Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lobsta bake

What do you do in lobster, of course! Boy, did we eat our share of lobster this past week!

My cousins threw a lobster bake while we were in town. This was our first lobster bake and we were very interested in the entire process!

Carson was tempted to find a way to free the live lobsters.

Perry enjoyed playing with them before putting them in the pot.

Dan knew the perfect cooking time...and ended up with these delicious looking lobsters!

My Aunt Pat showed Carson how to attack eating the lobster.

Elise's version of lobster (that would be a hot dog!)

And, Perry managed to finish off not 1, but 4...yes FOUR...lobsters!

What a treat! Thanks, Joy, Dan, Uncle Bill, Aunt Pat, Karen & Paul for the wonderful feast!!!


We're finally home and I'm going to try and post some of our vacation pictures in batchs.

For some reason only known to these kids, they wanted me to take a picture of their faces as soon as they sucked on a lemon. When kids are content (and not causing damage), you don't ask many here are their beautiful puckers.

Friday, June 27, 2008


We spent 2 days in Acadia/Bar Harbor. We wish we would have added another day or two to that leg of our trip, we enjoyed it so much. We decided Acadia was an amusement park for people who like being in nature. Good food, good fun, good family better way than to spend a few days.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crafts with Grandma Carson

I remember doing so many crafts with my grandmother growing up, it only made sense to take my crafty girl over to do a craft with Grandma Carson. We found a necklace kit and brought that to her nursing home. Elise was very intent on making her necklace while Grandma enjoyed watching her.

Elise wearing her finished Piglet necklace.

Elise was very proud of being able to help Grandma back to her room all by herself.

Pictures of Acadia and Bar Harbor tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008


We are here and fully enjoying our time in Maine. Here are a few quick pictures:

The main reason we came to Maine this year was to see my Grandma (and the kids' great-grandmother). I hope to get a better one of the 3 of them this week. This was the best I could do today.

Stone fences are everywhere around here. I've always loved stone fences, maybe it's because they just don't exist back home like they do here. This one is in my cousin's front yard.

Elise finally has a GIRL cousin to hang out with!

We finally found a pair of shoes TOO BIG for even Perry (who wears size 15)! We visited Freeport this afternoon and did our part to boost the local economy. :)

I'm trying not to be a total dork...hanging out on the computer while on I will catch up on everyone's blogs once I get back!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We're here....

OK, almost here. Sitting in a hotel room about 2 hours from our actual destination. :)

We are in Manchester, NH after a looooonnngggg day of flying yesterday. Our connection was through Detroit and there were apparently thunderstorms causing delays. We only had an hour in between flights, which in a perfect world works out great. When your first flight ends up delayed an hour, it ain't so great. :(

We were a little worried that we'd have to spend the night in Detroit. Which would have been fine, except that I'd already PAID for a hotel in Manchester. There weren't many options, however, except to wait it out and see how it ended.

A very kind Northwest employee was trying to help us decide our options and made tons of calls for us. In the end, we decided to try our original flights with an almost non-existent layover. We headed over to a quieter spot in the St. Louis airport.

When we finally started to board, the kind employee saw us and motioned us over. She said she'd been paging us. She had upgraded us to first class for the first leg of the flight (which was the longer flight). That was a nice treat and certainly not expected. She wanted us to be closer to the front of the plane so we had a better chance of making the next flight. (Part of the reason I'm writing this is so I remember to write a letter to Northwest complimenting this very helpful employee.)

The kids LOVED being in first class! We flew business class to China and Delta had flown me first class down for a job interview years (decades!) ago so this is certainly NOT a regular thang for us.

Long story short...since you already know we're in NH...we made the flight. We had to book across the Detroit airport (thankfully their tram made the old fashioned running much easier). The kids were disappointed to be back in steerage again! The drinks and snacks are certainly better in first class!

The kids did well yesterday with the extra delays and stress of not knowing if we'd make it here. They enjoyed the flights, didn't do many of the activities they had packed, and got along really well.

Elise is back in her dress and ready to go see Grandma Carson this morning! (I'd post pictures but the camera cord is packed somewhere in the deep recesses of a suitcase!)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ready to go...

We have a few hours until our flight, but this is how I found Elise just now. She's watching TV, having a snack....her backpack all packed and ready to go!

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's so unfair!

Elise is a bit cranky with me today.


She wanted to wear her favorite dress but I warned her that whatever she wore today wasn't going on vacation with us.

So, the dilemna began for the day...what's a girl to wear?

She picked out all of these dresses to wear on vacation and she was "stuck" today wearing one of her not so favorite dresses or...worse yet...shorts.

(Shhhh....don't tell her, but I am bringing a few pairs of shorts for vacation!)

I have no idea where this obsession with dresses come from...she certainly doesn't see me wearing them! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Simple Fun

Carson's at that tough age where he is acting older and wanting to be a bit more independent. Testing the limits constantly! My sweet little boy has turned into this strong willed, somewhat belligerent creature (OK, so the strong willed part isn't new, just getting stronger!)

My goal this summer is just to get one hug a day from him (half-hearted from him is acceptable since that's all he's usually willing to give) and to make sure he hears every day that I love him, even though I don't really like his attitude and behavior (and smell!) most days. I refuse to let him grow up too fast this summer.

So, this being a crazy week, I hadn't seen him much. He'd be home during the day (when I'm at work) and over at friends' houses in the evening. He and his friends prowl the neighborhood late afternoon and evening. They are a band of roving boys trying to find the least boring place to hang out. They also cook up elaborate plans and see if they can find a parent willing to accommodate.

Last night, he asked if a friend could spend the night. Originally they wanted to pitch a tent in the backyard, but neither Perry or I had the energy to roll with those plans. They were welcome to sleep IN the house, though! :)

What did they decide to do? Play with legos. That simple. They pulled out tubs of legos (there are actually several more tubs than you see in the picture below) onto the open area outside the upstairs bedrooms. They built planes, trucks and army stuff. They were so engaged. Using their imagination. Just being little boys!

Perry and I went to bed while they were still playing. We simply asked them to not leave Legos where we might step on them in the morning and to be quiet. At some point, they asked if they could move into the guest bedroom and just sleep in there. Sure, we say!

When I got up this morning and checked on them, the guest room has quite the Lego village (probably more of a battle field in their minds) all over the room. Both boys were sound asleep. Who knows how late they were actually up, but they clearly had fun and didn't keep anyone else up. I wanted to take a picture, but didn't want to wake them up.

I know I can't stop him from growing up, but it was nice to see a bit of my little boy back for a while last night. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What a treat!

Our summer has been cruising along nicely so far, but we hit a childcare snag this week. Not wanting to go to the YMCA summer camp for the week, our nephew Cliff offered to watch my cherubs. Cliff is staying with us all week, doing odd jobs here and there for Perry and babysitting during those snags.

A little background....I adore my nieces and nephews, just love 'em. In fact, I held Tyler when he was a mere 5 minutes old and I cherish that memory.

Cliff and his older brother, Ralph, have only been my nephews for 3 years, so I don't have the baby burpin', diaper changing, lost my first tooth, Halloween costumes of old, type of memories for them. Great kids, just a different history.

In fact, I think this is the first time my kids have spent such a concentrated time alone with Cliff. I was a little worried about what it would be like with a 15 year old at our house for a week. Would I get any sleep? Would I have any non-grey hair left? Would there be food still in the fridge at the end of the week? Would Cliff go nuts with my 6 and 9 year olds?!? Would I be counting the moments until I could send him home? Would he be counting the moments until he could be released?!? You get the picture.

Let me just say...this has been such a pleasant week! The kids have gotten along great! Cliff is such a huge help...offering to do dishes each night, playing with the kids, offering to pitch in around the house, walking the dogs. My kids just adore having him over.

Hmmm...wonder how long I can keep him before his folks want him back?!? :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sick kid

Elise woke up sick yesterday. :( Nothing worse than being sick on a beautiful summer weekend. She spent most of yesterday wanting to just lay on me. We tried the pool, which is usually a surefire way to perk her up, but she ended up laying on top of me on a lounge chair.

And I always love seeing the tan lines when we get Carson's hair cut in the summer. Yeah, his hair was getting a little too long!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poor eyesight

It was only a matter of time...everyone in the family now wears glasses/contacts. Carson got his first pair last week. He only has to wear them for reading, homework and in school (he's not wearing them much just yet!)

We also went for a hair cut this morning. My little boy sure is looking more grown up these days.

He's not too fond of his new glasses and much prefers his shades!

It's a beautiful weekend here, hope everyone is enjoying a nice weekend!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Perfect Gift

Elise received a kit to make pompom animals from her Aunt Evelyn. She had a BALL putting the animals together. She did it during the day with Perry and he forgot to take pictures of her working on them. But, here are some of the finished animals.

A penquin, turtle, ladybug, mouse and teddy bear. Too cute!

Thanks, Evelyn, it was really just the perfect gift!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend recap

  • Our a/c went kaput this weekend...right as the temps soared into the 90's for the first time. Lovely! And, it's not a simple fix, it requires a whole new unit. Even lovelier!

  • We had my parents over to celebrate Father's Day this weekend. It wasn't until AFTER I'd invited them that I realized Father's Day is, indeed, next weekend.

  • Several folks implied I was giving a thumbs up to Kung Fu Panda, which I did, but let me remind you that I have an older son so...say compared to Star Wars, I didn't find the movie too violent. Yes, there are a few dark scenes (not bloody, though). If you haven't been Star Wars (or other boy type movie) indoctrinated, you may find it violent. Sorry, didn't want to mislead anyone! On the flip side, it was very respectful of Chinese culture and Elise and I did love it.

  • How many days until school starts again? I'm tired of hearing "I'm bored" and not just from my own children. But, I sure will miss all the extra kids hanging out at my house! (seriously, they are all good kids....and I'm not just saying that because my neighbor has my blog address!)

  • Could someone invent a machine that would clean out your child's closet of all clothes that are a size or two too small so you aren't lulled into thinking sweet Johny has enough shorts? Oh wait, that machine has been invented, it's called MOM. (NOTE TO SELF: next time, check the laundry before rushing out to buy new shorts because said child is left with only a few pairs of shorts left after a closet cleaning session!)

  • I love my new flex schedule and 3 day weekends.

  • Anyone else seeing TONS of ticks this year? Found 2 live ones climbing up my shirt while I was working in the kitchen, the other found in our sheets right before going to bed (yes, I itched ALL.NIGHT.LONG!)

  • Why do people see Elise and call her ELSIE?!? Two people IN A ROW did it this weekend. I probably wasn't as nice to the 2nd person. (Sorry!)

  • Why do 9 year boys stink worse than anything else? And resist bathing? Peeee-eeewww!

  • Our vacation is coming up and I've done NOTHING (nada, zilch) except order airline tickets. Need to book a hotel room or 2 (or 3), rent a car, make some plans, finalize pet setting, start packing, stock up on things to entertain the kids, etc. I'm usually much more on top of things than this...and strangely, it's not bothering me or keeping me up at night. Although, I did shock someone at work when they learned I'd done NOTHING. So unlike me.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Elise and I went to see Kung Fu Panda this afternoon. Carson bailed at the last minute, so it ended up being a girls day at the theater. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it's ever been just Elise and I at a movie!

It is an adorable movie with a good message. (I could see my son trying out the kung fu moves on his friends had he come with us.)

And Elise, always one to follow the rules, made sure I had turned off my cell phone when they made the announcement. Yes, she literally made me pull it out and double check that it was off. :)

She didn't like some of the fight scenes and quickly crawled on my lap, but sitting in a dark theater cuddling with my baby girl for 2 hours was a great way to spend the afternoon!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Family Day!

Five years ago, our family was united at the St. Louis Airport.
Here's the first live glimpse folks here had of Elise.

The first time I had my arms around both my kids at the same time :)

Elise meeting her dad for the first time...all while keeping a death grip on me.

Our first family picture.

What a wild ride these past 5 years have been! Can't wait to see what's in store for the next 5 years.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How annoying....

OK, let me first remind you of my obsession with ordering things online.

I ordered these bumper boats thinking they'd be fun for the pool this summer. They came with a 90 day warranty so I figured we'd be good. They were fairly well rated when I searched the internet. Didn't just order one, but TWO. At a cost of $174! (I'm even ashamed to type that!)

The bumper boats come and they look pretty sturdy. We get them blown up, insert the required batteries and the kids are ready to roll.

Oh, wait, the squirt gun doesn't work in either of them. Well at least you can motor (very slowly, but that's OK by me) around the pool.

The dang thing BROKE...the 2nd time they were used. I'm so irritated. Please, if you are going to sell me a piece of s^%$, then just admit it up front so I don't have disappointed kids in the long run.

Anyone else have any other grand ideas for keeping bored kids occupied this summer?
I'm going to lay off ordering fun summer toys online for awhile.

Blogs that make my day...

My friend, Tammie, left this for me and I'm so honored! From what I understand, I have to nominate 5 other blogs that Make My Day. Unfortunately, I can't nominate Tammie even though her blog is one I check daily.
  1. Sandra, Tammie and I met while waiting for our daughter's. I've always kept up on Sandra's blog in lurkdom, then on Tammie's when she started blogging. Loving their posts sparked my desire to start my own blog. Not so much for everyone's else benefit, but I watched as Sandra and Tammie created these wonderful memories of day to day events, I wanted to do the same for my kids.
  2. Jen's Semester Abroad is my niece's blog. She's studying abroad in Germany and, by the looks of her blog, having a blast! Funny, though, I don't see many books or studying going on in most of her pictures! :)
  3. Super Mommy. She takes great pictures and her girls always look so sweet! If I were to get my sweeties to pose that nicely for a picture, there would be one frazzled mom and 100's of wasted shots just to get one as nice as hers! Her Jade is from Elise's SWI.
  4. Becki Party of 5. Her Addie is also from the same SWI as Elise, as well as 2 bio children (one about Carson's age). It's nice to see families that "look like ours." She seems like a person I'd be likely to hang out with in person!
  5. And, because I'm vain and need some humor in my day, I'll admit to check TMZ daily as well. (OK, I do check some other newsworthy sites as well, but this one always makes me chuckle in how far folks will go to get a glimpse or story about a celebrity).
Thanks, Tammie!
Now, could someone please explain why blogger keeps squishing my paragraphs?!?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kindergarten Graduation

Be warned...more obnoxious pictures of my kids. But, heck, you made the choice to visit my blog! :)

And, I have to apologize about the quality of the pics. I didn't want to lug my big camera to work with me. Perry had my #2 camera but he forgot it. So, I was left with my least favorite (but newest...sadly) camera. (Yeah, I'm a bit camera obsessed....too bad I don't have the talent to warrant the obsession!)

Elise HATES to be center of attention so I wondered how she'd do during the time when each child stands on the "stage" while teacher talks about them. True to form, Elise refused to look at the audience and kept her eyes on her teacher or the side wall (so she didn't have to look at the audience). We did learn that she hopes to be a dentist when she grows up. News to us!

Elise's considers Darien her boyfriend. In truth, he is a good friend and a sweet little boy. Because they line alphabetically by first name, they are always together. They sat together during the ceremony and just chatted. It was so cute.

And here she is singing a rendition of the Adams Family theme song.
And in the end, they blasted Celebration and the kids all started dancin'.
Yup, it's official...she's now a 1st grader!

And where was Carson you might ask. Absolutely, positively did NOT want us to pick him up from school today. Riding the bus was just fine with him.