Sunday, September 13, 2015

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Full into football season.  
NFL - because my husband plays pretend with his fantasy team.
College - because of the Buckeyes of course! 
and now tackle football - yikes! 
 Yes, my son is putting on the pads and ready to play. 
His first year and his team is doing awesome. 
 This mama was both excited and nervous as we watched them take the field today. 
Holding my breath every time one of the boys were a little slower to get up making sure
that it wasn't my boy.  
 He had a few blocks and ran the ball.  
I also learned that I have a lot to learn about the sport, because I don't know what 
some of the terms they call out are. 
Like encroachment or an illegal formation is, but mommy is a newbie.  
I did earn major cool mommy points with my choice of gloves though. 
Football season... doesn't get much better than that! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Apple for the Teacher

We are on day 5 of school, and I have a breather to put a few thoughts down. 
Back to routine ( Hallelujah! ) 
The beginning of a new school year is just another document on how the kids 
are growing up.  Can't believe this is my oldest's last year of elementary.  
This time next year she will be starting Junior High and Lil Miss will be starting kindergarten. 
But let's not get ahead of ourselves... 
To the 2015-2016 school year.  
My kids are ruling the school being 5th, 4th and 3rd graders.  

We love our school.
It was so fun to see all the familiar teachers faces, friends (kid's and mommy's),
and to see new families to welcome into this wonderful community.

Rosie couldn't wait to socialize with her friends. 
As excited as the oldest three were to go back, the little one was 
a little sad.  She just lost her three best friends. 
She has told me "I'm bored" about 100 times this week.  
Mommy apparently isn't as fun as her brother and sisters.
Have no fear though, she is starting preschool next week. 
We unpacked her backpack Wednesday night and she 
is ready to go. 
Oh, and it only took 3 days into 5th grade for me to bring in reinforcements
for Math homework. 
Glad daddy understands it all.  
So welcome back to a new school year. 
I pray that my children's teacher love my kids,
That my kids love their teachers,
That we all try to be patient when learning something new,
That we respect other students opinions an feelings,
That we foster old friendships and make new ones too, 
and that everyone tries to do their best. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Loss of Dodger

Last night we lost our beloved dog, Dodger. 
We lost a family member. 
He was an energetic puppy and never lost that 
puppy craziness. 
Hubby and I went to pick out Dodger the day after our Goddaughter Melissa's funeral. 
We took our sister in law and niece to help us pick out the perfect dog.  
And he couldn't have been more perfect. 
Watching the litter play, Dodger was the more laid back of the crew. 
Hubby put Dodger in the palm of his hand and he just sprawled out and relaxed. 

Dodger helped us smile and concentrate on anything but the loss of our goddaughter. 
He knew when we need snuggles and let me unload what I was feeling without judgement.

When we went through all the loss of multiple miscarriages, Dodger was there. 
He was our first "baby". 
He helped us prep for the rambunctiousness that occurred when years later three little 
kids walked into our life.   When I became a mom and didn't have as much time to cuddle, 
he became my son's best friend. 

"I have found that when you are deeply troubled, 
there are things you can get from the 
silent devoted companionship of a dog 
that you cannot get from any other source."  
Doris Day
 There is nothing like puppy love. 
(2005 - 2015)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

a crowded camper is better than an empty castle

I am still scratching my bug bites from this weekend's camping trip. 
We spent 6 days in the camper enjoying 3 days in Michigan and 3 days in Indiana. 
Although there was an infestation of mosquitos everywhere, we enjoyed every minute.
We met all of the Hubby's family in Michigan on Marble Lake. 
The kids had lots of cousins and friends to play with and spent every ounce of 
energy out on the water. 
The Hubs actually posed in a pic for me. 
We appreciate all the time getting to know our future Aunt Ashley #2 better. 
(Me between the 2 Ashleys)
We haven't quite figured out how we are going to tell the two apart yet, except for saying #1 or #2. 
But we are working on nicknames.
Gigi is pretty much love struck when her Uncle Neil is around.
The ice cream sandwiches at after every meal helps.  
AND these two.... don't let their smiles fool you.... they are trouble! 
To extend our vacation a little bit longer this year, we spent the early part of this week camping with my in-laws in the beautiful Pokagon State Park in Indiana.  
The park was loaded with trails, bike paths, playgrounds, Nature Center, and a public beach.  
It is one of the nicest campgrounds we have stayed in. 

{Lightning Bug catching}

Grandma and Grandpa and a slew of the grandkids. 
 As hard as it is to grow up as an Aunt and Uncle who live farther away the 
nieces and nephews don't know us as well... time together means so much more.  
By day 5, Nate finally had Miley warmed up to him. 
 When we drove into Pokagon we saw that they had horse stables.  Hubby knows 
my love for horseback riding (which I do as often as I can which is like once every 10 years, LOL) 
So he splurged and let the kids and I go on a trail ride.  
Lil Miss got to enjoy a small pony ride and she was smitten with Roxy the Horse.  
We are now drawing pictures for Roxy everyday and putting them in envelopes in hopes to send to her.  Let's hope the horse likes getting mail.
The kids and I rode 45 minutes on Roxy, Fred, Chauncy, and Whiskey. 
Mommy was on Whiskey, the slow horse, who liked to go off path and eat the tall grass. 
The kids found this all too funny.  

I keep telling Hubby we should sell the house and move into the camper. 
Because we could do it. 
Yes, I would desperately miss my long hot showers and my washer and dryer, 
but camping suits us. 
When I get home and have to sweep our house and clean all 4 bathrooms, I think 
the camper is soooo much easier to clean. 
But he sadly informs me of Iowa winters (Brrrrrr) and we will save the camping for 
extended weekends from Spring til Fall.   
He also informs me that if we were to move all 6 of us and 2 dogs and "our stuff" into the camper, 
I would not find it fun anymore.  Agreed. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Dads in my life

It's Father's Day. 
A shout out to the best daddy in the world. 
The kids are so lucky to have you as their Dad. 
You are such a good teacher, confidant, boo-boo fixer, 
teddy bear, and role model.
You came into this daddy role so effortlessly. 
You picked the kids up in your arms and never let them go. 
You are such the coolest dad and they love you to pieces.
To my Father-In-Law, thank you for being such a wonderful example to your sons. 
You are one of the most selfless people I know and is always there to lend a helping hand. 
You have taught your son what it is to help others and work hard.
June is a hard month.  
Yes it is the start of summer and we fill the days with camps, summer fun, and sleepovers... but 
it is also a month filled with reminders of my Dad. 
June 1st was the day 4 years ago that we lost him.
June 10th was his birthday. 
And today is Father's Day.
It's left a hole in my heart. 
As much as I want to make Father's Day a special extraordinary day for my Hubby, it is reminder 
that my Dad isn't here to call, or visit, or give a hug to. 
So to all of you with a Dad close by give him an extra squeeze today.  
Spend 5 extra minutes with him on the phone asking him how his day is. 
You never know when you won't have him there beside you. 

"A good father is one of the most unsung, upraised,
unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
Billy Graham

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cute in a Tutu

 This past Saturday, Lil Miss was in her first ever dance recital. 
She has been up and down about dance all year.  
Some days she is super excited about it, and other days you couldn't drag her 
off my lap to participate in class. 
But give her a cute sparkly sequined tutu and lipstick... and we have a dancing DIVA.
  As soon as she got her outfit on for dress rehearsal, she asked if she could wear this forever. 
She turned into a prima donna. 
I successfully got all that thick hair in a ballerina bun and she couldn't wait to dance.

She danced her little heart out on stage.  
She blew kisses to mommy and daddy, and followed the teacher in all the steps. 
I couldn't be prouder. 
Her biggest fan was there watching and she couldn't wait for him to see her. 
He surprised her with flowers and then she poked them into everyone's face 
to smell them.  Brother, sisters, and random strangers.  
We tried this year in dance to get our feet wet and see if she would like it. 
With her older sisters,  one didn't like it at all and the other had massive stage fright. 
I think we are going to have to sign this one up for another year. 
Happy Feet! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

School is Out! Scream and Shout!

We are officially in Summer mode. 
School let out on Thursday and we celebrated another year completed.
{First and Last Day of 4th Grade} 
{First and Last Day of 3rd Grade} 
 {First and Last Day of 2nd Grade} 
 {First and Last Day of 3 Day Preschool} 
In true mommy fashion, I had a little pile of new things for waiting for them in the morning.
The downfall of having surprises for the kids is the excitement. 
On the last day of school Bubba, came down for a glass of water at 5 am 
and saw the gifts on the table and then woke up his little sisters.
When Nate went downstairs to go to work 3 of the kids were up and 
ready to start the day.... WAY to early. 
Let's home they learn to sleep in the rest of the summer. 
It is always fun to see the kid's delight in getting new books, notebooks, 
pencils, bookmarks, and reading logs for the summer. 
In fact that morning they were all ready delving into the books and Bubba 
was penning his first entry in his new journal. 
Let's hope this excitement lasts all summer long. 
Mommy is way to excited to start The Babysitter's Club books with Gigi. 
Next year will be Rosie's last year in elementary school. 
It is crazy to think about. 
I remember dropping her off on the first day of preschool when she was 5.
It is amazing how much the kids can learn in a year.  
Rosie continued her love for science and fell in love with geography this year. 
Bubba has found an eagerness to read.  He has ventured into more advanced chapter books and his vocabulary in one year has really broadened.  We are currently reading the first book of Harry Potter!
Gigi loves school and is my little writer.  She is always journaling and writing mini books. 
Last but not least, Lil Miss has grown up before my very eyes in 3 day pre-k. 
 We love our school. 
They really have great school pride and school spirit. 
A great tradition is the last day of school, all the students congregate outside with the parents around the flag pole to take the flag down.  In brings everyone together.  
I great way to say good-bye to another year.  
Once again we celebrated with our "Welcome to Summer" party.
The kids each had some friends over and we celebrated with music, water balloons, 
slip-n-slide shenanigans, and lots of laughs. 
Celebrating the ordinary days is what I do best. 
I love having parties.  I like the planning and the fine details (even when my hubby is 
telling me I'm nuts for decorating the chalk board at 11pm at night).
I found this quote a long time ago and I have made it my philosophy. 
Turn ordinary into extraordinary!

 Don't Wait for extraordinary opportunities, 
sieze common occasions and make them great. 
Orison Sweet Marden

  I had spent an hour and a half the night before filling up 100 water balloons. 
I have a nasty blister to prove it.  Those balloons in all the craziness lasted all of 7 minutes
when the balloons started splashing Boys vs. Girls.
We can honestly say we have jumped wholeheartedly into summer and 
can't wait to make more memories.  
More fun to come....