Thursday, June 30, 2011

The End of the Season

Kade's t-ball season was officially over on Sunday with the award ceremony.  It was during church so we missed it.  The coach's wife took Kade's trophy home with her.  We were supposed to call and go get it, but you know, we got busy and put it off.  There was a game scheduled for today but we thought that was a type-o since the season was over.  Mickey got a text last night saying it was still on.  Good, then we could get the all important trophy.


The game lasted for about 2 minutes (2 batters) because there was lightening in the distance.  The game got called.  We then decided to visit Jan and Doc's to help celebrate Doc's birthday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This evening Kade walked outside to play some football.  Mickey was to follow a few minutes later.  I saw Kade on the deck.  I saw Kade on the grass.  Soon after I turned my head I heard him screaming bloody murder.  He finally made it up the stairs and Mickey met him on the deck.  He pulled him inside and Kade was still screaming.  We could barely understand what he was saying.  The word "stung" was the most clear and he pointed to his leg.  Then he was swatting at his head with a hand and we got "there's a spider on me!".  After reassuring him there was nothing on his head he calmed down a little and we looked at his leg.  It was already swelling.  Then we took at look at his head.  There was a sting site behind his right ear but not much swelling.

I got an ice pack while Mickey took him to the couch to lay down.  Then I went to find some Benadryl, just in case.  We only had capsules.  Kade said he couldn't swallow it so I asked him what he wanted me to mix the medicine up with so he could have some.  He picked chocolate ice cream.  He ate it without any problems.  Kade was still pretty worked up and in pain.  Mickey gave him a priesthood blessing.

I went outside after Kade was settled with a can of Raid to avenge my baby but I couldn't find anything that needed to be killed.

Later the swelling had gone down and Kade was feeling better but the sting site on his leg was still looking puffy.  I made him a paste of baking soda and water and applied it to his stings.  (While doing this I had a memory come to mind when one of us kids got stung at my grandma's house.  She made the paste and put a piece of bread over it and tied it on with a towel.  Looking at the mess dripping on the chair I now know why she put the bread over it.)


It really helped to draw out the venom in his leg.

This is what I think stung him.  If so, I don't know if I really want to be spending much time on the deck until winter.  The kids are already freaked out and say they won't go out back to play.  What a shame.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interesting Combination

Today was the best Tuesday I've had in a L-O-N-G time.

Mickey "had" to come home early from work because someone left her softball gear in his trunk and she had all-star practice this morning.  Now he could have met her at practice, which is between work and home, but he opted to come home because it was so nice out.  (And it was a beautiful day!)  Mickey worked a little more from home and called it a day.

While he worked, Kade and I rode our bikes to his school.  We are planning to ride them every nice day this year.  I figured I had better get Kade trained for it since we have lots of hills on the way.  The way there is more down hill and the ride home was a little difficult.  Kade had to walk up a few hills.  Hence the need for training.

After we got back Mickey became a slave driver, sending us all out to the jungle, or what most people call the yard.  Mickey mowed and edged, Meg picked up sticks and weed-eated, Kade swept up all of Mickey's grass clippings, and I trimmed several bushes that have grown about two feet since I trimmed them last year.  Mattey somehow got out of working.

At one point in the day Kade wanted a sandwich.  This is what he wanted.

Peanut Butter & Pickles

Peanut butter and pickles.  (I think this is so gross.  Now I've never tried it but the title ruins it for me.)  This is something that Mattey and Kade both eat.  They so got it from Mickey.  He got this interesting combination from his grandma.

After the work was done we all went to the pool for a few hours and then picked up some dinner before putting the kids to bed early, or at least earlier then they have been going to bed.  Then Mickey and I could relax and watch an episode of Covert Affairs.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Turtle Races

In the last week of school Kade's class had turtle races.  Kade came home the big winner of four races.  Miss K. dubbed him the King of Turtle Races.  He told us the reason he won, and it's a brilliant reason if I can brag, was because his turtle was the only one with a neck.  See brilliant.

I thought this would make an excellent activity for Family Home Evening.  Dinner wasn't quite ready when our friends arrived so we set them down along with the rest of the family and Kade explained how to make a turtle.  *I'll have to ask him to tell me and I'll put it here later.  He's now zonked out.*

So we had a race.  I didn't get to make a turtle because finishing dinner was hands on so Kade kindly let me use "King Kaden", his winning turtle, in the race.  We had two races.  I won the first.  Mickey won the second.  He and I faced off with our quick turtles and he won by a...are you waiting for me to say neck?  He won by a hair, I tell you.  I want a rematch.

We took some videos but I'm no good at putting them on the blog so I'll have to wait until my tech guy has some time to help me.  For now you'll have to be satisfied with a picture of the turtles.

Turtle Races

King Kaden is the one with red hair and a multi green shell.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quality Mitchell Time

Mickey and I decided to drive to Chicago after church to visit my friend Kate.  It's her birthday.  She had surgery and was still in the hospital.  I felt the need to surprise her with a visit.  Surprise her we did.  I wish I would have had a video camera, or our point and shoot (can you believe I forgot it?), with us to record the scream of surprise.  It was priceless.

While we were visiting with Kate and her family the kids stayed home and played with Mitchell and Tia.  I'm sure he was smothered adored by the kids.  When we came home he seemed pretty happy with all the attention, even when it was past his bed time.  Our kids can't seem to get enough of him.

Mitchell Time

Kade had just been injured so he wasn't up to posing for the picture.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Almost Famous

Earlier this month Mickey got a phone call from a local reporter doing a story on our friend Manti.  He wanted to interview Mickey for the article.  Mickey agreed.

The interview was done over the phone.

Phone Interview

The reporter, Eric Hansen, said he would send Mickey a copy of the magazine when it was printed.  It came in the mail today!  Mickey ripped open the envelope to check out the magazine.  Later he found some time to relax (a little) to actually read the article.

Sports Article

The part of the article regarding Mickey talks about how Mickey met Manti at church, how he treated him as a person and not a star football player, how he cheers for Manti on Saturdays in the fall, and how Manti and his friends come over for Family Home Evening.  If you want to order your own copy here is where you order it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Mickey got a text from our friend Jared.  He wanted to know if we wanted to go see a movie tonight with him and his wife.  Of course we did.  Green Lantern was the movie of choice.  We all enjoyed it.  The best part?  It was totally left open for a sequel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Kinds of Fun

The forecast for today was in the 60s and overcast with scattered rain.  It rained off and on all day.  Not a day for the pool.  I had to come up with something to do with the kids so we'd all be happy.  I decided to take them to a movie.  We went to the Wonderland theatre in Niles.  We saw "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer".  I was worried it'd be dumb but it was alright.  I would put it in the same category as "Ramona and Beezes" (I liked this better than Judy Moody).  After the movie we stopped at McDonald's for 59 cent ice cream cones.

I thought that was enough fun for one day but Mickey thought otherwise.  A wrestling match was needed to complete the day.

Wrestling with the Reds

Kade has the upper hand for a moment but he was on the bottom within a few minutes of the photo being taken.  Meg was on the couch getting video footage with her iPod.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Favorite Thing

...about the public library is the Hold Shelf.  I go on line, pick out a few books I want to read, hit the "place a hold" button, and within a few days they show up on the Hold Shelf.

Here's my books waiting for me.

Hold Shelf

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guest Photographer

I call the picture for today "Back Seat Driver".

Back Seat Driver

Actually the story behind the picture is quite humorous.  It involves Kade, so of course it is.

I had packed the camera to take pictures of Meg and Mickey playing volleyball at church before I had to pick up Mattey from Activity Days.  Kade wanted to take some pictures too so he brought along one of our old point and shoots.  On the way to church Kade says I'll take a picture of you driving and then you can put it on the blog and people will wonder how you took it of yourself.  I had to laugh at his sneaky thinking.  He took a few pictures of me driving and then a dozen of random things on the way.  While at church he and I both took pictures of the volleyball game.  Mine did not turn out.  His were a little better than mine.  So I ended up using his potd idea after all.

Anyone know what intersection we're coming up on?

Monday, June 20, 2011


I have added another chore to the chore chart, shopping buddy.  Kade did this chore today.  Before we left for the store, and while I was doing dishes, I had Kade write up our shopping list.

Shopping List

He knows what letters make what sounds so I helped him sound out the words while he wrote.  While doing this I started thinking how weird the English language really is.  I am a phonetic speller, always have been.  This means that I had to learn that everything is not spelled the way it sounds.  (There are still words that throw me off.)  Why can't it be that way?  It would make things a lot easier.  I had to point this out to Kade while he made the list.

Some of my/our concerns are:  Why does shells need to have two Ls or berry need two Rs when one would suffice?  Why does cheese need three Es when two would make the long E sound?  And why do some words have a silent E to make the long vowel sound and others have another "silent" letter right after it?  I tell you, it's confusing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to our fathers and Mickey.

We started the day off early, for me, with a hot breakfast.  After our church meetings Mickey came home to help me with some desserts for dinner at my parents' house.

Then we called the kids out of quiet time and let Mickey open his gifts.  The theme was golf related items.  Mostly golf shirts (he got 5), a bag of tees wrapped kind of like this, and a putting billiards game.

His best present came later, right before the kids went to bed.


They all gave him a massage.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baby Shower

We had another baby shower at our house today.  I must say our house is a good party place.  This shower was for my sister-in-law.  She and my brother are having their first baby next month.  It's a boy.

This sister-in-law really likes my sewing so I just had to make her something.  I decided on a diaper bag, a changing pad, and a nursing cover.  Somehow I didn't have enough time and I only got the diaper bag done.  Three bags in three weeks is a lot for me along with the craziness of normal life.  I gave her an IOU for the other two things.  They won't take too long and I should have them to her before the baby comes.  She was understanding.

Here's L. opening her gift.


She loved it, of course.

Here's a close up of it.

LeighAnne's Diaper Bag

While the shower was going Meg and Kade both had a game at two different parks.  That meant Mickey was running around a bit.  His parents attended Meg's game and then they all had a late lunch together.  Mat stayed for the shower and got to be chatty with everyone and pass the gifts to her aunt.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Today we finally had the time (meaning no games) and decent weather to go to the pool.

Mattey and Kade figured out how to float.


We all found friends to hang out with.  That was very nice.  When they left things got boring but we stayed another hour since Mickey was out golfing.  Better to use up an hour at the pool swimming instead of fighting at home.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


..for Father's Day.

I bravely took the kids out this afternoon to let them pick out something for Mickey.  I told them to find something they'd like to get and show me.  Luckily I took the camera.

Here's their choices.  (shirt and hat)

Mattey's Choice Kade's Choice Meg's Choice

I think what they picked is fun and hip and Mickey will look so handsome in their choices.  Something tells me he won't think they're all that great.  Good thing we didn't buy them.

The kids also wanted to get Mickey a cotton candy maker, a large snow cone maker (on wheels), a watch, and several colorful dress shirts and ties.  I think what we decided on will be good.  Now we just have to keep the secret until Sunday.

If you had to pick one of the choices which one would you choose?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lunch With Dad

I decided last night we needed to have lunch with Mickey today.  I put it in our shared iCal and knew I didn't even need to let him know.  The calendar would take care of the notification for me.  I planned to go to a place downtown but when we got there it had been renovated and it was now way too swanky to take the kids to.  (Meaning they, and possibly Mickey, probably wouldn't find anything they'd eat on the menu.) So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings instead.  Mickey and Megan love this place.  I've only been once and wasn't too impressed.

Mickey and the kids all ordered Mickey's standard.  Chicken fingers.  He says BWW's are the best.  He would know since that's the thing he orders most when we eat out.

I ordered the grilled chicken wrap.  No sauce.  But I did dip a little into the honey bbq the waiter brought out.  It was good.  I will order it again and again.  The only thing I'd change is not having iceberg lettuce.  I don't even consider that lettuce, just filler.

Grilled Chicken Wrap

Sadly my wrap is the only picture that turned out there.  Oh well.

We had a pretty good time.  Maybe we'll do lunch a couple more times over the summer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Bug Me

We survived the first day of summer vacation without any yelling.  Impressive.  The second day...not so much.  I think everyone was in some sort of relaxed and blissful state with not having school.  It was worn off by this morning.  Business as usual.  Meaning picking on each other, yelling, throwing fits, etc.  Is this how the rest of the summer will be?  I really hope not.

Around lunch time Mattey let out a squeal.  Next thing I know she's running away from the microwave.  I asked her what was wrong and she said there was a huge bug (I think she said hornet) over there.  I saw it and asked for someone to get me a shoe.  No one did.  (So helpful, aren't they?)  While I went to get a shoe the bug moved.  I couldn't find it anywhere and I knew it wasn't a hornet.  Maybe it's a new mutant bug that can disappear.  Even though I said it was gone the reds didn't want to step foot in the kitchen.  I found that to be humorous since it could fly and literally be anywhere in the house.

After a few minutes Mat decided she'd risk it and get lunch.  Kade still wouldn't.  A few minutes later I found the huge bug on the floor.

Don't Bug Me

It looks like an enormous mosquito but I'm not sure what it is.  Can anyone tell me?

I shooed it toward the back door with a shoe.  I got it close enough that when I opened the door it hopped right out.  While doing this I probably let in five other bugs.  It could be a long buggy summer if we keep this up.  The kids will just have to learn to kill them on their own.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey, Manti

The phrase "Hey, Manti" was heard about 2 hundred times tonight from various children, but mostly from Kade.  Manti and his friend Bruce came over for dinner and fhe.  We played Apples to Apples Junior for the activity.  Kade made sure he buddied up with Manti.

Hey, Manti

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bike Riding

Today's weather was so lovely we just had to go out and ride our bikes.  Kade was a little hesitant to ride his because it's been several months since he rode without his training wheels.  After a little coaxing and coaching from dad he was off on his own.  Now his training can begin so he and I can ride bikes to school next year.

Bike riding

Mattey was not so willing.  She took lots and lots of coaxing to get on her bike but she did it.  And she never fell which is encouraging.  Maybe she won't need much of a pep talk next time.

Meg, of course, has been riding her bike fantastically for several years now.  She's probably thinking it's about time the reds catch up with her.  Maybe some family bikes rides are in our future this summer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ward Picnic

Ward Picnic

The picnic for our church congregation was a hit.  There were about 150 people in attendance.  The line for the food was v-e-r-y long.  I made three different desserts and they didn't last long.  In fact there was barely enough food and not enough dogs and burgers so someone had to make a run for more.

Mickey manned one of the grills.

Grill Master

For My Banana Cake Loving Friends

Here is the recipe for the cake.

Here is the recipe I last used for the frosting.  (Special thanks to my friend's mom for the recipe.)

One 8oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used the 1/3 less fat)

1 cup powdered sugar

2 cups Cool Whip (I used the light but I think the fat free might be alright)

Whip the ingredients together and frost the cake.  This will need to stay refrigerated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thank You

School is out.  Summer has begun.

I know most of the kids' teachers don't read our blog (a few do), but I just wanted to put a big gratitude vibe out to all the teachers that have taught our kids this year.  We had some pretty good teachers.  I got to help two fabulous ones.  One of those teachers wanted to express her gratitude and all the students joined in.  Here's my card and lovely note paper with a matching pen.  Love it.

Thank You

I have to share the little purse I whipped up for Kade's teacher.  She loved it.

Miss K's Hobo

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rain Forest

Tonight Meg made, or helped make, a rain forest.  Are you wondering how she might have done this?  Well, I'll tell you.

It all started one day when Megan wanted to learn how to twist balloons like her grandpa.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Blah, blah, blah.  Fast forward to today.  Mickey dropped her off at the Mishawaka public library where the balloon twisters have their monthly meeting.  For the last 3-4 summers the group has been making a large balloon sculpture for the patrons of the library to enjoy.  This year's theme is "One World, Many Stories".  All of the balloon artists made different sculptures to represent different parts of the world.  Megan, with Tio's help, made a rain forest.  It turned out pretty cute.

Rain Forest

Not shown:  an igloo, two pyramids, a teepee with a campfire, a rickshaw, and something else I can't remember.  If you have time in the next couple weeks go check it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kindergarten Cafe

This afternoon I was invited to go to the Kindergarten Cafe with Kade.  I had no idea what to expect since I had never heard of it before.  I walked in the classroom and found Kade sitting at a table with an open seat next to him.  I sat down and was presented with a menu.

Kindergarten Cafe Menu

We chose the first appetizer. On the table was a bucket with Kade's name on it.  Inside were a few papers and other objects in which to do the chosen appetizer and entree.  Kade sped through the addition page.  Then he decided he wanted to count the money in the bucket.  That didn't seem filling enough so he and I wrote a poem.  I really don't think we'd win an award with our poetry.










Then we moved on to the entree.  We picked the third one.  Can you tell he likes math?  He finished that page and on the back of the menu was the dessert options.  We both choose the ice cream sundae over the cupcake.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon, well 30 minutes of it, and see what Kade can do.  Although I already know but this way he can show off a little.

Mattey had an all day field trip to Amish country.  Luckily they had a lot of tours inside so she didn't melt in the 90 degree weather.

Meg had a game tonight.  Mickey was the only one to go.  It was just too hot.  And of course it had to be a good game.  Maybe next time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Relay for Life

Mattey was on student council this year.  For an end of the year activity they planned to have a mini Relay for Life.  At different times throughout the morning all the school participated.  This is a great way to bring the school together to support fighting cancer.  Too bad the temperature was supposed to get up in the mid 90s today.  Yuck.

Kade's class walked at 9:30 but I was going to be hanging with his class for field day later so I didn't go.  I did walk walk with Mat and her class at 11:30.  It was hot and dusty since we walked laps on the ball diamond.  After every lap each child, and some parents, got a bead to go on a bracelet.  Luckily when the 4th graders were done they could go in, clean up a little, and enjoy lunch.

Here's Mattey finishing a lap and had just strung her bead.

Relay for Life

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Trifle

I bought a beautiful hand made glass dish at IKEA and got to use it for Family Home Evening tonight.  I made a brownie trifle.

Brownie Trifle

Here's the recipe:  brownie layer, chocolate pudding layer, strawberry and blueberry layer, cool whip layer, repeat.  It was good.  All of us and two big ball playing guys from ND thought it was delicious.

On a side note, Meg beat one of the big guys from ND in a game of ping pong.  I won't embarrass him by sharing his name but his initials are M.T. (which happen to be part of her initials too).  I can't believe she beat him.  She made sure to write it in her journal.  He's lucky she doesn't have a face book account yet.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our Return normal life.

We drove home and deposited the dirty laundry in the washer.  (I love getting it out of the way as soon as we walk in the door.  One less mess, I guess?)  We planned on picking up the kids right away but Mickey's parents weren't expecting us yet so we killed time by eating a snack/lunch and reading and playing video games.

When we got to Mickey's parents' house the kids weren't ready to leave, of course.  We stayed and chatted for a while.  The kids worked on decorating a box they turned into a car, with the help of Grandpa.

We got the kids packed up and left with a promise of a gift for each upon our return home.  When shown the gift they were not too pleased.  I don't know what they were expecting but it wasn't a yummy treat from Sweden.  But after dinner they all ate part of it and seemed to be happy about it.  (The chocolate was really good.  I'm going to have to add that to my list every time I go to IKEA.)

Swedish Chocolate

We also had a family ping pong tournament.  The tournament is still continuing, according to Megan, so I can't say who won.  But I'll let you guess the ultimate winner.

A BIG thank you to our parents for managing the 3 wild children.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Our Anniversary

We have been married for 18 years now.  Wow!

Mickey lined up some childcare with our parents and we had a quiet weekend together in Schaumburg, IL.  We left last night and had a late dinner at P.F. Chang's.  We were a little disappointed with the meal but the dessert was fabulous.

We stayed at our favorite hotel chain, Homewood Suites.  We started the day off with a yummy breakfast then went to the temple.  It's the place where our marriage started after all.


Then we stopped for lunch at one of our favorite quick eat places...

Jimmy Johns

...before going to a fun place to shop.


We were a little tired from the long day so we went back to the hotel and napped for a while.  Feeling a little refreshed we went to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie


and called it a day.

I told Mickey we should come up with 18 things we have learned in our 18 years of marriage.  He laughed.  I came up with one and then he came up with one.  Is it really sad that we could only come up with two things?  It's not that we couldn't come up with more, we just didn't want to ruin our down time by thinking too deeply.  In case you're wondering what we've learned, here are the profound lessons.

Mickey's:  He has learned to not doubt my home dec choices.

Mine:  I have learned that Mickey is far more capable of doing things, and doing them well, that I don't allow him to do.  An example of this is grocery shopping and cooking dinner.

Happy Anniversary, Babe.  Love you tons.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crows Beware

If anyone would like to hunt some crows let me know.  I have several that I would like to be rid of.  They keep getting into the trash and then I have a mess to clean up.

Crows' Mess

Would you like to clean this up?  I was not happy about it.  I grabbed some gloves so I wouldn't have to touch it.  Who knows what kind of germs those pesky birds have.  Maybe next time I'll plant a bag with food on the top and mix in some poison.  Anyone else have an idea about how to get rid of the crows?  Well, besides the obvious one of sitting on the front porch with a gun.

Can you believe this is coming from someone who doesn't like guns?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fabric Flower

I'm working on a little appreciation gift and had to share a peek.

fabric flower

I just love this flower!  I made it all by myself after watching this video.  I better get back to the studio so I can finish said gift.  I'll post a picture tomorrow after it's been given.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Finished Project:

Black/Purple Hobo

The gift was loved.  Here's the pattern if you'd like to make one.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Happy June!  Only 7 more days of school left.  I'm kind of looking forward to the kids being home.  Well...more like not having to run the kids around and having our own laid back schedule.

One of the things we'll be doing this summer is gardening.  Kade planted some beans in class and we planted them when they made it home.  I wonder if we'll actually get a harvest.  At least the garden plot is manageable, especially for a six-year-old.