Sunday, June 30, 2013


Summer bucket list

The kids had a meeting in Sarah's room one afternoon and made a summer bucket list (with input from each of them). 

 I thought this was a cool idea and even though I wouldn't be so creative as to make a poster with my ideas, I felt a renewed excitement to accomplish the three things on my bucket list this summer. 

1.  Read a good fiction book.

2.  Teach myself how to knit.

3.  Refinish Lyndsay's dresser. 

I can't believe that somehow I have already accomplished the first two.  I have read two fiction books:  Stillwatch by Mary Higgins Clark and Joyland by Stephen King.  There was so much hype surrounding the release of King's book, I got on the library's website to request it only to see that there were quite a few others doing the same thing.  It came quicker than I thought though, and I read it fairly quickly...sorry to say, I would not recommend it.  I don't know if it's because it's hard for me to get into fiction, but I thought it was boring and, well, dumb.  I feel like I still accomplished the first thing (meaning a *good* fiction book) because Stillwatch was pretty good.  It was a good story and kept my interest all the way until the end. 

Now on to #2: Grandma B used to do all kinds of craft-work:  sewing, needlepoint, cross stitch, crochet, knitting and probably even more than what I am remembering.  She taught me how to sew which I continued in high school but not so much after that, needlepoint, cross stitch and crochet.  I also got into yarn pulling (this doesn't seem like the right term, but nothing else is coming to mind).  Anyway, out of all of those crafts I really don't do any of them now.  Grandpa B let me take some of the knitting needles and yarn since Grandma is not interested in doing this anymore.  I love YouTube for things like this because that is how I learned to knit a dishcloth.  I really enjoy knitting so far and want to learn lots more.  It would be fun to have a friend get into this too, and join a knitting club or something.  My goal is to share this craft knowledge with the girls some day. 

I may wait a little longer to tackle Lyndsay's dresser.  It will have to be moved out to the garage and I just can't fathom where we're going to put all of the things that are currently in her dresser :)  This piece of furniture has been around a while.  Eric had it when he was a boy.  It still looks good except for the ugly brown paint. 

The kids have accomplished a few of theirs so far and I have no doubt that all will be finished by the time school starts. 

Monday, June 24, 2013


Sarah just loves Megan and Liz.  A little background...about a year ago she happened to find out about these two girls who are originally from this area who are now up and coming pop stars.  She went with a couple of girlfriends to the UP Mall last spring to see them in person at the FYE store.  They gave them a giant cookie and got pictures with them. 

Ever since then, Sarah has been a faithful Instagram, Twitter and Facebook follower of theirs.  She knows their public schedule and started begging me to take her to some place near Detroit at the end of June to see them sing at a mall there.  (After all, they do have two songs on the radio by now.)  I was really trying to get out of that one and was starting to give in when Eric and I were headed to one of Meredith's softball games and heard on the radio that Megan and Liz would be at the upcoming U93 Roofsit event here in South Bend!  I texted her about it right away and she didn't believe me - she was so excited.  So we trekked over to Martin's Monday evening (after calling them every hour starting at 2:00 because Sarah was sure that it would be so crowded that we would have to leave that early).  I took Lyndsay, Grace, Meredith and Grace R. also.  Erin showed up later with Megan which made it more enjoyable for me :)  Sarah met some friends and moved their way up to the front row.  It was a long evening, but Megan and Liz sang five songs and then held a meet n' greet afterwards.  They were very gracious girls and appeared to be truly excited to see each and every girl waiting in that long line to see them.  After a little rain, being moved to a tent, and some NervousNellie moments from a couple of the younger girls, we had pictures of happy smiling faces with some pretty popular locals. 

Liz's funny reaction when she saw Sarah's phone case with their pictures all over it :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Father's Day and Josh's birthday, 2013

Eric said Josh's birthday took precedence so we tried our best to split the day in honor of each one's choices.  Eric chose Steak n' Shake for lunch after church (not my fav, but the kids like it for some reason). 

Then we hit the pool for a couple of hours and then headed home to prepare Josh's chosen birthday meal of grilled chicken, grilled vegetables and salad.  Dinner was yummy (we grilled green peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes, but I forgot the zucchini).  What kind of mom forgets zucchini after it is actually requested by one of her children?  One that doesn't get requests for zucchini very often, that's what.  Grandparents came after dinner, and we all sat on the patio for a while enjoying the evening. 

Josh had been asking for an Airsoft gun for some time and so when I finally got around to doing my research, it was while we were at Dunham's looking for them.  The man seemed very knowledgeable and talked to Sarah and me for about half an hour before we decided on which gun to get.  He helped us pick out the ammo and we even got some targets, too.  Once Josh opened it though, we realized that that particular gun was for metal bb's only, not the plastic ones that were the whole point of the Airsoft guns in the first place.  So off we went back to Dunham's the next morning to get the correct gun and he was finally able to use it.  He and Eric went over to a nearby church with a large parking lot to really get some good shooting in with no worries of neighbors or pets being injured in the process. :)


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1st swim meet!

Lyndsay and Grace are part of the Arlington Gators swim team and today was their first meet!  They have only practiced three times, and even though they were nervous, it was definitely a successful day.  Grace does not like the backstroke at all and requested not to swim that one...well, she was scheduled to swim all four strokes in four separate heats, and she came in 2nd in backstroke! :)  Lyndsay had three heats (everything but butterfly) and didn't seem quite as nervous as Grace.  During Grace's butterfly race, her goggles slid off of her face, but it didn't phase her - she just kept swimming and did great!  That is one of the toughest strokes in my opinion... Lyndsay did a great job!  She came in 3rd in the freestyle which is her strongest and favorite stroke. 

When I asked them if they had fun, they weren't too quick to answer that in the affirmative, but I think after they've had some more time to practice and get used to it, they will.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

While cleaning Josh's room - for two whole days - we threw away a lot of junk, swept up a lot of cobwebs, and dusted a lot of...well...dust.  I think he might be a hoarder just like Lyndsay.  Every nook and cranny in that room had stuff in it.  Candy wrappers, candy containers, proof-of-purchase cards from who knows what, random plastic pieces for things he doesn't remember, old teeth in random places, socks, cards from First Communion and Confirmation, Lego get the drift...he keeps everything.

This kid has so many Legos!  I do love seeing everything that he has made with them though (I will try to remember to post some pics of them soon). 

While he was emptying out his toy box, look who he found at the bottom...

Woody sounds a little hoarse, but Buzz sounds just as brave as ever - I even felt a little tear in my eye. :)  Josh is definitely not a little boy anymore, turning 14 in a couple of weeks.  It seems like those days of Woody & Buzz were such a long time ago.  I'm glad that we got to live the Toy Story epic while it was happening and while Josh was at the age to think they were the coolest characters on Earth! 

Sarah even got into it for Halloween one year when they went as Woody and Jessie...

Excuse me while I go get a tissue ;)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

School is technically over, but not officially over.  Lyndsay and Grace still have some math to do and Lyndsay is still finishing her IOWA Basic test (similar to ISTEP).  Josh is done, but we have to pack up all of his books and lab equipment and send it back.  I still have to get transcripts for Sarah and Josh to send in with their Knights of Columbus scholarship applications. 

We have been to the pool a few times and it has been nice because it hasn't been crowded at all.  Lyndsay and Grace have met two new friends, Emma and Ellie who live close by and who will also be on the swim team so they have enjoyed playing with them.  Swim practices are supposed to start this week, but I still haven't heard officially.  The girls still don't know that they will have 8 a.m. practices...hee hee

Sarah is working at the concession stand at the pool this summer again and will have more hours than last summer - at least it looks that way.  Josh mows the grass for Grandma C. once a week and enjoys his time with her. 

We are going to Love Creek tomorrow with the Everetts and are looking forward to that.  I have been planning a trip to Potato Creek some time soon, but gas prices have shot up and are now between $3.99 and $4.29/gal. so any road trip no matter how short requires a second thought.  Ugh.

I am already getting excited about school this fall!  I was so excited to be done with this school year, but when I start looking at what we're planning on doing, I just can't help it!  Science has proven to be a bit of a struggle to plan.  The kids enjoy it more if it is hands-on, but most of the experiments we have tried (obtained either in library books or online) just don't work.  There are plenty of science options specifically for homeschoolers, but they are very pricey so I may just let the girls lead the way.  It will be very different next year.  Just having Lyndsay, Grace and Meredith here will be a welcome change (from my end and Josh's!)  As for science, whatever they are interested in, we'll just go with that and hit the library - thank goodness for the library!!