and kids

and kids

Friday, August 31, 2012


I feel like I waited long enough to go eat lunch with the kids.  They always encourage (especially for kindergarteners), to let them get acclimated to the routine before you come eat with your kids!

My paperwork seemed to be small today, so I headed to school on a last minute decision.  Of course, my phone rang off the hook and e-mails beeping like crazy while I was there. 

This is Mac and John (brother of Daegan's friend Luke).  Doesn't Mac look like he hates school.  :)
2nd grade can't pick a friend to eat with, but we lucked out because Capps' buddy, Aubrey, was eating with her Mom, so they ate with us!
 Daegan picked Isaiah (because we never see him) and Tavis came alone.
Then I returned calls and answered e-mails on my phone until Jr. High came to lunch.

But, I didn't embarrass Mollee and take a picture.  I will say that lunch with 250 pre-teens is really, really loud!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mollee's First Soccer Game

We decided to make Mollee's games a Family Fun outing.  Except tonight, we left Mac with Aunt Heather, which turned out to be a good idea.  It was hot.  There were bugs.  And it was hot - (aka. Daegan was miserable and couldn't believe I didn't leave him at the Harris' also).
Apparently, 15 minutes before the game started an e-mail went out to tell parents that the game had been moved to a different field.  We didn't get that e-mail.  And the field was not one that you'd happen to find, it was one about four miles away. 

So, we missed most of the first half.  From what we hear, Mollee did great.  She did get kicked in the knee and had to come out.  But she played hard and quick!
This is her in the left corner fighting for the ball.
She is the cute one in the middle here! 
She played mid-field today.  We did see her knock an opponent down and the ref say something to her.  She definitely plays hard.

We lost 2-1.  Both teams scored, and, unfortunately, the opposing team got a penalty kick because of a handball in the box.

Here is the pep talk afterwards - and, I think, the Saturday planning for some technique training.
First game of many to come!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Maybe OCD helps with pemanship?

I was very impressed with Capps' homework that he brought home.  But then again, he is my OCD child that has to make everything perfect!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Genes are a funny thing

Found this picture of Jason at Mima's house.  Different people say certain kids look "just like him".  

I don't see it?

Who do you think looks the most like Jason?

Psalm 34:11-14

Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Despite a busy week

Jason still did a few projects today.

He put this lamp between our garage doors to light our driveway at night.  (forgot to get a before picture)

 And he installed a fan/light in our bedroom - before:
The best part about both of them is that they are recycled leftovers from other jobs - Yeah!

Jumped in with Two Feet!

This first full week of school has been absolutely Non-Stop.  We've had orientations, soccer practice, band parties, doctor appointments, etc.   It all confirms our reasoning for not letting the kids play sports until 6th grade - it adds so much to the family scheduling dynamic.

Our week recap (for the grandparents who want to know):

Monday, Jason took the kids to school in the morning, I cleaned the house and then worked from home.  Mom took me to Costco to stock up on lunchbox items, which was costly, but very necessary.  I picked up kids at 3:00.  Jason picked up Mollee from soccer at 5:00, which means he now gets to enjoy 5 o'clock traffic coming up the Ridge each day.  Mollee had to shower quick and then we met the Kemps for dinner.  They were taking us to O'Charleys for my birthday dinner.  So nice - no cooking, good food and great company.  Rachel brought a cake too so we were all uncomfortably full by the time we got home.  Then Mollee got to jump right into homework!

Thankfully, all 6th grade classes have Study Hall last period.  They have it set up this way so that the students can get used to the bigger homework load and try to teach them to use study hall wisely.  Also, it means all the 6th grade teachers are available at this time if the kids have any questions on an assignment.  I think it is a wonderful set up!

Tuesday, Jason took the kids and I went to work at the office to help train a new girl that is joining our team.  I ran a few errands, picked up kids at 3:00, Jason picked up Mollee at 5:00.  I fed everyone dinner and then headed back to school at 7:00 for Jr. High Orientation.  They had it scheduled where we went thru our student's schedule in 15 minute blocks to meet the teacher and learn what is expected.  I always dread these evenings because they take up my evening, but it is so helpful and it is amazing how each one of the teachers has a true love of kids and a real desire to help them learn (of course, if you are teaching Jr. High, you probably have a real love of kids).

Wednesday, I took the kids to school, went to a dental appointment (and get to look forward to more dental work next week...yeah).  Pick up at 3:00, no soccer on Wednesdays and then we went to church for the first Wednesday Night Dinner for this Semester.

Thursday, Jason took the kids, I helped train at the office again and got a huge stack of new paperwork to work on.  Pick up at 3:00, Jason picked up Mollee at 5:00, but there was a Soccer Info Meeting at 5:15, so he got to go to that.  I had dinner ready for Jase and the boys and Mollee had to shower as soon as she got home and we had to be back at school by 6:45.  She had a Band Party and I had Elementary School Orientation.  They only had three blocks to meet teachers and I had four to get to, but I think I learned what I needed to learn.  Usually, it is all repeat information, but they've changed all their programs this year, so it was very helpful and necessary.  Mollee and I got home around 8:45 and she hadn't been home since 7:30 that morning, and she still had to study for a math test.

I must say that I'm proud of Mollee.  She has put in 110% effort.  She is loving soccer, seems to be keeping up with her homework and is having a blast at school.  I know it is only the first week of school, but she seems to be using her study hall wisely, soccer is a great outlet for her because she is the type of child that needs to burn energy....often, and she is so pleasant each day when she gets home - she really is loving Jr. High!

Friday, Jason took the kids, I worked all morning on my new stack of paperwork, went by the office for a little bit in the afternoon.  Then, I had to pick up some yard signs for work.  Tavis was spending the night with a friend, so I met up with him afterschool to hand off his overnight bag and get his school things. Then, I picked up my kids and the Harris cousins and dropped the younger kids off at a birthday party for Christopher.  Jason got Mollee from soccer and then Uncle Jonny picked up from the birthday party (nice to swap rides to and from similar birthday parties).  Pizza for dinner and a major crash by Jason and I and lots of Xbox time for the boys - we have ceased all media time during the week so they made up for lost time.

We are busy, next week we won't have orientations, but we will start with Mollee's soccer games soon and I'm sure everyone's homework load will increase.  But, we aren't home much, and I cleaned Monday - and my house is still clean....that is almost unheard of!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Caines Birthday for Mommy!

Vanillia Poundcake with Almond Icing - YUM!

 New Kitchen Utensils, just what I asked for!
 Aunt Heather made me an Alabama pillow - AWESOME!!!!
(please note my smart child next to me - notice his shirt)
And thus ends the best birthday ever!

Blonde and, today, straight

I can't seem to get a good picture of my new hair, but it looks a lot more blonde in real life?
 Daegan loves any opportunity to take a picture, so this was my silly face for him.
When Capps got in the car after school on Friday there was no "Hi", just "Your hair is supposed to be brown, it looks ok with the yellow, but it is supposed to be brown".  Gotta love the honest Monkey that hates change!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Best Birthday Weekend...Ever...

Gretchen Style! (and it is only half done)

Yesterday I turned 36.  Jason sent me to the salon to get my hair blonde (I'll post pictures soon).  I wanted to go really, really blonde, but since I have been dying my hair red for so long, I couldn't just go blonde in one shot.  Maybe I'll go blonder next time, maybe not?  It is just fun for me to play with my hair color even if some people don't understand the extremes.

Jason set up a babysitter (all by himself) for us to go out to dinner last night.  When he got home from work, he brought me some Dove chocolate and this beautiful vase of flowers.
Our babysitter - CHRISTINE - just happens to be my good friend, Heidie's, daughter!  When she came, she brought these flowers from Heidie.  I love having fresh flowers around the house!
In another "Gretchen Style" way - Jason and I started our date by stopping at the doctor's house first so he could look at my poison ivy.  Then after our date, we got to stop by the pharmacy on the way home.  Seems so appropriate for me! :)

I had no idea where we were going, but only because it was my decision and I couldn't decide.  We ended up at Logan Roadhouse because I really just wanted a good steak.  It was soooo good.  I had salad and baked potato and Jason got prime rib.  We are so predictable and boring!

After dinner we went to Barnes and Noble and got a few things we've been wanting.  After getting my meds at the pharmacy, we went to Steak-N-Shake for milk shakes - again, so predictable - I got Mocha with caramel sauce and Jason got Butterfinger.

Since my birthday fell on a Friday, and that was our date night, we told the kids we'd celebrate on Saturday. 

We had Krispy Kreme for breakfast - yum!  (Can you tell the way to my heart is thru my stomach, hmmmm?)  Then Jason took the kids shopping and this is what they came back with:
Of course, no one could wait so they gave them to me right away.  Yeah!  I love them! 

Jason did a great job this year!  I have felt so special and had a great 36 hours.  I think we'll probably just do cereal for dinner or I might take advange of a few hours of birthday celebrating and get Jase to go get me some chicken noodle soup from Panera, so I don't have to cook.  And Mom is making me stew and pound cake for lunch tomorrow. 

It has been wonderful to turn 36!!!

Poison Ivy is (fill in the blank)

itchy, beyond all itchiness.

a sanity battle.

from Hell.

definitely part of the Fall.

OK, so I feel like I'm being a wimp.  When it comes to physical ailments, I've had my fair share, but I have a high pain tolerance.  But being itchy isn't about "pain" and it is at the top of my "hate" list.  When I was pregnant with Capps, I got some sort of liver issue and I was so itchy.  I scratched and scratched until I had bruises everywhere.  In hindsight, that is a little embarrassing.

Jason would like to point out a self-control issue.

So, two weeks ago today, I decided to weed out my monkey grass.  Our yard looks terrible and I make no effort to make it look good (desire for it to look good, but no desire to work and no time), but I decided it was getting out of control.  I was pretty sure it was poison ivy that I was pulling out, but I've never had a reaction to it before.

I was only outside for an hour.  I bagged what I pulled, showered as soon as I came in and washed the clothes I was wearing in hot water.  I did what I was supposed to do to be safe, or so I thought.

The next morning I was itching.  It was all over my ears, face, neck and hands.  I called the doctor and he called me in five days of prednisone - the strongest dose per day he could give me.  It seemed to get a little better, but didn't go away.

And then it started to get worse and spread to my arms, stomach, back and legs.  And I never stop scratching.  At two weeks, I met with the doctor again yesterday and he gave me another dose of prednisone.  This time a two week dose that gradually gets fewer mg per day. 

Two doses in and I think I'm getting relief.

And Mollee and Jason are strangely glad that I now know how bad poison ivy is - they get it all the time and I never have as much sympathy as I will have from now on.

And with all this prednisone in my system, maybe I'll get some closets cleaned out that I've been avoiding....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day of School Success

The kids all had a blast.  I am so relieved that they actually wanted to get back to school!

Mac jumped in the van and yelled, "IT WAS AWESOME"! 

Capps informed me that it was going to be a good year because the teacher said you are going to have to do a lot more reading to learn and that was great, since he loves to read!

Daegan said it was ok.  Could he have a friend spend the night Friday?

Tavis said that Mrs. Gordon likes to talk alot.  He also enjoyed his day and he was sitting next to Noah and Ryan - I'm placing bets how long it will be until someone gets moved.

Mollee said it was great and the schedule isn't confusing at all since she understands it now.  She also had homework, but because of the block schedule it isn't due until Friday, so she is just going to wait until tomorrow night to do it. 

First Day of School 2012

Last night - backpacks packed
 Lunchboxes half packed

Of course, Mac was up and ready to go before my alarm went off.  (Unfortunately, his picture is a little hazing because it was earlier in the morning and the camera hadn't adjusted to be outside yet).

I got each of the boys a nice shirt and a graphic tee.  Of course, they all chose the graphic tee today - Mac's has a skateboard, Capps' has bananas, Tavis' has a drum set and Daegan's is a pizza yelling "Run For Your Slice"

Jr High - Here She Comes!  I had no idea was to expect her to wear - Mimi took her shopping and she got a lot of new clothes.  She chose this! 
 Group Shot
 Group Shot holding up what grade you were going to 
 The Line Up!

And they are off.  I'm holding up ok.  I have a big day of cleaning ahead of me to keep me busy and not sad.  It might seem crazy, but I hate a quiet house, so there might be music blaring while I clean.

Oh, yeah - and I have a job and work from home too!  That will also keep me busy today.

Can't wait until 3:00 to hear about their days!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Desk Day 2012

aka. (when you have an Upper School Student), Locker Day

Mac meeting Mrs. Wieldraayer and Mrs. Davenport for Kindergarten!
Capps with Mrs. Rulon for 2nd Grade
Daegan with Mrs. Wilson for 3rd grade
Tavis with Mrs. Gordon for 5th grade
We also set up Mollee's locker for 6th and met her teachers and tried to make sure we had all the school supplies she would need.  We also tried to make sense of the Blue Day and Gold Day schedule.

She requested that I not take a picture of her in the midst of the chaotic 6th grade hallway.  I obliged.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

School Supplies For Five

I am the one that always has their Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving.  The one that picks up birthday presents throughout the year, to be prepaid.  The one that catches all the sales for school supplies so I don't break the bank trying to prepare for the First Day of School.

That is the old Gretchen.

The new Gretchen, the one with a job, other than a mom, is so different.  She can't seem to stay on top of anything, and school supply shopping is one of the many things that has slipped through.  We won't even discuss the housework, the meal planning, etc.

Mimi wanted to try to shop with us, but we couldn't seem to get together in time.  With Desk Day less than 24 hours away, I had to venture out - with all five - in the rain - to get school supplies, new sneakers (yes, I said sneakers) and a new shirt for everyone to wear the First Day of School.

Thankfully, work hasn't been too overwhelming this week.  So, I was able to get away without feeling too stressed.  We started at Academy and bought new kicks for the three big boys.  Mac had some almost-new-hand-me-downs that he seemed happy with.  Our standard is that Daegan gets new shoes in August and is usually good until the next August - so we know to buy a 1/2 size up.  Tavis and Capps usually need about three pairs of sneakers a year.  The ones that Capps has been wearing had huge holes in them and I am thankful  there has been a lot of flip-flop wear this Summer. 

After Academy we headed to Old Navy.  They were having $10 jean sale and $5 graphic tees, so I figured I could get all we needed for the boys.  My patience didn't last long (especially knowing that we still had to get school supplies), but each boy picked out a new t-shirt.  We didn't get any jeans, even though Daegan was hoping for some colored jeans, which I will get at some point.  And Mollee found some bright blue slip-on sneakers that she had to have.  Really feeling like the 80's have invaded!

We then headed to Target to get all the school supplies we still needed, which was most of them.  It was a quite a trip, but the kids survived and are still alive.  It is amazing how much money is required to have all the items needed for the list.  I won't post the price here, so I can exagerate it later when the kids are grown.

Tonight, again, last minute is soooo not my thing, we labeled everything after dinner. 

I have to admit, for the record books, it made me very stressed, but I think the stress was stemming  from sadness.  Having to write M-A-C on so many items and to have him bouncing off the walls and not really caring made me sad to "miss that moment" with him. 

Silly, I know, but when Mac heads off to school next Wednesday, it is going to be a sad day for this Momma!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Searching Out Water Fun

Needed a Field Trip today. 

We headed to the Passage but the water was not on or even existent - bummer!  So we ended up here!

It was so hot!  But we had a blast!
I told Jason I always admire how the kids just jump in and play with other kids.  Mollee always gets attached to the younger girls and plays with them and looks out for them.  The boys (mostly Tavis) always make a new friend and usually knows their name and family history.
I love Group Shots!!!!

Winding up the path over a two hour period!
And ending at the "broken road"
A brief moment where we were the only ones in this section!

The kids wanted to run up the steps and I decided I needed to stay at the bottom and take a picture.
Literally, about 90 seconds after I snapped this picture the sky got dark and the lightening started.  So, we headed to the car!  Unfortunately, our 12 minute drive home (the boys have it timed) took about 45 minutes - not sure why, except that it was raining?

When we got home a little before 5:00, Jason was already home.  He had been in the heat (working)- but without the water fun!

I had put dinner together before we left, so I was able to throw it in the oven without much fuss.  We had promised the kids we would go to Steak-N-Shake for treats sometime in the Summer, so we added that to our activities tonight!

Now, the kids are watching a little Ninjago while they all have a sugar crash.  I am watching the Olympics and Blogging.  And Jason is reading!

One week until school starts!

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