Thursday, June 24, 2010

One more


Forgot one pic....I love photographing my kids from this angle...
they may hate me later - but it's so innocent and not forced...

And they are off....

This is what it looks like to pack for my kids (clothes only) for 1 week at "Camp Lisa & Louie's". Yes these two pics are fuzzy....
but it's a good reflection of how my mind was feeling at this point too.


I met Lisa at the 1/2 way point between us, which was Knoxville, TN...4 hours away. Not bad. But we wanted to spend the day hanging out before driving away, but it was almost 100 and with 3 little kids...and an Aunt Lisa....who do not do well in the hot humid sun...we resorted to a few minutes of splashing at this beautiful water fountain, then found an inside mall
(aka...air conditioning) to walk around in a bit).

Camryn enjoying a quick splash:

They were just slightly excited....even the big kid!
I was trying to take their picture from the other side...
it didn't work like I thought it would, but it was still a cool shot.
OH NO!!!!
What is this I see when I return from my day-long adventure?!! The basket of all the medicines and hearing aid stuff...and ALL their shoes, including the newly bought rain/mud boots I had to go buy just for the trip...all sitting nicely next to my bed where they were forgotten. seriously?! Can I just be done with the absent-mindedness already?!

Summer tote!



I've been wanting one of these since I started seeing them at the pools here, but 2 things have hindered me...
#1. I hate shopping online.
#2. I hate spending over $20 for anything, and I hate paying for shipping.

But, I finally received the 40% off, plus free shipping notice in my inbox the other day! Thinking it was too good to be true, I went and checked it out. Now, to get the great deal, I didn't get to customize it, but that's ok because I still love brown!

$19.99 (plus tax) + free shipping!! woohoo!! I never get good bargains, I'm a horrible bargain shopper, but every once in awhile I get lucky!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tyler's Birthday #5

His birthday was in April, his party was in May...
I'm posting this in June....
this is why I am the best mother ever!!

How did my little boy...my special surprise from God...turn 5 already?!
We love you Tyler!!
Family Party, night of actual birthday - tearing through presents! "These are great....but where's what I really wanted?"

**hidden!**

"Tyler, let me help...."

"I knew she'd be here!!"
(This is his beloved Lady Train...it's his favorite because she never causes confusion or delay
...his words...
he broke it less than 5 minutes later and hasn't played with it since...)

This is his very homemade carnival party...but I must say it was a lot of fun!
But I didn't get a lot of pictures.


The kids played all my homemade games, then would go back to the blue basket and get a toy...then they'd go play another game...go get another toy...some walked away with a lot of loot!

I didn't even make the birthday cake....
I found a double-decker cookie cake for $15
(which is what I was going to make anyway and this saved me a lot of time and sanity!)

Make a wish my sweet boy....here's to another wonderful year!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The faces of 1st Grade

I find myself incredibly overwhelmed with so many different emotions in regards to these past two years of school here in Charlotte, along with year that's not even here yet. I may be completely unprepared at the start of school next year because I just want to enjoy some time without school drama...and I may enjoy it for a little too long.

Oh wait....it hasn't ended. I think that's how it goes when you have a kiddo with any kind of disability added with politics of schools, teachers and interpreters and others who have an opinion whether I want it or not....not to mention the people I request opinions from who refuse to help.

So - with that, I pause for a brief moment to reflect on the incredible people who inspired, challenged, encouraged, motivated and taught my children this year.

Camryn & Amber


Camryn & Miss Nurmi


Amber & Ms. Johnson (teacher's aide)


Amber & Mrs. Hair (1st grade teacher)


Amber & Ms. Pennegar (interpreter)


Camryn & Ms. Kenya (Bus driver)....who on the last day of school made a special trip to their school to drop off gifts and say good-bye.


These people made my emotional roller coaster a smoother ride. The girls fell in love with them and thrived in their classes.

They will be missed, but embedded in our hearts forever~

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm honored to call him "Dad"

This is the email my dad just sent out announcing his retirement. I couldn't be more proud of him for his hard work, dedication and enjoyment of his job for longer than I've been around. I pray nothing but enjoyment for his retirement. May he accomplish all that is on his list.

His announcement:

I have been dodging questions on this for a couple of months now but "the
rumors abound" so I might as well fess up and make it official. My last
day with the BLM will be August 1st. After a close friend passed away
about 18 months ago, before he could retire, it made me look long and hard
at my hold card and it became more and more evident that there were many
more things to do than continue to work. Working for the BLM all of these
years has been a great experience with wonderful friends and I have really
enjoyed it. You won't find better people anywhere, but you all know that.

But it is time... Everyone told me "when it's time you will know it" but
in my own way I never believed them - it had to be more difficult and
complicated than that, but it's not! It's been a great journey, but it's
time for a new journey. It's time take Linda to all the wonderful places
I've seen and she hasn't. It's time to teach the grandkids how to fish and
camp. It's time to build my "cedar strip canoe" that I've carried the
plans around for since 1978. It's time to help Lisa and Louie fix up their
house, since he will be on his 4th deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan or
somewhere (it's always a secret). It's time to mooch off the other 3 kids
from time to time as well. It's time to restore my 1971 240Z (again).
It's time to ride my bike and not have to commute to work avoiding all the
joggers on the bike path. It's time to put the off-road tires back on and
climb the trails at Moab or participate in the Tour de France (well maybe
not that one). It's time to enjoy the Walt Disney World "Food and Wine
Festival" again without having to worry about getting back to work (you
know - Take time to smell the roses, or in my case taste the wine!). But
most of all, it's time to enjoy what God has to offer us.

Each time we have moved we have put our trust in what is to come and have
not looked back. We have always been amazed what is around the next bend.
We have approached each change as an adventure and this one will be no
different. We are going to buy a trailer and travel, seeing and
experiencing all that this wonderful country has to offer until we decide
where we will land, but first we have always had to see what is over the
next hill (the perceiver in both of us). So if anyone knows of a good deal
on a 5th wheel trailer let me know.

May all of you enjoy your life with the Bureau as much as I have! Life is
about your decisions, may you always choose the right path and your trails
be free of "Griz" (bears for those of you who are not Jeremiah Johnson
fans).

Jim

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Scarf-em-down" Pancakes

Here is a recipe I found and have modified slightly, but my kids LOVE them. They always ask for 2nds (which they never did with store-bought stuff). They are easy to make so I thought I'd share the recipe. Because everyone knows easy-to-make-recipe + kids eat it = happy mommy!

Oatmeal Pancakes

1 C flour (I use wheat flour)
1 C quick oats
2 T sugar (I use brown)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I don't use any)
1.5 C milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 eggs

Put everything together in a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth. Cook at medium heat.

Hope you enjoy them!