Monday, June 30, 2008

Almost ready!

Well, we're nearing time for our trip. It IS much easier to leave in the afternoon after I have had all morning and early afternoon to get my crap together! I have the car all organized and packed (and I weeded out some of the stuff Emma thought she needed to take). I hate traveling in a messy car. It just drives me nuts. I have Emma's stuff contained in a basket in the extra seat in the middle and Gage's in a basket in the back seat. Brie will get to ride on the floorboard between the front and middle rows of seats. She's happy wherever we put her, as long as she is going with us!

I got my hair chopped off today. I was lucky to get in, as the gal who cuts my hair doesn't typically work on Mondays, but due to the holiday she was at work today. I told her the only way it could be too short was that if she buzzed me bald. I certainly am close to that! My Dad always says the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is just a couple of days. That is so true. I think hair is completely overrated. It feels great even though the kids thought I looked funny when we left the salon. When we got in the car to return some library books and DVD's Emma says, "Mom, you look like some stranger driving us around!" HA HA!

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend. I may or may not get a chance to post to my blog while we're in Iowa. We'll see what happens!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Outdoor service

Today was our annual outdoor church service at Hillside park. The kids love this service because the church rents the pool for an hour after we have a potluck dinner with catered chicken. The weather was absolutely perfect for the outdoor church service, however, it made swimming just a little chilly. Only Emma and Scott were put off by the chilly water.

Since Scott stayed out of the water for a little while, he was able to get some pictures of the kids swimming. I'm not sure what Emma's doing here? Maybe checking to see if she can see out of the water with her goggles on while she's under the water?

Gage had a good time jumping off of the diving board. The kids were pretty sad that the waterslide has been removed. It apparently had lasted much longer than originally predicted, but was not longer safe. I heard someone say that they recycled some of the parts by selling them to ranchers as cattle shelters?

Gage tries doing a handstand.

Emma could not bring herself to jump off the diving board. She noticed the 12 ft sign on the side of the pool and decided it was much too deep to jump into the deep end, because the YMCA is only 10 ft. I'm pretty sure she never goes clear to the bottom, so I don't see how it would matter, but she rationalized not jumping in her head and she had to crawl back to the safety of the concrete. She desperately wanted to do it because one of the ladies had the church camera and she wanted to have her picture in some church bulletin or something of her jumping off the board, but she just couldn't do it this time!
My friend Amy stopped by to give us some hand-me-down clothes for Gage. I just love it when we get great hand-me-downs! We had a nice visit and invited her to stay for supper since her family is in Kansas harvesting winter wheat. We had fresh shrimp from the shrimp man who was in Bismarck today and it was delicious!
After supper we had to hurry to the park for our church volleyball league. We again won all 3 matches. I'm having troubles getting my serves over the net, and I assured Scott I didn't need his coaching, so maybe next time I won't be so distracted? :-)
We're heading out tomorrow on our journey to Iowa. We have some friends who live an hour east of Fargo who asked if we would be heading to Iowa for the 4th and if so, they would love to have us stop in and visit and stay the night. Since Scott has some work to do tomorrow, we decided we would leave after he gets off work and drive to Fergus Falls, MN, stay the night and then drive the rest of the way on Tuesday, instead of just driving the entire 12 hours on Tuesday. So, we'll have a few less hours to drive on Tues, so that will be nice. The kids are anxious to see everyone and Emma has already started packing her bags. I told her that I would help her tomorrow since we had most of the day to get stuff loaded. I think leaving in the afternoon is much easier than getting up at 5 or 6 am like we typically try to do. This way I should be able to sleep instead of lying awake wondering what I've forgotten to get ready!
Can't wait to see you on Tuesday Mom and Dad!!! Be ready for that beard to get shaved off Grandpa! :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Big Reveal!!!!!

I stayed up last night putting a few finishing touches on Emma's room so I could take some pictures to post the "big reveal"! It's a good thing I took the pictures last night, because we tore her room apart again to empty out the closet so we could paint it white. I don't really understand why they painted the closet? It was a fairly bright yellow which took a few coats to cover up. It did go with the wallpaper, but I think it's smarter to paint a closet neutral in color so you never have to paint it again! The closet in our bedroom was wallpapered along with the rest of the room, and I still have yet to get it painted. I started and it was such a pain, (and I was doing it alone) that I quit. Maybe getting Emma's closet painted will motivate us to get ours finished?

I added a couple of more bugs to her wall with her EMMA hooks, along with all of her purses. (As you can see, Emma has plenty of purses, so no need to ever buy another one!) :-)

Here's the bumblebee I couldn't wait to put near the head of Emma's bed, so she'll see it at night and hopefully desensitize her to bees. I wish there had been a woodtick sticker, because those seem to have her terrified more than bees right now! The snail on top of the quilt rack is pretty cute, which was Emma's idea.

Here's the dollhouse bed which is finally completed! I am glad to be finished with purple, that's for sure! When I was putting some of her things back in her room to get them out of the basement, I discovered that her toy organizer fits perfectly under her bed (without the top row of containers in place). Emma loved the idea of hanging her Webkinz out the window. "How much is that doggy in the window? Arf, arf"
Here's a closer view of Emma's play area. The white drawers contain all of her Littlest Pet shop toys and her dollhouse furniture. I do want to buy a tension rod to put up so we can hang some sort of curtain because she wants it to be a hideout as well.

We filled that bookshelf right up! The valances on the windows are just adorable. The little butterflies with ribbon are attached with safety pins (they came that way). The random butterflies and flowers are cute along the picket fence. I'm not even sure we need to paint the grass along the baseboards?

I still need to paint her letter "E" on the shelf. I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it pink or green, and then do some polka dots or something? Or, I also thought about letting Emma paint it because she has been dying to paint something and I haven't found anything yet that would be good for her to paint, if you get my point! The butterflies and flowers hung on the wall with the shelves are ceramic and are so cute. I also put a little bumblebee sticker up by the pink flower which is a little hard to see. The dragonfly is very cute too and almost looks handpainted! The little hutch that I repainted white is what my Grandpa Larsen built. It is very cute with the matching butterfly and flower knobs.

I think this still needs another coat of white paint, but I'm burned out with painting at the moment. However, if I don't get it done now, it probably won't ever get done! (The little butterfly night light to the left of the hutch was a favorite find of mine as well!) Lowe's is the place to go! :-)

I've had this birdhouse sitting in the basement for a couple of years. When a neighbor up the street moved she gave me a bunch of the stuff she didn't want anymore, and the birdhouse was one of the items. It looks cute back in the corner. (Emma didn't agree with me on that.) She says she's willing to let it stay there if we can get a real bird for it!

Here's a close up of my picket fence. I ended up painting the nail heads to make it look a little more realistic. The butterflies and flowers sure cuten it up a bit!

A little mood lighting in the corner. :-)

Here is Emma's dollhouse bookshelf that Grandpa Stephens built for her. I had to repaint the roof (it was white) because the kids had written graffiti all over it with a yellow highlighter. I really think it looks good with the green roof. I was going to repaint it white, but my friend Sherry suggested I use the green. Thanks Sherry!

The picture framed on the wall here is Emma's birth announcement cross-stitch. It never would have gotten finished if it weren't for Sherry's mother-in-law. Thanks a ton! I finally had it framed at Hobby Lobby this past winter. I wish I had framed it with a white frame now. Oh well. Emma is also not thrilled about having the books in the dollhouse. She wants to put her dollhouse furniture in it, and I told her as soon as I had the closet finished and could put her books back in the closet, we could move them out of her dollhouse.
Well, I hope this was worth the wait! :-) We are very happy with the results. Now I'm going to have to do something more in our bedroom so I can lay in there and admire the hard work.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Do any of you know what that is? I still get emails from one of the Quality Knowledge leaders from MedQuist, the transcription company that I worked for several months ago. I just haven't taken the time to email her and have her remove me from her list. She usually sends out a "word for the day", trying to teach everyone new terminology. I enjoy getting those emails. Today's word for the day was agateophobia. It means "fear of insanity". I didn't even know what the word was, but I have it. I fear that I'm going insane. Most days I think I am already there.

We nearly slept our entire morning away. Emma came upstairs this morning to ask me if I could button her top she had on that buttons at the back of her neck. I said sure, then decided I better get up to see what time it was. My clock projects the time onto the ceiling, and when it's light enough, I can no longer see the time. It was 10 o'clock! Emma asked me where Gage was, and I said, "I don't know? Probably still in bed!" He was. He woke up soon after that. Typically if I sleep that long I don't feel the best and often will wake up with a headache, but I apparently needed that sleep, as did Gage and Emma!

I worked some more on Emma's room. I am finally done painting her bed. I think she'll need to sleep in the guest room one more night just to make sure the paint is completely dry. The other morning when I woke her up I noticed there was some blue marks on the wall, so I moved the pillow and noticed she drew all over the wall in the guest room. I wasn't very happy about that, but since it is wallpaper that I want removed anyway, I didn't blow my top. I asked her why she did that and she replied, "I didn't have any paper!" UGH! As I was trying to finish a few things up in her room, I repainted the roof and trim of her dollhouse bookshelf that her Grandpa Stephens built her. Gage and Emma had written all over the top of it with a yellow highlighter. My Mom says every kid does that at some point in their life. I think she's right, although I don't remember doing it myself. I'm sure I did though.

I'm not sure what we have on tap for the weekend. Last night when I blogged I thought that today was Saturday, so I'm sure we'll have a nice long weekend because I don't know what day is what. We will be soon heading to Iowa for the 4th of July and we are getting very anxious to see everyone. The kids have grown and changed since Christmas, so it's time they get back to see everyone, before they're ready to graduate! It will be quite different when we're home this time since my Dad is retired. I'm looking forward to the fact that he will be around the entire time we're there. We're also anxious to see that Santa beard. (Beware Dad, because Gage is determined to cut it off!)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Uff dah, is it ever warm here! It has cooled off some this evening after a little rain and lightning. I don't actually know how much rain we got, as we were sitting in the hotel pool with some friends while the kids swam, and I only knew it was raining because we could see the lightning through the sky lights in the ceiling, and then there were water puddles outside when we left.

I'm trying my hardest to keep from turning the air conditioner on. So far, we've "beat the heat", but I'm not sure how much longer we can last? Scott came home from work tonight and asked if I was ready to turn it on. If I have gone all day without air, I'm not about to break down at 5pm when it's almost time to start cooling off a bit! We've had the ceiling fans running in all of the bedrooms and they have been reasonably comfortable, especially the kids' rooms downstairs. Last year we had to turn the air conditioner on in May because Branta couldn't tolerate any heat whatsoever, and once we turn it on, it's hard to turn it off, which is why I'm trying to hold out. I don't know if I've ever not ran the air conditioner before the 4th of July before? (Except of course when we lived in Bozeman where most people don't even have air conditioners.)

We had some friends in town from Bozeman last night and today. Scott's advisor and his wife and their 6-year-old daughter, Sophie, were here to check up on the research projects that are going on. We met them at their hotel last night so the kids could swim. We didn't get home until late and the kids were still swimming at 10:15 pm! Needless to say, Gage and Emma were exhausted this morning, and Gage had to get up early for his last day of Camp Edventure. We ended up not spending as much time with them today as we had planned, due to unforseen circumstances, i.e. their rental car needed to go into the shop and then around noon Sophie had an accident in the hotel pool. When she was coming down the water slide, there was a kid walking up from the bottom and she ran into him and he caused her to fall back onto the slide pretty hard and hit her head pretty good. Martha ended up taking her to the emergency room to make sure she was okay and they told her just to watch her. They later went to the zoo and the superslide and she got sick, but Martha was thinking it was more due to the heat and getting dizzy on one of the swing rides. She seemed fine tonight when we got to the pool and the kids had a great time swimming again this evening.
Gage, Emma and Sophie taking a dip in the pool.

Sophie and Emma enjoying being carted around in the pool by Jay, Sophie's Dad.

Jay and Martha had just adopted Sophie from China around the time we left Bozeman, and we first met her when Scott, Gage, Emma and I went back to Bozeman so Scott could defend his dissertation. She is a sweet little girl who is in LOVE with horses! Apparently sometimes she believes she IS a horse and will only whinny and neigh. LOL. Today when we were at the car dealership with them to get their rental car fixed, I sat in the car with Sophie and Emma while Martha went in to talk to the people. She had 4 stuffed horses (2 of them were Webkinz) and she had a stack of coloring sheets that Jay had printed off of the internet that were all of horses. I didn't even know you could find that many different pictures of horses to color!? Later in the afternoon, after Sophie got hurt and we were planning to meet up with them later to swim, the kids and I went to the basement and found 4 stuffed horses, 2 of them were the beanie babies I used to collect, to give to Sophie. She LOVED them and I was thrilled to death to get rid of 4 stuffed animals out of the basement and they went to someone who will LOVE them. I was more excited that Gage and Emma were willing to give them away. Even though they haven't played with them in FOREVER, sometimes they don't always want to give things up. They were willing and I quickly took advantage of their generosity! We got home around 9:30 tonight and I think Emma was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow! Hopefully we can have a quiet weekend and get all rested up for our trip to Iowa for the 4th of July!

P.S. I'm pretty impressed at the speed in which Kara, Katie and Jari Jo solved that math puzzle! You guys rock!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dragon's Math Super-Puzzler

Gage brought home a binder today from Camp Edventure containing some worksheets they have done in class. One of the worksheets had a math puzzle on it, and when I was looking at it and the directions, I noticed Gage had it wrong. I asked him about it and he said his teacher couldn't figure it out either. So, I gave it a try. I want YOU to give it a try and let me know how long it takes you to figure out.

First of all you'll have to follow these instructions to get the puzzle set up to even do it. (It was already set up on the worksheet, but I can't do it on here, so you'll have to follow my directions)

First, you need to make a grid that is 5x3. 5 squares horizontally across, and 3 squares down the side. (So that's 3 rows of 5 horizontal boxes) Now, in the first horizontal row (the top row) put a plus sign (+) in the second box and a minus sign (-) in the fourth box, and at the end of the row (not in the grid) write the number 9. Now, in the second row across, put a minus (-) sign in the first box, blacken out the second box, put a plus sign (+) in the third box, blacken out the fourth box and in the last box put a (+) sign. In the last (or bottom) horizontal row put a minus (-) in the second box and a plus (+) in the fourth box and at the end of the row (not in the grid) is the number 6. Now, below the grid, under the first vertical row write the number 2, under the third vertical row write a 7 and under the fifth (or last) vertical row, write the number 6. You should now have a grid that has 6 empty boxes and here are the directions for the puzzle.

Using each of the numbers 1-6 only once, fill in the blank squares so that each row and column will equal the number in the "answer" box. (The numbers 9, 6, 2, 7 and 6, which aren't inside the grid have a box around them on the worksheet, hence "answer box")

Do the puzzle before you read the rest of my blog entry.

How long did it take you to solve the problem? Did you solve it? What were your thoughts about it? Did it seem a little tough for a 7-year-old heading into the 2nd grade?

Here were my thoughts. "Why in the heck would they give this kind of puzzle to a 2nd grader?" "Is this stupid thing even solvable?" "Maybe it is misprinted, and why in the heck would they put something like this on a worksheet when it isn't even printed correctly?" "No wonder Gage couldn't figure it out!" "CRAP! I'm in trouble because I'm not even going to be able to help Gage with math homework now that he's in the 2nd grade!" (Can you see that I was just a little bit frustrated?) Then after (I'm not quite sure how long, because I didn't time myself) I'd say about 10 to 15 minutes (?) I figured it out. Here were my next thoughts. "Whew, I did it, as I'm smiling and yell out to Gage, I DID IT!" "That was kind of tough!" I asked Gage if anyone else in his class figured it out and he said they didn't. Then I thought, "Wow, that's not good if I can figure this out and his teacher can't?" "What kind of teacher is she if she can't even figure out that math problem?" "Hmmm, maybe I should hope for a different teacher next year?"

Just curious how well you all did. It's just a little bit tougher for all of you because you had to follow my instructions to build the grid before you even start trying to solve the problem. AND, if you didn't follow my directions properly, I'm quite sure it isn't solvable. However, if you followed my directions AND the puzzle directions correctly, it IS solvable. If you can't figure it out and want the answers, let me know. :-) Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mark the date on your calendars!

I woke up this morning with a bit of my headache still lingering, but I took a couple of Tylenol and went about my business and thankfully, I am migraine-free.

Gage had camp again this morning. Thursday will be his last day of camp since they went for an extended day on Monday. I am so thankful that Dustin and Colton, my nephews, are coming back with us after the 4th of July holiday to be Gage and Emma's built-in playmates! I may never let them leave!

I worked some more in Emma's room today. I think we are nearing the finish line. Last night Scott was asking me if I was going to paint any white on the bed and I told him no. He replies, "That's a lot of purple!" Yes, it IS a lot of purple! I feel like Harold and the Purple Crayon has made an appearance in Emma's room. It's more like, "Stacy and the Purple Paintbrush!" I keep thinking I can stop painting, then decide I need to do more. Today I painted the underside purple and I'm hoping I can finish up tomorrow by painting the back side of the front piece where it peaks, and on the insides of the side rails. I think that will make it look "finished". Or at least I hope it does!

I decided that I should hang the baby quilt that my Grandma Larsen made in Emma's room. Scott's Dad built me a quilt hanger many years ago and I haven't had it up on the wall since we moved here. I had to have Scott help me get the quilt into the hanger, and also to hang it on the wall. Awhile back we bought a laser level that shoots a beam across the wall to help you hang things level. We have had many arguments when it comes to hanging things on the walls because we usually end up with twice as many holes as were originally needed to hang whatever it was I wanted hung. I think we have used it when we were hanging Gage's letter hooks on his wall and also when we hung Emma's shelves on her walls (however, there are about 3 extra holes in the wall with both of those hangings). Anyway, I told Scott to get the laser level out so we could use it to hang the quilt. I was surprised that he actually found it, but when he was trying to put it on the wall, he dropped it and it broke. NICE! Well, I figured that project was finished. I didn't want to end up with 10 holes in the wall. Scott assured me he could hang this quilt hanger on the wall with only the required number of holes needed. YEAH RIGHT! That has never been done before, so I decided I was going to enjoy watching this and boy was he going to get in BIG TROUBLE when the thing wasn't hanging straight.

Check this out!

First try and it's LEVEL! There are only 2 holes in the wall! I want you all to mark this date on your calendars! Now, I will never accept anything less than perfect when it comes to hanging things on the wall!

It's just doesn't get any more level than this! Scott, "You da man!" (That's what he asked me to say to him when he finished.) I absolutely could NOT believe that he actually did it! WAY TO GO DUDE!

The quilt looks nice. It goes well with the little country-outdoor theme we have going on in the room.
I took this picture of Emma's wall hooks the other day and wanted to post this picture to show you the little detail I added tonight in the next picture.

I am supposed to wait at least 30 days to stick these stickers on the wall due to the fresh paint. Let me tell you it's just killing me to wait and there's no way I can hold off that many days! I decided to stick one on the wall tonight to see if that would ease my excitement. It didn't work. That grasshopper is so cute up there I want to put more on! I did stick a dragonfly on one of the other walls and Emma got mad at me because she wants to do it. I decided not to tell her about the grasshopper. I'm anxious to see how long it takes her to notice it up there.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Unfortunately my headache turned into a migraine. Actually, it was probably a migraine to begin with and it just got worse? I woke up with what I had gone to bed with last night and it was still about the same until 4pm when I took the kids to swimming lessons. On our way there I had so much pressure behind my left eye that it started watering like crazy. When they were done with their lessons I had to tell them to please not mess around and just get dressed, and after I had to tell them again to settle down, they straightened right up and we were able to get home safely. I had to lay down instead of trying to quickly fix something for supper because Gage had a baseball game tonight at 5:45. Needless to say I wasn't able to get anything ready. I did finally get Gage convinced to get his uniform on and be ready when Dad got home. His belt was the only thing he was lacking and I told Gage it was in his room, either in his underwear drawer, or hanging on his hooks. He said it wasn't there. Scott went to look and he also said it wasn't there and then started frantically running all over the house trying to find it and asking me where I would have put it. I told him I would have put it either in his underwear drawer or his hook. He sent the kids to the car and started getting frustrated, so I finally got up and went to Gage's room and there it was, hanging on his "G" hook, just like I said. If it had been a snake, they both would have gotten bit. UGH! What is it about males and their inability to actually "look" for something? It's like that all the time. If it doesn't jump out and grab them, then it isn't there.

My headache is still lingering, but I am up and moving around. I didn't go to the ballgame as I knew trying to keep those kids in order on the bench was NOT going to be the best thing for me to do with a splitting headache! I slept the whole time they were gone and apparently my "fill in" had a hard time keeping the kids in line. I think it's a good thing I didn't go. I hope it's better tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Quick Update

We slept in again today, but did get up in time to get ready and go to church. I don't necessarily feel better when I sleep in, so I don't know why I do it. I've had a headache most of today, but nothing debilitating yet, and I pray it doesn't get that way!

Right after we got home from church I started in again on Emma's room. It's coming right along. Our friends Juanita and Erin were out on a walk and stopped by to check it out. They thought it was looking pretty good. (Thanks for stopping by guys!) I got the picket fence done, and the boards drawn and painted that connects the fence together. I think I am going to make myself a stencil with 4 holes punched in the shape of a square and stencil on screw heads to make it look a little more realistic. Scott got the 2nd blind up and the curtain rod and valance hung. The valances are so cute. I am not yet going to post pictures, because I want to get more completed before I give the big reveal. I painted the little hutch/cabinet that my Grandpa Larsen made. I've got 2 coats of white paint on it and it may need a 3rd, unfortunately. I also got a coat of purple paint on the front, back and sides of the bed. I think the purple is going to go well the the accents on the valance and switchplate covers. I just can't wait to get it finished! I'll be working hard on it this week to get as much done as I can.

Gage has his last week of Camp Edventure this week and tomorrow and he actually goes from 8a-4p tomorrow. I will have to pick him up a little early so we can get to swimming lessons on time. It will be hard to get a bunch done during the week with all the different activities we have going on, but I'm going to do my best.

We had a volleyball game tonight and won 2 out of 3 games. We had a slow start, but finally started doing better, but they were still close games. It was definitely time to go when we finished the 3rd game as Emma was starting throwing sand at Gage and he had it all over in his hair. I have always hated sand and it drives me crazy when the kids have it in their hair.

Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Emma's room Day #2

I spent almost the whole day in Emma's room, painting white picket fence boards that I stenciled onto her wall. I knew it was going to be something I would regret starting. It's very cute; however, I have 2 coats on one wall, and I'm sorry to say they need a third coat. I have one coat on the other wall, which means 2 more coats are needed. I know what I'll be doing all day tomorrow! I'm having a hard time being patient to do the finishing touches that should be done at the END of the project, like putting on the outlet covers, switchplate covers, etc. I also had to get one of her blinds back on the window tonight so we could put up the curtain rod with the new valance I got today at my second trip to Lowe's. I'm starting to like that store!! (I'm sure they're starting to like me too!) We picked up the paint for Emma's bed and hopefully we'll get to the point tomorrow where we can start in on painting it. It's going to be purple with pink trim. Her room is going to be adorable when it's finished, and I'm going to want to just sit in there and stare at the walls when it's done. I've never done a "magazine cover" room make-over before and will probably never get to do it again!

We had some friends, Amy and Johann, over for supper this evening. We had a nice time visiting. I secretly think that was Scott's way of getting out of helping in Emma's room (even though he promised this morning that he would help me all day long), oh, and he also had some seminar thing he went to today that was kind of for work, but totally an on his own type of thing, which got him out of Emma's room for a couple of more hours. When he called home to let me know he was on his way, he apparently heard a little frustration in my voice because when he came in, he set a Starbucks frappucino in front of me while I was plugging away at the picket fence. He saved his butt there! I certainly couldn't yell at him for that!

The kids played with the neighbor kids all day. They did very well until later in the afternoon when some kind of trouble started up between Gage and Erik. Sometimes I think Gage can get too much of a good thing and get to the point where he just needs to take himself away from the situation for some quiet time. He ended up getting some quiet time, but I wish he had chosen to do it on his own! They got to bed late again due to the fact that we had company over, but since none of us woke up until 8:45 this morning, maybe they won't be too irritable tomorrow! One can only hope!

Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy in Emma's room

It was a much better day on the homefront. Gage was pretty much a zombie this morning when I woke him up around 7:15 for Camp Edventure. I could tell he was very tired, so I told him if he could just get dressed and tell me what he wanted for breakfast, I would let him sleep longer. I woke him up again about 7:40 in time for him to eat his oatmeal and brush his teeth. Then he sat with me on the couch for a few minutes before Scott took him to camp.

The in-laws left after lunch. The kids were sad to see them go. We had lunch at McDonald's and that typically helps to soften the blow. After leaving McD's we went to Lowe's which is just right up the street. I wanted to see if I could find a board that they use for picket fences to use as a stencil on Emma's wall in her room. I was so excited when a gal helped me find them, and then I found several other things like switchplate covers and outlet covers, along with wall hangings and wall stickers that will go perfectly in Emma's newly painted room................yes, you heard right, newly painted room! Can you believe I finished getting all of the wallpaper off in her room today? Man, I was never so happy. I have been wanting to get that wallpaper off those walls for almost 6 years now and never had the energy or courage to get started. I have just a bit more painting to do before the walls are completely finished. I wasn't very smart at Lowe's when I bought just one 2-inch paint brush and no roller brush. I have painted everything I've done so far with a 2-inch brush, so needless to say, it's taking me awhile. The color is Maitland blue. I remembered my friend Laura had a really nice blue color in her bathroom, so I got the color information from her and then she found that she had a 3/4 full can of it and said I could take that if I wanted. So, I was able to get some painting done and it looks SO NICE! I can't wait to get started on the picket fence. (I may be regretting that idea after I've painted a couple of them!) They're just going to be along the bottom of her 2 walls that have the ledges. Scott took a couple pictures of the bare walls while I was in the process of painting, so when I get them finished I can post some before and after pics. It would be great if all of this would get me fired up to get the rest of the wallpaper removed from the house. That would be the guest/scrapbooking room, kitchen, upstairs bathroom and hallways both upstairs and down. That's alot of wallpaper and I think anyone who puts up wallpaper should be shot down!

I best get to bed so I can get up bright and early in the morning and get the rest of Emma's room painted so we can move onto her bed and the other furniture I plan to repaint. :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What a day!

I was just going to go to bed and not post anything, but I decided I better, because I don't want anyone worrying about me and wondering if something is wrong, since I'm pretty faithful at posting each day.
We had a terrible ending to our night. Gage had a major meltdown AGAIN! I don't know what to do about them. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. He was behaving badly, or mostly just talking rudely to me yesterday and I warned him that he was not going to get to go see Kung Fu Panda. I already know the answer to my problem as I sit here and type. I should NOT HAVE LET HIM GO SEE KUNG FU PANDA. I let him go though, because Grandpa and Grandma wanted to take the kids to the movie. I told Gage, when he asked if he behaved well enough to get to go, that no, he did not, but I was going to let him go anyway. The kids went to see the movie, then they stopped at home to ask if it was okay for them to go to Target. I said it was okay. Gage and Emma came back with a toy, which is the reason they went. We went out to eat supper, then when we got home Scott told me he needed to run to Sam's Club to get some things and asked if I wanted to go. I thought, "Well, sure, I guess I can go and let the kids stay home and be with Grandma and Grandpa." I should have just stayed home. I didn't realize the kids would still be up at 9 when we got home, and not even in their pajamas. (I'm not exactly sure what time we got home, it could have been a little later). That was our fault though because we didn't ask them to get the kids ready for bed or put them to bed for that matter. To make a long story short, Gage lost control of his temper when I told him it was too late to read stories when I was putting him to bed and said and did things that he feels totally awful about now and he got a couple of spankings out of the deal. And, while all of this was going on, Emma decided to stand up in her bed and stick her head into the ceiling fan. She's going to have a pretty nice bruise on her forehead tomorrow. I said to Emma, "I'll bet you never do that again!" She assured me that she wouldn't. I know I probably shouldn't be posting this (because I'm sure Scott's parents will be reading this when they get home), but it's on my mind and this is good therapy. I just don't know what to do, I'm damned if I do, and I'm damned if I don't.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Severe weather

We had some severe weather warnings here this evening. They blew the tornado whistle here in Bismarck a few different times as there was a funnel cloud spotted near the Bismarck-Mandan area. I don't get too worked up with severe weather. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. I guess I have never had a big event that I can remember to cause me to freak out. At one point Scott told the kids about 2-3 different times that if he said it was time to go to the basement, then they needed to drop what they were doing and go, no questions asked. Well, after about the 2nd or 3rd time of telling them this, Emma started to get a little concerned. I told Scott to knock it off because he was scaring her. Emma took her blanket, a pillow, webkinz and I'm not sure what all else (she shouldn't have needed to take too much because most of her stuff is already in the basement) to the basement and just sat down there and played for awhile. I think she figured she was going to be prepared and just be down there already if Scott said the word! Scott has a tendency to get a little freaked out, although he held it together this evening, when we have severe weather. I think it's hereditary. Anyway, not too much happened. We got a little rain out of the whole thing and that's about it for us. We did move things around in the garage so Scott could get his truck in the garage in case it hailed, as they were reporting tennis ball-sized hail at one point with 70 mph winds. Thankfully we didn't get any of that.

Not too much exciting happened today. I worked some more on getting wallpaper removed in Emma's room. I'm working pretty slow at it, but I shouldn't have to go back over it at all when I'm done, I should just be able to go straight to town painting. I think we've decided on a theme for Emma's room. With her dollhouse bed, I thought it would be cute to paint some sort of outdoor theme on the walls. So I think we're going to do a powder blue base paint on the walls, and then I'm going to stencil a white picket fence around the lower part of the room on the two outside walls that have the ledge along the walls. If I can find someone who is good at drawing and painting, I might see about painting a big tree on one wall and I would like to have a few birds and maybe butterflies and dragonflies, and maybe one big bumblebee that would completely freak Emma out! HA HA! Maybe I could desensitize her to bees by painting a mural of one on her walls? That'd be plain torture on her I think?

I took these photos yesterday evening when Scott and his Dad put the bed together and I thought about not posting them yet, until the room was finished, but that might be awhile at the rate I'm going, so figured I would go ahead and put them on.

All the pieces fit in the room, now let's see if they fit in the room when assembled!

I tried getting a photo of Emma's expression when she first saw the bed. I caught it as best as I could. She is very excited about it. So excited, in fact, that she is telling EVERYONE about her new bed. I've been having talks with her about it, because I don't want it coming across that she's bragging in any way. It's hard to teach that to kids, and I keep trying to give her scenarios of how would she feel if so and so did or said this? I hope it's working!?

Emma climbs up the steps to check out her new sleeping area!

Here's her new bed! I found a picture of one like this online and Emma wanted her Grandpa S. to build it for her so she could have a bed similar to Gage's. We're going to have to figure something out with the desk part of it because I know one of the kids is going to try and stand on it and it will snap the top in two. I can already see that happening. Especially when Emma took our neighbor kids down to her room for them to check it out and they immediately all crawled up into the bed and started trying to put things into the ceiling fan. I put a stop to that when saw the wheels turning. Tonight at bedtime I heard a loud noise and it sounded like the wooden blinds in one of the kids' bedrooms fell down. After I heard it the second time, and decided it wasn't the cats, I went down to check to see what it was. Emma told me she would tell me if I promised not to get mad. I promised and she said she saw Erik putting Webkinz into the ceiling fan and she wanted to try it. Well, apparently the Webkinz were being shot into the blinds. I told her NOT to do that anymore, and she would probably ruin her Webkinz by doing that (not to mention the ceiling fan or blinds) and she assured me it was okay, because it wasn't hers that she was doing it to! UGH!

I think the little bookshelf is my favorite part of the bed.

As Emma laid awake last night unable to fall asleep, she came upstairs one time to tell me that she needed a curtain on her little window. Unfortunately, I think Emma has my problem in that her mind starts working in overdrive as soon as she lays down and is then unable to fall asleep.

We're not positive yet on what colors we plan to paint the bed, but I'm sure there will be some purple and pink pastel colors on it somewhere. In the picture I found online of this bed, it showed another double sized bed underneath in that big open space, so I think this is considered a loft bed. We don't plan to put a bed under it, however (and actually there isn't room to since the size was modified to allow room for the ceiling fan to run without decapitating our children!)

This is at least some motivation for me to get to work on getting all of the wallpaper removed. I needed a little fire lit underneath of me, so this should help.

Emma is a very lucky and fortunate little girl.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Daisy Scout Day Camp

Today Emma got to attend the Daisy Scout Day Camp that was postponed from last week due to the rain. The girls had a MUCH better time on this beautiful day than they could have had last week when it was cold and rainy! Her best buddy Jadyn attended camp with her and they had a great time, despite being separated into different groups. While the girls attended camp, Kara, Kya, Gage and I went to the zoo since we had 4 hours to kill! (Check out Kara's blog with pictures from the day camp and zoo by clicking on her link)

What cute little girls Emma and Jadyn are!

Emma, Jadyn, Kya and Gage posing for a picture. Gage wasn't too thrilled about the thought of attending a Girl Scout camp!

Emma learning the Girl Scout promise!

One of the things they got to do was make their own snacks of s'mores. They fired up this grill that is in the park and had the coals hot and then placed the aluminum foil over the top. When they were placing the s'mores on the foil, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, that's an interesting way to makes s'mores! I would have never thought of doing it like that!?"

So, now you can see they are having a bit of difficulty getting the graham cracker to lay on top of this round marshmallow. "Hmmm............maybe we should have done this differently?"

As you can see, this made quite a big mess. The chocolate melted before the marshmallows did. Even though it looks messy, the s'mores look more appealing than the rolls! :-) (Sorry, I couldn't resist, especially since I was the one with the camera!)

Emma's mouth is already watering and she can't wait to bite into this delicious looking treat!

Mmmm, Mmmmm good!

Emma's favorite part of any activity is snack time!

When we came back from the zoo and saw that the girls were making s'mores, Gage decided that maybe joining the Daisies for a little while wasn't such a bad idea! He did get Loretta to feel sorry for him enough that she let him make his own s'more. After she walked away, I was standing there helping Gage with his snack and a little bit of wind caught ahold of the aluminum foil and blew it right into me and burned my finger. I think it was the melted chocolate that actually burned my finger, not the foil.

Check out the blister on my pinkie finger knuckle! I don't think I've ever been burned badly enough to get such an awful blister, and it was at a Daisy Scout Day Camp!? I think maybe making s'mores in that manner was perhaps not the best plan? I'm just thankful it was my finger that got burned, and not a little girl's face! OUCH!

The girls also got to decorate their own flower pots and plant a flower to bring home! (As you can see by the chocolate all over Emma's face, she really enjoyed that s'more!)

Loretta came down from the district office to help out with the day camp. She had ALOT of energy and I think Emma was not quite sure about her at first!

Loretta teaching the girls another fun song.

Here's a great video that catches Loretta's energy. I've never seen anyone quite like her, and I really enjoyed her performances! :-) I wish I had just a little bit of that spunk in me!

The girls earned their first patch to put on their uniform smocks by attending day camp. Emma was very proud of her patch because she has been seeing Gage earning different patches through Cub Scouts. We lost it before we got home and searched ALL OVER the van for it. Emma kept telling me it fell on the floor and I picked it up. I couldn't remember keeping ahold of it and swore Emma had it. After she started having some serious tears over the lost patch, she found it in her shoe!? Go figure!? (I knew I gave it back to her!)

We had a great time at the zoo with Kara and Kya. Gage wanted to have his picture taken with Kya with the zoo sign. He really enjoys spending time with her, he just wishes she wasn't so shy!

I couldn't resist taking this picture of the otter at the zoo. Boy, if only I could have joined her after this long, fun day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Getting ready

Today was a pretty good day. Gage went to Camp Edventure bright and early this morning at 8 and Emma slept in a little, so I had a little bit of (much needed) quiet time! Soon after she woke up we tore into her room. I am afraid for her one day if her "hoarding" gets any worse! Man, I found stuff that has been missing FOREVER, like her CD player and all of her CD's. She had them stuffed into a little hutch that my grandpa made MANY years ago, along with tons of other stuff that has been missing. I found purses, within purses, within purses and the original purse would have stuff just crammed into it. We totally cleared out her room in preparation for her big surprise coming tomorrow (not really a surprise because she knows about it)! Her Grandpa S. made her a new "dollhouse bed" because she was upset about Gage having a new "fun" bed and she didn't. We're anxious to see it, and praying it will fit in her room! I still have all of her books which are stacked on the floor to take out, along with her dresser and bed. Other than those things, it's pretty much empty. AND once again, the basement is overloaded with STUFF! It was funny today when we were riding our bikes home from swimming lessons at the YMCA. As we were riding along the sidewalk, some older lady had her garage door opened and her car was parked in the driveway and as we rode by Emma says, "Wow! Look at that messy garage!" I about died when I rode by and saw the lady standing by her car. I hope she didn't hear Emma say that! Anyway, I hope Emma keeps that image stored in her memory bank so I can remind her what her house will look like one day if she doesn't stop all of this hoarding-pack-rat-type behavior! That lady had boxes stacked to the ceiling from the front to the back of the garage. There was just room enough for a car, and that's about it! That's about what our basement looks like, AGAIN! Hopefully when I get her room finished, we'll be able to get it organized and the basement reorganized again. I want to get the rest of her wallpaper removed from the wall before Grandpa arrives with the bed tomorrow, which means I have ALOT of work to do in there tomorrow! (I'm sure I won't be able to get that finished, but it's okay to dream!) Gage again has Camp Edventure tomorrow from 8a-12p and Emma has Daisy Day Camp from 12:30p-4:30p. I may have to stay at the park where her Day camp is, so I'm sure I won't have ALL DAY to get that done, just the morning hours when Gage is at camp. We then will have quite a bit of painting to do in her room, and most of the furniture going back into her room. I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get them!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's (Gage's?) Day

The kids were excited to get up this morning to give Scott his Father's day presents. He is the proud owner of a new hammock pillow and hammock caddy to use with his hammock in Tuttle. Gage and Emma asked Scott what he wanted to do this morning and Gage was hoping he'd pick going to the Kung Fu Panda movie. That wasn't even on the list, and Gage was quite upset about that. He had a miserable time at church and the rest of the morning for that matter. Gage wanted to know why there isn't a "Kid's Day". He doesn't quite understand that EVERY DAY is kids day! Scott decided he wanted to go to Tuttle and spend the day working on building Gage and Emma a tree house. Of course we had a big fit about going to Tuttle and by the time we were ready to go, everyone was in a tizzy AGAIN! UGH! I told Scott as we were leaving the house we were going to stop at Starbucks and I was going to get the biggest coffee they had. Well, that led us into another problem because Gage and Emma wanted something too. Scott made a deal with them and said that if they got drinks, then there would be NO MORE bad attitudes, or we would not go to Kung Fu Panda EVER, or get it on DVD when it comes out. Well, that worked until we got to Tuttle and they started fighting over who got to use the new hammock pillow. UGH!

It was quite a surprise to me when we pulled into Tuttle and there were 3 vehicles in the driveway. I looked at Scott and wondered what the heck was going on. Well, he apparently told some DU guy out of Minnesota that he could stay there and tour some donors around (also from Minnesota) the study sites near Tuttle. I was real pleased about being informed.............................(yes, that is sarcasm!) Anyway, we pulled into the driveway and found a little black lab puppy in a kennel in the garage that was covered in diarrhea and it smelled TERRIBLE. Then when we went into the house, there were 2 dogs in kennels in the laundry room and it smelled horrible in there too. We went up into the kitchen and I'm not kidding when I tell you there were 10 bottles of hard liquor sitting on the kitchen table. I walked into the living room and it was a wreck. I couldn't take any more and had to get out. I couldn't believe the place had been trashed after we worked so hard to clean it up the past couple of times we were there. The lawn needed mowing so I went out to mow the lawn and listen to my iPod and try to forget about what a mess we walked into. I only got about 1/4 of the yard mowed and ran out of gas, so couldn't finish it up since the gas containers we had were all empty. I helped Scott a little with putting boards up into the tree, and then played referee with the kids. Quite a bit later, people started showing up at the house. I'm sure they were wondering who in the heck WE were. Not too long after that the guy in charge showed up and he said, "I'm so sorry we've trashed the place, when we came in we noticed how nice and clean it was." WAS is the key word here. I'm curious to see how well they pick up after themselves. He was very nice and I'm hoping they leave it the way they found it. I would NEVER treat someone else's place like that!

When we made it back to Bismarck, Scott decided we should eat supper at Hooter's which has just been recently built here. Wonderful! We had never been to a Hooter's before and I don't plan on going back anytime soon. When we pulled into the parking lot and wasn't even half full, I decided that was a bad sign. It was quite funny when we walked in when all of the waitresses yelled, "Welcome to Hooter's!" It was even funnier when we were walking to our table and I saw the look on Emma's face when she noticed the outfits the waitresses were wearing! What a nice family restaurant! Gage had fun reading all of the signs on the walls and we had to explain a few of them to him, like why the "CAUTION: BLONDES THINKING" sign was upside-down. I can't believe people would really want to work in a place like that. The girls had skimpy tank tops on, and the girls who didn't have boobs had bras to make them look like they did, and VERY short shorts. I couldn't even look at our waitress I was so embarrassed for her. (She was blonde by the way!) I made sure to tell Emma that she was NEVER going to work at Hooter's.

Gage had a baseball game tonight and we did pretty well, despite have 4 players missing and only having 8 kids total playing. It was the late game; however, and the kids got to bed late. I'm praying for a quiet day tomorrow. We have a busy week ahead with Camp Edventure for Gage every morning, Emma has her Daisy Day Camp all afternoon on Tuesday which was rescheduled due to the rain last week and we also have swimming lessons 2 days this week, along with baseball and Scott has a busy week with work. I hope I'm able to get rested up tonight and start fresh tomorrow morning.

I called my Dad this morning to wish him a Happy Father's Day. Thankfully their basement wasn't flooded with all the rain they've had in Iowa. I was happy to hear we wouldn't need to bring floatation devices to use in the basement when we come home over the 4th of July, or that we won't be needing to pitch a tent in the backyard, although I'm sure the kids would love that! I sure hope you had a great Father's Day Dad. We love you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I can see clearly now............the dirt is gone!

I can't believe how CLEAN our windows are! I can actually see through them! Actually, it looks as if there aren't even any windows there! We'll surely have birds flying into our windows a lot now! There's something to be said for letting something get so dirty, because when you do actually clean it, it's definitely noticeable!

We started the project around 10 or so this morning and I think it was about 4 or maybe a little later when we finished. We have 15 stinking windows in this house! (I actually did not get the big picture window washed. That blind is hardly ever opened, so I don't see how dirty that window is. I think I'll tackle it tomorrow. We removed every window and had to then remove every screen to get every side of each of the pieces of glass cleaned. I think I have them figured out now, how to work them and remove them. However, I'm hoping someday we can afford to put new windows into our house. I think it would probably be amazing at how much that would cut down our energy costs! Man, we'd almost have no energy bill at all, with all the light bulbs we've changed and the new washer and dryer!! HA HA! I think the power company would have to start paying US! Wouldn't that be nice!?

The kids started out the day completely "bored" out of their minds. The neighbor kids were gone for awhile this morning. Once they returned home, things started to look up in Gage's opinion. They also got to go to the Heritage Center with them this afternoon to hear the reading of the book "Dinomummy" being read by the author. We sent some money with Gage so he could buy the book and have it signed by the author Phillip Lars Manning. They had the big ribbon cutting ceremony this morning for the new Dinomummy exhibit (I think that's what it was for) at the Heritage Center. You can read the synopsis of "Dinomummy: The Life, Death and Discovery of Dakota, a Dinosaur from Hell Creek" by clicking on the link above. It's pretty interesting. It definitely helped me to get more of the window washing done, in a quicker fashion, with the kids gone to this event.

My neck has been bothering me quite a bit for a couple of days now. I have quite a bit of tension on the back, left side of my neck that may end up causing me to make an appointment with my chiropractor, Tonya, who also happens to be a good friend of mine.

Nothing else too exciting to report, other than Gage and I just finished reading The Wind in the Door (the second book in the A Wrinkle in Time series). It was quite a bit for me to take in, so I'll be interested in hearing Gage's take on it in the morning.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Camp Edventure

Not near as much rain today, but quite windy and a bit chilly. Emma and I took a trip to the grocery store this morning while Gage was at Camp Edventure. Not too exciting, but something we desperately needed to do. Gage was sad after he got home from camp today and asked, "Mom is tomorrow a weekend day?" I replied, "Yes Gage, tomorrow is Saturday." To this Gage replies, "UGH! I want to have another camp day!" Obviously, he's enjoying camp. They had some pirate fun today and a lot of them came out of the school with fabric wrapped around their heads like a pirate bandanna and also with tattoos, eye patches, etc. They also sculpted dragon-like creatures out of some sort of clay-like stuff. I am mad at myself for pulling Gage out of the second session of camp. When we had all of the kids' activities written down on the summer calendar that Gage brought home from school, Scott flipped out because of how busy it looked and that there was no time for the kids to just do "nothing". Well, if he stayed at home with the kids on a regular basis, he would know that having "nothing" planned for the day can be much worse than having 100 things going on at the same time! They will not allow you to sign back up because there are waiting lists for kids to get into this FREE program. So, Mr. Scott better have something FUN planned for the latter part of July! :-) This year the camp is more "academic" than it has been in the past and they are focusing on reading and math (which I believe is because as a school district, we tested lower in those areas?) which I didn't know until after I had pulled Gage out of the second session of camp. If I had known that, I would have been less likely to be "pressured" into taking Gage out of the 2nd camp session. Oh well, I'll know more (or better) next year!

Scott will be getting home tonight from his trip to Nebraska. I'm hoping to get a few things done this weekend, like wash the outside windows on the front of the house. I have finally lived someplace long enough to have to worry about those kinds of things! I'm tired of walking downstairs in the morning unable to see out of the windows because the sun is trying to shine through several layers of dirt! Since I don't know how to disassemble the windows I tried washing them last year with a cleaning solution that you hook onto the garden hose and spray onto the windows, but I don't think it worked too well through the screens? I'm sure this is probably not what he planned to do for his Father's Day weekend, but something we need to do nonetheless.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Drowned rats

We had another day of rain (we broke the record with rainfall in June), thankfully it started in the afternoon, because this morning Emma and I rode our bikes to the library for Preschool Storytime. She was excited about the adventure. I had a big bag of books hanging from my neck and shoulders to return to the library, so I was very glad when we finally made it there! It went much smoother than I thought! I was a little worried, but Emma did great. She was actually a little cocky when we got there, singing and dancing around because we rode all the way to the library! It's mostly downhill all the way to the library, but there was one hill that she had a little trouble getting up, but she's been practicing standing up to get a little more weight behind her pedaling and with Mom's encouragement "You can do it Emma......pump those can do're almost there............I know you can do it..............keep going...............keep're almost to the top...........YOU MADE IT!" She was very proud of herself. Then going down was much more fun. I told her, "Yeah Emma, that's one good thing about a hill, if you have to go up, you know you'll always have to come back down!" (She wasn't thinking about our ride home; however!)
We left right after storytime, around 11:10a, because I wasn't sure how long it was going to take us to get home and we had to be at school to get Gage at 12:00. It took us much longer to get back home than it did to get there and I heard nothing but COMPLAINING the whole way home. "My legs are tired........................I can't go anymore....................Can we stop and rest?" At one point, when she was trying to get back on her bike after walking our bikes across a street, she fell on the sidewalk right onto her knees and then she started crying and I thought I was going to end up having to carry her, her bike, my bag that we reloaded with books AND walk my own bike! Thank goodness we finally made it to Gage's school, with about 30 minutes to spare. It was quite amazing at how quickly those tired legs made it down to the playground!
It started raining around 1pm I think, and boy did it come down hard. It has rained intermittently the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Of course we had a baseball game tonight, and of course it wasn't enough rain for them to cancel the game. It started raining hard soon after we started playing, so we took a break and most of the kids huddled under umbrellas, but me, who doesn't even own an umbrella (I think we've owned a few kids umbrellas, but those don't last long when they are in the possession of kids!) stood under the pine trees to get out of the rain. It did finally stop, and then restarted a couple of more times during the game. The other coach didn't want to stop the first time it started raining, he said, "Let's wait it out about 10 minutes." Then, after we're all already soaked and feeling like drowned rats, he suggested we just play 4 innings, which I said was fine, then he returned after they batted of course (we were the home team so we should have batted one more time) asking if we could just call it. I just agreed to whatever he wanted to do; however, I was willing to stand out there and finish the inning. Heck, we were soaked the way it was, what's a little more water going to hurt? The kids' shoes were covered in mud and their uniforms were very muddy. I was glad to finally get home, get the kids bathed and in their nice warm beds. Now, I need to go warm myself up as well!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Future politician?

I'm wondering if Gage is going to have a future in politics? For the past several months, campaign signs have been popping up in yards all over town. Gage immediately became interested in the whole process, wondering why the signs were in the yards, what they were running for etc, etc. Several weeks ago he noticed a "Mark Zimmerman for Park Board" sign in our Cubmaster's yard, who lives only a block and a half away, and commented on that. (Gage idolizes our cubmaster!) We told Gage what we knew about Mark Zimmerman; that he is big into Scouts and he is a very nice man. Gage instantly wanted to know how he could get a Mark Zimmerman sign in our yard. I told him he could get a sign if he donated money to Mark's campaign. I'm sure if he had had money at the time, he would have wanted to give it to him. Back in May, after we did the tree planting for Scouts, we had to stop by our cubmaster's house for something and Gage asked him where he got his Mark Zimmerman sign. Scott (the cubmaster) said, "From Mark Zimmerman of course!" Gage mentioned that he sure wished he had one, and Scott just happened to have an extra sign in his garage (he already had two out in his yard) and asked Gage if he wanted it. You should have seen the smile on Gage's face! We went home and our Scott was waiting on the front steps for us and Gage couldn't get out of the car fast enough to show Dad his new "prize"! He put it out in the yard with pride. A few weeks ago Gage told me he had a dream (no, he's not the next MLK) and in his dream he had a Paul Govig sign (running for school board I think?) and a Mark Zimmerman sign in his yard. I had to laugh at that. He's been so enthralled by it all that he was starting to dream about it!! He has even asked friends of ours who they were planning to vote for for Park Board, and mentioned that Mark Zimmerman would be a great choice! Yesterday morning my neighbor Dave gave me a call from work and asked if we still had our sign out in the yard, and I told him we did. Since yesterday was the actual election day, we were supposed to have the sign taken down (thanks for the reminder Dave!). I went outside to remove it from the yard and when Gage came home from Camp Edventure, he noticed right away that the sign was missing. I told him it was the rules that the signs had to be removed from the yard on election day. I noticed when I picked Gage up, that there were signs on the school doors telling people to "VOTE HERE". When I saw the sign I felt compelled to go in and vote, but I didn't have my ID with me and ended up blowing it off. Last night when I watched the news I had a very bad feeling when I noticed that Mark Zimmerman was 3rd in the polls (and wasn't trailing by much), but only the first 2 would win. He ended up losing the race by less than 20 votes and I feel horrible about not getting out there to vote. Scott forgot about it as well. I guess our 2 votes wouldn't have made the difference, but maybe if we had voted and encouraged a few others to get out and vote for Mark Zimmerman, he might have won. He has been president on the Park Board for a couple of years now and I feel really bad that his term has ended. I'm not sure, but I think the biggest reason he didn't prevail was because of some big issue about building a new aquatic center (which I believe he was for) in Bismarck. I gave Gage the bad news tonight and he was genuinely upset that Mark Zimmerman did not win his race. He asked, "Who won? Shawn Weeks?" (He knows each position that each person was running for, if there was a sign out and he saw it!) He said he wished he had been old enough to vote. I wish I had not blown my opportunity to vote off.

Soon we'll start seeing signs for the presidential election popping up all over the place and I already know there will be many discussions to come. After Scott went to Grand Forks to see Obama and Hillary talk, Gage has been quite interested in that whole ordeal. Both Gage and Emma are happy that Obama has been named the democratic party nominee. (I was kind of wanting to see the first woman president myself!) Anyway, don't be surprised if Gage asks you who you are going to vote for!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"I had a bad day....."

There must be a song that has the lyrics "I had a bad day..............."? One of the boys on Gage's baseball team kept singing "I had a bad day......." over and over and over AND OVER! Unfortunately the words "I had a bad day" are stuck in my head. UGH! Tonight Gage had his 3rd baseball game. Coach Scott left town today, so he missed tonight, and he will also miss Thursday night. One of the other assistant coaches that wasn't planning on being in town, was in town, so it was great that he was there to help. I had another assistant coach there, and he's great help, he just has to be told what to do. Another Dad helped out as well. So, that left me, to be the bench coach AGAIN! I told the other Dad that was sitting in the dugout with me that I thought they were driving me to want to drink adult beverages tonight!!!!!!!!!! I completely lost control at one point and they were all rolling in the grass and being loud and obnoxious. The Dad who was coaching at 3rd base came into the dugout to help me get them back in control. I was thankful for that. The amazing part to me was that there were a string of parents sitting in their lawn chairs not far from where all the action was taking place and they didn't do or say a thing. They just sat there. I'm sure at least one of their sons were involved in the chaos and they just sat there, probably watching the other Dad and I try and restore order to the dugout. Hmmm............I'm not sure I get that, because I know that if I were on the sidelines, I would at least be riding hurt on my own child! I'm not sure how many more night I can do this without committing murder? Of course, I again have no pictures because there isn't even time to think about taking pictures. We may need to change the rules, and whoever is in charge of bringing snacks for the night, is also in charge of keeping the kids on the bench that aren't batting or running the bases under control. Then, I will just sit there like a bump on a log and see how much fun they think it is!!!

Enough of that!

It was cold and dreary today. I haven't talked to my parents, but I think they are probably getting alot of the rain that is falling in the midwest. I'm betting my sister Kim, who lives in Illinois, is too. They aren't too far south of Wisconsin, so I'm betting they are seeing alot of water. I hope everyone is doing okay. We're supposed to be under thunderstorm watches for tomorrow.

Emma is signed up to attend Daisy Scout Day Camp tomorrow from 12:30-4:30 with her buddy Jadyn. I received an email tonight; however, that it may end up being postponed until a later date, due to the thunderstorm warnings they have in effect for tomorrow. She will be sad if it is postponed, but I would rather have it happen on a day that is nice and warm, and not one that is raining and muddy. We did get her a rain jacket today just in case.

We had a better night tonight, thank goodness. I believe that Gage's punishment worked last night and hopefully he won't forget it anytime soon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Give me just one more chance.........

Sounds like a country music song, which was our theme song for tonight! Gage had Camp Edventure bright and early this morning at 8 a.m. I woke him up at 7:00 in order to get him ready and he was feeling it (as were Scott and I) tonight! UGH! Scott, Gage and Emma went on a bicycle ride around the block after supper and I'm not exactly sure what happened...........I think Gage was leading and it was Emma's turn, so Scott and Emma turned around and went the other way and it completely ticked Gage off. He came home screaming and Scott came home yelling! That was enough for me! I sent Gage to his room to get his pajamas on and to get his teeth brushed and he had such a bad attitude and was hollering and yelling at me as well. I gave him one warning that if he didn't stop yelling and talking so rudely, I wasn't going to read to him tonight. Well, that was certainly below the belt in Gage's book. He started yelling at me, "OH YES YOU ARE READING TO ME!" Sorry Gage, "But oh no I'm not!" We had a similar episode the other night, and I ended up reading to him anyway. Not reading to him is also punishment on me! I decided that didn't teach him any lessons and tonight I needed to stick by my guns. It was hard, oh so hard. Once he finally calmed down and then was begging and pleading for me to read to him, and to "please just give me one more chance, please" it hurt me as much as it hurt him, but I knew I couldn't give in. I think if this happens again, and I tell him there will be no reading at bedtime, he will listen (or at least I hope so!) It was so bad at one point that Emma came up and said, "Mom, can't you just read to him?" I told her she needed to get back to her room and get to sleep. Then I hear her at Gage's doorway saying, "Gage, I will read to you if you want me to." Boy did that sound sweet. However, Emma can't read!! I sent Scott down to lay with him for awhile to get him to sleep, and after several minutes the arguing started up again. I guess if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. I ended up laying with him and gently explained to him why I couldn't read to him, and did the "shhhhhhh.....................shhhhhhhh" that only a Mom can do. He finally rolled over and went to sleep. Thank the Lord! I'm praying for a better day tomorrow. We have Camp Edventure early in the morning, then he has a baseball game tomorrow night, and Scott leaves town for the rest of the week. Pray for us.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Emma's Spring Dance Recital

This afternoon was Emma's spring dance recital. Her group was dressed up like kitties and they danced to the tune of "Polly Put The Kettle On". She did a great job. I'm making my second attempt at uploading the video. The first time it didn't work, and I'm afraid it's because the video was too long. Scott took the video for me, and I failed to tell him it needed to be fairly short.

Here's Emma before makeup!

Emma getting her pink nose. (It's a good thing they had makeup there for the girls, because as I've mentioned in the past, we don't have a single container of makeup in this house!)

Emma now getting her whiskers! Meow!

What a cute kitty!

The side view showing Emma's pretty purple tail!

What a cutie patootie!

Now we just have to wait until showtime!

Coloring was a great way to occupy the girls' time while we waited for the show to begin!

After the show we hung around a few minutes and had some cookies and lemonade and then came home to relax a few hours before volleyball.

Tonight we had our first church league volleyball game. (Last week was rained out) We kicked major BUTT! We have some younger girls (3 of them are sisters) on our team this year who are pretty darned good. I don't know them very well, but I think I've heard they are (and were) really good basketball players at BHS. We have done pretty well the past couple of years, but this year we will definitely be the team to beat! These first games are preliminary games to determine the playing level of each team and to separate them accordingly. In the past we have been scrambling to have enough to play and tonight we had 3 men there along with 7 women. The only bad part about that is that you have to wait forever to rotate back in to play. The second game we unknowingly broke some rules, as we decided to rotate after each serve, which definitely helped the speed in which you got back into the game, but we didn't realize you have to rotate men for men and women for women. Oops! We were unaware of those rules, as it has never been a problem with having too many people before! That's a good problem to have! Due to some of Gage's baseball games falling on Sunday evenings, however, there will be times that we are unable to play (next week will be one of those times, unfortunately). Gage and Emma had a good time as well. The younger girls were giving them some attention when they weren't playing, and that's always a bonus in their eyes!

After the game, Gage and Emma were showing us how they liked to swing on the branches of one of the willow trees in the park. I told them many times before we started playing not to do that because they were going to get hurt. Well, you know them, they have to learn the hard way. On one of Emma's swings, her hands slid down the branch, taking off all of the leaves causing her to fall and she scraped her lower back pretty good on the sidewalk. She hopped right up and I could tell it hurt, but she didn't want anyone to see that it hurt. It wasn't until we got home and she saw the scraped area that she started crying. She said she would never swing on those willow trees again. I guess we're lucky it wasn't a broken arm that taught the lesson!