Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All things old are new again!

I love it when the children get really "into" something. Like Elmo when John Russel was 18 months and Shrek for Mae when she was 18 months. We've been through Care Bears, Hello Kitty, Spider Man, Bat Man, Transformers, Make-Up, Dress-Up Shoes... I could go on and on. A few things have held their charm like transformers and care bears. What's really fun for me is to relive some of the old fave's with Will. Elmo and Thomas both are really big right now. I am getting reacquainted to some old friends like Percy and Harold. It's funny the memories they bring back. It's especially funny to see Will drag the bucket of trains down stairs to my coffee table. You see, this is the exact same thing that John Russel used to do. I'm not sure if it's the scratches ingrained in the wood that Thomas and Friends made a few years ago drawing Will to this now sad piece of furniture or what, but this is his new favorite activity. He runs Thomas and Percy up and down the table making new tracks for their little wheels. I'm tired of fighting this useless battle. I lost it years ago with John Russel, so I've given up. I'm not sure what the appeal is of the coffee table. We have a perfectly good train table upstairs that was handed down to us. It gets some use but not near as much as ol' scratched up coffee!

It's fun to see Will get "into" something like his brother and sister. I love to see their little eyes light up when they see something they like. Its the stuff of great Christmas mornings. It takes me back to when I was little. I loved the baby aisle at the grocery store. Anything "baby" would get my heart a pumpin! I guess this is why I love to see this in my kids.

Whatever the reason, I love catering to their little obsessions. You never know when it all will end.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stir Crazy

*Look how little!*

I know that most of you have had these kind of weeks. The kind where you never leave the house. We are stuck at home....again. Will is feeling so much better, but his little tummy is not taking the antibiotics well. So, here we are at home. Rusty is playing in a golf tournament. The four of us are vegging out. Oh well, I guess it's good to stay home sometimes. Mae has a birthday party this afternoon. It's sad, but I can't wait to go. Any excuse to get out of this house!

Since Will has been sick, it takes me back to the days when John Russel and Mae were very little. They would always get sick at the same time. Can we say Double Diarrhea Duty! Oh My! How did I do it. As they have gotten older it all has become so much easier. They don't get sick as often, and when they do have diarrhea it's not in a diaper. Thank Goodness!!

Life is funny this way. God helps you forget all the hard times. I'm so grateful for this. My memories are filled with their sweet smiling faces and echos of laughter. Time has let those hard times slip from my head. It takes something like Will getting sick to bring them back to mind. As I ponder how in the world I did it, I suddenly remember. It was just like I do now, one day at a time! Pretty soon I won't even remember this little stint at home. It will be replaced with little smiling faces and hints of laughter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sicky Sick

I haven't posted in the past few days because Will has been sick. It all started with this weird eye thing. I thought he had gotten sand in his eye. Needless to say it some sort of infection. He got a shot at the doctor and is on an antibiotic. His eye is much better, but you know what antibiotics bring. Yep! The dreaded diarrhea! Yikes. It's even hard to spell. Hopefully he'll be over it all soon. I'm ready to get back to normal....whatever that is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lay Down Sally

Well....we have a new pet. We found a little frog this weekend outside our front door. Mae and John Russel quickly caught him/her and put him/her in our red bucket. The kids then began decorating his/her new habitat with water, rocks, flowers and leaves. Mae, the namer of the family, decided that we should name him/her Sally. Perfect. I can't believe Sally is still alive. If she/he can survive Will's decorating attempts of throwing rocks in the bucket I think she/he can survive anything. Yesterday the kids wanted to visit Sally before school. I told them they could after they were fully dressed and ready. Wow! They got ready in record speed. As they sat and peered into the bucket I sat and listened to them. The following hilarious conversation was overheard.

Mae: Yesterday Sally tried to jump out of her bucket.

John Russel: When? (Disbelieving)

Mae: When I was out here with Daddy.

John Russel: Oh.

Mae: Yeah, She first jumped up here on this little ledge and then she tried to jump out, but she didn't make it.

John Russel: OOO! Did he BAM down on the rocks!!! (Hopeful)

Mae: No, she didn't BAM down! She landed nicely in the water! (Prideful)

All the while, Will is throwing rocks in the bucket.

All I can say is, "You better lay down, Sally!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Peanut...Peanut Butter....Play dough

*Look! A snail*

*You roll it and you pat it!*

*I love peanut butter play dough!!!*

Today I decided to do something new and fun for the kids as an afternoon activity. I made peanut butter play dough! I used a no bake cookie recipe that my mother used to use to make me cookies when I was younger. It is so great. It tastes good (Rusty loves them), and has the consistency of play dough. It's a fun activity, but be prepared for greasy fingerprints everywhere!

Here's the recipe

No Bake Cookies or Peanut Butter Play dough

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

2/3 cup dry milk

2/3 cup powdered sugar

Mix together and voila....peanut butter play dough or you can make little cookie balls.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


OK, so I went to the PTO meeting last night at John Russel and Mae's school. It was great. There are so many ways for the parents to get involved. The people were so nice and friendly too. As the meeting progressed they announced that we were going to have elections for the Executive Board. There were three spots open. As they read the descriptions of the spots, I thought, "I can do this." So I told them I could do it if I could have some help. Of course, no one else said they wanted this position. Then as we were discussing upcoming events in small groups a lady said she would like to go up in the same spot as me. So I thought they would surely vote for her. When the meeting was almost over they announced the election winners. I am now the Community Coordinator for our PTO! How funny. I'm really excited about getting to know more people and getting to be a part of them school. The best part is that I can take Will with me when I go and volunteer! I knew that God would put me in a place and let me use my gifts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Growing Pains

*Mae in April*

*Mae in August*

I have just finished putting some pictures into frames. I took the advice of my sister and decided to print off some pictures of the kids in black and white. They are so cute. I can't wait to hang them on the wall. They are action shots of them playing. Some are in the mountains and others at our house. Frozen in time the children are having a blast. They look so cute as they play and sweat. I'm so glad I took this priceless advice.

While going through my pictures, I found so many worth displaying. Caught playing in the sand or riding their bikes. It was hard deciding which ones to pick. I went back to when we first arrived here and the one thing that astonished me was how much they've changed. For John Russel and Will it's not so much physical as it is emotional. It's amazing how this shows in the photographs. A look Will is giving me in one is a gaze I no longer see. A small tilt of the head or the way John Russel rides his bike is a new skill accomplished. I love to see this subtle growth. Mae, on the other hand, has grown so much physically. I couldn't believe it. I had to look at several pictures just to make sure it wasn't just all in my mind. Her hair has grown and she has gotten so much taller. I should have know this when we went swimming the other day and her bathing suit was too tight and short. Just looking at those pictures astounded me.

Looking back at the pictures makes me realize how fast they grow and how precious every moment is. I ask God to help me remember this as I cherish each new day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Fever

We have Olympic fever at our house. We've had it on since Friday. It doesn't matter the event as long as the USA are playing. We love it! Our favorite has to be swimming. How great is Michael Phelps! We went to the pool Saturday and John Russel said he wanted to swim like him, so I went over to the lanes and let him swim. I didn't think he would make it half a lap. What little faith I have in him.... He swam 4 laps and then asked Rusty if he could go again. He did a perfect freestyle the entire time. Maybe we have a future Olympian on our hands! Who knows. I think I'd look pretty good on camera cheering in the stands.

For now, we'll continue to cheer for our current American athletes. Go USA!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


*Me in the First Grade*

I love that my two older children are at an age that I can remember being. If I let myself I can go back to being 5 or 6 years old and remember the excitement I felt at new things. They are enjoying school so much and can't wait to go in the mornings. I, too, remember this. You see, I loved school. I enjoyed playing and making new friends. I loved learning new things. I loved being good at something, and I was "good" at school. I can remember being in Kindergarten. I remember the red headed boy sitting across the table from me. I can remember the letter people that taught me to read. I can remember singing songs during circle time and the taste of mickey mouse ice cream bars after lunch. I remember first grade. I remember playing checkers or using those huge earphones during center time. I remember round robin reading. I remember coloring pictures. I remember my strawberry shortcake lunchbox and the smell of the cafeteria. I love thinking back on these things and telling John Russel and Mae about them as they tell me about their days in school. I also love how they love to hear stories about when I was their age. I guess they can't imagine me, their old mother, ever being where they are now. Isn't it funny how God uses us this way. I can remember loving to hear stories about what my parents did as children. I would ask my mother to tell me stories of when she was a girl. I would pretend that if she were my age at that very moment we would be friends and go on adventures together.
So, as my children ask me to tell them what I did as a girl, I will try to remember all that I can. Maybe they will pretend to be friends with the young Anne just as I did my mother. If not, we all will take pleasure in out kindergarten and first grade years together. I can only hope that they will enjoy it as much as I did so they can tell their children about it one day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Caterpillar Migration

*I see you caterpillar!*
(This is a picture Mae took of herself)

The other day John Russel told me, with the excitement of a six year old, that there was a huge caterpillar on the playground at school. He was so excited to tell me about his find. He said that it was big and yellow and had a huge stinger on it. I told him he shouldn't touch such a thing. He reassured me he only touched the part by the head--away from the stinger part. "It was nice and squishy," he informed me. Nice, I thought. The very next day I was headed into Tucson and I noticed all these yellow spots on the road. I then noticed what looked like worms on the road. Oh My! It was hundreds of caterpillars! What in the world! I couldn't wait to tell John Russel what I had seen. Well, it wasn't nearly as exciting as his news. He told me that there were even more on the playground and one boy even squished one. "It was all green and gooey on the inside," he reported. Mae joined in the excitement and told us that a boy in her class brought one to school and it got out of the jar and climbed on a little girl. I didn't even have to imagine this horror scene because as we made our way to the car from school we saw several on the sidewalk that had been squished. When we encountered the first one all four of us responded with a loud "EWWWW"! When we got home there was even one in our back yard.

What in the world are these things? Can they sting us? Are they poisonous? Should I be worried that the end of the world is near? Well, after searching the web, it didn't take me long to find an article in our local paper about these creepy crawlers. They are white-lined sphinx larvae. They are known to migrate. The scientists think they are trying to find good soil to lay their eggs in. They come out during the monsoon season. It also said that people used to harvest them and eat them. YUCK!

Anyway, what an interesting lesson for us. Who knew that the desert could bring so many new and interesting things right to our back door. Literally. We have all enjoyed getting to know this strange new place. We like to think that God has sent us on this grand adventure. It's our choice to embrace it or hate it. We've chosen to enjoy every new and exciting minute of it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Celebrate... We Made It!

I had to post these cute pictures. The kids had such a great first day of school. Will and I survived and didn't miss them too much. Ok, we did, but we made it. We all did!

The First Day of School

*Mae. So proud of her new school duds.*

*John Russel. So mad at his new shoes.*

*Our School. Sahuarita Primary School.*

*Mae, hanging her back pack up.*

*John Russel. All lined up for First Grade.*

This morning you couldn't contain the excitement coming from our house. It was the first day of school. Mae and John Russel woke up extra early eager to start the day. Mae informed me several times that this was her first day of school. After serving breakfast, brushing teeth, and getting dressed we were ready to go. John Russel was having issues with his shoes. "But they feel all weird!" he whined. I guess he gets it honestly. I, too, had problems with my shoes as a child. (As I'm frequently reminded) So, with backpacks and lunchboxes we piled in the car. We left early in anticipation of school traffic. Boy did I underestimate the school traffic. We were stopped at a four way stop a good ways from the stop sign when John Russel asked me why we were stopping here. Finally we made it to school. As we pulled into the lot I should have known I wasn't going to find a space in the front lot due to all the cars parked on the side of the road. So, I turned around and made the way to the back lot. (John Russel informed me several times that we were going to be late.) We found a spot and headed to the playgrounds. As we were walking up I remembered that Mae was supposed to wear a little yellow paper bracelet her teacher gave us yesterday at open house. OH NO!!! I had forgotten. After digging through my bag I finally found it. Whew! We found Mae's teacher first. I was a little afraid she wouldn't remember what she looked like from yesterday so I was glad we saw her. It was time for her to line up. Then we hurried over to the first grade playground. Oh No! The classes were lining up already. I told John Russel it would be alright. We could just go to his class if we missed them. As we made our way around the building he spotted his teacher and made his way to his class line. Ok. everyone is in and safe. Will and I headed back to the car. There were so many people it took us forever to steer the stroller through the crowd. "Good," I thought to myself,"No tears. I'm doing better than I thought." Then as we made our way down the back sidewalk behind our school Will said, "Bye bye, John John! Bye, bye John John!" I replied back, " Bye, bye John John! Bye, bye Mae Mae!" Will then turned around in the stroller to get a better look and said, "Mae, Mae? Where'd she go?" And that's when I lost it.

I thought I was prepared, but Will's questions brought it all to a head. "It's just you and me, Buddy," I told him as I was putting him in his car seat. "You and me!" he replied.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Goodbye Summer

Well, school starts tomorrow. I can't believe it. John Russel is starting first grade and Mae Kindergarten. It hasn't been as hard as last year when John Russel started, but it hurts a little. I can't believe Mae Mae is starting school. My sweet girl. She is so excited, and so is John Russel.

This summer is has been so much fun. It has been filled with bike rides, swimming, and just hanging out. We've really enjoyed just being with family. The kids are just young enough to enjoy this. Good bye, summer, see you next year.

So, Sahuarita Primary, here we come! We all so excited for the first day of school tomorrow.