Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer is Over

With an old and extremely slow computer, blogging has been pushed to the side for now. We're recovering from an extremely exciting summer where both Eric and I were home together for 2 months. And we're still married!

We welcomed "Iggy" into the family. She's our 26 foot trailer R/V. We drove her to mammoth and had an amazing trip. My new/used car, "Agnes," managed to pull her all the way to and from up to 10,000 feet. Yep, we name our vehicles.

Luke started Kindergarten yesterday (I am still in shock about that one), Claire began third grade, and Zac is a "too-cool-for-school" fifth grader. Sara started her sophomore year a few weeks ago and we haven't heard a peep from her since. We take that as a good sign. She's almost 16! As usual, time flies.

Eric and I also went back to school. So far my exciting moments have been the girl who won't sit and just stares at me for about 20 minutes before she decides to "join the group" and "act like a student." One little guy didn't make it to the restroom in time, but another just decided to drop his pants in the middle of the playground and water the tree. A first in my 10 years, 2 days at Vista.

Eric has his last hour off at school and is able to pick up the kids 2 times a week. That's new and exciting and so far he's done it once. Hopefully he'll continue to do so. ;)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

8 is Great!

We have finally come to the end of Claire's week long birthday celebration. It began with presents from Butch and RoRo and donuts at school on her "actual" birthday, February 21st. That night she requested we go to a school function called the "Sock Hop." To my surprise it was really fun.

Claire ended up staying the night with a friend. I picked her up in the morning for a birthday pedicure with her Oma and big sister, Sara.

The Tucker family came over that night for a family party. We ate, played, and danced. Again, it was really fun!

One of Claire's best girl friends from her soccer team, Erin, has a birthday 3 days after Claire's. Her mother and I thought of the brilliant plan to join forces and have a party together. So the "Stars" went ahead and had their usual Friday night soccer practice. Afterward, we transported all 10 of the girls to Erin's house to change into dance party clothes. Some college students were there to do hair and makeup.

The girls danced and sang Karoke in a room full of balloons, a fog machine, a stage, and colored lights. They ended the evening swimming, zip-lining, and jumping on the trampoline in the rain.

Seriously, the best party ever. Not sure how we can top it next year.

This is all typical of our Claire. She is our "go-getter." Every day she wakes up and asks, "What are we doing today?" She loves being active and spending time with friends and family. Her energy is contagious. We kind of think she's great. :)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Year in Review

If I squint and strain I can almost remember back to January 2013. I think that is because the last 6 months have been packed full of awesomeness, it made the previous 6 less memorable.

The highlights (in no particular order)are: moving to Claremont, a trip with friends to Palm Springs, moving to Claremont, an amazing trip to Lawrence, Kansas, and moving to Claremont.

Thanksgiving 2013 was the best ever. (No offense to those whom we've spent the last many with because they are always special.) Flying on a plane without a stroller or diapers to deal with felt amazing. Then a week of pure joy, food, drink, and lots of fun away from home was incredible! It was cold, crisp, and clear; weather we rarely see. A trip to Allen Field House to see the KU volleyball team and hear the KU fight song and Alma Mater performed, ranks high on the list of memorable moments.
Then of course the great company and the many hours spent with cousins jumping in the trampoline was perfect. I have to say that Thanksgiving Day at Ron and Elaine Schmidt's home (Susan's parents) with 40ish people ranging in age from a new baby to a 92 year old, was straight out of a movie. Picture a beautiful home, a place setting for every one of those people, 16 kids running amok, every different kind of food you can imagine, drinks, KU basketball on TV, a white elephant exchange, YouTube video hilarity, more kids running amok, and more drinks. I was in heaven. Thanks to the Schmidts, the Rocks, and especially Mark, Susan, Andrew, and Thomas!
I really enjoyed having Christmas dinner at our house this year. Not only do we have the space, but we have added some entertainment pieces to help manage (or create) kid chaos. Santa brought us a trampoline, Eric got us a ping pong table, then to add to that we have some XBox and Wii games, a new scooter, nerf guns, American girl Doll Glamor parlor, chocolate, and egg nogg. Eric's two aunts and their families were here, of course Butch and RoRo, and Chad and Lisa's crew. So far Diesel and Porsche have not destroyed one present. That is worth noting. :)

Yesterday Eric and I played a soccer game with our entire family and a few others. I can barely move today. I never make resolutions, but this year mine is this: Get up and move around for things that are fun, like playing with my kids. I plan on jumping on the trampoline, playing some more soccer(!), and walking the dogs. A short list but I think I can handle it.

Happy New Year. 2014 here we go!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Decade

I get my daily eye roll in when I sign in to Facebook to read yet another parent's lengthy post reflecting on how "blank years ago our family was blessed when blank was born..." Well, I'm feeling a little like those parent's today, yet I'm resisting the urge write a novel about it on FB.;)

Yes, 10 years ago today, Zachary made his first appearance. Saturday night we celebrated with 8 of his closest friends at Sky Zone (trampoline park). Sunday morning he wrote each of those friends a thank you note without a complaint. That afternoon he got to enjoy the new Xbox 360 that his birthday money allowed him to buy. Today he took cookies to class. None of this appears to be a big deal to him, but it is to me. He's my first. I love that he's a self starter, that he has amazing friends, and that he takes really good care of himself and his siblings. For the record some of his favorite things right now are Minecraft, Minecraft, soccer, making odd faces in pictures, talking on the phone at length, and Minecraft. Did I mention he likes Minecraft?

Happy birthday Z!

Friday, September 6, 2013


It's 2 weeks into the new school year and I'm exhausted. I'm working full time for the first time in 7 years. I'm hoping the feeling of being hit by a truck every night will pass. I'm not complaining, just commenting. I realize how lucky I have been to do the 2 things I love so much at the same time.

Anyway, I'm on beer #2 and reflecting on the 24 precious darlings who have been left under my care. First there is M who I have to physically remove from his father (who speaks no English and looks like he may burst into tears and I frustratingly can't communicate with him :/) every morning. Then we endure a few minutes of screaming and kicking until his father has left the campus and M can go to the office since he's scaring the rest of the class. Then there is J who is adorable and sweet but not so much when she is whimpering all day while clutching a photograph of her family. And no, she didn't go to preschool. I know you're surprised. A special shout out to E who among so many super cute moments decided to sit in the middle of the wet soccer field and cry until I walked all the way in sandals through the (did I mention?) tall, wet grass to help her stand up and walk to class. She was mad that she was last in line. Life is hard. Then there is G. I'm actually genuinely in love with this guy. Unfortunately I'm not qualified to do anything but love him. He has Down Syndrome, he's nonverbal, and in diapers. I know what you're thinking. I'm so lucky. But truly I am. All of them are only 5 years old (babies!) and have only been with me for 7 days. I have 173 more to realize their potential. Help!

I feel inspired that my own children are doing well. Zac can't talk enough about how nice his teacher is. Claire is, well, Claire. Easy. And Luke has begun a new chapter back at the ECC. (More to come on that later.) Sara started high school and sent me a text saying she has a "few opinions about high school" she can't wait to share. I can't wait!

Summer was a blur of boxes, swimming, soccer, friends, sleep, movies, and more swimming. I wish it could all slow down just a little. Yeah. I'm on beer #3. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

14 Years

July 4, 1999 Eric (Bus and Mack) and I spent our first night at our first home,1422 N. Ukiah Way, watching fireworks on the roof. At the time 1400 sq. ft seemed like a mansion. 4 kids, amazing memories, and many dogs later, we felt a little squished.

Thanks to Butch and Roro we have now spread out quite a bit at their former home in Claremont. So far the perks are many. The kids all have their own room. There is so much space that the kids wrestling in the back of the house right now while I type isn't as annoying! When I have to take a kid to soccer, or the orthodontist, or a friend's house, it only takes 2 minutes. I love that I can hear the summer school bell at the high school across the street so I know when Eric will be home. Going to the grocery store means running into at least 3 people you know. The kids swim in the pool at least 2 times a day. And the neighbors are kind and actually visit with us. I could go one but I don't want to brag.;)

Butch and Roro's new home in Pilgrim Place is quite spectacular as well. In my opinion the best part is the parade location for the 4th of July.

July 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Luke is 4!

April 14th fell on a Sunday this year and in between baseball and soccer we managed to squeeze in a small party for our little guy that day. Spider man was able to take a break from crime fighting to show up at our gathering at Magnolia park near our house. (A park party is something I swore I'd never do. That was before my dogs destroyed my back yard and made it unusable.) Luke was extremely happy and great friends came out to help celebrate.

Luke has had a spectacular year. He continues to improve with his speech and especially language. Right now everything he says begins with "Me." "Me do it." "Me winner." My favorite is, "Me awesome." This habit is improving. Me working on it.

He happily approaches every day and experience. He loves school and he has 2 friends, Jason and Alex, that he is obsessed with. Their mom is responsible for the pictures above. I'm not sure the boys reciprocate quite the same feelings that Luke has for them, but they are definitely good buds!

He likes to tell me that "I'm mean sometimes." I figure that is way better than being mean all the time. We think he is pretty amazing and I can't believe it's been 4 years since we met. Happy Birthday Luke J.!