Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Graduation Poster

One of my favorite traditions that we discovered in Hawaii, is having a poster with a picture of the graduate on it and having all your friends sign it.

Because we've moved all over the place through the years, Emily has friends spread out all over the country.  I wanted to get as many of them as I could to sign her poster so I had to start early in the school year.  

I have a friend in Hawaii who started the poster for me.  She got all of Emily's friends in Hawaii to sign it.  Some friends of our who had moved to Florida visited Hawaii while the poster was still there and they were able to sign it while they were on vacation.

Then the poster was mailed to Idaho where another of Emily's best friends from Hawaii now lives.  Then it was mailed to me.  I took it with us on a trip to Kansas and had friends who now live there sign it while we were at Comic Con.

And voila!  The poster was signed by most of her high school friends!

I set it out on her graduation table so that friends in Illinois could sign it as well.

But the best moment was when Emily walked up and started reading what people had written on it.  At first, she thought it was signed only by people she knows here.  Then she started recognizing the names and realized there were notes from all her closest friends through the years.  

I wish I had been videoing her!  I didn't expect her to burst into tears and be fully wracked with sobs.  (I'll have to see if I can get her to reenact it for me)

It was a great moment and she was so grateful to us for getting this for her!

I love you Emily!! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Burn Baby Burn

We've had broken bones (twice - both Emily) that sent us to the emergency room.

We've had cuts and bumps that sent us to the emergency room (Ben and Katie).

We've had to call the poison control center (Ben).

Now we've had our first major burn.

Katie was making macaroni and cheese which she's done many, many, many times.  The kid loves mac and cheese, always has, plus she's almost fifteen and doesn't really need supervision in the kitchen unless I'm teaching her to make something new.


On this occasion as the noodles came to a boil, she realized there was too much water in the pot and it was going to boil over.  She got a measuring cup to dip some of the water out and pour it in the sink.  Again, something that she's done many times before.  This time though some of the boiling water - just a drop - splashed on to her hand as she dipped it out.  In reflexively snatching her hand away from the hot water, she accidentally poured the entire cup of boiling water right down her shirt.

It's funny how kids can make a noise - not a scream or a shriek - just a quick, "Oh!" and somehow you know it's bad.  Katie didn't even make a very loud noise; I don't know how Kerry and I both knew something was really wrong but we both headed into the kitchen immediately.  I grabbed paper towels and wet them down with cold water to press to her chest while Kerry ran for a hand towel for the same purpose.

The burn didn't look that bad at first.  Her skin was really pink but it didn't look too terrible.  I got her an ice pack and had her lie down with it on her chest.  She was laughing and asked me to finish making the mac and cheese for her.  I did and she ate it.  I thought she'd never want mac and cheese again.

After she ate,  Katie asked if she could get in the shower to let cool water run over it.  I went in to check on her after a while and she didn't want to get out because the cool water felt so good.  I got her a fresh ice pack and once she was out I checked the burn again.  She had one big blister - about the size of half dollar and several smaller blisters.

We started thinking maybe we should head to the hospital.  Kerry called the advice nurse and she told us that if the burn was larger than the palm of Katie's hand, we should go to the ER.  Well, yeah, the burn was probably about 5 palms big so a hospital visit was in order.

We had company coming over so Kerry had to stay home and be the host while I took Katie to the ER.  I had her change into one of Kerry's shirts so it would be big and loose and she'd be able to just unbutton the front instead of having to pull a shirt over her head.

We spent over two hours at the emergency room.  Katie's burn was looking really bad by the time we were seen.  Fortunately they have a marvelous cream called Silvadene which is apparently a miracle medicine.  From the minute they put in on Katie's burn, she didn't need an ice pack any more!

So now we are back home, she is doing well, and we just have to keep an eye out for infection.  Most of her burn is first degree, with only a few areas that are second degree.


It's done.  Emily is officially a high school graduate!

 The ceremony was nice.  Because all the students are homeschoolers, the diplomas were presented by the parents.  Each set of parents had to walk up on stage, give a two minute speech, and confer the diploma.

It was really sweet watching the dads choke up as they tried to talk to their kids.  Kerry made it through his speech with no problem!

Before the ceremony, Emily strapped her phone to her arm with a rubber band as she didn't have pockets on her dress, and trying to get to it through the robe would have been difficult.

 When we walked on to the stage to present her diploma, she said, "Hold on a second!"  Then she whipped out her camera and took a selfie of us on the stage.

That got a good laugh from the audience.  We always go for the laugh.  We don't usually like things to be too serious!  

There was a reception afterwards in the gym.  Each graduate had a table where they would put pictures of themselves and items that were special to them in some way.

We surprised Emily with a life-sized cutout of Jared Padalecki.  He was quite a hit with the ladies!

I was on the decorating committee.  We had spent a large portion of time earlier in the day hanging up all those decorations on the walls, setting up tables and chairs, making a photo booth, and just generally trying to make a gym not look like a gym.

After the reception we had to take everything down again!

 It was a long day, but well worth it to mark the graduation of one super smart lady!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's Graduation Day!

In a matter of hours, 
this little baby

will be a high school graduate.

How could this have happened?!?!

When did this...

...become this?

How did we get from here...

...to here?

How could my sweet little girl....

...be stepping out into the world already?

She only just learned to sit...

....but she's ready to run.

My beautiful little girl...

...is a beautiful young woman.

I'm not ready for her to graduate...

...but she seems pretty excited about it.

Get me some tissues, I'm going to need them.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pecan Pie With Cinnamon Roll Crust

Ben actually made this pecan pie for us.  The crust is made of cinnamon rolls!  And there is a cinnamon roll glaze on top of the whole thing!

It is absolutely delicious!

It's nice to have him home from college when he comes home with skills like this!

Here's where he found the recipe if you're interested in making it yourself!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


After the grass fiasco of the puppies turning green and having grass clumped all in their fur, we took them to the groomer.

I'd forgotten how small they are!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Green Feet!

Our puppies are really, really cute, and really, really fluffy.

However, when we mow the lawn......

.....they turn green.

Their white, fluffy fur is a real collector of grass cuttings.  They come in not only with green feet, but with clumps of grass stuck all over them.

And I do mean ALL over them!

Monday, May 18, 2015

First Time For Glasses

When we went to see Ben last month, he mentioned that his friends no longer let him drive because his vision has gotten bad.  He also mentioned that he can't read what is written on the white board in his classes.  I told him to get to the eye doctor.

But of course, he didn't.

So as soon as he got home after finals, I hauled him in to get his vision checked.

"Yep, your eyes are bad," the doctor informed him.

I know I was looking at the eye chart as Ben was reading off the letters and he missed quite a few.

So, he tried on various frames:

 The Foreign Exchange Student

 The Foreign Exchange Student's Cousin

 The Harry Potter

The Smart Hipster

 The Coffee Barista

The Science Whiz

He's chosen his favorite pair and they are on order.  I'll post a pic of his final choice once they arrive!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Yogurt Incident

A friend of ours had a daughter who was graduating last night.  We decided to go to the ceremony to wish her well.  And since Emily is graduating in one week, it gave me a chance to watch a ceremony and prepare myself emotionally (it didn't help, I teared up as soon as the graduates walked out and then sniffled off and on through the entire ceremony).

This was a very nice ceremony - the men wore suits and ties, the girls wore dresses and there was a wonderful reception afterwards with wonderful, wonderful treats to eat.

They had Gouda cheese and Havarti dill, homemade cookies, cake, fruit trays (on real silver and clearly not bought at Walmart), cream puffs,.........

.....and these.

"These" were little boats of vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries on top.  I took one bite and it was like being in heaven.  It was glorious!  I knew Katie would love it, so I sought her out in the crowd to have her try it.

I found Emily, Katie, and Kerry talking to each other and walked straight up to them, "Katie, you are going to LOVE this, you have to try a bite!"

I handed her the cup of yogurt, but somehow I didn't communicate who was actually taking possession of it.  I thought she had it; she thought I had it.  Instead, released by all, it plummeted straight to the hard floor of the church hall and exploded like a mushroom cloud over the four of us.

I seriously did not know yogurt could do that.

The cup landed closest to me and I was the hardest hit.  I was liberally sprayed with yogurt from the feet up.  It was all the way up my shirt, on my glasses, and in my hair.

I looked at Katie in shock and she looked back at me with horror.  I noticed yogurt in her hair, on her neck,  and on the front of her dress.

Kerry started laughing.

Suddenly, a girl of about ten years, materialized in front of me and snapped a picture with her iPhone.

At that point, I had to start laughing too.  If I looked crazy enough to have a random kid snap a photo of me, it must have been pretty bad.  One of the hosts came over and politely asked what happened.  Katie and I pointed at each other.  People nearby grabbed napkins and started wiping the floor.

Kerry was trying to wipe yogurt out of my hair, I was trying to get it off my shirt and glasses while I also randomly dabbed at Katie as I spotted more on her.  Emily was in hysterics.  "It's....it's...it's in every crevice of your ear!" she laughed while wiping the front of her dress.

We finally got ourselves cleaned up enough to move away from the danger zone and act like we didn't know something had happened.  Every so often one of them would tell me, "Oops, there's some more in your hair right there."  Every time someone new looked at me, I started wiping my hair and face thinking that they must be looking at more yogurt on me.  Once I started walking around, I discovered I had yogurt between every toe on both feet.  My sandals squished for the rest of the evening.

About twenty minutes later I walked up behind Emily and noticed several blobs of yogurt on the back of her hair.  Then I walked up to Kerry as he was talking to another dad and found another two spots on the back of his shirt.

Yogurt is apparently like luggage, you can't get rid of it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Do

After years of being a red head, Emily decided she wanted to go back to her original hair color.

With the addition of black tips.

So cool!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rash Update

It's a little hard to tell from the picture but my rash is remarkably better today despite the fact that it has now also made an appearance on my left shoulder, right leg, and stomach.  Ugh!

At least all those extra spots are small, and I've got a jump on them so they shouldn't get any larger.

I'm singing praises for one of our friends who is a doctor and is part of our life group.  He called in a prescription for me a full day before I would have been able to get an appointment with the doctor.  So I got a 24-hour jump on this booger.

It still doesn't look like poison ivy so I don't know what I got into.  I think I'll just avoid gardening from now on and that should solve the problem!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


 AAaaaaannnd just to make Mother's Day and my anniversary a little more special, I decided to have an allergic reaction to something.  No idea what, but probably something I touched while weeding the yard.

It itches.  I just want to scrub it with a Brillo pad.

But I won't.

Also, I have scary cheekbones.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Twenty Four!

Twenty-four years ago today!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Quite possibly the best Mother's Day ever. 

The kids made me breakfast and coffee, and served it to me in bed.

Now, just let me say, I don't normally wear sequins to bed.  But I knew there would be photos.  

Just kidding.  I had been awake since 5:00 when Ringo had a nightmare and woke me up.  I got up, had a cup of coffee while perusing news sites and forums where people have very high-brow intelligent discussions.  You know.

Then, I went upstairs, got a shower and got dressed for the day.  At that point, I was told to go back to bed because the kids had made me breakfast in bed and I needed to be in bed to eat it.  So I went back to bed in my sequin shirt and had my breakfast.

 It was delicious!

While I ate, two strolling troubadours serenaded me with "Don't You Know I've Always Loved You".

 While Ben performed an interpretive dance.

 They gave me this card - 

Which was really sweet - 

But I almost spit my coffee out when I read the signatures!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I was explaining driving rules to Katie (she's not driving yet, but will be within a year, so I'm just getting a head start).  I was talking about how some things are just "common sense".

"Mama," Katie said to me.  "They still have to put warnings on toasters telling people not to use them in the tub.  I don't think there's a lot of common sense these days!"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gym Jam

We went on a whirlwind, last minute trip to see Ben's tumbling team perform.

We had planned to see them in June, but that exhibition was cancelled and this was our last chance to see this year's performance.  We only found out a few days ahead of time but we managed to get a hotel and a dog sitter and we took off.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera!

The only videos and pictures we got were on our phones.  Not the greatest quality, but hopefully someone will upload an actual video of the full performance soon and I'll be able to post it here.

It was quite spectacular!
Although we didn't catch it on video, Ben actually dropped one of the girls.

Both he and she said it had never happened before!

It's always a very fun performance to watch!

It changes each year, so it's worth going to see the new show!

This year is the 50th anniversary of the tumbling team!