Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is with my kids? On any beautiful day I have to kick them out of the house to play outside. This past weekend my kids looked outside saw a few leaves on the ground, and they willingly went outside. Shortly after they asked for a rack, racked up the leaves and had a blast.
The kids jumped in the pile, then they tossed leaves in the air before they tossed them at each other.
Good ol' fashioned fun.
I just wished there had been more leaves for their pile, like there is now!

I remember making huge piles from the maple trees that we had both at Lincolnshire and then on Lexington.
Piles that you could hide in.
Piles that you could belly flop onto.
Later that morning we were still finding pieces of leaves in odd places and our hair, yeesh. What a mess that was to brush out!

We have put up our Christmas tree, lights and ornaments but we are still decorating the house.
I have finally begun making Christmas cards and my goal is to send them out by the 15th. Yep, I better get crackin'. I'm making them as simple and cute as possible.

It's hard for me to believe that tomorrow is the first of December. Wyatt had his school pictures today, Kelly's pictures are tomorrow. Wyatt has an awards assembly also tomorrow. Christmas parties are being scheduled, State rivalry football game is this weekend, Christmas shopping to be done. I gotta stop it's a bit of an overload.
Dinner is ready, Turkey and broccoli casserole.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday!!

This year I decided to do something a little different.
Now that the kids are older they have begun to get into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and it has reminded me about my childhood and watching the Parade.
So for grins and giggles I took pictures of the different floats and balloons. I started out trying to get a reflection picture.
The view was of the kids on the couch watching the parade and the reflection of the TV in the mirror that
hangs over their heads. I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted so I switched to just taking pictures of the TV. Cheesy I know but who knows what balloons will be there and gone in ten years.
I was thinking of doing a quick mini album about the parade and the memories I have from Thanksgivings gone by.
Another little project I have casually worked on is taking a picture of one of our trees for every season of the year.
Looking at the tree the other afternoon I realized that my window for getting a fall tree picture was  rapidly closing.
I took a couple of shots but then I tried for some more artsy shots.
I think this was my favorite of the bunch.
I just love the light in the fall, so golden, so beautiful.

On a crazier note I dared to brave the wilds of Walmart last night to pick up 3 cricut carts that were limited editions and on sale for $20. I was hoping to pick up the green cricut expression but alas it was not in my budget.
Anyway I have never done a WM black Friday and I'm wondering what drugs I was on. I thought I had mentally prepared myself for the store to be busy. When I pulled into the parking lot I about freaked. I don't like crowds.
What the heck was I thinking??!
I walked in and it wasn't so bad, I grabbed a hand basket to put my shopping in and started to look for the cricut pallet. Everything was covered in black plastic and most employees had no idea what I was looking for.
With the help of a few other women we found the pallet and hung out till the plastic was ripped off.
I had hoped to look around and grab a few other things I needed while I waited for midnight but the store had roped off areas and with all the people you couldn't get to anything.
Once the plastic was ripped away the store was mass chaos. I grabbed the 3 carts I wanted, lamented that I couldn't get the green or yellow expression and headed a few feet away to grab some pj's for presents.

The mass of bodies was intense. I carried my basket on my head as I bobbed and weaved through the crowd. Everyone I encountered was very nice and helpful but for the most part you could barely move. If you had a cart, good luck, it just made things even more congested.
As I was looking for a couple of Scooby Doo movies I spoke up to ask if anyone had seen them and a lady said that they were on this one side and handed me the 3 movies offered. At one point I was trying to reach a toy and the line for the registers prevented me from reaching it so I asked someone to hand it to me.
I stood in line for 45 minutes and then I was just crazy enough, because I had heard that they were restocking some things, to put my purchases in the car and go back in to see if there was anything else I wanted/needed. I finally got home at 2am and headed straight to bed where it took me almost another hour to fall asleep.
Would I do this all again? Maybe, doubtful but maybe.

On Tuesday night was Wyatt's pack meeting.
Rob had found out earlier in the afternoon that Wyatt was going to be getting his Bobcat patch along with other segments for the activities that he has done.
All of these segments will go onto his brag vest once he gets it.
We had tried to turn in some aluminium that night but the station had just closed.
**I'm happy to report that Wyatt had enough aluminium that he has earned his brag vest!!**

During the Bobcat part of the ceremony the parent that helped the Tiger cub was given a ribbon that they pinned onto their parent.
I'll have to get more details from Rob about this but it was similar to girl scouts that the pin is put on upside down until you do a good deed then it is flipped right side up.
The next step was new for both Rob and Wyatt.
As they entered into being a Bobcat each boy was to be branded on their bellies.
The pack leader Dennis had this fake logs glowing and he put his "branding iron" in the fire. Actually it was a long stick with a "B" on it that had been put into a red ink pad. Pretty cool huh?
Anyway Dennis goes on about branding and Wyatt was getting scared. Poor kid really thought he was about to be burned, and then there was Daddy, holding up his shirttail giving his no way to escape.
As Dennis came at him with the branding iron, Rob said Wyatt sucked in his gut as far as he could and backed his body up against him as tight as Wyatt could go.
Once the iron was pulled away Wyatt looked down to see his brand.
You could clearly see the relief and happiness on Wyatt's face when he realized that: 1. it didn't hurt 2. it was just a cool stamp

After Wyatt was branded the other boys were more than eager to lift their shirts and be branded too.
I'm not sure what a Bobcat means as of yet. We are worried that Wyatt is no longer a Tiger cub and we will have to replace part of his uniform already.
I was just getting used to him as a cute little Tiger.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

El Tour de Tucson 2010

I think I am now fully recovered from El Tour.
We got up at 4am so that we could be at the starting line by 6 and the race started at 7am.
It was an amazing sight to see. A few thousand cyclists, so many that it took eight minutes for the entire group to get over the starting line.
Rob and James were staged near the back a couple of blocks from the starting line in the silver group.
Kelly and I hot footed it up past the line to get pictures of the guys off the line. The sea of humanity and the cheering crowd gave this feeling of jubilation.

The weather was chilly that morning and the temps were scheduled to be perfect, in the low 70's. The only problem factor was that there was to be wind but not till later in the afternoon.
Well the wind showed up a bit earlier than planned. Boy did that wind reek havoc on the racers.
Wyatt and my mother in law were stationed at the Kolb and Irvington aid station led by the Boy Scouts. I received a call from my Mil that the first riders came through just before 9am. A short time later Kelly and I began seeing the racers pass through. Man they are fast.
Kelly and I were aid station 13 at mile post 73.7.
It was a great experience watching all these athletes race by or stop for water and fruit.
Our Brownies had the jobs of holding bicycles, getting fruit, cookies, eggs and of course cheering the riders on.
The wind began to become a big factor in the riders progress. With winds whipping around at 30+ miles an hour, you could see the cyclists compensating for it as suddenly they would be leaning at a precarious angle and then when the wind passed would have to
adjust without over correcting. It was a sight to see.
After Rob and James came through, I forgot to take photos except when they were pulling in, Kelly and I worked a bit more before we packed up to head to the finish line.
At 20 miles out Rob called to give me a heads up on time and location. Rob also requested me to pick up a couple of burgers to eat when the race was over.
Knowing that it takes Rob about an hour to ride 20 miles I worried that I would run out of time by getting the burgers and finding a parking spot downtown.
After Wyatt finished with his aid station at 10:30 he went back to Grandmas and waited for my mom to pick them up and bring them downtown.
Thankfully they were already there and waiting for Kelly and myself. I called mom to see where she parked in hopes that I could get close enough because after the race all the kids were going to spend the night at her house.
Anyway, I lucked out and parked right by mom which incidentally was right in front of the spot that Rob and James started from.We walked to where everyone was waiting for us and then we went to find a space on the sidelines where I could take pictures.
My mental clock was ticking and I was anticipating the guys to be coming around the corner at any time.
Anytime came about 1 hour and 20 minutes later.
The wind killed them on the ride on the frontage road to downtown.
Rob would later tell me that he saw several racers pulled off on the side of the road and being picked up. Rob also said that the wind was so brutal that it added an hour to their time because of the constant fight against the winds. The winds just kept pushing them back because it was blowing straight at them. The guys finished at 8 hours 22 minutes in 2,625th place out of 8600 something. This was the second largest El Tour in the races 28 year history.
Sunday the men were sore as expected but feeling pretty darn proud, as well they should. I know I am extremely proud of my hubby.
PS** Rob calculated that roughly 2000 people did not finish the race.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Monday Kelly and I had our Brownie Re dedication and Investiture Ceremony.
Our troop has 20 girls in it and trying to organize everyone was pretty fun and chaotic.
I had the job of getting the 2nd year Brownies to put on a short play and then later on we did the re-dedication ceremony. It was all pretty easy for the girls and I hope they enjoyed it, because the older girls did a great job. This above photo, and all the rest, were taken by Rob, the evenings photographer.

I actually had to look at this shot twice before I caught Kelly's expression.
Here Lynn and I are with our girls getting them ready with last minute instructions.

The play actually went a little quicker than planned because a couple of the girls got so excited with their memorization that they threw everyone off and a couple of other lines were skipped.
No worries. The first year brownies put on a little cheer about what it means to be a brownie after they were given their Brownie pins and then the older girls and myself did a little ditty about what each of the GS Laws means to them.

We arranged this whole thing in such a short amount of time that I made sure all the girls had a copy of what they were to say.
I was also pinned that night. Not in a dirty way...get your mind out of the gutter.
I received my GS pin for being a co-leader of the troop.
At one part of the ceremony Lynn talked about mentoring me so that I can become the Junior troop leader next year when Kelly moves up.
Rob and I looked at each other like, no way Jose! I'll be happy to stay as the co leader and help out but not sure I want to put myself out there to lead a troop.
This weekend is the El Tour bike race and we are gearing up and getting ready to go. Wyatt will work with the boy scouts from 8:30 to 10:30 with Grandma. Kelly and I will see Rob off the starting line and then we head up to our aid station to work until Rob passes through around 1 ish. Then my mom will have kept Chels overnight and once I call her will meet us at the finish line to cheer Rob through. PHEW!! 
It looks to be a crazy packed day but I'm really excited for Rob. I'm also proud of our kids and all that they will do to help the bicyclists out.
Tons of pictures from that to come soon.

I've also been working on some ornaments that I'm doing with friends from church called the Advent Jesse Tree. It looks like today I will get the hangers on and then I will be able to package them up to hand out Friday night. I'll show pictures when I get the complete set.
Then I just have to order the book to do the devotionals with the kids each morning leading up to Christmas. I'll give more details when I find them out.

The kids have half days this week due to conferences, which both of the kids' meeting are tonight, so I'm trying to get most of my stuff done and out of the way before they get home.
You know how it can be when the kids get home and short term chaos can ensue, especially since this is out of their routines.

Back to finishing off the ornaments.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Please excuse the long absence, blogger and I were having a difference of opinion. I wanted to post some pictures and blogger didn't want to upload them.
So here I go again trying to play catch up.
A week ago Rob was telling me about this snack that if Wyatt made it he earned a patch.
When I heard how easy it was I went to the kitchen to see if we had all the ingredients, and we did.
I called Wyatt to the kitchen and explained what we were making and that if he helped he earned a patch.
The boy was so excited.
We started with coloring the cream cheese and then I had to show him how to spread the cheese on the cracker without destroying the cracker and then I brought out the secret ingredient, Goldfish crackers!
Wyatt took the plate and had his sisters try them out. A big hit. Once the first round was devoured, Wyatt and Kelly went into the kitchen and made more. Later that evening Rob asked where the colored cream cheese was and I had to tell him that the kids ate it all! So Rob used the plain old white cream cheese to put on his pumpkin bread.
What else to catch up on.... Soccer is about half over and the kids are doing well. Kelly is usually placed in the full back or half back position and seems to like it. Wyatt is enjoying being the goalie. Last week Wyatt was the goalie for the whole game last Saturday and the other team only got one goal off of him. He is doing great.
Last Saturday I was crouched on the sidelines taking pictures and had taken my eye away from the camera just in time to see Kelly give the soccer ball a big kick. I missed the darn shot but I was too busy cheering my girl. Kelly doesn't get as much action as she wants but she says she is always tired after the game.
I'm hoping both kids will want to continue in the spring.
I know for one thing that if the kids continue Chelsea will also join the soccer club. Chels gets so into kicking the ball and can dribble the ball for quite a distance.
Last week at practice Rob, Kelly, Chelsea and I were kicking the soccer ball around. Behind us is kids practicing for football. At one point the football kids had to run around the field, and for some reason Chelsea felt compelled to follow them. She trailed them for quite the distance before she got so far behind that she stopped. When Chelsea stopped she looked around and realized that she didn't know anyone. Before she could begin to freak out Daddy started calling her name and she went running the short distance to him. 
Speaking of  Chelsea we have entered a new phase in the terrible two's.
It began last week at the grocery store. We were in line to check out, my stuff was on the conveyor belt. Chelsea wanted my chap stick for the fifth time. I told her no and then she started yelling, no, at me.
I was shocked.
Later that day and since then, whenever she doesn't get her own way she starts yelling at us.
Don't let this picture fool you she can be a bit of a hellion. So dang stubborn. I have never seen someone able to trash a living room floor faster than Chelsea.
Lately it has been exhausting just trying to keep up with her let alone trying to get her to understand to pick up the mess she has made.
Today Grandma Ross has taken the kids for a while and I'm going to work on my Christmas ornaments for the Advent Jesse Tree swap that is next Friday.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm so proud that I live in a country where I can exercise my rights by voting without the fear of being beaten or killed for whom I chose to vote for.
I'm also extremely happy that the election is now over and all those darn political ads are done.
The ads are the worst.
Tell me who you are and what you stand for. I would also like to hear what your plans are for my city and state.
I get really tired of the bashing.
Yesterday Kelly asked me who I voted for. When I mentioned one name she started to quote the tv ad! The kid is 8! I had to explain to her that sometimes people lie about another person so that it makes them look better and that you can't believe everything you hear.
While I'm thrilled she is interested in the election process and wanted to cast her own vote, I now see how anybody could be misled if they believed everything they saw on tv.
 Our Halloween this year was slightly abnormal and I'll get to that soon.
Little miss was a fairy this year and oh how cute did she look?!
At the last minute I asked my mom to check out fairy wings when she was at Party City. She picked up this set, wings, tiara and wand for $15 freaking dollars! I was only looking to spend $6 but once we saw her all dressed up it was worth it.
The costume that Chelsea had was actually sized 4-6 so who knows maybe she'll want to wear it again in a couple of years.
Wyatt decided he was going to go as a knight and as always has had fun wearing his costume whenever he could. I finally had to put the sword up for fear that it would break before Halloween.
Kelly was going to go as Princess Fiona from Shrek, complete with a green face.
Here is where it gets abnormal.
Unfortunately Kelly broke out in this crazy allergic reaction on Saturday. After multiple doses of benedryl and slathering her in anti-itch cream and a call to her pediatrician, we got the rashes to calm down before trick or treating.
This year we had the cousins over and also friends
from church. We munched on pizza for dinner and suited the kids up to head on out.
Since Kelly couldn't wear the green face paint we still sprayed her hair red and tried to get as Fiona-ish as possible.
The kids brought in a pretty good haul this year and their buckets were a hit!
Even when Chelsea's was getting heavy she hauled it from house to house. Her version of trick or treat was so cute and she always said thank you and sometimes even added in a, have a nice day.
The big kids had to be retaught to say trick or treat, to stay off the lawns and only use sidewalks and paths and to say thank you. Being kids they just wanted the candy!
Toward the end of our night, Kelly complained that she was itchy again and that her stomach hurt.
We immediately headed home, took off her costume and that poor girl was covered in red welts for head to toe.
I put her in the tub to wash the red out of her hair and sooth the rash. Once out of the tub we reapplied the cream and things calmed down after that.
We finished the Steelers vs. Saints football game and we were getting ready to go to bed when I went to check on Kelly.
I  walk in her room and she was itching in her sleep. I took a flashlight to check out her legs and belly. The redness is back. I then point the flashlight toward her face. Poor girls face was solid red and looked puffy.
I freaked. She wasn't due for more benedryl for a while and I was so afraid that something would go wrong during the night that I told Rob I was taking her to emergency.
I woke Kelly up and at 9:30pm we were heading for ER. I kept explaining to her why I was taking her in, asking her questions and reassuring her that coming here she would get better.
Now here it gets even more abnormal.
We were in and out of the ER in less than one hour!!
We walked in the door, the nurse saw Kelly's face and immediately brought her into triage. At this point we all think it's an allergic reaction. They asked Kelly some questions and then put us in a triage bed and said the doctor would see us soon. After maybe 15 minutes the doctor came in looked her over and said, this isn't an allergic reaction. HUH!!
Kelly's body was fighting off a virus and her body was responding by going into these rashes. She wasn't contagious and he was going to give her a weeks prescription for steroids to knock it out of her.
Bibbity, Bobbity Boo, we had a prescription and we were outta there!
Headed to Walgreen's thinking that since it was 10:30 it would be quick to get the script filled. Yep, we had to wait 30 minutes. Kelly slept in the truck while I ran in and out. Then the pharmacist warned me not to give this to her until she has eaten because if I gave it to her now she would most likely throw it up.
I sure didn't want to add that to my to do list and since I now knew that Kelly wasn't in any danger she could wait till morning and have her pills with breakfast.
Since Halloween night Kelly has had a few flare ups but nothing like Sunday and for that I'm so grateful.