Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Are You Kidding Me??

Isn't it weird how days and days and days can go by and nothing interesting happens? And then all of a sudden it's one thing after another. Yeah well that's how it has been here for the last week or two. So here is my one thing after another....

The teacher we've worked with all year is informed one day, a week or so ago, that her last day will be the next week. Hello? We have only six weeks of school left, our students are special needs young adults, mostly autistic and this will be the THIRD teacher this year! Is anyone paying attention in administration?????

Tom is notified this week that his company is *re-structuring* and while I'm not at liberty to discuss the details, you all pretty much know what that means. Thank goodness we went to Florida when we did!

At least things are going well at the new house. Painting is coming along, the storage unit that they'd been using has been unloaded into the garage so most of their stuff is at the house now. Plumbing issues seem to have been resolved (knock on wood!), drywall has been delivered, etc....

Selah turned 2 and Maggie turned 7 months - both on Monday. Time flies!

Today a funny thing happened on the way to swim in Hartland. Not funny in a hahaha way but funny in a strange are you kidding me kind of way. We took a bus, but not a school bus. On the way we were on a dirt road that was being graded by a very large yellow road grader. It was going very slowly so the bus decided to pass the grader. The driver didn't realize how soft the side of the road was and the bus slid right off the road and into the ditch. I was annoyed more than anything else until the driver asked us all to move very slowly to one side of the bus. Hmmmm...... That was when I realized that she was afraid the bus was going to roll over. About this time I decided that we were going to get off the bus. Quickly. So we got off and sat in the grass and waited for the tow truck to come. One of the students was only interested in getting to the pool, completely oblivious to the situation. Another student was enthralled with the abrupt change in plans, sitting in the grass, looking at the goats in the yard across the street, watching the cars go by (probably laughing at us and our predicament :~). But the third student was very upset and fretful, unable to sit, or stop fidgeting. Interesting afternoon to say the least! We did finally make it to the pool where they swam for about 20 minutes before the bus came back to return us to school. Without incident thankfully!

I am so glad I don't have a boring office job!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The New House

Well our part in preparing the new house for occupancy is almost finished. YAY! And now Julie and Steve have started their work painting and cleaning. So today on my way home from work I drove by the house (it is about 8 houses down the road from us) and I saw Luke and Caleb outside playing so naturally I had to stop and say hi. I had my camera in the car so I took this video of Caleb practicing for the Olympics in his new backyard.

Everyone else was in the house painting or "helping". Linnea was taking all the covers off the outlets with a screwdriver (YIKES!), Alec was supervising the painting of his new room - bright orange - it looks awesome! It will practically glow in the dark just like Uncle Nick's room. And Selah was busy "spackling". Well she had one of those smoothing tools and she was wiping it on the walls. The little boys were in and out depending on if it was raining or hailing or sunny or whatever! They have moved so many times that they are pros at this painting, cleaning, packing, moving thing! UGH - I don't know how they do it but i will be sooo happy if they never have to move again!

video

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cute Ears

Luke - age 3 years
So we've been home from Florida for a week now. The new house has running hot & cold water and a new roof and a new water heater and should be ready to move into very soon! Other than that life has been pretty ordinary. Maybe I should say that it just isn't as exciting as it was with the boys in Florida. Not that it's a bad thing!
But there was one funny thing........the other night the kids were all over and we were looking at all the pictures from Florida and I was telling Julie some of the stuff we did and some of the funny things the boys said like this "grandma why are you fat?" Julie was kind of irritated that they would ask something like that when Luke, who had apparently been listening to the conversation said this......."Well at least you have cute ears and curls." Well thank goodness for that!

Monday, April 13, 2009

FLORIDA - DAYS 10 & 11

We arrived home safely today! It was a LOONG two days in the car.......15 1/2 hours yesterday and 5 hours today. I don't know why the ride home always seems so much longer than the ride down but we made it and I am very grateful for that!
It seems like we left Florida forever ago but it was only yesterday morning. Here are some of the funny things I heard from the back seat.....

About 30 minutes into the ride...
Luke: Grandma I'm going to be carsick!!!
Tom hurriedly pulls the car over and Luke starts laughing, "Just kidding!"
We weren't exactly laughing but these are grandkids so we didn't get too mad.

A little later.....
Luke: Grandma, Caleb's throwing things out the window.
Me: Caleb! We don't throw things out the window! Stop it!
Caleb: Don't worry Gwama, it was only garbage.
Seriously??

It was fun spending time with them alone. I learned that Luke, despite his tough guy act, is a rule follower, a share-er, is kind and sweet, likes to sing, is cooperative, and brave. Caleb is more temperamental than I thought, he is also kind and sweet but isn't as much of a share-er, would rather not brush his teeth, says the funniest things and likes Sponge Bob. He is also brave - come on, 11 days away from home and he is only 4!!! I learned that I have more patience with them than I did with my kids when they were little. I know now that some things just aren't that important!!

I'm afraid I don't have any pictures to post......kind of hard to take pictures from a moving vehicle. We saw a sign at a rest area in Florida yesterday morning that was unusual. It was right in front of our car as we pulled in to park and it said "Use Caution! Poisonous Snakes". Yikes, all we wanted to do was use the "facilities"!!
Luke and I actually saw something else funny this morning but my camera and my phone were in the car. We stopped early this morning at a truck stop to look for a postcard for one of their friends who is collecting them and saw a sign on the womens bathroom door that said " Servers Wanted - Apply Within". Not sure what they'd be serving so got a postcard and got outta there!!

Maybe I'll clean out the car and unpack my stuff tomorrow. Maybe not.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

FLORIDA - DAY 9

Well our week in Florida is over :~( We had a busy day today though! After breakfast we headed for the St. Johns River and an airboat ride. The boys enjoyed it, saw a lot of alligators, (one that was 12 feet long and about 500 lbs!) birds, a bald eagle, some cattle, an Indian burial mound and more! After the ride they had a chance to hold a baby alligator - neither of them did, but I did and it was a little strange. It felt different than I thought it would.

This a picture of a boat like the one we went on.



Here's Luke......everyone had to wear these ear muffs and they had microphones so we all could hear the driver and each other.



The boys had fun talking into their microphones! And we all had fun listening to their comments!



Caleb wanted a picture with the alligator but didn't want to touch it. It was 2 1/2 years old and named "Hollywood".



Like I said, it felt very weird....not what I expected. Can you see that there is a rubber band around it's mouth??? That didn't really make me feel super safe!!!


This was taken in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary. The vegetation here is so different from Michigan!
Luke wanted to take a picture.....He did a pretty good job! LOL (Thanks Carol!)


Tonight after dinner we took them to a little park where they have this water fountain that you can play in. It was 92 so I knew they'd have fun cooling off. Luke couldn't get enough!

Caleb, on the other hand......I think he is missing home!

Friday, April 10, 2009

FLORIDA DAY 8




Here they were last night snuggled together like a pair of puppies......sweet??
Notice that Caleb still had his bathing suit on???
I can't believe how fast this week has gone by! Tomorrow we will be packing up and preparing to leave early Sunday morning.
But today we had fun on the beach again. These two boys, unlike their siblings, are not interested in going on a kayak trip, an air boat ride, a nature cruise, or even going out to eat! So today we played. Again.
Here is a Caleb funny....
He & Luke were playing on the lawn with their squirt guns when Caleb came running into the room shouting......
Caleb: Gwama! My gun accidentally got up on the roof!!
Me (not surprised by much of anything anymore!): What?
Caleb: Yeah....I heard a bang and there it (the gun) was. Up on the roof!
Mmmmhhhmmm! Sure.
Anyways I got it down and they resumed play.
Tonight after dinner we took them to see the sharks in the tank at Cocoa Beach Surf but they had more fun riding the escalators! Go figure! After that we walked over to Ron Jon and they had fun looking at shells and toys and riding in the glass elevator. Stopped for ice cream on the way back and now they are snuggled in bed watching TV.
Here are the latest pictures!


Here they are at Ron Jon.

Trying on 'do rags!

Whatever am I going to do for fun next week????




Thursday, April 9, 2009

FLORIDA - Days 6 & 7


The boys were pretty wiped out after our day at Disney yesterday so we just hung out in our room and at the beach. The boys played with their guns & swords.......they are darling little swashbucklers! All they're missing are some wenches!
For dinner last night we gave them the choice of a couple restaurants and they chose Olive Garden. They seemed pretty happy to be eating the kind of food they know - as opposed to seafood. For some reason, every night in the middle of dinner, they both need to use the bathroom. It doesn't matter if they went right before we got there...they still need to go. This is the best part of having boys.....Tom gets to take them potty:~)
Today they actually slept in til 7:30......WOW! We took a "walk" after breakfast on the beach. Caleb is more of a meander-er than a walker so we didn't really get too far. He likes to stop and jump in the waves, look at the shells (Gwama look at THIS shell!).......mmmmm looks to me just like the hundred or so others he's shown me! The water was perfect for kids today....not too wavy and during low tide (how do you explain tides to kids???) there was a sand bar not too far out that they could play on. Later this afternoon Caleb fell asleep on a towel and Luke dug a really deep hole and Tom buried him in it. Here's a cute Luke funny -

Luke: Can Grandpa take me to the bar again?

Me: WHAT?
Luke: The bar, you know! The SAND bar!

Me: Well duh.

Tonight we went out for barbecue at the Slow & Low. Caleb wasn't about to cooperate and get dressed so since I really don't care about stuff like that, I brushed the sand off his arms and legs, and he went out to eat in his bathing suit. Oh here is another (kind of ) funny.......after dinner the waiter brought the bill and commented on how his wife is expecting their second child and they will be 14 months apart and seeing our boys was enlightening. Tom told him that they were not our kids but our grandkids. The waiter looks straight at Tom and says to HIM "I never would believe that YOU are old enough to have grandkids."

Hellooooo buddy......you think I am old enough!!??!! It was even more fun to mess with him and get him good & embarassed! Oh well we won't be back there again until next year.
So here is today in pictures.......
Is this not a gorgeous beach day?!

Luke & Tom digging a big hole to bury Luke in.

Caleb - too pooped to participate!

Look closely, Luke has a sand beard!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Florida - Day 5 & DISNEY!

Yesterday we visited the Magic Kingdom. Together with about 92 million other people. We heard that they actually closed the park to any more visitors at some point in the afternoon. But the boys were awesome especially considering that they had to shuffle around all day in a mass of humanity, eye level with all those butts! We waited in lines about half the time we were there - lines for food, bathroom, rides, shows, to buy stuff....well you get the idea. I think they went on every ride that they wanted to ride. It was a cool day so it wasn't miserable like it can be schlepping around the park.
Luke took me for a ride on the Speedway (below) and Caleb took Tom for a ride (way below).


Then the boys all went for a twirl on the Teacups! They are in the yellow cup. Kind of hard to see, I know. I also have a video of the Teacups but it takes waaaaay tooooo loooong to upload anything on the wireless here!


We stopped for an ice cream break. Luke and I had good old fashioned Mickey bars but Caleb had a Hagen Daz! You know it's a cold day when the ice cream isn't a drippy gooey mess!


They tried on hats. Here is Caleb doing his best pirate imitation....aaarrgh! They decided to buy pirate guns and swords instead of the hats. *Surprise*
I'm not sure what kind of hat Luke had on, I think a Mickey Speedway hat? His eye was starting to bug him and I forgot to bring his Clarinex......sorry Luke!
Here is Main Street and Cinderellla's Castle. The parade was about to start and Caleb was already asleep in my lap.

I think they had fun. They were two TIRED little boys, both asleep before we left the parking lot. And both awake this morning by 6:30 AM!!!


Monday, April 6, 2009

FLORIDA - DAY 4


11:00 am

Well I think the lack of sleep is beginning to show, especially on Caleb. We've had about 2-3 tantrums already this morning and it is only 11:00. The funniest one was when his bathing suit got wet (Gasp!) and he ran in the room and locked the door. I guess you'd had to have been there to really appreciate the humor. I find that the things that my kids did that were sooo annoying are sooo funny when someone else's kids do them! Anyways, considering his temperamentalness (is that even a word?) this morning, I am not going to press him to change his clothes. Sorry Julie but he is wearing his camo shorts with his plaid "twin bother" shirt. VERY Chinese, but not worth a battle.

Caleb also wanted to take a movie of all the things in our room to show mommy & daddy. He even narrated it. However it is not going to be posted on this blog! Mommy & daddy can see it when we get home!

7:00 pm

So we went to the beach first thing this morning but it was pretty windy and starting to cloud over so after a fun water fight with their new squirt guns, we packed up and headed out on an adventure. We went to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge where we saw snakes, birds, alligators, a million little lizards, fish, and manatee. Then while they were still in reasonably good moods we went out for an early dinner. Still can't convince either of them to try seafood but they've both developed quite a taste for fritters!!

Looks like tomorrow will be a good day for Disney......so probably no update until Wednesday. If these boys are like their siblings we'll be at the Magic Kingdom until it closes!




Here they are this morning with their new beach gear!




This is the water fight they had with Tom.......where Caleb got mad that his suit was wet!



Here we are at the wildlife refuge. Caleb took this picture - pretty good huh?? Thanks for the idea Carol!

This is Tom & the boys heading out on the nature trail where they found all the lizards.
This little video is Tom catching a lizard for the boys to see. They wanted to keep him and take him home! Seriously NOT!


video

Sunday, April 5, 2009

FLORIDA TRIP DAY THREE


Well the boys slept well....once they finally fell asleep! Tom & I were pretty tired last night so we set the sleep timer on the TV and fell asleep - the boys were watching Madagascar. At 10:38 I was awoken by a little voice .... "gwama?" Scared the life out of me! I sat up straight in bed and heard Caleb say "why did the TV turn off?" What?? Why is he still awake? Like a good grandma, I reset the sleep timer, rolled over and fell back to sleep. Good thing too because they were up and ready for the day at 7:30 am. Yikes! I think mommy forget to tell them to sleep late!


After a quick bite of breakfast we headed to the beach. It was about 8:30. They had so much fun jumping waves, swimming, finding shells, singing "Deck the Halls", scaring birds (sorry jogging lady!) and digging in the sand. We finally convinced them to leave the beach about noon - they did but only because they were hungry! They had a bath (Caleb) and a shower (Luke) and then we headed back to the beach. We finally came back to the room about 3:30 and they took a bath (together). If you've ever seen the movie "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" you'll remember the scene where John Candy leaves the bathroom a disaster for the Steve Martin......well that scene makes our bathroom look GOOD!


We then left for dinner. We always have breakfast and lunch in the room and go out for dinner. So we were trying to choose which seafood restaurant to go to and Caleb keeps repeating "I hate seafood, I hate seafood..." Yeah, we get it Caleb, they'll have other things on the menu. We went to the Lobster Shanty...it's a nice place with linen table cloths and napkins (do I hear you snickering???). Let's just say kids will be kids and leave it at that, okay??


Currently they are on the beach with Tom looking for crabs. And I am enjoying a little down time. *Smile*


Here are some pics from today.



Here is Caleb digging in the sand (above) and Luke getting ready for a swim (below).



Here's proof for mommy that they did get bathed!! And notice how they've covered their "tenders"!



Here they are after dinner.




Saturday, April 4, 2009

Florida-Luke & Caleb Meet the Ocean!

Well, we made it!! It wasn't as much "fun" as yesterday......they were pretty much done being in the car - me too! We visited about 15 restrooms, Caleb skinned his knees falling at a rest area, we ate at McD's twice (YUCK!) and now here we are!!! The boys couldn't wait to get to the beach and since our hotel is on the beach we headed down there first thing! The water was warm and the sun wasn't too hot. Now they are crashed on the bed watching "Survivorman" with Tom. I think it's going to be a guy things kind of week. Oh well! (At least there is no chance of snow here!)



Here are Caleb's skinned knees.....notice that there are straws in his socks?!


Here they are helping to unload the car.....

Luke at the ocean.....
Luke & Caleb playing in the waves and a cute little video of them playing in the water!

video

Friday, April 3, 2009

Florida - Day 1

Well we are on our way to Florida!! Yay!! We have Luke & Caleb with us. We met Julie this morning at 7 am and picked them up. We were on the road by 7:15. That's pretty good for us!
The day was pretty uneventful and for that I am very grateful!! We visited more restrooms ("facilities" according to Luke) today than I can count! We survived an episode of carsickness (Luke) by opening the window and letting the cool breeze blow on him and then he fell asleep! Bonus! We travelled safely through Michigan, Ohio ("why-eye-oh" -Caleb), Kentucky, Tennessee and we are currently stopped for the night in Byron, Georgia. The boys saw some awesome mountains (and wondered why they weren't snow capped) but I don't think they were what they thought mountains would be like. I think they thought we'd be driving up and down steep roads around and around each mountain. I think they were underwhelmed by the reality. (That's only because they weren't driving!)
They are quite a team, these two boys! When Luke tells us that Caleb is hungry or that Caleb has to go to the bathroom, it's a pretty certain thing that it is really Luke that is hungry or has to stop and "use the facilities"! We learned that mommy is a boy!? The conversation went something like this:
Me: Well I guess Alec is the only boy at home now, huh?
Caleb: No, there's daddy.
Me: Yep! Alec and daddy are the only boys home now.
Caleb: No - there's mommy!
Me: Hmmmmm......
Anyways, I can't wait to get to the beach tomorrow! The boys are excited to get to Florida too but I bet they'll be super bummed when they find out that it's still another 4-5 hour drive after we actually cross the state line! Maybe they'll be sleeping then:~)
More tomorrow - with pictures I hope!!