Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The weather has decided to coorperate with us, so yesterday me, Grandpa, Scott, Adam and Zach headed to Burr Oaks nature center and let the boys walk off some energy. We took a 1/2 mile nature walk and saw dead bugs, mushrooms growing out of trees, squirrels and birds. It was so warm that the boys didn't wear any coats. Inside the center we saw live snakes, turtles and fish, and a stuffed bobcat, beavier, eagle and a few other things that I can't remember. After, we stopped to play at Pink Hill Park. We met Grammy for lunch at PT's...a diner that specializes in pork tenderloin sandwiches. We all enjoyed our food and decided we were so full we may not even eat dinner!

Today me, Scott and the boys headed out to Fort Osage, an 1812 reconstructed historic fort overlooking the Missori River. It served as one of the first military outposts and government trade houses in the Louisiana Purchase. You could go into the barracks and lookout towers, which even had old cannons in them! The "Factory" showed how a military officer might have lived...the bedroom and kitchen. The boys decided the bed did not look comfortable. Downstairs was a place where they skinned animals (it has a certain name, but I can't think of it now). There were animal hides around, and the boys were a little leery of the one with the bears' head attached, with his mouth open showing his teeth!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Today we went to Union Station to see the model trains that are set up at Christmas each year. It's become somewhat an annual thing...and even though Adam tells me he's too old for trains, we stood there for about an hour and watched.

Then we walked over to Crown Center and let the boys run off some steam. As a rotating exhibit, Crown Center usually has a room set up for kids with different themes. It's been a forest, "What do you want to be when you grow up" dress up, and this time it was a Crayola obstacle course. The boys were almost to old for it, but they went through it about 20 times and seemed to enjoy themselves.

After that, it was off to the much-anticipated Fritz's restaurant, where a train brings your food to you.

For the grand finale, Adam, Zach, Scott and Grandpa rode the glass elevator to the very top floor and back down again!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The boys were up at 6:01 am today. They came into our room (already dressed for the day) to wake us up to see what was under our tree. We managed to talk them into letting us sleep for about 10 more minutes, then we couldn't hold them off any longer. Favorite gifts included Lego's (as you can see from the video below) and BaKuGons.

After all the gifts were opened (6:45 am), the boys headed downstairs to put their new Lego's together. I made some much-needed coffee and jumped in the shower, and Scott may have gone back to bed for a few minutes. We didn't hear a peep out of Adam and Zach until it was time to open stockings (3 hours later). Mom, Dad and Grandma Agnes came over for brunch of sausage and egg casserole, fruit, and pancakes. Then we loaded up the van and headed to KC.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow day!

We put Adam to work shoveling the snow (his idea). After he cleared the porch, he informed me that he should get paid $10 for doing this kind of work.

Here is Zach with his face in the snow (his idea). Then he got upset because he got snow on his face and it was making his face wet. Well, if you put your face in snow, you're going to get wet!

Friday, December 12, 2008

We attended Zach’s preschool Christmas program today. More than 70 four and five year olds…along with about 100 admirers attended this world-class concert. Video cameras were a-rolling and flashbulbs were popping. Zach was in the front row and waved at us as he walked in.

They sang 12 songs including Jingle Bells (Zach’s favorite), Special Star, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

After the program we had apple juice and apple cider and Christmas cookies...that was the most exciting part of the whole day, as you can imagine.

Here he is singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why I am exhausted today.

6:00 am: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
6:15 am: Alarm goes off. Turn alarm to OFF.
7:00 am: Finally get out of bed
7:10 am: Fix Adam and Zach breakfast.
7:20 am: Inform Adam he needs to wear a red shirt for school spirit day. Mention that he has no clean long-sleeved red shirts, so he’ll have to wear a long-sleeved white shirt underneath his short sleeved red shirt.
7:21 am: Lay out Zach’s clothes.
7:22 am: Argue with Adam about wearing the long-sleeved white shirt under the short-sleeved red shirt. Decide to let it go.
7:23 am: Adam comes out wearing a dirty red long-sleeved shirt he wore to school on Wednesday.
7:25 am: Zach says he can’t move his arms with these “rings” on his sleeves. Inform him that the designs on sleeves usually do not hinder movement in limbs, and besides, he has no other clean shirts.
7:27 am: Zach comes out wearing a different shirt that I think came out of his dirty clothes basket.
7:29 am: Break up an argument because “Zach is acting like a robot and keeps twirling my hair.”
7:30 am: Eat breakfast in peace.
8:10 am: Start the roundup for school – socks, shoes, coats, hats, gloves, backpacks, show-and-tell…does everyone have everything they need?
8:25 am: Off to school.

8:35 am: Drop off Adam.
8:45 am: Starbucks drive-through.
9:00 am: Drop off Zach.
9:10 am: Hobby Lobby.
9:45 am: Library to return 2 books…one that was under my stove that I already paid for, another that I was done reading. Also needed to pick up a book on hold that I talked the nice librarian into holding for me ONE more day, since I couldn’t get there yesterday to pick it up.
9:47 am: Librarian informs me that the library book that I found under the stove I had paid for three years ago and I could keep it. She indicated that maybe she should check under her stove for lost items.
10:05 am: Dillon's to pick up eight items on my list (please note, this is my first trip to Dillon's today).
10:45 am: Check out and end up spending $168.
11:15 am: Drop off Scott at the doctor.
11:30 am: Pick up Zach from pre-school.

11:40 am: Zach comes out of his room wearing sweats because his other pants were “too pinchy.”
12:00 pm: Start getting lunch ready.
12:20 pm: Adam gets off the bus and we start eating lunch.
12:30 pm: Scott calls for me to come pick him up.
12:45 pm: Pick up Scott and drop prescription off at Dillon’s pharmacy (2nd time).
1:00 pm: Finish lunch and boys go to their rooms to rest.
1:05 pm: Clean up kitchen and start dishwasher.
1:10 pm: Back to Dillon’s to pick up filled prescription (3rd time).
1:30 pm: Dad informs me that my van is done and is ready to be picked up.
2:15 pm: Dad picks me up to go get my van. Put carseats in Dad’s car.
2:30 pm: Move carseats from Dad’s car to van.
2:34 pm: Start driving to Adam’s doctor's appointment.
2:35 pm: Realize the radio in the van does not work.
2:45 pm: Adam’s appointment with a nurse practitioner who seemed to be talking really loud. Adam has a sinus infection, so she calls in a prescription.
3:15 pm: Back home.

3:30 pm: Start making pasta for baked spaghetti tonight.
3:35 pm: Call auto repair shop to inform them that I just picked up my van, and now the radio does not work.
3:37 pm: Pasta is overflowing on the stove.
4:00 pm: Back to the repair shop.
4:20 pm: Repair guy does not know what is wrong with the radio. Informs me that it will probably have to go to the dealer to get it fixed.
4:30 pm: Back home and put baked spaghetti in oven. Had to use a smaller dish, because the one I usually use is dirty.
4:50 pm: Hear something sizzling and realize my baked spaghetti is overflowing in the oven. Put a cookie sheet underneath it to catch the drips. Decide to clean it up later.
5:00 pm: Eat dinner.

5:15 pm: Tell the boys they have to put on turtlenecks underneath their shirts because we are going to be outside looking at lights at the gardens. Have to listen to Zach complain because turtlenecks “squeeze my neck.” Load up boys to go see lights at the gardens - socks, shoes, coats, hats, gloves.
5:25 pm: Stop by Dillon’s to pick up Adam’s prescription (4th time).
5:40 pm: Pick up Oma & Papa.
6:00-6:45 pm: Repeatedly say “please walk,” and “don’t stand so close to the fire.”
7:00 pm: Let the boys pick out a “treat” after seeing the lights. Explain to Zach that “Frito pie” is not like a dessert pie.
7:05 pm: Am mortified when Zach says “Did you see that little lady?” in a loud voice, when referring to a little person.
7:10 pm: Inform Adam that if he asks me one more time about his candy cane, I won’t let him eat it at all. Ever.
7:40 pm: Back home. Tell boys to get their pj’s on. They do, and then run downstairs to watch part of a roller coaster show with Scott.
8:00 pm: Realize the pharmacy gave me the wrong prescription. It was a prescription for Adam that was placed two weeks ago, that I had forgotten about.
8:01 pm: Call Dillon’s to see if they have another prescription for Adam. They do.
8:05 pm: Go downstairs to tell Scott that I’m going back to Dillon’s to get Adam’s prescription. Adam is already asleep. Zach is wide awake.

8:10 pm: Off to Dillon’s (5th time).
8:12 pm: Gas light comes on.
8:25 pm: Get prescription at Dillon’s.
8:30 pm: Almost home and then realize I still need to get gas. Head to QT to fill up.
8:51 pm: Zach still awake watching roller coaster show with Scott. Adam still asleep on the couch.
8:52 pm: Help Zach get ready for bed.
8:55 pm: Carry Adam upstairs to his bed.
8:57 pm: Zach asks for a drink of water.
9:07 pm: Finally get around to clearing dirty dishes from dinner. Stacked them in sink to deal with later (like tomorrow).
9:34 pm: Zach finally asleep.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I made the mistake of telling my brother-in-law that there was a library book stuck underneath our stove. It's been there for about 2 years. Little did I know that all you have to do is take the drawer that is below the stove out, and lo and behold, you can actually retrieve things that have gone under the stove. So here's what we found:

3 books: Peter Rabbit (the long lost library book); 123's and a little book about clothes.
1 matchbox car
1 plastic container lid
1 plastic letter "I"
1 top of a helicopter
Not pictured is a dirty spoon and mounds of dust. Yeah, it was pretty gross.
Now if we could just the golf ball out from in-between the counters, and the golf ball that somehow got thrown down the vent.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

What we are thankful for:
  • My family
  • Wood-smoked memories and family (this refers to Thanksgiving Day in years past at Uncle David's farmhouse, which was heated by a wood stove)
  • Family
  • Flies, Cockroaches, and Worms
  • Quacky ducks that kiss me
  • Trees
  • Legos
  • Minivans with automatic doors, brothers who play so well together, 3 boys who make me laugh
  • Snarf and glarf
  • The internet, coffee, and my family
  • Mario Kart (a game played on the Wii)
  • Having the privilege of loving my spouse!
  • Music
  • Family, food, housing, friends, a job, and love to all
  • Dazzling sunshine
  • Family being together and indoor plumbing (again referring to Uncle David's farm with the "two-holer" privy)
  • Family and V-8 (engines, not juice!)
  • *Family getting together and staying in touch
After our guessing game, Zach announced, "I should have said I was thankful for underwear!" Everyone agreed that we ALL were thankful for underwear!!

Each year our family writes down what they are thankful for. The notes are read aloud and we try and guess who wrote them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A few funny sayings at our house:

After calling the boys to dinner, Zach pipes up from his room: “Mom, I just can’t come right now. I’m in the middle of something very important. When I’m done, I’ll come eat.” He was building something with Legos.

Adam on the way to school:
“Why is my school so far away?
Me: “Well, I guess that’s just where they built it.”
Adam: “Did you live far away from your school?”Me: “No. In fact, I walked to school.”
Adam: “Because they didn’t have cars back then, right?”

We had to run errands to Target, and Adam and Zach asked if they could take their wallets and buy something. I agreed, giving them a $10 limit. No surprise, they headed straight for the Lego aisle. Adam showed Zach where to find the price and how to read it. Adam quickly discovered that $10 would not buy much. Zach picked out his box, which was $4.79. I told Zach he could pick another box the same size and still be within the $10 limit. So he picked his two little boxes and was happy with his selection.

Adam spent about 20 minutes looking at all the Legos. Adam figured out that if he could talk Zach into getting certain boxes of Legos, he might be able to get two boxes that he liked. He started negotiating with Zach, “Zach, look, if you buy this box and I buy this box we can have TWO ships (or a good guy and a bad guy).” Zach stuck his ground and didn’t give in to any of Adam’s suggestions. I finally suggested to Adam that Zach was not going to change his mind, so we should go on with our shopping.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 1998

Halloween 2003

Halloween 2008Man, times have changed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zach had an incident with the goalpost at the soccer game this morning. The goalpost came out of nowhere and clocked him in the head. Everyone heard the “ping!” and the crowd all gasped “oh!” He was a trooper…cried for about 5 minutes and then played the rest of the game. He came “this close” to scoring two goals after that…both times the ball hit the goalpost! You can't really see it in this picture, but he did have a goose egg on his forehead.

We had another interesting political conversation. Adam informed me that George Washington, President Bush and John McCain were all running for president. When I questioned him he said “oh yeah, I forgot that girl.” So I had to explain that George Washington was the FIRST president a long time ago (to which he said…”like in the olden days when they didn’t have color”) and President Bush is the CURRENT president. Then he remembered the “other guy” who was running too…Barak Obama.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wow. It’s been a while since I posted anything. I guess we’ve been busy. Zach had is five year appointment this month, and received five shots. Yes, five shots. The first two were fine. Number three and four hurt and little…number five did him in. “I never want to come to this doctor again!” he said. He is 40 ¾” tall (12%) and weighs 37.5 lbs (30%). His favorite thing about preschool is recess ("I like the monkey bars and tire swing") and painting.

We’ve had several soccer games…one game we got creamed by a team whose coach liked to yell “Shazam it!” when her team was near the goal. Rumor has it she has practice three times a week. Both Zach and Adam scored goals this week. Scott is out of town at his own “old man” soccer tournament.

Yesterday we went to the pumpkin patch at Prairie Pines. The boys enjoyed riding the little train, going through a kids haunted house (the boys told me there were funny green space men in there), and playing on the playground, which also had a little wooden playhouse.

We rode a hayrack ride out to a corn maze. Then we picked our pumpkins. We had already picked some pumpkins for carving about two weeks ago, but someone stole them off our front porch. So, I let the boys pick whatever pumpkin they wanted to carve (within reason). I didn’t realize how heavy they were going to be. As we were walking back to the main entrance, I dropped one and it split in half! Luckily, there were no tears, and we all laughed about it.

Adam asked me “how come everyone is so excited about this presidential election?” I asked him if he knew the names of the candidates running for office. He did, and pronounced them perfectly. I asked who told him about the election, and he answered “I just know.” Either he picks it from the news, or they are teaching politics in Kindergarten.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Two more birthdays have come and gone. Zach turned five on Friday and I turned…well, let’s just say I’m closer to 40 than 30 now.

We had our soccer team pictures this morning, and then a game, our second game of the season. The Wacky Wildcats held their own this time...it was a close game and action packed. Zach came “this close” to making three goals today…he would miss the goal by just inches. Adam scored two goals.

After the game and lunch, we opened presents and ate ice cream and cake. Tonight we’re grilling out…Scott’s specialty…steaks!

For his birthday, Zach got two cars – an ambulance and school bus - a rocket balloon kit and, of course, more legos. He got a lego kit to make a fire engine, which he promptly turned over to Adam so Adam could read the instructions and make the truck for him. He also got a big box of just “bricks,” square and rectangle legos in all sizes, with no instructions. THAT was the one Zach dove into.

We always let the boys pick out gifts for Scott and I…things they think we would like. They can choose anything they want. And somehow, it always turns out to be something THEY would like too. What a coincidence. Watch below to see what I got for my birthday today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Wacky Wildcats had their first game today. They didn't fare so well against the other team...who looked like giants compared to our little boys. There are five boys on the team, including Adam and Zach.

Here's Zach, taking control of the ball. He is not the one kicking the ball in...he's standing by Scott at first. Before you watch these videos you might want to turn your volume down a bit...I'm kinda loud.

And Adam...he does have the ball first...then loses it and then gets it back. Again, the volume. Also, I'm trying to watch the game AND tape it at the same time...so sometimes the camera is not aimed exactly where it should be.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We went apple picking today at an orchard in Conway Springs. We've been there before, about two years ago. We were the only ones there…and surprisingly it really wasn’t muddy except for a few mud holes on the dirt road leading out to the orchard.

We picked Jonathon and Gala apples…the boys ran from tree to tree trying to find the “bestest” ones. We even ate a few apples while we were picking! Zach liked to point out the ones with holes and mushy apples on the ground. We also saw a black caterpillar which the boys seemed very interested in watching.

After that we went into “town” and played at the city park. They have a life-sized red caboose that you can climb on. The caboose was on a section of a railroad track and Zach kept finding “families of bugs” on the tracks. Then it was off to the jungle gym, swings, teeter totter, and merry-go-round. The merry-go-round seemed to be the favorite…jumping off while it was going around. This resulted in both of them getting very muddy and we made the boys strip down so they wouldn’t track mud all over the van.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rain, rain go away. We are flooding down here in the Land of Oz. Here is a picture of our neighbor's yard. I picked Zach up from preschool early, and then had to find a back way to get home because some of the roads were closed. Adam's school was let out early and our sump pump has been working overtime. Zach wanted to go out and play in the rain, but when he got out there he decided he did not want to get wet. Great day for a nap...

Friday, September 5, 2008

My children have two distinct personalities. This has become very apparent with the addition of Legos to our household. First…what’s the deal with all the “kits”? How come you can’t find just a regular box of Legos that you can use your imagination and build whatever you like? (I just turned into my mother.) I know they sell them online, but I want to go to a STORE and buy a plain old box of Legos. And do they have to be so impossibly small? I feel like a giant trying to put some of these things together!

The Legos come with instructions on how to build whatever is pictured on the box. In our case, it’s the “city” series with the police station and police vehicles. Adam carefully decides which thing he is going to build and finds the instructions and correctly marked package (there were four things you could build in this one box). He starts building…Zach is flopping, flitting, bouncing, singing, stomping, kicking, twirling, jumping, banging, etc. Zach picks up some pieces puts them together, takes them apart, finds others and puts them together (“Look mom, an “L”…”I made a box”…”this can be a turbo jet.”) Adam routinely tells Zach to “stop messing around.” Finally, after about an hour, Adam burst into tears and says “Zach! I can’t think with all this noise! Stop messing around! I just can’t think right! You’re losing all my pieces! It’s going to take me longer now!”

So I suggest that Zach can use some OTHER lego pieces to make something and Adam says, “but you have to follow the directions! You have to make what’s on the box!” I tried to explain that you can make whatever you want, but Adam did not like that idea.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Zach started preschool today! Finally. After 3 weeks of everyone else in school, he’s been a little cranky and bored. He likes his teacher and says he plays with a little boy named Isaac. But the most exciting thing was that they got to have popsicles for a snack on the first day. AND there is a tire swing on the playground. What more could a 4 year old ask for?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adam turned 6 on Aug. 29. We took cookies to school (with orange frosting and sprinkles!) and he got to sit in the frog chair and pick out a NEW purple pencil. We had a little celebration for him at home. My sister and her family were in town and so were Scott’s parents, so we had quite a crowd. He chose chocolate cake with chocolate icing (definitely my child) and rainbow ice cream (definitely NOT my child).

Today, we had a friend party to celebrate both Adam and Zach’s birthday. We’ve always had a joint birthday party for them, because they are so close in age and have the same friends…much easier. But according to Adam, this is the last year he’s having his party with Zach. So we had 7 little friends (ages 4-8, all boys and one girl), plus cousins Katie, Jake and Matthew. We had it at the YMCA (lots of room and someone else to clean up the mess!) The boys chose a “Transformers” cake. We spent 30 minutes in the party room, and then it was off to the swimming pool. Most of the Dads stayed, so I didn’t have to get in the water.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I took Zach's training wheels off today...he wasn't sure, but after much convincing from me and Adam, he agreed. We went across the street to the neighbor's driveway and I held onto the seat. Before we made it to the next driveway, I let go and off he went. Adam even helped him, as you can see from the video. It's been a big week for us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I totally rock! I figured out how to upload home videos from our new video camera. So here's Zach as we are waiting for Adam to get off the bus...

And Adam getting off the bus...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adam started Kindgergarten today. His school has only K-1 in the building. The whole family went and we walked him to his classroom. We had already met his teacher at “meet the teacher” night on Monday. As we were walking in, Zach said “Mom, this isn’t very fun to do.”

Once Adam was in the classroom, the teacher showed him where to hang his backpack and they found his name on his cubby. She also asked him if he wanted chocolate milk or white milk for a snack. He looked at me and Scott and said “white.” I’m sure that will change once he figures out he can make his own decisions when we are not there!
He said he had a good day at school. He said they didn’t do much coloring or painting, “We just, like, learned stuff.” He said recess was the best part of the day, and that the tricycles were ok, but the playground was “a baby playground.” They have music on Mon & Wed, PE on Tues and Thurs and go to the library on Wednesdays. He sat next to a girl named Addison on the bus ride home.
Zach was unusually quiet this morning. We went on a bike ride to the neighborhood playground, played “Guess Who,” and colored with markers.
He does not start preschool until Sept. 3.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Saturday we said goodbye to our new friends from England, Adam and Lindsay. They were soccer coaches who stayed with us all week while they conducted a youth soccer camp. Adam and Zach latched on to them pretty quickly and by the second day were going into their rooms in the morning to wake them up. It was a little confusing at first having two boys named “Adam” in the house, and a couple of times when I was calling (ok, yelling) for my child Adam, Adam the coach would answer. So we decided that we would call him “Coach Adam.” The funniest time was when Zach didn’t have any clean pajamas so I told him to go get some of Adam’s. Coach Adam was walking by and said, “They’ll be a bit big, don’t you think?” He knew what I meant but we still had a laugh. Coach Adam and Lindsay talked with an accent and the boys said sometimes they didn’t understand what they were saying.

They said they really like Wichita (despite the two 105 degree days we had). They made it to the Sedgwick County Zoo, Towne West (probably not the best shopping option in Wichita) and our neighborhood pool. Scott took them to lunch one day, and they passed an IHOP (International House of Pancakes), and said they had always heard about them, but had never eaten there. So that’s where they ate lunch. Adam asked Lindsay if she had any kids. Lindsay is only 19, so she said she was a little young for that. Later Adam said to me “Mom, Lindsay is WAY younger than you.”

Scott grilled steaks one night, which they seemed to enjoy. New foods they tried at our house were scrambled eggs, cinnamon toast, burritos and peanut butter. We had a conversation about the word “chips” and what it means in each country. Chips in America are called “crisps” in England. A “chip” in England are steak fries in America. We found out that iPod’s cost about $200 less in the US than Great Britain. The only word I had a hard time understanding was “garage.” Lindsay pronounced it “gare-age.” And I think they called the soccer field, the “pitch.” They were great with the kids at the camp and on the last day they had a huge water fight…campers against coaches. Adam and Zach had a blast running around squirting them with their water guns.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is too funny not to write about.

Zach has a ceiling fan and light in his room that is controlled by a remote control (for when he was younger, and couldn't reach the light switch, he could still turn his light on and off). Today while they were "resting," Adam secretly sneaked into Zach's room and took the remote control. He went back to his room and was turning Zach's light on and off and the fan on high, and then low, and then off, etc.

It too a while for Zach to figure why his light and fan were acting so crazy. Next thing I know, Zach is screaming Adam's name over and over and yelling, "Stop doing that!", and is all up in arms because his light "is going on and off and the fan is on high!"

I look over at Adam's room and he's at the door, which is open just a crack, and he's trying so hard not to laugh (I, too, am trying to control myself). So I tell Adam that it is not a nice thing to do and that he needed to give back Zach's remote control.

Just another way to torment your little brother, I guess.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I rode my bike to the Y today. Please, hold the applause and the "woo-hoo’s." According to mapquest, it is 3.92 miles from our house to the Y. It took me 30 minutes. That seems like a long time, but I was riding fast (at least I thought so). As I was riding by the Farmer’s Market at 21st and Ridge, some nice stranger with three huge watermelons said "keep up the good work" as I rode by. Halfway through my ride I thought "what was I thinking?" I had my cell phone with me in case I need Scott to come pick me up. But I made it there and back in one piece. Now whether I’ll be able to walk tomorrow is yet to be determined. Scott rides to work about twice a week (20 miles roundtrip), so I figured I could try and ride too! Scott even rode his bike to the liquor store once. It was an emergency.

We discussed "allowances" with the boys today. Adam was all about it, asking questions and counting money. Zach was more interested in "typing letters" on my laptop (a favorite activity of both boys) and reading library books. I asked Scott where his graphs and powerpoint presentation were…he just gave me a dirty look.

After Zach "typed letters" it was Adam's turn. He asked me how many pages the computer could hold. "A hundred?" he asked. When I said, "probably more than that," he was amazed at the idea of endless typing. He filled up 57 pages using a custom color (grey) and the fonts "arial" and "webdings." Then used the "backspace" key to erase it all. He even knew how to "x out of it" (clicking on the red X in the top right hand corner) so I could "shut it down."

This week I also tried to explain why we had to pay for electricity and water. That was a tough one. The conversation started with Adam asking me "Mom, are we in debt?" Wow. That’s a loaded question.

We almost had another "vent" incident today. During rest time, Adam starts crying about Zach with monopoly dice and the floor vent. For those of you who don't know the story...a few weeks ago, Zach took his vent off and dropped a golf ball down it. Both boys got so upset (even though it was just Zach's ball that got lost) and we discussed that we NEVER drop ANYTHING down the vent. (On a side note: Adam lost a golf ball underneath the kitchen cabinet and we have a contract that when he turns 21, we'll take the cabinets off and get the ball - it's officially signed by Adam and Scott.) Since I didn't know where the ball ended up, Adam wanted me to call Uncle Steve and ask him. I told him that Uncle Steve was at work and this was not an urgent situation to interrupt him at work. So we called Aunt Sherry instead. Sometimes she knows things from being married to Steve. She told us the vents go under floor but there are so many turns and things that it would be very difficult to know where the ball was. So, today, Adam found Zach putting the dice ON TOP of the vent. He had not taken it off, but that was close enough for Adam. Zach gave me the dice and I put them in safe place. Whew! Sometimes I think (know) Zach does things like that because he knows it will get to Adam. I know I never did anything like that to my older sister.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

We have a MAJOR break through at our house. Zach LOVES to ride his bike! It all started about a week ago when we went to get Scott a new bike (he decided he was going to ride to work one day a week). We took the boys with us and they enjoyed looking around the bike shop. Especially cool was the bicycle built for two.

Once Scott had his bike at home, Adam wanted to go on a bike ride (a long one, not just up and down the street). Zach said he wanted to go to! So we strapped on the helmet and off they went.

THEN he wanted to take his bike to Scott's parents house over the 4th of July (they had one bike without training wheels that Adam could ride). Not wanting to diminish the excitement, we hauled bike up to Bates City, MO. I think they went on two, maybe three rides over the weekend.

Once we got home Sunday night, he wanted to go again. We went Monday night, and also this morning! He even falls off sometimes and doesn't get upset. If you remember back in April, he took a spill and said he didn't want to ride his bike "ever again"!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We had a busy 4th of July weekend. We drove up to Bates City to Scott's parents house. We did the usual trip down to the creek, roasted hot dogs on the fire pit, played king of the stump and climbed on the firewood. Scott's parents live in a neighborhood in the country (some people may not think it's in the country, but if you see deer, hear wild turkeys and are surrounded by trees, that's the country to me). We saw deer, rabbits, spiders and a big black snake!

On the Fourth, We went out to Powell Gardens and let the boys cool off in the interactive fountains. Then Mick and Jackie came out to celebrate that night. The kids enjoyed riding their bikes and big wheels, and playing with the dump trucks outside. We shot off fireworks, not as much as others do, but the kids thought it was a good show. Favorites included "parachutes" that shot up straight in the air, exploded and then a parachute came down; "ladybugs" that spun around making a zipping noise and then shot up in the air (although we had a few defective ones that shot OUT instead of UP), and smoke bombs.

Saturday, the boys spent most of the day with Grammy and Grandpa at Burr Oaks, a nature center, while Scott and I went to lunch and a movie.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

First Day of Summer

Happy First Day of Summer! Here’s how we spent this sunny, beautiful day.
We played in the sand outside (mom even let us turn the hose on to make sandcastles).
We wrote with chalk.

 We rode bikes (well, Adam did…Zach “just watched”).
We blew bubbles.
We made “breakfast muffins” for a snack.
We went to a neighbor’s birthday party and played on the slip-n-slide and swing set and ate ice cream cake.
We watched nascar racing on TV (but everyone fell asleep). 
We ate dinner at Jason’s Deli.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We made it back home in one piece. We left Galveston on Friday and spent the night in Dallas. The kids swam in the pool, which all the adults thought was extremely cold. We left Dallas on Saturday morning and that is when the whining began. First there was a lego incident in which Adam cried because he only had THREE legos and Zach wouldn’t share with him. Zach said he needed ALL 31 of his legos (they counted) and even more to make his building. Then Zach was upset because he bottom hurt from sitting in his seat for so long. Luckily, they both fell asleep in the afternoon.

It’s our first week back to the real world after a trip to the beach. The boys had a hard time figuring out what to do, and seemed to be fighting with each other a lot. It’s rained about every night, and today was the first day we were able to try out our new sprinkler. The neighbor boys came out this afternoon and they all switched between our sprinkler and their blow-up little pool, so that kept them busy for a while.

We ran errands to the post office and Target, to buy some baseball pants for our first T-ball game tonight. We also picked out new backpacks, because the boys' Nemo backpacks are too small now. I was unsuccessful in trying to pick out a generic backpack. They both insisted on getting a Transformers backpack. I gave in only because I was tired of arguing, and it only had the word “Transformers” on it and not some mean picture of Megatron, Optimus Prime, Bonecrusher or Frenzy or any of the other Transformers.

The game went well. We had a practice on Wednesday, and Zach said he didn’t want to play T-ball because it was boring. So he didn’t participate in the practice. We had to bribe him with a snack to get him to play in the game tonight, but once he got there he was a willing participant. They both hit good balls, and even were able to stop some in the outfield. Zach is the one at the tee, and Adam is running into home base! It was 85 degrees during the game…and it was hot! I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in July.

Two funny things Zach said today:
He fell going up the deck stairs and scraped his shin. So he told me that he never wanted to go up these stairs again because they were too “pinchy.”

Then, he told me I smelled good. I said “Like what? A flower?” thinking he smelled my lotion or something. “No…like a chicken salad sandwich,” he said.

Zach also wore BLACK underwear under his WHITE baseball pants to the game.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's Tuesday, June 3. All the kids were awake by about 7am this morning. Zach woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and nothing was right for him until we went out to the beach. Adam and Zach were clinging onto Scott and having a ball as the waves broke around them. After a while Zach got cold so he came and sat on my lap and warmed up in a blanket. Then he did his usually digging and playing the sand. Steve brought a shovel, which is the hit of the beach. Adam likes to use it to make a big long line in the sand. We built another sandcastle with a tunnel, but it didn’t last long once Matthew came over to see what we were doing. Katie found a little tiny frog and Matthew had fun “jumping” along side of it. The surf was pretty choppy again today, but the boys didn’t seem to mind.

In the afternoon we headed out to the Galveston Port and took the Bolivar Ferry. We saw that the beach flag was red, which means that adult swimmers should only go waist deep, and children and non swimmers should stay at the shore. We watched all the people drive their cars onto the ferry, which can hold 75-80 cars (Mom asked the deckhand). The ferry blew the whistle, which made everyone jump. The sea gulls and pelicans flew along side of us, so close we could almost touch them. We saw a few dolphins jumping in the water too. Afterwards, Scott grilled steaks and chicken and we had s'mores and ice cream for dessert. This picture is taken on our deck with cousin Jake, Adam and Zach enjoying thier s'mores'

The kids went to bed, but apparently were not quiet because Uncle Steve had to lay down the law and told them that the next person who talked was going to be removed from the room. He said he didn’t hear a peep after that. The adults stayed up and watched CNN's coverage of the historical presidential race.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We woke to sunny skies but blustery winds. The tide had come up so far that two of our beach chairs, our fox hole shovel and some toys were buried in the sand. We dug out the beach chairs and shovel, but couldn’t find the toys. The surf was even more choppy than yesterday, and Steve lost his sun glasses in the water. We came in and had sandwiches and colored pictures and played legos. Matthew and Steve laid down for their naps; Adam and Zach are playing upstairs; Oma, Papa, Katie and Jake went into town to see the Hurricane of 1900 historical movie; Scott went for a drive and Sherry is ordering a new swimsuit online.

Tonight, Scott and Steve are taking the older kids to play miniature golf in town.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We are on day four of our summer vacation. We left around 9 am Thursday morning for the 3 hour trip to Oklahoma City where we met up with Sherry and her family. The boys discussed who their favorite transformers were (Adam’s is Optimus Prime and Zach’s is Bumblebee, both part of the Autobots who are good transformers) and we played “I spy” and “20 questions.”

We ate lunch at Steve’s parents house and then everyone did a switcheroo with the traveling arrangements…I rode with Sherry, Katie and Matthew and Scott rode with Jake, Steve, Adam and Zach. It we pretty uneventful until Zach threw up in the car about 2 hours outside of Dallas. Then we hit rush hour in Dallas and that added about 30 minutes onto our already long trip. We made it to the hotel in Dallas where Zach stayed in the room with me, and everyone else went downstairs to eat. It was lucky that our room was right by the guest laundry because I had to wash Zach’s clothes and car seat cover. Yuck!

Friday, we headed out for Galveston. We stopped at a really cool rest stop that had lots of trees, and indoor eating area, playground, lake and nature trail. After we ate, the kids went over to the play ground to burn off some energy. I took Zach to the bathroom, and as we were walking back he stopped in and said “there’s something that hurts in my bottom” and dropped his drawers in the parking lot.

We arrived in Galveston around 4 pm and headed straight out to the water. The boys loved it…it was their first trip to the ocean. Dad went and scrounged up some food (pizza, salad and pasta) and we ate out on the deck overlooking the ocean. All the older kids (minus Matthew) slept in the same room which had bunk beds and two twin beds.

On Saturday, we headed out to the beach again both in the morning, and after rest time in the afternoon (we had to watch the space shuttle launch via internet first). We built a sandcastle and body surfed in the water. We had grilled chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, with s'mores made from the fire of the grill. Then we went out crab hunting. The boys all donned their “headlamps” (lights on a stretchy cord that goes around your head) and we found some pretty big ones. They scurried about and tried to get away from us, while we all “eeked” and screeched as they hurried across our feet. A couple of the big ones made themselves look real big by standing up real tall and raising their pinchers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I think the start of summer is officially here. It’s been the 80s the last few days and the forecast is calling for some 90s next week. I’m a warm weather person, so I always look forward to this time of year.

We have a little birds nest in one of our trees with three baby birds in it. We’ve been checking it every day. I’ve only seen the mommy bird once. Yesterday the boys were having water fights in the yard and the mother bird was very nervous. She kept flying around trying to find a good time to make it into the tree. I made the boys go into the back yard and sure enough, she swooped in several times to feed her babies.

The boys have been enjoying the water gun fights that have become the game of choice in the neighborhood. There is usually at least four boys playing, and sometimes as many as six or seven. Zach seems to have an issue with the water guns…he wants to play, but then gets upset when he gets wet. I’ve tried to explain that getting wet is the whole point of the game. He
usually goes into the house crying and changes shirts, then comes back out and everything is fine.

We had our first T-ball practice this weekend. Adam and Zach said they enjoyed it, although Zach made the comment that it was too hot. I’m hoping he’ll get used to it, since our practices are at 11am and go through July. Kansas in the middle of the day is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are 11 boys on the team.

Adam wanted to know how old he had to be to take "soldier lessons." Then he said when he grows up and is a soldier, he’ll take one day off a month to play golf. Scott told him that he can do that if he’s in the Air Force (speaking from experience, I guess!)

Zach is still into tying, hanging and balancing toys, household objects and clothing around the house. I find bottles of lotion hanging by a hairband from the lamps in our room, toys hanging from string that is
wrapped around the spindles near our stairs, rubber bands hooking two cabinets together and a stopwatch hanging from the screen door. He also likes to pile up his dirty clothes in a little corner in his room, instead of putting them in his dirty clothes. "Because I might wear them again," he says.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The boys are at preschool while I’m writing this, so the house is quiet and peaceful! We’ve had a few busy weekends with relatives in town and the excitement of losing a first tooth!

Earlier this month, Scott’s parent’s came down for the weekend. Adam had just lost his first tooth, so that was the excitement of the day. He had mentioned to me a few days earlier that his tooth was loose, but I didn’t really think anything of it. Then, I noticed that he had a tooth missing! He doesn’t know what happened to it, so he thought he should write a note to the tooth fairy that said "I lost my tooth. I can't find it." He wanted to make sure he still got a surprise, even thought there was no tooth to show for it. Then Zach decided he wanted to write a note to the tooth fairy too (even though he had not lost any teeth). His note said, "I still have all my teeth in my mouth." He put the note under his pillow and the tooth fairy wrote him back "I’ll keep looking!" Adam got $1 and put it in his piggy bank right away.

Last weekend Mick and Jackie came to visit. The boys were so excited to play with cousins Maggie and Max. We went to the zoo on Saturday morning, then celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday. The boys picked out a "Superheroes" DVD for me…28 episodes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Wonder Twins. I also got two other movies that are more my style.

The weather has warmed up so we’ve been playing outside more and more. We’ve had a few very windy days and lots of storms. We only have a few more weeks left at preschool, and then the boys start their mom’s day out programs at their preschool and at the Y.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The newest craze in the Dyer household is golf. You might remember that recently miniature golf was the favorite sport. Well, we bought the boys a jr. golf set and they hit balls all morning in the backyard...Scott was happily playing along with them.

We have two soccer games left and both boys have enjoyed the season. Zach has really started to "get" the game and made three goals on Saturday. Adam continues to be confident on the field as well. The next sport we’re trying is T-ball, which starts the week after soccer ends. Tonight we tried out our new bats and baseball mitts!

We are glad that the days are warmer and the kids can play outside without hats, gloves and coats. We’ve had several nice days and it brings all the neighborhood kids out, which is both good and bad. Good in that there is always someone to play with, but when all eight boys (yes, there are eight boys between the ages of three and seven) are playing together, you have to have a couple of adults around to act as referees. The funniest thing was when they were all trying to play a soccer game. The three oldest boys were bossing the younger ones around, who weren’t really paying attention in the first place. One of the boys had never played soccer before so didn’t know all the rules. One boy kept moving the goal, which made Adam burst into tears. I was trying hard not to laugh because all the kids were just hollering at each other - it was pretty chaotic.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Both boys got new bikes last weekend. Adam is growing out of his little bike, and we thought the excitement of a new bike would encourage Zach to start riding. It did, until a few seconds after getting on his bike, he totally wiped out!

Zach was so anxious to start riding his bike (his has training wheels)…so he pedaled out on the driveway and started to turn, and fell flat on his back. He got really upset and said he didn’t want to go outside “ever again!” and refused to get back on his bike and start riding again.

Adam was a little better, although his new bike is bigger than his old one, so his feet are not flat on the ground when he’s not riding. He crashed a few times too, but in the end, decided that his new bike was “way cooler” than his old one. It even has a HAND BRAKE!

By the early evening, Zach decided he wanted to try again. So this time we went across the street to the sidewalk, so he could get used to riding in a straight line, without having to navigate the turns. He crashed a few more times (one time he said he hit his eye, one time he got his hands wet in the grass, and one time his shoe fell off) and there were plenty of tears, but each time he did get back on and continue riding. By the time we went inside, he said he was riding his bike so fast that FIRE was coming out the back!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I have to get better at updating this blog. Time just gets away from me. We recently took the boys skating for the first time. It took about 20 minutes to go around the rink once, and they were done after that and said they didn’t want to go skating again. We played space invaders and skee ball and then called it a day.

Soccer starts next weekend. Scott is coaching again and we already know everyone on our team. Two are returning from last season, and the others are friends of ours. The boys are excited to get out on the field again…at least they SAY they are. Hopefully having all their friends on the same team won’t be a distraction!

We just finished a six-day game of Monopoly. Each day was about an hour or so of playing. Zach played on Scott’s team and Adam was the banker. They really picked up on buying property and how to count money. It’s amazing what their little brains absorb. One of Zach’s favorite things to do is "type letters’ and "make words" on my laptop. I open a Word document and he chooses a color and font and then sounds out words and types them on the screen. He knows how to backspace, make the letters ALL CAPS and start a new line by pressing enter. He thought it was so cool when I showed him the webdings font and instead of typing letters, he could type pictures! The joys of technology!

We've had a few nice days of 60-70 degree weather. This weekend Adam and Zach had lots of time to play with their friends outside. They climbed trees (our neighbor's tree who then told them they had to get down), rode bikes, played tag and hide and seek and played in the sand. We even grilled out on Sunday night. Tonight after dinner we went to Sedgwick County Park to play until the sun went down.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've included some of the boys' art this time (I haven't taken any new pictures). I'm a bit concerned about who has been filling Adam's head with images of Jayhawks...as you can see from his picture! He does know who he should root for between KU and K-State, though, so I'm not too worried about it. Zach’s picture is a “picture of our house with our fireplace on in a storm.”

Zach says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up, and Adam switches between soldier, scientist and artist, depending on what we've been doing or talking about that day. When we talk about space, planets, fish in the ocean, etc, he wants to be a scientist so he will know all the answers to his questions. When we've had a day of coloring, he wants to be an artist. And when they've been playing with their transformers or wearing camouflage, it's the solder he's more interested in!

We’ve been pretty busy since my last post. Our Christmas lasted through Jan. 6 this year as we made a trip up to KC to see Scott’s sister and her fiancĂ© and Scott’s parents. January was a blur as I’ve been pretty busy at work, and the boys started their winter sports. Zach is taking his 2nd tumbling class, an activity that is right up his alley. He gets to climb, hang, and jump! There is even a foam pit that they let the kids run and jump into...I think that is the highlight. Adam is playing basketball and like it a lot. Watching four and five year olds play basketball is pretty amusing. Luckily the ref’s do not call them on a lot of things…it helps keep the game moving.

We made a little overnight trip to Hutchinson and stayed at the Grand Prairie hotel, which has an indoor space-themed waterpark. The boys had a blast...they thought it was so cool, not only the water park, but the fact that we got to spend the night in a hotel! The pool had slides you could go down on inner tubes, fountains, a lazy river and a pool with basketball goals so you could play basketball in the water! The slides were the highlight, but the boys were not tall enough to go by themselves, so Scott and I had to make trip up the stairs with them. I can't tell you how many times we went down, but we finally had to tell them that we had to "rest."

Right now Adam and Zach are playing Hullabaloo, a gift from Grammy and Grandpa at Christmas. I told them I was Hullabalooed-out, because we play it almost everyday. It changes between Uno (a gift from Aunt Lisa and Jason) and Hullabaloo, so if you come to our house, you'll be asked to play one of those games.