Tuesday, May 27, 2008


About 2 years ago when I noticed that there were gads of children in the neighborhood that all started playing together, I prayed that ours would NOT be the house where they gathered. Olivia was too young to really care and happy enough to stay in our yard and amuse herself. Last year she began to overcome her "slow-to-warm-up-ness" and would play with the kids next door every now and then. It was great. We'd send her over the fence or up the street for an hour or so and just chill with the babies. It was very relaxing.
Fast forward...Spring 2008...
It's warming up and the creatures are crawling out of the woodwork. And boy have things changed! Our yard has become the gathering place. It all started on Friday. Several kids from the neighborhood just hopped the fence and started playing in the yard. There were about 7 of them. They played here for a few hours before everyone retreated home for dinner and bed. It continued on Saturday. After we came home from OG's soccer practice, we put the babies for a nap, I went food shopping and Cindy started yard work while OG played in the yard. I returned about an hour later to find several children running around our yard. By early afternoon, there were 13 children other than our own running around. And they never left. Well, not until 8 PM when we dragged Olivia and her 2 friends in for the night. Our friend, Heather, and her twin boys came for a sleepover. So we all bathed, put on PJ's and watched a movie. It was great.

In the end, it made me really happy that all these kids feel safe and love to play here in our yard. I'm not sure, however, why they like to be here because I'm quite sure I'm the "meanest" mom on the block. I make them all throw away their garbage and juice boxes after snacks. I do not allow bad language. They may not hit, push, fight over toys, say "shut up" or scream. And I insist on taking tuns and sharing. I am not afraid to hand out timeouts like candy and I watch them like hawks. Still, they all have such a good time and keep coming back. Go figure.

Sunday was the block party. We didn't have as big a turnout this year as in years past, but the 15 families that came had a blast. I had chalk and street paint for the littler ones. We brought out the sprinkler and they went wild. And the big finale...the firetruck. The firemen bring the truck and hats for the kids every year and they never tire of it. This year we got a great shot of all of them on the truck.

Olivia had a really hard day. She was overtired and kept falling. She got a blister on both heels from the red sparkly shoes she insisted on wearing when the party started and her knees took a beating when she took a dive on the street running to get to the firetruck. But it didn't keep her from getting in the pictures. After some hugs and kisses from her moms and her 2 BFF's, and 2 very big bandaids, she was ready to pose, pout and all.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fashion Sense (or not so much)

Olivia is doing great at getting up and ready for school in the morning. No complaining or whining. It's been a pleasure. The other day, she urprised me by coming into my room fully dressed. She brushed her teeth, washed her face, picked out an outfit and put it on. She was PROUD. All the right body parts were covered and it was perfectly approriate clothing for the weather that day. I thought she did great. Decide for yourself...

Emma is picking up on Olivia's love for fashion and made a satement of her own. Strangely, og did the same thing when sh was Emma's age. Whe I get a minute, I'll look for the pix and post for comparison. I'm pretty sure OG was able to stack at leat 12 pair on her neck.

Olivia's legs are taking a beating. If she weren't my child, I'd report her parents to DYF*S.

That's all for now, gotta get ready for the block party. We've been planning it for weeks and it's finally here and it's already 75 degrees out at 9 AM. Woohoo!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Lazy Post

Not a lot going on here, so I just keep taking pictures, hoping a story will come my way, but it's just not happening.

We're sitting for my brother's pup, Anabelle. She's a beast, a bull, a monster - but such a sweet little creature. She weighs more than Max, though he towers over her. They wrestle outside for 4-5 hours a day (when it's not raining, which it has been every other day for the last week!) After they eat dinner, sheer exhaustion takes over and neither one moves until the next morning.

Emma and Jake have been cooperative in posing for me on request. Emma is going through a stage of putting any and every piece of clothing on her head that she can get her hands on. This time she got it right and used a hat. Jake was staring at a butterfly.

They are loving the tricycle. Emma usually gets on backwards, but the very 1st time she got on the right way, Jake decided to join her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

What a wonderful day!
Gale joined us for church, as Olivia sang with the other children from ages 3 through 8. It was a special presentation for Mother's Day. The 3 and 4-year-olds didn't remember the words, though they've been practicing every Sunday for weeks. Regardless, OG manged to mouth the words wonderfully, only milliseconds after they were sung by the older kids (hehe). SO CUTE!

Then we headed down to Cindy's mom's house. It's been almost 1 year since she passed and I can't belive how the time has flown by. One of Cindy's brothers is living there and everyone thought it would be nice to gather there and be together for Mother's Day, as we've done every year. It felt so warm and comfortable to be there, as if she wee there with us. I think I even felt my mom drop in. MWAAAAAA! - love you, Mom and Pat!

It was freezing out! None of us were prepared for this weather, but, of course, the kids didn't care. Alex and Olivia ran around outside and played for hours. Uncle Stephen got in the act as the big bad monster and chased them around for a while to warm up.

Jake and his Godmother, Jacqui. He spent almost the ENTIRE day sitting on her lap and next to her and just hangin'. He's quite attached and she loves him to death.

The 3 troublemakers and little Ava, showing off her tumbling prowess.

All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with love, family and friendship. I couldn't ask for more.

Monday, May 5, 2008

What a Day!

FINALLY! The mercury crept above 50. It was a whopping 70 today and we took advantage as soon as we rolled out of bed (well...almost). We spent a total of 6 hours outside today just playing and posing.

Actually yesterday was pretty nice too and we went to the 1st town street fair of the season.

I've been a lazy blogger lately, and I still am, so I leave you with some pictures until I have more energy and I can write something witty.

OG rode Winnie the pony at the street fair (AGAIN), though she complained the pony was too small ans wants to ride a real horse for her birthday. We'll see whether she gets on when she sees the size of it!

Emma discovered the fun of opening and closing the windows on the playhouse, Jake jumped in and we ended up with lots of laughs.

Bump, what bump? Emma took a header out of the play area onto the driveway She was up a at 'em again in seconds. She's a real trooper.

OG jumped into the baby swing, which is about 3 feet off the ground. I have no idea how she did it, but she was pretty proud of herself.

You'll notice which car each one chose. No gender stereotypes around here.

BEEEEEP! BEEEEEP! A tough call for Jake. Eventually he sided with Emma for fear of being beaten up.
Max, too, fears for his safety as Emma tortures him with an animal cracker. He is such a good dog! He could easily swallow the cracker AND Emma without even breaking a sweat.