Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Excuse

We were late to church on Sunday. It wasn't our fault. It was the dog's. But to help you fully understand, I'll have to back up a bit...

On Saturday morning we went to a very fun Easter party at our neighbors' home. There were games and crafts and even a story. And of course there was an Easter Egg Hunt. Because you can't have an Easter party without an egg hunt. Obviously.

It was a wonderful time. We had so much fun! And the boys came home with the loot to prove it. Candy galore! Happy boys!

Well, as I'm sure will come as no surprise, my boys have a mean mom. Their mom offers one piece of candy OR one treat and calls it a special day. So in our house, candy lasts a long time. Really. Our candy bowl is still full of chocolate eyeballs and gummy tongues from last Halloween.

The grandparents were visiting for the day, and there were yummy, Granny-made sugar cookies available. So the candy got saved for later. But not put away. No, it was spread out on the couch to be admired. Worked for me!

Well, this arrangement appears to have worked for the dog, as well. But we didn't know how much she appreciated our display of wrapped candy bars until the next morning as we were racing out the door to church.

Apparently, candy bar wrappers are indigestible.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Because it's hard to mismatch boy clothes...

Did I really allow my children to leave the house like this?


For ONE day.

Gotta show your school spirit, you know?

And at Gatorland, we have some serious school spirit.

Just so you know.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Way With Words

Before we begin, I just want to say one thing. I have never, in my life, said a cuss word. Not once. Honestly. I've thought about sharing this story several times, but since it involves some words I don't say, and I wouldn't want to take this blog down any naughty paths, I've hesitated. But today, since I had a story I wanted to share about Camden, and I totally forgot it, I've gotta have something to share. Right? So here we go...

It was almost three years ago. Camden had just turned three and we were on a two-week cross-country trip from Seattle to VA. It was so much fun, I can't even begin to describe it! But that's not the point. The point is that about half-way through our trip, right about the time we set up camp in Nauvoo, IL, Camden discovered two new loves.

We all learned of Camden's newfound interest in big sticks while playing at the camp playground with all the other nice little Mormon boys and girls - and their mothers. Imagine the shock on everyone's faces when that seemingly sweet little boy shouted out,

"I have a big dick!
Jake, my dick is bigger than yours!"

Yes, those are the moments that make a mommy proud.

That was day one of our stay in Nauvoo.

By day two, Camden had become completely and totally addicted to graham crackers. So it should have come as no surprise when, right in the middle of a very nice older Sister's talk on bread-making, our sweet little three-year-old shouted out,

"Give me some of those damn crackers!"

I'd like to visit Nauvoo again sometime. But I'm not sure it would be good for Camden's vocabulary. Or if we'd be welcome.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just a Thought

Jake was really sick last week. And I mean really sick. Poor kiddo. I spent three days worrying, cuddling, temp-taking, and cleaning. And not sleeping. It was terrible - for both of us. But through it all, I just couldn't stop thinking about how grateful I am for this blessing. I am so grateful that I was the one who got to take care of that sick little boy. Not anyone else. Me. Being a mom may not be all fun and games. And at times it can be really gross. But even when being the mom means cleaning up puke and holding your breath while the sickie insists on sleeping nose to nose, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I was out all day today (more on that later). When I got home, Jake had fewer teeth than he did when I left. No, it wasn't loose. His brother punched it out. He doesn't seem too broken up about it.

P.S. The brothers are still best buddies. These things happen, you know?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Family Flag

This is our official Family Flag, a commissioned work designed and created by the artist duo Jake and Camden.

We really like our flag. The straight-forward and understandable oars and family portrait represent our family well. But let me share my personal favorite parts of this great work of art.

1. The whine-bubble above Mayonnaise.

2. My beautiful, long hair and Dan's fat belly. (He does not, in any way shape or form have a fat belly. But Cam thought it added something to the picture.)

3. The addition of not only our house, but Camden's best buddy's house as well. And Dan's car.

4. The CTR shields in each corner (one of which turned out more like a heart) that, if you look close enough actually say "CAT." Cam is learning to spell.

5. The balloon stand on the top right, complete with balloon seller, American flag, and log to hold the balloons down. There are very fancy balloons, too, including a cat-in-the-hat hat, hearts and shields, Snake Eyes (from GI Joe), and...

6. "That girl from Transformers." That's right folks, our family flag features Megan Fox.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Several days ago, there was an altercation in the neighborhood. It involved at least four boys, and drove all of them to their own homes, most in tears. Since two of the involved belong to me, I got the story twice. And without going into details (I've forgotten them), I will say I believed my boys that they were not the offending parties.

Later that evening, I learned two things. One, that I was right. The offending party was a neighbor, who took the walk of shame to various houses - ours included - to apologize. Two, that my children are rude. When the cute little neighbor apologized for his earlier behavior, my boys refused to look at him, wouldn't answer him, and got my blood boiling.

We had some very serious discussions that night. About how we treat others. About respect.

I think the lectures sank in.

The next day, Camden came home from school very sad. His buddy, who just days before had declared Camden his "bff forever," had retracted that grand status. There had been a disagreement over legos and the bff's were at odds. Camden was heartbroken.

Upon returning home, Jake announced that he wanted to stay outside. It wasn't until the bus passed by that I figured out why. Jake got the buddy off the bus, took him across the street to a little stand of trees, and chewed that kid out. It took about ten minutes, and eventually the two of them entered our house.

The buddy, under Jake's watchful eye, apologized.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tears, Hotdogs, and Mud: A Basketball Story

Dan and I went to George Mason University. While I was never a huge fan of the school, I have to admit I had great professors. And we loved some of the perks. Such as free tickets to the Concert Hall (we saw so many incredible performances that, on our poor college student budget, we never could have afforded). And free tickets to sporting events. Our favorites were the basketball games. I will forever be a fan of GMU basketball.

Now, fast forward seven years (am I really that old?), and you'll find us paying to take our children to at least one game a year. When they were tiny they cried because of the noise. Then they got a little bigger and thought climbing up and down the stands was a good idea (those years were rough on my nerves). But this year... this year was awesome! Dan and I got to watch the whole game. And even more exciting, both boys followed every play, understood the game, cheered and had a blast!

Some thoughts on the experience:

*You know you're getting old when, not only do you think the graduating (college) seniors look like babies, but you tear up when they walk their mom's out onto the court.

*My boys can eat their weight in hotdogs and nachos. I guess the days of sneaking in pbj's and apple slices are over.

*Our ultra-competitive Camden cried when the Patriots lost. It was a tough loss, I have to admit.

*There's nothing like a body of water and a lot of mud to make a sad little boy feel better. We scared away the ever-present geese, stabbed things with sticks, and only lost one shoe.

*They may have struggled a bit this season, but some of those freshman boys are seriously good. I have high hopes for the coming years!
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