so blessed to have found this house that fits our family and has a great yard to play in. I am always so happy when I feel like I understand a little part of God's plan for our lives. Kellen and Garrett really needed a "gang" to run around with. They have friends at church and from some of the outside classes they go to, but it is not the same as the neighborhood. This came along at just the right time for them. Funny how God seems to know these things!

We have had, almost, a couple of Terry Smith episodes. I won't go into details of that story to protect the people involved (my mom:)), but at least my brothers and mom know what I am referring to! Let's just say, the kids are feeling comfortable enough to just come on in when they come to the door. I am glad about that, but not used to having anyone besides just us wandering around my house! Poor Terry Smith, he was the neighbor kid who wandered in our house when I was young, I don't think any of us will forget the last day he did!

Speaking of Grandma, she got to come for another visit. She was here almost a week. The boys were begging for us to do something fun instead of "always making her work". I don't think I exactly make her do anything! But, she offers, like I'm going to turn that down! We had a nice time. Not too much work:). We hung curtains and blinds, finally! Went through books and fabric. I definitely needed help with that. I can't let some things go. I rarely find a book that I don't like, especially for kids. But, we managed to take four boxes to Half Price Books to sell. Yahoo! She also loves to take pics and has a reeeeally nice camera, so I'll have a lot more pics to post thanks to her.

Here is the gang playing basketball. Kellen, Gannon, and Garrett are the three to the right. The little ones, of course :).

Garrett with the ball. They said his nickname is "The Baller". Apparently that is a good thing.

I love this one. The big boys are holding Gannon (red shirt) up so he can dunk it. I am far away so I don't embarrass my boys by taking pictures of them playing outside. I'm sure that is not cool!

We had a clothesline in the backyard that had seen better days. Todd took it down last week when he mowed. Thanks to Grandma it became a fort. I had a dental appointment so she was home with them. She said they were getting a little rowdy with sticks so they decided to build a fort with a campfire. What a novel idea. If would have been here I would have yelled at them for playing with sticks and made them all sit down. ;)

Kellen with the cord from the clothesline.

Callie is ready to help!

Would someone please e-mail her daddy and convince him she needs a swingset/junglegym!

The finished product. See, I knew it would come in handy to leave the sleds out even after the snow had gone!

Callie trying on her brothers shoe:).

Some kind of pow wow with Kyle and Amanda, our backyard neighbors. No, Kyle is not trying to suffocate himself. The boys said he had the mesh ball bag and was being a cat :o).

I'm pretty sure she is trying to order someone to push her around in the wheelbarrow.

Enjoying the Jeep. How do those knees taste Garrett?

Maybe it's just me, but I don't know if I like that daredevil look on his face!


Gannon turned five May 19! I'm a little late (OK a lot late) in blogging as we were having computer issues, again. But, all is well now and we're ready to blog about Gannon turning five! I really can't believe it. It seems his birthday has really snuck up on me. I keep thinking of him as two, then we skip to five! He was sooooo excited, and asked every day when his birthday would be here. It is hard every year because we have Kellen's birthday in March, then Garrett's birthday in April, so it seems May will never get here! I am sure the time will come that we will have to celebrate Callie's half birthday. Luckily it is in June, so we can have celebrations all in a row. (I love it when things fall all in a row!) Can you imagine the poor thing when she is waiting to be five after all these birthdays and having to wait until December?!

Gannon had his day planned out. Of course, no school. The beauty of homeschooling is that we get to be out of school on our birthday! The first place he wanted to go was to Sonic to get a drink. Oh shoot, I guess we'll have to go to Sonic. (In case you don't know, I go there quite often anyway!:)). Then he wanted to go to Sam's to see daddy. Then we went to Laura, Ryan, and Emily's house for a lunch pizza party. Luckily he was fine with letting Callie come home and take a nap. He wanted to go to Toys R Us, but not until after he opened gifts, in case he got something he was planning on buying. Not sure if he came up with this on his own, of if one of his brothers clued him on this, but it worked well for nap time! When daddy came home he opened gifts, then chose to go eat at Red Robin for dinner. Yum! Then we hit Toys R Us and WalMart, he had birthday money burning a hole in his pocket! I think he had a nice day, he was just so excited all day, it was really cute.

Gannon is really pretty quiet, compared to the rest of the family. But, when he has something to say, he doesn't mind saying it. Good or bad! We are working on being tactful! He did not inherit the people-pleasing gene, which I am glad about. He will never feel bad for doing or not doing something he really doesn't want to do or not do. (Phew!) I am constantly feeling this way, not a fun way to go through life! Luckily, he is a kind, smart boy, so most of the time when he has something to say it is a good thing. He has a grin from ear to ear, always has, the kind of grin that lights up his whole face. He loves to draw and color, and does quite well for five. I think it must be really hard to be the third boy. He has to be so patient with so many things that he is not old enough to do. He hangs in there though! He knows way too much about super heroes, Star Wars, etc. He totally skipped the Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, etc. phase. If his brothers weren't doing it, he wasn't doing it! Makes me a little sad, but I think he'll always feel comfortable with older people, so I just have to look at the positive side:). He loves to travel, which shouldn't be surprising since we have either been traveling or moving since I was pregnant with him! We moved twice while I was pregnant with him, then three times since he was born. He loves to stay in hotels, he'll ask to stay in a hotel when we drive by them, even if it is down the street from our neighborhood! Such a different beginning to life than his brothers, but he has hung in there and adjusted, so I think that will always make him ready for changes that come his way. Again, me trying to put a positive spin on things, since I feel a tad guilty that his life has been crazy!
Since he is a little quiet, you never know what he is going to say. A couple of weeks ago someone asked him where he went to school, he said, in all seriousness, "we don't go to school, we homeschool". Thanks Gannon :). Last week we were cleaning up toys and he offered to take something of Garrett's upstairs. He said "we are supposed to serve and help like Jesus". I almost cried :). Of course two hours later he was in time out on the step for telling me he wasn't going to help with something...but at least I know something I am teaching is in there somewhere!
Anyway, happy fifth birthday Gannon! Mama loves you and I am so proud of you!
Gannon on the morning of his birthday, wearing his new golf shirt.

Gannon with his Sonic drink:)

At the Barnes house for a pizza party! Ryan, Gannon, Kellen, Garrett and Callie

Callie and Emily reading their Bible stories. What good little girls!

"I'm Five!"

He covered his eyes while daddy brought in his new bike, love his reaction!

At Red Robin they sing to you and bring you a hot fudge sundae, he was in heaven!

This is Callie looking across the table at what Gannon got, I'm sure wondering why she didn't get one!

Gannon chose a big cookie instead of a cake for his big day. Yay for me! They sell those big tubs of cookie dough at Sam's and you just press it out and cook it. I didn't even burn it thanks to my new oven!

Here is Gannon's reaction to his BIG present. I wish I would have had my camera set on video, I have never heard him giggle and giggle like he did. It was priceless!

Trying out the new Jeep.I think Callie may have had a little whip lash by the time the driving lesson was over!
See ya!

The funniest thing was when Gannon decided to take a hand off the wheel and put his arm around Callie. That lasted about two seconds since he can't drive with one hand. He had the most panicked look on his face while he tried to get the jeep back on the sidewalk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now maybe it's summer time!

Well, nice weather has finally hit the Quad Cities. I guess better late than never! We were wearing jackets and sweatshirts to all the ballgames lately, yuck! I really need to move south! I think it is finally time to plant without a chance of frost so the kids and I got busy doing yard work. It was such a nice day! We had our lessons in the morning then spent several hours working in the nice spring weather outside. Our neighbor on one side is apparently really good and knowledgeable about plants, growing things, etc. I am not. I try, but my memory is terrible, I can barely remember what plants are called let alone what to do with them! Well, she was out and came over to give us some help. Do you think she could tell we were desperate? She said she has been itching to come over and take care of some of the stuff in our yard for years. Apparently the previous owners were not taking care of some things "horticulturally correct". Not even sure what that means, but some of our things are looking better! She was a great help and really taught the boys the proper way to do some of the yard work, it was like a field trip in our own backyard! The boys had a great time sawing, digging, etc. We found the hugest worm I have ever seen. Garrett had just studied worms at science last week so he enjoyed telling us all about it, actually pretty gross. Then it was off to Garrett's ballgame. They lost but he got a great hit. I think he is finally getting the hang of kid-pitch. He is scheduled to pitch in their next game. That makes me a nervous wreck, but he is excited about it!

Kellen and Gannon

Garrett with his safety goggles. Safety first!

Kellen pruning a bush, tree, I don't really know, but it's outta here!

Can you tell she just woke up? Looks a little dazed!

These are the looks I get when I try to take her picture. Any time she sees the camera she just runs up to me. Ugh!

This is Callie watching her daddy mow. She was done with her dress so she was wandering around with just her bloomers on. Too cute! This is not the floor she is standing on, she is up on the window seat, even though she knows she is not supposed to. I guess it is too tempting!

This is another mama creation. I love the pattern, it was a new one for me. It's called a bubble dress. I'm not crazy about my fabric choices. I like the fabrics by themselves, but not really together. I just thought she needed more pink so I added pink to the top! I probably should have just used yellow all around. It's also a little big, oh well. It's hard to measure and try on clothes with a seventeen month old!

She apparently was starving after we got home from church and eating lunch, so she is eating bread with peanut butter. My only hope for getting her still for a picture was to bribe her with food!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's The Little Things...

It is definitely the little things that make my day!

We made a Wal-Mart run yesterday and I bought Callie a new toy while we were there. She wanted to open it this morning. I looked at the box and all the tape and started cringing. Then I noticed it, a perforated place to tear open the box. Seriously?! No hunting for scissors or something to pry open the box!? Then lo and behold, I opened the box and there were no gray twisty things holding the toy in the box!!!! Anyone that has bought a toy in recent years has to know what I am talking about. Why? Every time my kids get something new and they are securely fastened to the box with those twisty things, I wonder why. Whose brilliant idea was this and how much did they get paid for it? I know they can be used for other things, but how many do you really need? My friend Laura's dad saves these for random uses. Don't really know what he uses them for, but my boys even save them for him :). Sorry Grandpa Michael, you better stockpile them while you can. This toy had three little key type things that you turned, the toy was out of the box. It seriously took me under ten seconds!!! Totally made my day. I'm having images of all these new Christmas traditions. No more spending all day trying to get toys out of boxes because Santa ran out of time the night before. We might even have time to play with the toys on Christmas day! Seriously, I am still smiling over this!
The next thing that made my day, the laundry fairy. No, I don't really have a laundry fairy. But, I do have a wonderful washer and dryer (thanks Todd:))that has a delayed start button. I put in a load at night, set it to start at 5:00 am, then when I get downstairs, a load is washed. Although technically I put the clothes in, it doesn't seem like it since I put them in the night before. It's like I am half way through the laundry and someone else has got me started. Love it, love it, love it!
And of course, there is another little thing that makes my day. She is not so little any more, but she is the littlest in our house. I had to take her picture at the baseball game last night. Check out her toes! At the risk of going a little Toddlers and Tiaras on her, I had to do it. I was painting my toenails and she already had her little sandals on ready to go, so they were just begging to be painted. How cute are they? What was so cute was how excited her brothers were. Even this morning they thought she was the cutest thing. They couldn't believe the polish was still on there. Obviously they don't the know the ins and outs of nail polish. (That is a good thing!) It was also the first time Callie has worn yellow. She just looks like a bright sunshiny day!

P.S. She did not eat that whole bag of cheddar bunnies...she shared with her brothers:) And yes, that is a huge bruise on her leg. One of many she has, the girl does not sit still! Have I mentioned that before? It took me three trys to get this picture and I had to bribe her with food!

How cute is the polka-dot chair! We can't expect her to tote around a blue or red chair all season!

FYI: Toddlers and Tiaras that I mentioned before is a show on TLC about moms (and dads!) who spray tan and give their daughters false teeth to win pageants. The most ridiculous thing you'll ever see! It is a good show to watch only if you need to know you are not the most insane parent on the planet!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How Lucky Am I?

Yesterday was Mother's Day. How lucky am I that I get to be mama to these four kids? I can't believe how much God has blessed me. All I ever dreamed of doing was being a mama. I am even more blessed by having Todd as a husband. He supports me and also wanted a house full of kids!
We had a great day. We went to church, then went to eat, then went shopping, then came home and did nothing. All of my favorite things!

Todd brought me flowers. From Sam's of course, but they have the prettiest flowers. Notice the peach carnation sticking out the top? That was from church. Every year they have the kids come to the front and pass out carnations to all the moms. Gannon went to the front, even though he would rather do anything than be put on the spot like that. He came down the aisle with this flower and had his eyes set on me the whole time, lest anyone would think he was stopping to give it to them. He had the sweetest look on his face. I about started bawling right there. He was so sweet and I knew this was not something he wanted to be doing. I think it was the best part of the day.

Again, with the blurry pics. But, look at those big smiles!

Who knows, but so cute!