Wednesday, July 28, 2010 more camp

Didn't I say over the weekend that we didn't have any more camps this week? I was kind of excited about that because we would have less running around to do, and could get more done around the house.

I forgot about this one, but one isn't too bad. ;) Henry's going to computer camp this week with some of his good friends. They're learning about Microsoft Word, Excel, creating their own video games and their own website! It's four hours every day, so they are really learning a lot. Henry is in paradise!

Despite a little bit of running around, we conquered the playroom yesterday!! The kids helped me in the morning, and in the afternoon I sorted through the rest. We had a bunch of toys that Evan had outgrown, or that the kids didn't play with anymore, or that were missing pieces. So I just started filling up bags and then putting them directly in the car or the garbage can. :) Normally I would offer some toys to my sister, Karen, but most of the stuff that would be good for Robbie's age was stuff he already has or has something similar. So off to Goodwill I went. I also brought out some rubbermaid containers in which to put away some toys for later. Having less stuff out should make it easier to clean up.

I can't even begin to express how good it felt to clear things out, and to have less STUFF in that room. It is so freeing to only have out what the kids REALLY play with. I am a happy girl!

Now on to Henry and Seth's room...please say a prayer for me. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Poor little doggy.

She never
gets any

or love.
Poor little doggy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Toad, A Tired Dog, and Two Hard Workers

Last night I took Seth, Caroline, Evan and Moxie out on a LONG walk. As we were getting back, all the toads were coming out. Of course, Evan had to catch one...

I love the expressions on his face as he's showing it to me!

He loves those amphibians, and especially loves that he can catch them himself!

When we got home, Moxie threw herself down on the floor. The walk exhausted her. The kids love when she's worn out like that because her tiredness makes her stationary (I love it too!). They can give her all of the attention they want to give her!
When Moxie fell asleep, we went downstairs to check out all of the work Henry and Dave had done. Henry is helping to install the baseboards. He really enjoys working with his dad, and does a great job!Seth and Caroline were very impressed! It's fun to see the basement coming together, and knowing that we are all helping to finish it. We can't wait to enjoy the finished space together someday soon!

A Sense of Accomplishment

Just the thought that I could take a nap if I wanted to was restful enough. So, yesterday I just tackled things on my to-do list.

Aside from playing with Moxie and taking her out, I was getting things done. I painted the guest bedroom, the closet and the risers on the stairs. I vacuumed all of the dust and junk down there (and there was a LOT of that), and decluttered. The basement is officially ready to be carpeted, which I believe is going to happen this week or early next week.

It was such a good thing to see some tasks on my to-do list through to completion yesterday. Like many moms do, I often miss that sense of accomplishment. I jump from task to task, very seldom finishing anything. Today I did, and it felt great! (Painting was an especially good task to do in this regard. There is such a complete transformation when the task is done!)

This week the kids don't have any camps, so there will be a lot less running around and hopefully more time to get some more things done. I'm hoping we can keep up our momentum!

Weeds, laundry, clutter and Goodwill, WATCH OUT! You are next!

On another note, Henry felt his own sense of accomplishment yesterday. He waterskied for a minute and a half (including a turn around dead man's curve!), learned how to dive, and can now do a flip into the water off of the trampoline! He's so proud!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Day to Myself

Dave took the kids to the lake today, so I have the house to myself. It's a very quiet and calm house, and I am not quite sure what to do with myself. :)

Dave made a great breakfast for us this morning, and while we were eating I was telling him all of my plans. I could clean out our room and closet, put away laundry, finish painting the basement (only the guest room left to do!), weed the garden beds, clean the bathrooms...I was so excited about all that I could get done without any distractions.

He said, "Sarah, why don't you take a nap?!"

Good idea. I might just do that. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Twizzler Obsession

My poor daughter is suffering terribly.

She came home from camp on Wednesday talking about Twizzler. After my initial confusion, I quickly figured out that she wasn't talking about candy. She was talking about the junior camp counselor that she thinks is the coolest person ever.

She's the counselor who gave Caroline piggy back rides, who let Caroline repeatedly push her down, who helped Caroline make a cool necklace, who made Caroline giggle all the time.

Caroline, in turn, made her a clover necklace and many heart shaped leaves. :)

She's also the one who chose the coolest nickname of all the counselors. Caroline said that she is going to pick that nickname when she is a junior counselor. :)

Caroline was a litte sad when I picked her up from camp today, which was her last day. She said that she was going to miss Twizzler, and that she wishes that camp would not just last a week. She wanted it to last 25 days. Tonight she was crying a little that she wasn't going to see Twizzler tomorrow. She made me promise that we would write her a letter tomorrow.

Poor thing! :( I printed up this picture of them, and we put it on her bedside table. Twizzler is the one right next to her.

I'm glad she had such a fun time with all of her friends though, old and new, and that she wants to sign up for the camp again next year! It was definitely a hit!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who is this dog?!

Do you recognize her? It's hard to believe, but she IS Moxie!
Last week and this week have both been SO HOT. Moxie has a lot of fur, so I felt very bad for her when I took her outside. She did not like the heat at all, and all of that fur that she had must have made it unbearable.

I looked into how much it would cost to have her groomed, and the lowest price I could find was $30. With lots of money going into the basement, I decided I would save us some money by grooming her myself. I bathed her, dryed her with my blowdryer (yes, I did!), brushed and cut her hair. She looks SO different! Wheaten Terriers lose most of the black puppy fur on their face and ears as they get older, so a lot of black came off with her first haircut.
I'm not saying it was easy, and the results weren't perfect, but not too bad. And Moxie still loves me, lol. (I definitely have a new respect for the job that groomers do.) So, to save $30, I'll probably do it again. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Impromptu Pool Party

Our school district offers quite a few different sports camps. They usually last about an hour a day for a week, and really are such an affordable way for the kids to try out a sport. I let the boys choose two that they wanted to try. (Caroline and Evan are not old enough for the camps.) Seth chose basketball and soccer, and Henry chose basketball and track. They both had a good time, especially because they went with their friends.

After track camp one day, Henry's friend Matthew invited his friends over for a pool party. (All four boys in the back row were in track camp together.)

It was a perfect day to be in the water, and they were in it for a LONG time. There was quite a bit of chicken fighting going on. Yes, that's Henry on the bottom right. I had no idea my son was so strong. :)

I am not sure that I would have wanted to see that in person. ;)

It was the perfect way to cool down after track camp.

Wish these summer days could last forever!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She's able to leap the last step in a single bound...

She's Super Moxie!

I had to record this skill of Moxie's. She leaps over the last step every single time she goes out, which is something the kids find HILARIOUS!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Caroline's turn...

for scout camp!!!

I took Caroline to a local forest preserve where she joined a BIG circle of excited, sun-screened and bug-sprayed girls.
Her sweet girlfriends from pre-school and kindergarten were there. We packed a lunch, a cushion to sit on, her bathing suit and towel, and a big water bottle.

She buddied up with one of her favorite friends, Audrey.

And then she was off for a day full of crafts, games, a picnic lunch, hikes, and running through water from the local fire department's hoses!!!
She has a fun week in store for her! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another Beautiful Sunday at the Lake

Eating yummy food with cousins, Waving at Mom from the trampoline,

Getting puppy kisses from the pier,

Playing "King of the Mountain",

Sliding down the slide,
Enjoying the beautiful scenery and watching the kids play with my wonderful family...
I love Sundays at the lake!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beating the Heat

It's been WAY too hot for us to be outside much for the past few days. We prefer an air-conditioned house to outside with a 100+ degree heat index, generally. :) (Even at night it's not cooling down that much. When my friend, Kathy, and I went for a walk at around 8:30 the other night, the heat index was still at 95!)

When Caroline and her friend, Elyse, had tired of playing barbies and house inside, they found another creative indoor activity to do. They gathered up as many art supplies as they could and got to work making inventory for their art gallery/shop. They call their shop "Fun for Everyone" and apparently it's open for business next week.

I love how they enclosed the shop with chairs and how they fired up the cash register. They also sorted their special artwork into Easter baskets, which made for a very pretty and very organized display! I wish I had taken a picture of that!

My other little girl is not a fan of the heat either. When I take her outside during the day, she always whimpers and runs between shady spots on her walk.
When I bring her back inside, she runs to the nearest air conditioning vent. If its not pumping out cold air right then, she'll actually scratch the vent. I think that she's trying to start it up again somehow!
I hope it cools off in time for Caroline to go to her Daisy scout camp next week!

Seth's Cub Scout Camp

Seth has gone to a cub scout day camp all week. He went last year as well, and loved it so much that it was definitely something he wanted to do again. Aside from a couple of days where the heat index was around 100, what's not to love about it? He played games, made crafts, did archery, shot BB guns, hung out with his friends all day, and brought his dad to camp one day. It's definitely one of his favorite summer experiences.

To top off the week, families were invited to camp last night. Everyone brought a dish to pass, we set up chairs and blankets, and picnicked with all of our friends. Evan loved sitting in his little camp chair, and, on the whole, managed his plate well while he was eating. At the end of his meal, he had quite a nice collection of stains on his shirt...Our friend, Julie (Dylan's mom), thought that he'd be perfect for a Tide commercial. Don't you think?
Our Friday night entertainment was fabulous. All of the cub scout groups, and even the camp staff, performed skits for us. It was kind of a walk down memory lane, as I remember some of the skits and songs from when I was a camper.

Here's Seth's group performing...

The kids all sat together...
and enjoyed all the wacky camp humor...
especially this wacky one!
That is, unless he was goofing around with our friend, Tom. Tom is Connor's dad, and is so funny with the kids. Despite all that was going on at the campfire, Evan's eyes were mainly on him. :) (Connor, the other cute, little boy in this picture, is one of Evan's buddies. They will be going to preschool together this fall.)

What a fun Friday night!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Love is... parents helping me to catch up on housework and encouraging me today. :)

...Henry teaching his sister how to play Mario Kart on the Wii. ...Seth walking in the door from cub scout camp and immediately going to snuggle with his favorite dog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two smiles that brightened my day

After Henry went to a friend's house and Seth went to scout camp, Miss Audrey came over to play with Caroline. I love these two together. Take one look at their ear-to-ear missing front tooth smiles, and you know they are two peas in a pod. They spent the afternoon playing inside (away from the oppressive heat), and were so sweet to include Evan.

I am grateful for your encouragement've brightened my day as well. I am so blessed to have empathetic family and friends with whom to share this parenting journey. It definitely is challenging, but there is NOTHING more rewarding.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The statement that follows is profound.

Parenting is hard. (Obviously, right?!)

I love my kids SO MUCH. I want to be the best mom I can be to them. I want to encourage them, have fun with them, help them learn to be good christians, good friends and family members, teach them good habits...there is sooooo much that I want for them.

What is hard is that I am human. Unfortunately, I fail sometimes. I can be tired, cranky, sick, overwhelmed, and stressed, like anyone else. Sometimes I lack knowledge. At times, under these conditions, I fall short of my expectations for myself as a mom.

And I feel like I dissappoint my kids at times because of that. I don't like that.

Logically, I know that I am a good mom. I have never worked harder in my life. I know that I am doing many things well. But, there are many times where I lie awake at night thinking about situations with the kids that I could have handled differently. I guess in some ways that is a good thing because processing your mistakes helps you learn from them. In other ways, I wish that I could just let them go, and fall back to sleep.

As a mom, no matter how hard I work, I can't do all that I want to do for my children. That's hard for me to accept. I am often dissappointed that I can't do more.

When I feel this way, I try to build myself up. I try to tell myself that I am doing many good things for the children that I love more that I ever thought was possible. I do try to focus on all of the positives so that I can be encouraged. (My blog is a wonderful medium for that.) I remind myself that I am doing as much as I can, and hopefully over time I will be able to do more, become more efficient, grow wiser in my parenting. I fish for compliments from my husband. :) I try to remind myself to be patient, that certain seasons in parenting or life in general are more challenging than others.

I pray.

I love my children, and with God's help I'll be the best mom possible to them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Things I loved about today:

beautiful clouds...

a walk with a dear friend...exercise, inspiration, husbands watching kids, uninterrupted conversation,

our children dancing with umbrellas in our backyard when it started to sprinkle...

watching our puppy dream all spread out flat on her back...

Life is good. :)