Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend was so nice. Brian got home Friday afternoon and we went on our weekly date, twice a month these days. Saturday we worked around the house, dropped off ATV's at the shop, and worked more around the house.

Sunday was very relaxing. Mason was playing games in the office while the rest of us relaxed in front of the TV. It was a wonderful day. 

Carson planned FHE and he printed up an agenda. He loves organization. 

Our Ward had a breakfast and games on Memorial Day. They provided pancakes and breakfast casseroles while everyone brought muffins, fruit, donuts and other goodies. Overall it was a huge success. The Teachers did most of the cooking which turned out well. Afterwards kids played soccer, baseball, and kickball. Kickball lasted the longest. Dads started to join in on the game.

After breakfast Karlee helped me plant flowers. She sure has been a great help. I've asked her to do many things and almost always she says yes.  The beds turned out well.  Monday night we met with a former employee of Brian's. He's hoping to recruit her to go work for him at his new company. The evening was very nice. It was a wonderful weekend! 

Too Good for Drugs

CJ was chosen to read his essay for the "Too Good for Drugs" program. He was very excited to be 
chosen! All the students did a great job. They didn't seem too nervous and you could understand all that was said. 

All the essay readers received a special bag too. He got a black tee that has SWAT team on it. It was cool.

I've learned over years to make sure and take a selfie with these kids to make sure I get pictures taken with them once in a while. I'm always behind the camera. I'm more comfortable there.

Here's his whole class, 5LS.
Here's his class as babies! They are super cute!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

some good ~ some bad

Today has been a no good, terrible bad day in many ways. 

It started off well at Carson's last field day. I helped with the volleyball station. I was able to take a snapshot from across the gym of him holding the jumprope. 

In the bottom picture he's getting ready to bump the ball and he got it!

This boy has refused to get new shoes. Today the sole started coming off. He finally agreed to throw them away. It's surprising to think these are the same shoes (below). He has worn them out in every way.

Mason text me this afternoon to tell me about a test he took this week for IED. It was a test for college credit and he did well enough to get credit! Wahoo Mason!! Way to go! You're a smartie!!

Let me tell you about Karlee's crazy day. She headed to Naperville for work and stopped to get gas plus a car wash. While in the car wash it stopped! She still had soap on her car and it shut off. She didn't dare to try and drive out, not sure if that would cause a problem. She called me but there was nothing I could do. I was at field day. I told her to call the gas station and let them know. The guy that answered was surprised and said he'd be right there to help. Poor girl! She might never go to a car wash again!

So, about my crazy day. Between field day and work I had about 30 mins so I decided to go home and let the dogs out for a bit. When I got home it smelled like POOP! An overwhelming order of POOP! Stella had the runs and it was bad. I quickly sent her outside while I put her crate on the deck and her bedding in the wash. I wiped up the floor with paper towels then Lysol wipes again and again. I hosed down her crate then wiped it down. I let it sit outside to dry a bit. The house still smelled awful! 

I put her crate back in the kitchen with a blanket for her. Put the dogs back in their crates, set the alarm on the house then headed to work. The instant I clocked out of work Brian called and said the alarm company called and said the glass break in the kitchen went off and an officer had been dispatched. The company could hear the dogs barking and Brian thought Stella's barking set it off. It was true! I think she barked like crazy wanting to get outside again. More POOP! While I was cleaning it up an officer stopped by and I had to show him my ID to prove I lived here. What a day! 

I cleaned the floor and crate again, putting more bedding in the wash and this time I gave Stella a bath.  An hour later I finally sat down to eat lunch. I was beat! 

She's been fine all afternoon and evening. I took both dogs for a 3 mile walk and all was good. I went up to my room and when I came out of my room she had POOPED by my door! What is wrong with her?! She's not allowed upstairs! Is she sick? Is it anxiety? Is she losing her mind? I hope we get this figured out soon. Real soon. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

birthday boy

This dog loving boy turned 15 today! I can't believe he's that old. He is such a fun person to be around. He's probably the biggest pest in the family, besides Dad.

He loves, LOVES, to play with the dogs. He'll lay down on the floor and love on them everyday after school. He often throws toys for them, mostly to get them wound up. (Murray needed a haircut in these pictures.)

 Spring break in a gas station in Wisconsin.

A Saturday morning when he didn't want to start chores.

Karlee and Carson decorated his locker yesterday. Mason was surprised but I bet his locker buddy was even more surprised! LOL

was an early release from school so I took him out for a treat. This ice cream is the best in our town. We loved it! It was nice that it was just the two of us too. More and more I'm able to have some one on one time with my kids, except McKinzie and Bailee. I wish they lived closer. 

Originally we had decided to open presents and have cake on Friday when Brian would be home. But today when we got home from school Mason mentioned how he wished he could open presents tonight. I told him we could. That maybe we could skype Dad or record it and send it to him. He got all excited and acted like a 6 year old. It was cute. So at 3 I made a cake and while it was baking Carson and I ran out to pick up his present (and we quickly bought shoes) and was home before the cake was finished baking. (I don't think we've ever bought shoes that fast.) We wrapped presents and once Karlee got home we headed to dinner at Olive Garden. So yummy!!

On the way home we decided to stop by the library since Mason had just finished his book. They didn't have the next one but Batavia did so we headed there. By the time we got home, which was later than we expected, Brian wasn't available. I ended up recording Mason opening gifts and blowing out candles. 

He loved everything he got! Brian and I gave him a Garmin fitness watch. Bailee and Karlee gave him an Xbox controller for his PC games. Karlee gave him wireless earphones, and Carson gave him a wallet. Grandma and Grandpa gave him cash. He loved it all!!

I hope you had a wonderful day Mason. I love you more than I can express. You are fun, kind and so very smart! I'm so glad you're a member of our family! I love you!! Happy birthday!!

little brother

Richard came into town Monday for a conference. He didn't have to be to anything until today so he spent the afternoon and evening with us! It was great to see him. I picked him up around 2 then headed home. We played a few games of PIG then many games of knockout. We all had a turn winning. (Somehow the boys didn't have homework. Perfect timing.)

We ate at Portillos for dinner, which was delicious! Karlee and I had a hotdog, Mason ribs, CJ cheeseburger, and Richard the big Italian beef sandwich. Nobody went home hungry. 

Karlee wanted to make us/Richard a treat. Richard suggested chocolate chip chewies, Mom's recipe. Well...we distracted Karlee while she was making it and instead of adding baking powder she added baking soda. I know there's purpose for each of them but I was surprised with the difference it made. They've never been so brown or under cooked. It's actually very caramel tasting, not a bad thing. For as strange as it was we ate half the pan last night. Carson has had a couple pieces tonight too. Sugar and chocolate's all good. 

We headed to Richard's hotel in downtown Chicago around 9. Traffic was heavy in the city. A little crazy too but we found it. I talked with Brian on the drive home. We're both really tired of our current living arrangements. We're trying to be patient but we're not very good at it. 

I talked with Marie, our realtor, today and she suggested we "neutralize" our home. She wants me to take down the curtains in the living room, remove the rug and any blankets on chairs in the family room, and paint the kitchen. She would like the family room painted too. I'll reach out and get a few estimates on painting then we'll decide which rooms and if I'll need to do it or pay someone. Selling our house is becoming expensive. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

blossoms everywhere

Last week was absolutely wonderful! We had mid 70s and 80s and I loved it! Thursday I walked around cleaning up branches and loved seeing the lilacs blooming. They smelled so good too! I thought maybe they weren't going to bloom with it getting so late in the month. I had forgotten that Mom's never bloomed till late. They were always perfect by Memorial Day which she often took to the cemeteries. 

The hydrangeas are beginning to get their blossoms too! I'm going to have to plant more once we get to Salem. These have become a favorite! 

Epic party

Saturday Mason had his first birthday party, EVER. He's never really wanted one. He'd usually invite 2 or 3 friends over to go to a movie and hang out. But his year I was able to convince him to have a party. He had a blast! They all did!
Back row: Brian L, Mason, Adam S, Fischer L
Front row: CJ, Rachel P, Sara L, Lauren W, Natalie S

Everyone met us for an hour of jumping. Karlee then helped me get the kids over to the house where they had pizza, soda and popcorn.

While eating they watched "The Best Two Years". Most of them had never seen it. A few got bored and Fischer suggested playing pong. Then Adam suggested filling the cups with soda. These 5 played while Mason made sure they didn't make a huge mess. CJ chugged a lot and didn't feel good enough to have cake. Crazy kids! 
The three on the couch finished the movie and really enjoyed it. 
The three

These kids have so much fun together. I hope Mason will be able to stay in touch with them. There's a good chance they'll be at the same college in a few years. 

After cake they played ambush. Brian was often the last one to come out of the room. 

They were so loud! They had fun.

After church Mason told me again how much fun they had. Bishop said something to Mason about them playing pong. He might not have been pleased. Two of his kids were there. Oops! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

flowers for me

It's been a nice Mother's Day. Brian talked at church today and he did a wonderful job as usual. The YW taught the lesson in RS and it was nice to hear all their kinds words about their moms and the women in their lives.
Brian gave me roses on Friday. Then shortly after I put his in water I found Karlee's flower outside. Aren't they both beautiful!

After church Karlee, Brian and I met with Bishop to talk about Karlee going on a mission. It's getting real! She's decided to put her availability date as September 1st. Our next priority is dr appointments. 

This evening we facetimed with Grandma to wish her a Happy Mother's Day then with Bailee later in the evening. We talked with McKinzie a couple of times as well. There's lots of drama for right now. Her friends have become a pain. I hope it calms down soon. 

It's been a nice relaxing day. Brian heads off to Oregon in the morning. He won't be home till Memorial Day Weekend. It's going to be a long couple weeks.

These arrived Monday from Bailee. I love them! I miss her.

last play

Today was CJ's last performance for "Mother Goose Mystery". He was sad that it was over. They all did a great job!

Mason was able to play the violin to wake up Johnny. 
Here he is with his crush Bo Peep. He played Johnny Hubbard, Mother Hubbard's son. CJ sang and danced in this play. This character really stretched him.

Then both Karlee and Mason were mice as the cast sang "Three Blind Mice". It was fun to watching them be on stage too.

The woman who wrote the play attended the same performance as we did. She was very impressed with how well the kids did.

Haley, CJ, and Isaac at the end of the show. Haley and Isaac were reporters. Yes CJ is wearing a tiara. It was part of the show.

Johnny and Bo Peep, so cute!