Go Green, Go White!!

     Later this evening we are going to a grad party for the daughter of one of my best girlfriends.  It's the same girlfriend who hostessed the Royal Champagne Brunch back in April.  She and her husband really know how to throw a party, so I know it will be lots of fun!!
     I whipped up this no-sew blanket* for the graduate -- I hope she likes it!!  I have made several of these blankets in the past, and this time my daughter, Megan, helped me and it went much faster!!  I am also taking a chance posting this betting that my girlfriend, Donna, is much too busy with pre-party preparations to read my blog today and ruin the surprise...and if you are reading, Donna -- get back to work!!
     The graduate has a University of Michigan mom and a Michigan State University dad.  Any guesses on Christina's college of choice!!!!????

*OMG if you knew what it took to get this halfway decent picture of the blanket...one kid says they have to be in pic, the other doesn't want to.  Their little arms were apparently too weak to hold it up....it was more work taking the picture than making the blanket!!  LOL!




SO WHAT! Wednesday

It's SO WHAT! Wednesday and I'm linking up with Shannon at Life After I "Dew"
to tell you what I say "So What" to!  Here we go.... 
So WHAT if:
  • I didn't "So What" last week...because I thought it was inappropriate to "So What" on the day two of my children were born...
  • I have had a Slurpee (or the equivalent) with my kids just about every other day this week...nothing like it on a hot summer day (yep, pure sugar)!!
  • I had to write an I.O.U. to my daughter because I didn't have the exact change for something
  • I'm starting my So What list while watching David Letterman at midnight...I really should go to bed earlier, but we all have our priorities, right!?
  • We gave my two 11 year olds texting cell phones for their birthdays...after I told sooo many of my friends...."don't get your kid a cell phone until they are at least 13"!!  (Oops, things change...never say never)
  • The first thing my kids did this morning was argue over who gets the last bagel -- ahhh summer time!
Sooooo....What are YOU saying
SO WHAT to this week????

 Link up...it's fun, you'll feel better, and I'd love to know!!


Life Goes On...

Here are some random pictures I wanted to share...
As you can see, we are checking off some of the things on our Summer List...Slip Slidin' Away!  A "capture the flag" Slip 'n Slide.  (One wants the flag...the other wants to sliiiide!).  I love that my kids are old enough to not only set up their own Slip 'n Slide, but also to figure out that if they duct tape two slides together, it's double the fun!!

How do I love my "Lucky" dog, let me count the ways...  He thinks he is a small dog or a cat and rests his "front half" on the window sill daily watching the birds, bugs, kids, planes, cars, and world go by!!

Two of my favorite art pieces from Jacob and Kristin's end of school year art -- I just love bright colors!!  I never know what to do with the tons of art they bring home...(I won't tell you where some of it ends up!)

This warms my heart -- Kristin giving Grandma a manicure...  They have a special bond...starting from the day she was named Kristin Mary after her Grandma...

(Two more art pieces on the left)

What have you been up to??  Sometimes you just have to get things off of your camera.  Anything still in your camera??

With a Heavy Heart....

     I am feeling for my dear friend, Alyce.  On Saturday, her sister went to be with Jesus at the young age of 43.  I wish I could take away the sadness and pain that she is going through...my heart is heavy for her and her family during this difficult time.
Keep the Faith Alyce ~



Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     I have not done a "Monday Memories" post in the last couple of weeks, intentionally.  Not a whole lot has changed with my mom's health.  However, I would say that the "sundowning" has become increasingly difficult for our family to live with.  Sundowning can be defined as follows:

It is widely known that the Sundowners disease is considered as the first step to dementia or Alzheimer’s. As the name suggests, Sundowners disease is the increase in the anxiety levels and severe mood swings of a patient during the period of sunset. This condition is usually observed in older people who are currently suffering from the initial signs of dementia. The decreased cognitive function in Sundowners syndrome elderly patients leads to a hampered thinking and logical process. Thus, any kind of change, activity or increased information supply to the brain might overwhelm the patient, leading to anxiety, confusion and panic. This condition can be summarized as the Sundowners syndrome and is known to be a clear indicator of the onset of dementia.

     The other night, my mom was so agitated, fidgety and pacing around so much that I decided an Ambien would be in order.  I had not given her an Ambien since she first came to live with us after her hospital stay.  Back then, she was "bruised and confused" and needed to get some sleep.  I had forgotten how quickly this medication takes affect...  I gave her an Ambien as we were finishing our dinner.  Although the picture below may look like my mom is "blinking"...the truth is she fell fast asleep while eating our Friday night pizza at the dinner table...
     I quickly awakened her and helped her shuffle to her room and dress for bed.  She was very out of it...  The good news...she got a good night's sleep and we had a much more quiet night than usual.  Her fidgeting and agitation is exhausting to watch night after night.  All I can say, is it's like watching someone who has "ants in their pants"!!??  The second you get her to sit down, she pops back up and throws away a tiny piece of thread she finds in the carpet, or fusses with the drapes, or wipes the counter even though it doesn't need it, or picks up the dog's toys over and over, etc...
     I am very aware this may not sound like a particularly upsetting behavior...but all I can say is that unless you have witnessed it, with a family member, night after night, you do not understand how disconcerting it is. 
    We were thankful she had a good night's sleep and that we could have a peaceful family movie night with the kids.....

Mom finally getting some rest...


Presenting...Our Summer List

Well, now that baseball, soccer, and school are done...we can really get rolling on some summer fun!!  Every year I have made a list of "things to do", but have normally kept it a secret from the kids.  This year I have  decided to bravely post our plans and start checking them off.  Here's what we've got so far...
some of them we can already "check off" (if you've been following along, you know which ones)!!!

What's on your list this summer????
Let the SUMMER FUN begin !!!!!


The End of the Season...

Lakes Athletic Association

      I was saving the best sports post for last.  Jacob has been playing baseball for three years now and started this season in April.  I have been purposefully avoiding posting about the baseball playoffs we have been involved in the past two weeks (didn't want to jinx anything).  We have been through some very exciting and intense games!  This year, for the first time, my husband was the head coach of Jacob's team.  In previous years, he was an assistant coach.  I believe I have mentioned before that baseball is not my favorite sport...it tends to be a little long of a game for me....  However, when your son is playing it is a lot more exciting!  He played pitcher, 1st base, and sometimes 3rd base... this year. 
     The team went undefeated in the regular season -- quite an accomplishment!!  There were so many highlights throughout the season.  We had four players who had never played baseball before...and started at the "Mustang" level (typically 3rd - 5th graders).  Those players improved sooooo much throughout the season and many of them ended up making key plays for us in the playoffs.  The first practice was -- scary....definitely a flashback to the "Bad News Bears" movie from the 70s. 
     I am soooo proud of Jacob!!  He really is a great player (yes, I'm his mom) and one of the things that really amazes me is his composure when he is pitching in these games -- I am a nervous wreck -- and have even resorted to "hiding" behind trees, etc... because I can't stand the suspense and pressure.  He made some awesome plays in the field and at one recent game the umpire (usually college aged guys) asked the team after the game, "who made that great play at third base?" -- Jacob raised his hand -- and the ump said -- "that was sweet dude"!!  LOL.  I have to say, Jake seems like a bit of a "natural" (no pun intended) when it comes to baseball.  His instincts are really good and it makes me smile when he's up to bat and the other team's coach tells his team "he's a hitter" or "back up" in the field!  :)  Or, when he is pitching and strikes out a good hitter ;) !!  Here are some of his stats:

Team Record 13-2-3
.327 Batting Average
49 at bats
6 strikeouts (lowest on team)
Pitched 39 innings

     I must also mention how proud I am of my husband, a/k/a the coach.  Bringing this group of kids to an undefeated season and a game away from the championship was quite an accomplishment.  He did it without yelling or losing his temper.  He took the opportunity to teach the kids along the way and defended his team by questioning calls when necessary.  I heard sooo many other coaches verbally belittling their players throughout the games and some poor sportsmanship along the way....by players, coaches and parents.  That is hard to watch, and I am so thankful they had a winning season without resorting to that kind of play. 
     With just one more win needed, the team took a tough 8-5 loss last night, and our season came to an abrupt end.  We had beat the same team two days earlier, however, didn't play our best last night. 
     In the end, there was so much to be proud of.  After the game, coach treated everyone to ice cream at Creamy Freeze....  Man, those kids are resilient -- although down about the loss, in no time they were eating their ice cream and waving at the cars passing by -- not a care in the world!!  The way it should be when you're playing baseball under ten years old!!!
     As a side note, after we got home late last night, Jacob said "Dad, I want to thank you for all of your support and for being my coach and everything." and my hubby said, "Thanks for playing hard and respecting me as your coach...I love ya man".   Sooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!

The Team!

and the game ball goes to........

Getting the team spirit!

Father/Coach - Son/Player

Following Jacob everywhere...he's trying to avoid the paparazzi!

The Post Game Snack

The Batter's Circle

The (Messy) Dugout

Jake got a triple...

Don't make me turn my back on you, Mom!

My Little Slugger Warming Up

Batter Up!!

This might cheer us up after our semi-finals loss...

Cracking a smile

Coaches' sons seem to be feeling better!

Getting the Cars to "Honk" Makes Us HAPPY!!

Who Needs a Championship...??
We've Got Good Times and the rest of the Summer Ahead of Us!!!



Happy 11th Birthday x 2 !!

     It's a big day at our house!!  We have two birthdays here today -- Jacob and Kristin (my twins) are 11 years old today!!  Wow!  Like most kids, they are quite excited!  Let's face it -- birthdays are BIG!  We have a piano lesson, VBS and ice skating lessons today and will have a small family celebration/dinner tonight.
     What do I remember about 11 years ago today??  Checking into the hospital at 6 am being 38 weeks pregnant with twins.  (38 weeks is considered full term for twins.)  The plan was to induce my labor.  I panicked a bit when I found out "Baby B" (Jacob) was still in breech position.  I almost opted for a c-section, but my doctor was confident that I could deliver them...especially since Jacob would be the second baby in the delivery.  (Turns out he was right, but I wouldn't say it was a "walk in the park"...)
     What else do I remember?  The anesthesiologist taking forever to come to my room and give me an epidural....and later finding out his "pager" was not on!!??  Hello??  I kept saying, "I know it's taking forever"...because everyone kept saying "5 more minutes" (what seemed like 300 times!) 

     Kristin Mary was born at 6:44 pm
     6 lbs. 4 oz.

     Jacob George was born at 6:59 pm
     6 lbs. 10 oz.

     In the end, everyone was healthy and we were soooo happy to have a baby girl and baby boy.  We still feel as blessed today as we did then!  I love that our twins are a boy and a girl and how close they have been growing up together and still are today!!  (I think God gave me a boy and a girl so I could be sure to tell them apart!)

Happy Birthday J and K -- Love You!!!*
a/k/a Mom

* For the record, let it be said what a great big sister Megan was and always has been!  June is a little rough on Megan...it's my birthday, Father's Day and her brother and sister's birthday.  So, to you Megan, I remind you that the other 362 days of the year are "Megan's Day" if you think about it!!  (If you have a 13 1/2 year old, you might know what I mean! ;)


VBS, a Summer Tradition!!

     Every summer for the past ten years, since Megan was 3 years old, my kids have gone to Vacation Bible School and this week is no different.  We are fortunate that our church is also a school and has the facilities and resources to have a well-organized program.  It is very popular around here and normally about 500-800 kids attend!!  Crazy, right!?
     Attending VBS is yet another reminder of how much my kids are growing up.  I have many memories of how much effort it used to take for me to bring Megan to VBS when Jacob and Kristin were babies.  Then later bringing Jacob and Kristin when they were 3 years old and being nervous about Jacob barely fitting the "potty trained" criteria...and also wondering if the separation anxiety would be an issue as it sometimes was with my little Jake.
    At VBS they sing, make friends, play games, have snacks, do crafts and learn about God's love while having some good clean fun.  Megan has always loved VBS.  That warms my heart because I remember how much I used to like it, too.  This year she is an "Assistant Crew Leader" and happily volunteering to help the K-2 kids.  This will be Jacob and Kristin's last year as students.  Next year they can volunteer if they choose.
     It's a busy week here and we have to be up and out early because I'm the driver!
More stuff soon -- stay tuned!!

Panda Mania

Image Credit Group


Did You Say Feather!?

     A few days ago my youngest daughter, Kristin, spent the night at a friend's house and had plans to "go to the mall" the following day with her friend and her friend's mom.  I don't know how these girls do it, but one thing always turns into another, and another.  First they are just going to "hang out" (f/k/a "play"), then it's dinner, then it's a sleepover, then the mall the next morning, etc...
    So, the morning of the mall trip I get a text that goes like this:

KRISTIN:  Can I get a feather?
MOM:  In your hair?
KRISTIN  No, ask Megan (my oldest daughter)

Megan confirms it is in your hair like a a hair extension, as I suspected.  Big sister also says, "mom let her, it would look good" (which makes me suspicious when the big sister wants something for the little sister).  My main fear was that she would end up looking like a parrot with bright colors.  A lot of conversation goes back and forth.  I find out that her friend's sister already had a "feather" and now her friend was going to get one and wanted to know if Kristin wanted to get one at the same time.  I found out it would cost $30 for a salon to do it.  I have seen the celebrities with it, but never paid much attention.  See Exhibit A and B below:

Jennifer Love Hewitt Best Celebrity Feather Hair Extensions People pictureHillary Duff pulls them off nicely and they seem less casual on here. Best Celebrity Feather Hair Extensions People picture
Jennifer Love Hewitt                             Hillary Duff

     So, I emphasize to said daughter that I do not want her to get bright colors and that if she really wants to, I will pay $20 of it as part of her birthday present.  Kristin agrees.  Meanwhile, I am driving around town with my other kids and quite busy and preoccupied.  All the while I start second guessing myself and realized that I was letting my daughter do this without me even being there!?  (Never would happen with my "first born".)  Have I lost my mind?  (Possibly.)  However, I did trust the other mom who was with them.  I also reasoned that it is "summer vacation" and summers are for fun, she got all As on her report card, etc...
     Now, can we backup to mention what a feather in your hair meant when I was Kristin's age?  (Say in the 70s for example?)  It was a "feathery" looking cut like the one shown below.  I had a similar cut in 8th grade.  Cute, huh?  LOL...

Image Credit
(I have no idea who this girl is...)

     Back to 2011, I was relieved to see how it turned out later that day and she was oh so proud of her trendy "feather".  It is more subtle than it may look in the picture because usuallly some of her hair covers it more.  It is really very similar to the braiding I have let my girls get done while on our tropical vacations.  It looks cute and I think it's a fun thing for the summer.  It is supposed to last about 3 months.  You can wash and style as usual.  I don't think I would let her wear one during the school year, though. 
     I do think she caught me at a weak moment with all this last minute stuff, but I am happy with how it turned out and impressed that I even knew about this trend before she asked.  It is always cute to see my girls feeling proud and confident of how they look, so for now, it's all good!!
Kristin, the almost 11 year old trendsetter*

It's cute and fun...just like her!!
*Her hair is still wet in these pics, but I had to take them while I could!

Happy Father's Day!

Dad caught kissin' one of his favorite kids this morning!!!



Thank You Notes

      I can't help myself...I have to laugh at "life" by putting my own sarchastic spin on things.  There's just so much to laugh/cry about when you've been married 18 years and have 3 kids...  So sometimes I will share what I am genuinely thankful for...and other times I will do this...

     Have you seen Jimmy Fallon do his "Thank You Notes" on Fridays?  Check it out here and then you will get the tone of what I am trying to say. 

So, here is my first Thank You Note, a Family Edition:
Thank You Family For.... 
  • Rushing out the day before my birthday to get me some presents...and leaving me here to haul the big cooler, salad and chairs to the soccer game and picnic....
  • Insisting on bringing home two goldfish and four snails from your 5th grade class science project...and then never feeding or taking care of them like you promised
  • Saying yes when I asked you to make the kids lunches on my birthday...since I had been up since 5:15 am.....and then leaving the peanut butter, jelly, and lots of crumbs on the counter
  • Wrapping my presents the night before my birthday and arguing, crying and whining because your sister took the wrapping paper you wanted....
  • Continuously pretending you don't recognize any of your own "stuff" that I put on the stairs for you to take up to your room
  • Putting your clothes in the dirty laundry even though you only tried them on...because you are too lazy to fold them yourself and put them away...
  • Bickering about whose "turn" it is to let the dog out every time the poor guy wants to go outside
Can any of you relate to any of this or is it just my family??  I'd love to know what you are saying "thank you" to your family for...