Saturday, December 5, 2009

My mini-Dave


Mini-Dave, aka Alex, made another step today in his progression toward becoming his father - he ran through very cold temperatures, rain and snow to finish his first 5K. He did amazingly well and pushed himself to the end to finish in 28:52. We were so proud of him. He was the youngest person in the field of 103 and finished 63rd overall.

This was a spur of the moment race. We kept meaning to train for it and prepare, but we just got busy. Then, the weather prediction was horrible. But, Dave made us get up and head over there. We got there just as the 1-mile fun run was beginning. The other kids, including Rachel's friend, decided to go for the run. Dave ran with Matthew, who did quite well running the entire way. It was surprisingly enjoyable given how cold and yucky the weather was. To reward all the runners, we headed to IHOP for a nice breakfast.

Matthew was so proud of himself and happily displays his medal!

Waiting for the Daves in the snow!

Friday, December 4, 2009

See, my boys really don't need toys...

Once again, my boys were found entertaining themselves with only imaginations (and all my linens). I heard squeals of laughter and calls for "Mommy". I knew something was up. At first, I was annoyed, but they were so cute and proud of themselves that I knew I needed to grab the camera.

The mess - luckily for them, cleaning the closet had been on my list of things to do. So, I just used the next 30 minutes to put everything back in order.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mr. Independent

Ok, most of you usually hear me "discuss" my struggles with Matthew. He is a challenge because he is super-independent and super-opinionated. That is just not an easy combination for a parent to deal with, especially from the 4th child. He doesn't like to go with the flow. He wants to be in charge and do his own thing.

But, today, I took a moment to see those traits in all their glory. He wanted to button his pants, but after unsuccessfully trying and trying, he requested his church shirt (aka button down shirt) that he could button. He spent literally 20 minutes working on those buttons and wanted no help from me. Then, he unbuttoned to try it again! I know that determination like that will come in very handy as he gets older and I realize that his personality may mean big things for him in his life. So, while he is a challenging 3-year old at times, today I let myself enjoy and reflect on the future fruits of my labor. I was just thankful we had nowhere to be!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why my boys don't need toys

Too wet to go outside - pillow football!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How to entertain a boy for hours...

buy a big pile of dirt!

3 days of digging up grass and spreading mulch was just pure fun for Matthew. He kept telling me when needed to go work on the mulch. I wish I could just buy a big pile to permanently leave in the backyard!

I guess that all that work really wore out Zack, though. He fell fast asleep watching Dave play Monkey Island, even with a lollipop in his mouth.

Friday, October 30, 2009

From the mouth of babes

I have to say that absolutely adore my Zack. He has such a sweet little heart. He is so sensitive and gets so worried about being away from me. He asked me tonight if he was going to be living in a different house when he was 21. I said "yes" (here's hoping, right?). He asked me (with the saddest expression on his face) if I was going to get rid of my kids now and get new kids. Of course, I explained that I wasn't going to and that he would always be my son. I reminded him that I still talk to and see Grammy even though we don't live together. He told me that I can't ever change my phone number because then he might not remember it. It's just one of those times that you want to hug them stronger and more deeply than possible. If you have kids, you understand that feeling.

Zack just has a wonderful soul. I love him dearly. In talking about death (which really comes up an unnatural amount in my family), Zack has proclaimed that he wants to die with me because he doesn't ever want to be without me. I think this was actually expressed that he wants me to die with him because even in heaven, he would be too sad without me. How can you not love that?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge

The kids had a day off from school, so we headed to Great Wolf Lodge thanks to and with Grammy and Papa. We had a great time. Dave made sure that we took full advantage of the time we were allowed to be there. We all came home exhausted. I guess that's a sign of a great mini-vacation.

They had a little trick-or-treat trail. In retrospect, we probably should have skipped this, but the kids enjoyed putting on their Halloween costumes early.
We played a LOT of Magiquest. We've played a few time in Myrtle. It's a different experience there. We like it better there, but you have to pay for time and sometimes stuff is hard to find or it is crowded so you have to wait. At Great Wolf, you can play as much as you want for 4 days, and it's simple to find everything. Not as much fun in the hunt, but you're able to get through a lot more. All the kids became Master Magi, and we were finally able to beat the Dragon (a few times even).

The kids really enjoyed the waterpark as well. Everyone was brave (except maybe Grammy). Matthew's favorite was the tunnel slide once it got dark. Dave said you couldn't see a thing in there.

Dave tries out the surfing. He, Alex and Rachel all said that it was hard and a little painful.

The big bucket of water was a favorite among many of us. Everyone crowds around as the warning bell chimes.

Papa gave us a nice laugh when he donned Rachel's wig. We decided he would not make a pretty woman.

Thanks Grammy and Papa. We all enjoyed it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My new hobby

I'm creating a flower bed all around our deck using the lasagna method. Basically, you just create your own compost with layer upon layer of yard waste. As it sits through the winter, it breaks down to kill the grass and provide soil perfect for planting. I hope it works because it is taking up a lot of time. The problem is...the space is enormous, and I don't have enough yard waste from just our own yard work. I've tried to put the word out that I need yard waste, but in the end, I have had to resort to dumpster diving, of sorts. I head out on the night before trash day to see what I can find. I load up the car with bags of leaves or cut grass. I try to go in the dark to avoid being seen going through people's garbage, but occasionally I get noticed - no questions yet. Last night, I hit the motherload, so I filled the car to capacity with all this "trash". I'm hoping that I am now done.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Belly Laughs

Here I captured one of my favorite things about toddlers - that beautiful belly laugh. Mia (one of the triplets) is laughing hysterically at Karla's mom. It's so easy and fun to get a 1-year old to laugh!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rides, rides, rides

This weekend we met the Lauderdales at Kings Dominion for a great day of rides. The weather could not have been more perfect. This year all of our boys had moved up a level on the height charts for the rides. I wasn't sure how it would go, but they were all very brave and had a great time.

Alex was tall enough for the big rides. He couldn't quite psych himself up for the Drop Tower or the upside down roller coaster, but he tackled and loved the big wooden roller coasters, voting The Grizzly his favorite ride of the day.

Zack was a little frightened at the first ride of the day, but he went on it (below), and loved everything he was tall enough for after that. I have to say that I was completely shocked.

Matthew got very angry with me a few times during the day because he wasn't tall enough for something. He is a daredevil like his sister and wants the biggest ride possible. He rode the Scooby-Doo Roller Coaster for the first, second and third times and loved it! He's told everyone we've seen about it since then.

Matthew and Lauren getting warmed up for the Scooby-Doo

All of the kids, Tara's included, were so brave. We didn't have a single kid that was upset with the rides. Even Sean screamed and held on tight when Tara tried to take him off the ride when it was over.

I see many more amusement park trips in our future. Of course, for me, I've decided I must be too old for Kings Dominion. All these rides that I loved as a kid were too rough and made me sick to my stomach. When did this happen?

Surprisingly Matthew was a safe driver. He drove all around avoiding all the other kids.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Family Picture

We had a free photo session for our church bulletin. You never know how it will go, but surprisingly, the kids were cooperative. The lady actually commented that they should be models because they were full of smiles.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Big Day

School has once again begun! Zack starts Kindergarten this year. He was a little apprehensive, but he came home excited about it. So, hopefully we'll have a good year!

My cute little 2nd grader. This is a big year for him because he will celebrate his First Communion in the spring.

4th grade - I can't believe it! Rachel got separated from most of her friends, so I think she was a little nervous about starting school. But, her class is apparently 2/3 girls, so I'm guessing she'll have many opportunities to make some new ones.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Put Mitten's tail in my ear, Daddy"

Reference: Matthew's comment in our Christmas 2008 DVD, "Put Bunny in my ear, Daddy"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A photographer in the making?

I found these pictures (along with about 20 others) when I uploaded my pics on the camera. Obviously, someone got a hold of my camera. Who could it be?

Not Alex

Not Zack

Ahhh, the culprit turned the camera on himself. Who could've guessed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun at the Fair!

Ever since I was young, going to the County Fair has been an (almost) yearly event. As a teenager (from the hicks of Halifax) it was actually a big date night. As we've continued this tradition with our kids, we've had both good and bad trips to the fair. This year we got it right, though. I got advanced tickets for a very good price, we got there when it first opened so we were done by 7:30, and all the kids were really into it. It was really fun. The only bad part was that Rachel was walking around with her friend's family for most of the night, but I'm sure she enjoyed that.

I'm pretty sure Matthew will be a roller coaster rider. He loved everything and wanted to ride all the big rides. He got very upset when he wasn't quite tall enough for something.

Chillin' out on the slow ride.

Hmmm, how can I make these more interesting....put my hands up!

That's more like it! Love the scrambler!

Alex was a little nervous about the roller coaster, but then he got on it and loved it. I was happy that we didn't have to bribe him to get on it. He was getting on it because we're going to Kings Dominion in a few weeks and I want him to ride some of the much bigger ones there.

Even Zack was brave yesterday. He rode the Hurricane (boats on an arm that go up and around fast) a couple times. I think he just wanted to be with his big brother. They're doing a sports camp together this week and have gotten into Bakugan, both of which seemed to have bonded them together over the past couple weeks. It's been very nice to see.

This pictures took about 10 tries to get. I was passing them on the ride and had to time it perfectly.

Going round and round has never been my strong suit. Dave has pretty much had to be the man for that job. But, yesterday, I think he had his fill. He looked a little green at the idea of going on another one of those rides that twirls. But, up until that point, he did his best to provide a few good spins and laughs for the boys. They really loved the Tilt-a-whirl with him.

Rachel has always loved the rides. The bigger, the better for her. The fair is just a teaser for her, so thank goodness, she's got the Dominator coming up in a few weeks. That should satisfy her hunger for speed!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Zachary!

Today, little Zack turns 12! According to him, that is. He was so pleased with himself for trying to trick his Aunt Alice about being 12 today, not 5. He really is my sweetheart. He loves to be hugged and kissed and is always willing to give them out - sometimes a little too much with his cousins. : ) I just love his smile and the enthusiasm he brings to everything. He has very strong emotions about things. He will get so excited about the smallest thing. Just finding out we're having mac and cheese for dinner sends Zack running around excitedly and have him running toward me with kisses and "thank you"s. But he also gets very upset about the slightest wrong and will let out a horrible squeal if someone just grabs the cup he wanted to drink out of it. Those screams can wear on you, but you can always count on Zack to make you smile!

He has had a full birthday. We went to pick out his cake for his small party at ChuckECheese later this week. Then, we ate Lunchables before heading to Cupcake Heaven to pick out a cupcake. He noticed the ice cream cooler and wanted an ice cream sandwich instead. While I could have gone to 7-11 for that, how could I say no to the birthday boy. Then, we headed to bowling for a marathon bowling afternoon. The kids and I all bowled 3 games each, and then Zack and Alex bowled an extra one together. It was just going so smoothly with all the kids and everyone was having such a good time.

We went to Red Robin for dinner where he was very excited about getting sung to for his birthday. But, when they got there, he got very shy (very Zack) and wouldn't really look at them. It was so cute!
I love birthdays, and I hope we made this one special for my very special little boy!

I have not figured out how this kid gets so dirty. This is shirt #2 for the day.

Aunt Jamie gave him a volcano kit for his birthday. We had a good time putting this together and erupting it.