Jul 8, 2012

Catch Up

 Hopefully I can catch us up to present day in this post. To continue our car week, we made a dessert I found on Pinterest. Pretty cute!

 Colin made this his project. : )

We read a couple of books about cars. It got a little confusing once we got to the part about how  spark plugs and cylinders work. : ) So we moved on to drawing cars.
The girls chose the practical sedan example.

 Colin hangs out with Dad.

Dax liked this Willy Wonka setup. I should have made cabbage soup and a loaf of bread.

We had some fun with the Bentons and Finleys, a usual weekly summer outing. I like how Colin is chillin between the girls.
 Summertime = popsicles and friends.

That week's theme was food!! Since we had already made a food group chart awhile back, and even though they could have relearned it,  mom wasn't interested in a repeat, so we tried new things.
We baked snickerdoodles, and I discovered I still dislike baking. :(  We read books of course, did our regular grocery shopping and pointed out a few things. The Fort Worth Children's museum has  one of those child sized grocery stores. The kids would have loved it, and we even had a couple of free tickets. However, factoring in tickets for the rest of us, an hour drive, and possibly having to purchase meals for all of us while we were out, made me come up with a more suitable option. Kids don't know what they're missing, and sometimes keeping things at home makes for better quality time for the girls. We set up our own little store from our pantry. I have to claim laziness/exhaustion on this one. Once the girls starting shopping and purchasing, I took a nap. 

One day, the girls made lunch for themselves and Colin. I got out all sorts of options and told them to try and construct a balanced meal. I left the room for a few minutes, not sure what I would return to. And even though the Teddy Grahams won out for portion size, they did a great job! Also on the plate was yogurt (cottage cheese for Hannah) carrot sticks (shocked me) ham, strawberries, and raisins. 

Colin wanted to do his own job, so I put him to work doing his laundry.

 Dax flew off to New York for a conducting workshop, and my mom came into town to stay with me and the kids for a few days. I had been promising the girls a trip to the store to try on shoes for fun, so this was our chance. We went over to Kohls and hit the high heels section. They were way too good at walking in them.

Poor Chloe got a busted lip about 5 minutes before Grandma arrived and had it the whole week. And it was completely my fault!  I was trying to grab her as she ran past- by her request as a game- and grabbed her too low and she flipped forward onto the floor. All is well now, though.

Oh, and that week's them was planes! So when we dropped Dax off for his flight, we drove to a spot I've been meaning to visit- Founder's Plaza, an area to watch planes land and take off dedicated to the founders of the airport. It was pretty hot, so the kids were over it quickly.Also, Hannah was disppointed the planes did not land right next to us. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get her to understand the true size of a plane. But I was in love with the spot and could have stayed there for a good part of the day. We paused on our plane theme to focus on Grandma, and have picked it up again this week. They've watched a cute video on Netflix called "All About Planes." There was even a 12 yr. old on there taking flying lessons, so they thought that was neat.

We had a wonderful time with Grandma. We relaxed at home, went to swimming lessons, the toy store, out to eat, Hannah went to the movies, Chloe went out for ice cream, we spent time playing at the mall, went to ballet, you name it. The kids loved every minute of it, and we can't wait to visit Grandma and Papaw soon.

 Colin's typical begging/pity me/ I'm trying to be cute face. :)

Dax had a wonderful time in New York- check out his many Facebook postings about all he learned about conducting. I was happy he was able to spend time doing what he loved with someone he's always admired. His plane landed back in Dallas, and he went straight to work conducting Wizard of Oz with the STARS children's musical company. That night he come home and said, "You're playing tomorrow night."

Here's me, replacing the lady with pneumonia. This is an unpaid orchestra with many players being local community band members. The other horn player liked me enough to ask if I'd fill in for the same lady at their band's 4th of July concert. The only issue was that it was actually on the 3rd of July, which is my birthday, and I would only find out that day if I was needed. And it would be sightreading a concert again- thankfully after 20 something years of playing, I believe I've seen all the patriotic pieces out there : )

So I showed up- with a tiny bit of regret at first since it would have been nice to spend my birthday at home. However, I can sit at home any old day, and part of the great thing about being a musician is that you can have all sorts of experiences you'll never forget. This turned out to be a great one. The other horn players were really fun, and the town square (straight from Back to the Future Part 2) was filled with the people of Southlake, TX, which seemed to be such a happy community. Fighter jets flew over (which always makes me tear up) and the music itself was fun. I'm glad I get to do things like this in life. It was a great end to a nice birthday.

 Backing up a day, I got to do something else that makes life great. ME- time. To some, I might seem overly obsessed, but I'm generally a person who likes to be alone for fun, and being with the 3 little ones for 8 hours on my own most days requires me to seek out that time to find balance and my adult-nonmom self. If I'm not alone, along with Dax of course, there are a wonderful handful of people  that always bring me peace.  Megan suggested we head to Canton Trade Days, a massive flea market of sorts for an entire day. Yes, please!  Anna was nice enough to keep the kids the entire day! Here I am posing with Bartender Manican. The booth was mainly selling painted Adironack chairs. The seller quickly came over to be friendly, but mainly to tell us we weren't allowed to photograph at any booths, due to all the original work. Hmph. There went our day of goofy picture taking.

 We may have slipped up a little. Can you believe we wore the same outfit?

 Megan stopped at all things old, and anything resembling a chair. I stopped at all yard ornaments.
This picture represents both- if you're into that, but it's mainly me grabbing any place to sit down. We walked a loooong way. And spent good money on food to make up for those burned calories : )

I have a problem. One of those is imagining life is a magazine/fairy tale and I can make all things happen with a little work and determination. My priest, mother, and mother-in-law are always good about reminding me that things don't really work that way when I go to him in tears and frustration.  4th of July this year was one of those days. I'll spare the details of who yelled, gave a loud, annoying speech to the whole family, and generally had a bad attitude. Okay, it was me. I tried to make so many things happen, and with more than one person in a family, by rule of life, it goes in all other directions. However, we did have many good moments, so here they are. 
Red, white, and blue pancakes= fun.
Listening to lots of YouTube versions of Star Spangled Banner=fun.

 Potato stamp stars and painting while learning about the flag= sort of fun, with lots of cleanup. : )

  Colin's flag.
Chloe's flag.

Hannah's flag.

The red, white, and blue lunch I had in mind turned into Cheerios.

Then we swam over at Nana's for awhile = fun.

Family picture and general misbehaving all day= not fun.

 They have sweet side for sure : )

After a nice church service and Colin getting pummeled and scraped up by a someone on a swing (after more disobedience about going over there in the first place! : ), we headed down to watch fireworks.

At which Hannah was miserable. This is before the fireworks. The actual fireworks brought on some kind of terror in her as I've never seen before. She was screaming her head off, and I was concerned no one around us could enjoy the show. I finally walked her all the way back to church. She screamed the whole way back, holding her ears and refusing to look at the fireworks. We received many chuckles from onlookers. Granted, the booms were unusually loud, but after a day like that (many details are left out for your own benefit) I was done being patient. We finally arrived to a quiet, dark church and sat in the candlelight and talked about the icons we saw. And I finally found focus and a bonding moment with Hannah. Phew. It's nice to get back to a place where you can look at your family and see all the special things and love they bring, even after a tough day. Thank you, Dax, for your everlasting patience with me.

And to close, here's Colin being a boy, even while sleeping.