J is playing fall baseball this season. This is the first year for kid pitch and last night was J's first time to pitch. B had soccer practice and then make-up work from being home sick for 2 days, A had studying to do, so I didn't go to the game.
A friend took pictures for me.
DH said he did fine. A couple of walks, a couple of hits, several hitters had two strikes. I decided not to ask the score and ask if he had fun pitching. He smiled and said he did!
J decided to take a year off from scouting. I was a bit sad but happy with more time in our schedule. Of course, the second week of school, B came home with the cub scout flyer so excited to join cub scouts. I was hoping for a schedule conflict so I could tell him no, but also feeling guilty that I had given the first two the opportunity to enjoy scouting and I shouldn't deny B. My poor third child.
It all worked out in the end. We're in a den with 8 other boys. I don't know most of them but I think it is good for B to have friends outside of his regular crowd. The timing is fine, Wednesday evenings, twice a month.
Last night was B's first pack meeting. I did make it over to the scouting store in time to get him a uniform shirt. (I'm a meaning and didn't buy the shorts or the socks, his uniform shorts & socks will do.) However, I bought it Friday afternoon and the meeting was Friday night. There was no way I was going to rush around trying to get all of those patches sewn on by 7pm.
I finally convinced B that I would pin them on and he quit fighting me. He was pretty mad that he wasn't going to be in uniform. I waiting until 6:30 and tried to pin them on. Well, I went through 3 safety pins before I gave up and went to duct tape, his sister's blue and purple duct tape. Oh, my poor third child.
Oh, I did not have a happy Tiger Cub! He was so mad and so worried that his patches were going to fall off. I told him to sit still and they would be fine.
See the duct tape.
See his clutching his sleeve to keep them on
His leader turned around and thanked him because he was the most behaved and sat so still through the whole meeting. I guess it was good for something, you can't mess around when you're worried about losing your patches.
so well behaved
His raffle ticket was drawn and he got a prize, a cheetah poster.
His duct taped patches held up pretty well until the end. They had samples of a new popcorn flavor. I tried to hold him back so he didn't have to go through the rush of kids trying to get a sample. However, as we were walking out, I noticed he was missing his den 11 patch. He turned around to look for it and I saw that he was missing his "2" from Pack 712. I got a short "I told you so" speech and he stomped off to look for his patches. We found the 2 but not the Den 11.
First thing this morning, we went back over to the scout store and bought a new patch. Now I have to get them sewn on before Wednesday when he can wear his uniform to school.
I read a lot of blogs. I love the information, recipes, crafts, and ideas I found out there in the blogosphere.
Yesterday I read an blog post on Angry Chicken about a new game, Timeline, that she and her girls have been playing. It sounded like a fun game, and I love games. I jumped on over to Amazon and ordered it right away. This afternoon I found a package on our doorstep. I love Amazon Prime.
I picked up the kids and the cousins after school and told them that they had to come home and play a game with me. Cousin E wasn't thrilled. She doesn't like to play games. I told her it was the price of coming over to our house.
Thankfully, E and the others enjoyed it. It wasn't game torture. J, B & Cousin M even played another round after the first game was done.
I'm so glad I bought the game. It is a quick easy family game for all ages to play.
Last night we had a free night and DH took advantage of it. He cooked his first meal on the Big Green Egg.
Jalapeno poppers were definitely the first thing he was going to make, no question. He asked me what he should cook for the rest of the meal. I requested hamburgers, but not frozed pre-formed patties bought from Costco. Yes, they are convenient and easy and not bad, but I wanted a real burger. I got my wish.
It was a very good dinner. We spent the meal passing around the catalog looking at all of the accessories you can buy to go with the egg. The kids want a pizza stone for pizzas on the grill. I think we need a cast iron grill and plan a steak dinner. DH wants to smoke a pork butt. I can't wait to try them all.
We've been busy. Of course, we've been busy. We're always busy. I checked, I have 66 blog posts with the word "busy".
Here's what's been happening since the weekend.
Friday night, J played baseball and I got to go watch. Here he is at bat and taking his walk.
Saturday night, A baked a cake to celebrate DH's birthday with the family.
The crazy cousin dog Chinook ate part of it. We ate around the dog slobber while enjoying the ND/MichSt game with the cousins and friends.
Today was Big Green Egg Day!
DH is excited. Wowa is excited. I don't know who is more excited. Of course, we were too busy to try it out today but I think we're going to make something on Friday.
While picking up the big green egg, I bought myself an anniversary present.
Yes, we got married 14 years ago today. Of course, we were too busy to celebrate tonight. J had a baseball game and I had a meeting at school for 7th grade parents regarding high school. I thought it was too early for that meeting. I think I was right. DH & I did celebrate with a nice lunch out and then the 'pick up the big green egg' errand.
While photographing the big green egg, I noticed my serious neglect of the garden.
I really need to clean it up. I've been avoiding it with the excuse of avoiding west nile. Too many mosquitos and too hot. Well, the heat has cool off so I think I need to get back too it. Speaking of west nile.
I had the garden trifecta of a hummingbird, a butterfly and a bee all at the same time on my turk's cap. I can only see the butterfly but you have to believe me when I say the others were there too. I haven't seen too many bees since they sprayed for west nile. I'm glad to see they are back. We had a discussing with my mom on Sunday about hummingbirds so it was cool to see one.
Last night DH & I put together the shelf we bought for the legos.
The boxes of legos fit well on the bottom two shelves and there is plenty of space for lego display above. We even have two extra shelves if the boys are especially productive in lego creating and need more room.
It started with trying to get the boys to change their sheets on Sunday. They have bunk beds and I hate changing their sheets, so I'm trying to get them to learn how to do it so I can give up the odious task. They weren't taking to it well and there were lots of complaints. I told them that we could take down the bunk beds and then it would be much easier to make their beds.
Both boys said no because there wouldn't be much room left in their room. I offered to move the train/lego table and the legos out of their room. That wouldn't do either. J did said he wanted some shelves on the wall so he could display his lego creations. My mind started thinking.
A couple times a year, I spent time resorting the legos by kits. It is the virgo in me wanting all the correct pieces together with the instructions. However, it bothered me greatly when a piece was missing and the kits were incomplete. I also found that the boys never played with them. I had all those bags of legos sitting in there collecting dust. Something had to be done. I had to give up on that method of organization and give into sorting by colors.
My friend Susan recently did a display shelf for her kids' legos. She got her idea from pinterest. I did a quick search there on lego storage and came up with this pin, ikea storage with shelves above. I couldn't Tuesday I spent the afternoon with DH helping him navigate the city to do three jobs and stopping at Ikea before picking up the kids.
I was going to copy her idea just as it was, but DH didn't want the permanent, non-flexible shelving. We adjusted our plan.
J, DH and I have spent the time the past two days sorting the legos. That was a job. We have a lot of legos.
Now I'm onto Lego Organization Phase two. But can I convince those boys to actually let me take the bunk beds down? Maybe if I bribe them with promising to always change their sheets.
Yesterday was DH's birthday. Our week is crazy busy and we discussed when to celebrate and couldn't come up with a time. Yesterday we had homework, A's volleyball practice, B's first cub scout meeting, my church women's group meeting and an alumni event at Jesuit for DH, all overlapping in time. There was not enough time for dinner out.
The kids and I decided to make Daddy a nice breakfast instead. I got up before 6am and headed to the store. He got fried eggs, bacon and sausage, mini donuts, english muffins and orange juice. I didn't take pictures but it was a lot of work cooking all of that food plus making lunches and making sure the kids B got ready for school. The kids loved the leftovers from breakfast but I hope they don't get used to it. It was back to cold cereal this morning.
DH & I went out to lunch a new to us Mexican restaurant, Agave Azul, in downtown Carrollton.
It was good. We had a gift certificate that we hadn't used and we have some left over, so we will definitely go back.
After school DH got to open presents. Or close his eyes while we placed the next unwrapped present in his lap. We didn't have time to and nobody wanted to actually wrap.
You see he got a 20 pk of miller lite*, peanut m&ms*, ding-dongs*, a bottle of tide boost**, sunflower seeds*, new camp chairs, a corded drill and nut drivers.
* The children picked out these gifts because they are what Daddy or they like. Miller Lite, Daddy likes. Ding-dongs, the children like.
** This was just something that I purchased at Target along with the rest of the stuff because we were out, but the kids thought it was funny and gifted him with it anyway.
DH and I ended up skipping our meetings and we had a late dinner after cub scouts and volleyball. We planned to have a cake with the cousins on Saturday when we get together for the ND/Michigan game. The kids decided that we had to sing happy birthday so we had a ding-dong cake instead.
Our dryer has been acting up. It randomly shuts off mid-cycle. It is annoying, especially when you put school uniforms in at 10pm and got to bed expecting them to be dry in the morning. I woke up at 5am wondering if I needed to go check. I spent a half hour trying to go back to sleep assuring myself that it wouldn't happen. I finally gave in, walked across the house to check and, sure enough, found damp uniforms in the dryer.
Annoyance caused me to start googling issues with our 13 year old dryer. We got it when we purchased our first house in 1999. It has never had a problem before now. Most of google pointed to the motor overheating and shutting down. Motor overheating causes were generally attributed to lint buildup.
I clean the lint screen after every load, but we never opened up the dryer and cleaned the whole thing out. While I made lunches, I watched youtube videos on how to clean the dryer. Of couse I can't find the link to the video I found that featured our exact dryer and showed me what to do. Once the morning had settled down, I asked DH where his nut drivers or socket set was. I think that scared him because he elected to help me.
I think DH thought this was a fruitless endeavor. We clean the lint trap, we should be fine. Nope. Once we opened the front panel, there was a layer of lint inside the dryer. Next we removed the lint trap. Wow!
I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but there was at least an inch or more of lint built up in the trap. It was so thick, I had to use a spoon to scoop it out of the crevices.
After cleaning out the lint, it stopped on my first trial run. So much for cleaning out the lint. I started researching motors, thermostats and replacement. I'm comparing the cost of calling a repairman v the cost of parts & shipping for DH to repair it (and not being completely sure exactly what is wrong) v the price of replacement. I'm leaning toward replacement but I'm not sure. I guess I'll just keep pushing it until it completely dies and make that decision later.
It was a gorgeous weekend, temps in the 80s, sunshine and pretty. That was good because fall sports have started.
A is playing volleyball again. J is playing baseball. B is playing soccer and flag football. J opted out of soccer and his baseball games are all during the week, so our Saturday schedule should be easier this season.
The second picture was their first offensive play of the game. Hand off to B and he ran the whole field for a touchdown. I watched instead of taking more pictures. They played against Jerry Jones, Jr.'s flag football team. B was excited, he wanted to do well against the Mean Machine aka Cowboys Jr. No star painted in the middle of the field this time. They played well and won 20-6.
B's first soccer game, second one was cancelled for field conditions. They won 5-1. I talked through this game and only got a picture of the good game/hand slap at the end.
Volleyball didn't go so well. They've only had one practice so far and it showed. The coach is kind of very serious. He sent out a long email last night talking serve percentages, positioning, returns, etc. He also said that if you don't come to practice, you will sit out. Well, A has a conflict with dance class on Monday nights. I told the AD type guy before try-outs that she would not be able to practice on Monday nights. I sent a nice email to the coach saying we would try to get her to some Monday practices but wouldn't be able to make them all. Hopefully she isn't punished too much.
No pictures of J's baseball game. I didn't make it because I had to take B to flag football practice. I'll have to have DH take some pictures at the next one.
We've had Sprint cell phone service for ages, since 1997. My first cell phone was with Sprint because BIL was in one of those pyramid marketing things. I needed a cell phone. He was selling them. It worked. We stuck with Sprint all these years because DH had a job back in 2000 that gave us a significant discount and they never took it away.
Sprint service was good for awhile, but it has gotten worse. Our kids started school and we discovered that you can't get a signal in a 3 block radius of the school. We called to complain and were told that it was a known area with poor signal and there was no intention of improvement. But we still had that discount, so we stuck with it. Then the signal at our house degraded. They gave us a signal booster to keep at home which helped, but still, we weren't happy.
Recently a series of events has made us think about finally moving on. The discount was changed and only applied to DH's phone service. Not so great anymore. DH's very old blackberry started running through batteries. The Galaxy S3 came out. My boss got one and raved about it. I had phone envy. The lawsuit v Apple went in favor of Apple and there was talk of removing the phones from service.
Yesterday, mid-morning, DH asked me if I wanted to go get a new phone. I said heck, yeah and I did. A shiny new white Galaxy S3. So far I'm very happy with it. DH has phone envy now, but he is holding out until the new Apple iPhone 5 comes out before he decides what he wants to get.
We came home and took this picture of our history of cell phones.
One is missing. I had a palm pre between the silver and black sanyo flip phone and the epic. The kids came home to see all those cell phones sitting out. B picked up the first one, an old motorola flip phone. He opened it and said something was wrong with it, it didn't have a screen. DH told them we were going to take them into the cell phone store and get money for them. A said we should keep that old motorola because it definitely belongs in a museum.
Yesterday was tough. Mr. Kittle and crew showed up before 8am. They worked until after 8pm. It was a long super hot day.
It didn't go smoothly.
First we planned on replacing our two 2 ton furnaces with one 5 ton furnace. Mr. Kittle discovered that we had two 3 ton furnaces and we had to replace with two new 3 ton furnaces. We couldn't go down in size because it would reduce our air flow. I don't actually truly understand what all that means. I think it means it will cost more but I haven't gotten the bill yet. I will stay in ignorant bliss as long as I can. I do know that since we stayed with the two furnace configuration, we didn't have to replace the duct work, so maybe we saved money that way? A girl can hope.
Second, it is difficult removing two old furnaces from the attic. The helper figured that out.
Yes, the helper's leg went through the ceiling. He was alright, no harm done. Our ceiling and attic stair did not fair as well.
I was very cranky. I had maybe 3 hours of sleep on Monday night. I was actually happy to go to B's soccer practice and sit out because in the shade with the breeze it felt nicer than inside our house. When I got home it was 93 degrees inside. I have no picture proof because I was too darm cranky to stop and take one. I almost lost it at 7:30 and was starting to think about going to a hotel. I think Mr. Kittle knew how close to the edge I was. He started up the a/c and air was blowing by 7:45. It wasn't cool yet, but it was blowing.
This morning, the thermostat registered 71. Lovely! I slept with a blanket on. Lovely!
Mr. Kittle sent a painter over this morning to repair the ceiling. The wallboard is taped and bedded. He'll be back tomorrow to texture and paint.
Right now we're relaxing in 78 degree indoor temperature.
I'm so glad we survived the Big A/C Failure of 2012.
Or we're glad we went out of town because we didn't have air conditioning.
As our previous post stated, our a/c went out last week. We already had plans to go out of town for SIL & BIL's wedding vow renewal in Eureka Springs and a quick trip to the lake for Great Grandma's birthday party.
After suffering through a long night we got up early on Thursday morning and headed out for Arkansas. We stayed at the Crescent Hotel again.
We got there in midafternoon. We visited with family and then went out for dinner. DH took this picture of the kids dressed up.
Hurricane Isaac reached Arkansas about the same time we did. It misted and rained for the next two days. It wasn't too bad and the kids got to enjoy running around in the woods, finding paths and sighting foxes and deer.
(Of course, that led to this post. I pulled 11 ticks off the boys, most of them located in the nether regions.)
Friday afternoon some of us headed into town to go shopping.
A got a sip of water from the fountain that is sourced from the springs in Eureka Springs.
We stopped at the LYS but it was closed.
We waiting in a downpour at the trolley stop for a ride back to the hotel. It was one of the few times all weekend when it rained hard. Lucky for us, Aunt Sherry and Uncle Al drove by and picked us up.
Friday night was the vow renewal ceremony. I was the official photographer. I was quite nervous, because although I like taking pictures, I am by no means a professional. I mentioned to A that I was a worried about how they would turn out. She told me that I'm not a professional and I wasn't getting paid, so just to do my best and it will be better than no pictures at all. Sounds like a parent advising a child. I listened and took a bunch of pictures and most of them turned out just fine.
Since I was taking pictures with BIL's camera, I didn't take many pictures at the reception. I did get this blurry shot of DH teaching A to swing dance.
Saturday morning we headed out to the lake. Hurricane Isaac reached MO just about the same time we did. We hung out under the cover of the dock
B amused himself (and everyone else) dancing to the music on the boat.
Luckily Sunday was a much nicer day. There was plenty of fun to be had.
Kids played on the hotdog.
A water skiied
DH water skiied and got up on slalom.
B practiced diving
Kids went hotdogging behind BIL's boat.
Yesterday, we packed up and headed back home. Kids were sad to leave the lake and go back to school. I was sad to leave the lake and go back to a house with no a/c.
It wasn't pleasant last night. This picture was taken at 9pm.
The second at attempt at homemade a/c didn't work any better than the first.
It wasn't pleasant this morning. This picture was taken at 7:30. No one got a good night sleep.
Mr. Kittle has been here since 8:00 am and I don't think we're anywhere near close to being done. It is suppose to hit 101 today. I am just darn hot.