Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Fine Day

Have you ever seen the movie "One Fine Day" with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney? Today reminded me of that movie. In the movie their day is frantic and everything seems to be going wrong, but in the end it all turns out good, but is over too soon.

We've been having a series of unfortunate events around here lately. Kevin's misdiagnosis, Gloria tripping twice in one day and badly scraping her knees, getting locked out of the doctor's office (long story). Today though, we had one bright moment of family time that just seemed to make everything else okay.

We had a heavy snowfall today. Apparently it made the news because my brother emailed me about it and Daniel's mom called to see "how we were making out in the snow" (Daniel said that sounded fun but cold, lol!). Kevin loved the snow and the cold. Every time we tried to bring him back inside he would cry. Daniel and I helped the girls make a big snowman. We all froze our fingers because none of us have very good gloves, but it was so much fun! We even used a real carrot for his nose. You can see him in this picture. Gloria is smiling as best she can despite desperately having to go potty and refusing to admit it. It was a good day, even though for our poor snowman it ended badly. When the neighborhood kids got home from school they stomped him to death.

Timely Gifts!

Thanks, Aunt Jennie! The package from you arrived in the mail today, and it was great timing! We had a heavy snowfall today and I was just worrying that Kevin didn't have anything warm to wear in his size. I wanted something that didn't have a zipper, so the metal wouldn't be cold against his skin. This outfit was perfect!

The girls also loved their gifts! Gloria couldn't be pried out of the camo jacket and she and Danya took turns wearing the hat all afternoon. Danya also drove us crazy reading the joke book you bought her out loud to us. For instance: "How do you make an elephant float? Get some icecream, pour some soda on it, and then add a little bit of elephant." How did you know she LOVES to tell jokes? I think it was terribly cruel of you, however to mark Daniel's and my gifts "do not open until your birthday". That's a month away for me and two weeks for him! The torture! Oh, the cruelty!

Walking Off the Weight!

Woohoo! I did it! I broke past the 180 lb. mark!! As of this morning I weigh 179.8 and I am so thrilled! Daniel challenged me a few days ago to see who could lose 5 lbs. first. The winner gets $20 to spend on whatever they want. He started at 150 and I started at 182. So far I'm winning by a pound!

To what do I attribute my current lead? I've been running up and down the stairs 10 times in a row every day (twice today!) and doing sit ups, push ups against the wall, squats, leg lifts, and as of yesterday lifting hand weights. We've also been taking walks every couple of days. Today I also helped build a snowman, which is a work out! Try bending over to roll an ever increasing weight around the yard and then lifting it and carrying it to stack it on top of another giant ball of snow.

Kevin has been helping me with my exercise. I stand over him and do toe touches and knee lifts. Each time I bend down I make a silly face and he laughs and babbles at me. It sure makes working out and stretching more fun! Beyond my 5 lb. goal I'd like to lose 10 pounds by my birthday. That means I've got to lose 8 lbs. in the next 4 weeks. I think it's attainable if I stick with my current routine. We'll see!


Classic cars and classy girls! We walked to a nearby hamburger joint. It was decorated in a 50's style and the kids' meals came in these cool cardboard cars. The girls brought them home and played with them. It was okay food, not something we'd do every day though. They had six inch burgers! Of course, they were flat as a pancake, so it really wasn't all that much extra meat. I was good and just had the burger, no greasy fries for me! Okay, I did steal two of Daniel's, but stolen fries don't count, right?

Car Seat Upgrade

We finally got Kevin a new car seat. He was rapidly outgrowing his old one which only goes up to 20 lbs. He is just over 18 lbs. now and was so squashed when we would buckle him into his old one. This one is rear facing up to about 35 lbs. and forward facing up to 80 lbs! So hopefully we won't need to buy him a booster like we did with the girls.

The first time we put him in it he seemed like he was trying to sit up and wouldn't lean back. We thought maybe he didn't like the carseat. Later that day we noticed that the straps seemed to be pulling against him too low. Sure enough, when we checked, we had forgotten to raise the straps to the next notch. This car seat is designed to hold a baby as little as 5 lbs. and that was what we had it set for! Poor Kevin was getting pulled down and it was forcing him to hunch forward! We've got it fixed now and he's nice and comfy.

Sunny Days, Sweepin' the Clouds Away!

Once again we have crazy weather. One minute it's snowing, the next day it's sunny and mild. We took advantage of the nice weather recently to take a short walk to 7-Eleven. One of the neighbor kids asked why we are always taking walks. Our answer? "Because we like to!"

Some other good reasons:
1. It's good exercise.
2. We need the vitamin D.
3. It's relaxing and helps to slow us down in the middle of our hectic days.
4. It gives Daniel and I a chance to hold hands.
5. We actually get to talk to each other.

Come Blow Your Horn!

The girls had so much fun with my trombone during my highschool band reunion, that we knew they would enjoy having an instrument of their own. We were intrigued by the seemingly inexpensive instruments at Target, but after reading reviews and receiving advice we decided to buy a better trumpet online from

We let it be a surprise. The girls were confused by the strange packages we got in the mail. First we received an electronic tuner. Then a trumpet stand, which they had no idea what it was. Finally the trumpet arrived and they were ecstatic! They ask to play it almost every day. We got a video and a book on how to hold it, clean it, and play it. So far the girls can stand properly and play the notes C,D, and E. Their hands need to grow a little before they can hold it exactly right. Danya is learning to read music at her Charter school on Tuesdays, so I think this ties in nicely. We make them practice outside most days since Kevin doesn't tolerate loud noises well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Any Minute Now

This is my latest scrapbook page. I bought new software to design digital pages. I got Paint Shop Pro X...and can't figure it out. I guess I'll have to break down and make time to read the manual. In the meantime I made this page using my old software. The leaves and the squiggly line image I drew freehand then duplicated it a few times to use around the page. If you click on the picture you should be able to see the page big enough to read the journaling (you may have to click it again to zoom in).

This is the first scrapbook page I've had time to make since we moved here. I'm frustrated that no matter how many boxes we unpack in the basement it never seems to get me any closer to clearing my scrapbooking table. I know we've only been here a little over a month, but I think I'm going through scrapbooking withdrawal. I've taken so many great photos and haven't scrapped any of them yet. Hopefully, I'll at least make some time to scrap digitally.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Midnight Madness

In this photo you see our young neighbor, Brandon, and his dog, Midnight. I hate this dog. I've had dogs I disliked before, but I truly hate this dog. It has been a problem ever since we moved in. It's constantly off it's leash terrorizing my kids. The other day it bit Gloria on the toe and then bit it's owner, Brandon, on the nose. I called animal control at the advice of our apartment office. The officer informed me that I pretty much couldn't do anything unless there was a bloody hole in one of my kids. Brandon said he would keep the dog inside his house or on its leash.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Since then Midnight has been off his leash every day multiple times a day. He has also chased Gloria all over the yard and jumped up on me when I was holding Kevin. The neighbor's response? Tell Gloria not to run because it makes the dog want to chase her.

Today was the last straw. I heard screaming outside and opened the door as the girls were frantically trying to turn the knob. Their hands were slipping off it because they were wearing wet gloves. The dog was on our porch jumping up and down and barking at them. Brandon's dad, Steve, took the dog back to his house and was rude to me when I complained about the dog. So I went straight to the office and demanded they do something. They said they are giving the owners three business days to get rid of the dog or face eviction. I'm so happy I could cry. By Wednesday the daily dog terror should be over.

Puppet Theatre

The girls made masks and paper animals and put them on popsicle sticks. Then they invited us down to watch the performance. They wrote the beginning of the story on a giant piece of paper. They even had a stuffed animal audience. They dressed Dusty and some of the other dolls in real clothes and sat them in chairs to watch the show. The funniest part was watching them try to keep the cardboard box from collapsing while they were doing their puppet show.

Later today, for Danya's special time, I let her use my new voice recorder to record herself reading out loud from one of her library books, "The Man Who Wore All His Clothes". She also informed me that she and Gloria had used up the entire ream of computer paper we gave them and she expects me to restock the drawer. Daniel says that at least he knows they are using it (for puppet shows and such) and it's not being wasted.

"Can you hear me now?"

I love this picture of Kevin! He looks like he's talking on the phone. He's getting better control of his hands lately. We've been giving him all kinds of things to hold onto. He likes to shake his rattle. He can even grab the side of his swing now (the big one that converts into a high chair). He also has a fierce grip and likes to pinch the under side of my arm when I hold him, OW!

His favorite thing lately is trying to sit up. If I rest him against my knees while I sit on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table, he tries to lean forward. He loves it when we hold his hands and help him do sit ups. I think he'll be sitting up before Thanksgiving.

He also likes to play "peek-a-boo". If I hold his blanket up in front of his face and say, "Where's Kevin?" he'll reach out and yank down the blanket. Then he just laughs and laughs! He really likes it when the girls or I drape our hair over his face and tickle him with it, too. He tries to catch it in his mouth and bats at it with his hands. He is especially good at kicking. I'll lay him down on the couch next to me and he'll kick me in the thigh really hard. If you startle him though, he'll cry so hard that he literally shakes. But if you can distract him and make him laugh he'll completely forget that he was ever mad.

Hair and Nails

For Gloria's special time this week we played beauty shop. She got her hair put up in a half french braid. Then we painted her toe nails red and her finger nails pink. She wanted to have her left hand and foot red and the right side pink, but I convinced her that it would look prettier this way.

She wouldn't take out the french braid for two days! Today she finally took it out, and I have to say it looked mighty cute with the waves that were left. I already wonder if she's not developing a fan club. The other day when the girls were sick one of the neighborhood boys, Garreth, knocked on the door and asked if she could come out and play. Just her, not Danya. Hmm... Maybe it's because she chases him, screaming like a happy banshee, when he rides his bike? She has such a bright, outgoing personality! She reminds me alot of her Aunt Toni.

Snuggle Bear

Grandma, this one's for you! Here's a picture of Kevin all snuggly warm ready to go outside in the adorable bear outfit you bought him before we moved to Colorado.

He liked it, but we learned a lesson. Always wash these kinds of outfits before wearing. When we took it off him he was covered in blue fuzz! Oh, well, lesson learned. He sure was cute, though!

First Snow in Colorado

This week we had unexpected early snow. The girls couldn't wait for the snow to stop. They ran out to play in the dark. They've been out in it every day since. Today most of the snow was gone, so they just crushed left over ice chunks. Danya got in trouble for sticking ice in the back of Gloria's hood.

Daniel and I didn't play in the snow, but we did go shopping. He bought me a digital voice recorder. I'm recording myself reading books out loud so that the girls can listen to them on their own. So far they really like it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Reading Mother

Another good poem about reading aloud:

The Reading Mother
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold,
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a mother who read to me.

-by Strickland W. Gillilan

Reading Aloud

We've been collecting these "Read - Aloud" books for the past couple of months as we find them on sale at various book stores. The girls like them and I've enjoyed all of them except the "Celtic Myths and Legends" stories so far. The other night we took a flashlight outside and read a short story in the dark excerpted from "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume. I've also taken the "Children's Classics" book and recorded the stories onto a tape recorder for the girls to listen to. In honor of reading to our children, here is a poem from the "Read-Aloud Poems" book:

When Mother Reads Aloud
When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert's gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle's prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do-
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.

Grace Community Church

We've been checking out new churches for the past several weeks. We think we've found one that we like. So today we went back to Grace Community Church. It's a small church, 95% young families and tons of homeschoolers. Danya has already found 3 kids that attend this church out of the 7 kids in her little charter school class.

We invited our neighbors across the courtyard from us to go to church with us. They said yes, but then weren't home today. Their Dad has been in the hospital and he came home this morning. I'd say that's a pretty great reason to miss church.

Gloria tried to explain what she learned in church today and we all got mixed up thinking she said Cain when she was trying to tell us about Canaan. Speaking of grammatical and spelling errors, my sister Toni is encouraging me to offer my services at the local college as a proof reader for students. Daniel and I are considering all the details and may jump into this as a good small home business opportunity. Maybe my annoying habit of correcting my friends' pronunciation will finally pay off!

Friday, October 13, 2006

We're Reading: "My Story" by Rosa Parks

Just another update on our current reading list. We finished "James and the Giant Peach" last week and watched the movie, which was rather disappointing compared to the book. The girls loved the book and wanted to discuss all the amazing things that happened to James and his friends. They didn't like the movie much at all. I didn't realize that the movie was made by Tim Burton whose films I've always disliked. He added things to the movie to make it dark and frightening, and I think they were really a mistake. The book was an exciting read, though. I definitely would recommend it!

Now we've begun reading a new book: "My Story" by Rosa Parks. I wanted a historical biography that was written simply enough that the girls would be able to understand it if I read it out loud. I searched for an hour at the public library before I found this one. I had intended to read about Abraham Lincoln since the girls have heard about him and want to know more. This book touches on similar subject matter and even mentioned Lincoln already in the first couple of chapters. The girls both like the photos of Rosa Parks' life, family, and home. They were shocked that black people would have to sit at the back of the bus or go to separate schools. I think this is going to be a really good book for them because it is meaningful in alot of different ways and is easy to listen to.

Sick or Not Sick?

We're confused. Yesterday Kevin broke out in tiny red spots all over his body. We figured it was a reaction to the Amoxicillin prescribed to him for his ear infection. So we called the Urgent Care place and told them about it. The doctor called us in a different kind of antibiotic. Today his eyes were watery and red and he seemed more miserable than before.

We called our insurance and found a different pediatrician to take him to (one that could see us now instead of a month from now). We only got to see the PA, but he said that Kevin's ears looked absolutely perfect. He said the bumps aren't a reaction to the medicine (which he didn't need anyway), but just an after effect of a viral infection. He says they will go away within a day or so and to stop giving him any medicine except the Ibuprofrin if he still seems fussy because he does NOT have an ear infection at all.

I'm not sure if he's right or not. Kevin has been pulling and scratching at his right ear. I wonder if maybe he did have an ear infection, mild though, and it cleared up. I know we've been praying for his healing, so maybe that explains it. It's frustrating and worrying when the medical people don't agree. We're going to stop giving him the antibiotics and hope for the best. I'm mad that we might have wasted so much money on them if he never did have an ear infection at all!

Kevin Behind Bars

I'm glad to say that my son is finally behind bars! He has been consistently, and contentedly, sleeping in his own bed this whole week. The last several days he even slept solidly from 12:30 am to 6:30 am. My body is still trying to adjust to the extra sleep I'm getting.

It's weird that he would sleep better the week that he's sick. What's even weirder is that the last two nights he has been scooting across his crib and sticking an arm or a foot out between the rails. I can't tell if he's doing it on purpose or not. Yes, I know he's sleeping on his belly and not his back in this photo. He just won't sleep on his back for more than a minute or two. He startles and thrashes and it wakes him up, furious. Worse than that, I'm considering putting in a bumper guard to keep his limbs inside the crib. I know, it's one of those "back to sleep" campaigner's nightmares. I think we may have to take our chances though.

The "Meat & Potatoes" of Homeschooling

We've been attempting to incorporate a little more "home" into our homeschooling lately. So the other day Danya got to help make meat loaf and Gloria got to help with the scalloped potatoes. No, it's not from scratch...nothing in this house ever is really. Gloria did get to see how the butter was divided into fractions and cut two tablespoons worth. Danya also gets to measure the water for hot cocoa.

Besides food, the girls have also been required to pitch in with housework a bit more. We filled a bag with little slips of paper, each one with a chore written on it. We each drew one, then had one minute to trade if we wanted to, and then ran to get the jobs done. Gloria washed the bathroom mirrors and made the beds. Danya swept the kitchen floor and took out the bathroom trash. Then they each took their little brooms we got for them at the school supply store and they picked a bathroom each to sweep.

It's still a struggle with them sometimes. I can send them to clean their room or the mess they made in the homeschool area and an hour later nothing will be done. They swear they can't do it without my help, but if we impose a time limit and a penalty it tends to get done quickly. I've been trying to get them to clear the table. So far all they'll do is throw away their dishes and leave the rest. I guess Daniel and I need to get a routine to better help them learn one.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

First Ear Infection

It's hard to believe looking at this picture, but Kevin has an ear infection. He had a fever and was very fussy yesterday. We finally gave him a tiny bit of children's Tylenol. Then Aunt Jennie (our nurse on call, lol) said we could give him 100 milligrams of it, so we gave him a little more. It helped and he was able to sleep.

Today he would barely eat and was inconsolable. We called our new doctor that we just got through Daniel's new work insurance. Unfortunately they only book appointments for new patients a MONTH away! Who on Earth schedules an appointment for a 3 month old infant in pain a MONTH away?!! I was so mad I could spit! They gave us the address for the nearest urgent care and Daniel took Kevin there right away. They said he has an ear infection in his right ear. So now we're giving him an antibiotic and stronger Tylenol. He's doing much better. He's sleeping right now, which is a big relief. I don't know if Daniel's insurance will cover what is sure to be an exorbitant bill from the urgent care place, but I don't really care. It was worth it to help him, poor baby.

Art Supplies Surprise!

Since we got the basement homeschooling area set up the girls have had access to their art supplies and have made some great creations!

Today Danya brought me these stick puppets she created all by herself. Each one is labeled: bear, lion, tiger, sheep, and pig. We played with them for Kevin's amusement. The girls have also made posters about The Three Bears and other stories. They even created their own cards and folders. The other day they brought me down to see what they'd been working on all morning. It was an art show! They had sculptures (from linking wooden sticks) and drawings. Danya was taping hand made paper award ribbons to them that said things like "2nd Place, Great Shapes!" on them. They are so creative!

Home School Supply Store

We were looking for a good school supply store locally the other day and found the 'mother load'! It's the Banks School Supply warehouse and it has more than we could ever imagine. We may have gone a little nuts, but it sure was fun!

We bought two chairs which had to be returned because they were two tall for their desks. We also got each of the girls a 4-in-1 easel. It's a dry erase board, magnet board, felt board, and an art easel that holds a big roll of paper that pulls out through the top and clips to the front. It also has a shelf with paint cups in it. Then we got them a balance scale with weights, math base ten cubes and rods, and a few other odds and ends.

They've already been playing with it all and they don't even realize that some of it isn't a toy. Gloria even requested that we 'play' with the balance scale measuring her toys and figuring out how many grams each of them weighs for her special time last night. Tuesday she and I played games with the new bean bags we got them. I wrote math and spelling questions mixed with silly motions like hopping on one foot onto small paper plates and had her toss the bags onto them. Then she did what the plates said and got a piece of candy for each correct answer. We also played Simon Says with them.

Kevin at 3 Months

I never did get a picture of him holding a sign at 2 months and this month we were a few days late, but at least we got it done. So what's new with Kevin? He weighs 18 pounds with his clothes on according to the doctor's office. He'll eat pretty much any mushy food we give him. He has a wonderful little chuckle that he lets loose with any time he hears someone else laughing. I guess he just wants to join in on the fun!

He likes to get raspberries, especially on his feet. He's fascinated with the valance over the living room window. He doesn't push up much and can't roll over yet. We think it's because we never give him a chance. We're always either holding him or putting him in his swing. He's basically wearing 9 month clothing. All the 3-6 month things are getting very tight. We're looking for a bigger car seat to upgrade to. He likes to suck his fists and pukes constantly. He's been sleeping for 6 hours at a stretch at night. I wish it was longer, but it's better than before at least. The best thing is probably how he "talks". He will take turns making sounds with me. It sounds like we're having a conversation, just with noise instead of actual words. I can already tell he's going to be a talker! Just like Mommy...I'm so proud!

Gloria's Photography

Have I mentioned what a good little photographer Gloria is becoming? She took this picture of us under a bridge on Dry Creek Trail.

She has a real eye for composition and always manages to center her subjects. I cropped this one slightly because she took a full body shot and my lower half just didn't look flattering, but I didn't change the photo other than that.

I got my first camera when I was in the 7th grade from my Aunt Kathy. It was one of those instant Polaroid cameras and it was one of the best gifts I ever got. I can just imagine how much better Gloria will be than I was since she'll have access to a digital camera from such a young age.

Dry Creek Trail

On the 6th of October we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and take a long walk along one of the many nearby walking trails. The first one we found was Dry Creek Trail. It's a short trail that meanders along under two bridges and eventually leads to a large playground behind a church that we visited a few weeks ago.

We enjoyed seeing the little waterfalls here and there, creating echoes under the bridges, watching ducks float along the creek, and counting prairie dogs as they ran to hide from us. They make such a funny bird-like sound when they warn each other of danger passing by. We also took turns pushing Kevin (and sometimes his sisters) in the stroller and climbed a rock wall at the playground. The girls played in the sprinklers on a soccer field nearby. It felt like a long walk because we took a couple of hours to complete it, but really it was only a short distance. It was very pretty though, and worth the trip!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Exploring the Neighborhood

We took a family walk today and decided to head North. We climbed a hill so steep I didn't think I'd make it to the top! We spiraled up to the top of a bridge, crossed over it and spiraled down to the other side.

We decided eventually that our destination would be Abertson's grocery store so that we could get groceries. The last hill before we got there proved to be too much for Gloria and I carried her up it. That was it for me. We made Daniel run home and get the van. It was a really nice walk...just a little too far.

Falling Into Autumn

I think it's fall. This is the beginning of October at least. There are beautiful colored leaves all over the ground that the girls are enjoying playing in. When I wake up in the mornings it's cold and at night I turn on the heat. So where are these 80 plus degree days coming from?!

Today the weather was gorgeous. Kevin and I sat out on our front step and watched his sisters ride around on the sidewalk. I turned off the thermostat and just opened the doors up to let the air into the house.

I don't know what the weather will do next. I do know, however, that we plan to enjoy every minute of it that we can. It's just too perfect to pass up!

Danya Helps Out

Danya is such a big help! She's always the first one to grab a burp cloth or offer to sit next to Kevin in the car so that she can give him his pacifier when he drops it. She'll sit next to him at home and take care of him while I get things done around the house. She's just a great big sister and I can't imagine taking care of Kevin without her help.

Grandpa's Boys

Grandpa and two of his grandsons just sitting back and relaxing in Grandpa's big rocking recliner. He just looked happy as a clam holding Jason and Kevin. I think Kevin liked the rocking motion because he was smiling away. Jason was teaching him the fine art of how to snuggle just right into the crook of Grandpa's arm to get maximum comfort and support. Jason also says he hopes that Kevin's hair continues to darken so that he'll have a cousin that looks like him. I hope so, too, Jason!

First Real Swing!

Saturday night we went out for bar-b-que with Daniel's parents and the cousins. We ate at Bad Brad's which is a good name for it since I didn't think the food was all that great.

Afterwards we took a walk at Boomer Lake stopping at the playground. Gloria excitedly pointed out the baby swings for Kevin. I started to say he was too little, then decided to give them a try. Kevin really liked it! He sat in this relaxed pose the whole time and just smiled and looked around.

The bugs were so thick that we sent the men back to pick up the vehicles and as soon as they arrived we all dived back into the van and headed home. Now that I know Kevin can handle it, I'll have to let him swing in the baby swings near our house. He's growing up so fast!

Mr. Taylor: Mentor and Friend

Mr. Taylor became my band director when I signed up for band in the eighth grade (eighth - yes, I had to google the spelling). I was disrespectful and not very interested in band. I was mostly there because it was easier than gym and all my friends were in it.

He straightened me out and taught me alot about pride, respect, commitment, determination, and success. I don't think I would be who I am today if it hadn't been for his influence in my life. We took this picture after the alumni luncheon on Saturday after the parade. He said he was proud of how I had turned out. It was really good to see him and talk to him again. I can't wait until the next alumni band reunion.

Charming Kevin

What is it about this boy that just makes girls of all ages go ga-ga over him? The blonde woman is my friend, Crystal, that played the flute in my high school band. Her daughter, Bella, is the beautiful little girl making goo-goo eyes at my son.

Crystal had a booth where she was selling hand made hair bows. Her daughter is wearing one of them in this picture. We bought a few for our girls. One has a princess bottle cap on it and the other two both have cherries on them. They're extremely cute. Of course, little Bella only seems to notice how extremely cute Kevin is. I agree!

Harvest Fest Parade

Even though the Alumni didn't get to play in the Harvest Fest parade, we still attended. It was a beautiful day (high of 92!) and we all enjoyed walking around looking at the different booths.

The kids climbed through a giant inflated caterpillar, jumped on the Jupiter Jump, and scaled the inflated rock wall. They also got free balloons and popcorn. When the parade started they ran out catching and picking up candy as it was tossed from the floats. A few times we thought they were going to get squashed by a float or vehicle. Grandma made them stay close to her when the horses passed because she was afraid they'd get kicked. There was a wild rush of kids to the Piggly Wiggly float when they handed out apples. We gave the kids two dollars in quarters each to spend, but they were so busy having fun that they didn't get around to spending it. Oh well! It was a good parade!

See Jessica Play!

If ever there were a posed photo, this is one! It was the only way Daniel could get a photo of me up in the bleachers at my high school, sitting with my band and playing. When everyone was actually playing I would just be one more bell in a sea of brass horns aimed at the field.

I sure had a blast playing my instruments and sitting among the other trombone players. Kelly, sitting to my right, was a senior when I was a freshman. His old handwritten slide position notes were still on the sheet music we played! There was a female trombone player there 16 years older than me and another one that was 12 years younger than me. I've always thought it was fun and unique to play an instrument that is usually dominated by male players.

We played the Notre Dame fight song and of course the National Anthem. We also stood up, just the trombones, and played a long sliding glissando following the path of the ball when it was kicked. It was alot of fun, and I still didn't understand a THING about what was happening on the football field. Just like old times!

Friends at D'Mario's

We had a whirl wind dinner with Glenda's family at D'Mario's before heading to the football game. It was planned very last minute, but I'm glad we got to see them.

Daniel's parents were supposed to join us, but were delayed. You can see little Qorban in the picture pointedly NOT looking at me. I tried all my tricks to make him smile. I acted silly, even crossed my eyes, but everytime he'd look away with his adorable little shy routine.

Every time I see Glenda looking all slender again, it makes me want to hurry up and join her. Daniel and I have had a rocky start getting back to counting points with Weight Watchers, but at least I'm still down to 183. Seeing Glenda gives me hope that I'll eventually get there. If she can do it, I can do it, right?

Cousin Rhema is 7!

Rhema and Jason surprised us by spending the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa while we were down this weekend. Rhema just had her 7th birthday, but Grandma gave her an extra little cake and we gave her a card with $7 in it.

The girls loved getting to spend time with their cousins. Jason came even though he had to miss out on one of his soccer games to be there. He didn't want to miss the chance to spend time with Gloria and Danya since he won't see us again until Thanksgiving.

The kids played Foosball and got dirty outside together. You couldn't ask for a better time at their age! (Oh, Nancy and Wayne are babysitting the boy in stripes after school for a couple of weeks for some friends of theirs.)