Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Two days back from vacation and I finally have a chance to sit down and recover (and not fold the million loads of lake laundry)/The eight day vacation was somewhat relaxing(during naptimes).  I finished 3 books, made dinner and ate some yummy food on Chopped nights.
So, now that vacation is over, it is time for me to make a list of some things to remember.  If you plan on vacationing at the Lake of the Ozarks, please take note.

13. Thank your youngest sister-in-law for teaching your oldest child new phrases such as OMG.
12. When meeting your caravan at Bass Pro Shop, be sure that they have left before you and not returned to their house three or more times for missing items.
11. If you rent a lake house and decide to rent a boat, make sure that the lake house STILL has a dock.
10. If afore mentioned boat is all ready rented, DO NOT under any circumstances, trust Craigslist.
9. When vacationing with 14 people and expecting a fish fry, be sure that at least 2 people(male and/or female) are willing to clean and skin any catfish that is caught.  Blank stares and pointing are not acceptable.
8. Be sure to make nice with the neighbors who were terrified of the previous renters.  They can (and did) call the cops on you on your way to Big Surf Water Park.
7.If one drain is clogged in the lake house, it won't be long before several of the other sinks start leaking--kitchen, bathroom, etc. etc.
6. DO NOT attempt to potty train any child( let alone 3) under the age of 3 in the lake house.
5. If you do attempt to continue the potty training of three children, make sure the washer and dryer are working for the several thousand mishaps.OOPS!  Some snakes don't make it to the toilet.  In fact, some snakes slide all over the floor and have to be cleaned up by an ill fated vacuum.
4. On the day of returning the rented boat(not from Craigslist), do not freak out about using a dock that was next door unoccupied until that day.  If they haven't said anything for the past three days, chances are they still don't care on the fourth day.  In fact, the people occupying the house probably won't even answer the door.
3. Do not attempt to modify the way Hand and Foot is played.  For some relatives, change is not good.  Red threes were not meant to be thrown on the floor!
2. On the return trip home, make sure all tires are good.  Be sure to notice any bulges that may cause your steering wheel to wobble.  Trust the person that lives out in the "country" to take you to Orscheln's to get a tire change.  Apparently, not all Walmarts have a tire center.
1.  Finally, be sure to update your GPS so it can find your lunch destination on the way home.  If you don't, you may cause bodily harm to the passenger and or driver of the lead car in the caravan.

And that my friends, was the last vacation of the season.  Taylor starts school next week and Josiah the week after.  What am I going to do with all the time on my hands??? I think I got it covered. :o)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ides of March 14 days early

Can I have a do over?  This is how my day went. 
Got the boys ready and took Taylor to preschool.  Then, I stayed and talked to his teachers and a friend of mine until 9:30.  Whoops, I did have some errands to run. So, now, my three hours to get stuff down with one kid just got knocked down to 2 hours.  So, Josiah and I cruise to Babies R Us because we are trying to locate a potty alarm for Taylor.  I tried to explain to three teenage guys what I needed.  Note to Babies R US human resources: please find employees that know a little bit about children BEFORE you hire them.  I'm pretty sure I was talking to three deer caught in headlights.  Long story short, Babies R Us does not have potty alarms.  Then, we went to Kohl's and I finally found the right size shirt I've been looking for for a birthday present since December.  At least I got something accomplished. 
After Kohl's, Siah and I head over to Target to get a couple of items.  I got in line and realized I forget something, so I get back out of line to look for it.  They didn't have what I wanted, so back to line I stroll.  I get in line and the powers that be person tells the cashier break time right before it is my turn to check out.  There was NO ONE behind me.  Could she have waited until she scanned my two items?  Apparently not.
I look at my watch and it's 11:15.  SHOOT!!  Gotta get back to Kearney, so I'm not late picking Taylor up.  Josiah and I drive home, no problems.  Which is amazing since I have to drive down 152 in Liberty around lunchtime.  We get home, I get out and hear SSSHHHHHHH!  Guess what, I have a tire losing air.  Not just any tire.  The same exact tire I had patched the day after our lovely snowstorm last week.  So, after assessing the situation, I take Josiah inside to go potty. At this point I take off my jacket and look down.  I forgot to change my shirt this morning!!! I'm wearing my pajama shirt. Wow, that would have been embarrassing if I ever unzipped my jacket.
Now, back to Josiah.  Um, his Elmo potty seat is nowhere to be found in the bathroom.  And, apparently, there is an invisible vortex that sucks him into the toilet when Elmo is not on the toilet.  Only the toilet at home, though.  I look all over the place and cannot find it.  He goes to the bathroom anyway.
I take Josiah back outside and go pick up Taylor a little early in case my tire goes completely flat. TOO LATE!  The tire is flat, flat., flat!  I drive the 2 blocks anyway and get Taylor home.
After the boys go down for naps, I decide to put the spare on myself because that's the kind of girl I am.  I get the jack out, the tire ready, and call Brad to ask where the four way is.  He has no idea.  NOT HELPING . . . and the jack needs hydraulic fluid.  So, its a bust.  I go inside and clean up my desk.
Brad comes home from work with a four way and a jack, thanks to my dad. The four way isn't metric and the jack won't raise the car up enough to get the tire on.  Another call to dad and a 4 x 4 later, the tire is on.
We eat dinner and then decide to take a few things to the storage unit.  We get to the storage unit type in our code and get "Access denied, LOCKOUT."  Luckily, the owners answered their phone and got that taken care of.
So, if I was a drinking girl, I might sidle up to a strawberry margarita on the rocks, no salt.  But, I'm not, so I will settle with a hot shower and a good book.
Beware the Ides of March.  They might just bite you in the behind when you're not looking!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mr. Big Shot

Well, that was an exciting doctor's visit. I had been refusing all week to tell Taylor that he was going to get shots at his doctor's appointment this week. I thought that since he had gone through blood tests and flu shots that this wouldn't be a big deal for him. Oops, I made a mistake.
As we are driving in the car, I tell Taylor that he MAY have to get some shots today. His reply: "No, I don't need a shot. Shots hurt. I don't like shots." All right, noted little guy. All the way there he was trying to convince me that he didn't need shots. It didn't work.

The nurse calls us back to get the typical height and weight check(Third percentile, by the way. He's still on the chart. Whew!) The first words out of Taylor's mouth are "Am I going to get a shot today?" The nurse just smiled and said I'm not sure, I'll have to check. He makes small talk with the nurse. She laughs and tries to keep the shot conversation to a minimum. She tells Taylor she has to "go check" to see if he needs any shots and leaves. He plays around in the room for a little while and the nurse comes back. She peeks in the door and proceeds to tell me that he needs 4 shots today and has he had a flu shot? Um, four shots in one day is good for us. Just because he is 5, doesn't mean he needs a shot for each year he is alive. And I don't need that guilt riding on me.

The doctor comes in and does the usual health history type thing and uses the word "immunizations" several times. The good doctor doesn't use the s-h-o-t word, he says. Pretty sure Taylor didn't pick up on that. He did pick up on the fact that the doctor left the room and we did not leave. He did not want a shot, let alone 4! He even tried "hiding" by covering his eyes as he sat on the bed waiting. Maybe if I hide, they can't give me a shot.

The nurses came in and Taylor told them point blank: "I don't need a shot. I'm strong and healthy. See? No shots for me." The nurses did their best. I had to hold Taylor down by his arms. The nurses had him by his legs. His little face turned bright red as he cry/screamed I don't want a shot!. Apparently, there was a struggle with his legs. I couldn't tell you because I turned my head and closed my eyes when the needles came out. Some mom I am, huh?

After the nurses were all done, they said they would bring him some treats for doing good. The nurse brought Taylor four suckers. He grabbed those right away. He refused a bag of chocolate chip cookies because he didn't want a shot. She tried to give him 4 stickers(including Spiderman and SpongeBob) and he didn't want those either. Poor guy was very adamant about not wanting anything because he didn't want a shot. He couldn't stop crying. The little guy had been traumatized.

Well, any good mom knows that ice cream and milkshakes cure just about anything. So, I stopped at Sonic and got him a chocolate milkshake for his troubles. I think the picture says it all:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Half a Decade

Taylor turned five over the weekend. That's a whole hand! He has decided that since he is five, he's going to try to buckle his seatbelt by himself and pee standing up. Not sure how that second one is going to work out considering he has to stand on a footstool. I see lots of bathroom cleaning coming on in the near future.

Taylor's birthday turned into more of a birth-weekend. Saturday was his actual birthday. He got to plan our day. So, he chose to go to Chik-Fil-A for breakfast. Mmm, chicken and biscuits, yummy for me. Then, he got his pictures taken at Target with all his Toy Story stuff. I'd post a picture, but I'm pretty sure there are copyright laws against that. After he was all pictured out, we went to FunRun. Apparently, everybody and their brother(including Josiah) was at Fun Run that day. Taylor was all over the place. He did wait for his brother to climb the big stairs in the Batman slide before he went down the slide, though. Such a good big brother(even if he didn't want for him to slide down with him).

Boys at Play!

Saturday night we went to On the Border, commonly known as the Purple Chicken Place by Taylor. Don't ask, it's a long story. He found Nana and Pa there and ate dinner with them. He got a cool fish backpack filled with two shirts and Ramone and Doc from Cars. He was very excited about his new cars. . . and his clothes.

After the excitement of his actual birthday, Taylor went to bed , but not before I got his 9:11 P.M. birthday picture playing with his new Toy Story toy Mom and Dad got him for his birthday.
He woke up ready to go to his birthday party at the roller rink. Before that, I had to attempt to make a Buzz Lightyear cake. I had strict orders to not forget the wings, Mommy! How did I do?This lovely creation took me all morning. I was a heathen and missed church, but I did go to Sunday School. So, hopefully that counts.

Finally, after a quick little nap for Josiah, we went to Liberty Rolladium. Unfortunately, my camera was acting up, so I didn't get too many pictures. But, I did get this cute little "couple skate" picture with his long lost friend, Averi.

He told her she looked beautiful. Such a little player, that Taylor.

While Taylor was putting the moves on Miss Averi, Josiah was strutting his stuff on the rink. He totally is Mr. Independent when it comes to skating. The cutest thing is he will stop wherever he is on the rink and just start dancing to the music. I didn't get pictures, but some random guy at the Rolladium did. Didn't quite getting him dancing, but still cute.

Thanks random guy with a camera that works!

The birthday party ended with Taylor putting his handprint on the birthday wall, at the very bottom where he could reach. So, if you ever go to Northland Rolladium, look for his dark blue handprint at the very bottom of the wall. You better hurry, though, it's about filled up and will be painted over very soon.

And so ends the birthday andventures of Mr. Taylor. He'as all ready talking about how old he will be next year! Sigh.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the Home of the . . . Chiefs

A free look at the newly renovated Chiefs stadium AND free parking. Only had to pay for food. Heck, yes, let's go. Of course, when it comes to the Chiefs(as you may recall from an earlier post), the James gang includes Brad's family. So, even though Brad's mom was fighting back horrendous pain from shingles, she managed the car ride to the stadium and the walking all over the new grounds. First, we walked out and actually looked at the stadium. The Hall of Fame names that were placed all over the stadium we're replaced by an LCD screen that wrapped all the way around the stadium.
This was also the first time that Josiah and Taylor had ever been to Arrowhead . . and they probably won't return for a few more years. I'm don't think they are quite ready to have beer spilled all over them in the heat of the moment.
This was the best I could do for a picture together. YOU try getting a two year old and a four year old to look at you and smile at EXACTLY the same time. They don't pay photographers enough for that!

So, after we took a sneak peek at the stadium we headed up to the eighth floor. We weren't allowed on the ninth floor--no press pass. The windows were from floor to ceiling and you could get a perfect view of your fall,er, uh, parking lot. This didn't bother Taylor, Dee, Josiah or Brad at all. On the other hand, Eddie and I being the more "cautious" of the group thought it was better off if we stood behind them while they looked down. I mean, someone would have to grab onto their shirt if they fell through. Right? Right.

After the lovely view, we walked on to get some food. Hard to believe we were walking on carpet the whole time and there were loveseats and couches in place. We felt a little out of place in our jeans and T-shirts, but got some good food. Even though, I didn't get it, but sampled Brad's, I would highly recommend the brisket burger. Yum!

Dinner was followed by a walk through the Hall of Honor otherwise known as the "Taylor, don't touch that!" portion of the evening. Brad finally put him on his shoulders for a much safer and cost-effective tour. I'm sure when it is less crowded, it will be much easier to enjoy.

We finally sat down to watch an open practice of the Chiefs. Unfortunately, this was cut short by a four year old that kept asking, "Let's get ice cream, Dee!" Promises, promises. So, we went back to the food court to look for ice cream which we thought would be easy. Apparently, not. Taylor pretty much had a meltdown because he was prepared for ice cream. So, I asked one of the food court employees and he practically sent us around the entire stadium just for a frosty malt. I believe the oldest grandchild is awfully spoiled.

The other little guy is awfully onery. Look at him trying to sneak in a drink of Dee's water. Those big eyes are going to get him into lots of trouble someday.

The trek around the stadium wasn't all that bad. I looked on the wall beside me and the stadium had put up pictures of last year's high school state champions. So, being as I live in one of those towns(Go Bulldogs!), I noticed a picture of purple and gold football players. I did a double take when I read the name of the school. The lovely people who put the pictures on the wall and had the names printed spelled Kearney- K-E-A-R-N-Y. That's permanent, folks. They spend 325 million on renovations and they don't have time to proofread?! Too bad I didn't get a picture of that.

The Chiefs looked pretty good since they were playing against each other. Too bad that didn't rub off last night against the Eagles. But you know, this family, they just can't get enough of football. It's like seeing a bad car wreck, you just can't help but look. I guess it's time to prepare myself for the season. This means bolting down anything that can be pelted at the TV and reminding my lovely husband that some things you just should not say out loud when little ears are in the room. Oh yeah, and if anyone sees my house catch on fire or the roof cave in, please make sure you ask the authorities to go in and check on my husband. He'll be watching the game and won't notice a thing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Weekend that Was

Oops.. overbooked. That's how I would describe the past week. It all started with a little thing called Saddle Ridge Ranch, aka VBS. I was the co-director of the preschool department and ran back and forth between three different classrooms to make sure everything was going according to planned. The first day it was not. This was the the day there were 23 4-5 year olds and about 12 kindergarten students working on crafts with not enough help. Needless to say, that got changed really quick. I'm pretty sure we were all exhausted by Thursday, which was a good thing since that was the last day and the Parent's program. It was Josiah's first program and Taylor's third. Those two are complete opposites when it comes to being on stage. It was fun to watch and I couldn't help but giggle.

Also, during VBS week, Josiah's birthday fell smack dab in the middle of it. So, rather than do his party on his birthday, which would have been way too much, we decided to do it at the park on Saturday. Josiah thanks for being born in the summer so I can have outdoor parties for you, but please remember to tell the weather NOT to be 95 degrees with a horrendous heat index. I would appreciate it if you would lobby for the Kearney pool to open in the very near future.

Oh, no , the fun didn't stop there. On Sunday, Brad and I went to the Chicago/Doobie Brothers concert at Starlight. Pretty sure we were the minority (age wise) in the crowd. We could smell the Geritol and Ben Gay everywhere. Also, pretty sure the encore was the best part of the show when the Doobies and Chicago played together. That is A LOT of instruments crammed onto one stage, but it was amazing.

So, now you think, hey, it's Sunday, the weekend's over. Right? WRONG. Brad took Monday off and we headed to DCI at Staley High School that night with Taylor. Josiah got to stay with Nana and Pa. DCI is a drum corp show and Taylor did pretty well until after intermission. He was so thirsty and kept saying I'm tired. Apparently, I missed the fireworks when I went to go get hot dogs because people were not the most polite when it came to seats. It's a high school sports stadium, folks. Find a piece of the bleachers and GET OVER IT!

We were on our way home at about 10:30 that night when my mom called to tell us that my brother-in-law was going to the ER because he was throwing up and having some major head pain. He stayed in the hospital until today after having a CAT scan, MRI, and CT. They all came back normal. So, finally it is Wednesday and I can't wait for the weekend to get here to do absolutely nothing. . .unless, of course, my sister-in-law decides to have my very first niece this weekend. I'd be okay with that.

P.S. Photobucket and I are having some creative differences, so you'll have to check out Facebook for the pix and video.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Apartment 32, Where Are You?

Unfortunately, the building that apartment 32 occupied has ended up being a sorority house for the William Jewell Greek system. The college wanted to make the space available for "more traditional" students. I totally disagree with how the married housing was taken away. There was a reason it was there. In fact, there was a waiting list. Why would you take something away like that?

5/4. I kept writing that date again and again today. There are some dates you remember vividly like your birthday or anniversary. The events of 9/11. I remember May 4th as the day my life got blown away, literally. May 4th, 2003 the James apartment at William Jewell was destroyed by a tornado along with Brad's Honda Accord.

The day seemed fairly normal. It was the weekend, so it was laundry day which meant we loaded up my Geo Tracker and headed to one of the parent's house for the day. The lucky washer and dryer ended up being Brad's parents house. We kept hearing reports about tornadoes in the area, but we never really thought it would be that close. Brad and my dad had went up to our apartment to deliver a new mattress for our bed. When they were there, sirens were blaring. The tornado was headed for William Jewell. Somehow, my mom had ended up over at Brad's parents house. Brad, Deena, Mom and I were all in the basement watching Katie Horner. Why we left Katie Horner on that day, I will never know. She is definitely not on my faves list of weather forecasters anymore.

Anyway, my mom's a Kansas girl. She knew something was in the air and she wouldn't talk much. The sky was an eerie green and Mom had an idea of what was coming. Lucky for us we were holed up in the basement. It really does sound like a train going by in case you're wondering. The tornado went by in Gladstone and we got the all clear. Unfortunately, our laundry time was cut short because the power had gone out in Gladstone and we were in mid wash. It wasn't coming back on that night.

Then, I get the news. We were eating at Steak and Shake and my mom calls me. "Have you talked to your sister?" she asked. I told her no. "You need to call her. Your apartments are on the news and she's been trying to get hold of you." I called Shannon and she told me that William Jewell married housing has been hit pretty bad and she couldn't tell if it was our row of apartments that were destroyed or not. I told her I would check it out.

So, Brad gets the idea that he needs to go back to our apartment to grab his medicine. If you know Brad, he can think of just about anything to get in the middle of the action without being the center of attention. So, we get in the car and head towards home. Power lines are down everywhere. You have to have proof of residence to get to your house. Lucky for us, we had a bill in the car with our address to give to the nice officer with a shotgun. Yes, I said shotgun. (They were patrolling the streets of Liberty in golf carts with shotguns during this time and while everyone was in clean up stage.)

We get to Jewell and tell one of the maintenance guys that we need to get to our apartment. He takes us for a ride on the golf cart and Brad says "Oh, wow." I look and see a bite taken out of our apartment building along with a pile of cars. I ask Brad, "Which one is your car." He slowly answers. "The one that's upside down." My answer. "Oh." That upside down car made the news and the local papers several times. Its sort of a trademark for the F4 tornado that hit Liberty.

As I waited for Brad to go in carefully to our apartment, but not as carefully as our Highway Patrol man neighbor who was making sure his weapons were secure, the actual tornado devastation hit me. We had no place to live, graduation was in one week, I still had finals, we had one car, and we both had to be at different places at different times. So, I did what any girl would do in the situation. I cried.

Then, I got over it. We ended up staying the night at Brad's parent's house(our temporary home for the week). Brad slept, but I tossed and turned all night. I couldn't stop thinking about what we were going to do. Everytime I tried to sleep, I had awful dreams and I would wake up. So, I figured it was time to have a long talk with the Man upstairs. Apparently, that long talk was helpful, because God provided us a place to live with our Jewell neighbors. William Jewell cancelled finals. He also provided another car. I wasn't picky about the car by any means, but I did joke that a blue Honda CR-V would be really helpful. Notice what I have now? Yep, I'm attached and its paid off. :o) People from our church, our parent's church,the schools we student taught in, our family all came to help us out in one way or another. It is amazing how prayers were answered in a matter of days!

The most outrageous thing that happened was during clean up. I was sitting on the sidewalk taking a break when a man in a black shirt walked by. He just stood and looked around for a minute. I asked if he was looking for someone. He said no and asked if I lived here. Of course, I said yes, and we struck up a conversation. I turn around and there is a boom mic coming at me. We made the national news, folks. I've been on CNN. In fact, that lovely husband of mine decided it would be cute to kiss me on CNN. He's still paying for that by the way.

So, every year May 4th comes around, I remember that tornado and I remember that things could always be worse. I look at it this way, if that tornado hadn't taken our apartment, we might still be living in a one bedroom apartment with no kids and dead end jobs. In fact, we might have never moved 5 times in one year, either.

We may have never ended up in Kearney, "where its normal" as I jokingly say. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?