Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Off to School We Go!

So the day has finally come. Kendall went off to her first day of kindergarten. Grandma Cindy and Aunt Jessie came last night to spend the night and see her off early this morning, after a breakfast of pancakes (Aunt Jessie's choice!).

She got up to her new Quacking Duck alarm clock and dressed with minimal whining, and then the excitement began to build. We made sure her lunch money was securely stowed away in her backpack, along with her 3x5 index cards and address card for the bus driver. We did her hair, got her shoes on, and made sure she didn't need a little jacket. Then Barry followed in his truck as I headed out to take my baby girl to her first day of school...

I was doing fine as I prepped her in the car..."Use your good manners, say please and thank you, use your listening ears and your inside voice. Be sure to wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Be kind to your new friends and treat them the way you want them to treat you. Your lunch money is in the small pocket of your backpack. Have fun and listen to your teacher and you will do great!"

Yeah, well that all went to hell when I hugged her goodbye. Out of nowhere, the tears started. My face started feeling hot and I couldn't keep the tears back. I couldn't quite let go of her yet....

"She's not ready! I need another year! Can't we do half days? I think she's sick and needs to stay home another day...She doesn't know quite how to tie her shoes yet!" My mind was racing. A couple of deep breaths before I let go of her helped me to manage so she didn't see the panic I was feeling. But alas, Barry saw it. And the moment I turned away, it started up again. I headed directly for the little girls' bathroom in the hallway. After a few minutes of really heavy (and suprising!) sobbing, I was ready to face the rest of the school. Barry and I paid her school fees and headed out to the car, where I convinced him that I was ok. And as soon as he pulled out and headed to work...

The uncontrollable sobbing started all over again. Holy Cow! What on earth is wrong with me? Shouldn't I be excited for her? Of course! She's more than ready! Won't she have a great time? Of course! It's all she's talked about for weeks! So why can't I quit crying? (By the way, the tears are back again...) I cried the whole way home. Totally unlike me...and no one was more suprised than I! I got control of myself before coming into the house, and immediately felt a little bit better seeing my darling baby boy playing on the floor and my mom sweeping my kitchen. The world is still turning, and life is moving on. I have no choice but to keep moving right along with it...

Kendall is going to come home with a million stories to tell...she will probably be hoarse by the end of the night. And by the time she goes to bed, I will be smiling and calm...knowing that we have just made a huge step and everything will be just fine.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A VERY Productive Weekend!

We had a very productive weekend, to say the least. On Friday, the kids and I went to visit my friend Heather in Centerville. Our kids play so well together! On this particular visit, they created a band of troubadors, and were soooo stinkin' cute!

While we were there, my dad and Taffy came down to help with some projects that Barry and I wanted to get done, but were having trouble getting started. First on the agenda was getting the log railings up on the front porch. It has been 2 years since we moved in, and it was time to finish up that front porch! We already had all of the lumber we needed to complete it, it was just a matter of getting the railings built, stained and attached. We knew it would dramatically change to look of the front of the house, so we were anxious to get it done. Barry and Dad got started on that right away.

The next project was the tile around my master bathtub. Up until this point it was surrounded by cement board, and let me tell was NOT pretty. So the guys started on that little project Saturday late in the day and by Sunday evening had all of the tile laid and ready for grout. Of course, we won't be able to grout until at least Friday, so it isn't finished yet, but it already looks awesome! Check back next week to see the finished pictures!

Dad also tightened up my sagging clothesline, which made me happy as well! And all the while, Taffy watched and played with the kids and I worked and ran errands. We are ecstatic to have these few things done which will make such a big difference...and we are immeasurably thankful to have parents who are willing to lend a hand...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Talkin' on the phone

Noah's newest thing is talking on the phone. He LOVES our home phone and, of course, my cell phone. But yesterday, he picked up Kendall's purple Polly Pocket phone and just started babbling away.


"Dadadad bababa ah ta da ba..."

"Ahh dun"

"Buh bye"

He just sat back and talked for 10 minutes or so. Kept picking up the phone, pressing the buttons, putting it to his ear and saying, "Ahhh-oh?"

It was really cute...and then Kendall picked up another phone and started talking too...and that's when I realized that I am soon going to have 2 kids that talk nonstop!!! Well, least they can talk to each other, right????

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back in Business!

Well, folks, I am back in business! Last week we had a storm and my laptop was plugged in....and well, we think it basically fried my modem. So, NO logging on for me for almost a week! Sorry to leave you hanging! But Barry saved me yesterday by buying me a new away we go!

Really though, in all honesty, we were on VACATION...and I didn't really feel like posting anyway. But now, it is back to real life and time to get back to keeping everyone updated! So, to that end, here is how we spent our week off:

We went home the weekend of the 12th to pick up a piano. Yes, everyone, a PIANO. No, none of us play...YET! Our dear friends Bill and Sue needed to get rid of their piano and had been asking us if we wanted it. Of course we did! So, we headed home to load it up...and what an experience THAT was! We are so thankful, as Kendall cannot wait to start piano lessons, and Noah thinks it is too cool as well.

The big thing was that we picked up our niece Kayla and took she and Kendall to Kings Island on Tuesday. We had promised Kendall that we would take her this summer, and time was running out! I'll tell you what...we had the perfect day! Tuesday is definitely the day to go! The park wasn't busy at all, the weather was perfect, and the kids were in a great mood! They were game for almost anything...except the roller coasters, of course! We did Nickelodeon Central, the waterpark, even White Water Rapids (boy, did we get SOAKED there!) I was too wet to even think about getting my camera out! We rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We rode the Scrambler AND the Octopus. (And I'll tell you another stomach is not what it used to be! UGH!) All in all, it was a really fun day. And wouldn't you know, those kids made it from the time the park opened until it closed....I couldn't believe it! Real troopers, we were!

The rest of the week was basically spent working. Barry built his retaining walls out back, we stained the front porch, and we picked up our "new-to-us" entertainment center. Kendall had a sleepover at Aunt Jessie's on Sunday night, so that gave Barry and I a chance to clean out our old entertainment center and get the great room organized and arranged with the new one. What a difference that made! Now, I just need some color on the walls and 2 new chairs to replace the white sofa....

Do I feel rested?
Do I feel like I've had a week's vacation?
Am I ready to go back to work?

No, not a bit. But all in all, we had a nice week. Couldn't have asked for better weather, really. And I was just pleased to have Barry around for a whole week. That was the icing on the was really just nice doing things together!

Enjoy the pics, and look for more later in the week!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Gold Teeth

Alright, now it really necessary to have GOLD teeth?

I just went in and sat on the couch with Barry for a minute. He was watching FOOTBALL. Yes, it's that time again! And on the TV is Barry's team, the sad, sad, BENGALS.

And they are interviewing a player named Chad Johnson.

Now, I am not disputing the fact that he may be a big deal. I don't know and I don't care. But let me just tell you that when he was talking, I could NOT stop LOOKING AT HIS TEETH! All of his front teeth were gold plated, or capped, or whatever. And I cannot, for the life of me, come up with one single good reason to do something like that. It was SO UGLY. And TRASHY. And just plain DUMB LOOKING, for lack of a better word.

Now, I know that I am maybe not up to speed on what is "in", or what is cool right now, but I'm feeling pretty confident that this is NOT it.

Seriously, now...what on earth would cause someone to think that looks good? I really need to know, because it is beyond my comprehension.

And the heavy metals that he has just introduced into his body???? (This is not a good thing, healthfully speaking, if you are not aware...)

Let's not even go there...... What a DUMB A**!!!

(Oh yeah, and Barry can NOT believe that I am actually blogging about this right now...but hey, whatever moves you! And this DID!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fear Conquered!

Yes, that's right everyone! I did it! I rode that ferris wheel and made it off alive...just barely! No, seriously...I did OK, but I will admit that I thought I was going to be sick there for a few minutes. I had to have Barry hold Noah, because I thought I might not be able to hold onto him if I froze in fear. I never thought I was afraid of heights, but now I am thinking that maybe, just maybe...I am.

But hey, I confronted my fear and am a better person for it....right? (Yeah, whatever makes me sleep better at night!) And when all is said and done, I hope that I've made an impression on Kendall. I guess we'll have to see about that!

The fair was fun, but HOT! The kids and I picked Barry up from work and headed over to secure a close parking space. Kendall was already talking about which rides she was going to ride before we even got through the gate! Her favorite was definitely the Croc Coaster...just a teeny tiny little roller coaster, but just her speed. She rode it twice. She also bounced in the Bounce House, rode the helicopter ride, and we did the Big Slide (that's MY favorite!). She begged and begged to play one of the midway games. We finally relented and she picked one (thankfully) that guaranteed a prize everytime. She won a purple stuffed snake and named him SNAKEY. Of course. What else would she name him????

We checked out the different species of fish in the conservation building.

We ate corn dogs, gyros and ice cream from the Dairy Barn.

We saw the Butter Cow and the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile.

We watched a pig race.

We saw the decked-out Percherons go trotting into the arena. Man, those horses are HUGE!

All in all, it was a really good day at the fair. And really, is ANY day at the fair NOT a good day???

Monday, August 07, 2006


So you all know who the Veggie Tales are? They are cartoons featuring talking vegetables who put on stories from the bible for kids. They are really cute, and have catchy songs!

That said, let me just tell you a story....

Kendall got her most recent Netflix selection, and it was Veggie Tales: King George and the Ducky. This is the story of King George, who felt that he was the only important person in the world, and therefore, everything he wanted should be matter what. So anyway, King George LOVES his rubber ducky...and he has an entire closet of duckies. BUT, a poor little boy in the village has a ducky that King George feels he simply MUST have! You see where this is going, don't you?

Obviously, the moral of the story is not to be selfish. And let me just add here that Kendall takes all of these little lessons to heart...and very literally. Those of you who know her well know exactly what I'm talking about! So, the other night, after watching her Veggie Tales movie, she turns off the tv, comes over to me and sits on my lap and says:


"Yes, Bug?"

"I am very ashamed of myself."


"I've been selfish towards Noah. I haven't been sharing nicely and I've been hiding my toys from him. But I'm going to be better...I'm not going to be selfish anymore!"

(Now keep in mind, she is being VERY animated while she is saying all of this...eyes big and wide, head bowed, etc.)

"Well, Kendall, I'm sure Noah would understand that you don't want him to play with ALL of your toys...some of them are breakable. But I AM proud of you for wanting to do better. And anyway, the important thing is that you two play TOGETHER!"

GEESH! Sometimes I feel like we're doing confession! But hey, at least she's still honest. But the story doesn't stop there....OH NO, IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT!

Later that night, Barry and I each received a package wrapped up in newspaper and tied with ribbon. They each had a note tied to them. When we opened them, there was a seashell in each that she had collected on our last trip to the beach. My note said:




And Barry's said the same....

Yes, folks...this is the drama we live with. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not so good. But on this day, we just smiled and thanked our lucky stars that she IS listening!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Just Another Day...

Not too much exciting is going on this week, I'm sorry to report! My van went in to have the bodywork done from when I hit that darned yellow pole, so of course, I'm happy about that. Of course, that also means that for the next week and a half I will be driving the car and Barry will be back to driving the truck. Talk about a gas-sucker! I am going to miss my Odyssey like crazy...but when I get her back, she will be all pretty again!

The Fair
The Ohio State Fair started yesterday, and Kendall is already asking every morning when we can go. She LOVES the big ferris wheel. For those of you who don't know, I HATE ferris wheels...but I am making an effort to conquer my fear in order to show Kendall that it can be done! And more importantly, that you SHOULD try to conquer your fears! So, I WILL ride that darn ferris wheel this year with a smile on my face...and fear in my heart! ;-)

Counting the Days
I am counting the days until Friday. My Mom has offered to take the kids for the weekend so I can get some deep cleaning and weeding-out done around this house. You know, the stuff you can never seem to get to when the family is all cleaning fan blades, mopping floors, dusting the log walls and woodwork, weeding out closets and storage spaces, and just general organizing. I have my list made, and it is LONG! But I am determined to get as much done as possible while the kids are out of the house. I have even tossed around the idea of throwing Barry out too....but I just may need him! So if you don't hear from me this weekend, and you usually do...just know that I am cleaning and weeding and laughing in an insane, evil laugh!

Talk to me after the weekend...I'll be feeling so much better. Free and easy, and clutter free! How I love to be organized!

I hate the news. (Sorry Missy...except for your show, of course!) The big teaser for the 11:00 news last night was the "new" fat vaccine. UGH. That's America for ya. Nothing else of any importance going on...the most riveting thing out there is our obsession with being thin, and finding the easiest way to accomplish it. I have never heard of anything so ridiculous...I couldn't even watch it just to make fun of it! How about we just stop stuffing our faces....maybe exercise a little? Or hey, maybe even eat veggies and protein instead of a bunch of crappy processed foods? Nah, that would take too much effort. Let's just go "vaccinate" ourselves instead. I can't WAIT to see what the side effects are for this little "MIRACLE"!

Christmas Shopping in August
I have officially commenced the yearly Christmas shopping extravaganza. I bought my first two gifts yesterday, and it feels good to say that I have two people done already! I figure if I stay on top of things and am able to pick up a couple of things every other week or so, things will go along quite smoothly and won't impact my checkbook quite so much in December! And believe me, that will be a GOOD thing. I hate the stress of shopping in December. I like to be finished by December 1. Let's just see if I can make it happen! I already have ideas for two more people! GO JEN!

The Garden
My garden is bumming me out a bit. I am not sure what the problem is. Last year we had cucumbers like mad. I was picking 30 in one day! This year, there are hardly any out there, and they are not green...and don't get green. They just get bigger and bigger and stay a pale green/yellow. I am going to taste one today to see if they are any good.

The zucchini look good. I am getting plenty of that. But when Kendall's friend Adam was over last week, Barry took them out to the garden to pick the veggies adn Adam accidentally pulled one of my plants right out of the ground trying to get a zucchini off. UGH. Oh well. There are plenty of others out there. It seems like they are slowing down a little though...

Our first batch of lettuce was really good. We planted romaine and buttercrunch. But after the first cutting, it never came back well. And the broccoli bolted...I didn't think it was ready to pick, but I guess it was! So, we mowed both of those down...

The tomatoes are doing well, and they taste sooo good! I have quite a few on my counter, so I think I will be making some salsa or something yummy very soon. But some questionable beetles have moved in on my Lemon Boy plants, so I may need to keep an eye on that.

And last but not least, my pumpkin plants have withered up and died. Not sure what the problem is there either. Barry and I are investigating....what a pisser! I was really looking forward to giant pumpkins!

Missing the beach
Every year at this time, we are preparing for the beach. We go with a group of our friends, get a big beach house and relax, play with the kids and eat yummy food for a whole week. I LOVE IT. I love being in close quarters with my some of my favorite friends. I love that our kids play well together. Heck, I love that WE play well together! You know, it really does take a special group of people to live in one house and get along so well for a whole week...and even have fun! But we do. And this is why I live for the week at the beach.

UNFORTUNATELY, we are not going this year. I thought I would be ok with it, but I am starting to get bummed now that it is August. We just couldn't get it pulled together. No one could commit, the weeks just weren't working out, in short, it just wasn't meant to be this year. I am holding my breath for next year. The beach is my respite. It is the time of the year where my friends are my focus. In this point of our lives where we are so busy with kids and life in general, it is a week where we can reconnect and really enjoy each other. I look forward to seeing them so much. There is no other vacation like it! Friends, food and fun....and that's it. So, Sheri, Sarah, Torben, Jon, Missy, Connor, Alicia, Chad, Ethan, Ansley, Chad, Beth, Riley.....I'm putting you on notice! I miss you all...and our time at the beach! Let's get it on the calendar for next year!

Have a good day folks!
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