Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Break Day 15

The boys got haircuts today. We've got more buzz than a red carpet.

Kyle loves teeball night. It is amazing to see him playing first base yet be the first one to the ball when it goes to left field. My favorite picture from last night was a mob of 1st graders chasing down a ball like they were in the running of the bulls.

Coop did his first weapon sparring at karate tonight. I would hate to meet either of these boys in a dark alley. No, the video is not in slow motion :-) Cooper is facing the camera with the yellow belt.

Way to go, Tim, on your Chefs of Tomorrow Camp at WSU. I am having a blast helping.

Day 15 Life Lesson: Always wear your cutting glove.

Summer Break Day 14

There are few things that warm my heart more than seeing my three sons working together and being kind to each other. On the other hand, it is painful to watch them hit, bite and say mean words to each other. On most days, I only see the mean stuff but today I got to see some precious moments: Kyle and Cooper carrying bags of mulch. Cameron snuggling with his brothers. All the brothers building lincoln log homes and lego structures. Nothing better.
The boys were very excited to go check up on Gizmo, the cat. Being pet-free, they didn't quite get the whole watering, feeding, let the cat out and leave him out thing. I assured them that the cat would be fine outside all day and that someone would be coming to let him back in later in the day. Cameron grabbed the mail and put it somewhere in the house. I hope he put it on the counter. I stole the paper because we don't get one. They won't notice. :-)
Another day of sous chefing for me with a bunch of wild teenagers. This is a challenge for me because I do not like the sticky, messy, yuckiness of cooking. The last thing these kids want to do is be neat and clean. So, my shoes are sticky, my shirt is dirty, my hair is full of flour but I am haivng a blast. Can't wait for the big finale on Friday.
Kyle did a great job at teeball. He chased down balls that weren't his to get but he always handed it to the person who was supposed to catch it. How thoughtful of him. And who knew that if you were playing first base you could beat everyone else to a ball in left field. Now that's fast.
The boys picked out dinner options at the grocery store after the game. We had sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, tips and homemade ice cream. Well, we were hoping to have homemade ice cream but it was too soupy to eat. We'll have it for breakfast. Very yummy dinner choices, gentlemen, good work.
Day 14 LIfe Lesson: Freshen the water every now and then.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Break Day 13

I got to be a sous chef today. I am helping my brother at his Chefs of Tomorrow class at WSU. What could be more fun than cooking with thirteen 7th and 8th graders? We shopped, we chopped, we diced, we sliced. Can't wait until tomorrow.
The boys got to hang out with Olivia and Connor at my parent's house. Always fun to be with the cousins. They ran through the sprinkler, played in the kiddie pool and enjoyed homemade sno-cones.
It was my lucky day today. I spent a wonderful evening dining without whining with some amazing ladies. The meal was fantastic and the brownies were to die for. Thanks for a great night but next time we get to pick the game, KT. J, you will be dearly missed. It's hard to say good bye to friends.
Day 13 Life Lesson: Saying goodbye isn't easier when you do it quickly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Team Vogel Weekend

The boys and I ventured off to the ranch on Saturday morning. They stayed and played with Cady and did horse chores. I continued on to get a haircut with my favorite barber, Tom. For lunch we went to the Team Vogel fundraiser at the lake and enjoyed some yummy food.
Kyle had a big day on Saturday. He read the word "magnificent" all by himself and was so proud that he ran off with his book to tell Cooper who was a really good sport and acted very excited for him. Kyle then made a mental note to share his big news with Mrs. Gilliland on the first day of school. I wonder if he will remember? Not to be outdone, Cameron decided that he needed to learn how to read that evening. I love the enthusiasm and all but you try to explain to a 4 year-old that this is not a 10 minute endeavor. He was not happy, to say the least.
On Sunday, we did some weed-pulling and mulching and general clean-up of the yard. It's about a 10 hour job but we got a good start. The boys learned the value of hard work, okay, not really, but we made them work with us. They kept disappearing, except for Kyle, who is a really hard worker and a great helper.
This weekend we were reminded that even if your life is cut way too short by a brutal disease you can leave an amazing legacy that lives on and changes lives long after you are gone. Go Team Vogel...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Break Day 12

When I got up this morning the house was eerily quiet. So weird but so great. My mom came and got the boys while I was sleeping. What a wonderfully peaceful morning. I enjoyed coffee and GMA. That's all I really want in the morning. I'm pretty easy to please. Just give me my coffee or should I say, half n half and whipped cream with a splash of coffee. 
The sun shined bright today or is it "shone". It's been several days since there has been a sighting of the big orange ball. We spent lots of time outside. I pitched to Kyle and chased the ball while Coop and Cam drew chalk roads on my parent's patio. After the grass had a few hours of afternoon sun to dry out, I went home and mowed it. Kyle came along to help me trim the grass and pull a few thousand weeds. He also grabbed me a cold soda when I needed it. What a great helper!
Day 12 Life Lesson: See the flowers for the weeds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Break Day 11

Very relaxing day today. I really get the whole let your kids play video games all day thing. My boys were on computers in separate rooms today at my parent's house and they didn't make a sound all day except when they got hungry or thirsty. It was really quite peaceful. Unfortunately, tomorrow I will have to ban them from screens to keep their addiction from growing. The withdrawal will be torture for all of us. I'll have to rant and rave about readers being leaders and how video game addicts are more inclined to either become serial killers or Bill Gates. They will only hear blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah but I'll feel vindicated by my speech-making. Oh, the joys of parenting the testosterone trio.
Day 11 Life Lesson: A little is just as bad as a lot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Break Day 10

I don't know why I started this blog typing the numbers as words instead of the numbers themselves. Kind of dumb.
Anyway, copacetic day today, nothing too eventful. There was the usual whining and crying and stomping of feet but I wore headphones most of the day so I didn't hear much of it. It's kind of amusing to watch, actually, when you don't have to hear it.
I think I folded and put away 4 baskets of laundry and I still have 3 left plus a pile in the laundry room that seems to be breeding. My favorite thing is when I find clean laundry in the dirty pile. You know, items like still-folded socks. Really? Come on!
Day 10 Life Lesson: Take care of your dirty laundry.

Summer Break Day Nine

Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year. And my niece's birthday.
Not much else going on today. That was awesome! Nothing broke or leaked. Phew!
Kyle had a blast practicing tee ball in the rain. It was fun to watch him be so excited and work so hard. And what a gentleman. When he runs in front of his teammates to get the ball, he picks it up and hands it to them. So polite ;-)
We had dinner with Olivia and family to celebrate her birthday. It was my first trip to Mangos. It was pretty good. As good as a dinner out can be with 5 rowdy kids sitting across from a table of drunken adults. Okay, it wasn't that bad and the food was surprisingly good. Most importantly Olivia seemed to have a great time.
Day Nine Life Lesson:  Let your friend pick up the ball sometimes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Break Day Eight

What a day! Hot water heater has been leaking water into our family room. I guess I figured out what that smell was. Brutal on the pocketbook. We had to rip up carpet, too. Yikes, I don't know how much more I can take. Trying to stay positive.
On another note, my dear friend Alice visited us today with DQ in hand. What a treat. She made my day. It was so wonderful to have a bright spot appear in what has been a tough few weeks. It's only been weeks, though, right? Anyway, it was fun chatting and catching up. She set Cooper to task creating an itinerary for the Fricks as they venture off for two weeks. He has been busy creating a detailed vacation plan including hotel prices, things to see, and specific routing. Wow! Good job, Coop! Hopefully, they will note that all times listed are central time, as noted by Cooper :-)
Yesterday was a super fun day even though Corey didn't get to spend much of it with us. Not much of a Father's Day for him which makes me very sad.
Day Eight Life Lesson: Focus on the fireworks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Break Day Seven

Today was Coop's last day of Lego Camp. He had a super great week with his partner Cade and all the other kids and helpers. I think Coop is excited to see Mr. Paulsen again in the fall when he starts 4th grade.
Kyle, Cam and I ventured off to the ever exciting kiddie parade. The boys enjoyed racing to snatch up airborne tootsie rolls. We had a hot dog lunch with Tim and the kids and then trekked to the car so we could be on time to pick up Cooper.
Picked up the van from the shop after it got fixed. Thanks for your help Bowlin. I missed my phone delivery so I drove to the Rochester FedEx warehouse to pick it up. Finally got the phone working about 10pm. Cathy rode with us and we had dinner at her house. Super great to see everyone at the ranch.
More Steamboat Days activities over the weekend.
Day Seven Life Lesson: Hmmm... be patient, be very, very patient.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Break Day Six

Golf Day! Nothing makes me feel better like golfing with my peeps. Such a great night. Golfing was pitiful but the company was great. Dinner exceeded my expectations - ribeye, yum.
I needed something fun after finding out that we were going to have to skip South Dakota. Extremely disappointing. Cooper seems to be handling it well. He asked if we could go to Lark Toys instead.
Kyle and Cameron chalked up the day as fun since they got to hang out with their cousin Connor while I went to find a new phone.
The day ended with the check engine light coming on in the van. Woohoo, can't wait to find out what that's about. In the mean time, the van is like being in a carnival ride. Shakes when it's idling. My dad and I got to spend some quality time going to Fleet Farm to get some oil to see if that would help but alas it still shakes.
Speaking of shakes and carnivals, we are hoping to enjoy Steamboat Days since we will be in town.
Day Six Life Lesson: Life goes on even if your golf game is off.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Break Day Five

I lost my droid. The End.
Day Five Life Lesson: Take care of your phone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Break Day Four

Lots of wine, I mean, whine. Yikes. Whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. I really need to start wearing headphones during the day.
We took my dad out for dinner to Culver's for an early Father's Day treat. We will be out of town over the weekend so thought we'd celebrate early. His favorite place to eat is Culver's.
Kyle anxiously awaited tee-ball all day and was not disappointed. He left practice tonight with his purple jersey with a big #1 on the back. He was born to play ball.
The Twins, on the other hand, would not play ball tonight - rained out. Bummer.
Another fun morning of Lego camp for Cooper. He and his partner programmed their robot today to go through a maze. Very cool!
And then there's Cameron. He loves to proclaim to the world, at the worst possible times, "I get my muscles from my dad and my armpits from my mom." Huh? What in the world does that even mean?
Day Four Life Lesson: A desk job is not worth dying for.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Break Day Three

Okay, when does school start? I'm kidding. It's not that bad. Corey has been gone so it feels like a lot of single parenting. I don't know how single parents survive, especially since most have jobs outside of the home. They must be in a constant state of exhaustion and bewilderment.
Coop went to Lego Camp this morning and was beaming when I picked him up. A very good sign. It was great to meet Mr. Paulsen, his teacher in the fall. Tomorrow Coop tells me they will have computers available to program their lego robots or whatever they are designing. Wish I could go.
My day consisted of asking Kyle to stop whining and listening to him repeat the same question over and over to me. I don't remember the question but I recall that it was very annoying to be asked it 43 times. After I mowed the lawn, we ventured off with Gramps to Bartlett Lake to try fishing. After stopping at a gate and walking along a water-covered road we decided it wasn't going to happen. However, it was a nice walk. I took some photos, which proves I have learned the most important lesson in taking good pictures; have your camera with you ALWAYS.
Day Three Life Lesson: Don't walk around the puddles, splash your way through them.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wild Weekend

It was a whirlwind weekend. Lots of errand-running and shopping. Just seemed like we were constantly on the move. Corey has been at the office all weekend so maybe leaving the house is what keeps me sane. (Go Mavs) I am watching the NBA Finals. The Mavs are about to win the Finals. Woohoo!
This is the start of summer activities gone mad. Cooper goes to Lego camp this week with his new teacher, Mr. Paulsen. I am so excited for him. I think it will be lots of fun. Kyle is starting t-ball this week. Finally he will hear the answer he has been waiting for all winter. Yes, it's time for t-ball, my little ball player. And, of course, the aquatic center is open tomorrow. Let the games begin.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Break Day Two

Can children be hoarders? Or maybe the question is, "Are ALL children hoarders"? And another question, does the closed quote go before or after the question mark? If Tina was reading this she would tell me. But since no one reads this I may have to look it up.

Back to "The Room". What is their deal, anyway? These cannot be my three sons because I did not model this for them. And if I clean it, they have this amazing power to trash it within minutes. I am not kidding, MINUTES! If there was a job where you could earn money for making messes they would be so stinkin' rich. The only joy I get from this disaster is when I watch them do a belly flop over a pile of cars or blankets or string or whatever.

Today we went to the Team Vogel lunch at Midtown. We had brats and hot dogs. These folks are so amazing. At such a young age they are taking something so horrific and making something so beautiful. Talk about paying it forward. Rachel and the whole Vogel family inspire me. I am so honored to know them and to have the opportunity to support them.

We also went to the library, the bank, Audio Designs, Target, Auntie Donna's House, the Park & Rec office and phew, that was enough.

Day Two Life Lesson: Stop and smell the roses or the coffee or anything, really, just STOP.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Break Day One

What a great day! After 3 days of brutal heat for this time of year, including an early out 2 days ago because of it, Summer Break Day 1 was a comfortable 65ish. With the windows open and cool breezes blowing fresh air through the house, the boys were calm and the mom was calmer. We put backpacks away today with a brief retirement ceremony. Kyle's is battered and stitched while Cooper's looks brand new due to the simple fact that he didn't bring anything home until the last days of school.
Our first step toward a stress-free summer was deciding who would be in charge of the table setting and clearing each day.  3 boys cover 3 days, 1 mom covers 4 days. Huh? This might be motivation for having 7 children. We've got the table covered but the bedrooms, oh my, the bedrooms. One day at a time, right?
Thursdays are Ladies Night at Cedar Valley so I got to ditch out of my mothering duties early today. Oh, how I loooove Thursdays. The golf left a lot to be desired but the company was fantastic.
Day One Life Lesson:  Stay out of the sand.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Glowing Week

It was a great end to a terrific 10 days of camping. Lots of Corey's extended family got together for the annual family campout. It was a fun-filled weekend with swimming, games, camper pies, taco breakfast, campfires, smores and general merriment. Can't wait until next year.