Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our July Vacation

I'm slow in posting this... I still don't think I've caught up from the last couple of weeks!

The week of July 13th was VBS week. The kids had a blast at camp, which was the whole point. As usual, they loved the counselors from Luther Park (and there were 2 boys again, which I think is great!). Erin really liked the girl, Emma, which I knew she would...Emma was just an older Erin! And Alana bonded with Eric, who just this summer was called to the Seminary...I think he reminded Alana of Tony. I'll get pics posted asap for VBS.

On Friday after VBS, we headed up to Mom & Dad's for our long-weekend vacation. We had a great time, but it was good to come home. That's the point, right? The girls didn't even complain about any of Grandma's funky/healthy food! Whoo hoo! And we got to see Easton & Avery!

A rare smile from Alana...playing card game with Erin & Grampa....
Erin outfished her dad again, I think. It's definately in her blood....

When Alana puts down her book, and takes time out from lakehome gazing, she can catch them, too! Wanna know how you can toast marshmallows without getting any pesky smoke in your eyes? Just ask Erin......
Grampa & Avery at the little beach we visited on our final morning...

Grandma & Easton. Yes, he is trying to eat her arm. You think he got that big on breastmilk alone????
Alana & Easton. She loves to hold him...til he cries....
Ah, yes. The "orange-smile face". Introduced to the innocent Avery by her cousins. Way to go girls!

Simply adorable...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Monday!

Our church won the mid-season church league tourny yesterday! I'm totally blown away at how well everyone played...especially the young kids. Now, we won our first game, but haven't won one since, so being undefeated in this tourny is both surprising and much-needed inspiration. We all had so much fun! It was VERY windy (which may have helped us, actually). I love seeing the young kids play. Church league crosses age, size, and societal boarders and is so awesome to watch!
Also, I was thinking last night about how perfect it is to watch Barry and Tony play ball together. They've hunted, fished and golfed together...softball is, I think, the last shared passion to be bridged. Very fun to watch...and to listen to them rehash the game afterwards! :)

Saturday we ventured a bit up north to Long and Sand lakes. It turned out to be a very windy day, so fishing wasn't great. Erin caught the only fish! She's certainly giving Daddy a run for his money on being the family "fisherman"! We did spend a couple of hours at the county park on Long Lake...the kids enjoyed their beach time a lot.
Overall, it was a great summer day. Exhausting, but lots of fun!

Today is the first day of VBS. Technically, that would make it my one and only week of vacation (without kids). :) I may have to take a couple of days off of work, too, just to double my enjoyment! We sang camp songs at church yesterday to kick off VBS week. It was awesome! And a reminder that some day I need to start on my dream of learning to play praise guitar.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekly Recap

Yep, it's stormy here. Very humid. In fact, the weather dudes called it "tropical". I don't like "tropical"...unless, of course, I'm on a white sand beach with my feet in blue water. But here in good ole' Wisconsin, I'll just stay in my A/C, thank you. But I do love the storms. For those of you who know me well, know that if I could be anyone, I may choose to be Helen Hunt in "Twister". I love storms. Not as much now that I have kids, but I still like them.

It was hot again on soccer night, but it turned out to be cooler than last week. Erin's team won again (they're undefeated...knock on wood) and Alana's team did NOT lose! Yeah! They tied, but that's better than another loss. Both girls play awesome!

Tomorrow (Saturday) we're planning a day on the lake. I'm not sure where exactly we're going, but Barry's had his little lake map book out all week planning. :) The day we spent on the boat in Spooner went very well with the girls, so I'm hoping it's a good day. I had to pat myself on the back when I overheard the girls planning which books they were taking to read in the boat. :) They'll fish, read, color, look at houses, eat, eat, swim..... Just like I used to do as a kid...and still do. Barry will fish...and swim when he's hot...and eat when the fish aren't biting. The weather is supposed to be perfect. It's just too bad we have to go so far to get on a lake...and use so much gas. Oh well, maybe someday we'll be able to move north.
Monday VBS starts...hopefully. We've had a problem with getting attendance, so I'm hoping we don't have to cancel it. It just makes me sad. VBS is such a great opportunity to bring kids to God and his church. And how awesome to have the teenage counselors as "cool" role models for the kids to look up to. And don't forget the music! I still haven't sat down to teach myself praise guitar...one of my goals this summer. Maybe I'll be inspired by VBS.....
I'm looking forward to a little break from the kids. Don't get me wrong, I love being with them (obviously, or I could never homeschool!) but I think a little break will do us all good! I might even take a couple days off of work for "ME" days!!!
Have a good weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

Yes, I know....I'm a few days behind. I took the weekend off! :)

I managed to find some time to scrap....much needed I might add. I sure feel like I'm getting slower. Tony says I'm getting more "precise". This from a boy who knows on which side his bread is buttered! :)

We had a good Fourth. We traveled far...across our backyard...to Rick & Lori's for some conversation, games and food. It was good for the girls to see their cousins, Riley and Maddy. We had a great, relaxing time. We had planned to watch the fireworks from our deck again, but we found that we had a great view right where we were, on Bloom's patio.

Saturday, Barry worked, Tony didn't get off the couch, and I scrapped. Not too productive. Barry suggested trying the new (only) Chinese place in town for dinner (I know...Barry?) so we did. It was good...we were stuffed. The girls basically just ate shrimp. Typical.
Sunday the boys went golfing in the morning, I scrapped, and at about 3, we all rode over to the ball field to practice. Because of confirmation camp, we weren't sure our church team would have enough players without Kari and I playing. Not one to want to make a dork out of myself, I wanted to swing the bat a few times. Well, I did....and then I hit a bunch to Tony so he could practice....and then I caught a few so Barry could practice. Did I mention it was VERY hot, VERY humid, and the stinkin gnats were eating me alive?
My left hand looks horid. I have a huge bruise/broken blood vessel on my thumb (not that that's important or anything!) I'd put a picture of it here, but figured it would never look as bad on film as it does in real life, so then I'd never get any pity! We never did have to play...which was good, I guess. So my soreness and pain today were pointless, except to prove to myself how old and out of shape I am. Thanks.
Anyway, back to the grindstone this week. And summer's half gone. Wow.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy July!

Jeesh! I can't believe the summer's half over! Wow!

I received a card from my Grandma Dee (Hi Grandma!) saying that she liked my blog. I just think it's cool that she knows what a blog is! :)

Ok, what else is new?

The boys are playing on the church softball team on Sunday nights. They won their first game, but have lost the last 2. It's ok though. I get to sit and chat with my friend Kari while we watch the boys. The girls play with Kari's girls (Claire, Erin's best friend, and Ella) at the park. And the boys get to relive their "glory days". We feel less bad about losing knowing that while some other teams have "ringers" and lots of kids that are Tony's age playing, we play several (all who come) young high school and confirmation kids. It's really about the kids...not winning.

After 3 games, Erin's soccer team is undefeated...and Alana's poor team has yet to win. But they're both playing very well...and Alana's team actually scored a couple of goals this week! It's fun to watch both of them, because thanks to all of their "sports experience" with big Bro, they both really know how to play and where to be. They're different players, with their own strengths. What's great is that, although, competitive, they're both compassionate. Little kids fall down a lot, and whenever one goes down, my girls are always there to make sure they're ok. Love 'um!

After taking last week off of school (between working in the morning and swimming lessons, I just couldn't do it!) we're back to the books this week. Some may think I'm extra mean for schooling in the summer (even if it's a pared down version) but I have several reasons for doing it.
1. Because we started homeschooling in January, we're only half-way through some of their books, and I don't want to miss anything. And it would be nice to start off fresh in a new level in the fall.
2. I'm beginning a new program in the fall...the Classical Education model...and I want to be sure we're ready for it.
3. Kids get rusty over the summer when they do nothing. The public schools spend weeks just reviewing what was forgotten. I'd rather not waste our time.
4. I like the kids having their routine. It gives them something to do while I'm working in the am, and it keeps them from getting as bored.

I just realized earlier this week that my girls had no idea what the Fourth of July was all about! Gasp! What kind of an American am I??? So, I'm all stocked up on books and movies about the Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, etc. So, hopefully, by tomorrow night, those fireworks will have a whole new meaning for them. And maybe me, too.

Barry's in Eau Claire now getting our car fixed and getting groceries. The fan in the car pooped out on us earlier this summer. No A/C. For those of you who know me well, this is obviously unacceptable. :) And yes, my dear hubby does most of our grocery shopping. He does this because a) he gets bored at home and this gives him an excuse to make a trip to EC, b) this allows me to not lose any work hours, and c) we spend less this way, because I grab all of the "extras". :) Of course, I still have to make up the list, and I get a minimum of 5 phone calls from Target because he can't find something.

Well, I hope everyone has a great 4th! We'll be just chilling out, grilling out for dinner with Barry's family, and then watching the fireworks from our deck like last year. It was really convenient...less bugs, comforts of home, and the girls fell asleep before it was done in Daddy and Tony's lap! :)