Thursday, May 31, 2012

First and Last



First Day of 1st Grade (above)

Last Day of 1st Grade (below)


I am not good at endings.  I don’t like things to end, or to change so the last day of school is always (ha!  like I’ve been doing it forever…perhaps always is a stretch) difficult for me.  To see how they have grown and changed, and know that there is nothing we can do to stop it, puts a lump in my throat.  I see him changing rapidly, turning 7.   The “age of reason” supposedly.  We see glimpses of that and it’s really exciting.  We also see glimpses of more independence, more connectedness with friends, and pulling away.  So, as you turn 7, Duncan, and prepare for another year, know that Mom and Dad are super proud of you and what you have done this year!  You are shaping up nicely.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Dang we are tired.  Of course, no one is sleeping late because that would be too easy.  Sometimes I fantasize, right in the middle of the day, about having a teensy bit more control of my own life.  Want to go lie down?  Just do it!  Want to take a shower?  Just do it!  Want to sleep past 7:12 a.m.?  Just do it!  I know someday it will be that way and we'll "miss all this" blah, blahdy blah.  But dang.  For now, we are all tired. Oh, and cranky.  Duncan burst into tears no fewer than three times all before 7:50 a.m.  Claire and Finn have been up and down all day.  It's 2:30 and feels like it could easily be 5:00.  Is 5:30 too early for bedtime?  I think not.  Not a quiet week, either.  Duncan has a playdate this afternoon (please, Lordy, let him hold it together).  Tomorrow, we have chess club and baseball practice.  Thursday is a baseball game, and our niece Kathleen is going to come spend the night.  Friday is the big end of year 1st grade picnic (oh, that I'm in charge!  Of planning!).  Saturday is an open house at our neighborhood pool and a really super fun pool party and BBQ for one of is very favorite friends who lives two doors down.  Now that it's hot, they all want to go swim.  Every day.  I love them being so tired in the evenings but while school is still in session, man.  Dang.  We are tired.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Big Weekend

Whew!  Big weekend for the family.  On Friday night we had Grandpa’s birthday.  Small scale, but I did manage to whip up a home made chicken pot pie that was pretty great.  Mailed it in on the cake though, and let Costco do the work.  Bedtime?  9:00. 


On Saturday morning, Duncan had a baseball game.  Of course, no one slept late so while we weren’t totally foul, I could smell it coming.  We managed to get to the game but close to the end I decided to take the twins home…but we stayed to watch Duncan’s last at bat.  And good thing we did because he scored a grand-freakin-slam.  HUGE deal.



Back home for “rest”…well Claire slept anyway.  Was not a total loss.  Duncan had a big birthday party for a cub scout/baseball team friend so I geared up to drive him and three buddies to the party at 5:30.  Dropped them off for two hours to jump on trampolines and play dodgeball.  He got home at 8:00.  Bedtime, 9:00.


On Sunday morning, it was Sunday School.   We are making a real effort to be more consistent for the kids, realizing how much better an experience church is for them when we are so.  Got them all there and lo and behold it was petting zoo day!  Hooray! 


After some loving on all God’s creatures, we packed up and drove to my sister’s and mom’s to celebrate my oldest brother’s 63rd birthday.  He and his wife and his daughter are here from Spokane so it was a special treat.  It was a pool party and I knew our kids would swim all day, only to emerge to shove a hot dog in their pie holes and then get right back in the pool. Cramps!  Egad!  Swim time, 11:30 – 6:30.  Bedtime?  8:00.    Oh yeah, and we got to sit in my Uncle Joe’s restored ‘65 Vette.


Friday, May 04, 2012

Bag Lady




I know it’s cliché, but I am finding it hard to believe it is the end of the school year.  Which means we have lived in this house for almost a full year.  And we still have stuff in the garage that needs to be “unpacked”.  I’ve had some round about thoughts lately, that I do believe have perhaps settled down and come full circle.  Some times it takes me a while, but every so often I get it and have a light bulb moment. 

This house meets our needs.  When we first looked at it, we walked away for 30 days and continued to look for something we like more, that had more room.  This one had been remodeled by the previous owners so it was fine, but not really to our tastes and probably not what we would have done had the job been up to us.  It is not large, and the office set up for Iain is not the greatest.  But, it is right across from the school that we wanted.  We found other houses in the area that we liked much better but they seemed to have some issues that made us nervous, like foundation reports.  So, in the end we kind of “settled” for this one.  I will not lie.  I do not love this house.  But, I do love where it is and I do love the neighborhood..a lot.  It is worth it to be in the area. 

There are many things I would like to do to this house to make it feel mine.  I would like to change the front of it, paint the brick, add a front patio space, put in new windows, replace the awful fake wood floors, put some color on the walls (oh the beige…it bores me to death).  All of these things take money.  A lot of money.  So, in my very round about way I have realized how much I value being able to make these changes, if we are to make this house a home.   I have also realized I do not have to do it all at once, or even start with one of the bigger jobs.  Even a small change can make a big difference.  So, I started with my little Pinterest blog experiment, and my front flower beds (which were full of awful, boring, old person plants). 

Once immersed in these projects, it became clear to me that we were living in a bit of chaos. Too much stuff.  So, I started filling 13-gallon garbage sacks full of things we did not need.  Clothes, linens, toys, etc…So far I have taken about 8-10 bags to the Goodwill drop off and with each bag I feel lighter, more free, and like I have more room, more freedom, more time.  Less chaos.  Less clutter, physically and emotionally.  I have not missed one.single.thing. that I have donated.  Things that I thought I needed to hang on to for purely emotional reasons….gone! 

I have a fantasy that this reduction in clutter and chaos will free up what we need to do in order to get our finances in better shape so that we can afford to to the bigger projects sooner than later.  Will post pics soon.