Friday, April 30, 2010

My New Office Unit

I am so very blessed, to have such a talented husband. He has worked so hard and made so many of my dreams come true. Recently he custom-built an office unit that fits perfectly in my little office area. It is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! and just what I had in mind when we first designed our house. I am very happy with how it all came together.

This was also a school assignment for Luke. He built one set of the drawers all on his own. He's seen his dad at work in the workshop enough to have a working knowledge of the tools and materials needed. Other than some extra instruction when dovetailing the drawers, Luke created his section completely on his own.

Unfortunately, I lost the before pictures, but here is the AFTER picture:

A big improvement, don't you agree? I'm lovin' it!

Spring Birthdays

Esther turned 9 in March. She is becoming such a lady. Because we were getting ready for our roadtrip, her birthday celebration was a whirlwind this year. I didn't even get an 'official' birthday photo of her - guess we'll have to do a summer photo shoot - I think everyone needs to have their portraits updated, anyway.

Her Birthday cake this year was a Spring Bonnet Fit For A Queen

On Dad's birthday, we were actually on the road to KC, where Luke played a double-header. So, as a special surprise, Caitlin and Mom whipped up a special birthday cake and we all surprised him the day before his birthday by showing up at the office with the cake and taking him to Taco Bell, everyone's favorite restaurant (ok, so it isn't Mom's favorite - but Dad definitely was happy about it!)

So, what did we create for Dad this year? We took the following into account:
1. He is THE BEST
2. He designs dams
3. He is an engineer
4. He likes cake

He and all the Engineering Department seemed to enjoy it.

Our Quick Trip to Chicago

In March, the children and I made took a road trip to Chicago. It was bittersweet.

We had been planning to visit Brent and Melissa. They bought their first home this winter and we were looking forward to seeing it!

As the time for our trip drew near, we received word that my Uncle Bob (who has always lived in the Chicago area) had passed away, and so we moved our trip up a week so that we could attend the funeral. This meant that Mike wasn't able to make the trip with us because of meetings he had at work, but we'd go ahead and combine it with the visit to Brent and Melissa's.

It was a great blessing to have my children with me for the service honoring my uncle. And I enjoyed a short visit with my dad and the chance to see aunts and uncles and cousins. I regret that we haven't made more effort to stay connected. Maybe Uncle Bob's last gift to us is that reminder that we need to invest in strengthening those family ties. I didn't take any pictures, why is that? It never seems the appropriate thing to do, and then I regret it later.

And then, we had a couple of days of fun with my biggest kids. I loved their new home -
they have already done some really nice work getting the upstairs apartment ready for rental, and have plans to do a little more renovating on the main floor, but they've already done a nice job making it warm and welcoming. They played board games, soccer in the back yard.We had the best, BIGGEST burritos ever! for supper one night. Also had a chance to visit with Melissa's parents over dessert and a romp in the backyard with the dogs.

Brent was able to work his schedule so he could join us for a trip to the Science Museum.

We were able to see an actual German U-boat, and learn about life on a submarine. The hands-on displays were terrific!

Brent and Noah tried their hand at 'driving' the sub, then Esther and Gabe gave it a try. I think maybe I would have been sea-sick if a passenger on their submarines! It's harder than it looks.

They also had a really cool space and aeronautics display. We saw real-life astronaut suits, and space craft that had been in space. Here you see an astronaut in the making!

and here is a remote control model of the Mars Rover - the big boys sure had a good time with this one!

and who would have thought the kids from the country would have to travel all the way to the big city, just to ride on a tractor?

The morning we left for home, Caitlin and I were planning to take a picture of the front of their house, but in the chaos and commotion, we didn't get it done. Oh, well. It'll have to wait til next visit - unless you want to send one to me, Melissa!

We had a really nice time, but I'm not very good at this long-distance mothering - in my opinion, it stinks - but there are some things in life that are out of my control, so I'll just have to work at making the best of the situation.

Life in the Fast Lane

I have several posts I've been working up but just do not have them ready for publishing yet - no excuses, I'm just slow and easily distracted.

In the meantime, here's little article one of my MOMYS friends posted this week, a reminder to slow down, to stop and smell the roses. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reduce, Recyle, Reuse, and . . .


A friend shared an article with me recently that backs up my opinion that large families generally do more than their fair share when it comes to living 'environmentally responsibly'. While we are not Catholic (this article appeared in a Catholic magazine), I wholeheartedly agree with the opinions of the author when it comes to being a mom of many. Please take time to read and consider what she has to share:

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