Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Parking Ramps, Escalators and Elevators, Oh, My!

To celebrate NTDD, Coop's dance company tapped a little ditty at Southdale in the Twin Cities. It was fun to connect with our dear friends Chris, Ceci and Joanie Baloney.

After the dance event, it was off to the Mall of America to Legoland! It was the first time Ky and Cam visited the MOA. I got a kick out of watching my three sons be in awe of the Legos, escalators, elevators and mob of people. We had a really fun day.

Even the dad got a special FREE gift from Legoland for being so patient while the boys were shopping. (No lie.) The checkout girl gave me zip. Maybe they have trouble with dads. I don't know.

The Wedding Tourist

My two sons and one tourist attended a wedding on Saturday afternoon. He picked out his own socks, too.

We had a great time at Ashley and Christian's reception. Lots of dancing, laughing and candy eating. Cameron was hoping for disco music to go with the disco ball. He was very happy to have Heidi teach him some moves.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fake it 'til You Make It

This is the time of year when I need to force myself to keep moving forward. My brain doesn't do change very well but at least I recognize that. A lot of change is in the air and I can feel the footing getting slippery. I will remove myself from the company of friends and refrain from making too much eye contact. It's how I cope. Not what anyone would likely recommend but it's what I do this time of year. I just cope. And hope.

Mother's Day?

My mom shows her love by feeding us and even though it was Mother's Day, she insisted that preparing food was what would make her most happy. Such a bummer for me :-) She made the most requested appetizer in our household - pickle roll-ups. They don't do much for my gag reflex but the boys think they are meat candy.

Cam snuck a few licks of cream cheese during the preparation.

For dessert they indulged in pie, cake, and ice cream, oh my.

I had a really great weekend hanging with the boys, good friends and my parents. I got some cool bracelets and some thoughtful cards. Mother's Day isn't really about what I want as much as it is about what everyone else wants to do for me. I guess I will just accept that and be thankful. I know my husband is thankful to have me checked off his list for another year.

Slash Party

Coop cooks french toast very well (except maybe for the egg-cracking part.) Thanks, son, for making breakfast.

We have the most amazing friends. They show up even when they know there will be hard labor involved.

We have a standing joke among the "ranch hands" that involves names spelled wrong on cakes. It goes back many years and Aria continued the tradition with the incorrect spelling of "Mothr's Day." Super funny and super fun to tally yet another slash party.


Coop and Kyle plopped themselves out on the deck for an impromptu drawing session.

One of my favorite things about our new place - sunsets.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Glorious, Glorious, Day...

The final Mother's Day Tea at Redeemer Preschool, ever. It was lovely, but sad. Cam made us bracelets. He did a fine job coordinating my mom's bracelet with her outfit. (Okay, my mom mostly made it.)

We stopped for lunch at Lakeview Drive-In. Grilled cheese and rootbeer.
It doesn't get much better than that.

I went off to golf for the first time this season. Woohoo! It was a fantastic night.The boys went with babysitter Fallon to eat ice cream at the Zesto. Lucky ducks.

And to the park.

My evening ended with the CHS Pops Concert. It was an honor to be in attendance to see my good friend, Mark, receive the St. Joseph's Award. It is a prestigious award given to individuals who give above and beyond to the Cotter Community. Well-deserved, Markus, Cotter is lucky to have you. And, of course, I love watching my favorite choir director in action. Glorious, glorious, day!

The Drink That Got Away

I can do it myself! No, really, I got it!

See, almost there! I'm so close!

Okay, fine, I will just splash it in to my mouth. See, I told you I could do it myself!

Today's Life Lesson: You can lead a preschooler to water, but you can't help him drink it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Know You're a Redneck When...

... you find your dad teaching your sons how to shock nightcrawlers... in the neighbor's yard. That's right, that thing sticking out of the ground is meant to shock the worms to the surface. You see what I am up against?

Are you sure you don't want to fry it first? I'm calling PETA.

Best. Days. Ever...

My first born son has had a pretty spectacular couple of days. On Monday, his class went on a field trip that involved geocaching, an encounter with a snake (eeks) and culminated with a boat ride on the mighty Mississippi. So bummed I missed it!

On Tuesday, he toured the Middle School (double eeks) for the first time. He can't stop talking about the Media Center - "it's huge." He also tells me that there is a North gym which is two times bigger than the Jefferson School gymnasium and a South Gym which is two times bigger than the North gym making the South Gym four times bigger than the Jefferson Gym. Ok, whatever.

Anyway, I had to introduce him to my fellow WSU Warrior, Lisa, who is a counselor at the Middle School. When Coop told me that he met a counselor who was really tall I told him it couldn't be Mrs. Mullen (she's like four feet eleven) but I forgot that when you are young everybody seems tall.

My son is going to the Middle School. I'm not gonna cry. I'm not gonna cry. I'm not gonna cry. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna cry.

Today's Life Lesson: Just get on the boat, man. Get on the boat!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The cousins! We had a super day with my niece and nephew. It was our first real dinner gathering. We had lots of room to host our guests - 12 in all.

How many senior citizens does it take to put a puzzle together? Five! That's my dad's brother, Duane, in the plaid shirt. My mom's sister has the wonderful white hair. Duane's wife, Brenda, is next to my mom. My dad and his brother just lost their sister on Wednesday. They are the two remaining siblings. I hope my three sons stay as tight as these two brothers have.

Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid

On the way home from school on Friday, Kyle asked me what a "diarrhea" was? Hmmm... peculiar question. Before answering I asked him where he saw the word. He said it was the name of his book, "Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid." After I peed my pants laughing, I clarified the title for him. He still says it wrong.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cam Rides... Again

You may recall that last year at this time Cam rode his bike without training wheels. Well, that was pretty much the last time. For the last year he has been yelling at Corey and I to put the training wheels back on his bike. Being the good parents that we are we gave his bike away. He would have to ride a bigger bike - Kyle's - without training wheels.

Well, this week he demanded that I teach him to ride a bike so that the neighborhood kids and his brothers would stop leaving him in the dust. Yeah, that's right, DEMANDED! Well, being the superior mother that I am I told him I was busy and that I would help him later. Buh-lieve me, his tears were way harder on me than on him. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.

After he biked, he cooked. We made chicken fried steak for the very first time. Pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Just a Swangin'

We stopped at the Rollingstone Park on our way home on Wednesday. The boys enjoyed the "music" the horses made as they went back and forth. Personally, I thought it was obnoxious but I don't have a musical ear.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Screen-Free Week

This is screen-free week. How do I know this, you wonder? The MN Teacher of the Year reminded my parenting class this morning. I knew I should have stayed home today. I have committed to play zero games this week with my online friends. (Loud sobs.) I'll be okay. Maybe...

We made homemade pizza for dinner. Yumm - eeeee.

We ate out on our deck. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

I played basketball with Kyle instead of Words with Friends. It was way more fun except I let him beat me. That was hard.

Our neighbor Ruby came over to design with chalk. Chalking is a personal favorite of all the boys, especially Cooper.

I went to bed and read a book instead of watching TV. (I'm trying to brown-nose the teacher.)

Screen-Free Week Lesson Number 1: Fresh air and moving my body is way more refreshing than a WWF neckache.

Brydon Gets Doused

We road-tripped to Mankato on Sunday for Brydon's baptism. The boys had very imprtant jobs during the ceremony. Coop held the water pitcher, Cam blew out the candle and Kyle got to shine Brydon's head after he got drenched. Good work boys. We are proud of you! 

 Brydon definitely steals the spotlight with his bright personality. Ethan snuck in to get his picture taken, too.

How can you resist a family photo when the boys look so spiffy?