Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Week

As I type this, it's pouring rain outside. To me, rain is the sound of winter. I still can vividly remember lying in my bed falling asleep to the drum of raindrops on the roof above. It's funny to think that this California girl has now lived through winters in Utah, Russia, Buffalo, and Colorado. I have to say that weather isn't a huge thing with me. I like the variety that comes with each of the seasons. And I think I'm saying that honestly.

This week was full again. Mainly, we had the usual busyness of school for the kids, work for the parents, etc. If this is truly my new "Owens' Family Journal", I should write a little about what we did.

The kids had no school on Monday. Lindsay had a play date, so the boys wanted to do something fun. We decided to go to Fort Fun! It's sort of like a Chuck E. Cheese experience, plus they have bumper cars. I even remembered to throw my camera in my purse (yes, Mom, I finally have one. Does that mean I'm grown up now?). So, you ask yourself, where are the pictures? I took my camera out of my purse and went to turn it on and realized: no batteries. Sigh...Maybe next time.

Tuesday and Thursday morning it was my turn to "teach" Joy School. Wow. It's a bit crazy sometimes. Some of the kids aren't quite ready for anything really structured, so I try to keep my expectations low. We made "Stone Soup" on Thursday. That was fun. Wesley enjoys it, but he is already looking forward to his new pre-school that he'll start this fall.

Wednesday I finally got the piano tuned. The guy opened it up and found that the damper rod had bumped off and fallen on the hammers. Hence, the clumps of keys that haven't been playing lately. Nice. Also, that afternoon my neighbor and I rented an aerator and aerated our lawns. I'm still sore through my shoulders and triceps. I guess I should add lifting weights to my exercising.

No week would be complete without a trip to the orthodontist. Lindsay seriously busts something off those braces of hers once a week. That orthodontist is going to really regret offering to do the braces for free for our kids. It looks like each one of our kids will need them. Neither Tim nor I ever had them.

Friday and Saturday we got a vegetable garden going. We de-sodded a nice chunk of our back lawn and are pretty much ready to plant some tomatoes, zucchini, and any other vegetable we can think of. Tim keeps on trying to think of the veggies that are expensive in the stores. He's funny.

I got a picture of the kids this morning after church. I had them in their Easter/Spring outfits. The picture turned out okay. My normal camera (besides being found ocassionally to be without batteries) has some weird dark blotch in the upper right corner. I used the still shot on the video camera. It doesn't do well in some lighting. Anyway, here's the picture.

Plus, here's a totally cute video of the best bed head this side o' the Mississippi!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Try

Really? It's been almost two months since my last post? Pathetic! I think I figured out how to go "private", but I never seem to have enough time to get everyone's emails together and type them in. Excuses, excuses. So, for now, I'm just going to go back to trying to document our crazy, little, imperfect, perfectly wonderful life!

Easter in Buffalo

We decided to take a trip to see family in Buffalo. Tim's Grandma Shirley (Mom's Mom) passed away on February 13, and we just felt the need to be close to family. He had a chance to go out in February, but we just all really wanted to go out and be there for each other. We thought we might even get a chance to be helpful and clean up a little of Great-Grandma's house, but who was I kidding. Anyone with 5 kids in tow is really not going to end up being a lot of help in the cleaning up department. Grandma Helen is always so sweet and accomodating, but we really do totally take over their house when we visit. It's nice now with some of the kids a little older. They get to go over to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Sandi's house for a sleep-over. Such a treat. Anyway, a little synopsis of the trip:

Thursday AM: Left the house at about 4:40am and felt like we were okay on time. Somehow we TOTALLY miscalculated. It was a longer trip into the airport from the long-term parking PLUS a longer wait to check in bags PLUS a longer security line than we've seen in a long time PLUS well, I guess we just should have left a little earlier. After the last stop on the train, Tim just said, "Run for it, hon. I'll get everyone and everything. You just go tell them that we're here." I bolted and ran for the gate. I go running up to the gate, and the lady said, "Are you the Owens?" "Uh, yes." "Go run to the boarding spot. You barely made it." I run over there. The guy was like, "Are you all here?" I said, "Yes, they're very close." He said, "Well, they'd better hurry." I ran back out to the hallway and could see them all like 150 yards down. "RUN, you guys. They're gonna leave without us." It was so seriously crazy. How did we underestimate so badly on the time. We finally make it down to the plane, and the flight attendant literally said, "He sent you down? We can't take you." Thankfully, the other one was nicer and said, "It's okay." Anyway, are you imagining what is just about to happen? We have to find seats for 4 kids and 2 adults on a plane that is basically full. Tim and I found seats across from each other. Miles was 2 rows up on my side. Samuel was 2 rows back on my side. Lindsay was 2 rows on Tim's side. She wouldn't sit down because she has a phobia of people throwing up. She heard someone's story about someone else throwing up on a plane (thank you, Aunt Catherine), and now she refuses to sit next to a stranger. The available seat was next to some unsuspecting guy and his young daughter. I could feel that Lindsay was about to throw a fit (isn't she 10 years old, you say?...gotta love her), so I just tell her, "Most people don't throw up on planes, Lindz." Then, I turn to the guy (this is with a whole airplane full of people waiting for the annoying family of 7 that showed up at the absolute last minute) and ask, "Excuse me, sir, do you usually throw up on planes?" He just looked at me, puzzled, and replied, "Uh, no." "See, Lindz. Now have a seat." She did. Phew.

On the three hour lay-over in Chicago:
Who gave that baby a chocolate marshmellow bunny?

Tim had the kids doing "airport art". Did I mention that it was a three hour lay-over?

The flight was actually totally easy. No one was sitting next to anyone that they could bicker with. Tim and I thought that even when we arrive early for a flight and get to pre-board with kids that we should still strategically place them singley through-out the aircraft. I'm sure people wouldn't mind...hee, hee.

Thurs PM: arrived to find Aunt Sandi, Ryan, and Shaylyn waiting for us. Let the cousin time begin...For all the moving around we've down and for however badly I feel for my kids because they haven't ever had best friends that they've had since pre-school or whatever, one thing they do have that will always be a constant in their lives is cousins. And boy do they have cousins: 6 on the Owens side (plus another dozen if you count the cousins' cousins) and 16 on the Call side. It's really great on the Owens side because they have older cousins that they can really look up to. Ryan will be 18 in May, Lynette and Nathan will be 16 this year, and Mariah turned 14 in March. They're all great kids and good examples to our guys. It's awesome.

Since we were so late for the flight, two pieces of our luggage didn't make it with us. Tim and I drove the hour back up to the airport later that night, and I think it was one of my favorite times of the vacation. We had Wesley and Julia sleeping tightly in the backseat. The other kids were "sleeping" at Kevin and Sandi's, and we just enjoyed a nice, peaceful drive.

FRI AM: The boy cousins are doing track, and since Tim is still the Pioneer High School Record Holder for the Triple Jump, we thought that the track team would enjoy a little visit from him. J/K, of course. Tim just thought it'd be fun to see Ry working on his pole vault, and Nathan work on his long jump. They're both doing great. I even got a little jog in, too.

PM: I took Helen, Lynette, Mariah, and Sandi up to Buffalo to do some shopping and treated them to The Cheesecake Factory. Wasn't that nice of me? :):) The cheesecake was so good. Snickers, Low-Carb with Strawberries, and Chocolate Truffle. Plus, Lemon Raspberry and Peanut Butter Chocolate to take home for the guys. No pictures. Someday, I'll remember everything...

For dinner, we went out to a Fish Fry. Whenever I visit Buffalo, I have to get all my food groups. Pizza and wings. Fish Fry. Beef on Weck. Yum.

Sat AM: went to a Sugar Shack. It's the building below a maple grove where they collect all the maple tree sap and boil it down to maple syrup. This particular Sugar Shack has a pancake house, too. All you can eat pancakes and real maple syrup. It is the best.

Everyone having a taste of the actual maple sap. It tasted very faintly sweet. I wonder who ever thought of boiling it down so much to get that awesome syrup.

The boiler. The normal one is much bigger, but we were there on the last day, and this was just the very last bit that they were boiling down in this small boiler.

On the wagon ride into the maple forest

Do they have great smiles or what? Hmmmm, he should be a dentist. :):)

Miles ended up winning the "spoon on the nose" contest.

They take a sample of the maple syrup that they boil down each day and display it like this. The darker the shade of amber the warmer the temperatures were at night. This year was the exact opposite of usual. It was warmer in January.

Sat PM: potluck at Kevin and Sandi's. More cousin time.

Sun, Easter: Tim spoke in Church. We had a nice dinner at Grandma Helen's house.

The troops are ready for an Easter Egg hunt in Grandma's backyard.

Miles and Samuel

Lindsay and Julia

Wesley, reaching...

Does that look like the face of a boy who loves his cousins?

(This was before they had the fun idea of smooshing their cute little faces into the whipped cream that was on the delicious pies Aunt Sandi made...)

Lindsay tries to look as weird as possible for pictures. For this to be a true Owens Family Journal, I figured that I better just start posting the pictures of her even if she looks less than perfect (although she can never look less than perfect in my eyes).

Mon: visited Grandma Shirley's house. More cousin time.

Tues: headed home and made sure we were plenty early.