Saturday, August 30, 2008

She decided to go short

After much deliberation, Kaylee decided that the time had come to redo her look. She insisted that she was prepared to go all the way to her shoulders.

We cut off about 6" tonight and so far she's happy.

Brotherly Love

This just melted my heart when I walked in and saw Derek helping Kaylee paint her fingernails. It may have had more to do with the challenge of the project than trying to make her happy, but for whatever the reason, I was so glad to see him doing something nice for her. (Incidentally, he's mortified that I'm posting this!)
Kaylee was elated with her new French manicure! For some reason she always wants to dress up and look nice on Saturday - probably because she wears uniforms to school every week day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boy Scout Court of Honor

Last night we attended our first Stake Boy Scout Court of Honor for Derek. I suppose that after we get through scouting with all 3 boys, we'll be really tired of them! We were proud of Derek for earning several Merit Badges and his First Class Rank. I can't believe that he's almost as tall as me now!
Of course, he is still small compared to all of the other young men in our ward. Here's a group picture of the scouts in our troop. On Sunday when Derek passes the Sacrament, it's almost comical to watch him stand between the tall older boys.

A bad stick

Some of you probably know that I give plasma occasionally. I've been a blood donor since I turned 18, but I switched to plasma for a semester in college for some extra cash (you get paid for plasma donations). Recently, I noticed that there was a plasma center here in town, so I have gone occasionally - partly for a little extra money and partly because I think it's kind of cool and gives me some guilt-free reading time. For those who don't know, for plasma donation, the needle is quite a bit bigger and it stays in your arm for about an hour. During that time, blood is drawn, centrifuged to remove the plasma, and then returned to your body through the same needle. The process is repeated many times until enough plasma has been obtained. Then they pump saline into you to replace the volume that was lost. Because not all of the blood cell is used, you can donate plasma up to twice a week.
The above picture, although a terrible angle of my arm, shows what my arm usually looks like when I'm done. No big deal. In all my years of donating blood and plasma, I've always had really clean sticks - no problems. In plasma donation, though, if you get a "bad stick" (meaning the phlebotomist messed up) it can be really bad because when the blood is returned to your body, it leaks out into the surrounding tissue creating a very impressive bruise. Mine wasn't nearly that exciting. They noticed the problem and switched arms before the return cycle, but I still got a small battle wound. I know I'm crazy, but I thought it was pretty cool. Just had to share...
(The little indention is scarring from my college donations in case you're morbidly curious).

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Baby Hippogriffs"

For some reason, Brandon & Kaylee decided they were baby hippogriffs. I'm sure they got the idea from the 3rd Harry Potter movie, but I don't think they've watched it recently, so I'm not sure what brought this on. They crawl and fly around the house making some pretty hideous noises. It makes every task interesting. Brandon always wants to be referred to as whatever he is currently pretending to be, so instead of saying, "Brandon, please go make your bed," you have to say, "Baby Hippogriff, please go make your bed," in order to get results. Ah, the simple joys of childhood.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tragedy for the school

My thoughts have been occupied much of the day by the news that a teacher from the children's Elementary School was killed by her husband yesterday morning in a murder-suicide. I knew the teacher briefly because she took a few days off to volunteer at the middle school last year. Her daughter is in 7th grade classes with Derek. Another daughter is Kaylee's age. My heart goes out to those poor girls (who were home at the time of the shooting). It has really made me think about the uncertain nature of life and how thankful I am for my blessings.

Tropical Storm Fay

Just wanted to let everyone know that Fay is officially out of the picture! That means I can finally stop checking the National Hurricane Center's website every few hours. After almost a week of meandering through the State (making landfall 4 different times), it appears she will finally depart. We appreciate those who have checked up on us. We feel extremely blessed that we have experienced only minor rain and wind. The track was such that we were miraculously kept out of the heavy storm bands. We feel terrible for the devastation of those who were hit hard, but are thankful to report that all is well here!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First day of school

It finally got here! The first day of school! All of the kids were up bright and early and were very excited. (I suspect that will last about 2 days!) Kaylee had been sick most of the weekend, but she didn't want to miss the first day, so off she went.
Derek is starting 7th grade this year. His bus comes at about 6:30 in the morning and he's already starting class before 7:30. It makes for very early mornings around here!
These 3 are all in Elementary school together. Dustin is in 5th grade, Kaylee is in 2nd, and Brandon is starting Kindergarten (even though Brandon has a good inch on Kaylee now!). They can wear a red or yellow shirt with khaki or navy pants, but they thought it would be fun to match each other on the first day. Their bus arrives around 7:30 am.
Brandon was bursting with excitement to FINALLY go to school after a whole summer of waiting.
Still anxiously waiting for the bus.....
And it's here! The bus driver did a double take when she first saw the three of them. Last year it was just Kaylee who got on. I'm glad they have each other this year, though. Not a moment's hesitation from Brandon. He hopped right up. He is so ready to be a "big kid."
Plum tuckered out! I smiled when I saw Brandon sleeping with his little monkey after a long day at Kindergarten. It's bittersweet to see him growing up!

Everyone seemed to enjoy their first day. Kaylee stuck it out to the end, even though she wasn't feeling too great once the Tylenol wore off. We went to the doctor when she got home and discovered that she had an ear infection. She had Tuesday to rest up at home thanks to Tropical Storm Fay. They are all ready to get back to school tomorrow!

Has it been 13 years already??

Wow, time flies!! Yesterday we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Roger says I shouldn't post the picture from our wedding day - maybe he doesn't like the glasses? I, of course, thought he looked great! Some years we go all out and do something big to celebrate. This year we painted our room : ).
It was nice to have Roger take the day off and have the house to ourselves. We even stopped for a while and went for a nice lunch at Olive Garden. It was a great way to spend the day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A few memories from summer 2008

I'm having a terrible time determining where to start. I think I'll recap a few things from this past summer and then maybe we'll try to move forward as life happens!
This picture was taken one morning before Cub Scout day camp. Kaylee & Brandon went each day and stayed in a sibling group while Dustin attended the camp and Derek & I volunteered. We spent all day every day in the heat with lots of little boys. We were very tired by the end of the week!!

Brandon is the only child who gets to have his birthday in the summer. He was under the mistaken impression that he could start school as soon as he turned 5. We had to deal with his disappointment daily when he would ask, "Now is it school time yet?" Every time we told him that there was a lot more summer left first, he would burst into tears. You just can't convince the youngest child to enjoy not being in school!
This was Derek's first year to go to Boy Scout camp. I was pretty amazed that he could still stand up with his backpack on! Despite being sick for a few days, he seems to have enjoyed himself very much.
All of the kids took swimming lessons for a couple of weeks this summer. Kaylee was fortunate to have her friend Taylor in the same class with her. Actually, I kept Taylor every day through the summer, so Kaylee had a non-stop friend. They got along great, and Kaylee was so excited to have another girl in the house!
This was so funny. We heard through the grapevine that Chick-fil-A was celebrating "Cow Appreciation Day" on July 11th . My sister Sara was flying into town that day, so we decided to surprise her with the news that we were going to get free dinner from Chick-fil-A! The only catch was that we had to dress up like cows. Sara was ecstatic, of course (thanks for being a good sport!!). We were short on black construction paper, and I couldn't justify spending more money to save money (you know me!), so my poor children spent the entire drive to the airport coloring and cutting out black spots. Unfortunately the black didn't show up too well. Derek designed our ears and tails and we were good to go. We felt really stupid, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of people had taken the challenge. It was a hilarious memory, complete with lots of free food.
At the end of July, we went to visit my family in South Carolina. Everyone was there except for Adam's family (since Holley was due to have a baby very soon). Roger and my brother Nathan decided to be brave and take all the boys on a bike ride. Sounds like it was quite an adventure. We did an evacuation on a couple of exhausted riders, but overall I think it classified as a good experience!
These three generally stick together like glue when we go visit my family. Justin (Nathan's oldest son) is right between Derek and Dustin in age, and they love to spend time together. In this picture, we were all heading out to a nearby field to see Derek shoot off his rocket. Lots of fun, and even a little extra excitement the time the rocket got stuck on the launch pad!
Despite what it looks like, only Derek and Dustin will be playing soccer this year (Kaylee decided she didn't want to play, and we're having Brandon wait another year). Anyway, the league that we play with changed names this year, and they were unloading some old uniforms pieces for $1. We picked up a few things to practice in and when we got home, the kids decided to suit up and play a game in the backyard. They felt really professional and insisted on posing for some pictures.
Our latest attempt at pet ownership has been this lovely ball python named Houdini (don't ask how it got it's name!). Dustin was the original owner, but has since decided that he doesn't care for the grunt work involved, even though it's very minimal compared to other pets. Kaylee was heartbroken over the thought of selling the snake, so she has dutifully taken over cleaning the cage and playing with the snake. She thought it was fun to put him on her head today - go figure.

Well, that's a quick snapshot of our summer. There were a couple of beach trips, lots of swimming in the pool, and some free movies, but mostly we spent a lot of time enjoying a slightly more relaxed summer schedule. The kids would argue that their summer was terribly structured with mounds of chores, piano, reading, and 'schoolwork', but trust me, the free time far outweighed the work! Be that as it may, I think they are all excited to start another year of school. Orientation was today and now I have to get started on MY homework - filling out the piles of forms and sorting through everything the teachers gave us. I better get used to it. School starts on Monday, and I'm sure life is about to get a lot busier again!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Officially a swimmer... (sort of)

So, one of the results of this summer is that Brandon can swim!! Granted, he isn't really all that good at it, and he doesn't go very far at a time, but this is finally some real progress!! I no longer have any "babies" at my house. It's definitely a new feeling.

Here goes nothing.....

OK, fine, so I'm caving in to the pressure. I'm going to attempt to join the blogging universe. Time will tell if I'm any good at keeping up with it! Maybe my long distance friends and family can at least get a glimpse of our life this way - if they really want it!