Saturday, August 20, 2011

Little Miss Chloe

Ever since Grayson died in October, the boys have been begging for another cat. I love cats, would have 10 if I could, but after the financial and emotional strain of Grayson's health and then passing, I was scared to do it again. I just wasn't ready. Grayson and Jack were best buds, I was also worried we couldn't find a cat that would have that same relationship with Jack. Plus, things were going so well with Jack, I didn't want to jeopardize anything with him. But you could tell he missed having another cat around.

Then my husband started saying we really needed another cat for Jack. For HIM to say that, well, I wondered if maybe it wasn't time to start. The boys of course, are like their momma. We go to the Humane Society and fall in love with every homeless cat we see. They just want a cat. Me, the committment-phobe, is scared to pick just one. I need to find the one that has the best personality to fit with life with 3 boys and one very large black cat. How do I do that?? I hemmed and hawed for weeks. Then of course I thought the timing was all wrong, I was started a new job, school and sports were starting back up, Todd was going back to school, bringing a new cat in seemed crazy. Well, we are a little crazy and you can never pick that "perfect" time for something like this and sometimes these little furry creatures find you. We were at Petco and the Humane Society always keeps a few cats over there for people to adopt. We actually went to see another one but wasn't sure about his personality. This little girl below was in a cage off to the side, I might have left if Noah hadn't pointed her out. We got to get her out and she loved and snuggled with me, Noah and Aiden. She was a doll. We went back again the next day. Still loved her. We went back to the Humane Society and no one else seemed to "fit" just right even though we gushed over them all. Something was just right about her. Her name was Tova......we went to adopt her. All through this, I'm thinking "this is crazy, this is crazy".

We brought her home and to say Jack was pissed was an understatement. I have never heard such screeches, hisses, and moans to come out of his mouth. But we gave him time and only introduced them for bits and pieces here and there. Within 2 days they could be around each other full time. I was amazed at how quickly it happened. We've had her for a week and a half now and they play, chase each other, sometimes sleep together. She is just the sweetest, loviest little girl and has been good with all of us. Anyone that has been to our house knows how affectionate Jack is. You will get cuddles whether you like it or not. Now we are lucky to have 2 cats that love to snuggle, love the affection of our family, and give it back in return. Now we can only hope and pray that we continue to have 2 healthy cats.

Yes, I had to get her a girly collar. I don't get to buy girly things much so even a cat collar got me excited. Sad, huh?? :) It only took our family 3 full days to agree on a name for her, that was sad. LOL It's hard to tell in the pictures, but she has a lot of brown mixed in with her black, gray and white. She has such beautiful colors and markings. I love her white stomach and paws too. She's a beautiful kitty.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bus Ride

Many years Aiden spent waving out the front door as his brothers hopped on the bus to ride to school. He met them at the door in the afternoons when they hopped off the bus and came running inside. Preschool started and he was sad that he still couldn't ride that bus. He had to wait until kindergarten. 1st day of buses. But today, finally, he got to ride the bus. That is all he has talked about since last night. He knew he was going to sit by Noah. He was dressed, backpack on and outside at 7:20. The bus doesn't arrive until 7:45. Such a long wait. Finally he saw it coming and was jumping around and pointing as if his brothers had never seen the bus before.

And off he went with a half a wave to mom, anxious for that long 9 block journey to school. Yes, that was 9 blocks. But, he was on a school bus. He's a big guy now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1st Day of School 2011

Wow, seems like just yesterday that I thought having all of my boys in school was light years away. I've had kids at home with me for 12 1/2 years, seems so wierd that I'll never go back to that stage again. I had been so emotional about school starting this year and honestly kind of dreading it. I have been so fortunate to be home with them most of the time during the years. I have an amazing job that I love and have the flexibility to only work 1-2 days per week. I wondered what would I do when they went to school? I know what the "plans" always were but sometimes you don't know if that's what is best once the time actually comes. I knew what my ideal situation was but in this day and age its not always possible to have that. I've always had faith that things would work out the way they were supposed to. Luckily for me, the perfect opportunity fell into my lap. Our school had always had a part time Kindergarten aide until about 3 years ago when the numbers started to drop. This year we have 16 Kindergarteners so they were able to hire a part time aide. It is the perfect job for me, I can have fun with the kids for a few hours in the morning, still work my other job, AND have some free time for me a few afternoons a week. How many people are blessed enough to have not one, but two jobs they love and look forward to? Seeing all of my boys at assembly this morning and then at recess, reassurred me that I made the right choice. What a great 1st day it was. The best part was, instead of crying that my baby was starting school, I got to spend the morning with him. I'll only be there from 8-10:30 every day so he'll still have plenty of time independent of me. It's win- win for both of us.
On to the pictures.....I know you don't want me to ramble on and on. :)

Aiden has been ready to go ever since he picked out his bag. He had to have a messenger bag like his big brother Drew.

I knew Todd would take 1st day of school pics of me too, just didn't realize I had to have one by myself. lol

The two "kindergarteners".
My big guys.
Drew--7th Grade. Noah--4th Grade. Aiden--Kindergarten

Drew keeps reminding me--only 2 years until high school! Ack
Me and my boys.
Todd and his boys.
(love how Aiden is standing here--he has a little swagger)

Tried to snap some pics in front of school but Drew was appalled and went inside. My other two were game though! Even Mary posed with us! :)
Aiden and Gabe were excited that they were seated next to each other. Mrs. Wolkitt had a new pack of crayons for each kid to open and color with.
I snapped one last picture of Dad and Aiden before Todd had to leave for his school. Today he had meetings all day and tomorrow is his first day with students. He is starting his 17th year of teaching this year. And as busy has he's been getting ready for the start of the year, he still took the time to make homemade cinnamon rolls for us for breakfast and another batch that he took to our school for our staff. What a guy!
Today was just a half day for everyone. Tomorrow everyone will be all day except Aiden. He goes a half a day tomorrow and then starts all day on Monday. He is so excited to get to eat at school and ride the bus. I loved my first day. The kids were so cute, we had a lot of fun, and I felt right at home there. I guess having already spent 7 years volunteering there helped with that!
We are all looking forward to a great year!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Water Fun

We've definitely had a lot of fun in the water this summer. Here are just a few of our water adventures!

Out at my Dad's cabin, someone had put a rope swing down by the lake. The boys were dying to try it. I was a little nervous about it, but once again, Todd and the boys talked me into it. (God thought He was being funny when he sent this little ole chicken 3 fearless boys!)
I needn't have worried, the boys had a blast and no one fell off and tumbled down the hill like I thought they would. (If you could only imagine the scary thoughts that run through my brain)

Aiden flying off on his first turn.
Noah going in for the landing.
Drew flying through the air.

Todd actually went first to show the boys how its done. I just stood on the landing and took pictures---I was worried my upper arm strength wouldn't be enough to make it to the water. lol
Another day we headed out to the ole Mississippi River with Todd's parents and their boat. The boys love getting out on the skis and tube. Are you noticing a theme with daredevil stunts??
Drew popped right out of the water like he's been skiing for ages, even though he hadn't done it since last summer.
Then Drew and Todd decided to ski together. This picture just warmed my heart. I know they both really enjoyed this moment.
Aiden stood on the front of Todd's skis so he could feel what it would be like to ski. We didnt have skis small enough for Noah and Aiden's feet but since then Todd's parents borrowed some kids skis so when we head up on the river this Friday, Noah can give it a try!
I love this look on Aiden's face--what an adrenaline junkie.
Then we broke out the tube.
I just love the sweet smile on Noah's face. He was loving it and kept asking to go faster.

Drew always asks for waves, he likes it fast and bumpy. How he can hang on is beyond me.
Aiden usually rides with Todd but his arms were getting tired, so big brother Drew offered to take Aiden in the tube. They looked so cute out there together.
One of our favorite places is Bob Mays Park. The playground is nice but my boys like the running/biking trail and the creek. One hot day the 5 of us took a creek walk from our usual spot all the way down to where the trail ends.
We found a lot of "treasures" along the way.

We saw frogs, fish, bugs, minnows and quite a few crawdads. We even found these two baby crawdads. I think all babies are cute but really, these didn't do anything for me. :)

The best thing we found on our walk that day was a $5 bill floating in the creek. No lie. The boys argued over who got it but since Todd found it, he tucked it in his pocket. He planned on using it for treats at the St Anthony picnic that night.

We've done so many things involving water this summer. It's been a hot one so that's about the only way we can stand being outside. Hoping for a few more pool days this week and one more day on the river before school starts. Summer flew by way too quickly once again!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Noah & Baseball

Sometimes I laugh at how clever I am with blog post titles. Ha!

Another season of baseball has come to a close. I've never been a baseball fan, it bores me silly. I'm also thankful that only one of my boys plays. I will have to say, though, that this has been the most fun season for me to watch.

This year is the first year they are old enough to start pitching on their own instead of the coaches doing it. Midway through the season they were also able to start stealing bases. It has been fun seeing them grow from little t-ball players to real baseball players. Of course seeing them in their official baseball uniforms was pretty darn cute. First year of wearing a cup=lots of laughs. Just sayin'. I have a strange sense of humor.
Cutest little baseball player. This kid has a smile that melts my heart.
Noah says one of his favorite things about playing baseball is having his dad as his coach. To say that made Todd's day is an understatement.

Here is a picture of that coach and his son. Priceless!