I’ve always loved to read. It’s something I’ve tried to instill in my kids. And, I think I’m succeeding. But, I’m not sure if it’s because of me, or all the rewards they get for reading.Example #1: Every year in the spring, the kids take part in the Six Flags Reading Club. If they read 6 hours over a 5 week period, they get a free ticket to Six Flags. Not too shabby, and way easier when your kids read independently. (It means I don’t have to read out loud for 6 hours to get them a free ticket!)Example #2: Every month during the school year, the kids participate in the Book It program from Pizza hut. They read a predetermined number of minutes or books, and they get a free personal pan pizza. Woo hoo, one less night I have to cook!Example #3: My newest discovery is Reading with Ringling Bros. I was at the library with the kids today and noticed that they had a sign for a reading club where the kids get a free ticket to the circus for reading a certain amount. I asked the librarian, and discovered that if the kids read 5 books, they could get the free ticket. Since my kids had read 5 books already this summer, she stamped 5 boxes on 3 vouchers, and we’re golden. How awesome is that?Okay, I’ll admit that once you factor in the amount of money I’LL have to spend to get into these events, it’s not exactly “free.” But, at least the kids love to read, right?!? I guess it pays to be literate!
We just got home from the church where Robbie had his baptismal interview. I can’t believe my baby will by 8 in 2 weeks! Robbie was really nervous about the interview. I don’t blame him. I know our bishop. He’s pretty tough! Robbie came out all smiles and said “I passed!” I just giggled to myself. Does anyone NOT pass? But he was so proud of himself. He was telling me all the stuff Jon asked him, and my favorite was about the Word of Wisdom. Jon asked him what things were good for his body and what things were bad. Robbie then told me that yesterday, they were getting soda at the store, and Emily wanted the orange soda that has caffeine. But Robbie referred to it as “the soda with drugs in it.” He makes me laugh. (Mom, I’m not sure you should let Robbie see your Dr. Pepper . . . )Anyway, since Robbie passed:-) he will be baptized on Saturday, August 9th at 4:00 at the Fort Worth Stake Center. If anyone wants to come, you are all welcome. If you need directions, just let me know and I’ll get them for you. I’d post a link to the address, but frankly, I’m too lazy. (Well, that and Kelsey keeps pushing the keyboard away and it’s really hard to type!) We hope to see some of you there. (Unless you live in North Carolina, then we won’t hold a grudge if you don’t come! We’ll even post some pictures for you!)
With the summer, the shows on TV we watch are drastically reduced. And by reduced, I mean we have one show. I was getting tired of ESPN and movies, and I’ve always wanted to watch Monk. So, I recorded a bunch of them. Needless to say, I really like the show. I mean, what’s not to love? Monk is a neurotic neat-freak. Sound familiar? On one of the episodes I was watching tonight, he was polishing light bulbs. As I was doing the dishes tonight, I realized there is a reason I like this show. For example:1. I am a pre-washer. Before I put dishes in the dishwasher, I pre-wash them. And, I’m not talking just rinsing off. I am the only one who can tell you if the dishes are dirty or clean, because they always look clean. Tonight, as I was rinsing off the dishes, I noticed one of my plates still had some sour cream on it. Did I leave it? Nope. I compulsively had to rewash it.2. After the dishes were done, I had to take out the trash. But first? I had to pull out my anti-bacterial wipes and wipe it down. I’ve become a little addicted to those.3. I cleaned the bathroom this week. It’s become much easier thanks to the aforementioned wipes. But, every time I clean the bathroom, I clean the baseboards too. It’s just so sad.So, I think I need to go see about my light bulbs. Sigh.
Today Jon and I are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary. Can you believe he’s put up with me that long? Look how young we were!
I went looking for a card, and found this one. I couldn’t resist!Of course, I bought a serious card too, but you don’t get to see that one! [You may not want to read any further unless you are Jon, because it might cause some of the same reaction!] But, I am so grateful for the last nine years, because I’ve gotten to spend them with Jon. We’ve had 4 kids, bought 2 houses and 3 cars, Jon’s had 6 different jobs, we served in too many different callings to count, we’ve laughed and cried and not gotten nearly enough sleep. We’ve had ups and downs, but thankfully more ups than downs. Jon has been my shoulder to lean on, and the one who makes me happy when I’m sad. He comes home every day from work, and instead of plopping on the couch to watch sports (what I’m sure he would like to do), plays with the kids so that I can have a break. He supports me in whatever crazy thing I want to do, even if it involves gluing 100 bows on 100 handouts at 11:30 on Saturday night. He goes to work every day, and takes care of our family. He is a faithful priesthood holder who can bless our children when they are sick and baptize them when they turn 8. So, thank you, Jon, for everything. I am grateful for the last 9 years! I love you more than anything! Happy Anniversary!
So, Kelsey came down with the fun throwing up bug. My favorite! So, she hasn’t been feeling very well. This morning, she just sat on the couch for about an hour and a half. I asked Emily if she would get her a few books to look at. Emily decided to magnify her calling and spent about 1/2 hour reading to Kelsey. It was so sweet! She did the same thing this afternoon after Kelsey woke up from her nap. What a nice sister! Oh, and Kelsey is feeling much better! Yay!
The sound of summer at my house has been like this: Quiet (as the kids watch TV), arguing (over what to watch on TV), quiet (as they become zombies and watch more TV), arguing (because Adam walked in front of the TV and Robbie can no longer see), more quiet, arguing . . . You get the idea. I’m sure it’s pretty typical of most homes in the summer that the TV gets left on longer and longer as Mom’s patience wears thinner and thinner. But, I was tired of the kids sitting around doing nothing, and I was tired of the arguing. So, we’re having a “No TV” week at our house. I’ll be honest. It was my idea, so I’m totally on board. But I was not really excited. That meant I had to entertain the kids ALL DAY. But it has been great. (I’m really tired, but it’s great!) The kids play together and are actually being nicer to each other. Amazing! A sister in our ward says that she instituted “No TV days” at her house. I think that may go into effect next week. Pretty cool!As for the sights of summer? Well, I walked into Wal-Mart today and was cruising the aisles. Do you know what I saw? School Supplies. In July. We should still have at least 3 weeks before we even need to worry about school. Thanks for sucking the joy out of summer Wal-Mart. On the plus side, I did let the kids each get a new pack of crayons and a notebook to color in. The cost? A whopping $0.27 each. You can’t beat that! It might even have kept my kids entertained for 2 or 3 minutes. 😉
Jon grew up in a little Texan town called Granbury. It is not quite as little anymore, but still has that small-town feel. We spend pretty much every 4th of July in Granbury. They have a parade, which is basically the high school marching band and every fire truck in the county. It’s great! They have arts and crafts vendors who come and set up shop around the courthouse on the “Square”. There’s funnel cake and kettle corn. At one of the parks, they have kids stuff. At night, they shoot of a great fireworks display over the lake. I just love it! Here are a few highlights from this year:
*NO PARADE! Okay, this wasn’t a highlight. I was actually really upset. Apparently, the planners decided they would bring in more business if they did the parade on Saturday. What?!? I am really disgruntled. Maybe enough to write a letter telling them that they killed my joy in Independence Day. Okay, maybe I’m not THAT disgruntled. But seriously!
*Throwing rocks in the ditch. Not really a 4th of July thing. More like something we do every time we go to Granbury. But the kids love it!
*Playing on the slip n’ slide. Robbie & Emily lasted until they got hurt. Kelsey wouldn’t get out of her pool for fear someone else would climb in. (She also had this great alarm system where she would screech loudly if anyone came too close to HER pool.) Adam LOVED the slip n’ slide, and was really good at it.
*The kids driving Uncle George’s golf cart around the block. (My Mom asked Robbie last week if he was going to drive us home. He looked at her and said, “I can’t drive a car. But I can drive a golf cart.” So, in case of an emergency, we just have to find a golf cart . . . )
*My Mom, Jennie & BJ (my little sis and her husband) came down for a short visit. We went to the square to see all the vendors and eat funnel cake. If anyone needs any longhorns, tie dyed socks, jerky, cheap sunglasses, or a decorative rock, let me know and I’ll get you one next year!
*Playing in the tree. The things that entertain kids . . .
*Waiting for the fireworks and playing with our glow sticks.
All in all, it was a fun day! Thanks Mama & Papa Gee for letting us invade! Happy Belated 4th of July!
She’s finally here! My newest niece, Lisa (daughter of my sister Randi and her husband CJ), arrived this morning at 7:42, weighing 6 lbs. 11 oz and measuring 19 1/2 inches long. She’s so cute and teeny! She has a little bit of dark hair, a birth mark on her head (that no one will probably ever see except while she’s bald), and CJ and Dad’s monkey toes! The best part though was watching Mary with her new sister. She already loves her. At one point, someone tried to take Lisa out of Mary’s arms, and Mary tightened her arms up and pulled her closer. She is going to be such a good helper! Here’s a few pictures and a cute video!
My kids are making me nuts. That just must mean that summer is almost over and they are getting ready to go back to school. Right? What?!? I still have almost 2 months of summer?!? Seriously?!? In an effort to keep myself sane, (and hopefully have the kids keep all their limbs), I reinstated my summer schedule. It looks like this: Monday-Swimming, Tuesday-Free Kids Movies, Wednesday-Library, Thursday-Field Trip, Friday-Fun Activities at home. So far, it’s been fun (and exhausting!). We’ve also had a few other fun activities thrown in.Last Thursday night, my next door neighbor Steve knocked on our door and presented us with 8 tickets to Concerts in the Garden. Steve plays violin for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, which is pretty cool for us. (We mow his lawn for him, and he gives us tickets. Pretty sweet deal!) Anyway, Concerts in the Garden is where the orchestra sets up in the Botanical Gardens, and plays an outdoor concert with some sort of theme. Everyone brings lawn chairs and blankets and basically has a picnic and listens to the music. Our favorite concert is the laser show where they play the theme songs from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Spiderman, Superman, E.T, Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc. set to lasers and fireworks at the end. And that’s the one we saw. So totally cool. Since kids 10 and under are free, we had enough tickets for my family to go. Here’s a few pictures:On Monday, despite the fact that it was almost July, Randi and I braved the zoo for probably the last time this summer. And it was great!Then, today we went berry picking! I totally meant to get some pictures, but didn’t want to walk all the way to the car to get my camera! I know, I’m so lazy! But the kids were funny. Robbie kept hugging me and telling me that he loved being together as a family and picking berries. Emily (about 1/2 way through picking blueberries) began whining that she was hot and wanted to go home (but before that she was a great berry picker!). Adam decided he loves blueberries and kept eating them off the bushes. He ended up with a blue mouth. And for the first 20 minutes of picking blackberries, Kelsey followed me around with her little bucket. I would ask her if she wanted a berry, she’d say yes, I’d put one in her bucket and she’d say thank you. So, seriously cute!So, that’s the fun we’ve been having the last couple of weeks. I’m a little tired . . . How long did you say summer was?!? I think I need a nap . . .