And all of a sudden it's been nearly a week since I've blogged. I'm back at work and adjusting to my schedule.
I'm up to thirteen definite hours a week this year, but still with lots of subbing possibilities. This last week I was the substitute librarian all day Monday, and then picked up an extra hour and a half of parapro work on Wednesday for a total of 17.5 hours worked for my week.
Meanwhile, the kids were milking the tree for everything they could before it came all the way down.
The tree came down on Thursday.
Which was the same day that Brian had his first sick day. What luck, thought he.
It was also the day that Greg was trying to get his body back onto the midnight shift mode.
He couldn't sleep anyway, as he was fixing the hot water heater.
It blew in the wee hours of Thursday morning (about 2:45 am) at the exact moment that he just happened to be walking down the hallway.
We are blessed. Instead of waking up to gallons upon gallons of water flooding our home - we only lost a few pantry items. Wow.
Somewhere during all that, I had a weak moment and called a lady who I knew had a pup (Morkie) for sale.
We met her after school. The kids had no clue until we were in the car. They couldn't have known any earlier as I didn't even know when they'd gone to school (but I had been pondering it for longer than that)
If you could have seen Wendy - so happy that she was sobbing, and then realizing she was sobbing and getting the giggles - you'd know why there is no doubt that we needed another dog. I had asked if I could video her unexpected reaction, but she said no.
Brian, being sick, wasn't allowed to play with Rocket on the first day. (Breeder's orders) So he was excited to wake up feeling better on Friday. He even woke up early.
Wendy spent the first night with Rocket. She was tired on Friday but still managed to improve her test score in English.
Rocket is crate trained.
Rocket thinks Brian's physical therapy is a game to be played.
Right now I'm doing a lot of training of my kids to keep all the other training consistent.
Oh. And hey. An Allan sighting. He's still working 48 hours a week and deciding on the path he's going to take with his life. His work schedule (two days on, two days off, every other weekend...) makes it a struggle to take classes.
He turned 19 last month. He went to St. Louis to enjoy his birthday. They did The Arch and the City Museum. He had a ball.
As for the tree - the kids are enjoying the stump for now. It makes for a great lookout point. It might turn into a platform or a stump house. Time will tell.
It's hard to tell when Greg will have time to do anything with it. He's back on seven days a week, switching between midnights and days.
Even Mark said, dad - you looked even more tired than you usually do.
There have been times when the boys don't have belts and/or church shoes, and I roll with that - but when they happen to have them, I like that they use them.
Which brings us to this morning - the first week of Sunday School.
Mark: WHY do I have to wear a belt when I don't even need it to hold my pants up?? Just for Looks?? Me: Yep, pretty much.
and no more than ten minutes later
Mark: But nobody ever sees my feet anyway, so why does it matter what shoes I wear? Me: Nobody ever sees your underwear either, but you wear that ---- right?
And Mark on Wendy's outfit of choice. To know Mark is to know that he - like our other boys, likes to throw in big words, but doesn't always get them right.
Mark: Are you wearing that to Sunday School? Wendy, whining: Well. You don't have to make me feel bad!! Mark, feeling bad, because that's who he is: I didn't say it with jealousy! (He meant that he didn't say it with disgust)
I think all three of them were out of sorts by the time they got out the door.
We ended up losing power last night sometime before 7pm, so before showers and hair clean-ups. It came on for a brief moment when Mark went into the shower, only to go out again while he was in there. If you imagined some holloring - you imagined correctly.
It didn't come back on again until sometime after midnight. I was sound asleep, so I don't really know.
Anyway - it all made for some interesting back to school prep. I took scissors to Mark's hair instead of the clippers, and bedtime stories (dad surprised us and happened to be home) was by flashlight. It all worked. It was definitely the easiest time we've ever had getting the kids to bed that night before the first day of school.
I found the new clothes and paperwork this morning. Even I was all tucked in by 10.
I haven't gone as much this summer. Denny was out of town for a week plus just before I headed up north for ten days, and add to that my trying to single parent all summer - well, it just makes it tougher. It was fun to have everything line up for me to go on Thursday. It was the first time I've been to a launch since balloonfest. (!!!) I met once between balloonfest and Thursday but it ended up being too windy.
A clump of freshly mowed grass had flown into the balloon. Not good to have in there when we start burning.
This elementary school will be full of activity tomorrow morning!
The soccer fields were empty on this night.
With no visible let up in my husband's schedule in sight - I didn't even sign our boys up for fall soccer this year. This momma can only extend herself so far.
Flying low over subdivisions is always fun.
We get to visit and tell them their roof looks good.
Sometimes it feels as if we must be skimming the peaks.
More visiting and wondering if we'll be able to land in that culdesac. We didn't get quite enough turn to do it. Close, but not close enough.
The colors are starting. It's official.
A great night out.
As for today -
My body aches. I moved a lot of wood yesterday. With school starting tomorrow, a full week ahead and Greg on overtime - it had to be done.
I'll be doing more today.
If the forecast was better for this afternoon - I had plans to take the kids out for one last summer fling, but the forecast is daunting.
So yard clean up and backpack stuffing it is.
Last evening we enjoyed a family barbeque at my brother's house.
9:38 this morning and only Mark and I are awake.
Tomorrow will be an adjustment.
I've never been a believer of trying to get them on a school sleeping schedule before school starts.
They get so anxious regarding the first day of school that they won't sleep well tonight anyway.
The boys are both looping this year so it eliminates a lot of the first day jitters
I woke up just before seven this morning, and as is my routine - I put my coffee brewing and went to stare out the back deck window while it brewed.
I looked rubbed my eyes looked again pouted sighed texted my traveling husband and then went out to assess the damage
We are so sad.
I was getting estimates to take a tree down this year, but not that tree. It's our playground tree.
So, while my plan this morning was to go to church - I wasn't confident that the tree wouldn't keep falling and take down the neighbor's fence. I could hear creaking. With Greg out of town - I'm thankful to have three brothers nearby - one of which I felt confident had a chain saw.
I had him waking up all my neighbors by 8:15. Everyone woke up but those inside my own home. I told my brother that when they did there would be real tears (there was) and that they would instantly say - "NOW can we get a pool??"
I was close. It was more like this:
Now nobody is ever going to want to come over. That was the only fun thing we had!
Can we get a trampoline [no]
A pool [no]
We're not going to have An.Y.Thing to do.
My brother was able to successfully cut off the dangerous parts, and I have someone coming over Wednesday or Thursday to cut down the higher branches. We're going to see if we can salvage the branch that Brian is on as well as some of the trunk so we have something left for our in-house monkeys.
For now - we have a lot of fort making brush, and a whole lot of clean up.
We've had two kayaks for quite a few years now, but with six of us - it's been a challenge to figure out who is going when and how. It used to be that the boys could sit on our laps and four of us could go at once, but those days are over two years gone. We've debated getting one or two tandem kayaks, but then storage and hauling became an issue and really, everyone wants their own.
I was tickled, then, to find out about these youth kayaks while on vacation. Perfect! The boys can use them for a couple more years at least and now we have more outing options. This past Sunday we easily shoved three of them into the van while still having enough seats up and the back hatch shut.
To Bishop Lake we went. We chose Bishop Lake because it's a no wake lake and therefore ideal for Mark to practice steering without worry of wandering into the path of a jet ski. And Brian? He either went out on our other kayaks more than I realized or he was born with a natural knack.
I have to say - I love this loading chute. There were other kayakers coming in the old fashioned way as we were going out and having asked them if they ever used the chute, they said it was more trouble than it was worth. I don't agree. We used them going in and coming out and it was the first time ever that I didn't get even a little bit wet, and it was ideal for my just learning boys.
Mark shared that he loves to relax - like this - when we kayak.
Topped off with a promised swim. It was fun to be able to choose any place in the whole lake to swim.
Now we just wish this weekend's forecast was less rainy, because want to go again.
Today was all about appointments, from one to the next to the next. I was tuckered out by dinnertime, but no rest for the wicked. I had time for a quick little break for dinner and then it was back out for more errand running.
Greg is working all weekend. He finally agreed that maybe staying in Toledo for at least a few days would be a good idea. He'll be working until no earlier than 8pm tomorrow and back at it again at 6am the next morning until 11pm. Staying in Toledo will give him three more hours of sleep. It's a no brainer.
I'm a little bit concerned that I haven't begun my back to school nesting routine.
I'm also avoiding transferring all the upcoming dates and appointments to my calendar. I just know that there are schedule conflicts that I'm going to have to figure out.
I also have to figure out my camera and my laptop. The camera is dead and the laptop is dying.
So, we've been home from vacation for almost two weeks now and life is back to full speed ahead. A few randoms:
Greg is still working in Toledo. Seven days a week - longer hours on the weekends.
On our way home from Boyne, I got a call from our principal asking if I'd consider taking a three day course being offered to our district's employees. The course was Capturing Kids' Hearts. I was a little hesitant about giving up three of our last days of summer vacation, but so glad I did. If you ever have the opportunity to take the course - do it.
Being that Wendy had to babysit all three days, I promised her pay in the form of school shopping. We went to Twelve Oaks with the little boys last week, and went by ourselves to resale shops and Salvation Army this week while Allan babysat. She's set and paid.
This week Wendy has volleyball camp. Yes, again. Today is the last day. She didn't make the team last year. We'll see what this year brings. Tryouts are the second day of school.
School starts Tuesday. I think we're ready.
I've picked up an extra three hours this year (teacher aide) for a total of thirteen definite hours per week, and still a lot of subbing possibilities.
I was emailed yesterday asking if I'd consider being trained to be a sub for our school's librarian should the need arise. I said yes. Mark expressed concern that I wouldn't be up to par with the current librarians's book scanning skills.
We're all still working on our summer manifesto. Right up until the last minute...
Tonight - ballooning.
Tomorrow - PTO meeting (I had almost forgotten that I agreed to be secretary), a bucket of ice on my head - again, and Brian's PT appointment.
Shoe shopping broke the wallet this year. At Wendy's sports physical, her doctor ordered - no.more.cheap.flip-flops. And with the boys - I buy them new sneakers at the beginning of the school year and pitch them on the last day of school. Every year. So we got that done this week. Brian, as we had hoped, finally grew to an adult size shoe. This is going to help hugely with his orthotics. The adult sizes offer up a much stronger insole than the kid options. His PT might want to frame Brian's orthotics after she sees what boy + summer did to them. She was amazed even before summer.
Usually this time of the year I begin this back to school nesting thing where I buzz around and start organizing and tidying. I've not done that yet and I'm a little concerned. I think it's exhaustion. I'm so worried that Greg is exhausted and not going to hear his alarm in the morning, that I'm tossing and turning just to make sure he wakes up.
Day by day,......
But right now - time to get dressed and wake up the boys so we can get Wendy to volleyball. They just hate when I do shuttle runs in my pajamas.
On Friday morning we lazily checked out of our digs in Boyne, and made it home in plenty of time to unpack, go through the mail, start some laundry and get ready for our evening 5K.
This summer blew as far as taking care of myself. I never do well when I don't have routine, and there has been no routine to speak of at all this year. Instead of losing ten pounds, I gained ten pounds. I'm looking forward to school starting simply because I need some routine. I operate better in all ways. That being said - it was far from my PR (personal record), but I did better than everybody who didn't run.
We both have a goal of getting better times in October for the next 5K event.
On Saturday - Greg headed down to the Woodward Dream Cruise, and Wendy and I took turns with our volunteer shifts. She had the 8am shift and had fun all over town making signs, helping with kids games and kites and worked past her four hour shift to the point that I had to call her to get home so I could get up to my shift.
I worked the car show portion of the event for a few hours. It was the first year that we've been able to volunteer and we had fun. We'll definitely do it again.
After walking back home - the weather was looking iffy enough that we decided taking the boys up to the event would be a Sunday thing rather than a Saturday evening thing. Our little subdivision gets a little locked in with all the road blocks and traffic detours that driving anywhere over the weekend is a pain in the butt unless you're heading straight to the expressway. I stock up with what I need on Thursday and park the van all weekend. I've done it for years.
The bonus of waiting until Sunday to go to the festival is that Greg could join us. His last day off work and he's been on long days and seven days a week again ever since. He'll be working right through the holiday weekend as well. What a year.
When asked what our favorite part of the festival was this year, I answered the Ultimate Air Dogs. The announcer/host of this event was so patient with all the kids surrounding the pool and did a great job explaining and announcing all the dogs who jumped. The record jumper comes close to 30 feet. Lots of fun to watch.
We had also done the two story MiTrain hour long excurion train ride - but I didn't get any real good pictures of that. That ride came complete with a certificate of record stating that we were part of the first revenue service for these train cars in the entire state of Michigan. Kind of cool.
We made the mistake of walking down the street with all the food carts. We kept doing doubletakes when folks were walking by with this huge bowl of butterfly chips. It was $8 and plenty for all four of us to share. With our bowl in hand, we kept getting questions and doubletakes as well. They were delicious.
This just makes me laugh.
melon ice cream - check melon purchased - check
melon jones soda - check photo boards - check train - check festival food - check people watching - check
It was a great year and an enjoyable end to dad's days off.