Tuesday, April 21, 2015

August 2014 Wrap Up - The Rest of the Month

The rest of our month was event-filled as is typical.

While we were camping I had taken a
box of neat cupcake mix
with the intent to bake them there,
in our little toaster oven.
Thought it would be a nice treat.
It was a "half" box,
that only makes 12.
And these had a filling that came with them.
Oh yum!!!

We didn't make them while camping,
so I, well the kids,
made them when we got home.

And I didn't feel like using icing...
so we turned them into S'Mores cupcakes!

After they were cooked,
I took them out,
placed a marshmallow on top of each.
Put them back in the oven,

Turned the broil on,
waited for the marshmallows to start puffing up
and getting brown on top.
Then pulled them out,
used a measuring cup, 
sprayed on the outside!,
to gently press them down!

They were SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!!

 Daddy and I celebrated our 
14th Anniversary!
By staying in.
It is a little easier on the wallet
just to send the kids up to the 3rd floor
to watch a movie,
and us stay in.

So we picked up a few things:
pink champagne (our honeymoon reminder)
some delish soup from a local bakery
and dessert!
Then we made some 
bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapenos.
Nothing fancy here!
Just things we like!

A few days later,
we participated in Daddy's department
"Family Day".
And when you are director
and in charge
and things need fixing...
you climb up the blown up waterslide...

Then hoist your 10yo...

to fix it.

Then when you are done with that...
you get dressed in your bright orange "work" shirt,
bright orange bathing suit
and awful orange and red tie....
and you hop into the
Dunking Booth
for your turn.

And yes,
that water is so discolored you cannot see his legs here!

The Family Day was a success,
and they had a pork BBQ cook off.
That is one of my favorites,
so I 
volunteered to be a judge!
I took it very seriously!
And enjoyed every minute!

While we were enjoying our day,
I was nervously waiting for the arrival of our new tenants
for our rental house an hour away.
They were driving in from Arizona!

They were due to arrive that day.
I finally got in touch with them.
They said they had arrived safe and sound.

there was a problem at the house that we needed to address.
(The old tenants had just moved out a few weeks before,
so I couldn't image what had happened!)
Come to find out the old basketball goal
that was beside the driveway had rusted through
and fallen over!!!

We are SOOOO
thankful that it happened while the house was unoccupied
and that there were no cars,
nor people
in the driveway when it DID happen!

So we gathered what tools we could from home
and hit the road.

We went to assess the situation.

Then off we went to Home Depot.
We had to get something to cover this sweet little 
project car that they had pulled with them.
And a sledge hammer.
Daddy was quite excited about that.

My main concern was making sure that we removed
as much as we could so that there was nothing left to damage anything
or hurt anyone.

The people who installed it had made sure it wasn't going anywhere.
The concrete foot they made was atleast 2' in wide
and he quit digging when he got about 2' down
and there was STILL a ton of concrete!

So he decided to start pounding away at it,
trying to break it up into pieces,
because we couldn't lift it out. 
And pounding
and pounding
and pounding...

After a LONG time of that...
he finally had enough.
He decided just to cut it off.
We burned up atleast 2 blades
on the SawZaw.

We couldn't figure out why or what in the world was going on.

We finally got through enough so that we could 
bend it the rest of the way over
and discovered that the pipe
was full of concrete too!!!
That entire piece you see laying down...

After a few bags of rocks and top soil,
we managed to cover what was left.

That was WAY more than we had bargained for.

While we were there,
I did some cleaning up on the inside too.

Then the highlight of our August
was the beginning of
Wolfpack Football Season!!!

We always go to as many games as we can.
And as the kids have gotten older
those games we CAN make,
have gotten fewer.
But we always have a blast when we go!

This is one of my favorite pictures of 

The big boys decided to paint their faces.
Rico had sweat so much that his washed off.
Jackson's was all smeared from sweat.
It was quite interesting.
But they loved it!

And our obligatory family picture
at the Wolfpack stadium!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Little More August: The Busted Lip...

Our youngest,
sweet boy child
by far

He has no fear.
No worries.
Pushes limits.
Pushes boundaries.
And scares me to death...

I am honestly SHOCKED
that he has not had an ER visit
yet in his short little life.

That all changed in August 2014.

It was a Thursday evening...
I was being creative with dinner.
Cooking a very interesting meal:

Roasted Cabbage Steaks 
topped with a 
Sauteed Ground Pork & Apple Patty
topped with an
over easy egg.

Oh I was so excited!

I was about half way through cooking.
The rest of the family was in the living room watching TV.
I poked my head in to see what everyone was doing,
just in time to see Tony Cruz,
who was popping a balloon up in the air
(not watching where he was going),
pop it up and then trip over 
his own feet and land face first onto the edge
of our "leather" covered blanket keeper/footstool.

He screamed and rolled face down on the carpet.
I walked calmly over to assess the situation,
rolled him over and saw blood...
on him and the carpet.

I grabbed him and handed him off
to daddy to take him and clean him up
while I attempted to get the blood out of the carpet.

While I was cleaning the carpet,
my husband calls from the bathroom
"Babe, I think this one is going to need stitches"

I walked in and saw this:

(I took this picture later to show to my family and nurses sisters)

I am not one to panic,
I under react, if anything.

When I saw that lip, 
I said,
yep - probably needs stitches.
It is almost 7pm.

I avoid the Hospital ER at all costs.
I have only been once,
when Jackson broke his arm a few years ago.

So I gave daddy instructions on finishing dinner,
loaded my baby boy in the car,
pulled out of the driveway,
then sat at the end of the street...
I had NO IDEA where to take him at that time of day!

Luckily a lady was on an evening walk,
I was preventing her from walking because she didn't know where I
was going.
I rolled down the window,
then told her what was going on and that I had no idea where to go!

Thankfully she told me about an Urgent Care that was still open!
So off we went.

This kid was amazing!!!!
He is so tough,
so resilient!

He had a smile on his face

and was goofing around with me!

The doctor and nurse came in.
They wrapped him up in a sheet,
like a straight jacket almost.
(That kinda freaked him out a bit)
Then numbed his lip.
That was the worst part.
we talked about Octonauts and anything I could think of
to keep his mind off of what was going on.
(Getting him to talk was not the smartest idea while
he was getting stitches in his lip,
but darnit - it worked and my kid was calm!
And that is what mattered!)

He got 3 stitches...
like a CHAMP!

And afterwards,
we had to check them out in the mirror.

He thought it was pretty cool.

He got lots of attention from his siblings
and daddy when we got home.
And got to spend a bit of time on the couch
with an ice pack the rest of the weekend.

And I was shocked at how swollen it was the day

My poor baby.

But it didn't slow him down...
not one bit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

One More August Post: A New Era

In July 2014,
this family entered into a new era.
And I acquired a new title:


Aside from being terrified that my boys are going to get
REALLY hurt,
I find myself filled with an immense amount of
pride and excitement!

We started off practices in late July.
Then went away on vacation for a week
(see the previous posts about our
Big Camping Trip!)

So practices really got started hard and heavy
in August.

We had a hard time deciding where to play,
in the beginning.

Friends had told us about a team across town,
a 20 minute drive.
And later on,
we heard about 2 other teams literally 5-10 minutes down the road.

We attempted to contact and get info on 2 of the 3 teams.
We immediately heard from the farthest team away.
They had sign ups scheduled.
And seemed to be on the ball.

We decided we would go visit both programs
and see which one we liked best.

We arrived at the first practice for the farthest team.
The coordinator gathered people around
then jumped up in the back of his pick up truck
so everyone could see and hear him.

He was matter of fact.
We are here to play football.
We are here to win.
Your child will get their tails worn out.
We aren't here to baby them.
We will put the best kids on the field first.
We are here to PLAY AND WIN!

The hubs and I were standing in different parts of the crowd
during this.
He caught my eye and mouthed and motioned
"We are staying here!"

So that was that!

All the age groups for our team had practice on the same days!

Daddy chose not to coach for the boys first year.
He wanted to be dad.
He coaches a LOT of their sports,
most of them.
And football is his passion.
The boys were on two different teams
and he couldn't possibly do both,
nor choose...
so he was dad
coached at home.

The first few practices were in
regular athletic clothes.

And because I, too, love football...
and did before I met my husband.
I was going to 

Which means my two little shadows came along too...
 And they found different ways to entertain themselves...

I eventually brought a blanket so they wouldn't "have" to 
sit on the grass.
Quite a few times
Mr. T took advantage of the opportunity and
took a quick nap in the sun!

I stated the daddy was going to coach both boys at home.
One of the things he did was set up a tire for Rico to throw at.
Rico was trying out for quarterback.
And was actually selected as one of the 2 qbs!
And Rico is determined and driven.
He always wants to improve his skills
be the best!
(gets that from his daddy)

was helping set up the tire stand.

Then thought it would be funny to give his brother 
something to aim at,
until he realized how good Rico was
had to duck!

Then we went away on vacation
(see previous posts about the
Big Camping Trip)
the boys got their equipment!!


These pads were a little too big for
they had to order a smaller set for him.

Jackson just looks plain 
awesome in his gear!

He is a beast!
Our gentle giant.
And totally looked the part all geared up!

(I think I caught him mid-blink here,)

Mr. T had to get in on the act too!

(dern he is cute!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

August 2014 Big Camping Trip: The Rest of the Week

The last few days were not nearly as exciting as the first few.
We stayed busy,
but doing many of the same things.
playing games,
(cooking and cleaning take a lot more time when camping).

Lex made such a good little friend, 
that we let her spend the night one night with them.
And her little friend 
came and took a nap with Lex.
They were awfully quiet and I found them snuggled up
and passed out.

Ms. Priss was super excited to see Cindy.


Lex convinced mom to step in for a quick all girls picture.

Daddy took a Cindy Bear selfie.

 Lunch on the "patio".  

On Saturday they did another boat race.
This time,
I let daddy and the boys do it.

We had a great time,
as we always do.
And already have our trip booked for 2015 too!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

August 2014 Big Camping Trip: Day 5

It truly is amazing how action packed
eventful our trips are to this place!
We are camping for pete's sake!
How in the world could we possibly
do enough exciting stuff that it is worthy of photographing
for posterity??

We sincerely have so much fun
that I am eager to share it
I want to make sure the kids have these memories,
and photographs,
when they get older...
to look back on.

The boys love the canoes and kayaks so much,
they spent a tremendous amount of time on them.
They even rounded up boats that had not been tied up properly
and floated away.
This became a daily ritual for them.

Mr. T, meanwhile,
kept his feet firmly planted on dry ground!
And watched from the shore.

One of the awesome things about having a lake front site,
is your brother can come and pick you up in his canoe!

Lex and Tony played with one of our neighbors.
We always seem to make friends when we camp.
It is such a neat part of camping!

That afternoon,
we treated ourselves to some ice cream.

 And for whatever reason,
Tony decided to eat his with his hands.

A quick picture with BooBoo.

That evening,
after dinner,
we decided to go on the nature trail around the campground.
I asked fellow campers if we needed tennis shoes
or if flip flops would be ok.
I was assured flip flops were sufficient.
So off we went...

that is straight up.
Red clay mud...
At this point we were thinking that flip flops
weren't a great idea.

The cool thing about this trail
is it is geocaching too.
They set up geocaches along the way.
In each geocache is a hole puncher.
You take along your "activity" card,
and punch each geocache as you find them.
We missed 2 somehow and had to back track to find them
because we just don't give up!

So I can only guess that they were
looking for one of the clues up there.

And this cutie was bringing up the rear!

We made it to the top of the hill and came across this amazing 
treehouse that they had recently built.

Some of the staff were stocking the treehouse,
and getting a fire ready
for one of the events of the evening.
We didn't participate,
but really wish we would have!

My babies posing at the bottom of the treehouse.

My goofballs posing at the bottom of the treehouse.

Back on the trail,
we continued looking for our geocaches.
Each geocache had a clue to help us find the next one.
It was fun watching the big boys trying to decipher the clues.

We came across 2 snakes on our trek.
It was very neat,
but gave us all quite the start!
Unfortunately it was getting darker as we headed back,
and we kept our eyes PEELED for more snakes.
I was really concerned about someone accidentally stepping on one.

Just before we got back to camp,
I had to pause and take this picture.
The peacefulness at dusk during this picture,
is not adequately captured.