My Family

My Family

Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrating Cameron

It is hard to believe that this past week my first born monster turned 11. It makes me misty eyed just thinking about the fact that he is growing up so quickly. He had a such a busy week, with MCA testing and the like. On his actual birthday, he attended a birthday party for one of his friends. Then on Saturday, we had a birthday party at our house.  Now, every year I ask myself...why do I do this?  Picture it....10 crazy, loud, excited, 11 year old boys, my two other monsters, the Jensen 4, the Johnson 3, our friends and Jimmy's family, all in my house. Luckily the rain let up for a bit so we could send the kids outside to enjoy the trampoline and the marshmallow shooters that Jimmy made. Needless to say, I had some pretty happy critters in my yard nibbling on marshmallows for the last two days.  (and I'm not talking about the kids)
Cameron didn't receive a lot of gifts (thank goodness), but what he did get were very thoughtful ones. Things that he truly enjoys, Beyblades, a paper plane crafting book (he has almost done all of them already), candy, Nerf, and, of course, cold hard cash :) A 2 hour long birthday party flies by when the kids are so busy, and before we knew it, his friends were headed home.
Except, that he was going to see them all again shortly.  One of Cameron's friends (and his brave mom), hosted a Beyblade tournament on Saturday night at their house.  You may not be familiar with Beyblade, so let me explain. They're basically tops, that spin when pulled on a rip cord type thing, they are metal and the boys have battles with them in these plastic "arenas". Also, I must add, that if the tips of them are left around they hurt like a bitch to step on! So, anyway, I fill them all up with cake and ice cream and ship them off to another mom...I felt terrible!! To top off the crazy weekend, Cameron and Seth had a friend sleepover on Saturday night.
So here's the answer to my previous question, "Why do I do this"?  First, I can count on one hand the number of birthday parties that I had when I was a kid. Of course, I don't remember my first birthday, but I do remember celebrating "milestone" birthdays...my 10th birthday and my 16th birthday. I like to make a big deal out of my kids birthdays, celebrating just them. Since our day to day is so crazy, I think it is important to focus on just one child for their special day.  Even the two monsters that aren't being celebrated that day get into it. Alayna wanted to make Cameron breakfast in bed, but it doesn't work when he is the first one up everyday. It was the thought that counts.  And, I try to make each one special. This has become much easier now that I do big fancy cakes :) Second, when one of my kids says to me "That was the best birthday ever!", I know I've made them happy...and that's all I want. I might be exhausted, have a headache, have frosting in the carpet, and have to pick marshmallows up out of the street, but at least Cameron had a great day.
So, another Happy Birthday to my monkey...I love you!!  K

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

5 weeks and counting....

I have been so busy these last few weeks with school stuff, packing, cakes, sorting junk, cleaning, etc., that I haven't had much time to really think about putting up a new post.
Today, I am working on my craft/office space and am greatly in need of a break.  So, I grabbed a Diet Coke and decided to sit down and type.
One would think that I am an experienced mover by now. I mean, I've only moved about a dozen times in my adult life. So, I should be good at this right? Wrong!!  I am in denial about my pack rat tendencies, I have areas of my house that haven't been dusted in I don't know how long, and I have a multitude of unfinished projects.  I thought my kids rooms were bad...boy, was I mistaken! 
In my quest to decrease the amount of stuff I have to move, I have given up a third of my scrapbook paper (it sounds like a lot, but you should see what I have left). I have parted with my old Cricut and many of my paper punches, stickers, stamps, etc. The closet in my craft area is nearly empty now, and it sort of looks like I am packed up to go on retreat...don't I wish! 
Moving is a scary thing, no matter how many times I do it, I get stressed out and anxious. I hate living in a state of "in between". Many of my favorite things in the world are now in boxes and won't see the light of day for about a month, I won't be able to play with them for at least two months!
In all honesty, the kids are handling this much better than I am. They're ready for the school year to end so we can just go. They have been really good about thinning out their toys, mostly because I let them keep the money they earn for their toys on the garage sale. They are excited about decorating their new rooms, the boys get their own rooms in our new house.  They are looking forward to meeting new kids and getting to go visit their new school in the next couple of weeks. 
We moved a bit when I was a kid, and I don't ever remember being excited about it. Well, except for when we moved from our 2 bedroom apartment in New Brighton (there was six of us living there) to our house in East Bethel (it was brand new). 
The great thing about this move is that we take possession of the house next week, giving us 4 weeks to get rooms put together, closets filled, pictures on walls, etc. before we officially "move".  Our last week here in Plainview is going to sort of be like camping, but in the house. Air mattresses, paper plates and plastic utensils, only having enough clothes for the week.  It's a pretty good plan, in theory, hopefully I can stay on schedule.  The next few weeks are so busy that there's very little wiggle room in my daily to do lists.  The hardest part, and this is going to make Jimmy feel bad, is being on my own doing most of it.  But, it'll get done, and before we know it I will be an Iowa resident and won't have to spend days at a time apart from my husband. 
Well, I better get back to it....have a great day!!  K

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks.

Another Easter is upon us, and as always, I am unprepared.  We aren't a religious family, I don't attend a church service just because it is a holiday...or any other day actually. And I try to not fall into the commericialism of the holiday. Because, despite my religious views, I know where the holiday originated and I respect that.  Our Easter is typically spent having a nice breakfast at home, and then joining my dad and siblings for a lunch and letting the kids play outside.  The Easter bunny doesn't bring a lot of candy to our house, but instead she replaces all of our broken outdoor toys with new ones for the coming summer.(many from the dollar store, of course) 
I will admit though, that I love Peeps...especially the bunnies. I like to eat them by biting off their ears first, followed by the head, and lastly their chubby belly.  As a matter of fact, I am slowly ripping apart a cute little pink one right now.  I think that the only reason we really do anything for Easter is for our kids,  it was never a largely celebrated holiday for us growing up. Aside from the baskets, we didn't do a whole lot.   There are no special Easter outifts or a big dinner.  In fact, this year, my dad is grilling burgers...just another Sunday to spend together really. 
For me, Easter weekend is about celebrating spring and the coming summer.  Getting to spend a little extra time with my family and seeing all the daffodils and tulips in bloom around the neighborhood.  Our weekends are so full of activity and to do lists, that this gives us a reason to slow down a little and enjoy our time together and make some memories. 
We will still color eggs, because that is another tradition from when I was a kid. Well, that, and Alayna really likes hard boiled eggs. Seriously, we will make 2 dozen and she will have half of them gone in two days.  Anywho....my point is, no matter how you celebrate the holiday, it is a good time to take a rest from the chaos that is your day to day and enjoy. And, well, if there happens to be a chocolate bunny or two laying around, go ahead and have a nibble. Or Starburst jelly beans, those are yummy too :)  Happy Easter all!! K