Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Our Pumpkins for the year

Happy Halloween 2008. Tonight we will be going out with kids dressed as Pac Man and the 4 ghosts: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. Pictures to follow as I have not been able to get all 5 of them together in costume for a picture. Until we have pictures of the Pac Man crew I have pictures of the family pumpkins for this year.

Of course we have Pac Man and the ghost for Liam

Pac Man pumpkin
Then Lexi wanted a princessAlexis' Cinderella

Landon said he wanted a racecar until I found Leo from the Little Einstein and then he was thrilled with LeoLittle Einstein Leo for Landon

Finally Brenna is all about the happy face lately so I found this Happy for herBrenna's Happy Pumpkin

We got a little pumpkin for Wubba but it is too little to really carve in to something. I am going to try and get his picture in his costume with his little pumpkin.

Monday, October 27, 2008

And the Winner Is

You know how no good can come from kids being quiet. Jason and I were chilling on the couch and thought all the kiddos were playing in the basement or so we thought. When Brenna came in saying she needed a wipe

Sharpie Incident the faceIsn't she cute

and one more

Sharpie Incident the hand

When she first walked in I thought she was bleeding but it turns out she just lost the battle with the burgundy sharpie. And in this case there was a second loser,Sharpie Incident the table

My kitchen table, luckily sharpie does wash off tile but not so much the painted wood areas. Just in case you need to know, baby wipes do a pretty good job of removing sharpie from 2 year old's eyelids, chin and nose. There is definitely not a lot of dull moments with 5 kids in the house.

Flashback: First Day of School Pics

I had trouble finding Landon's first day of school picture as Jason took him and to use our little camera to take the pic and when I download that camera the date is wacky and I never know where it puts the pictures. So now that I have found Landon's picture here are all the kiddos in their first day of school giddiness.

The Boy Wonder started 2nd GradeFirst day of 2nd grade

Alexis entered the big world of Kindergarten and K+ allowing her to go all day.Ready for Kindergarten

Then Landon went to 4's Preschool and has the same teachers Liam and Lexi had.Landon's going to preschool

Then Little Ms. Brenna started attending the 2's classPhotobucket

with a backpack almost as big as she is. She was so excited going to school, ran in and hugged the teachers and started playing and all was good until I said "Have fun and I will see you in a little bit" then the gig was up and she wanted no part of me leaving her there. But I sucked it up and headed out and she did fine and had a great time.

Here is how Kindergarten and 2nd grade ended for the oldest two.
After the first day

I can't decide if they are happy to be home or are excited about their first day but they sure were happy getting off the bus.

The French Family Hits the Road

t's fall break so Liam and Lexi are out of school for 3 days. Jason had some vacation time he needed to use so he took off a few days and we hit the road. On Wednesday we headed north to visit my grandmother. On the way to her house we stopped and visited Spencer's Lapidary so Liam could check out the rocks. He is fascinated by rocks and minerals so we let him wander around the Lapidary and check stuff out. He had a great time and of course had to get few specimens for further inspection. In case you want to check out Spencer's Lapidary Got to Grandma's house and had lunch with her. She made me, my favorite Chicken and Dumplings and made a pizza for the kids. We enjoyed lunch on her sunroom enjoying seeing fall come to her woods. After lunch the kids had a blast playing on the swingset I use to play on when I was little. Then Jason took them back by the woods exploring and playing in the leaves. They made a pile of leaves and had a great time rolling around and jumping in them. I kept the baby and chatted with grandma in the sunroom. We had a great time, and it was so much fun to visit with grandma.

Thursday we headed a little south and visited our friends, Shelley, Taylor and Logan. They live out in the country too so it was another day to be outside. The kids had a great time playing on the swingsets and running around the yard. Taylor had a fancy scooter called a Power Wing Scooter. Alexis was amazing on it. Instead of having to push off the ground with your feet you just shake your booty and it goes. She was zipping up and down the driveway and sidewalk. The only part that freaked me out was that instead of using the brake she would jump off, scared me every time she did it. Shelley got out the power wheel truck and the other kids had a blast driving that around and giving the little ones a ride. Here are some pictures from our day. Unfortunately I didn't get any that turned out well of Lexi on the power wing

The last road trip to be discussed in a future blog because I want to include a bunch of pictures since I can't figure out how to post a slide show.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Wubba is 4 months old

Took some pictures of the Wubba Man in honor of his 4 month birthday. He now weighs 16 lbs pounds 1 ounce and killing me to carry him in the carseat carrier. Here he is in all of his 4 month glory.Wubba is 4months

This one he is giggling

Laghing Wubba

Crazy Hair Day

The kids has crazy hair day at school as part of spirit week. Liam's hair is short so not a lot of crazy can be done with it but I did add some green spray to make it a little more crazy and I drew a Happy Face in his hair.Liam on crazy hair day

For Lexi's hair I wanted to try and braid pipe cleaners in to her hair so we could bend it in to funny patterns but her hair was to fine and kept slipping off the pipe cleaners so I improvised and came up with this creation.Alexis on crazy hair day

They were excited to go to school and show off their crazy hair. A few days after crazy hair day I was in the school picking up the Box Tops for Education contest entries I am running and saw Lexi's teacher. She said Lexi loved her crazy hair but when it came time to do listening centers she didn't know what to do because the headphones wouldn't sit right with her crazy hair.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our Gang~ Old Friends

When I was a young girl of 12-14 and the joy of middle school was upon me I made friends with a group of kids that meant the world to me. We all had our own issues in life and came together when we all really needed each other. We formed a little group we called "Our Gang" like the old TV series. We got shirts and we each took a character. There was Spanky, Darla, Buckwheat, Alfala and me Jomie. We had a great time running the grounds of our apartment complex. Spanky was my boyfriend and Buckwheat was my best friend. Darla and Alfala played supporting roles but were still important to me. We would ride the bus to mall to watch the movie Lost Boys over and over. We visit the local ice cream store and eat frozen floaties in a cone. I have distinctive memories of events with both of my boys. Buckwheat I remember walking up to him at school and patting him on the back and he winced. It turned out, his dad, I believe, had hit with a belt and he had welts on his back. That was a reality slap for my young self. Buckwheat was a sweetheart what would make his father do that to him. What was I suppose to do about? Do you tell like your gut said or honor him and not say anything? I went with the honor him but have always wondered if it was the wrong choice. Buckwheat when I met him was the definition of preppy, he wore dress shirts and ties and carried a briefcase to school, but you could see the twinkle of fun in his eye when you looked at him. In one of my conversations with Buckwheat I learned that he had never had a birthday party, that was unimaginable to me and I told my mom we had to fix that. We held a party for him, nothing fancy but it was all for him. I think it may have been a soccer theme and we had a poster hanging in the kitchen of soccer player. Then there was Spanky. My first big memory of Spanky was of him literally smashing in to me. We were at a haunted trail in our apartment complex and Spanky came running out of the trail and right in to my arms. My young heart was touched by him and he became my first love. Spanky's mom would often ask me to babysit his little sister while she went out. I remember spending time with him and talking to him. He became very special to me. I recall one time his father came to visit and said something to him that upset him, I think it was about him be a little chunky. I think I was there when it was said but not in the room, because I remember him coming in the room and trying so hard to look like it didn't upset him and that he wasn't about to cry. I am not sure if I was babysitting that night or what but I for some reason remember holding him and trying to make it better for him. Spanky and Buckwheat were always there for me as well. I remember feeling like I didn't fit in with my family, that I was so different from my Mom and my sister but when I was with my my gang it felt like the world was right. I learned so much from my boys and thought they would be with me forever.

Unfortunately forever wasn't in the cards. When I was 14 and a freshmen in high school my mom thought we should move 2 hours away. It broke my heart to leave my boys. I saw them occasionally for visits but as life happens we drifted apart. I remember the last time I saw Spanky, I had brought a new friend with me to visit him and we were sitting in his room, I can still see him there. Had I realized that it would be the last time I would see him I would have done things differently and said stuff I wanted him to know. Buckwheat I did better about keeping in touch with. He didn't move until I did. I talked to him and wrote to him. The summer before my senior year he came down and stayed with a friend of mine. It was great to have him back in my life. He wasn't the preppy kid any more but he was still my buckwheat and my heart was happy to have him back. He even went with me for my senior portraits and was in 3 of mine with me. He went back home before school started and I worried about him and missed him. The night I graduated high school I walked off the stage and he was standing there. I couldn't believe it. I had to hug him and hurry back to my seat. After the ceremony we went back to the hotel we were staying at with my dad. We hung out and talked. Then he left. I remember trying to convince him to stay for my graduation party the next night but he didn't. Again if I had known that would be the last time I would see him, what would I have said differently? That night Jason officially gave me my engagement ring and 2 months later we were married and moved to Hawaii. One time in Hawaii I was able to track him down and found out he was in the National Guard. I called the National Guard and tracked him down and found out he was on drill and when he would be back. I called and actually talked to him the day he got back but he couldn't really talk and that was the last I talked to him.

Until a few weeks ago I got an instant message from a girl I have kept in contact with and she said she found Buckwheat on Facebook. So I immediately went and looked for him and there he was. I have looked for him on line ever so often over the years with out any luck. I couldn't believe I had finally found a way to contact him. I sent him a message and he lives just a couple of hours away with his wife and son. I am trying to figure out a way to get to see him. But it has been wonderful chatting with him via messages and a couple of times on the phone.

While chatting with my friend that found Buckwheat I mentioned I thought I saw Spanky on LinkedIn but sent a message and never heard back. She went and sent him a message and heard back from him so I gave it a try and got an email back from him as well. He lives in northern Indiana with his wife, twin daughters and an infant son. The funny thing is he lives near my sister in law who we visit usually twice a year.

So after almost 20 years I have my boys back in my life. It is great to hear from them and see how they are doing. To see what they remember from our time as "Our Gang", it's funny what they remember from what I remember. I am glad they are happy and have wonderful families. I hope to some day get to lay my eyes upon them again and give them a hug. Until then I am happy knowing they are Ok and that I can send them an email when I want to say "Hi"