Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life's Good Again

After my last post I got a few phone calls, a visit, and two Facebook messages making sure that I was not in my kitchen with my head in the oven. I am sorry if I frightened anyone with my last Debbie Downer Entry. I have definitely been a little bit of a bipolar blogger of late.  All is well now. Scott made it home from Panama-for now at least and Atley FINALLY had his last day of school.  Summer is in full swing and we are enjoying our time together as a family.
After a week Harley is just beginning to let daddy out of her sight. It is nice to have a little normalcy back in our life. As normal as we get anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I had a couple of horrible days last week, like awful, miserable days! Funny this post should follow one entitled, The Perfect Day! So, grab some popcorn and a Coke and prepare to be entertained.

 Incident #1: It all started one evening at Costco. Wow! I could start a lot of stories with those words.  First, let me mention that I have been alone for 2 1/2 months, while Scott works in Panama.  I had all of the kids at Costco. With another stressful shopping experience under my belt I got them all seated in the food court while I went to the counter to order them some dinner.  I noticed a gentleman sitting at a table near them, for all I know they were torturing him judging from what he did next.  When my food was ready the gentleman, I use that term loosely, jumped up to help me carry the food.  He walked toward the table where my kids were sitting, which just so happened to be right next to the trash can, but instead of putting their food on the table he threw it away.  Their entire dinner in the trash!
Incident # 2:  That night I was having trouble sleeping. I kept hearing strange noises and so I turned on the TV around 2 AM. I was in the middle of a really great Golden Girls episode when my cable went out.  Just stopped working. Oh, well! I turned off the TV and tried to go to sleep. In the morning I tried to check my e-mail but my Internet was not working and the TV was still out.  I picked up the phone to call my Mom for our daily morning chat, but I had no dial tone.  I grabbed my cell phone and called Verizon, they bundle our TV, Internet, and phone.  After being on hold for at least an hour, I was informed that I had not paid the bill for more than 2 months. What?  Of course I paid my bill.  In fact, I was looking at my online bank statement on my phone while talking to them. I told them exactly when the payments cleared.  They pretty much called me a liar and told me that they would need $418 to get everything turned on again.  I was so annoyed, but I needed my stuff working so I just paid the bill. As I sat there I started thinking what my options were and why they claimed I never paid my bill and why the heck they would just completely shut everything off without a warning.  A light bulb went on in my head.  My cell phone is also with Verizon-not part of the home bundle. I checked my cell phone account and sure enough I had a more than $500 CREDIT on my cell phone.  Yeah, I was paying the wrong Verizon for two months. Now I am waiting for a refund from the cell phone company.  I wish I could say that this has never happened before, but I paid the wrong water company for almost a year until I caught my mistake.  Luckily, they never shut my water off.
Incident #3: I put a load of laundry in the machine and then set out to take Atley to the bus stop. It was about 8:30 AM and my day already sucked. One of the tasks on my single-mom list was getting the yard work finished. Mowing the lawn with Harley running for the street every chance she gets is a long and laborious process. I finally backed the van out of the garage put a movie in it for her, strapped her into the car seat and finished my work.  Tired, hot, & thirsty, I went back into the house for some water and air conditioning. Nash, Harley and I headed to the basement.  When I put my sweaty barefeet on the carpet I noticed it was soaking wet. I had a flood on my hands.  I ran into the laundry room. As a special present for his overwrought mother Atley had decided to plug the sink that our washing machine drains into before he left for school. Not only did it overflow, my entire laundry room and part of the basement were soaked. I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon vacuuming up water.  Meanwhile, hurricane Harley had worked her way up stairs to the fridge where she was pouring out a 2 liter bottle of rootbeer and breaking eggs all over the kitchen floor.
Incident #4:  That afternoon we headed to Atley's school for an open house to view some of the projects they had been working on.  The teacher cornered me to discuss Atley's behavior, like I didn't know it was a problem. I was stressed and I might have been a little short with her when I said, "Look there are only 3 days of school left, you are just going to have to deal with it. At least, you will be through with him at the end of the week. I have at least 10 more years."
Incident # 5:  Exhaustion doesn't begin to describe my feelings that evening when I went to get the mail. What I really wanted to do was turn on the TV for the kids and take a nice long nap, but our TV was still not working.  I grabbed the mail from the box and right on top was a letter with no stamp and no name.  Just our street address typed in big block letters.  Oh, maybe it was a party invitation or even better a big wad of money to help me make up for the extra $418 I had spent that morning.  I couldn't be so lucky. It was an anonymous letter reaming me for my lack of social conformity. The letter explained that anyone with an ounce of common sense knew that proper etiquette dictated lawns never be mowed before 10AM on the weekdays and not until after Noon on the weekend.  Okay, really! I guess I am an idiot. It was a Tuesday morning, need I mention it wasn't even a summer morning.  No, the kids were all in school still. I thought most normal people were either at work or on their way.  Who knew I lived in a neighborhood of three-toed sloths!  But, instead of getting angry which is my usual M-O, I just burst into tears.  Someone should have stuck a fork in me because I was DONE!!!
I put the kids to bed at 6:30 to avoid anymore catastrophes and I was asleep on the couch by 8PM.  The next morning was a brand new day. The TV was working again.  Life couldn't be too bad with the premiere of Dallas to look forward to. I glanced at the pictures I had taken at Atley's school the previous day and I counted my blessings.  It had been a rough 24 hours but things can always be much worse. 
Atley's Lakota Indian Village and his term paper on rock pythons. Atley was accepted into the Advanced Academic Program this year.  Out of 11,500 candidates, he was one of only a thousand that were accepted.  He is a handful, but he is also a boy genius. 
Atley's class spent the year studying the migration and life cycle of Monarch Butterflies.  It took all of Harley's energy to control her ornery side long enough not to squish that butterfly.
The butterfly flew right onto Nash's chubby cheek. The same part I like to chew on first thing in the morning. It is scrumptious.
We celebrated our survival of the day from hell with some well-deserved frozen yogurt.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Perfect Day...Almost

Last weekend the weather was nice and cool, especially for the first of June. We went to Butler's Orchard and picked strawberries.  I have never tasted such strawberry perfection.  We ate at least a pound while we were picking and brought another 3 lbs home. They were gone within 24 hours. No wonder Harley kept saying, "I have a tummy ache!"

After picking we found this amazing place in Germantown, Maryland called Adventure Park. It had a wooden castle, a ship, a rock wall and lots of other fun things. The boys played Harry Potter for hours, while I did my best to keep Harley safe. She believes that anything her brothers can do, she can too. It was an almost perfect day, if only we didn't have to go home to a messy house without daddy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Popsicle Holder

I found the perfect idea for keeping little hands from getting sticky while eating a Popsicle. Push the Popsicle through a cupcake liner.
(Please don't be distracted by the cute outfit Harley is wearing. She picked it out herself)

Monday, June 4, 2012


Atley and Harley both got new bikes for their birthday. Atley because he had outgrown his and Harley because she needed a pink one. This means that Nash also got a new bike, because new to him is almost always Atley's hand-me-downs.  Does it suck to be the middle child? Sometimes I feel a little sorry for him. He hardly ever gets something "new."  The odd thing is he is probably my most giving child.  Interesting. The bike upgrades have taken more than a little practice considering the front hand brakes and bigger sizes but they are all finally getting the hang of them. We spent a lot of time riding over Memorial Day weekend. In fact, we only had one bloody knee throughout the whole learning process. Now that Nash can handle a bigger bike he has decided he is ready for the motorcycle this summer in Colorado. We shall see!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Turtle Whisperer & Snake Charmer

Paying no regard to the safety of others including my own children, when I saw a turtle crossing the street on our way to the bus stop I immediately slammed on the brakes and swung open the door, not necessarily in that order. I ordered the boys to jump out and catch it.  Nash was a little slow on the up-take but it didn't take long for Atley to seize the turtle that we decided to call Shelldon.  We catch a turtle almost every summer, but we actually kept track of this turtle for almost an entire 24 hours before he made his great escape.  I can't say that I blame the poor fellow. If the boys touched him he would immediately hide in the safety of his box shell, but Harley was like the turtle whisperer. He was always sticking his creepy little head out, growling, and peering at her while she played with him. Harley hauled that thing around everywhere. She took it in the wagon, jumped with it on the trampoline, and carried it around in a little green bucket all over the house. Not the mention, the fun time she and Nash had putting the turtle on his back and laughing while he struggled to roll over without their help.  She would sometimes set the bucket he was in down and the turtle would stick its head out and begin rocking the bucket to and fro. She would scream at him, tell him to be quiet and hold still. He seemed to almost always obey.

In other reptile news, Atley played the part of a mischievous snake in the school play this week.  The best example of type-casting I have ever witnessed.  His main role required him to interrupt others, sing loudly, and dance.  He was absolutely perfect! We are beginning to let go of our hoop dreams for our eldest son and admit that he really is a great little actor/singer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Temple Photo Shoot

Last Sunday a friend and I took our kids to the temple.  We both have boys about to get baptized and we wanted to take some pictures for their baptism announcements.  We are so lucky to have such a beautiful temple only a few minutes away. How can any picture turn out bad with that as a backdrop?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Preschool Graduation

We were a little nervous at times but Nash officially graduated from homeschool/cooperative preschool yesterday. I can't believe he will be off to Kindergarten next year! (tear, tear)  The event took place in our backyard.  The party theme was Dr. Seuss' book, Oh, The Places You'll Go!  We made graduation caps out of round bowls and square plates and marched down the hill to Pomp & Circumstance.
Our ceremony consisted of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, reading the Dr. Seuss book, and playing a pin the pin on the map game to see the places in the world where they could really go someday. The whole map game was a tad too literal for some of them.  Being blindfolded Nash didn't get his pin in his beloved mother country, Great Britain, rather Spain, which incited a huge melt down.  Later, when we had lunch and he offered the prayer, he said, "Please help me to have fun in Spain and to learn to love the people." After the game the kids received their diplomas and candy leis.
They threw their caps in the air!
We played a few more games and watched a slide show of all the fun things we did throughout the year. Finally, we had lunch and lots of chocolate cake!