Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bad Day.

I had jury duty this week. Mon. and Tues. they didn't need us, but today I had to go in. Somehow I ended up on the jury. I really expected them to take one look at my belly and let me go but that was not the case. So I didn't have a cell phone, I couldn't call long distance, I had no debit card to buy food, and I had things to do today. Last night I had to wake the boys up at 11 pm to take Tony into work so I could have the van. Then I carried each one back into the house because they were all sleeping when I got back. Then I got a little sleep and then got in the shower and got all the boys ready to go. I dropped the younger two off at a friends and the older two off at a neighbors to catch the bus. Then I hot-tailed it to the courthouse.
It was a long long wait. Then jury selection started, and then I somehow ended up being on there. I needed to call Ellen to let her know I wouldn't be coming home in time to pick anybody up from school or to do the other things I was supposed to do. I couldn't call her though and some nice lady let me use her cell phone. I left a message for Ellen, I think she must have been picking Tony up from work when I called. On the message I left instructions of when everyone needed picking up and what time they needed to be at the ball diamond for pictures and a game but I had know idea if she could do any of it.
When I left the courthouse I came home as quickly as possible. I got the boys dressed in their uniforms and ran them to the diamonds. We were 45 min. late. Ellen had scouts and that's why she didn't take them already. On the way there I found out that nobody got Koen off the bus and Ellen got a call from the bus depot to come get him. I don't quite know what the mix-up there was. Anyway we got to the game and they played great. Dougan ended up getting the game ball for his excellent batting skills. He was very excited about that. Then we ran and got their pictures taken and they will be super imposed into the team photo. Then we rushed to church because we were 20 min. late for the yw activity. Luckily another leader was running the show just great on her own.
Then we got something to eat on the way home because I found out none of them had dinner and Eades didn't even have lunch yet. When I got home I made some important phone calls to cancel my dr. appt. and set things up for tomorrow when I must be away again. The thing is that all of this is just a major inconvenience. It's not enough to keep me off the jury and as a citizen of this country it is my civic duty to take my turn and serve. I understand all of this and yet somehow I still feel like they should have let me off. Maybe it's because I saw all the people who were dismissed before my number was even called, and I'm comparing myself to them. But really today was kind of disastrous because of my having jury duty. Well, I hope tomorrow goes better now that I know what I need to plan for.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baseball Opening Day

We made it through opening day. Here are some photos of the game and the boys. It all started with a parade. Tony had the van that morning and somehow managed to be late. I called Ellen and she came and
took us to the parade.

We were about four minutes late so we had to catch up with the boys' team. I had to carry Brandis because I did not have a stroller. We were walking really fast and passing some of the other teams when a women stopped us and said she wanted us to take her stroller and she'd meet us at the end. I was really grateful because the parade was a mile long and Brandis was already getting heavy. So we put him in and started off again. I guess the woman was going for do-gooder of the year because she came back and said she would take my players up to their team so I wouldn't have to walk so fast. Her and the boys started running. I saw about 100 yards away she picked up Dougan and put him on her back and then they kept running.
Brandis and I kept trying to catch up with them but it was hard to navigate around people. We ended up never catching up to them. I did see that they were at the very beginning of the parade though, of course. Tony made it home in time to catch the end of the parade and we went and gathered the boys. We found the kind lady and she said she felt so bad me because I was pregnant. She also said she didn't realize how out of shape she was. She was awesome though. She took three boys from the very end of a parade to the front. They got to sit with their team and have fun sitting on the float, which they wouldn't have been able to do if I had to do it. So, she was truly an angel.
We went to the opening ceremony where the boys sat with their team and we heard some great speeches. Then we went home and relaxed until their first game. We went back to the park and had some hot dogs and port-a-pit chicken for lunch. Then their game got delayed an hour so we played at the park for awhile. Then they went and warmed up with their team. They have one coach and an assistant coach. The coach is a police officer and I think he sometimes gets a little stressed out with these little ones who don't acknowledge his authority as much. But he keeps trying and I'm always impressed
that he remains patient. The assistant coach is so good with Dougan. He is always giving him high five and encouragement when needed. Dougan really likes him. So it was fun to see the coach stressed about the first game and all the kids just running around with excitement instead of warming up.
Finally it was time for the game to begin. Koen played second like he usually does in practice. Eades and Dougan played in the field but they have them up so close because nobody can hit it that far yet. So all the players end up being infielders. Dougan stood by coach Dave. (the asst.) which made me feel more comfortable. Then it was our team's turn to bat. Dougan decided he did not want to bat. The coach dragged him up to the plate but he could not get Dougan to bat so I had to walk up and get him. Everybody cheered for him anyway. The other two batted and did great.
Dougan came and sat by Tony and I. When it was time to go back out to the field he did not want to go. Coach Dave told him if he changed his mind to come out by him. Now Dougan is the youngest on the team. He just turned four last week, so he barely made the cut-off. I think that's what all this shyness is about. After some encouragement Tony and I got Dougan to go out and stand by Coach Dave on the field. When is came time to bat Dougan went out on his own but he was walking really slow so the coach came and got him and took him to the plate. The crowd was going wild. They were all cheering. Dougan hit the ball and ran to first. I was so proud. He even tried to round to second but somebody was already there. It was great. He eventually made it home and the crowd cheered again.
Right when it was Koen's turn to bat they had to call the game because we saw some lightning. He was a little sad but he knows it was just the first game. It was such a great day and they had so much fun. I think this is something that all three of them really needed. It helps Koen with his self-esteem, it helps Eades focus on something, and it helps Dougan grow up and become more independent. It's also fun for me to do something out in the community and meet new people. So yay for baseball and yay for my boys for doing their best.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do you love me?

Eades just asked me the question, "Do you love me?" a little bit ago. I told him yes. I asked if he thought I didn't. He said no, he just thought I was a nice mom and wanted to ask. It started me thinking though if I say it enough to my children. Dougan used to say "I love you" at least 15 times a day and would wait for the "I love you too" response. This worried me because he obviously felt the need to know that he was still loved. He has grown out of that phase, and now just gives a lot of hugs and kisses to get the reassurance that he still needs.
All of my children are different. Dougan demands the "I love you attention" and he gets it. Brandis is still so little that hugs and kisses are given and received plenty throughout the day. Eades still likes to get hugs and kisses and he snuggles up on my lap. He likes to hear and say "I love you" about once a day. This seems to be enough for him usually. Then I have Koen who needs the attention but he acts like he doesn't. He rarely wants to sit on my lap but he does like to hold my hand still. He will say I love you maybe once a week. I try to give him affection as much as he will allow. He's a lot like me. When I was a kid I didn't want any attention and I'm still like that. I know that he needs it though and I'm not ready to have my kids be uncomfortable getting hugs from me yet. I expect that to happen maybe in the teen years but I'm kind of hoping they'll always want hugs.
I have had some people comment on how my kids are so clingy to me. They love to crawl all over mom. I remember as a kid laying on my mom's side while she was laying down watching t.v. It seemed to be the most comfortable spot in the house. I always have a kid at my side, on my lap, or laying on me. I think they get enough physical attention. Koen could probably use a little more. But I don't think I'm saying the words enough. I know it wouldn't hurt if I turned it up a notch and tried to make a conscious effort of saying it more often throughout the day and especially when I have some one on one time with each kid. I've been really focusing on that lately too.
Well, that's it. I'm resolved to do it. My kids will know that they are good and loved if it's the last thing I do.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot Air Balloon

Last Friday our family was able to help Remax put up their hot air balloon. We were so excited. First we went to an open field in a neighborhood that was southwest of the airport. That is where they have taken off for the past two years and they have always ended up at the airport perfectly so this was the plan again. We were the first ones there because we were so excited and we waited for all the others. We brought Tony's brother Nic along because we were visiting with him right before we left and he was so jealous we invited him to come with. After nearly everyone was there the man in charge filled up a little party balloon and let it float. It ended up heading southeast. This was a problem because if they left from where we were, they would never make it to the Niles Airport, may the South Bend airport but who wants to land there in a balloon next to those big jets?

We waited for the last in the group to arrive and then we started heading north. We pulled over in a big open field near a company that looked closed. We had to hurry because sunset was on it's way. We unpacked and unrolled the huge balloon. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. We had a big fan out to fill the balloon with air. It was like a fan you'd see at a school dance or something. Tony made the joke that it was time for us to all blow. We put him in his place by letting him know he had more hot air than the rest of us.

I got to help spread out the balloon so the air could fill it up. It really didn't take as long as I thought it would. So after it was pretty full they turned the basket right side up and started the fire. It was really hot. I was standing maybe six feet from it and it was really loud and very hot. I couldn't imagine being directly below it while riding in it.
After everything was set up four people got in and took off. It was a very fast take off. I thought it would move slowly but it was real quick. The man navigating the balloon was showing them cool tricks, like quick falls and dropping faster than paper. They had a good time up there.
We got in the van and began our pursuit.
It was so much fun chasing the balloon around. We followed it for awhile and then we just headed to the airport. We saw the big balloon coming but when he got to the airport he didn't have enough time to land because the wind was blowing kind of fast, so they continued southeast. We got back in the van and again began to follow. Tony, Nic and I were laughing it up acting like we were on some official balloon chasers team. The balloon would get low and we'd think it was going to land so we'd find a place to park near the respective field. Then they couldn't land quick enough before hitting trees so they'd go back up to find another spot. It really was fun trying to guess between the three adults in our vehicle if they'd be able to land or not. We had at least six false alarms. Now the whole time we were chasing them we were getting closer to "E" in our gas tank. We didn't want to get gas though, because we didn't want to miss anything. We also had two boys who had to go to the bathroom. They said they could hold it. All this just added to the suspense and thrill of being balloon chasers. It was also fun to see others pulling over and children yelling, and dogs barking at the balloon as we drove by. The balloon once was passing over a field where cows were grazing. I've never seen cows run like that before. They were scared to death. They must have seen the movie Rat Race.
Anyway, we followed them to a house that had a nice field. It was now or never. We were on US 12 and would soon be heading into Granger where there would be no open spaces. The pilot dropped a rope for us to grab. One man got it but he started getting lifted off the ground so he let go. He probably wet his pants. Then a bunch of the men grabbed it and stopped the balloon before it ran into some trees. Tony and the one guy held on the rope so the others could start deflating the balloon before it blew away. They even let Koen help hold on to the rope. When the balloon was mostly deflated and Tony and the other guy didn't need to hold on to it anymore they left Koen in charge of holding the rope and instructed him that if the balloon floated away it would be his responsibility to hold on to it. I thought that was funny. Again, it did not take nearly as long as I had expected for the balloon to be deflated. I think it took only 15 min. and they were rolling it up and packing it. The farmer and his family who lived there felt privileged to have the balloon land in their yard
Another funny thing about it was there was a little girl who lives next door to the Ferris'. They were the ones who invited us. She went to their house to ride some horses as they were leaving so they brought her with. Then they let her ride in the balloon. What a surprise for her. I'm sure she'll never forget it. We joked that when she got home and told her parents what she had been up to they'd never believe her.
Our family had a real nice time and it was fun to feel almost young again following that balloon around town. I hope the boys remember it and I also hope that we get to help again next year. Maybe some day I'll get to go up too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun Night

Tonight was a really fun night for me and the boys. As soon as Koen got home from school we went to baseball practice. The boys did really well tonight and Dougan is getting more comfortable with the coaches and doesn't need to stand by me the whole time. Koen got some good hits and they had him play first base. Eades had some nice hits too with the tee. After that I decided I should treat them somehow. We went to Rural King to see the new baby chicks, turkeys, and ducks. We also got some free popcorn. While we were there I remembered that they had a sale on flip flops this week for $1 each pair. So we went and they each picked out which ones they wanted. On the way home I saw that Burger King had $1 kids' meals. Well, we've been eating leftovers all week this week due to the dessert auction last Friday and their birthday party last Saturday. We are sick and tired of taco salad and hot dogs, but I did save on not buying groceries this week. So anyway we went to Burger King where we had a cheap meal and they got to play play play. We got home in just enough time to do some homework and get ready for bed. They felt really special that I was so nice to them and that they didn't have to stay home being quiet because Dad was sleeping. So for tonight I was one cool mom. I figure if I'm nice at least once every three months or so they'll keep me around.

Hot Spots

My hot spots are growing. I started out with a cluttered desk. Then a toy corner in the living room. Because I don't have a coat rack, my rocking chair became a heap of coats and jackets. My shoe pile has somehow doubled. All the newspapers were piling up. It was just so easy for me to throw things in their respective pile instead of sorting what needed to stay and what could be thrown out. This week my project has been to get rid of hot spots. I think it might take me weeks to get rid of them permanently. All I know is I want my house less cluttered. I mean, if I have company coming I transfer all the shoes, coats, and toys up stairs or something but they always find their way back. I love those magazines that help reduce clutter. They have these shelving units and storage ideas, but it's too expensive for me to just do it all at once. So for now I'll just try to tackle them one at I time until I get rid of them for good.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Too much?

Sometimes I like to be busy and I love to say yes when somebody asks me to do something. So this weekend was one of those times when I think I may have overextended myself. It started on Monday with an Amish lunch and being tour guide for friends who've never been to Middlebury or Shipshe. Then I had to make a menu for a dessert auction and my kids' birthday party. Then I had to go through the adds to find sale items. I went shopping so many times this week for groceries because I always forgot something. Wednesday night we were not going to have activities because of spring break, but primary asked if we would come stuff eggs. I said, "yes" so I loaded up the boys and stuffed eggs. Thursday was supposed to be baking day but it ended up being getting all the last minute things day. Friday was spent baking for the auction.
Friday afternoon a friend and I went to church and began getting everything ready. Then we had the dinner (taco salad) and the auction. We cleaned up and I came home realizing I didn't have the stuff for the games for the birthday party. I also neglected to get my kids Easter baskets for the next day. So I was off to get what I needed. I cannot believe how many people are out on Good Friday at 11 pm. There were HUGE lines. I got home and made two magnet fishing poles, wrapped one box of candy six times for a game Emma taught me, and cut out a bunch of fish and attached paper clips to them. Then I assembled the baskets. I don't know what time I went to bed.
Saturday morning I woke up late. I still had to bake cupcake cones for the party. I went right to work. Then my kids woke up so I showed them their baskets. Yay! Then I got back to baking.
As soon as the cupcakes are done baking I have to go to the park to set things up. I still have to go to Mishawaka to get their combined present. Then back to the park to make sure Tony is grilling the dogs. Oh, I hope the party goes off well. I hope I haven't forgotten anything.
I told primary that I would help hide eggs today so I have to make sure the party is over in enough time for me to get over there. I'm lucky because we have the park all day, so after the egg hunt we can go back to the park and relax until the park closes. I'm really looking forward to that part. We even invited some friends to come and walk their dog and stuff. It will be much needed downtime. Tomorrow I get to count how many people I have coming to the Amish dinner next week. I hope I get a lot of yeas. So far I have people who went two years ago and they want to bring friends. It looks like it will be a success as long as I get some definites and no more of these maybes, yucky maybes. Tomorrow we also have to go to my in-laws for Easter dinner. That usually turns into a long drawn out thing but they promise it will be short. So anyway. That is my busy weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Provident Living

I went to a provident living fair on Saturday. It was a lot of fun to pick up some recipes and ideas from the people sharing. I came away feeling like I could do some of this stuff. It didn't look too hard. But when I came and realized if I wanted to start canning my own fruit, veggies, and meat I would need jars and a pressure cooker. If I wanted to start dehydrating my own food I would need a food dehydrator. Even if I just wanted to organize a food storage I would need shelves. Right now I just have what fits in my cupboards and some water in the freezer and two water barrels in the basement. I realize my food storage is majorly lacking. I looked at some mason jars today while at E & S and saw they were about $8 for nine jars. This could be expensive. I did decide that I could hold off on shelves and fill up the trundle bed in the boys room with jars. I did learn that you can dehydrate some foods on the dashboard in your car on a hot day where the inside of the car gets to about 140 deg. As far as canning goes, I plan on u-picking this summer and buddying up with someone who would let me use their cooker (and show me how to use it) and then I would just have to supply the jars. Wouldn't it be great if there was a stimulus package to prepare food storage? This will be my first summer where I will actually make a good effort to build ours and to learn some skills for the future. Let me know what has worked for you as you prepared yours or if you have any clever ideas that a novice such as myself is totally clueless about. I'm ready to live providently.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


For some reason I have this strong desire to paint my house. I know it's not realistic. I don't have a whole lot of extra time or funds to paint a whole house. I keep talking myself out of it, but everyday when I come downstairs I get that thought again that I want to paint. I also want to make curtains. I have a friend who says if I buy a pattern and all the supplies she'd make them for free. I think I need someone to come in my house, look at the architecture of it, and the furniture that I have and then make suggestions about what colors to use on the walls and what type and fabric I should have for the curtains. Because every time I think I could just start a little at a time, I run into the problem of not seeing a big picture of what I even want, so I wouldn't know where to begin. It's a big problem, I know. So I just keep it the way it is and keep dreaming about painting it. Maybe someday I'll get a magazine and see something I like and then, then will be the day I can do it. But for