Tuesday, April 28, 2009

12 and 9

I thought the other day about the fact that our children are now 12 and 9 years old. 12 and 9. What the ????? When did this happen? If you consider the fact that at age 18, a person is considered to be an adult and usually as adults, people don't live with their parents anymore, B1 is 2/3 of the way there! And B2 is halfway there! Gees. Some kids graduate from high school, head off to college, and never return to their parents' house again. I did not do this; I left for college for 4.5 years, came back and lived at home for another 2.5 years, and then got married. But who knows what paths my children will choose? Maybe they'll choose to live at home while they attend college. Maybe they will go far away to college. Maybe they will come back home after college like I did. Maybe they won't. We'll just have to wait and see which path they and God choose. I just need to remember that I must enjoy every possible minute with them, always.

I remember being with my friend Melissa once when her kids were 8 and 6. B1 was 2 at the time and B2 probably wasn't even conceived yet. I remember Melissa introducing her kids to someone and when she said they were 8 and 6, I thought that sounded old. She had old kids.

I remember holding my babies in church when they were about 6 months old and thinking that it would be a long time until they could go to the nursery at church (usually around age 2). Well, now, they are both too old to go to the nursery (it stops after 2nd grade). Wow.

I remember bringing both of them to my school (on separate occasions) when the parenting classes there had activities for toddlers. They would come with me in the morning, sometimes hang out in my classroom for the first class of the day and then go to the parenting class for the next 3 hours. My dad works at my school as a security person and sometimes they would hang out with him too. He would take them to the cafeteria and buy them a chocolate chip cookie (our school makes the best!). He would usually help me out and take them to the babysitter afterwards too. It sure doesn't seem like long ago but for B1, that has been 7 years now!

I also remember once, seeing someone I knew when I was on the way to the Peanut Butter and Jam Festival in Highland. I had my 2 little girls in tow and we were going there to get some pizza, do a few activities, and listen to some music. This person told me that she used to do the same with her kids when they were little. I remember thinking that I would be going to Peanut Butter and Jam Festivals (which are held every Friday in the summertime) for several years to come. I haven't been to one for 2 years now.

Time really does fly, doesn't it? Oh, don't get me wrong, we still do lots of fun stuff together. It's just different sort of stuff, and honestly, I think I like it better than when they were really little. I always tell people that I'm not a good "little people" person, which is why I teach high school. We go swimming, to the City Museum, to sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, and movies now. They have also become good help at grocery stores because I can give them part of my list and they know what to go and get.

We are really lucky to have these 2 wonderful little souls in our lives. God blessed us pretty well when He gave them to us, trusting that we will raise them to His liking. I think we are doing a pretty good job so far. I hope so.....but I also know that some of the most challenging years are still ahead.........

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Love Grows Best

"Love grows best in little houses,
With fewer walls to separate,
Where you eat and sleep so close together,
You can't help but communicate,
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss.
Love grows best, in houses just like this."
.....lyrics from a song by Doug Stone

We live in a house that is relatively small compared to many of our friends. I always find myself thinking that we will probably never move because for one reason, I can't imagine packing and physically doing a move! And for another.....I don't particularly enjoy cleaning the house we have, so I certainly don't want to clean a bigger one. But also, I have told Bruce and some of our friends that we probably wouldn't be able to afford a new home and continue living the lifestyle we enjoy. We put what I consider to be a pretty significant amount of money away every month into a "vacation" fund and into a "college" fund for the girls. Two of my biggest priorities in life are being able to put my children through college just like my parents and Bruce's parents did for us and going on "good" vacations. I soooo want my children to see as much of our fabulous country as possible while they are under my roof! I also tell people that we really enjoy doing things such as going to Cardinal baseball games, concerts, etc. We usually don't hesitate much at the price when something like this comes up because we figure that we work hard enough that we should be able to treat ourselves to stuff like this.

Well, yesterday, I realized that this weekend......I am doing a lot of stuff!

Last night: Dinner out with my parents (a double-date, if you will!), gambling at one of the St. Louis casinos, and then a late movie (we saw "Obsessed" and we weren't really impressed)

Tonight: We are going to see Taylor Swift in concert! We were some of the lucky people who got tickets! Our girls are really excited about this!

Tomorrow: We are going to the Cardinal game and we get to sit in the Bank of America box again! This is a treat to us from some friends. I for one am really looking forward to it!

So, yeah, anyway, we wouldn't be able to afford to continue doing these things AND make a larger house payment. But that's OK with me! (smile)

Monday, April 20, 2009

B2's 9th Birthday

B2 turned 9 last Friday. She wanted to celebrate with a swimming party similar to how B1 did back in December. So we went back to the Korte Rec Center and again paid just over $100 for a party that I didn't have to do much for! The mess was theirs to clean up and everyone had a great time. My kind of party! Here's B2 (on the right) with 4 of her best friends.

My mom and dad with her.

Lots of girls!

9 shiny candles on that cookie cake!

All of them just before the parents began coming to pick up their little darlings! B1 and her friend are also in this picture.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Pearls

Some of you may think this second picture is kinda gross, but I like it!

B2 began 3rd grade this year and back in September, she was the only kid in her class who hadn't lost their 2 front teeth! They weren't even the slightest bit loose. I had our dentist take an X-ray of her mouth just to make sure that those two permanent teeth were in there and he reassured me that yes, they were. He also told me that she would probably be wearing braces on her wedding day; she is just slower than most to lose her teeth.
Fast forward to March, when she finally lose the first of these two front teeth. And about 10 days later, she lost the other one. I think those 2 permanent teeth up in there look like little pearls, just waiting to grow in! I think they are kind of cute in a weird sort of way! So I made her "pose" for this picture. Thank goodness her nose was clean!

Monday, April 13, 2009

In the Paper!

If you look at this picture, in the top right corner, there is a person holding up a sign. That person is B1 and the newspaper is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch! She, B2, and Bruce went to the Blues game on Friday night when the Blues clinched a playoff berth. She is holding a sign that says "TJ Oshie" and she is standing at the place where the Blues come out onto the ice before the game. Together, they made several signs for the players, their favorite being Cam Janssen. I think Bruce is in Heaven because he really does like hockey. (Remember, we began dating and got engaged at a Blues game!). Now, B1 and B2 seem to really be enjoying it as well, so he has people to cheer with him!

To see this picture more clearly, click here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

That Opening Day Smell

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Cardinals opening day on Monday. Yes, the weather was awful and it was very cold out but I still think there is nothing like opening day at Busch Stadium.

I can remember many opening days or nights when I was growing up. Somehow my dad used to be able to get tickets for us about every other year. It was usually a family affair with the 4 of us all going to the game. I can remember we used to usually park in the stadium garage (I think it was on the west side of the stadium) with the bridge on the 4th level which took you right across the street over to Gate 4 of the stadium. I can remember walking across that bridge with my parents and brother and smelling that stadium smell......hot dogs mostly. Oh that smell was and still is one of the best ever. I smell it every time I go to a game at Busch Stadium, but on opening day, it is just a little sweeter.

Another summer of Cardinal baseball is upon us. I am ready!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Three Parks in One Day!

I have been spending a lot of time on the boards over at Be Our Guest Podcast. In a way, it's sort of like a Facebook for Disney freaks. I am proud to be one of those! There was a thread started recently over there called "4 Parks In One Day!?!?!" I was going to post something on that thread, a story of Bruce and me doing 3 parks in one day, but I decided to blog about it instead.

Bruce and I went on a Disney vacation in 1995. This is when I really fell in love with Walt Disney World. I just felt something on that trip that I never really felt on any of our trips there as a child. I can't really explain it but I know that my fellow Disney Friends will know what I am talking about. Anyway, I didn't get back there again until 2004, when B1 was 7 and B2 was 4. It was a long, long awaited trip and one that was everything I hoped it would be. After we returned home from that trip, we immediately began to plan another for 2008. However, after about a year and a half with no Disney, my heart was longing to be there.

On July 1, 2006, Bruce's best friend's dad passed away in Spring Hill, Florida. This is a subarb of Tampa. Patrick has been a big part of Bruce's life since 2nd grade and when Bruce's dad passed away back in 1990, even though Patrick already lived in Florida at that time, he came home for the funeral. Patrick has since become a good friend to me as well and since I am now married to Bruce, I thought I should go along to Florida for the memorial service, which was going to be held on July 6. We flew out of a small airport which only has flights on certain days. We flew down on July 4 and that night, we watched firewords over Tampa Bay with all of Patrick's family. It was nice. Our girls stayed home with my parents so it was only the 2 of us traveling together. July 5 was a day when the family made final preparations for the memorial service. We were there to help with this if they needed us. But as it turned out, they did not. Therefore, since we were only 1.5 hours from Orlando and we still had days left on our 2004 passes which didn't expire, off we went!

I think we arrived at Disney by 10am that morning. I first wanted to go to Animal Kingdom because their newest ride, Expedition Everest, had opened and I wanted to experience it! I remember calling my cousin while standing in that line and asking her "where do you think I am?" She guessed it! She is a Disney freak too. After that, we went over to DinoLand USA and rode DINOSAUR and then we left Animal Kingdom. I love DINOSAUR. Next up was (then) MGM Studios. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is my favorite ride ever. Of any ride. Ever. I LOVE IT! After riding it and eating a Mickey ice cream bar, we went over to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It" because it was a hot day and that was an air-conditioned attraction where we could sit for awhile. Then we left the studios. Last park for the day: Magic Kingdom. All I really had to do was stand at the end of Main Street USA and breathe deeply while I stared at Cinderella's Castle. Ahhhhh.........oh the view, and the feeling of just being there. I really can't remember exactly which attractions we chose to visit there but I'm pretty sure that Small World and the Haunted Mansion were 2 of them. We also ate dinner at Columbia Harbor House. I don't believe we stuck around for Wishes or Spectromagic that night because we knew we had a bit of a drive ahead of us as well as a full day following. But I was able to get my Disney "fix" for another 2 years, until we returned in 2008. Let me tell you too, it was sure nice being able to zip into and out of those parks with no children! I love my kids but once in awhile, it's nice being on our own. No strollers, no bags, and not even a purse.....just us with sunglasses, a bit of money in our pockets, and a small camera! Heavenly!

Our next trip is most likely going to be the week-long cruise as well as 2 or 3 days in the parks in 2011. I am not sure, though, if I can wait that long to feel the Disney magic again. I would love some little weekend trip sometime between now and then. I guess we'll just have to wait and see............

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April

April is here! Yay! The girls "officially" start ball practices this month (although B1's new team has been practicing since about December) and hopefully the weather will turn warmer for good. Bruce is coaching B2's team again this year. We didn't think he was going to have to do it but the women who was lined up is going to have to have back surgery and there weren't really any other good choices for coaches, so it's Hubby again, for the 2nd year in a row. The team consists of most of the same girls as last year though, just a year older now, so hopefully they will be better.

B1 is not playing in our town on the rec team for the first time ever. I wouldn't say that her team is "select"......it's just a bunch of local girls (from 3 different towns) playing in a more competitive league. The hope is that it will prepare them all for the middle school team (or tryouts at least). B1's class has many athletic, competitive girls in it and we will be holding our breath come August and tryout time.

When I received my copy of our school announcements today (about 10:00am), the lunch menu read like this: grilled ribeye steak with sauteed mushrooms, caesar salad, twice baked potato, garlic bread, and creme brulee. Yeah right! I fell for it for a second and then realized the date! Ha ha, very funny!

And oh yeah.....I've fallen off of the weigh-loss bandwagon AGAIN.....eating just about everything in sight. Ugh........