Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Drew's Birthday in St Louis

Since 10 is a big birthday I asked Drew what he wanted to do to celebrate and we could do something a little bigger this year. He really wanted to go to St Louis for 2 big reasons.....to eat at Chuck E Cheese and to go up in the arch. He had just finished a book that talked about the arch in it and he was curious to visit. The 4 grandparents and the 5 of us headed to St Louis on Sunday. We started off at Toys R Us then headed to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. The boys had a blast there!

In this game Drew told me he was shooting down airplanes and other aircraft. Nice. So this is where they train you to be a terrorist.

Hang on Aiden, it's a wild ride!

Noah's playing one of my favorites....skee ball.
After lunch we headed for the Arch. After all the rain and snow Saturday at home, it shaped up to be a really nice day in downtown St Louis. It was about 50 and sunny, much nicer than we had anticipated. The arch was beautiful in the sunlight.
This is standing in the middle looking up. I still get dizzy just looking at this picture.

These little pods you ride in to get to the top can make you a bit clautrophobic...they put 5 people in there. I remember as a kid getting stuck in there for awhile....no fun!
Me, Todd, Aiden, and Grandma Paulette rode in this one.

Grandpa Ken, Grandma Tunie, Drew and Noah rode in the other one. Grandpa John decided to spend his time in the museum while we went up.
Here's a picture of Busch Stadium from the top of the arch. I'm amazed at how well the picture turned out considering how every window up there was covered in finger and nose prints!

Noah and Drew gazing out the window. It was neat but I was getting dizzy and queasy up there. It was a windy day and I was feeling it. Blech.

After the arch we headed to Target and to the Mills Mall. We did a little shopping, the males all rode the go-karts, we had a quick supper at Steak n Shake and headed home. It was a wonderful day, the boys behaved so well, and Drew was a very happy 10 year old.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday Drew!!!

Well, you did it Drew. People only get to do this once in their lifetime, and you did it----you hit the double digits. I knew this birthday would hit me hard, you really are growing up. I see you starting to mature and want to do more grown up things and I alternate between wanting to shelter and overprotect you to wanting to let you have some of that independence. You are very responsible and mature for your age and that makes me proud. It doesn't always make it easier for me to step back and let you do your own thing though. I can't help but want to baby you, are ARE my baby after all, no matter how old you get. I want you to know I am always here for you and I want you to be comfortable talking to me but at the same time I don't want to be pushy and nagging. There's such a fine line. You make me so proud in so many ways. I think the one thing about you that makes me the most proud is that you are a leader, not a follower. You do what YOU want and you don't feel like you have to go with the crowd. The other kids look up to you and that makes me happy. It makes me feel more confident that you can avoid peer pressure and that you are confident in yourself and what you want. You are always willing to try new things, no matter what they may be or how scary they might be. I wish I had that quality myself. I've been trying really hard to let you have your space and your say in things a bit more lately.

You've had my heart from the day I saw that pregnancy test. It was about 6am in the morning and I rushed in to wake your dad. He instantly had tears in his eyes and we just hugged each other in excitement. I played hooky from work that day. I knew there was NO way I could sit at my desk all day and act like everything was normal. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Instead I had a quiet day at home by myself. I rushed out and bought What to Expect When You're Expecting and laid out on the hammock...one hand on my belly, the other holding my book. I daydreamed most of the day and let it all sink in. Your dad and I were going to wait until we got back from our vacation to tell the family but we just couldn't keep quiet. We had to share the news. I can remember it all like yesterday....the pregnancy, the 28 hour labor, seeing you for the first time. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since you were born. In that one moment my life was changed for the better and it got even better with the arrival of each of your brothers. I love you my Cuddlebug, my Drewdles, my Drewbie. (Thank you for not getting mad when I yell "Go Drewdles" on the soccer field....it just slips out) I know this is a special birthday for you and we will have so much fun this weekend. I hope it's everything you wanted and more.

I sat going through old photos and realized there were too many to pick from. I also already posted a lot of my favorites last year on your birthday. You were such a beautiful little guy and still are in my eyes. You and I are so much alike, it's scary sometimes and I love our special times together.

Just a week old. One of my favorites of you and Grandpa John.

One of my all time favorites. I could just eat you up here.
You with your Pooh Bear and rocking chair.1st Christmas 1999

My sweet, sweet Drew. When I had my Mary Kay Holiday Open House in December, you got all dressed up and wanted to help me. Here you had just set up my sale table for me and then you helped with the big display table and snacks and drinks. I was so proud of you and for being so grown up and so happy that you wanted to be with me and do this with me. You'll always be one of my best helpers around the house. You have such a big heart and love to do special things for others, even if it means using your own money or giving up your time. You are growing up, big guy. I love you and appreciate all the little things you like to do, like cook us special meals, do extra chores, etc. You are one special dude.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gettin' My Craft On....Part 2

I'm starting Part 2 of this post with some creations from Drew and Noah. Recently we had to repaint their bathroom. 1. it needed it 2. it really needed it after Noah drew all over the wall with a blue highlighter. If only I had taken a picture of that artwork....it had a butt with poop coming out of it. I guess it's a fitting picture for a bathroom, but.........

So we had leftover khaki paint from our bedroom that would match their little half bath but we didn't realize how much darker it would appear in there. So I used that handy dandy 40% coupon for Hobby Lobby and got some 8x10 canvases and then let the boys pick out some bright colors. They painted these beauties to brighten up their bathroom. Noah did the top one and Drew did the bottom two. Cute aren't they??

They DO help to brighten up the walls.

The boys have had a blast with Wikki Stiks. Noah made these two creation....the left one was stuck right on his wall. The picture on the right scares me just a bit, if you have a sick mind like me, you can see the possibilities.

This is one of Drew's Wikki Stik creations. After this picture he also added a monkey. The cool thing is, this is the second picture he designed for me to hang up at my work. You can't even imagine how many wikki stiks we have sold....people ask what you can do with them, we point to Drew's examples and they say wow, that looks like fun. Maybe he should earn a commission....
This is another Klauser decoration. I got the plate for .80 at Big Lots. I didnt' like the white rub ons that I had so I gave my Love, Elsie rub ons a try and added a "family" rub on and a little bling. Cute and quirky.

Ok, I gave up trying to get this right side up. I promis it's normal on my computer software. Blogger just won't let me do certain pictures right side up. I was just playing around with some of my Unity stamps. (best stamps ever!!) I have a major weakness when it comes to them. Anyways, I made this little picture. A little corny but it makes me happy.

When we went to Todd's school for the mini golf day, I took one look at the poster of the boys hanging in his room that his dad had made and took it down. It was very outdated. I took the frame home and put some newer pictures in it for him to hang in his room. This thing was huge...those are 8x10 pictures! (are you sick of these pictures yet? I think I've done every possible project with them!! They are just too cute though) I took this picture at night in the kitchen lighting so the colors suck....it's a lot cuter in person. Todd has it hanging proudly in his room now. I used lots of numbers in the background and on the paper to go with the math teacher theme! ;)
This was an combination of a saying I saw on something at Hobby Lobby and a design I saw on a picture at Kohls. I tried to put the two together but it's still not what I had in my head. I wanted those to be ovals or circles but didn't have the right sizes to nest them. I'll have to tweak this at some point but I'm sure I'll ended up doing something else entirely so it's staying for now.
It says "Cherish Yesterday, Live Today, Dream Tomorrow" Such wise words.....

I spent all evening the other night reorganizing, rearranging, decluttering my craft room/ storage room. I am so excited with the results and now just want to hang out down there. I have some more projects I'm anxious to tackle. Let 's hope Aiden continues taking naps for a long time to come!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gettin' My Craft On...Part 1

I've been a busy girl lately making fun things for our house and for gifts. I'm pretty pleased with most of the results, some make me as giddy as a school girl! I just had to share a few recents ones that I am so excited about. Part 2 will be tomorrow.....some of those will include craftiness from my kiddos, they really amaze me sometimes!

This is hanging on my plate rack in my dining room. I've been seeing so many cool vinyl things on the internet and some on tiles but couldn't find exactly what I wanted and prices I was wanting to pay to just try something out. So I tried this little thrifty trick.....and it is awesome. It's basically a ceramic tile from Home Depot and rub-ons from Hobby Lobby (1/2 off of course). How easy is that?? I'm making quite a few for gifts so let's just pretend I've slaved for days over these ok?? wink wink

This was my procrastination project. Last summer when we went to visit Dianna and family in FL, we collected a lot of beautiful shells and sand from the beach. I was planning on making some sort of momento with it but wasn't sure of what. One day I saw these glass blocks at hobby lobby, inspiration struck, and this was born. The photo is of Drew and Todd walking along the beach. It was one of my favorite pictures and I wanted to do something with it so I thought this was perfect. There is a quote on the picture that I "borrowed" from Amy. (thanks girl) It is from a Jody Picoult book............ "A photo says, you were happy and I wanted to catch that. A photo says, you were so important to me that I put down everything to come watch." Throw on some stickers and rub ons.....piece of cake. It's just a beautiful reminder of all the fun and beauty of the beach and the memories we made there.

I FINALLY got around to matting some pictures of the boys to hang on my stairwell to the basement. I used the photos that my SIL took and just matted them with some scrapbook paper and added a touch of embellishment. I wanted to keep it simple and elegant but at the same time add some color. Our basement is all done in shades of gray and white so I use a lot of blues and greens as accent colors. Our stairwell is in dire need of some color, decoration, something!!! I've got more plans to spruce this area up too. More to come on that.....

I lined up the frames side by side on my ottoman for pictures so they aren't the greatest. I think you can even still see my socks in some of them!

Arrgh, I keep trying to post the picture of them hanging on the stairwell but the picture keeps uploading sideways even though it isn't that way on my computer. I give up!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun Filled Weekend

We had quite a fun weekend.

We played in a box of packing peanuts.
We played a little football. Look at my form, my grace.....I was going to catch that ball, darn it! LOL

Drew's a little light on his feet.

We also have been playing a lot of basketball now that we moved the hoop to the front of the garage where we have a bigger "court" to play on.

Noah went to the district wide Pinewood Derby competition on Saturday. He ended up somewhere in the top half so he was happy. That's his car on the far right.
You probably can't read my text in this picture but that brown blur is Noah crossing the finish line in first place.

Saturday night we all ate at my mom and dad's since Nate was in town. It was good to see my littlest bro and the weather was nice enough for all the kiddos to play outside. The food was awesome, nothing like a burger on the grill when the weather is nice and it was a nice relaxing evening.

Sunday, Grandma Tunie and Grandpa Ken threw Drew a pool party at Fairfield Inn with his friends for his 10th birthday. It was a VERY long 2 hours. 'Nuff said about that!

Make a wish Drew!
He opened some cool gifts, had cake and ice cream, swam and had a blast with his friends, brothers, and cousins....Blake,Ty,and Ellie.

Noah doing a crazy belly flop!
Poor Ellie was the only girl there. She was stylin' in her adorable bathing suit and pigtails though. I could have eaten her all up.

We also took a family jog on Sunday. I jogged further than I ever thought I could do without stopping and then walked for awhile after it. I'm a little sore today but feeling very confident about pulling off my very first RUNNING 5K in May. I much prefer to walk them but decided to join Drew in his run so he wouldn't be alone if Todd did the half marathon. It's also one more thing to add to my list of things that I have done that I never thought I would. I'm happy to say that list is growing! I'm getting more adventurous in my older age. Aiden and Noah did well with the jog yesterday too. We all know Aiden has boundless energy but I didn't know if he'd have the stamina....he did great! I see more family jogs in our future.

Drew and I finished off the weekend watching Twilight on DVD. It was my 3rd time and since I didn't want Drew to read the book till he was a bit older, I did think the movie was ok for him and he LOVED it. What a wonderful weekend. My To-Do list is still a mile long but at least I procrastinated tackling it by having fun with my family. The dust and clutter will still be there tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

Ok, so flashback friday is a day late, story of my life sometimes. I did get the pictures loaded yesterday and then sat down numerous times to type.....but then I'd get interrupted by one of the boys or I would sit and stare at the screen while a number of memories flooded my head. I just didn't know where to start or what to type. How do you put years worth of memories down in one blog post??? You can't. My flashback is about two important parts of my life that are now gone.....my friend Kathy and this amazing house.

It's been almost 3 years now since Kathy passed away. I think about her a lot, about how damn unfair it is that she is missing out on her kids' life, missed out on her life. I know if I could be with her right now, she would make me laugh my butt off over stupid stuff. That's what good friends do, right? She would cheer me up out of a funk. See this house??? It's been almost 14 years since it was torn down to build a parking lot. Kathy, me and some of our best girlfriends lived in that house for our last 3 years of college. Ah, so MANY memories in that house. I think that house haunts me.....I have dreams about it all the time. I can still see every nook and cranny of that old, beautiful house. It was the perfect place for us to live in--we took good care of that house, we were proud of it. We even named that house. Everyone knew it as Tapped Out. See that window on the top floor?? That was Kathy's room....we would all climb out of her window and lay out on that roof, trying to catch some rays and talking about life. That porch was the best porch in the world. I WANT that porch on my house. We had a porch swing where we would sit at night and hang out. We had a huge concrete basement that looked like a cave....perfect for Halloween keggers when we didn't want our house trashed. :) We had an attic where we often heard little critters scampering around. We even caught a bat in a mouse trap one time--we could tell you a number of bat stories in that house. When that house was torn down, us girls drove over one night and we all stole a brick from the rubble....I still have it along with the stained glass 1115 that hung proudly over the front door. My dad got that for me and I still cherish it. House, I love you. We were so lucky to have you to make incredible memories in.

Here are the 4 roomates. (Do you think striped shorts were popular then???) Kathy is on the far right. We had so many good times together. We had our rough times too but we made it through. Some of my own rough times I never would have made it through if it hadn't of been for my girlfriends.

I just had to add this last one of Kathy, it makes me smile. We started out having all of the same classes together our freshman year, then moving into a dorm room together at Christmas break to escape our current roomates, to moving in the house together, to a lifelong friendship that was unfortunately cut short. I miss ya girl, I hope you're living in that cool house of ours right now smiling down on us all.

Pete, Kathy, Mark

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Anyone For 9 Holes?? / Pi Day

Today I'm not going to brag about my boys or talk about what's going on in my life. Today I'm going to brag up my hubby a little. He is a high school math teacher and in my eyes, is an incredible teacher. He has such a passion for what he does and really cares that his students succeed. He also comes up with fun ways to incorporate math into their daily life. Recently his Geometry classes used their skills to design a 9 hole mini golf course. Every year when his classes do a project, they design a math related t-shirt to sell to students to raise money to pay for the materials needed. For those of you out of the math loop, March 14th is Pi Day. You know...3.14....... (Todd can recite the numbers for pi....it's really sad.) His math classes celebrate that every year with a miniature pie that Todd picks up by the caseload at Walmart. This year all of this fun fell on the same day. Todd took some pictures....a ton actually and then after school last friday the boys and I went to school with him so they could play a round of golf themselves before we helped Todd take down the golf course. So here are a few of the many pictures (I'm on my laptop so I can't use my photo editing software....sorry some are dark)

Here are a few of the holes from his mini course. They had it set up in the back hallway by his classroom.

Here is Patrick with one of the math t-shirts they sold draped over him. The equation may not make sense to most of us but when you solve it, or reduce the equation, or something......the answer reads "i over 8pi" Hmm, that's funny that the pi symbol isn't on my keyboard. I'm sure most people need to type that all of the time, don't you think?? Anyway "I over ate pie". Are they comedians or what??? They sold a ton of t-shirts at school as they usually do. I think it's kind of funny to imagine a large portion of the student body walking around with a math related joke on their shirts.

This girl got into it even more by painting the pi symbol on her fingernails.

Striking a pose or a hole in one??

Drew concentrating on his putt.

Daddy and Aiden race down the hall.

Those 3 shadows are my boys playing. I told you the lighting was bad....maybe I should have used a flash, huh?? :)

Such concentration............

Todd's problem solving class is currently working on a scale model of the Sydney Opera House. I'm anxious to see how it turns out.