Saturday, September 15, 2007

Laughs and Rainbows

I woke Seth up on Thursday morning for school and asked him if he had a good sleep and he replied "yes." He said to me "I had a dream."
So I asked him what he dreamt about and
he said "I was a sandwich and I was trying to get into a huge lunch bag."
So trying so hard not to laugh, I asked him "What kind of Sandwich were you?"
He said "peanut butter and jelly."
That might be one of the funniest things that Seth has ever said. So if you were ever wondering what goes through the head of a five year old...there it is!

I was typing an email a couple minutes ago and looked out the window and saw this...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to School!

We did it! We all made it through the first day of school. With minimal tears shed, on my part :). Thursday, Sept 6th was the boys first day, and today was Brooke's. First, last Thursday...The morning went off without hitch. The boys alarm went off at 7am and I was already downstairs getting breakfast ready. After a couple minutes of quiet from upstairs I went up to make sure they were awake and getting ready. (Usually that process involves a lot of noise!) I was surprised to see Seth dressed and ready waiting for McKee who was just finishing buttoning up his new school jeans. The smiles on their faces were priceless! The were so excited to start school they could barely stand it. Of course Brooke wanted to go to school too, but she still had a couple days to wait for her big day. I promised the boys I would make them waffles and bacon for breakfast the first day of school, so Brooke helped me and the kids were fed well. After breakfast we moved on to brushing teeth, and getting on new school shoes, which is almost as exciting as the first day of school. Everyone was very anxious, even mommy, so everyone put on their backpacks, even Brooke, and headed outside. We took the traditional picture of the kids in front of the Rose of Sharon bush with their backpacks on. (The Rose of Sharon is usually blooming right now and alot taller, but I think we trimmed it down too far last year, so it's growing back slowly). Grandma Simmons came over too, to see the boys off. We were happy to meet some of our neighbors too since Shandell catches the bus with Seth in the morning. Our house is the neighborhood bus stop for English Village Elementary, and McKee catches the Lakeshore bus at the corner, a couple houses down. Seth's bus comes first at about 8:15am and McKee's bus is about 8:45am. Seth gave me a big hug, and climbed on the bus like a pro. I was really good and didn't cry when he climbed on. I cried after McKee got on the bus and I got back inside the house and sat on the couch. It wasn't as bad as it could have been though! After the boys were gone, Brooke, Tyler and I headed over to my friend Lisa's house for her annual Back to School Brunch for the mom's. It was fun, and the food was delicious. She makes the best quiches. I think she gave me the recipes for them last year, I should find those...anyway, I digress.

So this morning was Brooke's turn to go to school. Our morning wasn't as smooth as the boys first day, since we were out late last night looking for a new van, the kids were up until after 9pm which is really late for them. So this morning there was a little more dragging involved with trying to get them out of bed. Brooke was up and ready with a huge smile on her face though. She was so excited to be starting school. She'll be going to preschool just 2 days a week, T/Th from 9-11:30am. She did great. Today was the orientation for about and hour, the kids got a feel for the room and got to meet the teachers, and the parents got the info for the upcoming year. The hardest part was getting Brooke to leave when it was over. On Thursday this week she'll go for 1 1/2 hours, and then next tuesday will start her normal schedule. She's super comfortable there because Seth went to the same school the last 2 years. Hopefully Tyler will be able to go there too when he's three. The program is so cute, they do the best stuff with the kids. I'm sure I'll cry on Tuesday when I drop her off and come home with just one of my 4 kids. Well, enjoy the pictures! They grow up so fast, it's so hard to believe!

This is Mrs. Marino, Brooke's teacher. She loves chocolate!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Enough is Enough

OK, I try hard not to complain too much because I don't want to be "that person." But we can only take so much. We've had the craziest time lately with stuff. I'm going to go ahead and ramble about our adventures with appliances and vehicles. Back in April our gas dryer stopped working. We were able to convince it to work on and off, here and there for a little while after it smelled like a burned engine, but it finally gave up. We were very blessed to have some friends of ours give us a new electric dryer. I guess the people they bought their house from left it behind, and they had no use for it, so they gave it to us. It's only been used for about 6 months by that previous owner. So Mike got it home and the sister missionaries helped him take it downstairs in the basement and we found that the plug was a different shape than the outlet. So we called in the pros...Bro. Schneider from church. Well, long story short, we can't plug it in down there because there's no outlet, and we can't get one without replacing our entire fuse box, which is very expensive. His advice was to sell this electric one and then get a gas dryer. So, that's our plan. Meanwhile, I've been hanging the majority of our laundry on the clothes line, and we've done a couple loads at my in-laws house, which was great. So, I actually was trying to clean our house on Wednesday since it was the day before school and we figured it would be good to have a nice clean start to the school year, and the kids could keep up with their rooms, you know the drill. Well in the middle of vacuuming Brooke's room the vacuum caught on fire! There were actual flames and everything. Fortunately I was able to act quickly and turn it off and unplug it and I brought it outside (it was raining, so I figured the water couldn't hurt). I'm not terribly sad that the vacuum is broken, it's just one more thing if you know what I mean. So here's the fun part. A couple days ago we got a flat tire on our van. We really need to have a van because with 4 kids it's really the only way we can get our whole family any where. So Mike checked out tire prices in a couple places and found out that whoever put the tires on the van the last time put the wrong ones on. So we couldn't find a place to replace the blown tire because they can't put the wrong tires on, even though the difference is minimal. The fun part of that is that we can't just fix our flat tire, now it turns into a $250 job to replace all 4 tires. The debate begins. There comes a point in the life of every vehicle when you have to decide how much money is it worth putting into it knowing it's just going to die soon. There are some other things that we know we need fixed on the van, brakes, ball joint, now tires and we're over 105k miles. Mike and I decided it's time to suck it up and buy a new van, because that front end stuff could get pretty pricey, and it's not worth it. So we put the dummy tire on the van last night and drove around to some van dealers to get an idea of what's out there. We also did some research on the Internet when we came home last night. Our big plan today was to go to some more places and compare what we've seen. Here's the fun part, we decided to take the car today so we weren't stressing the dummy tire, so we loaded up the kids in Mike's car (McKee was at his dad's house, so we were able to squeeze the other 3 into the back seat) and took off. We had a couple stops to make before we got to the first dealership, and then we were hungry and it was lunch time so we stopped at the McDonald's drive-thru. Just after we got our food we noticed that it wasn't the van in front of us that smelled like burning anti-freeze, it was us! It was confirmed by the smoke that started coming up from under the hood. Mike parked us and popped the hood and sure enough there was "stuff" spurting out from the reservoir tank. At this point Mike and I just laughed. Here we were in our crappy car looking for a new van because it just keeled over, and now the car died too! It was pretty funny. The other funny part was that before we set out, Mike actually filled the gas tank on the car, he hasn't done that in a long time because he just takes it back and forth to work. So now we have a full gas tank on a car that really shouldn't be driven because it over heats. After talking to Damon (McKee's dad) he fixes cars and is pretty good at it, we came to the conclusion that there's a good chance that it's the head gasket which is a big job and can be pretty pricey. I think the whole situation is pretty funny. What are the chances of both of our vehicles dieing in the same 2 days? So the moral of the story is...don't do laundry...don't vacuum...and don't drive around! :) I'm just joking, but it would be nice if someone told me I didn't have to clean anymore! Does anyone have any suggestions for a type of van that you like. We're not looking necessarily at a brand new off the lot van, used is fine, but we're making an investment, so we're not looking for the cheapest thing out there either. We currently have a Plymouth voyager. Anyway, that's been our fun lately. Wish us luck and maybe wish us to find some money on the sidewalk or something! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Ok, so I'm sitting at my computer at 11:11pm on a Tuesday evening and I'm trying my hardest not to cry. My first mistake is that I'm listening to country music, which always get me. Right now "My Wish" by Rascal Flats is on, I love them. My second mistake is that I'm reading random people's blogs and everyone has such awesome things going on, it makes me emotional. I just read one blog about a woman who had a baby a couple days ago, and he was in the NICU, and a friend of mine is having a baby girl soon, and her sister-in-law gave her all these clothes, and i was looking at someone's wedding pictures. And my third mistake is thinking about my children and the start of school. I don't know why it's killing me this year, but i'm so sad about my kids leaving me. McKee is getting so old, and is more than 1/2 way to his mission, and starting 5th grade. I just can't believe it! Seth is going to start school, and for as much as he's driven me crazy the last 5 years, I love him so much. I can still remember sitting there in the hospital right after he was born, just like it happened yesterday. I'm starting to get these overwhelming feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I'm sure that I didn't do enough with him before he goes off to school forever. I didn't take him to the zoo enough, or the beach or the park, I haven't read him enough stories. I didn't even nurse him long enough when he was a baby. My husband thinks I'm crazy! I'm trying to convince myself that maybe it just means that I love him alot! (It makes me feel better...a little bit) I've been trying to cram all of these fun things into the end of summer. We've really had a lot of fun. On Sunday we took a road trip to Dansville, NY to see the annual Balloon Festival. They launched about 40 hot air balloons from an airplane field. It was so beautiful, and the kids loved it! And then on Monday, Labor Day, Mike had to work all day, so I took the kids to the beach. They had so much fun, we were there for almost 3 hours! I need to make sure I take them more often, who knew they'd love it so much! A couple weeks ago we went up to Niagara Falls, they also loved that. I guess I need some advice on how to get over this emotional speed hump! I love these guys more than I could have imagined loving someone. Of course I love Mike, he's the best husband I could ever want, but the kids are a close second. I can only hope that they know and can feel how much I love them, and that someday it will be a strength to them in some way. And I hope they don't get embarrassed easily by their sobbing mother as they get on the school bus in a couple days! Brooke is starting her dance class on Monday, and preschool on Tuesday. She is looking forward to school so much that she's asking me just about every day if she has school. Tyler is turning 8 months old tomorrow already! I cannot believe how old he's getting, his little personality is coming out so much now. I love it! Before I know it he's going to be up and running around. He's eating tons of big boy food now! Ok, that's enough of my emotional instablility! :) Please enjoy the pics of our adventures from the last couple weeks!

Our Family in front of Niagara Falls

That is my kind of Hershey kiss! I love chocolate!

Dansville, NY Balloon Festival

McKee, Brooke, and Seth playing in the sand

Catching a wave!!!

Tyler is so cute! (And he wouldn't keep his hat on)
Brooke at her Dance Camp in August!