Friday, June 27, 2008

Finally!







I finally have some pictures to post! Here is the last day of school. We had donuts to celebrate the end of the year! The boys really love donuts.


We have baby birds! At our new house we are building there is a nest in the basement. We didn't get it removed fast enough because we now have babies! Somehow I don't think it is fair for birds to move in before I do, but I don't have the heart to move the nest until they can fly.

Ethan and Eli have become fast friends. They go almost everywhere together, exploring, hunting, playing. It is really cute to watch them and hear them imagine and grow. In these pictures you can also see that they are big helpers when it involves messy paint. Eli has quite the game face!

Ethan's Gymnastics Show

Ethan loves gymnastics. He also had an end of year show where he got to show off his skills. He was so proud of himself. He works hard and is gaining talent and confidence!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Isn't it Friday yet?


Today has been such a lazy day. I have just been chilling out reading, napping, blogging, etc... I did do one productive thing though. I mailed and delivered invitations for a baby shower that Karen and I are having for Hannah. But I didn't do that until noon time and it didn't take long. The boys have happily been playing outside with friends when it's not raining, and watching shows when it is. I'm not sure why I have felt so lazy, but hey... Maybe it's the rain. Either way the boys have been happy to have me so relaxed because it means more 'screen time' for them. Usually we only have about 1 hour between the TV and the computer. (except Sat.) When I decided I just didn't have it in me today, they were so happy. Ethan said, "Woo hoo, I thought screen time was over!"


Tonight will make up for it though. We are going to the house to lay foam down in anticipation of the radiant flooring. Maybe I'll pull things together enough in the next few minutes to have more than sandwiches for dinner.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Confessions of a Slacker Mom

Okay, so sometimes I admit that I am a slacker Mom. I guess I am no longer in the denial phase. I've moved on to acceptance. What comes next? I can' t remember what's after acceptance. Is it learning and becoming better or is it depression? Oh well, I guess I 'll let you know, if I ever move past this phase. Right now I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the let it be phase.
I guess I have come to realize gradually and sometimes very obviously that I am a slacker Mom. How did I become this way? When Benson was little I used to spend almost every waking moment playing with him, reading to him, singing silly songs with him. I rarely let him watch TV. And heaven forbid him having dairy or chocolate before he was 1 (okay, I probably ignored the chocolate thing a couple of times). Now my children ask for a Popsicle while they are out playing and I say something like, "haven't you already had 3 today?" But then I let them have it. Why? It's easy? Sugar keeps them happy? It gives me a few minutes to myself? The last is probably the right one. Popsicles are forbidden inside the house. So if they want to eat one they have to go outside. This allows me to have a quiet house. What do I do while it is peaceful and quiet? Do I clean? Do I make beds? Fold laundry? Start dinner? Oh no, you see these are the things that a healthy, committed Mom would do. Remember, I am a 'Slacker Mom'. I often spend that time on the internet or reading a book or who knows what else, but always something self centered and glutinous. (sometimes I like to sneak ice cream or chocolate from the secret stash!...)
Today's confession is simply this: Today I slept in until 9:00. Meanwhile the boys were running the house. Luckily when I woke up there was no cereal trail down the hall, or milk covered kitchen floor. Just 3 happy children watching TV! Maybe they are getting used to the appropriate behavior while Mom is sleeping. Sad, but true.
My name is Mindy West, and I am a slacker Mom!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Frustration




Okay, so I went to Best Buy today. They, of course do not have the adapter I need. In fact, the "salesboy" thought I was crazy. Probably because he, like I thought that Best Buy carried everything electronic. He laughingly told me to try the internet (all the while thinking that there was no such thing). I have now come home and done some research on the internet as was recommended. I found what I need! Problem? It can take 2-3 weeks before it even ships! Crazy. I did however just check ebay and there are a few there in the buy it now section. I guess I'll order from there. It does mean that I can't transfer my pictures until it comes though. It's good that I have a 1GB memory card!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Life gets in the way

It has been a while since I last posted. Unusual for me, I know. But sometimes life just gets in the way. "The best laid plans..." I have gotten a new digital camera and taken lots of pictures for new blog posts. Unfortunately my computer doesn't have a slot for the new memory card and there is something wrong with my USB drive. So, I keep waiting to post, trying to fix the problem. I have given up fixing it and tomorrow I will be going to Best Buy to purchase an xd memory card adapter in order to read my pictures directly from the memory card.
It has also been a busy week. We had the last day of school and meetings with lots of people for work being done on our house. We picked strawberries, had karate, end of the year gymnastics shows and work at the land. I wanted to post, but life got in the way. So, tomorrow you can expect a nice long post, with lots of pictures and updates....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eli

Eli loves his gymnastics. Last night we were able to go to his end of the season show. Eli got to show his stuff, doing jumps & somersaults and as he calls them, "tricks". At the end he was rewarded with a medal, which he has barely taken off to hang next to his bed while he slept last night. Pretty great!


video

Eli's Gymnastics Show!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Trying the new layout

Okay, so I finally found something that I like reasonalby well for now. I have actually found lots of 'blog skins' but getting them to work on your blog takes a lot of customization. I don't have any coding experience so this makes it even more difficult. So for now, here you have it, unless it is too hard to read. Let me know what you think. The look will hopefully change soon though because I am going to learn more about it and get my husband to help and teach me...

New Blog Design

Ok, I thought it would be simple, but maybe I need a class in coding or something. I am trying to change the look of my blog and finding it easier in theory than in reality. So, consider this blog under maintenance today. Hopefully I will figure this out. I have invested enough time into it that I will not back out until I succeed! Oh the stubborn and the proud!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The other day I received a surprising phone call. A friend from high school had tracked me down. We used to do so much together and yet I haven't seen her for years. I was really happy to get her call and catch up on old times. I was also sad to hear the challenges she has faced over the past year. Sabrina is her name and she has something called aplastic anemia, basically a rare form of blood cancer. She has gone through chemo and radiation and had two bone marrow transplants. In the middle of it all her husband left her and filed for divorce. I wonder sometimes why my life can be so seemingly smooth, while someone else has to suffer so much. I know Heavenly Father loves us both equally. I know he is aware of both of our challenges and circumstances. I have come to a peace in my heart that these things are true and that we all go through different challenges, ones that we are able to handle, but with the end goal being the same. We are expected to use our challenges to come closer to the Lord, to be converted to Him. I want to again share the Gospel with Sabrina. We had many discussions when we were teenagers and I know she has the beginnings of a testimony. I also know that Heavenly Father loves her and wants her to know the truth. There is nothing in this life or the next that can bring her greater peace or happiness than coming to the Lord, through the true church. I now pray that I can know how to share this with her from such a distance. She lives in Kentucky while I am here in Massachusetts. But, I think that she found me again for a reason, more than reminiscing.

While talking to her she gave me her myspace info where she has posted some pictures of us together as teenagers. How embarrassing, but it was the 90's!



Also, I want to share a link for being a bone marrow donor. Talking to someone I know who's life has been saved by someone doing this, opens my eyes to this selfless service...
http://www.cancercenter.com/bone-marrow-transplant.htm?source=googlppc&c=10537:1:1
If this doesn't work as a link then you can always copy and paste...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Fun

It has been so hot here in New England for the past few days. Yesterday and today it had soared to record highs near 100! This is definitely too hot in an area of the country where central air is hardly heard of. We have one room air conditioner which is in the living room, where we now spend most of our time. (I have even been sleeping in there!) Anyway, yesterday we decided it was time to get a pool. Nothing too expensive or permanent, just big enough to get cooled off and have some fun. The boys stayed in it for hours and have master plans of swimming all afternoon, before and after gymnastics today. And if it is anything like yesterday, they will barely get out long enough for their dinner. So fun!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Joys of Boys!

This morning Eli streaked into the living room, stark naked. I was not surprised. This seems to be a daily ritual at our house. No inhibitions or sense of modesty yet. The big boys don't seem to mind either. They know better for themselves, but when it comes to their little brother it seems to be a way for them to live vicariously. Anytime Eli is naked you can hear giggling all around the house. I must admit, sometimes I have to hide a laugh myself. And yes, there are times when I am not so good at hiding my laugh. Like this morning. I asked him to get some underwear on and he came back wearing it like a helmet. He was quite pleased and oh so cute! (I guess I have to start specifying to, "put the underwear on your bum.")



I think it must be a boy thing! Won't their future wives love these pictures?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Kindergarten Graduation

My Little Man

Ethan graduated from Kindergarten last night. I couldn't help wondering at the insanity behind celebrating the beginning of the next 15 years of his life. But then again, I guess we weren't really celebrating that, but the end of a wonderful kindergarten year. This year Ethan has come a long way. He now knows how to read! He now knows how to handle himself outside his comfort zone (32 kids packed into one classroom is definitely not his comfort zone...). He now knows how to better speak up for himself in group situations. What an awful lot to learn. Maybe I should learn a few things from him...

We started off the evening with Julia Hall coming over. She and Ethan are best friends and so cute together. It was nice of her to come watch him graduate. They ate corn dogs outside before we had to go, and donuts after graduation was over. In the car on the way home they laughed and sang and never sat still or remained quiet.



The program included the kids reciting poems from each month of the year and then singing songs, etc... Kindergarten kids are by far my favorite to watch at these things. They aren't self conscious yet and the things they do can be hilarious. You always have the child who picks his nose and the one who scratches private parts. Then there are the ones who wave hysterically at their parents, so cute! Last night Ethan was the one who kept yawning and endured the proceedings when it wasn't his turn to shine. What a cutie. I loved seeing him trying not to smile when he was upfront and center.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

wax on, wax off

Benson is the new Karate Kid!



At least he is around our house. He is now taking Kenpo Karate and loving every minute of it. I love to watch him work so hard toward something. He earned his white belt in class on Monday night and was very proud of himself.



Of course, white is the first color and all he had to do was try his best in one class, but he did it and it has him motivated to earn his yellow belt. I think that Karate will give him something to focus on and set goals with. I never thought I would have all of my younger kids involved in extra curricular activities, but I see the benefits already. They are gaining self confidence and becoming more coordinated. They love having something to learn and feel good about. They also like to show off before bedtime, doing all the tricks they can think of for Daddy. Stall tactic? Probably, but fun all the same!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Never, cont...

I just finished reading Jenn Baird's blog and was reminded of a childhood story. (If you haven't read her posting yet then read it before you read mine, it will make more sense... http://overthinkingeverything.blogspot.com/2008/06/never.html )

I once told my Mom that I "never got to do (fill in the blank) and I always had to do (fill in the blank)." So she told me that she wouldn't want to make me a liar and for the rest of that day I got to follow her around and do all the chores that she was doing. That day I NEVER got to watch TV, I NEVER went outside to play, I NEVER played Barbies with my sister and I NEVER wrestled with my brother. I did get to run around fetching whatever my Mom wanted me to get, I helped sew, I helped do dishes and cook. I dusted, vacuumed, swept the floor, made beds, changed sheets and learned that I NEVER wanted to become a grown up. I probably even said I would NEVER use that punishment on my kids! But, as they are getting older and I am starting to hear some of these same sentiments, I think I may once again copy the wisdom of my mother. Because, after all I am sure that I NEVER said NEVER again!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sudoku

I have added a Sudoku Puzzle to my blog. If you have never tried it before, may I suggest trying it now. A couple of years ago I bought a sudoku game for Andy for Christmas. He was enjoying it so much that I decided to give it a try. I was almost immediately hooked! I found that the game was challenging and fun. It worked my brain and enabled me to do easy or more challenging puzzles. I have spent hours and hours solving these over the past years. I now am able to only spend reasonable amounts of time on them and it provides an exercise for my brain when I pick it up. So, to those of you who are fans and those of you who are fans but don't know it yet; ENJOY!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer Buzz


Yesterday Eli got some really sticky sticky tack stuck in his hair. I took one look and knew it was beyond hope of getting out. This is one area that I am thankful to have boys. All I have to do with a boy is chop the hair off! So, I decided that it was time for all of the boys to get their summer hair cuts. This is the first year that I have buzzed anyone besides Benson. But, as I was cutting ones hair they all decided they wanted a buzz too. So, here you have it. Even Jake, a friend from across the street, got in on the action! It was fun to cut, fun to do silly things in their hair first since it was all coming off and fun to see all the hair pile up on the porch...