Wednesday, July 25, 2012

James Goes Bowling

So yesterday the kids and I took James up to the bowling alley for a birthday party.  I thought that maybe we would stay and bowl a game or two while he was there so I made a big deal about making sure everyone had socks on - NO WAY was I paying $1 per kid for a pair of socks.  Anyway, I even stuffed a pair into Andrew's pocket because he was wearing flip flops. 

We got to the bowling alley and had to wake Peter and Andrew up.  They both fell asleep on the 5:30pm van ride over to the alley.  We unload everyone and discover that I forgot socks for myself.  Yup.

Anyway, we went inside and find James' friends and the birthday party.  It is at this point where everyone tells me that they are not planning on bowling.  The only one who wants to bowl is Jon.  So, I call Brian to let him know that we're not staying and we head out to load the van up again.

We came home and Jon played bowling on the wii.  He thinks he might want to bowl for his birthday.  We'll see if that idea still sticks next month. 

I went to pick up James when the party was over.  Apparently he almost won.  He had lots of fun and ate some pizza with his friends. 

Some really fuzzy cell phone photos. 

Today he is packing up for youth camp at church.  The camp is held locally here.  Last year he stayed in the dorms at church but they aren't open this year.  Some very good friends of ours offered their house as a sort of dorm for the kids to stay during youth camp.  They are welcoming six teenagers (in addition to their three) for five days of lodging, meals, fun, and transportation to the camp services.  Sounds like a good time.  James is pretty excited.  The kids are going to miss him but we'll get a chance to punch him in the shoulder each night at church.    :) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Well, it's been almost a week since I posted last.  It's not because of a lack of completely outrageous, funny things to talk about though.  It's mostly because I lack the time to post about them - and then I forget about them.  So I'm going to quickly post a couple of funny things before I forget about them too.

Yesterday Jon was doing homework at the table in my bedroom.  I went in to use the bathroom and he was singing the 12 Days of Christmas song. 

"Five     Hundred     Dollars!  Four hundred dollars, three hundred dollars, two hundred dollars . . ."

And you can guess the rest. 

I also noticed that he put 1000$ on his birthday list (just like that). 

It doesn't hurt to ask I guess.

Also last night I burnt dinner - a little bit.  I was making some gravy to go over turkey and rice.

Brian thought it smelled like Chinese food but it was really burnt gravy. 

Anyway, Jon and Andrew had about five servings.  Andrew heard it was burnt gravy and said

"Burnt gravy?  Yuck!  But it's pretty good."

He also asked if we could have it for breakfast.

And I'll leave you with a picture of Peter that pretty much sums up the week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Last night our family went to the annual Homeschool Recital at church.  There are several homeschooling families that get together twice a month through the school year for playing and visiting.  The kids love going and it's a great way for them to spend time with their friends.  It also gives us moms a chance to get out of the house which is pretty cool too!

This recital gives the homeschooled kids a chance to perform for eachother and the families.  The kids get access to the instruments in the bible college chapel - and some kids bring their own guitars etc.  It's usually a pretty good time.
So, the kids have been practicing for awhile now on their songs.  Unfortunately Faith had a fever all day yesterday so she decided not to sing. 

I thought I might end up staying home but at the last minute we decided to go together.  I'm glad I got to see the kids sing and their friends as well.

I snapped a couple of pictures in the driveway before we left. 

The Smith Boys - a new local band.

With Alyssa as well.  We had to wait for her to finish curling her hair so she missed out on being in the first picture.

Brian ran the video camera while wrestling with Matthew.  I was blissfully unaware of this as I was sitting off to the right and in front of him.  Ooops! 

One of the moms recorded the recital from a better vantage point so we are getting a copy of that video as well. 

But, for now, here is some of the video for you to see.

While watching the video from the recital we came across a funny video of Peter.  I had turned the display of the video camera around so he was looking at himself.  Enjoy . . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Neverending Uno

Last Saturday night Brian took Peter shopping with him.  Peter is old enough now to go out with Daddy and spend some quality time hanging out and getting some shopping done. 

The rest of the kids and I decided to play an innocent game of Uno. 

Little did we know what we were getting into. 

 There were the usual teases and jabs -

movie quotes and singing. 

Lots of laughs. 

And funny faces. 

I could not believe how this game dragged on. 

We had lots of trouble even remembering whose turn it was. 

Matthew was just a spectator.

James skipped me repeatedly.

We all lost a little patience.

Some of us got bored.
Jon had several cards in his hand and kept turning around to look behind him.  I found out that he was keeping his 'overflow' cards on the bench because they were too much for his hands. 

I asked Jon how many cards he had sitting on the bench. 

He said, "One, two, three . . . I counted seven."

We were still going.  It had to have been close to an hour by now.  I had reshuffled the deck about three times and I was pretty sure we'd still be playing next Thursday when I heard that wonderful word - "Uno!"

It came from Andrew.

I looked at him slyly and said, "Whatja got over there, Andrew?" 

He didn't want to show me.  The whole time he'd been careless about keeping his cards secret and now he won't show me his last one. 

I said, "It's okay, you can show me.  I'm going to help you win."

His face lit up and he whipped his card around to show a green reverse. 

James was next and then Andrew.  James placed a wild card and said "Blue." 

I grabbed him by the arm and said, "Say GREEN and it will all be over!  Say GREEN!"

So he changed it to green and Andrew put down his last card! 

We were all so excited that we threw Uno cards into the air and all over the table and floor. 


Full disclosure:  We weren't playing with a standard Uno deck.  We have parts of several decks all put together. This contributed to the longevity of the game because of the abundance of "draw 2" cards etc.  Next time we will try to remember to remove some of these cards.  Brian usually does this but he was out shopping with Peter and I forgot :) 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday Stuff

Yesterday I took the girls (and Matthew) shopping.  We were looking for a couple of new dresses for them to wear to the homeschool recital that is coming up this Tuesday. 

We struck out terribly. 

We spent about three hours going to about EIGHT different places and had absolutely no luck whatsoever. 

I did, however, have sore feet when we got home.

At least Matthew got a nap in.

Being 11 and 9, they are kind of in between.  We had no trouble finding dresses for little girls.  Cute summer ones and fancy ones.  Tons of them.  We also found a lot of dresses for older girls but they were too big.  If there were things in their size they were always too short or cut way to low.  Seriously. 

In summary, it's nearly impossible to find classic proper clothes for girls.  People always say how easy it is to shop for girls - but I disagree.  There will ALWAYS be classic boy's clothes available.  Pants and dress shirts/ties are not hard to find for boys.  Girls, on the other hand, are harder to shop for if you're looking for quality, modest, classic clothes. 

In the end they are going to wear something that they already had.  I was just hoping to get them something new.  It wasn't meant to be.

*end of the public service announcement*

After we returned home, we were getting ready to have lunch and Brian found this on the patio. 

Three pictures for triple ewwww!  It's hard to tell, but this bug was huge.  I would guess 3-4 inches.  *shudder*

After that we had an awesome bbq lunch of burgers and cheeseballs with watermelon as dessert.  I meant to take pictures but didn't. 

Then the girls banded together and made a snack for everyone.  It was a recipe out of Faith's new magazine.

Caramel apple cookie pizza. 

It was good! 

Stay tuned for what happened Saturday night - you won't want to miss it!

Friday, July 13, 2012



It's a big deal around here. 

The other day I was getting dinner ready.  Peter came out and said

"Whatja makin Mama?"

I hear this probably 20+ times each day.  (NOT an exaggeration)

So I said


and he said


But, I added home fries to the side and he was happy with it afterall!

I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Wednesday.

I made the dough the night before then rolled them out in the morning. 
They turned out really good. 

The three amigos are chomping at the bit.  Peter is not crying here.  He's screaming with excitement.

Here is a waffle line from a few days back.  We only have one waffle maker so it's a slow, painful wait for seconds.  You can see some of them are disgruntled.  Ha! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stray Dogs and Quesadillas

One day last week the kids alerted me to a snake on the front sidewalk.  EWW.  So I went outside to see if I could find it.  I saw it in one of the bushes by the front window.  While I was looking at it trying to scare it away, HA!, a dog came running up to me and Jon.  We quickly went inside and closed the front door. 

Then it started to thunder and rain. 

The poor dog was panting like crazy.  I stuck a bowl of water out the door.  She stayed under the entryway for a long time and put her paws up on the window to look at the kids who, of course, wanted to keep her and thought she was the best thing in the world.  No collar at all on her.  Then she left.  She was just gone. 

Oh well.  We weren't going to keep her anyway. 

We got back to our business and a few minutes later I heard, "MOM!  The dog is in the backyard!"

And she WAS!!

I checked the gate - it was shut - but a small place at the bottom where she must have squeezed through. 

So she sat there for awhile but kept trying to go behind the house where the poison ivy is.  So I snuck out onto the patio to put that chair in the gap so she wouldn't go back there. 

And that's when the trouble happened.  I couldn't get back into the house.  She was so determined to come inside with me.  It was POURING rain at this point.  She was pretty sweet and sat when I told her to and wouldn't leave my side.  I cracked the door open and told Alyssa to take Matthew.  She brought Matthew and Peter into her bedroom.  I tried to get in once more and she forced her way into the house.  Fortunately, Faith had left the storage room door open and she ran straight into there.  I tried to get her out the front of the house through the storage door but she wouldn't go.  She would only go out when I went out.  She hung by my side for several minutes and I had to distract her in order to get myself back in. 

Then she was gone for good.  Poor thing - I just cannot house a dog and search for owners.  Too bad she didn't have a collar on.

In other news . . .

James decided that he wanted to cook dinner for us one night last week.  He decided on steak quesadillas.  Umm, YES! 

Here he is cooking. 

The finished product.

It was really yummy! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 4th and James Comes Home

So, the Fourth of July was pretty low-key around here.  It usually is. 

We decided to hit up Sonic for some 1/2 price slushies in the afternoon.

So many choices . . .

We also had some BBQ brats and watermelon.  Later we took a walk around the neighborhood to look at/listen to fireworks.  This year no one was scared of the noise.  We've had some that were too scared to take the annual walk - but it was all good.  Peter was excited to see the 'fireworks on our walk at bedtime'.  I think he thought it was cool to talk a walk in the dark.  We came home and watched some fireworks displays on television.

Thursday was the day that James was coming home from camp.  He called me when he arrived back into town and we went to pick him up.

Matthew fell asleep in the van while we waited for him. 

The first sighting.

Get him! 

Matthew had a lot of fun jumping on James' luggage after we got home. 

The theme for this years' camp was One Mission One Message and was kind of a military thing. 

So they gave out uniforms to the counselors. 

He had a good time - he usually does :)  In about three weeks he will be off to Youth Camp. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chef Jon

Yesterday we were at Target picking up a few things - juice and stuff and, because it was Saturday, they had some samples out for all of the shoppers.  The parking lot seemed pretty full, but we didn't have a line at the checkout.  One of the great things about Target is that it never really seems crowded.  :)

Anyway, Jon and I sampled some pesto chicken pizza (pause for Grampa to gag).  It was very very good.  Jon ate his and then exclaimed,

"This is better than a raw egg sandwich!" 

This is funny for two reasons: 

1.  Just because it's so ridiculous.

2.  Jon has never had a raw egg sandwich so he's not really in a position to compare it. 


Jon likes to put on the little kids apron we have (I think Gramma brought it back from Europe when James was little) and pretend to be the chef at a chic restaurant.  He asks us what we would like - and you can order anything you can think of.  I often order cheesecake.  Sometimes the food is free for his family members, but mostly it comes out to be around $30 - even if it's just a cheeseburger.   

For lunch the other day Jon wanted to make his own sandwich. 

True story.

In other news . . . The kids are mostly better from their colds.  Peter coughs occassionally still.  My poison ivy is on the way out I think.  I definitely won't miss it.  It's been pretty unfun.  Also, Brian went in to the doctor for his cough and he has pneumonia - so that's not good.  He's taking it easy this weekend and hopefully will be feeling better soon.

James is at camp all week.  It's a military theme this year.  He'll be playing keyboard in the worship team and also is a counselor meaning that he's got campers to watch out for.  Monday is the 'turn around' day when the junior campers come home and the senior campers arrive so he'll get a new set of kids.  Camp is over on Thursday so the kids and I will pick him up at church.  Brian has been known in the past to meet us there to welcome our campers too :).