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!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Girl is Ten

The big surprise bathroom was a success. Since Emily films so many youtube videos, I thought it was only fitting that I filmed the reveal. You can skip the minute after I leave and when she gets to the bathroom. She was taking forever.

As soon as I woke up this morning, she was ready to open presents.  She's been wanting the download of the Minecraft game on the computer.  This envelope told her we were downloading it today!

I think she was hamming it up for the camera.

She also got some snap circuits and nice cards from her Grandparents.

Then, she spent the entire day playing Minecraft. David took them swimming too while I napped. See, Emily likes all her favorite things on her birthday which means I barely left the kitchen.

Here's her favorite dinner, roast with mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls with lots of gravy.

We say grace at dinner, but it was getting difficult before dinner. Sometimes, by the time I fix everyone's plate, they are almost done and I'm just sitting down. So, sometimes we do grace after dinner. Tonight was after. We were holding hands and Rocko came over and got right in it. The kids held his ears. It was so cute. He's a great dog.

Then, she wanted a pumpkin roll for dessert. This is by far the most time consuming, most difficult dessert out there. But, I make it for her every year. She likes nuts on her half.

The annual Dad and her picture on her birthday.

Dad smothering her with love.

And finally, a big wish.

I'm not sure what she wished for, but I wish for her another year of happiness.

We love you baby girl.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A New Grown Up Space

My girl turns 10 tomorrow!  Yes, 10!  How did that happen?  I've been telling her for some time that we will redecorate the bathroom down the hallway since I've decided it's Emily's only.  We have three bathrooms.  The boys can use another one.  She needed a space that felt more hers.  Her body is changing and although, she is still comfortable out in the open with her brothers, it's good that she have some space that is all hers. Well, hers and her Dad's since he showers in there in the morning as to not wake me up!

I've had these tropical frog decorations for over 10 years.  Funny, I hate frogs.  Tropical or otherwise.  Oh, excuse the date stamp.  I don't know how that got on there, but when I saw these pictures, it was the first thing I took care of, date stamp...off! Plus, it's off a day?

We went with an owl theme since she loves owls and even after the owl fad is over, they are so cute that I won't mind them either.  They are cute, but not too nursery like.

I printed up these pictures on the internet and then painted the matte frames pink, so they girly up the place a little.

I'm trying to keep it a surprise for tomorrow. So, I'm telling the kids I clogged the toilet and I locked the door. I need Dad's help to unclog it. I'm hoping they don't realize that I've probably used that toilet 5 times in 7 years. I never go in there really. I don't know if I can pull off the surprise until tomorrow, but at least until David comes home.

It's probably a good thing too that she never reads my blog!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bringing Home the Bacon

If you know my boys, you know they LOVE bacon. We cook an entire pack every week for waffle Sunday and they eat the entire thing. There are probably 12-15 pieces and David, Emily and I are lucky to get a piece each. Our local grocery store was doing a contest to submit your bacon art and win free bacon for a year. I noticed the entries were low, so I told Ben to come up with something. He came up with Bacon Bread Boys and even came up with the little saying. I made it into a collage and submitted it.

Fry's picked the top 15 and from there it was up to the six pictures with the most "likes" on Facebook. I solicited everyone I could think of to vote and even promoted it twice on my work's Facebook page. It worked! We came in second overall, and that means we get free bacon for a year and 2 tickets to a Coyotes game! David is excited about the Coyotes tickets. I'm excited about the bacon.

So, yea for us!!! Let's see, we can make bacon potatoes, bacon shrimp, bacon butter, bacon waffles, bacon kabobs.... We'll be like Forest Gump, but with BACON!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Staying Busy

Now that I have 7 hours a day without kids, I think I could easily get sucked back into Young and the Restless and other daytime TV.  But, the kids are starting week four of school and I have to say that I've only turned on the TV to listen to Pandora or to watch Breaking Bad reruns when I unload the dishwasher and eat lunch.  

I'm glad I have a job and it keeps me busy.  

I'm glad I can volunteer in the kids' classrooms.  Last week, I was in Ben's class and he wrote about his life.  I was dying when I got to this picture of his neighborhood.  You can tell we don't think too highly of our neighbors to the right, since Ben called them "useless neighbors".  The guy on the left is always home, has a BMW and landscapers.  I guess that makes him a lazy rich guy.   I was cracking up. 

This picture of Noah had me cracking up too.  He's a riot and so flippin' cute.  He's learning so quickly and surprising me on what he is picking up.  He's smart!

And here is how I spend about four mornings a week.  I swim 70 laps which is 1 mile.  I have to get there by 8, so I'm done by 9 when the water aerobics ladies get there.  I love it.  The first 20 laps, I think I may die.  But, then I get 30 and 40 done and I realize I'm not dying.  Then, I'm in the homestretch.  I love pushing off the wall and coasting through the blue water.

Between cleaning, work, couponing, swimming, volunteering and running errands, I feel like I don't have enough time in the day to get everything done.  But, I'm enjoying myself!