Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things I have learned as a Mother of a Teen.

1. It doesn’t matter how much you compliment him, once he is being disciplined, all you will hear is how you never appreciate him.
2. It doesn’t matter if he knows he is breaking the rule and willing to take it (the punishment), when it comes time to pay for the consequences it’s never fair.
3. Because he is a good kid, he thinks that he should be able to get away with being disobedient. Definition of good kid: Not into drugs, stealing, trying hard at school, or drinking.
4. Never share your feelings about an old girlfriend. They will probably make up and get back together again.
5. He will say mean and hurtful things to you whenever he is the tiniest upset. Everything is magnitude at that time he is hurting about a girl he is or was interested in.
6. If you are divorced and Father rarely sees him or cancels most of the visitations, he will forgive him and he is the greatest Father. If you can’t make one of their events due to prior commitment, then you don’t love him.
7. Your child will be possessd with some sort of demon, he could be as sweet as pie one minute and then a sour apple the next. You never know what you are going to get. Sometimes, you will swear that you can even see the head spinning, and you may.
8. Thirteen will be most likely your roughest year. I think they rarely smile at this age.
9. Try not to take their hurtful words to heart, eventually when he is in his early 20’s your relationship will thrive once again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Welcome Summer

Last Friday Noah had his "Welcome Summer" Party. I had planned to make this such a big deal for him. Originally he wanted this on June 30th because we are suppose to have meteor shower. He was in hopes he would be able to see some with friends. Since the 30th is on a work night, we scheduled it for Saturday the 26th. I planned on using some Hawaiian decorations that I had and buy grass skirts for his friends.

Todd wanted to do something as a family, with not knowing what kind of Summer we were going to have with his job and possible health issues for me, that he planned for a weekend vacation in Wisconsin Dells. The exact same weekend of Noah's party since this will be his last weekend off until the middle of August. Noah was a little disappointed, so I thought why not have your party on Friday instead.

I didn't have time to get everything I wanted. We didn't decorate and since Noah wasn't sure how many kids he was planning to invite, I chose to ignore the grass skirts. I told him his party had to end at 10 pm since I will need to get to bed to get rest because I will be the one driving. Todd had to work and was able to get off at 3 am giving him only 2 hours to sleep.

We had a little cook out, they played Crockett and badminton. We attempted a bonfire, but the wood refused to cooperate and the time was getting later then I wanted.

At 10 I told everyone 15 more minutes then we will have to shut the party down since we will be going out of town tomorrow early morning. Noah and his friends had a great time. He kept talking my ear off after everyone left, saying what each child had told him. He gave me a huge hug and with a warm smile, "Thanks Mom for letting me have my Welcome Summer party." The next day, I told him we can do it again, next time we will get the bon fire going. He once again had a huge warm smile and said that sounds fun.

If only 13 year old were this easy to please. Awh...I do love my boys.

Sunday Drives

As I was driving though Dubuque going to Wisconsin Dells this past weekend, I saw this bridge that goes over the Mississippi River. It reminded me of a time when I was younger. I think I may have been in 3rd or 4th grade. This would be pre-Amy and pre-Katie. I don't have a lot of fond memories of my Father, but I remember this one. We didn't vacation really, but once in a great while, Dad would go on what he called "Sunday Drive". This would confuse Lisa and I because most of the time it was on Saturday.

Shortly after our first Cordoba we drove to the Amanna Colonies. I really don't remember a whole lot because we were young, I just remember the little stores. Shortly after Dad bought his second Cordoba we went on our "Sunday Drives", this trip took forever it seemed like. I remember Lisa and I constantly bugging our parents "Where are we going?" and my Mom would say, she didn't know ask Dad. Dad would just say, it's a surprise. "Are we there yet?" This was repeated maybe every 30 minutes. Finally, when we arrived in Dubuque, my Father told us we are going to see the Mississippi River. Lisa and I looked at each other with a big smile. We knew this was a big river and thought it would be neat to see. For hours my parents would try side streets so we could go up to the actual river and gather some rocks as a memento. We never did find the side street, however the picture of that bridge was forever etched in my mind. Opening a flood gate of memories of that drive when I saw it again, so many years later.

I hope I am creating memories that my boys will reflect back on and smile and know how much love I have for them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday 2

Day after Joshua was born. I'm still at the hospital, proud brother is visiting us.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Wizzard of Oz

Iowa City, City High's Spring Musical was "The Wizard of Oz" this year. Joshua had tried out for the part of the Scarecrow or the Lion but did not get it. He did have a line that required him a script this year. He was one of the Apple Trees (Apple Tree #3)

He also had several other minor rolls, He was one of the Ozians.

(Joshua is in the center, in front of the yellow brick road.)

He was also one of the Winkies (Witch's guardsmen)

(Joshua is the Winkie with the yellow lightening bolt on the front of the uniform.)

I have never seen a high school production with so many details and special effects. They had 4 showings, Thursday night and Saturday Matinee nearly sold out and Friday and Saturday nights were sold out with standing room only. They had to turn people away from the doors both Friday and Saturday night. It was the buzz around town and well deserved. The beginning of the production the cast wore shades of gray, black, browns, and white to give the black and white impression like the movie.
There was a screen towards the back of the stage that they projected a farm scene and the storm clouds rolled in and it looked like an actual tornado was touching down in the background. The house was on wheels and the stage hands came out dressed in black and turned the house as if it was spinning.

Once in Oz the actors/actresses were in bright colors and the props were just as colorful. Glenda the Good Witch was dangling above the stage in an acrobat hoop.

The Wicked Witch actually flew onto stage making the audience gasp with excitement.

The Wicked Witch captivated the audience with her special effects one more time when it was the scene where she threw fire at the Scarecrow. Her broomstick shot flames from the end of it towards the Scarecrow to play with fire. Perfect timing the Scarecrow had a puff of fire appear near his arm and he quickly put the fire out. The Flying Monkeys really flew.

The Powerful Oz was a head projected onto the screen. There was plenty of singing and dancing. All the instrumental was live, the City High Orchestra played behind the set. They had several children playing the roles of the Munchkins.

Our family had a great time at the show. I'm so proud of Joshua and all of his friends. I love the fact that he is creating such wonderful memories and good times in high school. These years fly by and he will always have this experience as well as last year's "Evita" to look back on.

Vacation 2009


My boys and I really didn't vacation that often before moving in with Todd. Their Father and I took Matthew to the Omaha Zoo once and then we took all 4 boys to Minneapolis/St Paul for one weekend when Noah was 18 months. We did some tent camping the Summer before I left their Father. That was about the extent of our vacationing while married the entire 15 years. We just never budgeted or couldn't budget for a vacation. I told myself after I left with the boys, that I would try to at least go camping every Summer, I wanted to create those fun Summer memories.

Since living with Todd we have been to the Wisconsin Dells, camping at Back Bone Park, Chicago, Chicago Six Flags 2 times, Milwaukee, and we rented a house off of a lake for a week in Minnesota. This year we told everyone that we couldn't do much of a vacation for a couple of reasons, one Todd's employment has created a new communication center and it opens up July 1 and none of the dispatchers will be able to take time off the first 6 months. The next reason why we couldn't do this is because we had to replace the furnace last November and we now have to replace the Central Air unit. We told everyone that we will go camping for the weekend in August at one of the State Parks. This is something we told them at the beginning of the year.

Summer is nearly here and one evening at dinner little Noah says, "So where are we going for vacation this year?" My heart sunk. I love the fact that he is having this opportunity for vacations, that his brothers didn't have when they were his age. I explained the same thing that we told them in January, he just sighed and said o.k. We then talked about our favorite vacation. I knew what was Todd's and Mine was as well as Joshua's and Kera's were but I was surprised both Ethan and Noah had the same answer, our favorite vacation was last Summer's the week on the lake.

Todd surprised me on Saturday he told me that he wants to go to Wisconsin Dells in 2 weeks when he has the weekend off. He wanted to do something fun with the boys and I. I think he is worried with the outcome of the test that are being done and wanted to create another fun memory with the boys. This is one of the reasons I love him so. They are so excited and were surprised. It will be only 1 night but two fun days. Emily will be able to make it with us, but unfortunately Matthew has plans and Kera has school. We are in hopes next Summer we will be able to vacation another week in a house off of a lake.

Here are some pictures from our favorite vacation in Minnesota.

The back of the house we rented for the week.
Ours is the house on the left side of the picture.

Some of our children on our pier, right after we arrived.

Our Scenery
Pictures taken from our backyard or off our deck.

The kids did a lot of this. They lived on the water that week.

We rented a pontoon boat and went tubing on a lake in town.

We played games.

Even more tubing
The neighbor took us out and we went tubing on our lake.

We did some fishing.

Pictures of some wild life on the lake.
Blue Heron at the end of our pier after we woke up the first morning there.

Sea Gull

Woodpecker off our pier

Not so wild life, this was our neighbor's cat.


A family of ducks


Minnesota Zoo

He Loves Me