Friday, October 13, 2017

Charcol Masks

Because every girl needs this sort of spa day.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


One Fall Sunday afternoon, we suited the children up in large balls and sent them out to play soccer and various field games at the park near our house.
Hilarity ensued.  But not before we had to drag them all there because they were convinced they didn't want to do it. 
It didn't take them long to figure out they were wrong.

And then there were smiles.

And then we became comfortable there, and began attacking outside of our knockerball outfits.
And, so we knew, as usual, we were done.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 Hunting Trip One

He came home with nothing. I didn't weep.
He did help his friend haul in a doe for processing, watched two bucks spar, and shot at a turkey.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Bulls

Four free tickets to a Bulls pre-season game from the neighbors?

Aldia at a birthday party with mom as taxi, left four for the game--perfect amount of tickets.

Elaine--definitely the most excited for the game. 
She heckled the teams along with the best of them. And she single handedly cheered the Bulls to victory.

And then taped all things she brought home to her door--calendar, shirt, tickets, the parachute she caught with the things.  And yes, she even taped her cup up there.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Flashback Friday: September 2009

I will never, ever forget taking this picture.
It had been a very long weekend while Patric was away at National Guard on the other side of the state.
Let's just say, this may have been the only time there were any smiles that weekend because it had been a long one.
And then along came Sunday night at bedtime, daddy still not home, and there is a sudden outbreak of sweetness throughout the brood.
That.  That would melt away 47 crap hours in a heartbeat, and it still does.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

After New York

I was up for sunrise coffee with my parents in Minnesota for a week.

Where there was some fishing for Northerns.

Even I managed to haul in one or two.

And the days were cool and bright,

And the nights cold and clear.
It was a good quiet to round out the month of here and there.
The kids--I hear all went well.  There were no pictures sent...but everything seemed in order upon return.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September Breaks II

Before New York, there was a solo drive here for Labor Day Weekend.

Yard Pick-up
Exterior cleaning
Porch washing
Wood hauling
Picking up all the things the movers left
And general 12 hours of audio books, quiet, and work.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

September Breaks 1

Patric and I snuck off to New York for a few days to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

And while we were at the Met, looking at some artistic sorts of masks,

The girls went to Target with grandma, and looked at some masks of a different sort.

Then they made a cake with grandma.
A bit more normal-ish.
Thank you grandma!

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 2009

Creepy Fish Feeding at the Memphis Botanical Gardens.
I loved that place.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Misty Morning Runs

Exist here.
They make me happy. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Alida didn't want to stop.
So we found the new place.
After the first two-hour, pre-team workout:
"Mom.  That was no joke.  They were WAY more serious than Alabama."
And she hung in there, and she did some things better and some things worse than the other girls in her class.  And by the end of the second session she was twirling around the bars like I'd never seen her before.
Alida is a bottle of potential, wherever she wants to put it.
We will not be able to stop her, and I don't want to, once she decides to do a thing. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Comic Book Illustration

Elaine in deep concentration at a class in comic book illustration she started instead of gymnastics.

Her glee that her dad surprised her and stayed to take the class with her, undeniable.
Thursday evenings are theirs for two hours a week for nine weeks.  They both love it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One random Thursday evening

I'm not sure whether the dog enjoyed better the attempted kill of the skunk outside our door
or the bath that came after.
He had the thing in his mouth.
It sprayed 
It played dead.
It scampered off.
This all happened within about five seconds of Patric and I walking out into the night to take him on a short walk before bed, chattering away with each other for the first time the entire day as the leash flew from Patric's hand. 
 Brother, never a break.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunday Mornings

They sneak off and fish, the girls and their dad.
They don't really catch much, and he got into some really bad poison ivy or oak mites two weeks ago that have made him so miserable for the last two weeks, he finally went to the doctor. 
(he never goes to the doctor) 
Nothing will stop them.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Years Ago This Month

I may have inadvertently shown them Pet Cemetery on TBS one Saturday morning, while I tried to sneak in some fashion of adult time before they woke up.
Two weeks ago: we watched it again.
It was so much fun.
They still HATED the part where the Achilles heel is sliced with a scalpel. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Conversations With Ben

We've been shopping new churches, which is super fun because we get to expose the kids to a huge range of how people worship.
This Sunday:
Me: Well, we were a little overdressed.
Ben: No.  No, mother.  They were all underdressed!
Ben, some days you make me feel like I may have done a thing or two correctly. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

School Lunch

Kill me now.

I'm trying.
But peanut butter apple sandwiches with grape eyes--cute but total failure for actually wanting to eat it.
The cheese is a unibrow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

School Picture Day

One head of hair straightened.
One head of hair curled.
Real smiles, priceless.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Scouts Out

The boys joined a local troop last Saturday to get to know them and explore Starving Rock Park.

It was a great day for a hike and a great day trip to see some new friends.

And by the end of the very long day at home, Elaine and I decided our new motto is: When given the chance, go hiking.  Because we stayed in, and didn't have nearly as much fun.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Japanese Curry Bread

Because Nicholas is forever asking for things I don't know or understand.
Curry was actually great; the bread was actually great, but a little undercooked in a few places
And we got to share with grandma and grandpa airplane, who flew in for dinner on Friday to see how the first week of school went!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

And By The End of the Week

The boys were home with their own each school issued laptops, reading the news and reviewing their schedules.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

First Day of School

The bus stop for the boys.
No more 6:20 am bus pickup; now they are out the door at 7:45 and that's with plenty of time.

The girls were full of confidence the day before school.
But a little overwhelmed when we got there that morning.

But there was a LOT to take in that first morning at our new school a less than five minute walk from our house.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back To School Eve

The girls mad us nerdy burger cupcakes! 
They were just as messy as the real thing.

And just as yummy!

Friday, August 25, 2017

And the Worst Revelation of All

The elementary school.
No hot lunches served.
Open campus for the children.
They have been supplied with the materials to make their own lunches for the year.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Why School had to Start

Because we learned that cleaning up the driveway after making slime can flood the basement...

Because they are starting to bake on their own and shutting me out of the kitchen.

And while it's pretty cool, the grocery lists are staggering and the clean up skills are kind of lacking...

And because when we were out of all else, I decided to let them destroy some trash that wouldn't fit in the trash can with a sledgehammer.  There was a minor injury.  We are out of ideas.