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


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


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


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:


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...