Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back to Normal

Notice that since having our children back I have no time to blog! LOL! Life has definitely returned to normal around here. Gone is the quiet house. Returned is the MESS...and the daytime comedy and funny conversations at dinner.

Jane brought them home Monday. They got here around 4:30. She stayed for the evening and helped everyone get re-acclimated before she headed home on Tuesday afternoon. They seemed happy to be home - happy to see us at least. They clobbered us with hugs and kisses, and continually sought us out for more snuggles and loves as the day passed. I'm glad they had fun, but It's nice to be missed.

We really haven't had to do much in the way of getting them back on schedule. We've had to remind them a few times of our rules vs. Grandma's rules. And Tuesday's dinner was an outright stand-off - we had baked fish, long-grain wild rice and Mediterranean vegetables. They wanted Sonic burgers. Too bad. The only really notable behaviour issue we've seen is the reclaiming of territory - mostly by Isaac. He spent a large part of Tuesday and Wednesday reminding us all of what belongs specifically to him. I guess because all of Grandma & Grandpa's toys are community toys for everyone to play with (not that ours aren' least their supposed to be shared with everyone...but I guess it makes a difference which specific toy was given to which child for which birthday or holiday, etc. Kids are funny stuff). Other than this little oddity, we haven't really had much trouble.

We just put everyone in bed a few minutes ago...around 8:30. And all is quiet. I think they're still pretty worn out from all the vacation excitement. They've been crashing hard and sleeping late for the past few days. So, now I've officially informed you all that life is back to normal...back to crazy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday's Post

We're about 75% of the way through our childless vacation days. It's been VERY quiet. We have gotten to talk to them almost every day, except Meagan, who was asleep one time and too tired to talk the next. I am definitely missing their silliness around here. I've had no funny conversations to overhear and giggle at. No little people hanging on my legs while I'm making dinner. No fights to break up (althought that I have not missed). No 'nuggles,' which is what Meagan calls snuggles (that I definitely do miss).

Monday & Tuesday were my working days this week. Tuesday a good friend of mine came over and we went on a walk and had fun girl talk time. Then yesterday I returned to the bus route for Wednesday night church. We can definitely tell it's summer, because there were only six kids on the bus last night. Everyone's on vacations and out with friends. It's hard to believe that summer break is almost over. Time only a few more weeks Isaac will be starting kindergarten. Wow!

Today I am packing up and heading to Detroit for the rest of the week. I am going to meet my mom and a friend of mine (and a friend of hers, whom I've not met yet) there for the Joyce Meyer conference this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I'm definitely looking forward to it, although I have not yet packed (and I have to leave in less than 4 hours). On that note, I suppose I should probably wrap it up here and get moving.

I finished one of the layouts I started the other night, so I figured I'll share. It's just Meagan eating birthday cake. Nothing spectacular. The second page is from the same time, just of all of the kids.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday & Saturday

Well, we're almost to the one-week mark for having no kids around. It's been QUIET around here to say the least. I told Sebastian that I would make sure to post layouts so he could see what I've been doing. So I have another layout to post for him.

Yesterday, I didn't have to work, so I hung around and cleaned up the house, went grocery shopping, and got ready for the weekend. Guy came up for the weekend. He & Lucas are doing some attic work. Last night I had a 6-hour outing (from 6:00 to midnight) to a friend's house for scrapbooking. I got 3 layouts done (although I think I'm going to do a little tweaking before I finalize one of them). Here's one of them I got done last night: Isaac & his Indian-Anna Jones pictures. He's so funny!

While I was scrapbooking, Lucas and Guy went and grabbed some grub, and then went and got attic supplies. When I got home at midnight last night, they were playing BoomBlox on wii. Funny boys!

Today we got up and spent most of the day working around the house. I did miscellaneous stuff, laundry, etc. while they worked in the garage. At about 4:00 we quit and got ready to leave. We went on a movie date tonight and saw the new Batman. It was an awesome movie. It was very well done, very entertaining, and quite surprising thought-provoking. I liked it.

The kids are having a good time. They've done LOTS of swimming. Yesterday they went to a Discovery Museum (they sent pictures, but I've been too lazy to get them ready for posting). We've talked to them every day, but they're so busy having fun, sometimes their conversations are a little distracted. Oh well. I'm glad they're having a good time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Enjoy Life

I had some pictures of Meagan outside in the backyard this past Spring. Here's what I decided to do with them:

Journaling: I love that you enjoy every minute of every day life; that you can enjoy the beauty of simplicity; that just being outside is enough to make you happy.

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Oops! I've already fallen behind on documenting our kid-free week. Let me catch up.

Tuesday evening we went to some friends' house. They also have 3 kids, and they were also without children for the evening. So we played a marble game and just hung out.

Wednesday was my first night back at church since soccer and t-ball started back in spring. As it turned out, the guy who was supposed to head up the 5th & 6th graders ended up not being able to come. So last minute I found out that they needed me to teach. So I did. It went well. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare, but it worked out great anyway. And it was fun to be back on the bus again!

Today was a busy day at work, but I was able to get a lot done. Since I worked late (5:00, which for me is late), and Lucas was just getting out when I was, and since I have yet to go to the grocery since we got back from vacation, we decided to go out to eat for dinner. We headed up to Red Robin, and then we made a tour through Target. Still no wii fits, but we at least got some milk and cereal for breakfast tomorrow. Milk is not the same as a wii fit, but oh well. Tonight we are just going to hang out. I think I'm going to do some picture organizing, maybe a little scrapbooking. Maybe I'll just veg and do not much.

We talked to the kids tonight on the phone. They've had lots of swimming time at Grandma & Grandpa's. Today they went to a museum of some kind - a science museum. They got to see a cool dinosaur exhibit. They had quite a bit to talk to us about tonight. It sounds like they're having a lot of fun. I'm glad! At least I'm not missing them for nothing!

Monday, July 14, 2008


This morning was our morning for good-bye's. Good-bye Cedar Point. Good-bye boat. Good-bye hotel room. But worse than that, we had to say good-bye to the kids...for 2 weeks! I tried my hardest, but I could not get through it without crying. I teared up, so I tried to stay back so they wouldn't see me. I almost pulled it off. But then Sebastian came back over to me to tell me he was going to miss me, and to give me one more hug. He saw me crying, and that pretty much made him cry. What a bad mother! I made my kid cry!! But we all wiped our eyes and left on a smiling note.

They made it back to Mom & Mike's safely. They spent the afternoon chillin' and swimming in the pond. It was definitely comforting to hear that they made it there okay.

Lucas and I stopped at Cabella's on the way home. We spent a few hours in Dundee...first eating Mexican food for lunch. Then shopping (making a real-time wish list more like it) at Cabella's for about an hour & a half. He did get a new target for shooting practice in the garage. And the only reason he broke down and spent the $$ on that was because I told him he had to, because I don't want holes in the back of my garage! LOL!

We got home, unloaded, and headed to the chiropractor. Then for dinner, we ordered Chinese, and watched tivo'd shows that have been stored up while we were gone. What is going on with this day?!! My husband ate Mexican AND Chinese in the same day! You have no idea what a miracle that is!

Tonight, we are just hangin' out and taking it easy. I think we're too tired to do anything else! Life without children should be interesting. I'll try to do my best to document it. I think it will be interesting to see how different it will be with such an empty house!

Good to the last drop!

Sunday was our last day at Cedar Point. We had an even later start than either of the previous 2's funny how exhaustion will do that to you! But we made it into the park around 11:00. We headed straight to the back of the park to Camp Snoopy, so Isaac could ride the Woodstock Express. He was practically bursting with excitement to ride it after going on and so thoroughly enjoying the Jr. Gemini the night before - he said it was fun because it tickled his tummy...he's an air-time boy! We spent the morning letting the kids jump from ride to ride.

Meagan went on the Woodstock Express too - twice actually, by the end of the day. I'm not so sure that she like it the first time she went, though, and I was really pretty surprised she wanted to go on it a second time. She said she didn't like going up the hill...going down didn't bother her, but going up was no good...??? Anyway, she loved pretty much everything she tried. The only thing I can think of that she didn't try was the Snoopy Jumping thing - you know, the big inflatable jumping huts or whatever. The boys went in, but she stopped dead in her tracks at the entrance. Not happening. So, I helped her get her shoes back on, and she was happy to watch her boys jump.

The only other thing she tried and didn't like was the Snoopy balloon race. She was having none of that a second time. I think it was too jerky for her liking.

Sebastian went on the Iron Dragon AGAIN. And AGAIN. He went with Grandpa the first time on Sunday, and they actually got stuck on the second hill. I asked what he thought about it, and he said it was 'awesome.' His only complaint was, 'They should let us go again since we had to wait.' He's a Hilleary! The unbelievable part...He went on it later in the evening with both Grandma and Grandpa, and they got stuck again, not once, but TWICE! On each hill. Still, he's not swayed from his complete fascination with the Iron Dragon. He's definitely a fan!

In the afternoon after lunch, Mom and Mike took the kids to the pool and then back to the boat for a bit of down time, and Lucas and I took a few hours to ride some rides. We rode 2 - the Raptor and the favorite and his.

A funny thing happened to me on the Maverick. We were waiting in line for the front car, and we were up next. Last year on that ride, the lap bar got pushed down WAY TOO FAR on me and hurt so bad it actually left marks on my legs. So while we were waiting, Lucas reminds me not to push my harness down too far. I said, "It wasn't me, it was a worker that did it" just as a Cedar Point worker walked up. He said, "What did a worker do?" So I told him my story. He started messing around with me then. He said, "What did you do to make him mad? The only time we do that to riders is when they make us mad." So we talked a few minutes while we were waiting. By the time Lucas and I got on the track, we were laughing pretty hard, having a good time with each other. As we were loading in, that employee looked to the guy in the control booth and said, "We have one who wants it snug." Nice. But we rode the ride...quite comfortably I might add.

Well, as we returned to the station, the train stopped, and everyone unloaded. Lucas got up, and started to get out, but I couldn't get my harness unbuckled. Lucas tried to help, and he couldn't get it at first. Well, he got it unfastened, but it WOULD NOT lift up. It was still locked into position. I was NOT getting out! Then I noticed the employee with a big grin on his face, and over his loud speaker he says (so obviously the whole crowd could hear), "Naw, you're stuck. You're not goin' just gotta keep riding and riding and riding...forEVER.' I cracked up! A few seconds later they released my harness from inside the control booth, and I was free. That was a FUNNY experience! Very fun memory!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's 11:00, and we're just getting the kids in bed...

I can't even remember what all we did today, it seems like it started so long ago. We were a little later getting up and around this morning - a little more willing to sleep in a few minutes longer. We went into the park for about an hour, and then made a mad dash back to the boat, as it started to downpour and thunder and lightning. We were held captive in the boat for over an hour. When we finally ventured out, it was still raining, but not nearly as severely as it had been. So, we tried to head to a nearby restaurant for lunch, and to wait out the rest of the rain. Apparently, LOTS of other people had the same idea, because they were all actually waiting outside! No thanks! So we headed for Max & Erma's instead.

After lunch, Isaac and Meagan chilled with Grandma on the boat while Lucas and I took Sebastian into Cedar Point to ride rides. One ride in particular - the Iron Dragon. He's had his eye on it since he found out he is tall enough to ride it. Finally today he got to ride it. In the front seat. He grinned from ear to ear the whole time, and at the end all he said was, "Whoa, I so want to ride that again." He is definitely a coaster boy.

At 4:00, we all took a load off and watched the Snoopy ice show. It was a nice little break from kiddy rides. But, when the show was over, back to kiddy land we went. The kids had been begging to play a game, so we let them play a guaranteed-prize game in Snoopy World. It wasn't quite what they had in mind, but for $1 and a prize vs. $10 and no prize, it's what they got! (Yes, I'm a frugal mother.) Again, it started to rain. We just decided to get wet the second time, since there was no thunder or lightning.

Isaac, Sebastian and Meagan all rode the Jr. Gemini. They all put their hands up on the hills even. It was adorable! Isaac still was very hesitant to get on almost every ride we pointed out today, but loved every single one of them when it was all said and done. What do you do with that?

Well, after another cookout on the grill tonight for dinner, we hung around until the light show...which didn't start until 10:00. So we didn't leave until 10:35, and didn't get back to the hotel until almost 10:45. Gross as it is, we totally skipped baths for the kids...we'll give the dirt time to settle and we'll clean them off in the morning. They all basically hit the pillows and CRASHED HARD!

I took very few pictures today, so I don't anything to share with you right now. Besides, I'm definitely ready to get cleaned up myself and fall into bed. Tomorrow we have promises of a ride on Woodstock Express. Lucas and I might also see if we can catch one big-people ride before the end of the day. Wish us luck...we've been pretty busy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rundown of the first 2 days:


I finished packing with VERY minimal stress! (Definitely my most successful packing endeavour in quite some time!) We left home around noon...ahead of schedule by about a half hour! So far, an amazing day!

We stopped in Toledo around 2:00 for lunch at BW's. $.50 boneless wings & a basket of fries. Then back in the van for more traveling pleasure.

We got to the hotel just after 4:00. Got checked in. Bought our passes. Went and had dinner...East of Chicago buffet, where my children ate more than I did, really! After dinner, we headed to the park for a little evening outing. The first thing Meagan spotted as we were walking in was the old-school sports cars. So that was our first stop. She was M.A.D. for a second when she found out she wasn't allowed to drive because she wasn't tall enough. But she got over it soon enough. After cars, Sebastian wanted to try the Calypso - a spinning while you spin ride...on a full stomach...not the best combo for me. But we went on it. The first time, Sebastian and Meagan went on it with Lucas & Me. Isaac was too unsure. The second time around, though, Sebastian talked him into trying it. So Sebastian rode alone; Meagan rode with Lucas; Isaac rode with me, and he LOVED it! He had a huge smile on his face the whole time.

From there, we hit Snoopy Land. The first ride they got on was the kiddy version of the demon drop or whatever. Again, Isaac was timid about getting on, but he reluctantly agreed to try it once for me. Again, he LOVED it. That boy! Anyway, after a few more rides at Snoopy Land, our night was cut a little short by a looming rain / storm that was rolling in. We headed to the hotel, got the kids in bed, then my mom and I went grocery shopping so we can make meals for the weekend instead of eating out. That's about it for Thursday.


Our morning started at about 7:00 this morning. We made it into Cedar Point around 10:00.

Today was a monumental day in Sebastian's life...he rode his first roller coaster - Disaster Transport. His first ride that has a real height requirement. He is also allowed to ride Iron Dragon now, so that's definitely high on the list for tomorrow.
After a few hours, we headed out for lunch. Then a boat ride around the lake. In the afternoon, we changed up and headed to Soak City. The kids had a BLAST! Lucas and I were also able to get away on our own a bit and went on a few of the big water slides. We left Soak City about 6:00 (although we waited for AN HOUR for the shuttle to come, so it was really a little after 7:00 before we left!). For dinner we grilled at a little pavilion near the docks. We left the boat a little after 9:00. Hotel. Bath. Bed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On the Flip Side!

So far so good...packing has not yet stressed me out. I've got all the laundry washed, folded, hung up and otherwise put away. The beds are made. Rooms (except for the boys') are clean. Bathrooms are clean. Basically, the house is in fair condition...which is a definite prerequisite for stress-free packing! That and the fact that I took about a 30-minute break to finish a layout I started yesterday. :) Just a fun one of the kids playing on the hammock at Grandma & Grandpa's house.

Well, I should get back to packing. We're planning on leaving tomorrow after we eat lunch, so hopefully a good portion of our approximate 3 1/2 hour car ride will be filled with quiet napping! That's what we hope for anyway. Well, I'll check back in when we get back from our vacation! Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Here's Isaac's layout. Isn't he handsome? We sure do have cute kids!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Easy Sunday

Today was a hangin' out day. After church we (the kids and I) cleaned out the van. Lucas got a much-deserved day off after several days in a row of crazy crazy hours...he got to go sporting-goods shopping with a friend. For dinner we headed to Applebee's. Then we had a little family racing time - MarkoKart baby! I'm soooo not very good at that game...but at least I can beat Meagan! LOL!

Here's a layout I started last night and finished tonight after the kids went to's Sebastian's page of tree pictures. Now I just have to do Isaac's and put the rest on an extra page. Then I can call this group of pictures done!! I've got so much catching up to do, it's not even funny, so I get pretty excited when I finish a whole set of pics!

I just bought a 2 new kits this weekend. I used them both a little in this page, although a very little. I'm looking forward to putting them to use!! It may have to wait until after we get home from Cedar Point, though. We're leaving Thursday sometime. Tomorrow is bills & garbage night (possibly some scrapbooking time?). Tuesday my friend Karen and I are going to hang out. Wednesday is my first night back at church since soccer started. Then Thursday we leave! Yikes! I'm going to be on some serious computer withdrawal by the time next Monday rolls around and I get back to the big green machine! LOL! Ah, well, I'd say four days of vacation at Cedar Point is a pretty fair trade for going computerless!

Okay, it's late, so I should probably wrap this up. I've got an early start tomorrow. Later!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Meagan - 3

Here's a layout I did quickly tonight...I totally copied a layout I found online that I liked, so it went together really easily. I decided just to put one of my pictures of Meagan on the layout. I'll put the rest on a page of 4x6's. None of the others of her were spectacular, so I figured less is more. Right? Anyway, I am definitely using these tree pictures for my anual photos. I think they turned out great, considering I didn't have to pay anyone to take them! LOL! Free pictures are the best kind, I always say! So, this is officially Meagan's 3-year picture!
Hope you like it.

What a Week!

What a week! Wednesday evening, while we were eating dinner, a big storm blew through. At first it was just sheets of rain. Then we heard a plunk. Then another. Soon it was more of a pelting, as marble-sized hail covered everything. So, we hung out in the basement a while until it passed. After a break, another storm blew threw. Then it went back to a regular old storm for a while.

Around 9:00, the phone rang. It was the plant calling for Lucas because the elevator broke, or something. What I got from his end of the conversation was this: 1) it was bad, 2) it was plant threatening, 3) it was going to take a LONG time to fix, and 4) he was going to be working in the highest part of the plant, maybe outside, in the middle of all these strong winds, rain and lightening. When I got up the next morning, he still wasn't home. In fact, he called me at 2:00 in the afternoon and told me he was just heading home and he was going to crash. So that was from 5:30 Wed. morning until 2:00 Thursday afternoon being up and working. That's a long time. I tried to cheer him up by telling him now he was like a crab fisherman, working 24 hours + without stopping. His response...'Yeah, but I don't make $80,000 in a week.' Valid point. I stopped trying to cheer him up after that.

Anyway, I found out Thursday that the tornado sirens had actually gone off in the south part of town, and two or three tornadoes had gone over our city. Nice. Today, the kids and I made a trip to a zoo about a half hour from here. We had a great time. It's not like Toledo's zoo - there are fewer animals and lots more walking. But it was still very enjoyable. I was bummed, though, because my camera battery died half way through the day, so I didn't get many pictures at all. At least I got a few! Also a bummer that Lucas couldn't go with us because work wouldn't stop calling. He was afraid if he went he would have to turn around and leave. So I think he just took it easy today (whenever he wasn't on the phone with the plant).

No plans tonight for the 4th. I have no idea if there are even any fireworks going on anywhere, but I know Lucas and the kids are all pretty tired, and it's not worth the effort of finding fireworks if everyone is too tired to enjoy them. So we'll just hang out and be together. Hope you all have a happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One for Slow-Motion Replay

I have to tell you, yesterday morning I pulled a classic move! I was ready to leave for work, so we headed out the door. As we were walking over to Nicole's to drop the kids off, I realized that I had forgotten something in the house, so I told the kids to go on ahead and I would be there in just a second. I went back inside, grabbed what I needed, and headed out again.

Well, to catch up with the kids, I decided to pick up the pace a bit. Instead of walking, I opted for a slow jog. So, I'm jogging through the side yard, down the little hill, doing just fine...UNTIL...I get to the edge of the driveway, where Nicole has her yard toys for daycare lined up. This would have been that point that a wiser, more patient person would have slowed the pace and STEPPED carefully over or around the toys. But not me. I maintained my little jog thing I had going on, and I picked my leg up to hop/step over a plastic lawn mower. However, the toe of my flip flop caught on the mower...and that was the end of my upbeat jog.

I totally wiped out! I took a face dive straight into the car that was parked there, planting my left cheek straight into the rear quarter panel. And apparently I also put my right arm out to try to catch myself, because I took the hardest blow to the funny bone a person could ever imagine. My cheek bone was throbbing, and my entire right arm was tingling and paralyzed. I sat there for a second, alternating thoughts between, "I wonder if my arm is broken" and "I hope none of the neighbors saw that." After sitting there a moment to fight off the feeling of nausea that I often get with large spikes in pain levels, I got up and went into the house.

It was several minutes before my arm moved at all, and probably a few hours before it was back to functioning properly. I had a welt on my elbow for probably half of the day, but by mid-afternoon, the swelling had gone down, and I was left with only a bruise and a scrape...and a much more comic perspective than I had had on the whole event when it first happened.

While at first I was praying that no one saw, now I sort of wish someone had actually caught it on video so I could go back and watch it all. I wonder if it actually looked as funny as I imagine it did? At any rate, I bet that would be good for a belly laugh to watch that in slow motion!