July 6, 2012

Life Lately

If these shots don't spell summer for you, I don't know what does.  I think I'd be happy if the carefree laid back days of summer never ended.  I think I appreciate the freedom, flexibility and relaxed days of summer even more than my kids do.  What's better than the pool in the morning, afternoons reading together, popsicles before bed, and hours of family fun?  No wonder summer is my favorite season.  And we've been soaking it up this summer.  Every.Little.Minute.

My favorite little hipster playing at the park in her birthday outfit from her cousins.

Sophia Waterskiing!!!

If Sophia can do it, Noah can too!


First summer of Tball for Noah.  He loves it beyond belief.  After his first day (in 90+ heat), he said, "I could play for 40 more hours!"  He is his father's son!

Too many hours in the car!  This must have been somewhere around Lincoln, NE.

The Music Truck

We live in an absolutely prime kid-friendly neighborhood.  For our stage of life, you couldn't ask for a better place to be.  We have a park right across the street.  The kind that takes up one full square block.  Complete with tennis courts, playground, baseball field, and a huge wide expanse of lush green.  On the other side of the park is a library.  Complete with the best children's section in town.  And across from both of those things is a totally free Historical Museum.  (Think Little House on the Prairie.)

All things considered, it's no surprise that there is an ice cream truck that makes the daily rounds from April all the way through September more religiously than a monk trying to earn his way to heaven.

Years ago, I had heard this meaningless tidbit from a friend, and it had always stuck with me.  This comment was an afterthought to a conversation, rather than the focal point.  But she said something about how the only good thing her ex-daughter-in-law did as a mom was tell her kids the ice cream truck was a "music truck".  I am pretty sure I heard that before we even had kids of our own.

But for whatever reason, it stayed with me.  (Maybe even more note-worthy since I didn't grow up with ice cream trucks or music trucks and had no idea that they actually existed and weren't just something out of the movies.)

I think it might have been an act of God.  Who had the big picture in mind and knew that one day, we would be moving into this prime time kid zone.  Music truck and all.

So from the time my kids were able to talk, I taught them that that truck was the Music Truck.  We have lived in our house for five and a half years, and the kids run to the doors, windows, curbs whatever is closest, on a daily basis throughout the summer to greet the music truck.

Last summer, I found us in a couple of precarious situations when I thought the gig was up.  There were people around us who would mention the "Ice Cream Truck," and I would quickly respond with something about "Oh, yeah, we're big fans of the music truck at our house.  We love the songs!!!"

Then there was one point when the neighbor grandkids were visiting last summer and bought something from the Music Truck.  Thankfully, we were on our way out and were loading into the car, so I thought there might have been a chance that my kids missed the transaction that took place between the Music Man and the neighbors.

And then we heard those first annoyingly famous chimes of the Music Truck sometime in April 2012.  And an era came screeching to a halt, crashing and burning just as violently as the Hindenburg.  The kids ran to the door, ready to greet the ever faithful neighborhood mascot.

But this time, these pounding footsteps and squeals were accompanied by requests of "Can we get something?"

And a part of me died inside.

And not just because I was doing mental gymnastics figuring the math of at least one time past our house (sometimes two) daily x April-September x at least two kids asking = a whole lot of "No, you may not get something from the Music Truck" conversations.

More because it was symbolic of the end of the innocence.  The days when my kids know of and believe nothing but what I tell them.  The days of Mama's always right and Mama always knows best.  The days when anyone who contradicted that was absolutely crazy and also has three heads.

So this summer begins a whole new era in our house.  One that includes the Music Truck (which the kids still call it) as well as the Ice Cream Truck (for now they know what is inside that crazy truck).

Sad day.

April 23, 2012

Christmas 2011

Maybe I'll just set aside lofty aspirations of writing for the moment.  Or the next several years, anyway.  I'd be doing great if I could just post some current pictures every now and then!  I don't think I've posted any pictures of my little Charli's angel since she was born, so I'll back up 'til Christmas and try and catch up!!

Ring those bells, Bud!!  

That's my little Lamb!!

She finally lost her first tooth!

Augh, LOVE 'EM!!!  (Even more than they love those Christmas jammies, which is hard to imagine.)

First Christmas:)

We debated long and hard about where to find the best sledding hill.  And then we decided the street right in front of our house would work just fine!  The dumping we got just as my family was coming into town made for great sledding weather with the the uncles.

Just because I forced my almost two year old to sled, when she was convinced she wanted no part in that, does not make me a parent.  Really.  I was trying to teach her to find the fun in life! 

Pretty much, forget having the "perfect picture" with 4 little kids.  At least the perfect "posed" picture.  Because this one is pretty much perfect in the sense that it did a pretty good job of capturing personalities of each one of them.

She's not convinced if his motives are really to help her get into her present, or if he just wants to play himself.

Probably my favorite picture from this Christmas.

What this boy doesn't realize is that he is opening the gift that will change is life.  PGA Tour, get ready!

Six Venches

As we were on our way to church yesterday, we somehow found ourselves in the midst of a conversation about walking to church.  Our church isn't exactly the neighborhood church; it's somewhere around 7 miles away and takes an average of about 25 minutes to get there.  Not my favorite thing at 8:30 on Sunday morning as a single parent with 4 small children, striving to get to church on time.  But that's another story.

More often than not, I do not have the radio on in the car while we are driving, because I find that this time is usually when I have the very best conversations with my kids.  I guess there's the blessing in the story, and that rather than bemoan how long it takes us to get to church, I should be thankful for that time when I have my children's usually undivided attention.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.  We were driving. The radio was off.  We were having one of our typical drive time conversations.  This day it happened to be about walking to church.  I was asking the kids if they thought they could do it.

Noah's answer?  "Uh.  I'd have to stop at SIX venches."

(That's Nielson speak for benches, FYI!  Both Sophia and Noah say venches.  Sophia started saying it years ago, and Noah learned it from her.  I used to not bother correcting them because I thought it was so cute.  And then I decided that someday someone else would think my kids were crazy, talking about venches and what-not.  So I tried to correct them.  Really.  I explained up and down that the word was really bench.  Apparently, my kids think I lie to them about word pronunciation on a regular basis.  So I quit trying.  And we still sit on venches in this house.)
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