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Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Week Eleven | March 9 - March 15

After a beginning of the week that was same-old, same-old, the second half of the week brought spring break.  
Spring break began with Ian's first sleepover. I picked him and his best friend up after school and they had so much fun exploring the woods behind our house... 
playing X-BOX... 
and air hockey.  It was a success and I'm sure he'll be back a lot.  He's such a polite and loving kid; Ian couldn't have chosen a better one for his best friend.  
We met Ian's friend's mom at the school playground, and after playing outside for awhile, it was hot and, being the person that I am who never passes up a reason to have ice cream, we headed to DQ to cool down. 
The kids had fun at the school playground the day before (it's not the school Ian attends- he goes to one farther from home, but closer to where I work), so we decided to ride bikes to it the next day and play again.  I opted to "walk" so I could help Annaliese on the hills, but when she was on flats, I ended up running to keep up.  I think this will be a common thing this summer, and hopefully she won't need my help on the hills and I can ride my bike, too.
Having fun at the park swinging. 

That weekend there was a birthday party for my grandma.  In route, we realized Ian had forgotten his books at home. The kid reads three to four hundred pages a weekend, so this was a huge catastrophe.  Kindle, McDonald's wifi, and a public library that allows Kindle checkouts to the rescue.  He discovered the "Heroes in Training" series and was in heaven... once we constructed some shade so he could see the screen. 

The birthday girl's party was a luau theme at a hotel pool. Youngest 85-year-old I know.  She loved watching her great-grandchildren having fun in the pool 
The kids only got out to eat, and when my aunt we were supposed to stay with came down with the flu, the kids convinced me to stay at the hotel so they could swim in the morning. Hoping for some great weather this summer so we can enjoy our pool at home.  
On the drive home on Sunday, I may have planned it so that we left the motel at the perfect time to stop by Steak and Shake for lunch... just to make Darrin, who stayed home (something about a recently broken leg and a four-hour car ride...)  jealous.  The kids were complaining when we got there, and asking to stop the next time we drove by when we left.  Nothing beats their shakes and cheese fries.  YUM!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Week Ten | March 2 - March 8

This week brought the last of the birthday celebrations.  The first was February 7 when Ian had friends over for a party. That following weekend was Ian's actual birthday and parties for both kids (the art party) with Darrin's family and our friends.  Then there was Annaliese's actual birthday a few weeks later, which then leads to this weekend and my family's opportunity to come out to celebrate with both kids.  Tis the season for birthdays :)

As soon as Ian and I got home from school on Friday (Darrin and Grandpa had picked up Annaliese earlier), the kids were allowed to break into their presents.  

One present didn't need to be opened, though, and that was his air hockey table.  I think his expression says it all. It has gotten lots of playtime already. 
Great Billie gave the kids bat and ball sets, which they put into action immediately. They both connected with the ball immediately, and shouts of, "HOME RUN!" rang out with each hit.  

Noah, Marlena, and the boy came up Friday night to celebrate again.  Ian had been playing checkers with Grandpa and next it was on to teaching Marlena how to play chess. 


Best thing about birthday parties to me is the cake. All baked out from the other parties, Ian and I stopped by Dairy Queen and picked up the best type of cake- ice cream cake.  Being the awesome brother he is, he picked a pink and purple cake because he knew Annaliese would love it. 

Cousin fun- Oliver taught Annaliese how to flip off the couch.  

Normally Ian and Oliver are joined at the hip and Annaliese is outside looking in.  Ian was obsessed with reading his Percy Jackson series book this weekend, though, ignoring pretty much all to finish all 500+ pages that weekend.  That left Annaliese and Oliver as playmates, and it was much fun watching the Barbies and princesses play with the firefighters and construction workers.  

Monday she celebrated her birthday at preschool, where she got her birthday crown... 

And posed for pictures in her crown and favorite dress.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Layout | I Loved You First

I subscribe to Ali Edwards's story kits, and the first kit I received was aptly titled, "Firsts."  With every kit, we get a large, plastic word. I love them, and because of that, have told myself I have to use them on the "perfect" layout.  What a better way to use my first word than to share the story of the "Love you" game Annaliese and I often play.


The background paper in this layout is from 2009. Apparently it was just waiting for the perfect layout to come along, because the minute I saw it, I knew it would be the one I used.  The big blue heart was in one of the other kits from Ali, and it was also perfect for this theme so aqua became a color I tried to tie in with the pinks/reds and black.  The journaling reads: 

"Mommy, let's play the I love you game."
"OK, Annaliese, I love you." 
"I love you more."
"I love you to the moon and back, Annaliese."
"I love YOU to the moon and back, Mommy."
"I love you to infinity and beyond, Annaliese."
"I love YOU to infinity and beyond, Mommy."
"Well, babe, that may be true, but I loved you first. Before anyone knew about you, I did, and I loved you instantly."
"I loved you second, Mommy."
"OK, sweetie, time for bed."


Plastic title and heart, chipboard phrases and hearts: Ali Edwards
Patterned paper: Fancy Pants, My Mind's Eye
Alpha Letters: American Crafts
Wood Veneer: Elle's Studio, Lawn Fawn
Journal Card: Elle's Studio
Doilies: Recollections

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015 Week Nine | February 23 - March 1

Things returned to a bit of normal here.  The kids and I went to work all five days, and Darrin worked from home a bit, but mostly spent his time resting and recuperating.

This girl turned FIVE this week. She took donuts to Sunday school, and when we gave her a choice of a leftover donut or a cupcake for her birthday candles, she chose a donut.  That would have been my choice, too :)

With a promise of her Red Robin birthday meal when Darrin was more mobile, we went to her favorite fast food place, Runza, where she loves to get the mini corn dogs and applesauce.  

After complaining he was bored and rejecting all my options, he finally took me up on rebuilding one of his Lego sets that had long ago fallen apart and we sorted piece for over winter break.  Our method for sorting (by type of brick, not color), worked well and he was able to put the TMNT sewer back together. 

Towards the end of the week, Darrin was moving a bit more out of his chair, joining us for meals at the table, and playing some chess with Ian. Ian's able to put up a fight in the beginning, but still hasn't been able to beat Darrin.  Annaliese made a pattern with the checkers pieces while the boys were playing. 

Thankful it wasn't this cold last week with all the running to the hospital we did and how much we were outside.  Jealous Darrin didn't have to go outside this week and was able to stay under a quilt all day. 
He might like reading a little too much... he didn't even make it up to his room to read, instead made himself at home on the stairs, staying there to read until the book was finished.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Week Eight | February 16 - 22

This week was all about Darrin. As much as he hates having attention on himself, it couldn't be avoided. Almost every picture had him in it for this week. As I was telling my friend about it, she pointed out to me, "Well, your life that week pretty much revolved around him that week."

Now we are almost a month removed from all of this, and I'm so thankful this week is behind us.  It felt like it was never going to end, and not knowing whether or not I would be at work the next day was stressful.  I ended up taking off Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Annaliese wrote this on the board in Darrin's room.  It was directly across from his bed so he couldn't miss it. 
The x-rays.  I am now married to a bionic man. 


The kids spent the night with Walter and Henry Sunday night and played all day with them on Monday.  Lots of for playing.

On Tuesday, I worked. I had just planned on grabbing some food to bring to the hospital with us, but Marlena offered to pick up some Chinese.  Never one to turn down Chinese food, I gladly accepted her offer. 

On Wednesday, at 3:00, we were finally out of the hospital and headed home.  

And at home, this was his landing spot. He didn't move from here much this week except to walk to the restroom and back.  

The kids were more than happy to snuggle up with him in the chair, watching TV or reading. 

We called her Nurse Annaliese. She was more than willing to fill his water, replace his ice packs, bring him his walker, and do anything else he might ask of her.  Such a big helper. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 Week Seven | February 9-15

It has been a bit since I've posted.  Life got really busy for us at the end of week seven, and has stayed pretty busy until now.  When you get to the bottom of this post, you'll see why.  Aside from that, technology failed me and I had to get a new computer.  Adjusting to a new operating system and programs has been a slight learning curve. But hopefully this is the first of many posts to come in the near future, as I'm on spring break right now with big goals of getting caught up.

Forget Valentine's day. Around here, when it gets close to the 14th, we celebrate birthdays (Ian's birthday is in February and Annaliese's in March).  Family and friends came over on the 14th to celebrate, and thanks to Grandma Diane, we had cupcakes (my attempt at the cake I was planning was a fail... knew I should have gone with parchment paper). 
Before everyone traveling in from out of town got here, though, we headed to Red Robin, our traditional place to celebrate birthdays because they have the best birthday dessert.  Ian was willing to share his with his sister. 
Saturday was the day of the party. We went with a rainbow art theme for the party.  Starving artist sandwiches were the main thing, and I tell you what, I want to buy special bread, lots of meat, and have bacon for my everyday sandwiches I take to work. These tasted so much better. 
So I mentioned the cake snafu.  I made a tie-dye cake since it was a rainbow art themed party, but the cake didn't come out of the pan cleanly so I could create the tiers.  I turned the cake in to cake balls instead.  
Tie Dye cake does not look very neat when it's all crumbled together, and we ended up calling them carpet padding balls.

After lunch it was present time. Ian got Minecraft Legos and the book "Beanboy" from Marlena and Noah.   
Annaliese got a skirt and shirt that had to be changed into and twirled in immediately after opening. 
And a Barbie book which Noah was lucky enough to read her.  (No idea why she has that expression, but I'd love to know).
Ian got a skateboard from Grandma and Grandpa, so while I was setting up the art activities, he tried it out in our basement. 
Annaliese tried out her birthday roller skates from them as well down there.  
Then it was time to get creative. The kids painted with colored shaving cream, and also did shaving cream marble paintings.  We made our own star shaped crayons from the big fat crayons my kids don't use anymore, and also painted canvases to be hung. 
I wish I would have thought of a drying rack, but our floor worked just as well.  

After that, things wound down and people went home. We ate supper and the kids asked to go play with their presents in the basement again, so we all headed down.  Darrin and I, having never had skateboards when we were young, tried out Ian's.  The kids who ride them always make them look so easy, but they are definitely not.  Not sure how it happened, but Darrin fell while riding Ian's skateboard and broke his femur in three places.

Needless to say, things were about to get crazy Saturday night.  First time I've ever called 911 in my life. Hopefully the last time, too.  Luckily family was in town, so the kids were in good hands and able to stay home. 
They ended up taking him to the hospital in our small town, but all they could do for him there was give him pain meds.  Two hours after the fall, he was on his way to the big city, with me following in my car.  Around 1:00 am Sunday, we knew the plan was to have surgery at 8:00 am that day, which was a relief because both the nurse and surgeon seemed to think Monday was more of a possibility.

Apparently not a lot of surgeries are scheduled on Sundays. I was the only person in the waiting room for three out of the four hours I was there.  They have boards that show the status of where they are at in the surgery, and he was also the only one listed as in surgery for most of my time there.  
He wasn't allowed to wear his wedding ring during surgery, so I did.  Found myself twirling it around my finger a lot to pass
the time.  


The story doesn't end there, but I didn't want to share the pictures.  And more will be coming during week eight.  His parents got to see him after surgery before they headed home, and the kids spent the night with my best friend (teacher inservice on Monday), so I dropped them off there.  I called my boss to let him know I wouldn't be at said inservice, checked on Darrin, who just wanted to sleep, and drove myself home to get a good night's sleep and pick up some things to take him on Monday.  That was the longest 24 hours of my life. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ninjago Birthday Party

Ian turned EIGHT this month (how did THAT happen?!) and  he had a few friends over to celebrate. This year was all about Ninjago (though after presents, it was all about Minecraft).  Most of the ideas from the party came from here (or from a blog she links to).  I did have another game I totally forgot about- using chopsticks to carry marshmallows in a type of relay race.

Frosted brownie for his birthday cake. 

Some of Ian's Ninjago Legos and the take home boxes (fruit ninja fruit snacks,candy sushi, and a rubber throwing star). 

The game that was played over and over- throwing rubber ninja throwing stars (from here) at a bulls-eye. To make the bulls-eye, I bought a circle foam from Michael's, traced a bowl for the center circle, plate for the middle circle, and then painted it.  
You should see this bulls-eye now. It's more white than colored there are so many chunks out of it.  Totally worth it, though.  

In the story of Ninjago, the ninjas develop the power of spinjitzu.  Here the boys are playing with Ian's spinner set.

I'm a sucker for pin-the-_____ games (love watching how far astray they go).  Darrin drew the white ninja for us, I printed out some eyes, and they pinned away.  This will probably be the last year for this game, the kids were feeling for the eyes instead of just the paper to know how close they were for the correct placement. 

The kids used their ninja strength to break a balsa wood board.  

Using ninja skills to navigate a laser maze.  

It was the year for Minecraft Legos.  

Both sets were assembled by the time the party ended. 

Blowing out the candles on his brownie cake. 

Assembling, then eating, the candy sushi (rice krispie bar with a Swedish fish on top and wrapped in some fruit-by-the-foot). 

This is how they were when the party ended- either watching or playing Minecraft.