Monday, November 30, 2015

Look what I just found

Here's your crack-me-up moment for your Monday:

That was taken in late April of 2011. I saw it on the blog this morning and was overcome by, "omigoshsooooocuuuuute!" 

I thought I should probably share. You're welcome. 

Frosty the ... leaves?!

Now wouldn't that just be the most infuriating jigsaw puzzle?

I bet Olaf (Dada's car) was tickled to be in the garage last night and not out where the Frost Fairies could get him. The boys were delighted to breathe on the leaves to defrost them this morning while we waited for the bus. Sorry to those of you who are getting tired of seeing sunshine through tree and field across from our house photos. I can't seem to help myself. 

Happy last day of November, everyone! 

Then and Now

Most of you will have guessed that the above picture is of my beloved husband. It was taken at Thanksgiving when he was five years old.

Since their birthdays are only a week apart (though there are a few years between those few days, hehe), we decided to take a picture of OUR five year old at Thanksgiving:

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but I'm pretty sure we have to claim him...

Thanksgiving 2015

Sorry in advance if this is choppy; I'm cleaning in bouts where photos load and things of that nature, so I'm bopping in and out of my chair while blasting our Pitbull station. I have the dishes drying, clothes in the dryer, a toilet bowl soaking, a heater vent freshly scrubbed and also drying, etc.

We traveled to Indiana to visit our family there. The kids had a great time playing with cousins Lizzie and Zach, especially as there were Nerf guns to be shared. I honestly couldn't count how many squishy bullets were fired past, over, around, and off of each person there. I suppose with three boys ten and under plus two girls there will be things of that nature happening, hehe.

That will kind of give you a glimpse of the three days we spent. Damon "helped" with bread cubes for the stuffing, the girls baked pumpkin pies, Becky started the bird single-handedly as the guys were off at a CrossFit challenge which involved way more running, pushups, pullups, and other ridiculousness than should ever happen on a day devoted to serious eating. 

Movies happened, art happened, games happened, shopping on Black Friday happened, and we not only escaped awful traffic both to and fro, we missed any bad weather. The snow they'd gotten came before we got there and it disappeared completely thanks to temps in the high 50s and the soft rain that fell on Friday. 

We even managed to stop at some shoppes on our way home and hit some great Black Friday deals at JCPenney, so merry early Christmas to us. Win! We have friends who joked years ago about "if you survive more than 10-15 years of marriage you should get to have another party and register for replacement Stuff because everything quits working and you need to replace it all around then..." We took their advice. *wink wink*

So super big thanks to Uncle Kelly, Aunt Becky, Lizzie and Zach for hosting. We were blessed by your hospitality, yummy food, and laughs. We love you. 

Hoping all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving with far too much food, wonderful company, and a realization of your blessings. I'd love to hear about yours. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What difference could two days make?

I did not forget completely about my mid-month photos of the boys. These were taken November 19 on the way to the bus. Yes, Liam is indeed wearing a cape and Damon is in his Superman Halloween costume. No, I haven't lost my mind completely. It was Superhero day during Spirit week, so we went for it and seized the day.

Can I just mention for all of posterity that sunshine makes me giddy? I remember having to sing John Denver's "Sunshine On My Shoulders" in 7th grade choir, and I thought our teacher was an idiot. Who thinks having lyrics like "sunshine almost always makes me high" and junior high school students within the same acreage sounds like a good idea? Sheesh.

Anyway, now that I'm a grown up (yegods!), I get it. Sunshine really does make everything else more bearable. Even winter. Even in Ohio.

And then, helloooooooooo snow on November 21!

It really only dusted so I shouldn't complain. The plows were out to take care of the 3-4 inches Aunt Becky and Uncle Kelly got in Indiana, and she reported that it hit 3 degrees that Saturday. THREE. 

That is NOT okay. 

Anyway, all of it is gone both here and there, and good riddance. 

The Triskal Edition

No, no, she's fine, no panicking. Sweet old Triskal will be 10 on the Ides of December, and I thought I should get some fun pictures up to commemorate the last few weeks of our resident nine-year-old:

The last time my Mommee visited, she mentioned that we should get Triskal a bumper to cushion her from the cold walls. This is how Triskal uses her bumper, which is a sheet-wrapped noodle that had been a draft blocker in a previous life:

We didn't shave her this summer, which I regret. I took some scissors to her in the last two weeks a few times and am pretty pleased with the end result. I was hoping for less mud/rain/leaves/mess to be brought in. I will spare you the grossness of the visual aid displaying the difference between where her rubber mat covers the floor and our non-covered carpet. Icky.

Damon saw this photo and said, "just the deck." I said, "look again," and he cheerfully corrected himself, "oh, it's a clue!"

Monday, November 09, 2015

Sit sit sit...

Incoming more karate graduation pictures. The big kids are in the middle of a double cycle of their green belts, but Damon graduated from orange with honors to purple belt. And that means all three kids will be in the same class for the next three months!! WAHOOOOOOO!!

And that, my friends, is the sound of one thrilled Mama who will not have to drive to the next town away every single day of the week. Until February, anyway. YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

I'm a little excited, can you tell? We might even end up going only twice a week when the weather is bad. Can I just mention how over the moon I am about that!?

Anyway, back to show off their hard work instead of me.

I know what you're thinking. That brown girl, otherwise known as the lovely Nina, isn't ours, as much as I'd like to claim her. However, you gotta see her kick like a girl:

Check her OUT! 

I'm so proud.

And here is Liam, getting some great air himself:

Above, our friend Mr. Foulke, who is one of the instructors and who just received his 2nd degree black belt. Talk about fun to watch!

And here are Nina and Jonathan showing off capturing and escaping skills. Waaaaaay a lot of glee on that girl's face.

I really get a kick out of watching the instructors enjoy themselves. I know that feeling of gratification when the students "get it" and can show off. It was great watching these guys just beaming at the results of their students' hard work and dedication. It's one of my favorite things to see at the graduation ceremonies.

This is a shot of a higher belt class doing a long combination. I liked the high kicks and high hair, hehe!

There was a rather dramatic moment of despair when one made a mistake. Some of us are still learning that everyone makes mistakes. Some of us absolutely hate making mistakes and are harder on ourselves when we make one. 

But, someone was really proud to receive his honors medal for turning in more than three of the types of homework and his certificate and new belt. 

And then someone borrowed Mr. Foulke's brand new practice sword.
Can you just see him at 15?

And a photo op with the instructor is an absolute must. 

It's been a long year. This summer, we'd do karate in the mornings and then hit the pool with Nina and Jonathan afterwards. Early fall, Liam would get his reading-aloud minutes in the car on the way to karate. Now it's dark all the time and it's making it harder to get work done en route, because flashlights are super distracting to the driver (in OUR car, anyways. Dunno how y'all handle it.) We're trucking along, but as I've already stated, I am thrilled that we won't be making a million trips a week in icky weather regardless of the good things we're reaping from the lessons. 

I think we definitely have honed more of a focus awareness, which is great, and we're starting to see how long it takes to really become good at something, which we hadn't experienced very much of until now. 

Karate has been teaching us good things, the self-defense part of it being the smallest aspect, in my book. I love that they encourage reading and being read to, helping others, taking care of what you're supposed to be doing anyway, and more. It's been a very well-rounding tool for our kids and I'd definitely recommend it to others. 

Frosty colors

For those of you getting tired of nature photographs, I apologize. It's just that the colors are what I like best about autumn, and since I don't like autumn very much at all because of what comes after it, I try to suck up as many of the colors as I can. Which means you will have to suck it up. Sorry.

This is what it looks like now around here, going into the second week of Movember. Yes, that was deliberate. No-shave-Movember, remember? To be used to promote awareness of guys' health issues and reminders to make those yearly checkup appointments. That's your PSA for the day. Go call. Then come back to read more blog. I'll wait.

Done? K.

We have a large pretzel container in which we keep all the kitchen compost mess before it migrates out to the compost bin or the heap by the creek. We asked Carrie to go dump it, please, and this is how she showed up, all prepared to do the job right. The "light saber" is actually a flashlight as it was already dark when we asked her to trek out to dump it...

Good old Darth Vader to the rescue!

Friday, November 06, 2015

In honor of Grammy

Yesterday would have been my Grammy's 94th birthday. She was pretty fond of critters, big and small. Maybe that's why I saw so many of them out and about. 

At the bus stop, Carrie and I looked across the street as the bus approached, and three deer were hanging out in the winter wheat. Thankfully, they stayed put and didn't try to cross through the traffic behind the bus. They were even there long enough for me to get back in the house, tell the boys to get moving and grab the camera before dashing back out to get some pictures. Sorry about the quality. This first one was auto contrasted by the computer and it helps a little tiny bit:

The sky and humidity reminded me of the mornings we experienced camping in Hawaii. Such soft pastels and warm wind. Again, I'll take it!

I heard lots of chittering and gnawing out back. This little guy was way up high, making enough racket to be easily found:

Dang it, the yellow jacket who's been zooming around in the house is still here... I am much less tolerant of bugs in the house, grrr!

Anyway, not often I get to hang clothes out in November, but I got four days of it, baby!

Something or Somebody is wearing a path from the creek to the apple trees. Or the other way around. It smelled pretty interesting to Triskal this morning, Whoever or Whatever it was.

And the poor garden is yielding dandelions:

And grasshoppers. Boy, this one was active!

What's left of the tomaters:

Still leaves on trees. And needles, I suppose. 

That's all for now. Must go commit insecticide...