Friday, January 31, 2014

Do you ever wonder...

Do you ever wonder what goes through their minds when kids do some of the things they do?
like when they handcuff the refrigerator?
I was a bit puzzled to find my refrigerator handcuffed.
No explanation.
No one confessed to putting them on the doors.
The only thing the refrigerator had done that might be considered criminal
is making me fat!!
(How is that for projecting blame?! Pretty good, huh?)

The younger two kids still get a chore chart.  Grant has the little kid version of a chore chart with pictures.  I started them early doing chores before they could read the words.
 Grace has progressed to a real chore chart.
Some days we get stuff done and marked.  Some days we don't.
Life will not end if the charts don't get marked, but the money ends.
The only way they get paid is if the chart is filled out every day.
I figure they might as well learn early.
What really hurts is when one of them gets an allowance and the other one doesn't.
Life Lesson #1,538
If you want the money, do the work.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's Going On?

We have had a lot of this.

Everyone has been doing a lot of this.
And this.

What's going on here?
All night.  On the cold cold floor.

In the kitchen.  Emily, that is.
Also found in the kitchen...
Chef David fired up his new smoker.

LOTS of this.

Not enough of this.
One room down.  One to go.
I'm a bit sad to see the old paint covered. 

Especially in John's room!
Wish I could peel this off of John's bedroom wall and give it to Grant.
Grant wants a baseball bedroom.

Don't know if I'll ever get David to do another room mural after I paint over the ones on John's walls.
Stay warm!
Gotta get back to my painting!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


She is so proud of her new hardware! 
Her appointment was Monday on MLK Day.  That way she did not mess up her perfect attendance at school.  It has taken a few meals to get the hang of eating with metal in her mouth, but she has tackled every challenge with a smile. (a smile that is getting straighter too!)
Today was the first day back at school after a very long weekend because of the snow we had Tuesday.  See?
Even today the district ran on a two hour delay because of the cold temperatures. It was one degree above zero at eight thirty today when I put John and Emily on the bus.  Boy that one degree made all the difference too!  Almost balmy I'd say!!
Since the kids were out of school Monday and Tuesday we have made some progress on the basement redo.
Emily worked on her new "girls only" closet.  She gave it a fresh coat of paint and we rearranged the shelving in it.
Hopefully we can begin painting bedrooms this week yet.
John is doing well with his braces.  We went Friday for what I thought was supposed to be a new wire.  Instead they put rubber bands on his front six teeth.
Just when he thought we couldn't torture him any more, we found a new way to inflict pain and discomfort upon him.
Imagine the suffering we could cause if we DIDN'T love him so much!!
In other news
(I've always wanted to say that.  It sounds so important.)
Grace took the CogAT test at school back in October.  It is a test of cognitive abilities which is different than a standard achievement test.  The test is used as part of a screening process to select students for the Advanced Placement program.
Though John and Emily both passed this test as third graders, I have to admit I was a bit tentative about whether or not Miss Grace would be so fortunate.
Well, the results are in.  The good news is another Shupe scholar has cleared this academic hurdle.  Grace was accepted into the AP program and will be shifted into AP classes beginning next year.  The great news is that several of her classmates will make the transition too.  Her school is one of the few in the district to test all third graders.  Most schools test only those students who request to be tested.  That means there are a lot of AP kids at our elementary school.  That makes for happy girls because ultimately she doesn't care about AP.  She cares about being with her buddies.
Mom is happy.  Grace is happy.
Life is good.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kid Stuff

Grace informed me a while back that she wanted to grow up.
I asked her how she planned to do that.
The answer was that she would no longer sleep with Big Horse or her stuffed dog (whose name escapes me) or her favorite blanket.

And just like that she put them all in her closet and has not slept with them since.
I made her pose for one last picture before she retired big horse to the closet.
She has slept with this thing for more than five years....since big horse was bigger than Grace herself!

So Grace is growing up.
That's a good thing.
Just as long as she doesn't grow up too fast.
While searching for the old pictures of Big Horse in bed with Grace,
I found some others that I thought I would share as well.

These two have always been best buddies.
I hope they stay best friends through the years!
Tomorrow is Grace's big day.
She is a bit nervous but seems excited too.  She knows she gets a milkshake after each appointment.  That little bit of reward makes the trip not quite so bad.  I started that tradition with John.  I may regret it by the time I get three kids through braces!
Today she picked somewhere to eat as a special treat before going to the orthodontist tomorrow.
She picked Subway.  No wonder she only weighs fifty pounds!
It has been pretty quiet here this weekend.  We did not go to the farm to work, but we have kept busy enough here.  We started painting the bedrooms in the basement for John and Emily.  Both have been asking to redo their rooms for a year.  It has taken me this long to start working on it. 
We also are redoing the closet beneath the stairs for John so he no longer has to share the only other closet in the basement with Emily.  This little tidbit has been a great motivating factor for Emily.  She wants her own closet so badly!  I told her she was going to have to help me with the painting.  She has jumped right in and become quite the painter in order to speed up the process.
If we get things done this week, I will post before and after pictures on the blog.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Standing Sentry for Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
 Except for one sentry who kept watch instead;

 And mamma with her camera decided to snap,
 Grant settled down for a long winter's nap,
On Christmas Eve, David and I watched a movie in our sitting room upstairs after putting the kids to bed.  Grant wanted to wait up for Santa so we allowed him to stay downstairs on the couch.  When I went down to turn off Christmas lights for the evening, this is what I found.
He had his alarm clock on his lap so he would know when it was midnight.
It looks like he fell asleep before Santa got there.
Better luck next year, buddy!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Really Random

Someone in our house has a drinking problem.
Someone has four legs and a tail.
When a beer is opened, Remington sits and stares waiting patiently on his turn.  A puddle of drool can be found on the floor at his feet.  This dog loves his beer.

I didn't get to watch Grace's Thanksgiving play because parents were not invited.  I have however heard every one of her lines many times....too many to count!  She loves to get in character and say her lines as the infamous "Buckshot Granny". 
Doesn't the name just sound like a character Grace should be playing?

Emily catnapping studying hard.
It looks like someone needs to study a little harder in spelling class.
No one would take credit for writing this....

Grant doing his Rambo impersonation even though he has no idea who Rambo is.

What is that he has on his head?
Well, that would be the marking tape we used to mark our new trail.
We spent the last weekend of 2013 cutting trails at the farm.
Grace and Grant worked along with us until their young attention span was distracted by more interesting things like rocks and sticks and orange marking tape.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birthday Boy

Here's the last of the birthday celebration pictures...
Grant wanted to put the candles on his cake.

Those are candles sticking out of Mario's eyes and mouth and buttons.
Why am I not surprised?

The annual "COOLEST  BIRTHDAY CARD" contest continued this year.
The judging of this contest is usually pretty harsh.
The monkey card had a candle on the inside that would light up when the card was opened.When you blew on the candle, the light would go out and the card would play happy birthday.Sadly, this card was not the winner.
The paper airplane card was runner-up this year.  It definitely won on the creativity factor.  Grant had fun putting the paper airplane together and flying it around the house for a few days.

The truck card however was the clear favorite and winner of the contest.
It had monster trucks on it and also played sounds.  How could any card possibly compete with a monster truck birthday card?
 After cards, it was on to presents....
Octonauts of course
Okay, no more birthday pictures.  I'm done.
I promise.
Not much exciting going on here today.
Dogs and cats made their annual trek to the vet for checkups and shots.
We are several hundred dollars poorer now, but we have healthy animals.
That visit has become a painful ritual at the start of each year.  I spend more money on the four pets than I do on the four kids for checkups and shots.  I give the staff a good laugh each year as I tote two cats and two dogs in for a single visit, but why make multiple trips? 
I have more exciting things to do
like dry out a basement.
The basement is still drying.  Walls still read wet on the moisture meter, but slowly we are getting things put back together.  I think we will be able to save the pad under the carpet without having to rip it up.  I am hopeful the walls will continue to dry out as well.
John was home again today.  I think he could have gone to school and done fine, but I know there was some adolescent angst over the swelling that was still visible.  I'm not too concerned.  He should be able to catch up with the class soon enough.  He will definitely be attending tomorrow.
Happy Belated Birthday to Grandma.
Somewhere between surgeries and soggy carpets I failed to send you birthday wishes this past weekend.  Love you and hope you had a wonderful day celebrating.
Goodnight all!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Catching Up

Now that life has returned to some degree of normal I thought it was time I catch up on some of the events of the past month that have been completely overlooked until now.

A certain seven year old had a birthday.  Because he is the fourth child and because I am old and tired I have abandoned any delusions of grandeur when it comes to celebrating birthdays.  We went bowling.  Hey, what would I do anyway with a dozen rowdy boys in my house during the holidays?  It is so different than when we had John and Emily's friends over for parties.  In the summer we always marched their friends to the pool for parties.  That's not an option for Grant, so bowling it was!

All but two of his buddies from class were able to attend.  They had a lot of fun bowling.  We asked them to please not send gifts.  I am happy to report that for the first time EVER the parents respected our request.  Not one child came bearing gifts!  I believe the tide of public opinion is beginning to shift when it comes to children's parties and the need for gifts.  I'm glad.  Let the kids have fun while they are together.  They don't need more toys anyway!

Grace came along for the celebration and brought a friend with her for company.
This is Grace bowling and Ella watching her.

I think I should have put on shoes and bowled with them. 
These guys were about my skill level.
I'm not too proud to use the bumpers when bowling!!
Goodnight all!