Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Form of Cat Torture

The boys have invented a new and creative way to torture and torment poor Lilly (as if she didn't already go through enough living in our house!). Last weekend, you might remember that I mentioned that Sebastian bought some stretchy sticky bugs at the dollar store. Well, today, Isaac sling-shot the bugs up to the living room ceiling, where they stuck indefinitely. Two of the bugs are stuck together and are dangling down from the ceiling. For about 2 hours or so now, Lilly has been pacing the floor, climbing the furniture, and meowing incessantly, trying to figure out a way to get to the bugs and get them down. A little bit ago, I found her sitting directly under them, staring straight up at them, willing them to fall (apparently she still needs to sharpen her Jedi mind trick skills, because they didn't budge).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time for a change

I realized the other day that my blog picture is about a year & a half old. I thought it was time to update. LOL! I'm torturing poor Lilly by making her sit on my lap like she's a person. Poor baby girl...she puts up with a lot from us!

Schedule me this, and Schedule me that

Today was a very schedule-driven day. I knew from the start it was going to be busy, and I would have to keep on top of things to stay on schedule. Even still, the day threw me a few curve balls. All in all, it went off without a hitch...(with the exception of a mad house-wide search for Sebastian's shin guards for soccer...we found them in the bottom of a toy basket in the living room...???).

First library story hour. We got there on time, but I ended up having to drop Isaac off, leaving a friend in charge to cover for me (just in case) while Meagan and I ran to Meijer to buy her a new bathing suit. Why a bathing suit during story hour? Because after story hour was the first day of swimming lessons...for both Meagan and Isaac. Why didn't we use a bathing suit she already had? Because she only has one that fits, and we could only find one piece of it!! LOL!

As we were leaving Meijer, I overheard someone say that gas was going to jump 30 cents today to $3.73. So, although we were on a time crunch, and Lucas had just put a few gallons in the van yesterday, I decided to put a few gallons in to finish out the week. (I paid $3.44. This afternoon it was up to $3.72. I'm glad I sidetracked.)

After library, before swimming, we had to make a pit stop at Sebastian's school. He had forgotten his lunch at home, and was in a panic at the thought of having to eat a school hamburger. Poor guy, I don't blame him. He's never been one for burgers anyway, let alone school food burgers. So, I took him his lunch.

Swimming was a BIG HIT! Meagan LOVED it! She swam with her teacher, because I was unaware that I was supposed to bring my suit and get in with her. Next week...
The only thing she wasn't happy about was that Isaac couldn't get into the pool with her. His class was after hers, so he sat with me and watched. He did great in his class...much better than the last attempt at swimming class we did with him a few years ago. Back then, I had to basically bribe him to put a toe in the water. This time, he hopped right in, and was just about the last to get out at the end. Both are looking forward to next week when they get to go back

The rest of the day was spent running as well. After swimming, the computer repair guy came to fix the laptop (long story short, it stopped working Sunday because it wasn't getting power...the guy replaced the it's working). Then we left to go get Sebastian from school so that we would have time to eat before we had to leave for the chiropractor. We had to be on time for that appointment so we could leave in time to get back for soccer and t-ball. Needless to say, it was a bit of a relief when we got home and were done with our scheduled events for the day.
Nothing planned for tomorrow until 7:30, when a friend of mine and I have plans to hang out and have girl-time for a while. At this point, an unscheduled day sounds very inviting!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"This was a very fun day, indeed"

What a day! After Sebastian's soccer game, we all (including Keylee, who also went to the soccer game with us this morning) went to Great Clips so Meagan and I could get hair cuts. My hair was getting way too long and out of control. I just had the very ends of Meagan's hair trimmed to clean it up a bit. (BAD MOM! FORGOT THE CAMERA!) She did a pretty good job, although I wouldn't describe her as 'still' in the chair. She was enjoying watching herself in the mirror way too much to sit still! LOL! She kept making her cape float, and thought that was just the greatest thing ever! She's funny stuff!

At some point later in the afternoon, we had to make a Wal-Mart run. While we were over there, we made a stop at the dollar store. The boys wanted to spend some of their dollars they've earned from the whole penny deal. Well, besides some glittery bugs (Isaac's), some stretchy wall-sticking bugs (Sebastian's), and a pink plastic piggy bank (Meagan's), we each got a can of silly string! We headed home, and went straight out into the back yard for a good old-fashioned silly string fight! It was a ton of fun, although we were all bummed to run out of string faster than we had expected. The only one who, quite surprisingly, wasn't thrilled with the whole idea was Meagan. The first spray of string that landed on her, she flipped! "You're making me all messy!! Stop it!!" And she ran away. Keylee was able to get her back into it a little bit later on, but she wasn't nearly as excited about it as the boys were! The smiles on their faces were enormous! I love it!

Tonight, as we were winding down our day, we were all looking at the silly string pictures on the computer. Sebastian stood beside me, and in his very Sebastian style, he said, "Today was a good day. This was a very fun day, indeed."

I couldn't agree more.

Are you serious!!!???

Okay, it has been BEAUTIFUL weather all week. So what's up with freezing our fingers and toes off this morning for Sebastian's first soccer game?! Brrr! I think it took us a solid 45 minutes to thaw.

Can I just tell you how very funny the whole soccer coaching experience is? Ignore for a moment the fact that I know NOTHING about the sport - as in, Tuesday was our first practice, so Tuesday afternoon I looked up 'how to play soccer' online...LOL. This game was a bit of a train wreck today! In a cute way, that is! The boys all did their best, but clearly there are some fundamentals to be established still. For example, the defensive players, who aren't supposed to cross center field were all over in front of the net at the other end of the field trying to score, while the offensive players seemed afraid to leave center field...??? Some of the wreckage was my own fault, I will very readily admit. I thought I was prepared for the line-up rotations, but I had only planned on switching players at the change of each period. Since it was so cold, though, I switched them twice a period to keep everyone from getting too cold. It seemed to keep their attention and keep them moving pretty well, but it threw in a whole element of chaos that I was NOT ready for. Oh well. We had the typical game-stoppage for untied shoes, and one kid totally disappeared for a potty break for a few minutes. Two or three times when we changed the line-up, we ended up with either six or four players on the field rather than five. LOL. It was definitely good for a laugh! And still, somehow, at the end of it all, several of the parents told me they thought I did a great job, and they liked the rotations. Hmmm...okay. (We lost 2-1, in case you were wondering).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Divide and Conquer

Yesterday was the first night of soccer for Sebastian & tee-ball for Isaac. Of course, since I'm 'coaching' I went with Sebastian to his practice. Lucas took Isaac to tee-ball.

The parents' meeting went fairly well for soccer - all of the dates are covered (meaning at least one adult has agreed to supervise the practices/games), so we should be able to continue on with our season. We talked for the first half-hour, though, so practice itself was pretty short.

The best part of this whole day was the fact that Lucas - quiet, blend into the crowd, observe and don't say anything, Lucas - ended up helping to coach the tee-ball practice - a co-ed team of four & five-year-olds! LOL! He said it was a lot like herding cattle (has he ever herded cattle? I don't know?) But it seems that, although it was way outside his comfort zone, he seems to have rather enjoyed himself. I'm quite proud of him (shh, don't tell him I said that, though!)

Whatever happens, it seems this sporting season is, without doubt, going to require a divide and conquer mind-set. (I'm really hoping to make it to at least one of Isaac's practices and games without soccer interfering...we'll see how that goes).

Saturday, April 19, 2008


For us, this day started around 6:45, when I rolled out of bed and jumped in the shower. Trust me, I'm not usually up and getting ready any time before 7:00 on a Saturday (and not before 8:00 if I can help it), but today we were on a mission...leave by 8:30. Why? Because today was the Blue and Gold festival at Notre Dame, and we had tickets. We had plans to meet Shane and Tina on campus as soon as we got there and spend the afternoon hanging out and watching a little football.

We managed to leave our house at 8:35 (only 5 minutes off target...phenominal...slightly less impressive when you take into consideration the fact that we got down the road and around the corner, only to realize that we forgot we re-left our house at about 8:40. Still, 10 minutes is GREAT when the plans involve 3 kids on Saturday morning before 9:00. We didn't actually get out of town until closer to 9:00, since we had to stop at the bank and then stop to get gas.)

For the early part of the day, it spit a little rain, and we wondered how the weather would hold for the football game. I am pleased to say, though, that the weather was perfect while we were in the stadium, and it didn't start raining until we got in our car to leave campus.

As far as campus events, we had lunch at the Student Union (pizza), then we walked around the main courtyard area. We went in the Basilica - Isaac was worried we were going to church, and we would miss the game (LOL). We saw the golden dome, and 'Touchdown Jesus.' We went through the rec center, and I took a pit stop at the Varsity Shop to get a couple ND shirts for myself (since everyone was decked out in ND jerseys, and I no longer have any ND clothes that aren't stained or torn...or way stretched out from wearing them while I was pregnant!!).

The kids did pretty well during the game - they got a bit antsy at times, but they did okay. They definitely provided a few moments of comedy throughout the when Meagan took her jersey off and then put it pack on upside down - head through the head hole, head hole down around her waist, arms through the arm hole, and head sticking out of the bottom opening of the shirt...what a goofball!) It was a long day for them, and they were pretty tired by the time we got back in the van to head home. The boys watched a movie the whole way home. Meagan fell asleep before we ever got back to the turnpike.

We had an interesting little incident on the turnpike on the way home. We were buzzing along, cruise set on 70 - which is the speed limit - and we just were talking. The radio station was fuzzy, so I was messing with the radio, trying to find a better station. The next thing I knew, Lucas was slowing down, and we were driving over the rumble strips. I looked up, then I looked in the mirror...state trooper lights were flashing right on our tail. My first question was, 'Were you speeding?' He said that he had cruise set at 70 the whole time, which I remember noticing (because I was feeling like we were going kind of slow...I'm used to Michigan driving, I comments, all you Ohio people!!) So, the trooper walks over to my side of the van, asks for license & registration. Asks me if I'm Rebecca. I said yes. Asks me if I've had my seat belt on the whole time. I said yes. He said, 'Oh, okay. When you were leaning forward earlier (I guess when I was changing the radio station), it didn't look like you were wearing it. I just wanted to check. Have a nice day.' And he walked off. Okay. That was different. Not sure what that was about really, but I'm thankful it was that easy!

Anyway, I put together a collage of some of the pictures we took today, so I could use it as my background on the laptop. I thought I'd share it with you. I must say, after being away from campus for so long, it felt really nice to be back there, even for just a short time. I would love to go back maybe once more this summer and take it easy, at a little slower pace. We stayed at the stadium end of campus today, and we missed out on a lot of my favorite things I remember about being on campus...the lakes; the most beautiful tree God ever created; the grotto; the main bookstore; my old dorms; the open courtyard area...lots of stuff!

Okay, it's late. I'm thinking I might go soak in the tub and unwind for a bit. Have a wonderful evening! I'll check back with you soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Big Green Machine

Just want to take a second and share my excitement...I GOT MY LAPTOP YESTERDAY! I didn't have to wait nearly as long as I had expected! It came around 2:30 yesterday afternoon. It's so pretty and GREEN! And it's gigantic...I guess that's what happens when you get a 17" screen! I LOVE IT! I've been working on getting my files moved over and my contacts, favorites, etc. set up. Pretty soon it should have everything on it that I need, and I'll be up and running!

Okay, that's that for now. I'm off to pick up the house a bit. It really needs to be cleaned - you know, scrubbed with lots of disinfecting stuff - but all I really have time for at the moment is picking up the stuff that's out of place. (Maybe if I hadn't been on the laptop all afternoon I could have gotten more accomplished...although nap time boot camp with Meagan sort of put a kink in things anyway...I won, in case you're wondering, and she's sound asleep at the moment). Maybe Friday afternoon I'll get around to actually cleaning. ??? Maybe.

Have a great afternoon!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bummer of a Break

My first day of not working, so I was hoping to do something fun with the kids for spring break. However, they are all barking like dogs and have goop oozing from all the holes in their faces, so we passed on anything too exciting. Instead we went to the bank (which is about an hour and ten minutes round-trip), then picked Lucas up for lunch and went to the Pizza Hut buffet. After that, the boys played wii while Meagan took a (non-sleeping) nap.

I was hoping that today would be a more exciting day, but still no one is feeling very well. So, we've passed on anything adventurous for today as well. The boys, however, earned another five pennies by helping me and having good behavior, so they're playing wii again for nap time today. I am really hoping Meagan actually sleeps at nap today. After she gets up, I think we'll head outside for some fresh air.

Tomorrow we're gonna try to hit up the free family movie nearby. They're showing The Bee Movie tomorrow. Friends of ours (Hayden and Julia and their mom to be exact) are going to meet us there. Hopefully it won't be sold out this time. Other than seeing that movie, we've not done much of anything for Sebastian's spring break. It's been a bit of a bummer!

I heart my Laptop...I mean, Husband!

Have I ever told you how much I love my husband?! If not, let me tell you...He's the BEST! I love that he does way over the top stuff for me sometimes just because. (That's not the only reason I love him, of course, LOL!) Last week he got online and 'built' a laptop that would work for my scrapbooking so that I can be a little more mobile with it. He told me if I wanted it, to go ahead and get it.

WHAT! I was severely tempted to jump at the offer, but I felt held back - kind of like a gut check in the pit of my stomach. So I sat down and figured out all of the stuff we would have to cover (monetarily speaking) from now until the beginning of next year, and compared that to what we have available to cover it. We were about $600 short of getting the laptop without cutting it too close or having to dip into savings. So I decided to wait and start saving a little each week until I could make up the $600.

Well, this week, we received a check in the mail that more than covered the amount I was short for the laptop. GOD IS GOOD! So, Wednesday, Lucas rebuilt the computer for me, and we ordered it! I'm so excited I'm almost giddy!!! It's a green one even! (Actually the green was probably the majority of the reason I picked the one I picked...yes, I'm a silly girl who cares about color over performance! The fact that it's green, along with the fact that it came with Adobe Premier for home videos was what swayed my decision!)

It is 'in production' as of right now. It's scheduled to ship next Thursday I think. So now I just have to hang on and exercise a bit of patience until it gets here! I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!


Tuesday morning I went into work for the sole purpose of figuring out some issues I've been having with financial statements. For weeks, I've been trying to figure out why things weren't working right. I kept thinking I must have done something wrong, classified something wrong, whatever. Tuesday morning I was able to narrow my problems down to one particular thing - checks that we'd written weren't decreasing cash on the balance sheet. So it looked like we had way more cash than we do, plus the balance sheets weren't balancing.

At least now I knew what the issue was, I just didn't know how to fix it. So I called the manufacturer of our accounting software. I was on the phone for an hour and a half. At first, I tried to explain what I was having trouble with, but the guy just couldn't comprehend what I was talking about. So then we went a step further, and I gave him access to view my screen as I was working. That helped. But I could tell he was in no way familiar with accounting, because he was just simply CONFUSED. Finally, after nearly an hour on the phone, we had a break through, and HE GOT IT! So for the next half hour, we tried troubleshooting. At one point he actually said to me, 'Um, okay, I think I need a break to go take some headache medicine. I'll be back' and he put me on hold. That was a first! A funny one at that! Poor guy! Ultimately, it was determined that the program is just not designed to do what I want it to do, and I will have to find a way to work around it. Okay. Well, that sort of felt like a lot of time wasted. At least I know that it's not something I've done horribly wrong, and I can stop trying to fix it! That's something, I suppose.

Tuesday night, the kids and I went to small group and let Lucas have the house to himself after his rough day with very little sleep. Hayden and Julia (some of the boys' friends, and Isaac's girlfriend *LOL*) were there, so they all got to play together. However, Sebastian had made up a game of house / work, and Julia had decided she was going to play that game. Isaac, on the other hand, wouldn't play it for who-knows-what reason. The bulk of the night, Isaac sat and watched the girl of his dreams (lol) give all of her attention to his brother. At the end of the night, he said to me in the saddest Isaac voice, 'Mom, I think Julia likes Sebastian more than she likes me now.' My first thought was, 'Oh my goodness! Is this really starting already?!' I explained to him that Julia is his friend and Sebastian's, and that everyone can be friends together. Blah blah blah, standard Mommy talk. But he felt better and picked his chin up a bit, so I guess it worked. That's what moms are for!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wii Play (and other odds & ends)

I know I haven't been posting much, but things have been relatively quiet around here lately. No funny stories to share. No embarrassing moments to recount. Just life as usual. This weekend was beautiful, so we spent the better part of Saturday & Sunday outside playing. That was nice! And the kids have been sleeping GREAT from all the fresh air and exercise!

It's so funny to me, though...yesterday I asked the boys what they had been playing outside all day. They said 'Super-Smash Brothers' (which is a wii game that they're obsessed with). I asked again, thinking they had misunderstood me, but I got the same answer again. It seems that even when they're not playing wii, they're still playing it by acting it out. I overheard a portion of their play time later in the evening, and it was pretty funny. They were having a Pokemon training camp for all of the Pokemon characters to learn to battle against other characters who have a different fighting style. Wow! They were very detailed in their roll-play. I mean, they were getting in-depth, strategizing on how to deal with juggling characters (characters who can pick you up and keep hitting you back up into the air so you can't do anything against them...LOL...I would NEVER know this if I didn't have boys!) and so on. I was actually pretty impressed with how well they were communicating with each other, taking turns making decisions in the game (which is HUGE for Sebastian to not be the only one calling the shots), and playing off of each other. It was pretty cool. It's just funny to me that it was about wii. Oh well, boys will be boys!

Another thing about this weekend...Sunday our pastor asked me to tell a story for the introduction to the service. He taught on knowing God's voice, and wanted me to share a funny thing that had happened between he and I with a phone conversation a while back. You can listen to it here if you want (knowing it's Him). He had called me one day, and I didn't recognize his voice. Because I thought it was someone else, I got the conversation all turned around and confused. It ended up being pretty funny, and apparently made for a funny story to tell so that everyone could get a chuckle at my expense (just kidding - I really don't mind at all. It takes a lot more than that to embarrass me!). But it was pretty fun to be able to share that. I'm coming to realize that I really enjoy public speaking (I know, I'm kind of on my own on that one!), and I really do like it when I get a chance to do it. Something about it is very satisfying to me.


Oh! Another thing I wanted to share with you...Last weekend Sebastian had a story published in our weekly news publication. It was a story he had written in kindergarten - not really sure why they're just now getting around to publishing it??? Anyway, his response was, 'Mom, now I'm famous! I've been in the newspaper!' Too cute! His story was about a frog who eats bugs with his long sticky tongue. I was so proud of him, he's such a smart little guy!

One last note for now...Lucas found my camera power cord...right where it belongs, of all the places! I swear I looked there - more than once - but I clearly overlooked it? I'm not sure how, though, because I even swept my arm across the shelf, thinking I just couldn't see it because of shadows. I would have sworn there was nothing there, but that's where he ended up finding it anyway. (Kinda like Isaac's movie wasn't under the tree, but we found it there? Who knows!) Anyhow, I'm glad it's not missing anymore, and I can take pictures again! I'm lost without my camera!

I'm going to go take it easy this evening. I am looking forward to some quiet time. It's been a hectic day. Poor Lucas has to go back into work tonight because a transformer blew up today & took down all of their compressors. So it's just me and the sleeping critters here tonight. Sounds like a good night for some reading.

Colorful Easter

Getting caught up on posts...I figured I'd start by sharing my other Easter layout I've gotten done (besides the one I just posted). This layout was for a challenge, and it proved to be much more time-consuming and difficult than I expected. I extracted the Easter baskets from a picture I had taken, and set them against a 'paper' backdrop. The shadows were t.r.i.c.k.y.!!! Took me quite a while, and truthfully, they still don't look quite right to me. But I'm leaving it alone for now. Probably for good. It's way too involved to try to make any more changes to it. it is.

Coloring Eggs '08

I have always struggled to scrap holidays, mostly because the pictures look the same every year. But when I really think about it, although the nature of the events don't change from one year to the next, there are little details about each year that are unique to that year. That's what I focused on for this layout - the little details of '08 that made our egg-coloring special.

Journaling: This year.......Grandma & Grandpa H. came up for Easter; Grandma helped us color eggs; Isaac didn't suck his dye-stained thumb; Meagan was old enough to color eggs with the boys; Sebastian mixed every one of his eggs in at least three colors; We left a mini basket of salad for the Easter Bunny to snack on.

You might have noticed that the style isn't as busy as I normally do. I bought an 'Simple Scrapbooks' last week at the grocery, and I was feeling inspired to try to simplify a bit. It still seemed like it took just as long as when I make it messy. ??? Go figure!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Break

Today was the 1st day of Spring Break for Sebastian. It's funny how the dynamics change around the house by just having three kids home instead of two. Very interesting.

This morning we were invited to go to McDonald's with Nicole and Keylee and Cam (Nicole's nephew). We met there at 11:00 and let the kids play for a while before we got lunch. My friend Kim also met us there with her granddaughter, who is Meagan's age. We ended up hanging out and letting them play until about 1:00.

Tonight we had a family date. We went out to eat at Chili's. I was going to make something here at home, but Lucas seemed like he needed a night out. So that's what we did.

Tonight the kids are watching movies for bedtime - the boys in their room watching Transformers; Meagan in the living room watching Cinderella (for the 2nd time in a row...back to back). She's had a bit of a cough for a couple of days, since the weather can't make up its mind what it's going to do (Today it was cool and rainy. Tomorrow it's supposed to be around 70. ??? Anyway...) Tonight, about 20 minutes ago, I noticed she was also actually running a bit of a fever - between 101.5 and 102, depending on which reading in which ear you look at. So, Motrin and Triamenic for bedtime tonight. Hopefully she'll get some good restorative sleep and will feel better in the morning. We'll see how it goes.

As for the rest of Spring Break, I'm not sure what we'll do. I'm working Monday & Wednesday, and maybe a bit on Tuesday. Maybe not. I guess it depends on the weather. If it's going to be rainy and yucky, we may have to head to the dinosaur museum or something indoors. If it's going to be warm, maybe we can find something fun outside to do. We may have to start breaking out the bikes and soccer balls and tee balls and such. Maybe a trip to one of the parks...I could use some outdoorsy spring pictures (although I still haven't found my camera charger?). Whatever it is, we'll think of something to do to enjoy Sebastian's week off of school. I just hope everyone is feeling better soon so we can ALL enjoy it.