Friday, September 18, 2009

A Test of the Emergency Broadcast System

This is a test, only a test of the emergency whining out loud system. If this becomes an actual emergency you will all be notified by my husband or other family member (because they will have knocked me out and hidden my body). Hahah. We all know it would be difficult to actually HIDE my body but I think that my husband may be putting a lock on the outside of our bedroom door to keep me in there for my whiny timeout.

It is once again Family Camp weekend. The faithful few blog lurkers know well my distaste for this event.I just can't get excited about it.  I promised I would not whine in front of the kids this year so HERE I GO!! (they are at school right now).

The packing and gathering of all the necessary items is never my favorite project. I am so tired from the night before of cleaning and washing load after load of laundry, I am just too tired to pack and get it all in the car with the tired, whiny kids the school sends home to me at the end of a long week of school. Hygiene is most important on a weekend like this because we are in a dorm style cabin with 5 boys and 1 man with me as the only girl. I don't want to have the scent o' smelly feet as my camp perfume.

Note: We really should have this camp in the summer or at the END of the school year. Then it doesn't seem like we are cramming all this activity into the first full week of school. Oh well. Wah, wah, wah. It was just so much more fun when I packed my own things as a teenager and went with my family then. The other end of it is just too much work.

Okay so now that we have that out of the way. I will leave you with the promise to TRY to ENJOY the experience. I just hope to have less mud, sand, dirt, soggy clothes, shoes, scraps, smelly treasures and mounds of clothes they can't wear the rest of the weekend because they have gone through the entire contents of the suitcase the first day (because they were wet mom)... 

I am taking my knitting no matter the protest from my spouse and am secretly charging the Zen so I can listen to audio books while I knit. (hahah. He said no books either.) and smuggling in the portable DVD player to watch movies. Yeah, I said it. I am going to watch movies and play with Landon in the cabin and hide out while the BIG boys explore the great outdoors.

I look forward to Sunday and my own bed. Whoo hoo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Cure for the Summer Time Blues

Here are the end of summer photos for all to enjoy. The top two pictures are the day of the broken leg discovery for Wee Whitaker. He was most tramatized by the rectal themometor than the actual splint.  I too would be a little SURPRISED by that if I was 18 months old.

He was not slowed down at all and brought many folks laughter when he hobbled around. Don't think he didn't get his share of "Aw, poor things too." Overall he was a trooper.

The boys got in some official swim lessons this summer and did beautifully. Alex has come such a long way the last couple of years, but this season he was swimming (on purpose) not just splashing around  half drowning. It was marvelous. The other kids now swim with a bit more "form" I am pretty sure the life guards never knew for sure if they were drowning or playing. But now they look like they know what they are doing. Whoo hoo! Landon absolutely loved every minute in the water and when his lessons ended he was more than a little upset. Can't wait to get them back in the water soon.

As you can see he is not afraid to pose for the camera. Thanks to Auntie Shari he is a professional CHEESER.
The sprinkler pictures don't do justice to the amount of laughter we all had watching Landon chase after the big boys with no hesitation or lack of coordination. Jumping into a fan of moving water is as easy as he makes it look. hahaha.

Last but not least my cousin's adorable daughter modeling her summer knit by Auntie DD. It was so fun to knit for her. She has been well trainded in the art of receiving gifts. I was well complimented all week long. She is a great little model too.

I will post the first day of school photos soon.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

End of the Summer Knits Pictures

This summer has not been completely unproductive. I have unfortunately not taken photos of all the items knit up since school dismissed:(

My goal this coming year is to catalog and journal more diligently in several areas of life but top priority is to get my yarn stash and multi project piles under control and get some of my patterns written up and maybe sell them. Yeah!

Then maybe I will start that book I joke about all the time. Hahahha. Well I need to at least get these stories written down for scrapbook purposes. Time is going by so fast and I really need to get Alex's album started. He keeps asking if I remembered he was born. Did you take pictures mom? Well, yes I did and still do but can't seem to get them printed from the Land of Digital. Uggh.

Getting ready for school next week is proving more challenging every year. I am amazed at the amount of THINGS that are considered SUPPLIES these days. I don't remember ever having to buy post it notes, expo markers, and highlighters for kindergarten or fourth grade when I was in school.

Does anyone have fantastic sack lunch ideas? Our school has not been able to complete the cafeteria yet so that means days and days of mom made lunches. Last year sandwiches were making me gag. I can't imagine how bored the kids were. So if you have any suggestions post a comment, I would love to hear them.

Along those lines any fabulous work from home ideas to generate some extra income would be great too!

I thought I would share with you how good Alex has become at communication this summer. We have been diligently working on a way to cut down on the amount of tattling and angry outburst going on around here. One thing we implemented was a talk to the person your upset with FIRST, resolve it if you can forgive each other and play on! Well, that hasn't exactly been working for A man. So he has come up with an opening phrase before pleading his case.

“Uh mom I have something to tell you. I'm not tattling I'm telling you the truth." It is hard to argue with him on that but it still isn't accomplishing our goal.

In my attempt to lead by example, I too have had an angry outburst here and there this summer (not a proud mommy moment, but I think all moms’ can extend a bit of grace and maybe even relate). The outburst part is not the example point. hehehe. After a more trying day with schedules and a lack of cooperation from the troops I felt myself getting upset. Fast forwarding through the less interesting events of the day. We still had not finished our chores for the day. I would love to say that I laughed and played with my boys and relished in the smell of dirty socks and shoes strewn about the house and ingnored the piles of unfolded laundry waiting to be put away. First we  needed to FIND the floor to walk into each room. Blah, blah, blah.... Enter my ANGRY OUTBURST. I will spare you the exact words used during this time, but immediately following my monologue was the silence of my kids, their stunned glazes and then laughter. My third born angel looks and me and says “Mom, your face got so red it looks like you have a sunburn.” I was not finding the humor in it. So I left the room to sign each one up for military school.

The “quiet time” that followed scared them more than my many words flying about in loud volumes. They cleaned ever square inch of their bedrooms and wanted to make my lunch, a snack, get me a drink, anything that would get a response. I just shook my head and continued on with my day (I was thinking the entire time what a horrible person I was to have been so mad), after all the chores had been done. I sat them all down and apologized for what I said and how I behaved and asked them to forgive me. Here is what happened.

“Mom, you don’t need to say sorry to us. You just need to be nice and stop being angry.” (ALEX)

So now mom is working on this and they are storing up more events in the “Therapy Vault” for a future day. Ughhhh.

Sorting through the mountain of school supplies is not exactly how I imagined spending our Labor Day weekend.  But I am working on not being ANGRY.. hahahaha.

Happy Back to School Week.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Gotta Say Goodbye to the Summer

Summer has come and gone. I can hardly believe that it is time for school to start again. I have shared with a few close, non-judging friends that I have been seriously thinking about homeschooling again this year. We have had the kids in a local private school the last couple of years and they have loved it. My mom heart feels we may need to bring them home for a bit and reevaluate how important their relationships with each other are. That is one of the major things I regret about our decision to quit homeschooling when we did. The brother connections and problem solving skills go out the window and peer groups and activities replace it. So we may have more interesting posts if they are home all day with me again. Right now the plan is to start the year at private school again and see how it goes, more to come in the schooling adventures of Troop Whitaker. As for summer we had so many little things I don't know if I can list them all in a way that keeps your attention. We set out on our summer break to keep things unplanned and therefore stress free. NOT!

Our first broken bone ever started out the summer with a bang. Boy number 4 had his cast on until the end of June so swimming and water play was a difficult activity. He did find a way to enjoy all the activities of a friend’s birthday party and was very clever in trying to keep his cast dry.

My cousin sent her two younger kids to spend some quality time with her parents. This gave the boys a great few weeks of cousin time. I remember summers with my cousins and how fun it was just to be together. They did so great and I played the role of camp director (aka Camp Auntie DD). Our first ever tye dye project (well my first attempt with the kids + cousins), playdough, water fights, sprinklers, park lunches and more.
Later I was informed we should have friends/family over all the time, I am way more fun when other people are watching.. I love their honestyJ

The rest of this summer has been a blur. Lots of growing, eating, more growing, fighting, complaining, laughing and misc outburst have taken place too! There is an entire blog post waiting to be written on the EATING portion of the summer.

I did take pictures but I can’t seem to add a photo to the blog. This is so annoying.

In other news we had our first broken leg and second broken bone in Whitaker history. Wee Whit got his leg stuck in the spindle back chair. It is a long story I will not retell here. Let me just say. If you think that something may be wrong with your child go with your gut. He is doing great and is not slowed down by his splint at all.

This summer has taught me a lot as a person too. I may find a way to share those thoughts as well.

Chow for now.