And off we go!

Last summer, the husband and I really put an effort into teaching GG how to ride a bike.  In our neighborhood, it's not the easiest thing to do.  If the roads around our house aren't busy main roads, they are giant hills.  Neither is conducive to a beginner bike rider.

Last summer the husband and I discovered a local church parking lot, which also shared a lot with a neighboring business.  After hours, they were perfect.  The husband took GG's training wheels off and began to teach her the basics of riding her two wheeler.  As long as he or I were holding on, she was getting the hang of it, but she didn't quite have the confidence to go on her own yet.

The weather this past weekend was hot, but gorgeous.  Monday we finally had a chance to take the kids to those parking lots to practice.  Little Dude, with his training wheels still attached, whipped around the parking lot like nobody's business.  The husband helped GG control her balance, and after a few tries, she got the hang of it.  She was able to go a few feet on her own before she started to tip.

We decided to gather the kids up and head over to their school's playground.  It's flatter and they have more room to ride.  Once there, GG steadied herself on her bike and before we knew it, this was happening...

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Until next time...

This is how we do it

On Memorial Day, I hear from friends, online and off, about the picnics they are going to, what patriotic looking dish they are making, which pool they are going to.  For my family, we don't do anything special.  I take the kids and go to a friend's picnic the weekend before Memorial Day, but on the holiday itself, we don't do much more than sleep in and hang out at home.

This year, the husband decided he wanted to cook dinner.  I obviously did not have a problem with that!  He wanted to use our little grill to make dogs and beans.  This grill is meant for tailgating, but that has never stopped us from using it at home.

He pulled out the grill and arranged the charcoal.  He then asked me where the actual grilling piece was.  I had no clue.  While we looked high and low, he decided it would be fun to cook our dogs using sticks.  Of course we found the piece we needed in the drawer under the stove where I keep the cookie sheets, but by this point, Little Dude had heard the stick plan.  There was no backing out now!

The husband went to work sharpening some sticks while Little Dude arranged chairs around the grill for us to sit on.  Once the sticks were sharpened and the coals nice and hot, the kids began to cook their own dinner (how awesome for me!).

While they were busy roasting their dogs, the husband popped open a can of chili and a can of baked beans.  He used a combination of the little grill and a esbit stove to cook his chili in beans.   

And because no cookout is complete without dessert, we made S'mores!  Or one S'more per kid followed by a bunch of roasted marshmallows!

After all the marshmallow goo, chili, cheese, and whatever else the kids managed to get stuck to them was cleaned off, the husband and I took the kids out for some more family togetherness.  You'll have to stop back tomorrow to find out what that was.

How was your holiday weekend?

Until next time...

Poison Ivy and Snakes

What a busy weekend we had. I feel like I say that every weekend anymore, but it's the truth.

As much as I love my sleep, I actually don't mind getting up early.  I am not a morning person, but I do enjoy savoring a cup of coffee (or three) and having everything I need to do done by early afternoon so I can enjoy the rest of the day with my husband and kids.

As satisfying as that feeling is to get things done early, I hate having to wake early and rush out the door.  Not being able to savor those cups of coffee tends to make me grumpy.  A grumpy me is never a fun me.

The chaos of last weekend began Friday afternoon with school pick-up.

Little Dude was complaining of being itchy the night before.  He has dry skin and has had issue with eczema in the past so I thought nothing of it.  I would just lotion him up and he's be good to go.

Not the case.

Little Dude bounced out of school Friday afternoon, happy it was finally the weekend, and that's when I saw it.  Scratches, blisters, and a flaming red neck.  Right then I knew it was more than eczema.  It was poison ivy.  Perhaps letting them run around on the hillside by the husband's work was not a good idea.  Thank goodness I had some anti-itch cream in the medicine cabinet because I didn't have time to run to the store.  I had to get the husband from work and take my boys to the zoo for a Scout sleepover

After we returned home from our drive to the zoo, GG and I prepared for our girl's night in.  I was setting up the DVD player for a few games of Harry Potter Scene-It when I realized Little Dude wasn't the only one who was running around on that hillside.  The proof was beginning to show on GG's legs, hands, and arms.  Thankfully she could make do without the anti-itch cream (I sent it off with my boys).  She was either not effected as bad as Little Dude or she had more control when it came to not scratching.

Until Sunday.

Sunday was our end of the year Girl Scout picnic.  It was hot as hell and she was running around almost the entire 8 hours we were there.  A hot and sweaty girl made for an itchy girl.  I again left the cream with the boys because Little Dude didn't seem to understand he shouldn't scratch if he wanted to get better.  A hot, sweaty, tired and itchy child is NOT a fun child!

But just because we were all hot, sweaty, tired, and some were itchy, didn't mean there was no fun to be had.  GG had a blast at the picnic - good food, crafts, and friends.  And Little Dude had a blast on his zoo trip.  He was able to go behind the scenes with a few exhibits and touch animals ordinary patrons might not have a chance to touch.

Holding an armadillo

You'll just have to trust me that GG had a great time at our picnic.  I wasn't able to capture any pictures during the event because I was too busy trying to control the chaos.  All the girls in attendance seemed to have a good time, but events like this make me realize that we do, in fact, have well behaved children.

Until next time...

Roses are red

I really don't have much to complain about this Mother's Day, except that I was incredibly tired.  Three busy nights in a row with not much sleep will do that, but what I was greeted with upon waking Sunday morning made me forget all about that.

GG made me breakfast in bed - a bog bowl of Special K Red Berry (my favorite) with blueberries and a sliced banana added.  She also made me a poem book.  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite poem from her book...

Roses are red
And so is your head
Violets are blue
And so is my shoe
I love you

Once I made my way downstairs and grabbed a cup of much needed coffee, Little Dude presented me with his present.  This present came with much drama Saturday night.  My boy had seen this gift at Radio Shack and had been bugging the husband all week to get it and make it for me.  I went to a friend's house Saturday night and that is when my boys began building my present.  

At some point during the evening I received a text from the husband saying my gift "mostly worked :( ".  I came home and went to bed around midnight and the husband was still trying to get it to work!

I was informed Sunday morning that not all of the lights worked on my gift and they hoped I wouldn't be upset.  Knowing how much work the boys put in and how late my husband stayed up to try and fix it, I wasn't upset at all.  In fact, all of their hard work made it that much more special.

And it's a heart.
You can never go wrong with a heart!

Poems, cards, a blinking heart, and a day spent with family... I'd say it was a perfect Mother's Day.

How was yours?

Until next time...

Open the Door

Those fleeting moments when I have nothing to do but think, I envision my perfect house.  This house has more than enough room for us 4 and all of our stuff.  This house also has a large, flat backyard where my kids can run and play ball.

Those fleeting moments are often interrupted by a quick glance out our back window.  We have a porch and we have a deck.  Both, when toys are not scattered about, have enough room for the kids to run.  Our actual yard makes me want to return to my dreams.  Our yard is a hill.  Not ideal for running and playing ball.  Our backyard has weeds and sticks that fell from the trees.  Not ideal to run through without any shoes.

But sometimes I catch moments of my kids playing in our yard.  Those moments are when I wouldn't trade our yard for the world.

Those sticks that fall can be used as walls for a club house.

Leaves are gathered to be used as camoflage

Trees can be climbed

Doorways to another world can be made

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Until next time...