No Harm Done

Thursday, May 24, 2007

You were coming to this blog today to see more pictures of my adorable boys, and read about our latest hi-jinks. (We witnessed a robbery and, ahem, apprehension of the suspect at our local WalMart today! Such excitement!)

But instead, you're treated to yet another video.

I'm sorry. I promised myself I'd hold back on videos for awhile, but this is one I've really enjoyed this week.

It is a little edgy for my blog. But it's done with such a good humor, and the ultimate message is a good one, so I decided to go ahead and post it.

N Word for the White Guy

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

He's A Yankee Doodle Boy

Look at him! Isn't he adorable!

Brogan chose to be in the choir class at our homeschool co-op this year. It was an interesting choice for him, because Brogan has never shown any interest in singing. He's will sit quietly and listen to the other children singing, but never opens his mouth.

I'm thankful he chose choir, though, because it helped me to learn something about him. During class, he would never sing a song with the other kids until he knew the song. He would sit and listen, and then when he felt sure of the words and the melody he would join in.

I've noticed him doing this in other areas as well: watching other kids play a game and then joining in when he had it all figured out, etc. I never really picked up on the fact that this was how he processed new things. I'm so thankful that his choir experience helped me to piece this together.

The photo was taken during the choir's spring concert. They sang all patriotic songs. Brogan loved his top hat. And, true to form, Brogan didn't sing all of the songs. He sang his favorite songs, or his favorite lines, and was quiet the rest of the time.

But when he did sing, he put his whole body into it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Raising Beau Brummel

I've posted before about my fashion issues and their influence on my offspring.

This week I've started having the boys lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to bed. It's part of my master plan for for "painless choretime!" I'll elaborate in another post.

Anyway, through this new routine I've been able to learn something about my two younger boys. Brogan usually does pretty well. He generally will pick out clothes that match, but will have a difficult time putting them on in the morning.

Hence, this ensemble.

Lovely, isn't it? Really highlights his ribs. And -oooh! Look! An innie!

Believe it or not he actually wanted to try and make it through school and breakfast like this. (Hee! Hee!)

Now, Colson is different. Before bedtime, he likes to go through his dresser and find a shirt he likes and a pair of shorts he likes. No attention is paid to color or pattern - just their likeability factor. So he ends up with odd color and pattern combinations - stripes and checks together, etc.

But some days, Colson like to wear all his favorite clothes at once. Last Sunday morning he appeared in our bedroom and announced that he was dressed and ready for church.

Let's count, shall we? Hmm, he's wearing one pair of sweat pants, an undershirt, two long-sleeved shirts, a striped T-shirt, and and argyle-ish sweater-vest.

Here's a closer look:

He cried when I made him pick one shirt and one pair of pants, poor boy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

It's that time of year again!

We get to watch the making of a mother's day card by the "viral video" duo Barats and Bereta.

I can see a lot of my boys in this video. That's a good thing....... isn't it?

Isn't it?!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Our city has seen quite a bit of water in the past couple of weeks. 9 inches overnight, kind of water. Ordinarily I love rain. Love, love, love it. But this was too much, even for me. Thankfully our house escaped any sort of flood damage. Our basement was humid but dry.

Our garden, however, was not so lucky.

Look at that. Everything was washed away except for two sad little tomato plants. This weekend will be spent adding soil, re-planting seeds, and hoping they grow.

It was fascinating to drive around parts of town and see where the water had accumulated. There were lakes where no lakes were supposed to be. We saw a baseball field so far underwater that the fences were almost totally submerged. But as much fun as the water in our yards, streets, and nearby creeks was to look at, we couldn't swim in any of it. Instead we spent a night at the Great Wolf Lodge and exhausted ourselves at their indoor waterpark.

We've never stayed at a Great Wolf Lodge, but someone had forwarded a coupon with such an amazing deal we could not pass it up! Last month we reserved our room, and Monday we checked in for a family mini-break.

The room was wonderful, and the atmosphere of the hotel was a mini-resort decorated in a Pacific Northwest Woods theme. I won't bore you with too many details; you can look at their website for the nitty-gritty. But I will tell you that we loved the craft activities planned for kids during the daytime hours. Brogan spent an hour making a Mother's Day gift and listening to stories. At bedtime, the animatronic display in the lobby presents a 10 minute musical, and then someone on the hotel staff reads a bedtime story to the kids. We felt spoiled.

The real reason we went was the indoor waterpark. Here is the 3 story play structure for smaller children. It had ramps and ropes and dripping buckets and two waterslides for smallish children to ride. The boys played here for a long time!

At the top of the play structure is a giant bucket that slowly fills with water. Every few minutes, a bell rings which signals the imminent tipping of the bucket. Below you can see the water from the bucket drenching children underneath.

The water was warm. Bathtub warm. There was no slow, easing into the water. You could just jump right in. It was glorious!

Behind the play structure you can sort of see the water slides. There were 3 water slide/ tube rides that went both inside and outside of the building, so you got a great ride!

We went swimming twice on Monday afternoon and evening, and then again Tuesday morning before we checked out.

Brogan was fearless. He rode down anything we put him on, and by the end of our stay he would ride down the slides in a single tube by himself, instead of a two-person tube. Here's Colson watching M., Braden, and Brogan come out of the scary, scary three-person tube slide.

Colson rode down slides with M. He was a little tricky, because he has basically no body mass. One little bump in the slide would send him flying out of the tube, so we had to hang onto him when we rode. On the first ride, Colson flew off the tube and went sliding down on his bottom. Knowing there was deep water at the end, M. ditched the tube and was able to catch up to Colson just before they submerged. No tears from Colson though. I think he thought that was supposed to happen.

Colson went down every slide, even the ones that made me nervous. Here he is after the scary green slide, telling the lifeguard all about it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

On a recent trip, Braden noticed that our McDonalds PlayPlace no longer has "Rules."

They now have "Guidelines."

I'm sure behavior has improved noticeably.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Glub! Glub!

We've had between 8-10 inches of rain over the past 2 days. In the areas south of us it's much worse.

So far, our basement is dry and our roads are clear, but we live in a higher area. But schools in town are closed, houses are being evacuated, and many, mnay roads are closed.

Anyway, we're okay. But I probably won't be posting for a couple of days. I know that if you'd like to help flooding victims or the families from Greensburg, the Salvation Army is accepting donations. Also, area Dillons stores are accepting them as well.

In the meantime, here's one of my favorite flooding-related clips. (I'm feeling the need for a little levity this morning.) This actually aired on the Today show. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Word to Your Mama.

As a homeschooling mom in my mid-thirties, I try to avoid the trap of becoming unkempt and frumpy.

(Note: This is NOT me. This is a model.)

Yes, there is a denim jumper in my closet, but I only wear it to homeschooling conventions. (And even then it's just because I'm trying to be funny.)

Anyway, I try to keep somewhat current with pop culture trends, and I never thought too much of it. But, after watching this video, I wonder if there's maybe a point at which a mom can go too far.

Playground Tales with Brooke Shields

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dorothy? Dorothy? Get in the storm cellar, Dorothy!

Whoo-ee! It was a wild and bumpy day!

Today began innocently enough. We got up, did our chores, and got schoolwork done early. As a treat I took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch.

CEC is a rare treat for the boys. Every once in a while I get a coupon for a pizza, 4 drinks, and 100 tokens. The boys will use about half of them, and the other half get stored in the van for “rainy days. “ On those “blah” days when we need a little something special we will go to CEC and not buy anything, just use the tokens from the van. It’s fun, it’s air-conditioned, and it’s an easy way for me to be Surpermom for the afternoon.

The trick to surviving an afternoon at CEC with your nerves intact is timing. We only go when school’s in session, and we try to hit the building during naptime. We usually have the place to ourselves.

Today, after a rollicking, fun-filled time we headed home. As I turned onto the interstate, I looked westward and saw dark, turbulent clouds just west of town. I didn’t think much of it, though. I just figured we’d likely see some rain during the afternoon.

My cell phone rang when we were about 10 minutes from home. It was
M., asking where we were. I began to chat about our day when he stops me and says, “Tornado sirens are going off in ____ (a small town 10 miles north of our house).”

My stomach nearly dropped out of my body at this point. Tornado sirens are wailing just 10 miles north of us, but the skies look innocuous. I hang up the phone and turn on the radio in the car. I learn that sirens are not only wailing in the small town north of us, they are wailing in MANY small towns both north AND west of us and the storms were headed our way.

I had the kids look out the car windows to see if the could spot any lightning. At least, that’s what I told them. I wanted them to be distracted and not talking to me as I concentrated on driving, and I hoped that if anything big and scary were baring down on us at least one of the boys might see it and let me know. We finally made it home and walked into our house to just in time to hear our weather radio alert begin. Just as I turn it off, the tornado sirens go off outside. We’ve lived here two and a half years, and this was the first time we’d ever heard the sirens go off. It was kind of a momentous occasion!

So we spent the afternoon in the basement. The boys watched an episode of “The Dukes of Hazzard” in the red room and played with legos. Colson had fallen asleep during the van ride home and continued to sleep on the couch. I flipped channels watching the various weathermen on tv. Eventually I found the one who looked the calmest and stayed on his channel. It turned out that there were funnel clouds all around us this afternoon, but thankfully none very close to us.

Thankfully we are safe. The boys had no real idea how many, many funnel cloud were spotted around us this afternoon. They just had a great time watching “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Prior to moving here I had a paralyzing fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes, but the Lord has really been working on the issue of fears in my life, and thunderstorms don’t scare me like they used to. In fact, I felt almost like a native here as I ran upstairs a few times during the warning to see if I could see any funnel clouds forming. An hour after the storms ended and the warning expired, I even took Braden to baseball practice!

Boy, we sure live on the edge!