Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Time Flies

I can't believe June is hours from being over.

The trip to Castle Golf was successful last week.  The boys played together so well.  They had a BOGO coupon and split the cost of the single admission.  They both only had to contribute $3.  I declined to play.  I watched from a distance, letting them be relatively independent.  Without my knowing, Matthew had brought extra cash and took his brother to Castle Ice Cream afterwards for a double scoop cone for each of them.  I like this commission thing Big Matt set up for them!  They used their own money for this outing.  Big Matt used that experience to help them set up little notebooks.  Now they are learning to record their purchases from the "spend" envelopes.

Wednesday was a blurry kind of day.  I keep forgetting what we did that day!  We were out the door bright and early to spend about half of it babysitting their cousins Faith and Moses.  It was a good day.  Although babysitting like that always leaves me feeling exhausted.  Moses and I took a nap in a lawnchair in the shade.  Yes.  I did leave that mess for their mother to deal with....Moses still wanted to play!  We did however pick up the mess that was in the room before we brought out those smart go track things.

The rest of the week took on a life of it's own as we prepared for Josh's friend birthday party on Saturday and took care of the boys' tournament schedules.  There are practices and scrimmages lined up over the next couple of weeks.  Josh's tournament is the same weekend that Matthew's tournament starts.  Josh will have another tournament in August too.  I baked cupcakes that took 3 days to complete.  It was boxed mix and jarred frosting, but I had to make the royal frosting for all of the pieces.  Saturday morning Big Matt did the decorative frosting and set the pieces, while I made 24 mini sandwiches and ants on the logs.  The fruit caterpillars were already done.  The Yogi Bear party was a big success at the Erie Movie House.  Matthew is already talking about wanting his party their next year.  Next year when he turns 12.  Mary, Mother of God, lend me your heart and keep me in your pure heart.  My baby is going to be 12....and I'm not ready.

Sunday was rainy, so we skipped our planned on Seawolves game.  Good thing.  It got cancelled.  The boys kind of cleaned the garage and I kind of got laundry and stuff done.

Monday was a wet day, although sunny.  Everything was soaked from the weekend's rain.  Their junior league was cancelled because there was standing water on the golf course.  I caught up on housework, the boys road their bikes around and played with their friends, Grandpa dropped off the Olds 442 we'll be babysitting for the month and I taught almost 4 hours of piano lessons.  I was feeling cross eyed by the end of the night.

Today, Tuesday, we headed up to the big theatre for the Summer Movie Clubhouse.  Faith came with us and seemed less than impressed with Penguins of Madagascar.  Frankly I was too.  The original Madagascar movies are far better.  Once she was full of popcorn she was ready to go.  Her mama kindly had an iced mocha for me when she picked up Faith.  It was delicious and a treat that I haven't had for a very long time.  It was also not decaf.  At the moment, I think I can feel my hair growing.  Caffeine is not typically my friend.  However, I've enough to do around here to keep me preoccupied and burn it off.  A stop at GameStop proved successful and a quick trip to get the boys' report card kidsbucks at Stages Consignment was worth it.  Easy come, easy go.  The kidsbucks plus what was in my account from consigning stuff is gone after I found two pairs of 12H jeans to put away for Josh.  Poor kid.  Regulars are just too snug to be comfortable, but huskies give him so much extra room they are downright baggy.  But at least he's comfortable.

Tonight will find us split up for the better part of the evening between a scrimmage and a practice.  I'll certainly have my knitting with me if not the Religious Ed lesson planning material.  I have a prayer shawl in progress for an old friend who needed it last week - but it's slow progress when you have to rip out your work and start over.  I also have to get the boys' material planned and gathered for their 2015/2016 Religious Ed programs.  I need that done before I return to work in the fall!

The boys are relaxing with MarioKart now, while laundry waits for me to fold and sort, bur first I must put away my GameStop card.  Not the member thing you have to pay for, just the rewards card.  You know your a mom of boys when....You have to have a rewards card for a GameStop...And you find athletic supporters laying around the house.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Light on pictures

I haven't been able to capture a picture every day, like I hoped.  My phone isn't always available, being used by one or more people to stream Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons.

Last week started out busy but ended on a quieter note, catching up on house and yard work.  Friday found us out the door first thing in the morning.  We weeded and trimmed and cut and dug.  Matthew mowed and bagged the lawn again.  After tending the flower beds in the back and the garden, I tackled the long neglected back corner.  I dug out 11 bags of weeds and sea grass.  I also discovered a bee hive in the pile of ground up tree trunk.  I was fortunate to only be stung once.

The weekend was a good one with the housework caught up and the lawn already mowed.  Matt and the boys finished their weekend chores and assessed the swing sets while I got the groceries.  We took advantage of Lowe's special discounts and stocked up on the odds and ends we needed to finish some things around the house and make repairs to the boys' swing sets.  They now have new swings, the trap door was repaired and Matt and his Dad straightened it back out from the last wind storm.  The entire fort was shifted over and twisted at the base!  There are still a few repairs that need to be made and all the modifications the boys have planned. Including: replacing the old slide, putting in a climbing rope, reattaching the monkey bars but connecting the two forts.  There's talk of a slack line underneath the monkey bars.  Someone wrote cannons on the list too, but Matt has assured me it was merely an idea not a promise.  We ended the day watching the original Jurassic Park with the boys.  Josh's eyes were wide as saucers and Hunny Bear held in a death grip for the entire movie.

Sunday was a quiet day.  The morning was rough with Matthew serving early Mass.  We rushed out the door and arrived on time.  But my stomach was not happy.  The lingering congestion from the cold I had last week did a number on me.  I felt better after some fresh air and breakfast after Mass, but I hate to be so distracted and miss any part of Mass.  Later at home, we found our newish neighbors in their backyard planting the apple trees they bought for Father's Day.  We were eager to talk gardens, fruit trees and berry bushes.  Our long term goals include expanding the vegetable gardens, raspberry bushes and fruit trees, a laundry line and composter.  I wanted chickens at some point, but am uncertain how the neighborhood HOA will feel.  One of their dwarf apple trees came from a local nursery that I had a gift card for tucked in a drawer.  As they planned to plant two of their trees along the back of their lot, we decided to use that gift card and get a tree of our own.  We have the starts of a little apple orchard along the back of our property lines!  Sunday afternoon we celebrated Father's Day with Grandma, Grandpa and Mimi.  We had lambchops and salads and strawberry shortcake.  All of the boys love lambchops.  Banshee was beside herself trying to beg a bite off of someone....anyone.

The boys ended up going home with Grandma and Grandpa for an overnight and a busy Monday of golf and movies.  They came home last night and today has been about re-entry.  That transition from Grandma's and Grandpa's can be turbulent, especially when sleep was a little less and little less sound than normal.  Now the boys have decided to take some money from their chore envelopes to go play mini-golf.  We'll see how many holes they can play without fighting.

Josh was cleaning his room this morning.  He found this.  He bought them for his Daddy for Valentine's Day.  Apparently Grandma isn't the only one who hides than loses gifts!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Crash and Burn Drabant

Well, Josh did it again.  Wiped out on his bike completely on Tuesday.  I got a phone call and had to go pick him up.  Apparently he didn't start crying until he saw me pulling up.  No broken bones, thank you God.  He's just very scraped up and has quite a bit of road rash.  His bike seat is pretty banged up too.

That was Tuesday.  We were already playing it low key because I'm fighting a miserable summer cold.  After a couple nights of up and down, coughing all night, we skipped the trip to the theatre for the movie in the morning.  Instead we ran a couple Fairview-based errands and picked up some movies at Family Video.  I pulled out the muffin trays for lunch - which was a regular thing when they were little.  It was a nice day, low key and all.

Monday was busy.  The boys had their first golf outing.  Banshee had her annual appointment at the vet.  Later, Josh had a playoff game.  His team won and will be playing in the championship game tonight.  His team were so far ahead that the game was over early, but they continued playing just to play.  Josh had a turn to pitch and actually did really well!  He tried pitching once last year and threw some good strikes, but the distance was shorter and mound not really a mound.  He threw several strikes.  He wasn't throwing wildly at all and he had decent speed.  We just might have a pitcher on our hands.

Today, Matthew had a recall visit with the orthodontist.  He will definitely be getting braces in 2016.  The boys' orthodontist is so accommodating.  He's scheduling Matthew's next visit in October.  He'll run the necessary x-rays and write the recommendation for braces then, so that we can plan for the expense as we prepare for the insurance re-enrollment.  In the meantime, Matthew's homework is to wiggle those loose teeth.

After lunch with Mimi, Aunt Na-na, Faith and Moses, the boys will need some quiet time.  Josh is to rest up for his big championship game tonight.  It's a big deal at the big field with announcers.  I'm hoping that Josh will be announced as Crash and Burn Drabant.  He's the reason I always stock up on bandaids when they are on sale.

(We're still waiting to hear if Matt will be chosen for the all-star tournament team.  That will add a few more weeks to our baseball season.)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer Vacation Week 1

On the last day of school, we were still on our own.  It was Thursday and we were done at school by noon.  Matt was still in Vegas for the HP Discover Conference.  I was planning on finishing the lawn I had started mowing the night before and we had two ball games that night.  It was Burger King for lunch.  Then, home, where I had help mowing the lawn.

Daddy came home overnight.  The boys were first happy to see him and second happy to see the swag he brought home for them.  This included a real set of casino cards for each of them.  Go Fish becomes a little more high brow on cards from the Venetian!

 For lunch, we took the boys to the White Turkey.  They finished with kiddie cones.  They were surprised by their small size, but after a big lunch and giant mugs of frosty cold homemade root beer, they really were just enough.

Matthew captured this picture for us.  I was so happy to have my handsome husband home.  We managed the everyday routines all week, although I did have to cancel all of my lessons.  But managing isn't enough.  I needed someone to share it all with - the good, the bad, the mundane.  At 2 am, my welcome was muted, I snuggled up and fell right back asleep, with my husband instead of the piles of pillows I had stacked on his side of the bed.  Banshee's welcome was unbridled joy.  She spent the rest of the night pawing, licking and whining at Daddy while he tried to sleep.   

Josh had a baseball game on Saturday morning.  It was his last regular season game.  Both boys regular seasons have now ended.  Matt's team was eliminated in the first round of playoffs.  Josh plays again on Monday night.  Matthew was invited to try out for the All Stars Tournament team.  Fingers crossed!
Who was in charge of sunscreen?!

At least he's outside!

Spoiled rotten.


 Ha!  We've outgrown strikes.

 Our first week was a rainy one.  We spent an afternoon watching The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.  I think watching the movie, then reading the books is the way this family will have to go.  The movie always gives the one boy the kick in the seat of the pants he needs to pick up a book.  The other is so enthused if he's already read the book that he talks through most of the movie, explaining the characters, plot line and differences.  I love them both.

It was dry enough out after the movie to take a walk.  While I prepared Banshee, the boys found their swords.  What was once their pirate swords from medieval times quickly became swords with which they needed to defend Narnia. 

 Sir Peter Wolfsbane, King of Narnia 

 While I was trying to make dinner, the boys made Wardrobes out of Legos.
Josh goes for detail.

 Matt likes simplicity.
He also doesn't like when Mom tells him to go play with Legos instead of video games.

He ate as many cherries as he helped wash for dinner.
At least they didn't go to waste.

By midweek, after all that rain, the yard needed attention.  I cleaned out the front beds from some weeds, faded spring plantings and a bajillion helicopters.  The boys worked together to use Dad's tools to blow the helicopters out of the driveway.  Directions printed on the side helped us get it started.  They did not help us get the stuck gas cap off when we ran out of gas.  We three had to sweep up the street and remaining piles by hand.  Matthew also helped mow the lawn again.  This time he did all but the little side yard and around the front flower beds.  That freed me up to finish digging out the ugly patch of pachysandra left in front of the house.

We were glad to see the chiropractor after all of our yard work.  Me especially after digging out the ugly pachysandra, the pachysandra with poison ivy in it and scrubbing grout. 

 We ended the week with morning Mass on Friday to celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  It was just a small, quiet, weekday morning Mass.  Josh was miffed.  He was the only one in the room that wasn't able to receive Communion.  He's not being so patient about waiting for his First Holy Eucharist.  It's going to be a long year.

We also tie dyed shirts.  If I had truly been on the ball, we'd have done these earlier in the week so that they could wear them on Friday.  I was not on the ball.  Instead we did them Friday afternoon.  

This is his "Take the picture, Mom!" face.

Then they wore them today.  Saturday.  Still fitting as it is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Since school let out we've also managed to squeeze in two recitals.  Last Sunday, Josh performed in his guitar recital.  He performed Weekend Whip by The Fold , which is the theme song for the Lego Ninjago animated series.  This morning, he performed two pieces form his method books in his piano recital.  Matthew also played Cantina Band on the trumpet.  It was a joint recital for both their teacher's students and mine.  I was very proud of all my kids - my boys and my students!

Golf starts next week.  We plan to catch a movie.  There's an orthodontist appointment and we're not sure how much more baseball left.  I hope to catch at least one picture a day and plan to try to post a little more regularly.  I don't have any excuse not to - it's not like we're busy or anything?!