Sunday, December 30, 2007

Busy End of Year

I have not been keeping up with my personal commitment of posting to this blog every day lately. It has been pretty busy with all of the happenings around the holiday.

This has been a memorable year for both the good and the bad. I look back at it right now and recall several moments that were important to me. Even to look in the previous blog posts helps me remember.

Right now is an interesting time for music discovery based on plenty of 'best of' lists that are floating around the Internet. Some really great finds were: Spoon, Gogol Bordello, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Justice, Stars, Animal Collective, and Panda Bear. Panda Bear is the most recent one I found and it is really deep with a new sound that is familiar while still interesting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Aftermath

Today it was up to me to clean up all of the Christmas goods that we received from Amber's side of the family. The aunts all get together and make an amazing array of stockings and several gifts under the tree. Christmas morning includes more gift exchanges. The last few years we have struggled to get everything into the car. This year was close but we did not need to have anyone carry gifts in their lap or have to resituate seating arrangements.

Most importantly we got to see them and have fun together. The kids really love going there. Everyone is very kind and truly love seeing the excitement and joy children have around this time of year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

We just had our family Christmas and it was very, very fun. The kids appreciated that Santa brought them what they asked for. It looks like they each were good this year.
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I Have a Hulu Account Now

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Memorial

Yesterday was Mom's memorial service. Many people showed up to the church. The service itself was touching. Amber asked me how I felt about the speakers. I liked hearing what other people say about Mom and it doesn't change how I remember her. I would have added that she was so sincere and honest as well as kind.





Today I went to Allen's class to help with a Christmas party. It was fun and I hung out with Kathy Petersen to decorate cookies with the kids. Abby was very shy when we first got there and sat very quietly in a chair at the back of the table. I stood next to her and made sure she was feeling happy.
Allen only spent a few minutes at the table but it was really great to get a hug from him in front of his classmates. I know that will change when he gets a little older.
Ashton also brought home some neat Christmas gifts. She received a gift from her teachers and she was disappointed that it was a truck instead of a girl toy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Christmas

Today was the Gibson family Christmas. Gregg's family was here yesterday but Geoff and his clan collided with some awful weather including freezing fog. We had a great time on the Holley Trolley and then met up for dinner at my Dad's house. We opened gifts and had some fun. Dad read the Bible to us about the birth of Jesus and Geoff convinced him to also read some T.S. Eliot poetry.

Mom's special Christmas gift was also revealed: an historically accurate story of one of our ancestors. Mom also hand made some art to supplement the story. It was almost completed when Mom died so between Karin and Dad they completed the project. It is a very special work. In my Dad's words: "It was Grandma's last art project."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Storm

Waking up this morning and looking out the window I saw that the snow storm that we expected landed. It was punctuated with plenty of gusting wind and drifting. The drive to work at 8 a.m. was not that bad but I do prefer clear roads. The worst thing about driving in bad weather is the other drivers.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Top Off the Trapezoid

Tonight we watched the new Harry Potter movie as a family. It was a highlight to our whole evening because it took the whole evening. I quickly wolfed down dinner and then we immediately popped it in the DVD player. It was nice to be able to fit on the couch with everyone. Most of us shared the same blanket, too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Allen's School Journal

Amber showed me Allen's journal tonight. It displays some interesting things. He has a picture of himself as president, Grandma and himself at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and one of himself proudly declaring that he can read. I especially enjoyed the picture of Allen as a shark!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

House Chores

I spent the morning with Abby and we hung out. She really likes her night gowns and stayed in her pajamas until about 10:00 a.m. I did some laundry and dishes because I got home on the late side last night. Ashton soon came home and she relaxed with Abby and they shared some Cheez-Its for a while. Ashton played some games on Nick Jr. while I tried to get ready for work. Amber came home at about 1 p.m. after hitting the store for some necessities.

It felt like a fast paced day even though not much of anything of consequence occurred.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Brought to you by...

the little girl that calls cupboards "covereds" and the Great Wall of China the "Gray Wall of China": a short story.



There once was a princess with a very shiny crown. The crown sat by the princess’ two beds. She stood by her dresser and the king called her to tell her to put all of her clothes away. The princess had a teddy bear and a kitten and a royal television. Today was also her royal star and a royal birthday cake. Her royal basket sat in the room on the floor. The princess knew that she should do all of her chores. The queen placed her crown upon the royal cat just for laughs.

In this kingdom was an evil witch. She wanted the princess dead. The princess found out about the evil witch and she hid in the castle. The princess’ name was Ablorina.


-Ashton Gibson

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Ride on the Icy Roads

We expected a big ice storm today. Instead, the snow was melting and then it hovered around freezing so everything was icy hard slush. Dad needed me to take him to an appointment in Grand Rapids. The ride was actually not bad. Dad and I talked a bit. He told me about what his procedure was all about and he talked about Mom a little as well.

I left early and got home late so my time with the kids was just sending them off to school. Allen had it in his head to take a cold lunch today even though he has prepaid hot lunch ready. Amber told him to get milk from a "milk line" and he got upset. How upset? He didn't want to go to school. I remember having anxiety when I was in elementary school, too. It is tough being a kid. I feel for the little guy.

Playing Outdoor Games in the House

We had a great time tonight before Amber got home playing ball tag in the house. We ran around and caused all kinds of trouble. It was awesome!

Abby asked to watch Yo Gabba Gabba today and the way she says it is the epitome of cute. Ashton is making strides in keeping her bathroom etiquette. She is also getting to be a young lady. Her growth lately is surprising Amber and I. She weighs almost as much as Allen and is gaining on him with regard to height. Allen is gaining a mastery of comedy and he is really coming into his own when the funnies are involved. He is also maintaining some good habits and is very good lately about cleaning up his room and picking things up.

Amber and I have excellent kids. We are incredibly fortunate.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yet Another Sick Day

Last night was pretty rough on Amber. She had to get up a few times because the girls were not feeling well. When morning came around both of the girls were feeling pretty rotten. Ashton barely had a voice and was running a temperature. Abby was still sleeping after I picked her up from the couch. Allen was feeling pretty well and he was the only one that went to school today.

I came home to an empty house because everyone went to the doctor. Both Ashton and Abby had something that needed a prescription. I hope they feel better soon. I feel awful that they look and sound this way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Preparing for Christmas

Abby and I spent the morning together as usual. I decided that I would enforce some tough love in the form of limiting the binky availability. Our opinions collided a few times and we each compromised (read as she would find them after yelling at me). She is tons of fun in general. She kept me running around.

Ashton also was here at the usual time. She had a substitute bus driver and she tried to park in our driveway. Later on Ashton really wanted to draw some pictures. She asked me to draw a large picture of a bird and I complied. A few minutes passed and she triumphantly returned to show me the coloring she did with the bird. Truthfully, I was a little disappointed with my drawing but when I saw her color job I was legitimately impressed. She turned my sorry looking bird into a nice scene with a tree, grass, clouds, and even eggs ready to hatch. When I told her I really liked it she gave me a sincere look of appreciation and I had to hug her. It was a really great moment we shared.

Allen got home and things began to move a little faster. Dinner needed to be made, cleaning needed to be done, and kids needed attention. Shortly after he arrived home, we received a delivery from the florist in Hastings from my work with their condolences. Allen had it in his mind that I must be a great employee if my employer is sending me gifts. I think that inspired him to make a gift for Amber. He went to great lengths to collect the necessary items for the gift and all of the kids helped me wrap it after bath time was over. I won't spoil what it was, Amber could read it and ruin the surprise!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mind Numbing Day

I had an early (but not first-thing-in-the-morning early) shift at work that lasted into the late evening. Before I had a wife and kids that kind of shift was great. I could sleep in a little and I wouldn't have to be at work very late. Now that kind of shift guarantees that I don't see much of anyone. Amber had a very long shift today, too. We are both tired. The kids were pretty much in bed when I got home.

Due to all of this I can't really recall anything really different or great that happened. Allen stayed home from school, Ashton got on the bus by herself, and Abby got up a little later than everyone else. Typical day in our house.

I did happen to spot my Dad and my brother-in-law Brad at my work today but I was tied up and didn't have much of a conversation with either one.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Picture

 
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

All is Done

Today was Mom's burial.

It was a rainy day and it did not let up. Early in the day it was freezing rain and our road and driveway was a sheet of ice. I went to church for the testimony meeting. It was really great to hear other people remember Mom. There were several moments that tears were in my eyes.

Karin told me that in the process to plan for the memorial service songs were selected based on Mom's requests. They tried to find a song with the word "grant" in it. Mom always did make a big deal out of hymns that my name appeared in. I miss her.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Siblings

The last two or three days have been full of emotion. Geoff, Gregg, and I spent some time to reacquaint. I felt like it was a great time and I will always remember it. I wish that I could have even spent some time with Karin but she has had some immediate responsibilities with preparing Mom for burial.

I went with Geoff this morning to pick up Steph from the airport. She came at Karin's request to help with the all important details. Geoff and Steph also came over for dinner and to take it easy. We had a great time and I know the kids appreciated seeing their aunt and uncle. While we watched a movie together Ashton whispered to me that she really liked having guests and was happy Geoff and Steph were here at the house.

Mom Has Passed On

At 6:40 p.m. Friday, November 30.

Many tears have been shed. We will always remember her.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Visited My Mom

My Mom is in the hospital. She was admitted two nights ago and has been in a bit of a decline. When I got there she was barely awake and her voice was only a whisper. The kids helped me make a card for her with a photo of the three of them on the outside and some custom art work on the inside. She really loves making cards by hand and definitely loved receiving hand made cards.

My Dad was in a chair right next to the bed looking worn out. Pretty much as soon as I got there he and I needed to leave the room so Mom could get some care from the nurse. He and I sat in a visitor lounge talking about what has happened and what may happen for about a half an hour. He was really thankful that she is not in pain. So far she has refused medication for pain because she hasn't needed it. He also said she has been with us almost four times longer than the original prognosis expectation. We have all been lucky.

I love my Mom and Dad. This is a hard time. My Mom is having a harder time staying awake and talking is a challenge because of it. I could tell that me being there did cheer her up but she was definitely not her usual self.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Kids Grow

I spent the majority of my time at home with Abby and Ashton. Abby was with me all morning and she was very fun. It is amazing how incremental changes in her ability to communicate change her personality. She is very good at talking and she is understanding us even more. I know she is going to be a fun person as she grows up.

Ashton has been growing up, too. She is becoming an energetic and fun little girl. When she gets off the bus she plays a mini game of hide and go seek with me and she laughs the whole time. Today we ran up the driveway hand in hand because the wind was bitterly cold.

Allen is coming into his own as well. In the morning he tries to make sure everyone is completely ready and on time. He often tells Ashton or me that we need to get our shoes on and hurry up or we will miss the bus. I remember as a kid really liking camouflage stuff and now he is getting into it too. He picked out a new winter coat that was camo and he really loves it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Slow Morning

Amber was not feeling well so she and the kids stayed home from church. Abby got up early and Amber really wanted me to get up to watch the kids. We took it easy and played some games like Go Fish and soccer and catch. Allen really got into throwing a football. I never had him do it before because I thought that he would have trouble throwing it but he did really well. He had a spiral and could throw pretty hard. Ashton and Abby played with us and Ashton did really well with the card game. The girls are cute when they get into the games. Often they will get very excited and cheer or yell about it. I love the fun we share.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Getting Gifts

The kids really decorated the tree very well. I woke up this morning to three excited kids proudly displaying the accomplshment. I am really looking forward to this holiday. Hopefully this one will be special.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Long Day

Obviously my day was pretty long at work. I had some fun and was reasonably successful at taking care of business.

More importantly I got home to a house full of people ready to greet me. It was really great to have everyone yell and scream that I was home. I am very tired but I think we are going to put the Christmas tree up tonight. We have had a small tree for several years but Amber found a great deal on a full sized imitation tree. The kids are very excited to get the brand new tree up. Afterward I will be heading to bed to get ready for another long day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

We spent the holiday with my parents. My mom has really needed more medical attention lately and we found out that she visited the doctor yesterday, too. Both of my parents looked pretty worn out and took a nap in the mid afternoon after we all ate the feast. The food was great and everyone seemed to get some of their favorites.

Tomorrow is the big day and I have to be at work at 3 a.m. I am a little excited but mostly dread how I will feel after a long 10 hour (or more) shift. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Calm Before the Storm

My work centers around Friday. The whole year is preparation for this day and the coming weeks. Thanksgiving is always a little strange with the looming insanity.

Today I played with the kids and we were able to cuddle. All three of the children are getting to be more amazing and incredible every day. Abby is saying more and more words but my personal favorite is "what's up, dude". Ashton is really figuring out how to make it to the bathroom and she is always loads of fun with the imaginative things she says and thinks. Allen is reading more and encourages us with his enthusiasm to read and do word puzzles. Each of them remind me of aspects of my own personality.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kids Stuff

Abby and Ashton were home with me this morning and went along for the ride for my final visit to the doctor regarding my knee. The trip was uneventful. Later in the day we all played Monkey in the Middle and some soccer and shared some laughs. As the kids get older it is even more fun to do the fast paced activities. It was a really great time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Everyone is Home

Amber came home tonight. Her arrival was none too soon. Her every day contributions around the house especially with helping the kids was certainly noticed. It is really amazing that I found this woman. She is a compassionate and intelligent person and I love her very much. It was really nice to see the kids so happy when she finally got home. We missed her quite a bit.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whirlwind Day

I left home at about 7 a.m. and got back at almost 6 p.m. After dinner and cleaning up a bit there wasn't much time for too much fun. Allen really wanted to do something special tonight so I dug up the poker set that I got as a prize at work and we played War. First round was the ladies and Abby and Ashton had a showdown. Abby kept putting cards down and immediately saying "I win" and clapping vigorously. Allen and I played and he trounced me severely. It was fun. We cuddled on the couch for a bit and watched the Berenstain Bears and then it was bed time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Party Time

The kids and I visited grandma today. She is officially done with chemotherapy and we really wanted to see her. She seems to be in really good spirits in spite of it all. Everyone genuinely enjoyed the short time there.

While in Hastings we picked up some party essentials. We carefully selected hats, colorful plates, a cake, and ice cream. The kids really enjoyed it.

As if the day weren't filled with enough fun, we topped it off with a good cuddle in Allen's bed while he read to us. We were all very cozy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All Business

Today Amber left for a conference and will be gone until Friday night. She hasn't been gone for 24 hours and we all miss her very much. Today was the beginning of a school break so the kids are going to be home until next week.

Yesterday we had a concert from Ashton where I played some rock tunes on my laptop and she put on a show with a Guitar Hero guitar. It was so much fun, Abby and Allen both took turns. It was really awesome!

Oh yeah. Today is also my birthday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tonsilits

Allen has been diagnosed with tonsilitis. He stayed home from school and has been running a temperature all day. We are all sick to some extent but he is the most sick among us.

We watched the new Avatar episode tonight and one of the characters portrayed was a witch and Ashton has announced that she will have nightmares. I hope not. I told her that she can call us if she gets scared.

Abby has been incredibly cute and is walking about shrugging her shoulders and smiling really big. She is also talking really well. Her progress is really surprising to me (probably because I think of her as a baby still).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Super Mario Tesla

Night Out

Having kids as young as 6, 4, and 2 usually means we don't eat out. Tonight we went to a restaurant and spent some fun time together. Everyone was pretty well behaved. Apparently the only incident we had is that Ashton was singing Disney songs loudly in the bathroom.

I took the opportunity to teach the kids the popular seasonal rhyme: Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care. You can smell my underwear. It was a hit.

On our way to the restaurant Allen decided to cut out small strips of paper and roll them up on the end of a pencil. He called them scrolls and would write messages on them such as "stingkey butt" or "I hate you" while he would laugh. He insisted that he didn't mean what was written but Ashton got rather upset and started to yell a bit. Amber and I laughed. We thought it was pretty funny that she was getting so upset while she couldn't actually read the little slips of paper.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Winter is Coming

This was an incredibly cold morning. I took Allen and Ashton to the end of the driveway in the van because it was so windy, cold, and wet. Even as I was driving home there was sleet and the wind was still gusting to where I got a little uncomfortable.

Everyone in the family is getting to have a strange sleep schedule. I get home late so it is hard to get to bed. I still need to get up in the morning to help the kids to the bus stop so that means I sometimes doze off mid morning on my days off. Abby is getting up really early and then takes a nap that is longer in the day which leads to her not sleeping the whole night (vicious circle). Amber has many days that she will be gone for 12 or more hours and then has to get up earlier than everyone else so she can get ready for work before she gets the kids up and ready.

Life gets crazy but it is worth it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Huge Rainbow

Today I was home (as usual) with the girls. Grandma called and sounded like she was feeling very good. Lately, I know that she has not felt good at all. She missed Amber and the kids at church yesterday as most of the family is sick.

Amber came home a little early so I could go to Thornapple Manor for the IT Support Technician opening I would like to get into. I ran some other errands while I was in Hastings. On the way back home it began to rain pretty hard. It looked as though it might have hailed or had freezing rain as well. Once the weather subsided I noticed a really vivid and complete rainbow. It was so incredible that I saw other people pulled over to look at it and another driver almost hit me head on. I can't remember ever seeing a complete rainbow, let alone one so bright and clear in my whole life.

Tonight Amber was telling the kids about how the frogs sounded when she lived in New Mexico as a little girl and imitated the sound. Ashton got really excited and said: "Mommy! You can speak frog?! I can speak owl! See? (insert owl sound here)". :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chasing a Rabbit

We have a rabbit that lives near our house and it comes out occasionally to forage. Amber told me that the kids were chasing it around the house and coming somewhat close before it would run away. Ashton claims to have pet it but the report has conflicting eye witness testimony.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Building Bridges

Last night I had trouble sleeping because of my cold. I think that breathing through my mouth makes my mouth so dry that I wake up. The point is that as the morning wore on I fell asleep on the couch. Amber was mad (rightfully so) because she is also sick but did not have an opportunity to take a nap. I woke up to hear the kids crying and Amber glaring at me.

I realized that I couldn't just lay there and jumped up. First I went into Allen's room. He told me to go but I finally got him to laugh a bit. He told me that he did not want to clean his room or put his clothes away but that was the only way Amber was going to let him have candy. I told him that I would help and that made him feel a lot better.

Ashton and Abby heard him laughing and they came into his room. I asked if we wanted to make some mail for each other and the kids emphatically agreed. The four of us sat in Allen's room and made some colorful messages for one another. I really enjoyed it. After we were done the kids were allowed to have candy.

After the good time we had together it was a little harder for me to leave for work. I would have rather stayed home and played more soccer or catch with the kids. At least Amber was awake when I got home.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Run, Run, Run

I got home later than I should have tonight. I got home for everyone to be getting pajamas on and thinking about bedtime. Ashton sang me some spooky Halloween songs she learned in school and it was very cute. Allen read us stories again and Ashton tried her hand at it as well. Abby even climbed off of Amber's lap to cuddle with me before she went to bed. I like it when I can share some time with the family. Even Amber was available and she and I cuddled for a bit while we watched Harry Potter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It was Halloween and that always means fun. Ashton, Abby, and I went shoe shopping. I think that one of the cats may have decided that my work shoes were more convenient than the litter box so it was time. I got a pair of somewhat trendy shoes that I swore to myself I would never get. I consider buying this style akin to giving in and conforming a little. I really did think that as I paid for them. I have never been one to just do something because it was popular.

Allen got home and I gave the kids a quick shower as instructed by Amber. Everyone was cooperative. They are becoming more and more self reliant. Although I really like seeing the kids grow and become their own person, a bit of me misses the young kids that would need help. Good thing Abby still relies on us so much. I wonder how I will feel about this in five years when Abby is 7, Ashton will be 9, and Allen 11. Even typing that made me feel funny.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Slow Day

We finalized the Taurus purchase today. It went very quickly. Other than that the day was rather uneventful. I was around the house with the kids all day and then made dinner. I enjoyed the taco salad I made but the kids had indulged in snacks and felt differently than I did at the dinner table.

Amber got home a little later than dinner and she ate and regaled me with tales of her day. She has a high stress job and coupled with the amazing lives of the people she works with, the roller coaster of emotions is incredible.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Warm Welcome Home

I got home from work feeling worn down. I was ready to eat some food and just sit down. The kids each wanted to get my attention when I got in the door! It was really nice to see them so ready to talk to me and show me the cool things they had been doing all day.

Allen had a really neat Crayola brand art case that could hold a variety of things aside from the well stocked crayons, markers, paints, and colored pencils. We drew some pictures together and had fun.

Ashton had a scrap book with a colorful set of stickers and paper. She had already made some creative pages and she wanted to show me and have me make a new one with her. We drew a horse and then a flower and then she wrote "daddy" on the top of the page.

Abby kept telling me "stop, dude" which I asked her to say "what's up, dude" and we all laughed. Between tickles and saying funny things, there was plenty of laughter and it felt really nice to be home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Harvest Moon

Today was a trunk or treat at church. I got there just in time for Amber and the kids to be done and leaving. Ashton and Allen cuddled up with me during the episode of Avatar. It was very nice.

The last three days I have seen quite a large and yellow harvest moon. The fields are being plowed for the season and it definitely feels like Fall.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We Need a Vacation

We are getting busy as a family. School, work, and daily obligations are slowly starting to wear on us as a whole.

Today was just a bit more of the same. Amber had to get back to work because there were some loose ends that needed to be addressed. I gave Allen a shower and then we cuddled on the couch and read some stories. Again, Allen read a book to us and then Ashton sat in my lap and I tried to help her sound out words so she could read a book, too. After Allen and Ashton went to bed, Abby and I cozied up and we watched 15 minutes or so of television. She then got up and announced that it was time to go to bed. I tucked her in and that was that.

I love my whole family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dad Tries to Help

Today I went to Allen's class to help out. Amazingly, there was no problem to speak of. The best guess I have is that Allen finally figured out how to solve his problems last week and it just took the adults longer to finally identify and try and solve the problem. Such is the way of being a kid. I remember lots of times that I would feel like no one was trying to help me and then only after I figured out how to fix things did a grown up try to intervene.

Abby and I had some fun again this morning. Natalie came over to watch her while I was at Allen's school. She is getting much better at telling me how she feels and what is on her mind. The three of us ate some delicious donuts when I got back home.

Ashton told me she has a few friends she really likes at school. One of the kids is named Thalen. She claims she will marry him. Later in the day she and Abby played dress up and had lots of fun. After Allen got home Ashton, Allen, and I played monkey in the middle. It was a good time. Again the quote of the day is attributed to Ashton: Amber told her to stop sticking her fingers in the cats face and Ashton said "but he has boogers!" We all laughed at that one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Never Enough Time

As you get older, time slips faster and faster. I remember at Christmas time or even hot summer days as a kid I would wonder if the days would ever end. Now I wonder where a week went since it feels like it didn't even happen.

Today was a day that slipped by pretty quickly. I spent plenty of fun time with Abby and we romped about the house. Ashton and I had only a short while together. I never saw Allen after he got on the bus.

Last night I almost fell asleep on the couch because I was up late trying to fold the laundry. Allen woke up with cramps in his leg for the second night in a row or I may have spent the night on the couch.

Tomorrow I am going to give Allen some one-on-one time in his technology class. I am looking forward to it. I really hope I can help without being overzealous.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kid Bonding

Today I was assigned to do as much laundry as I could do. I ran out of detergent and took the initiative to get more from the store. I got the mail and received a check from student loans and also went ahead and deposited that in the bank. It was a nice surprise and I think that will be sitting in the savings account for a while.

On our little excursion I took the girls to Wal-Mart where we picked out a new can opener and some Halloween candy. Afterward we grabbed some McDonald's. The girls were tons of fun today and we shared plenty of laughs. Allen got home and we got down to business pretty quick. He and I practiced his spelling words. It looks like I will have a chance to help in the technology class on Wednesday. I am eager to see how things are going in there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

The kids had a rehearsal for a church event this morning that I took them to. It was a fun time. Abby and I played by walking around and climbing on chairs. After the rehearsal they brought the kids pizza and there were some fun games to play.

Amber was at an event at Pierson Orchard that I brought the kids to after the church event. That was lots of fun. We carved some pumpkins and made some fun little crafts for Halloween. I also got to meet a few of Amber's colleagues. Today was very fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cuddles and Avatar

I got home from work today and had a quick bite of pizza. It was delicious after my long day. Amber and the kids picked up some pumpkins and we decorated them after dinner. Abby used some paint-pens, Allen made quite a nice face with a paintbrush, and Ashton used some feathers and glitter. It was a fun time.

I was feeling a little tired and I ended up laying on the floor for our Avatar viewing time. Ashton cuddled up with me for the whole show. Allen spelled some hard words and dazzled us with what he has learned. Ashton and Abby wanted to get tickled so I did not disappoint them. I love seeing the kids happy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tornado Warning

Tonight we had a tornado warning complete with the siren and the radio emergency broadcast signal. We said some prayers together and sat very close in the stairway. The kids were scared but we made the best of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doctor's Office

Ashton went to school yesterday and we got a note that said another child had scarlet fever. Yes, scarlet fever. After the events of Monday, we were a little concerned so I took the girls to the doctor. Ashton has been acting fine for the last couple of days so it was no surprise when I was told she was fine and we have nothing to worry about. Good news. She is a cute little person and I am happy she is feeling better.

Abby has officially decided that I am okay and was very social with me and decided several times tonight to sit in my lap while Amber was sitting right next to her on the couch. Amber gave me the obligatory dirty look but I know that aside from some superficial jealousy she thought it was cute.

This morning we got up a little late so I took Allen to school. He later told me that he doesn't like being late and instructed us to set our alarms properly. Allen came home and this was the first day I did not wait outside for his bus. He and I played some soccer for a bit and he is getting better and better. He is aiming better, getting a harder faster shot, and he is tracking the ball better so he stops my shots really well. I love it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Teacher In Service Day

This morning started off with Ashton vomiting and having flu like symptoms. She climbed in to bed herself and then I gave her medicine and brought a radio in for her to listen to music. There were a couple of instances that I needed to hold her hair while she was sick. I felt very bad for her but by early afternoon she was acting normally.

Allen asked that I teach him how to fold a paper airplane so there are several of them around the house. He was very creative today and drew a few pictures and was making projects throughout the day. His teacher called today and told me that his is doing really well and is a great reader, good at writing, and good at math and logic. She said that occasionally he will get really frustrated and it will bring him to tears. I told him that it is okay not to get things the first try and that people want to help him. All anyone needs to do is ask for help when we need it.

Abby climbed up on the couch and snuggled up with me. She fell asleep really fast. It felt nice that she wanted to be close to me. At bed time she and I again cuddled and it seemed like we were forming a stronger bond.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Divide and Conquer

This morning I took Allen to his soccer game and brought Ashton and Abby with me. The girls and I cuddled up because it was chilly out. I held Abby the whole time and kept the wind away and as time passed I ended up holding Ashton too. It was really nice to be close to the kids but my knee and my back felt a little sore afterward.

Allen put on a good show and it was a well played game. We went to the store immediately after and I picked up some chocolate glazed donut holes and some mini-muffins along with some milk. We all got home and had a good snack.

Amber took the kids to get flu immunizations today and I stayed home to take the air conditioners out of the windows. It is officially Autumn according to us. No more hot weather for air conditioners to be needed. We still have the hornet problem and I had to contend with them as both air conditioners were next to the hive. I have decided I really despise hornets now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Picture Day!

Today everyone wanted to look their best for picture day. I personally took Ashton to her school for pictures because she does not have class on Fridays. It was incredibly cute to see her get excited and carefully select what she was going to wear. When we got to the school the fourth graders were trying to socialize with her but she became shy and hid behind me.

Allen got on the bus without a hitch. He has not been late for school since the very first day of school. He is a great kid. He got another perfect score on his spelling test today.

Abby wanted to cuddle and played with her dolls a bit with me. She is a fun loving little girl. When Natalie came over to watch the girls she helped get some jewelry for Natalie to wear.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Played Soccer

Today I got home from work and immediately took Allen to soccer practice. I forgot that it was parents vs. kids night and I played a bit. It was lots of fun. When I would do some tricks Allen would declare that his daddy was very good at soccer in spite of his bad knee. I was amused and flattered that my son was proud of me.

Ashton and Abby shared some chocolate I bought while Allen ate some pizza. I cuddled the kids in and tucked them in for the night after everyone got a shower or bath. Tomorrow is picture day. The kids need to look presentable.

Amber had a rough day at work and was looking forward to a girls night out. Just after she left she got a call to respond to an assault case and had to go to the hospital to meet the victim.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dreary Day

It felt like an Autumn day. The air was crisp with a cold breeze and it rained a little. I took the kids out to the bus stop and I put my hoodie up. Ashton and Allen were jogging in place with me to stay warm. Fortunately, we did not have to wait long for the bus.

Abby is getting to be quite the climber. There are no obstacles too great in the house anymore. I feel happy that she is now bored with climbing over the gates. I think it is no longer a challenge for her. She wanted to sing a few songs with me today and we had a few duets throughout the morning. Ashton got home and we sang some more songs and then watched a couple of Disney princess movies. Abby settled in on the couch and slept for quite a while sitting up. A day like this makes you want to cuddle up in a thick blanket. Allen got home and he had a big smudge on his nose and forehead that turned out to be from a pencil he was drawing with. The ride on the bus is long and his bag is stocked with plenty of paper and things to draw with. It looked like he was practicing smudging the pencil and making the shades blend. He was in a bit of a bad mood and told me several times that he just wasn't very happy today. We agreed that it must have been the weather.

Amber worked a long day and got home just in time for us to be reading stories before bedtime. She is really passionate about her work. I like that about her. She really cares about her clients and she is sincere about doing the right thing.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yellow Jacket Trouble

Every year we get insects. This year is no different and as the title says we have yellow jackets. They seem to congregate upstairs in our bedroom and some get downstairs. Abby and I had a leisurely morning. Abby wanted to watch Harry Potter so we popped it in for a bit. After Ashton got home we played together and had quite a good time playing a sort of Pictionary on the dry erase board. Allen got home and it was quickly time to get dinner going. Everyone was snacking and when the food hit the table, no one was interested. Amber got home and I quickly went to the store and picked up some necessities. When I got home the kids were all in bed.

My wife is beautiful and very nice. Her looks are only surpassed by her ability to be gorgeous and hard working all of the time. Not many people can pull that off. She does it every day. I am a lucky person and our kids remind me of this by talking about her constantly when she isn't around and making elaborate and cool art projects for me to present to her on their behalf.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

100 Posts!

Amber and the kids stayed home and finished cleaning up the place. Yesterday they cleaned the majority of the house but the finishing touches were all done today. I got home from work and it was bed time already. Allen read quite a long book and Ashton and Abby were wiggle worms on the couch. We said night time prayers and then everyone was in bed. I tucked Allen in and he gave me some "poems" he had written. Just as I got home Ashton was showing off her best dance moves (which did look authentic to my untrained eye). Abby is really testing her limits and our patience. One second she is an angel and the next she is wreaking havoc on Amber's laptop and then on Amber herself.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fun!

I had an early meeting so I left the house as everyone was still asleep. When I got home we had dinner and then decided we were going to have some family fun. Ashton had asked to play Duck Duck Goose several times through the week so that was the first game we played. After that, we had a rousing game of Hide and Seek which then lead into a relaxing I Spy session. The kids were loving it. Amber picked up some ice cream and we had a super fantastic four hours together before bed time.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nose to the Grindstone

I went back to work today. I met a new supervisor and said goodbye to a nice manager. It was nice to see the people at work.

Amber had planned to go with Ashton's class for a field trip to an apple orchard today. Ashton got too worked up and Amber decided not to take her. Instead she took a nap while I watched the girls and now she is in very good spirits.

Abby was still awake when I got home a few minutes ago. It is 10p.m. and she is usually in bed at 7 or 8. Ashton made a funny book called "Scary Midnight Monday" with a little help from me. Allen got yet another perfect score on his spelling test. Things are good.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Broken Nose?

Amber and I had a meeting in Grand Rapids and Natalie Reed came over to watch Abby and get Ashton off of the bus. We got home and Amber had to get right to work. Ashton had a bump and a scrape on her nose. Her teacher said she got a bloody nose when she fell. Ashton told me she fell off the bus right on to the sidewalk. The left side of her cheek was red and she said it hurt when it was touched. I felt really awful that she got hurt. Allen has a friend he sits with on the bus and Ashton told me the this girl picked her up off of the ground and carried her to the other bus.

I took Allen to soccer and we had some open field time before the practice started to kick the ball around. It was the most fun I had all day long.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Smooth Sailing (Mostly)

Today I finally solved the confusion with the crazies at my work human resources department. Between and offshored call center and an office where all of work is done in Minnesota, all seems to be okay.

The kids were great today. Abby and I had some fun while I chased her and I took her outside to sit on the porch with me to wait for Ashton and Allen to get home.

Ashton is getting bigger and she is pretty clever. It would seem that she has learned to read some words. She is also making friends at pre-school and is excited to go.

Allen has made some friends and is getting to be quite the reader. I had him spell his weekly spelling words out loud tonight and he had them in rapid succession. Impressive.

Amber's work is under some kind of audit so everyone is tense. She is also not feeling as though some people support her in her job. Fortunately the people are not in any way important so it is just hurting her feelings more than anything.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Intense Day

Amber had a 13 hour work day and was really worn out when she got home. She also really misses interacting with the kids. I have to say that while I have been on leave, it has been really great being with the kids so much.

This morning I got the green light from the doctor to return to work. I guess he will be out of work for a while to get hip surgery. I thought that was ironic that the arthroscopic surgeon needs that very surgery for his own ailment.

Abby spent a bit with my parents and they all had fun together. She is a vibrant little person who is full of cuddly love. She found a doll that grandma really likes and gently hugged it and gave it a kiss. Grandma just had to take a photo of it. Abby smiled a beautiful little girl smile so hard her eyes were shut! Cute!

Ashton came home from school announcing that the color of the day was yellow. That explained the little yellow paint smear above her left eye. After a bit we all got situated and had a snack with little yogurt drinks. Ashton has decided that flushing the toilet is not necessary. I heard the door shut to the bathroom and asked her to please flush. She immediately said she didn't go potty. I asked her what she was doing in the bathroom and that was met with a long pause and an impish answer that she "put some makeup on." I made it clear that telling lies is very bad and began to walk to the bathroom to check it out for myself. She ran ahead of me, yogurt drink in hand. She turned the corner to reach the toilet handle a little too fast and hit the floor. I was right behind her so I had the perfect vantage point to see that she wasn't hurt and also to see the yogurt drink fly all over the door, wall, and on her own hair. Let's just say further inspection revealed what I suspected. Hopefully she won't lie anymore.

Allen is getting to have a really cool personality. I think this is going to be the period of time that I am still cool in his eyes, too. As I wrote yesterday, he is really into ninjas since he bought a costume for Halloween and saw one of dad's ninja movies. Tonight there was a cartoon with ninjas in it and he got pretty excited. Once again he put his costume on and showed us all his karate moves. Before bed he read a longer book to his sisters and I. I am very proud of him. He is quite a good reader and at school he is being given the work of the kids a grade above him. Like the girls, he is a really great kid.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Passing the Torch

Today the whole family went to church. Afterward we went to my parents house for a quick lunch. Amber took Allen and Ashton to the store and they came back with Halloween costumes. Ashton chose a Little Mermaid costume and Allen chose a ninja costume. I got excited and asked Allen if he knew about ninjas. After a bit the family ended up watching the movie Iron Monkey. Everyone enjoyed it and I really felt like I was introducing the kids to some really great cinema. We all win.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Heading to Work

I went to work today to get back on the schedule. I have a beard now and I guess that is why one person didn't even recognize me. Allen and I played soccer in the yard. He is fun to play games with. I also chopped a tree apart. It was lots of work and it took longer than I expected.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Another Day Older

Today I consulted with Brad at his office and my parents watched Abby and Ashton for a bit. Allen came home and we worked together to clean up before mom came home. Amber brought pizza and it was great.

We watched the next episode of Avatar tonight as a family. I dressed up like Uncle Iroh. Ashton had her hair done up like Azula. She looked very grown up. Allen has been looking like a young man, too. Abby is getting better at communicating and certainly is showing her personality and opinion much more. It is really hard to describe little changes the kids go through as they grow but a parent knows. I am happy I get to spend so much time with the kids.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Hope to Never See This Again

Today was rather leisurely and I had a good time playing with Abby as well as Ashton after she got home from school. Allen came home and he and Ashton made characters on the Wii for a bit while Abby took a little nap on the couch.

Then the excitement happened. A few phone calls came and then while I was on the phone I felt the floor was a little wet. I have the tendency to pace or walk around when I am on the phone. Because of the excitement I didn't think anything of it until my leg felt a little wet and I noticed the floor had yellow puddles. I looked at my pants and it looked like I was incontinent. For a split second I wondered if something was really wrong with me and if it was my own urine. Then I realized that the wet spot started at my knee. This was a little less freaky but not that good of an alternative. I lifted my pant leg to see one of the incisions leaking quite productively down my leg and all over my foot. The shade of yellow was really disconcerting. I showed no emotion or concern while I was on the phone but then I called the doctor's office.

Yuck. Amber said she doesn't get queasy with this stuff but what she saw turned her stomach. The weirdest part is that now my knee feel really different. Not bad per se but just different. It is almost like where my bones all meet up got a little closer together and my knee feels sloppy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We are Getting Sick

Either we all have allergies or we are getting in on a wave of season-change colds. Amber already took the kids earlier in the week to doctor. It is her turn to feel sick.

Last nights storm left plenty of tree branches in the yard. It took me a fair amount of effort to get a log off of the driveway. I helped Allen create a photo album and it was clear that he was genuinely happy with my assistance. Allen likes playing soccer with me and quickly Ashton and Abby get in on the fun. Abby and I played for a bit. Ashton made a guessing game/puzzle out of paper at school today. It reminded me of doing similar projects with paper when I was a kid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Severe Thunderstorm

It is raining really hard. I hope we don't lose power.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Church and Home

We all went to church today. It is pretty rare that we are all able to go. Afterward we went home and spent time together. Amber had to get some things from the store so Ashton and I watched a movie that Aunt Karin gave to her. It was nice to cuddle with her. After everyone got home it was soon bedtime. For the first time Abby climbed off of Amber's lap and into mine. After the general bedtime reading, Allen and I read some in his room. There is a very old Star Wars book that was mine when I was a kid that is now Allen's. He and I read it for a bit and then Allen showed me his secret Pokemon card stash. He is really growing up.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kid's Day

Everyone was home today and we spent some quality time together. In the morning we went to Allen's soccer game. It is great fun to see him in action. It gets me more excited than I like to admit. I hold back but I still yell encouragement quite often. I do not want to be the jerk dad that takes the games too seriously (in my heart that is exactly what I am).

When we got home every was doing their own thing for a bit. After some time we congregated to the couch and watched The Incredibles together. It was really nice to cuddle.

Fun quotes of the day:
Allen told Amber that he doesn't want people at school to think he is a "momma's boy"
Ashton told me I will "be a really cool old person"
Whenever we request someone volunteer to say a prayer, Abby always raises her hand and says "meeeee!"

We have a great family.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Avatar

Tonight we all watched the first show of the season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is fun to watch and the whole family enjoys it quite a bit. Amber is probably the biggest fan.

Abby and Ashton were home with me today. My knee is feeling much better so I felt obligated to move around as much as I could. Abby has taken to rearranging the back room so my mobility was tested. Ashton had Amber do her hair like one of the Avatar characters so she looked super cute all day long. After Amber and Allen got home we ordered a pizza and took it easy. It has been a fun day.

Hilarious

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

School is Cool

Ashton officially had her first day of school (finally). Ashton made a friend at school who apparently has a kitten named "Hammy." In spite of the transportation department she made it there and back. Amber had to take her but they did bring her back. I also got to speak to the superintendent regarding the inability for the transportation folks to get things right, or to even sound like they cared to make it right.

Of course Allen went to school again today so it was just Abby and I at home for a bit. Abby had a bit of a bathroom event that ended with her in the tub and me having to mop the floor and wipe down every flat surface in the room. I kept my cool but it was pretty gross. At least she really tried to get on the potty. She is one busy kid.

Allen has made another friend and her name is Sabrina. Every time he comes home I try to get a conversation started about school and I always ask who he played with or who he sits next to during the day. It makes me feel good that he is fitting in and making friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stitches Out

Today I had an incredibly brief meeting with the knee doctor. He had his nurse take out my stitches and then he said "see you in two weeks so we can start talking about you getting back to work." Ugh.

Today was the downpoint of the cycle of children behavior. Suffice it to say that when Amber got home I was really appreciative of her patience with the kids. By bed time, there was no patience to be found.

Ashton will finally start school in the morning and she is really excited. She does not want to go to sleep. Today Ashton showed a little of what the future holds as she decided to change the dress she was wearing beacause "she was tired of the buttons and the stripes" and opted for a different look.

Allen had an event on the bus. I already had little faith in the bus folk as a result of some misunderstandings early on. Today they just forgot to drop him off at home. They drove by and kept going. He ended up being on the bus for over an hour because he was the last one off. At least he made a friend. He told us that a girl likes to sit next to him.

Abby was accused of being an eating machine by one of her parents today. She will not leave the snack cupboard alone unless she is standing in the fridge. Yes, I mean that literally. Her little feet stand on the inside of the fridge right next to the crisper drawers. She manages to terrorize Ashton from time to time. This is going to be interesting to see how these three interact later in life.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vacation

Again I am recuperating at home. Amber and the kids went to church and I stayed to whip up the lunch.

The kids are very caring and concerned about me. Today we looked at pictures of the inside of my knee and then I showed the kids the incisions for the first time. Allen asked if they hurt and Ashton ran out of the room with her hand over her mouth.

Allen and I played a little soccer (I hit the ball with my crutch) and then Ashton and I played catch. They really like being with me. Abby is still a fun little toddler and just likes to be the center of attention.

I sent Amber off to do her own thing. She has been running nonstop for the last week. She ended up going to get her hair done and it looks very nice. She got some highlights and relaxed at the salon.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Naughty Kids

Today seemed like a nonstop barrage of children assaulting the adults with words, disobedience, and physical attacks. Honestly, I don't know how Amber or I survived.

Okay. I am exagerating. Maybe I am a little sensitive because of the state that I am in.

The kids try to have a good time but today Amber and I just didn't have the energy or the patience to contend with the tricks and showdowns. She made it happen while I tried not to make things worse.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I am a Pansy

The big event today was that I was to change my knee bandage dressing and be able to take a (much needed) shower. Once removed I saw the blood, the stitches, the cuts, and smelled it and immediately felt sick. I knew I had to hurry because I was feeling faint and I began to sweat like crazy. Long story short is that it took me two attempts and I was laying on the floor focused on my breathing for about ten minutes.

At least I didn't fall over.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rest and Recovery

Today I spent nearly all day laying down with my leg being bent by an elaborate contraption. It has been incredibly restful. Of course, the cost of my relaxation is that Amber has to work even harder. With school starting and the bus situation being unclear it has been an even greater load for her since her work responsibilities are also growing.

My dad cam over tonight to help drop off some documents to the doctor on my behalf. He is another person that is being worked harder because of the needs of others. Neither Amber nor my dad really complain much. They are great people. I am lucky to have them in my life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Surgery

Well, it's time. I'm going in.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Visit

Today Amber's mom stopped by. I haven't seen her in a few months. There has been a falling out with Amber and that side of her family. She stopped over under the auspices to make sure Amaber was still comfortable being in her living will due to a scheduled surgery she has. Her mom had quite a bit to say and she shed some tears because she missed our family.

Tonight Ashton heard Amber telling me that I could get a handicapped sticker for the car after my surgery. Ashton replied: "I want a candy cat sticker, too!" It was very funny. She has a great imagination. She is really looking forward to school and riding the bus. Ashton talked about it a few times today.

Allen is getting really good at soccer. He is having more fun and is gaining accuracy. He played for quite a while with me after school today. We also got a new PS2 game that uses a camera to see the player and really put the person in the game. It was fun to see Allen get into that as well. You have to wave your arms and jump around to play the games. It was entertaining.

Abby is a little cuddly and took a long nap pretty early on in the day. Maybe the change in the weather brought with it a cold. She seems fine so maybe it is just a growth spurt coming up. She is growing quite a bit and helped herself to a cup of milk without spilling it today.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Interview

I had my interview today for a promotion. It went pretty well. I am not sure how I did but I know that the person who interviewed me will go to bat for me. I heard who the other people are that interviewed and I think my chances are better than most of the other candidates.


I didn't get to see my family too much today. Amber was the only person awake when I got home. She made me a MySpace page even though it is usually considered a place for children and weirdos (hopefully you read this, sweetheart!).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Soccer Game

Today I had an early meeting for work but I was able to get to Allen's first soccer game. It was really fun for me to see the kids play and get a feel for the sport. Allen was more focused in this game than he had been in tee ball. I think it is based on the pace of the sport and he is a little older.

Amber cleaned the whole house. I mean top to bottom complete cleaning. Again I have to say that she works really hard. I love her very much. The kids and I played for a bit together but I had to get back to work.

Friday, September 7, 2007

School Time

Yesterday was Allen's first day of first grade. Today was supposed to be his first day riding the bus but he missed it. We had a showdown this morning and that means we both lost. It is sure hard convincing little kids that adults are right sometimes. He is a god kid but when things go wrong, he gets pretty upset.

Ashton, Abby, and I went to Ashton's school for a orientation. It was really cool because Ashton found her special new clothes for her first day. She is super cute. Abby really liked riding on the bus and looking around Ashton's new class.

My employer continues to fumble with my upcoming leave to get my knee fixed. Hopefully this doesn't get completely screwed up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Stepping in to the Future

Today we went to Allen's school for an open house. It was busy and hot and we were running a little behind. The school is close by and his teacher, Mrs. Lee seems very nice. Amber and I had some issues as to whether Allen should be in first grade or Kindergarten but after all was said and done he begins first grade tomorrow.

Ashton will be starting school next week, too. Tonight she was being kind of aggressive verbally and I acted as though she had hurt my feelings. I said that I may even cry. She looked sad and said: "even if I tell you I hate you I really still love you, Daddy." I thought that was nice considering she didn't actually come out and say she hated me. I took it to mean that even in the worst case that she were to say something really hurtful she really still loved me in spite of how she felt. Amazing. It made me stop for a second and think about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rhythm

I submitted my name for consideration for promotion at work. I also have started school again. The kids are going to school and the need to be several places every day is increasing. My surgery is coming up and my employer has still not quite ironed out the details of my leave. For the most part, stress and tension are increasing.

I am a pretty relaxed guy. Ordinarily I have a positive outlook and feel good. I am feeling like my rhythm is being stalled and I will have to find my stride again. I know change happens and I look forward to what is to come. I am really looking forward to getting back into a good rhythm in life.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Family Togetherness

We spent the entire day together. It was great! No one was in a hurry, there weren't any schedules, or obligations. We began the day by just doing what we wanted to. I ended up mowing the lawn and the kids and Amber played inside. After lunch (which included grilled ham and cheese sandwiches) we went to Dairy Queen. We ate the ice cream goodies at the park and then played there for a bit. I ran to the store to get some items for grilling and we ate dinner together. To top off the day we watched Spirited Away. What a great day! The kids even all went to bed easily.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Strange Day

I left home today with Amber making pancakes for the kids as a brunch. She decided to stay home from church because she had a migraine and was not feeling good. The kids were being rambunctious and running around. It was a bit of a rough morning.

At work it just seemed like there were nowhere near enough people and it was just a frustrating day. For some reason, the leave of absence time is still not figured out. I am really not sure what is going on with them.

Next week Allen starts school. Tonight he was mad at Amber and said that he didn't want to go to school. Hopefully he will be feeling better about things tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

School Shopping Day

Today was a long one for me. I left in the morning and met Amber and the kids in Grand Rapids after I deposited my paycheck in Hastings. We went to a few places and the kids had a great time picking things out for the upcoming school year. After we ahd a quick lunch and grabbed some final needed items I went to work until 11 p.m.

I am pretty tired.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Family Cuddle Time

Tonight was a rare instance that everyone was home during waking hours. When I got home we all cozied up on the couch and watched a cartoon movie on television. It was nice. It is getting less and less common for us to do this kind of thing.

Yesterday Allen had soccer practice and I was the one to take him. We were there for about five minutes and he had his feelings hurt and refused to participate. He demanded we go home. This was one of those times as a father that I really didn't know what to do. I really wanted him to play but there was no convincing him to do what I wanted. When we got home he was in a bad mood. I felt that he was being too sensitive but Amber said that he was not feeling good. It sure is tough to be a parent. It is probably tougher to be a kid when a parent is having a difficult time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today is Wednesday

The kids and I played quite a bit today. Allen is getting more interested in soccer now that he is enrolled in a league. We played for a bit with the girls.

Grandma and Grandpa came over today for a brief visit. They are still trying to get the furnace situation figured out. The furnace sales rep came and took a look at the vents and is going to submit a proposal.

Abby has decided that the fridge is the new frontier for fun. She took out some eggs and tested the shell strength on the floor. Again, I am thinking that I was like this as a child. I am feeling bad for my parents now.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Let's Fly a Kite

Recently the kids had received kites as a gift from their grandparents on Amber's side. As I have said, my knee has been giving me plenty of trouble lately and we have not been able to launch the kites. Today Allen opened his kite and announced that he was flying the kite. I really wanted to help so Allen, Ashton, Abby and I all went out to give it a try. The wind was almost perfect for flying! Much to my surprise the kite flew almost immediately. I remember being disappointed by kites as a kid but this one just worked. We all had fun until Abby tried to make a break for it by running to the road and scaring me. I am in no shape to run so I kind of half ran, half hopped to intercept her. Thank goodness we don't live on a busy street.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Surgery!

Today I met with the Orthopedic Surgeon as a consultation prior to scheduling a surgery. There weren't any surprises except that it took about three hours sitting in the office to get the entire process completed. I am anxious.

When I got home I intended on clearing the brush that had fallen in the yard over the last few days due to storm winds. One of the logs was really quite big. Amber called me in and suggested that I ask someone to lend me a chainsaw instead of using a hand saw. I went outside after telling her that I do not feel comfortable using a chainsaw. Our new neighbor that I hadn't met yet walked up, chainsaw in tow, and offered to do the job. He was very nice. I really appreciated the help he gave.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings?

I got home from work tonight to see Amber and Allen watching the third Lord of the Rings movie. I knew Amber was watching it tonight because the three movies were being shown three nights in a row. This was the third and final night that I thought I would be snuggling up with my wife to see the movie. Allen was transfixed. He was very interested in the movie. I remarked that as Allen gets older the movies he can see get cooler and he looked at me as if he knew that and the prospect of seeing movies like LotR was really exciting.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Abby's Birthday

That's right, today is Abby's birthday. She is now two years old! Allen is looking rather grown up and is coming into his own. He is establishing his sense of humor and identity. Ashton loves to cuddle and really appreciates attention. She and I pretended to be a Daddy dog and a little girl dog. Cute!

I feel like I was at work all day. It has been a long day.

I picked up some Dairy Queen for Amber and I. I sure remember it tasting better than this. We were both decidedly underwhelmed.

Grandparents Watched the Kids

Today was just one of those gray mucky and humid days. No one woke up feeling especially good so the majority of the time was spent just trying to get along. All three kids needed their cuddly security objects pretty much the whole morning. Allen has his fuzzy blanket, Ashton had her fishy, and Abby had the standard pacifier and blanket combination.

I took the kids to my parents house to be watched for about three hours. Amber told me that the power went out there. The storms lately have been pretty windy so our yard has lots of debris. Many people in the area are without power. Usually it is us that get hit but so far we have been very lucky.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What Would You Spend Lottery Winnings On?

Today was filled with cute smiles being flashed by Ashton while Allen was rambunctious and filled with energy. Abby climbed on things like the furniture or gates to get places she knew she shouldn't be all while laughing with pure joy.

I had a quick conversation with a coworker about the current Michigan Lottery being rather large. He and I talked about what we would spend the money on and we both said we would pay off bills and take care of people closest to us. The interesting part came after the obvious stuff. He said he would buy a really nice car and then travel with his wife and son. My response was that I would eat at Masaharu Morimoto's restaurant and spend money on causes that I really believed in. I would finance public service announcements and also move to a place that my kids would be able to play hockey while attending a private school. I never really thought this kind of lottery pipe dream was all that odd but he looked at me like I was nuts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fun and Games

Today was yet another rainy day and the kids and I were home together. I taught Allen and Ashton to play War (the card game) and they enjoyed it. Abby was torn between terrorizing Charlie and playing with us.

Allen is starting school soon and has to be evaluated in order to be placed in the first grade. Amber brought home some work books to prepare him. We had quite a battle trying to get a few of the pages done. The activities that were completed he understood and wrote down correct answers, but he was just not interested in the slightest to do them. I remember being like that. In third grade I knew what the answers were but when it came to what I considered busy work (the workbooks) I never did it. This endless frustrated my teacher and my parents. Now it is my turn to be frustrated. I really hope Amber and I can figure out the secret in inspiring our kids to complete the work early in the school careers to build the right habits.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rainy Day

This morning I had to take the kids to run some errands in Hastings. It had been a misty morning with a drizzle here and there before we left. I finally got everyone ready to go and the skies opened up. A downpour welcomed us as we left the house. I ran with Abby and Allen and Ashton both ran around trying to get in the car as fast as they could.

When we got home, I really wanted to have some fun with the kids. We played monkey in the middle, soccer, dominoes (line them up to knock them down, not the actual game of dominoes), and played with various toys. We had a good time.

Amber came home early. She got sick at work and did not feel good at all. She complained last night about not feeling tip-top but I just thought it was fatigue (like I said, she works very hard). After a bit, she started to perk up and we had dinner together. Amber has scheduled every night with a menu. Tonight I could not figure out how I was going to make a chicken pot pie with the ingredients in the house. I ran to the store and bought a frozen pizza, Vernor's, and peanut butter M&M's.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday at Home!

I had an abbreviated work day so I was able to be home longer than usual. Amber stayed home from church because Ashton was not feeling her best this morning. We cuddled on the couch and ate dinner together. It was a friendly day. The kids liked the attention and Amber and I liked the relaxed pace.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Punctuality

I set my alarm last night and was very careful to turn on the alarm, make sure it was a.m. instead of p.m., and checked the volume so as that it would actually rouse me. I set the time to 5:59 a.m. because I had an early morning meeting at work. My eyes opened at 5:53 a.m. and I rolled over and cuddled in the blankets. The next time I woke up it was 7:18 a.m. and the alarm was turned off. All I can surmise is that in a dazed stupor I turned my alarm off at the switch (not that easy to do even if I was awake). I ended up being 30 minutes late and very embarrassed. I hate being late especially for a scheduled event or meeting.

I only got to see Amber and the kids for a short time today. Between the meeting and working at night, I was home for about 2 hours and part of that Amber took the kids to shop at the store.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feline Liberation Front

The feline liberation front (a.k.a. Abby) is still active in the house. She let the cat out again today and got mad at me any time I tried to prevent her from opening the back door for Spot.

Amber had a busy day but she still managed to take care of all of her tasks (work, driving around West Michigan, taking care of the kids, etc.) and she brought be dinner at work. I am a lucky guy. I have a great family with a loving and unselfish wife and some really awesome kids. I love them all very much.

Allen and I made a caveman book last night. I was hoping we would finish it today but we both got caught up in other things. Ashton wanted to wear a dress that was missing a button. I told her to change it and she disagreed with me. We made up though as I made up funny songs while tickling her.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dad at Home

I had the day off and not much to do. My knee is still not quite right and it was raining a bit otherwise I would have mowed the lawn. The lawn really needs it.

We took the cat to the vet and everything looked okay. The vet was a different fellow than the last time I went. He was very amiable and friendly and was talking more about the cat having a good personality than any concerns we had about it's health. Charlie took a shot and rather large pill without minding very much. I was impressed. Allen and Ashton wanted to talk the ear off of the vet. They both keep me laughing (except at bed time). They are both filled with some real spirit. Abby was just feeling a little tired or shy because she just wanted to be held at the vet.

Amber got home and was tired from a long day. She had a meeting earlier today and came home to get Allen signed up for school. We also lined him up for soccer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Climbing Fences

Abby has decided the only fun in the whole house lies beyond the fence upstairs. She now either climbs the fence, lets the cat outside, or tries to shut the television off when the other kids are watching. The most interesting part here is that if you ask my mother, Abby is very much like me when I was a child both in looks and behaviour. I knew I was a bit of a handful but I didn't know what that meant until now.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All the Goings On

Apparently the cat needs to go to the vet. I made an appointment for Charlie and was asked a few questions and he is going to be seen on Wednesday. The kids really love him. They made a nest with blankets and pillows for him to rest in. Abby still does not want to leave him alone. She went during dinner and picked him up.

I watched the kids this morning because it was my day off. I really wanted to go to the park with the whole family when Amber got home. Because of all of the excitement in the house, we never made it out the door.

I am pretty sure all three kids grew an inch today. They all look like they are getting big.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Cat

Yes, we have found yet another cat. Charlie is a fuzzy small kitten that one of Amber's coworkers found and could not keep. He looks remarkably like a cat we used to have named Crocker. We had Crocker for a long time and earlier in the Summer we lost him.

Charlie (Sandstorm according to the kids) is fun loving. He is making Spot feel a bit on edge. Charlie will do just fine. He is not intimidated by Spot. Abby is the one to watch with the cat as she treats him like a stuffed animal. Hopefully she will learn quickly to be nice to him.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Celebrate Birthdays!

We had a small get together at the farm to celebrate Allen and Abby's birthdays. Today was Amber's birthday but the focus was the kids. Early this morning Amber tied up the loose ends for preparations (she never takes a break). I stayed at home and did some minor clean up and prep.

My parents and sister's family came to have cake and ice cream. Allen and ABby were both very happy with the gifts and attention. We all had a great time. It was low key but we don't get chances to see the family all together as often as it would seem possible.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Typical Weekday

Amber and I had work again today. In the morning I watched the kids. I took them to the Reed's house to be watched until Amber could pick them up. I met a journalist from the Lakewood News today. She was a nice person. When I got home Amber had cleaned the house up quite a bit.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Family Together Time

Today the whole family went to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. We had a fun time and everyone found things that were fun. I lined up dominoes to tip, Allen found the bubbles that you could stand in, Ashton collected faux food items and pretended to cook, Abby played in the sand, and Amber had fun guiding us all. Allen and Ashton took part in a neat little obstacle course as well.

On the way home we stopped by Marble Slab Creamery (fancy-pants ice cream). Everyone shared the ice cream they ordered with someone else. Mine was a particularly popular choice: vanilla milk shake. Abby and Allen pretty much polished off the shake between them. Amber told me that she thinks I am a good dad. She said that in the van she observed me looking at Abby and I had a look of true parental love on my face. Then she asked if we should have another child. She loves children.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Day Today

This morning I took the kids to day care and went to work. The kids are an interesting trio. Allen is the prototypical big brother. He likes doing his own thing and is interested in playing games on his terms. He is still nice to the girls but I can tell that in the future his toleration will be worn thin. Ashton is in search of her place. She isn't the baby and isn't the oldest so she will 'cry' to get attention. Other than that, she has quite a little imagination. She comes up with funny names and likes to make jokes. Abby is very much the baby role. She is demanding and does find ways to get what she wants in spite of the older kids. It is odd to see that she can take charge of things at her age. I love the kids so much. I really like to see what they will do next.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ashton Told Me to Write This Story


Here is the story:


    Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little mermaid that lived in the deep blue sea. She loved the creatures of the sea and appreciated all of the wonders of this world. In the evening she would often watch the sun setting from her favorite reef, and in the morning help forage for food with the prawns and guppies.
    Unbeknownst to the little mermaid, an evil mermaid lived close to the nice mermaid’s home. She lived in a gigantic seashell that was usually closed. This mermaid was a bad and lonely mermaid. She had no friends and did not like the fact that other mermaids did have friends.
    One day the bad mermaid decided to disguise herself and trick the nice mermaid. The bad mermaid pretended to be friends with the good mermaid to gain her trust. In time, the nice mermaid was indeed fooled by the bad mermaid’s trick.
    The nice mermaid finally discovered the evil mermaid’s true intentions after the evil mermaid could no longer keep the ruse. The nice mermaid never would hurt another sea creature but she also knew that if the evil mermaid was not stopped bad things could happen. Using mermaid magic, the nice mermaid turned the evil mermaid into a little baby turtle. The nice mermaid forever after helped the little baby turtle catch food as soon as the sun rose over the sea. They lived happily ever after.

    The End

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Reunited!

Amber and the kids are back! They are all tired from all of the excitement. The house feels good again. Amber was a little upset that she thinks the house smells bad. I thought I was being good by doing the laundry. I guess I need a better sense of smell.

My knee is still in quite a bit of pain. I am upset that the doctor's office has not made an appointment for me to go to the orthopedic surgeon. I need this fixed!

It is incredibly humid. Thank goodness we have a working air conditioner.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thank You, BK


Yay! You can create a Simpsons version of your likeness. Give it a try. This is what I ended up looking like:

Weekend

Amber and the kids went to her Dad's house. The house is always so empty when they leave. I hope they are having a fun time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Things To Do

Today was pretty hot. The temperature was into the upper 90s. Grandma and Grandpa invited us to spend lunch with them in the air conditioning. The kids and I went and had a good time. Dad let me grill up some burgers and hot dogs. Afterward we ate some of Kasey's birthday ice cream cake.

My Mom looks good and feels like things are going well for her. She said at her last visit to the doctor that they were confident that she will be here to celebrate Christmas. She was very happy about that.

In the car Ashton told us about her imaginary friend "Shajhie". Ashton told us "he is a girl with a mustache" which made me laugh out loud. We have heard of Shajhie before, the imaginary friend is usually the scapegoat when someone does something wrong. Who bit Allen on the hand? Shahjie did. We laugh and then tell Ashton that we sent Shahjie to Zambia. ...And on goes the joke. At this point I think she just brings it up for a laugh. She is pretty funny. Amber thinks that of the three kids Ashton has the most humerus imagination.

After we got home from Grandma and Grandpa's the kiddie pool got some use by all three kids while I cooked some dinner. Fun day all around. I hope my knee gets better soon...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Cat Wants Freedom

Today's theme was gathering the cat from outside. Spot (Ashton named him) wasn't really sure what to do once he got out there, but he tried really hard several times to get out the door. Allen and Ashton realized that the cat should stay in and they would yell to alert me that the cat was trying to sneak by them when they opened the door. Abby, on the other hand, understood Spot's plight and helped him leave at least twice. When I asked her why she let the cat out, she would just reply: "Kitty Kitty outside!" She said it kind of triumphantly as if she did a great service that needed recognition.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Visiting Aunt Karin

The kids informed me early that they wanted to visit Aunt Karin's house and see Hannah on her birthday. Amber had intended on taking them on Sunday but plans were changed. We were only there for about an hour but the kids loved it. Prizes were buried in the sand box and although Abby wasn't interested, Allen and Ashton had a blast. We ended the visit with some popsicles and spending time on the swing set. It is always fun to visit my sister's house.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stress

Right when you think that things might be going your way you realize that life gets just a little harder. Between work, school, and family obligations I feel today that I am falling behind a bit. I am taking a break from school for about 4 weeks and I really hope to catch up on some needed business.

I really need to get a new job. I wish I could just get my degree already and get on with life!!! I am really jealous that Amber has begun serious career work and I am spinning wheels a bit. I just feel unsettled.

The kids are excited that I have tomorrow off of work. Hopefully we can have some fun together and I can get my mind off of this stress if for just a short bit.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Blog Time

This is the part of creating a blog I was afraid of. I am being careful not to repeat anything I have written before but I am also feeling like I have to blog about something. I bet many people who create a blog hit this point. Maybe it separates the long term bloggers from the quitters.

Today the kids were going to be watched at home by a family friend. They love to show off the cool new things they have to visitors and this was a great chance to gather all of Allen's latest birthday gifts. He is interested in Pokemon quite a bit and that was the topic of conversation when I left. I apologized to the sitter and she just laughed.

A new band that seems rather cool is the Gogol Bordello. I heard it on an NPR podcast called All Songs Considered. Great show. They often will just air live performances from a club in Washington D.C. called The 9:30 Club. Many big name bands play there.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Allen's Birthday

Today is Allen's birthday! He is six years old. He drew a picture of himself as a missionary walking down the street. He is a great young man.

After resting my leg up this week I was able to go to work today. It is still very tender and it hurts quite a bit if I move wrong.

Amber has once again managed to cover all of the bases. She cooked a full dinner and prepared instructions for me to heat it up after I picked the kids up from day care. She rocks!

Tonight Ashton said a prayer in which she said: "if you are feeling unloved, get a hug and a kiss from your daddy." I felt loved :)

Abby and I played catch and tickle fest again. She was laughing quite a bit before she got cuddled.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Knee and Harry Potter

Early this morning I was able to get an appointment with the doctor regarding my knee. He was generally irritated that I do not want to go into the surgery that was suggested months ago. It still hurts so I really am reconsidering what I should do.

I finished the last Harry Potter book. Amber finished it first so I only started two days ago. I liked it very much. The ending was satisfying in as much as I did not guess the ending but I was sort of close. I was extremely happy that I was able to read it.

My dad stopped by today. He was investigating the fuel oil tank. Gregg's family just left today so I know my mom was really feeling down. She did not come with him. He was here a brief while and shot the breeze.

Amber has been phenomenal the last few days. She has been bending over backward to help me feel better but also to take care of the house and kids. I love her very much. I have no idea how she has even more to do but still manages to do things exactly her way. I married a very special woman. If you are reading this, Amber, I owe you big time!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Visit

Gregg, Allyson, and their kids visited today. They only stayed for a bit but it was nice to talk to them. Gregg's family is a responsible bunch and they do care about others. They bought an old PDA of mine for Kasey's birthday tomorrow.

Other than that, it has been an uneventful day. I have been trying to rest my knee up. It has been rather painful since yesterday. I hope it is okay when I get to work tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Day with the Grandparents

Today was the big day. My parents went to church with all of their children and grandchildren today. It is always very special for my Mom because we are not sure how much longer she will be with us. We had two meals and spent lots of quality time with them. My Mom wanted to celebrate all of the grandchildren and she said something special about each of them. Then she gave them all a special gift and we had a birthday party for everyone. It was really a great time. I know it wore my parents out but they really value every moment they have with the family.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I Found This

71%The Movie Quiz

It was fun. Give it a try!

Day at the Lake

This morning Amber, the kids, and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I really liked it. Abby was not sold on the film and Amber and I tried to keep her entertained. As it ended up, Amber missed the end of the movie because Abby was all done with about 15 minutes left. Allen was the only one to watch the whole movie as Ashton and I left to use the rest room. When it hits DVD, we will watch it again.

After the movie we went to the Johnson's beach house. We met up with Geoff's family, Gregg's family, Karin's family, and my parents all ate dinner together at the lake. The scenery was very nice and the weather was great. Amber and the kids all rode on the boat. We visited and generally appreciated the fun times.

Tomorrow at church Gregg's twin daughters and Geoff's oldest daughter are getting baptised. It will no doubt be the highlight for my parents. I know they are really looking forward to it.

The Potter Book

I worked late tonight and went straight away after work to pick up the Harry Potter book. Everywhere I went was packed and there really was no avoiding lines. I picked the book up successfully and look forward to reading it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Incredible Moments

I picked the kids up from day care and everyone was just ready to be home. Allen was being rowdy and Ashton and Abby were egging him on. I looked in the back seat to tell Allen to quit yelling and ended up telling Ashton that she has beautiful blue eyes. When we got home, I whipped dinner up quickly and we st down together to watch some Pokemon (which Allen loves). Abby wanted to be tickled and after a while she just began cuddling with me. A few minutes later, both Abby and I were asleep! She was very cute. After I got Abby in her bed Ashton, Allen, and I got some ice cream. Fun times.

Amber worked a long day and then cleaned the house at 8 p.m. while I mowed the lawn. She is unstoppable. If I had worked a 12 hour day, I would have gone right to bed when I got home. Amber is going to do it again tomorrow and it all starts at 7 a.m.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oppertunity Knocks

A coworker offered to have Allen do a learn-to-skate for free. This includes skate rentals. I was immediately excited. I would really like to have Allen start playing hockey. It had been such an important part of my life when I was a kid, I would like to be there as a dad at this point. I hope he gets a chance to do it. More importantly, I hope he has the same reaction I did.

Today we finally got the car back since the accident! Three weeks... I guess there was much work for them to do. A seat, the whole door and front corner panel were replaced. It broke many little bits like the headlamp and folded the hood up a little. From the sounds of it the hardest part was getting the air bags installed and all of the sensors calibrated properly.

Allen, Ashton, Abby, and I spent some time outside. I pitched to Allen again while the girls rode bikes and chased the ball with me. It was a little humid but plenty of fun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Family In Town

Geoff and Steph are in town to visit with their kids. They are tons of fun. It is great to see them and catch up. They are having their tenth wedding anniversary while they are here and perhaps we will go and watch the new Harry Potter movie together.

At the end of the week, Gregg and his family are coming as well. Everyone will be here to have children baptised in Hastings since my parents do not wish to travel.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finally, Time With the Kids

Today I worked another long shift but I was able to get home before the kids had to get to bed. When I arrived home Allen told me to get outside quick so we could play catch. What he wanted to do was have me throw a ball for him to try and hit with a bat. He had played tee ball during the summer so I figured this would be plenty of thrown balls without many being hit. I was wrong. Allen hit five of the first six throws and two of them were hit pretty far. While he and I played, Ashton rode her bike and Abby would run to the ball and wanted to throw it too. It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Long Day

I worked a pretty long day today. I was there from 7am to almost 9pm. Ugh. I am glad I am home. Allen and Amber were at the 4H fair event today. Allen told me that he earned several blue ribbons. I am so tired, that is all I can think of for now...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Day of the Week

I worked today and my back hurt just like I expected. I feel good over all, though. I picked the kids up from daycare and it is always an adventure. Abby was all wet, Allen was ready to leave before I got out of the car, and Ashton wanted to keep playing on the swing set.

We got McDonald's (yeah, I know) and ran home. Amber was working today too and had some job firsts I will let her blog about. The new rental car is a tiny Hyundai. It is under 1k miles so it could be worse.

Abby was really tired so she needed extra attention. She and I had some laughs (which pretty much amounts to me letting her climb on me and I would tickle her) and Allen and Ashton wanted to play this on the DS.

Amber took Allen to the grocery store and they bought lots of stuff. While they were gone they brought me a Todd McFarlane 12" collectable figure of Martin Brodeur.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Am Tired

I have had three days off in a row. In the last two days I dug a new trench to redirect a drain (much harder than it sounds) and patched some concrete on the front step.

The kids and I have been spending lots of time together. Today Abby wasn't feeling 100% and fell asleep in my arms when I was holding her. Allen read everyone a story (he needed very little help) that was over 30 pages long. Ashton was taught how to play Pokemon by Allen. Ashton also showed off some ballet dance moves.

I am completely whipped. I spent three hours digging up the trench for the drain and I have the blisters on my hands to prove it. I can also say with all certainty that my back is going to be very sore tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Baby Princess

Today was incredibly hot as advertised. We spent much of it near air conditioning. I had the day off but Amber had to work from 3 - 11.

We turned the rental car in so no more Subaru. :(

Tonight I was in charge of putting the kids to bed. I am no stranger to this because I put the kids to bed many nights in the week. Allen and Ashton wanted to watch Pokemon so I took the chance to get Abby to bed. I sang her some songs and she kept telling me "Baby Princess" over and over in her impatient way. Amber had told me that she will sing a song called "Baby Princess" (those are all of the lyrics) sometimes but I had never heard it.

It was really cute and after I set her down, she stayed in her toddler bed for the first time! I was really happy that I didn't have to wait for her to cry herself to sleep and then pick her off of the floor. Yay!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hot!!!

Today was really hot weather. I think it is going to be even hotter tomorrow. The kids could not sleep so everyone was up pretty late. Hot weather always means grouchy feelings. As I was writing this, Abby puked in her bed so now I am holding her.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yet Another Saturday

Today was incredibly beautiful. Very warm and sunny. In my current work, that means a very slow and uneventful day.

I realized how quickly time is passing this Summer. Weeks are flying by. As I get older, time really goes by so fast. I remember being a kid and thinking that days wouldn't end. Now that I am 30, I will look back at a week that passed and wonder where the time went.

I think I am going to start posting little pictures from the day more and more in this blog.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Uneventful Day?

Today Amber and I both worked so the kids stayed at daycare. The daycare is a private home with just our kids by appointment. We met the woman who runs this daycare when she was an employee at a daycare that used to be in Lake Odessa.

The kids spent lots of time outside and were tired out when they got home. Ashton was quick to show me that the dog at the daycare had eaten the ear off of one of her Beanie Babies©. Before I dropped the kids off, Abby did not want to be put down when she saw this dog.