Thursday, April 15, 2010

Those gophers never saw it coming!!


Corner posts....check.

New dirt and compost....check.

Metal screen......check.

Don't those garden boxes look great. Ted and Lincoln did a great job. And those gophers are in for a challenge.

We have flooded, trapped, poisoned, and even blown up gophers trying to get them out of our yard. In retalliation they have mangled our grass, filled sprinkler boxes with dirt, and eaten new bush roots in our garden area. Well, this year we are trying a new tactic. We are trying higher garden boxes complete with screen lined bottoms to hopefully deter those little varmints from entering our garden domain.

I hate gophers, and I love my new garden boxes. If they don't stay out of our yard then we will have to let Jack loose on them.......ooooooh! Scary!!! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Wagner fable...

This is the house where Jack lives.

This is the pen, where Jack can go potty, outside the back door of the house where Jack lives.

This is the bell, hanging by the back door, that leads to the pen, where Jack can go potty, outside the back door of the house where Jack lives.

This is the kennel, where Jack hides from the kids, who want to play rough, not far from the back door of the house where Jack lives.

These are the toys, that Jack SHOULD play with when the kids want to play, near the back door of the house where Jack lives.

These are the shoes, that Jack WANTS to play with, that have been moved away from the back door of the house where Jack lives.

This is the certificate that says Jack was trained, so that he COULD play with the kids without being kenneled in the kennel near the back door of the house where Jack lives.

This is Jack - for much of the day. Resting up for the time that he gets to play with the kids outside the back door of the house where Jack lives.

The End.

And by the way:

1. The shoe toll taken by Jack and destroyed currently is two pair of flip flops, part of one croc, one pair of 3-year-old's Sunday shoes, and one 13-year-old's pair of sandals.

2. Yes, he rings a bell to go potty.

3. Yes, we are just that uptight that we make him go in a penned area because the thought of watching where you are walking at all times makes me nuts.

4. I yell, "Leave it!" about three hundred times a day.

5. I yell, "Leave him alone!" about one hundred times a day (to Tessa mostly).

6. Jack thinks he is as big as the german sheperd next door.

7. Jack loves Ted to play with him in the morning.

8. First thing in the morning Jack will go outside to go potty and then come inside to search the house for me - which makes Ted crazy if it happens to be a rare occasion where we got to sleep in, because Jack will be jumping up in our bed to wake me up.

9. When we went on vacation it surprised me that I did miss him.

10. Our kids love Jack, and he is a good dog.

11. I know that impatience is learned: While I was wiping down a counter Jack went to the back door and rang his bell to go out. I said, "Just a second, boy." 1.5 seconds later he rang it again. I only had time to look up before he rang it yet again . I guess he is smarter than I thought - he's learned a few tricks from Tessa!

There is a teenager in the house!!

DANGER! DANGER! There is a teenager in the vicinity. Please keep your comments to yourself, do not enter the domain or habitat of said teenager, and be on the lookout for eyes rolling, attitude flaunting, and drama creating behavior.
I think that should be a sign in our house.

Okay, not really. Okay, most of it not really.

Emma actually is pretty mild mannered. In fact, she is one sharp cookie. Our little 13-year-old is in fact, pretty dang sweet. A few updated facts about Emma?

  • She is the most considerate kid I know - leaving notes for her siblings or parents to tell them they are loved and appreciated.

  • She is very bright - at present a straight "A" student - and often we don't find out about how well she is doing until other parents tell us (i.e., "I heard Emma has the top score in her math class - that's great!" My response: "Huh???")

  • She has a great voice and loves to sing.

  • She loves to play the piano for us and play hymns on Sunday mornings. It really helps to set the entire tone for the morning.

  • She loves playing soccer - she loves practices, she loves the games, and she is very competitive in soccer - just like her dad!

  • She is not afraid to try anything and everything. She blows me away at how she is willing to try anything new!

  • She is in her second year of Beehives and is almost done with her Personal Progress.

  • She LOVES Jack. Good thing, too. Her love of Jack has saved him on many occasions.

  • She takes the longest showers - seriously. We can get the remaining five of us showered in other bathrooms before she is out of hers.

  • She is VERY responsible. I NEVER have to ask her about homework, soccer stuff, misc. activities, etc. The only thing I have to get on her case about is cleaning her room - and I must say that if that is the worst thing I have to nag her about, then I am one lucky mom!

Now don't get me wrong, she can roll her eyes like nobody's business, but the truth of the matter is, she is one sweet girl. I actually LOVE hanging out with her. I wasn't sure how I would feel about my first baby growing up, but she is so amazing and we are enjoying her so much that we seem to be doing okay with this transition. :) I make no guarantees as to how I will respond as she as she continues to grow up way too quickly, but for now we will just enjoy this amazing teenager of ours!

Happy birthday, teenager!

Spring Break 2010

The cousins in Toon Town

It has been gray here. Very gray. Cold and gray. Depressing, cold, and gray. That is why I could barely control my excitement when we decided to go to Disneyland for spring break. I was excited. The kids couldn't control their excitement. Ted was supportive. (It isn't that he doesn't like Disneyland, it is just that when he thinks of a vacation he thinks of a place that is quiet, serene, and as sparsely populated as possible. That is to say, he thinks of an environment that is essentially the opposite of Disneyland. That being said, he was a GREAT sport and even, I daresay, excited about taking the kids to Disneyland, and jealous that we went out ahead of him.)

We met my two sisters and my parents. The kids were in heaven. My family is so dang fun to be around. Tessa loved it. She was just tall enough to go on most of the rides (with the help of a specific pare of sandals). She even went on Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn - and the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain were her favorites. We did the Fantasy Land rides - but every time Tessa got off she would say, "Now are we doing the mad bear ride? Let's go do that." (Translation: Now are we doing the Matterhorn with the angry ice monster?) Sam loved the jedi training and made himself a double light saber - (yes, we have one already here that he got for Christmas, but he MADE this one!) Lincoln and Emma both loved going off with the older cousins and riding the big roller coasters - especially since Ted and I are a bit more squeamish these days.

Tessa in Tarzan's Treehouse.

My sisters and the kids on Splash Mountain. This is where Lara insisted that she had her arms up the whole time - she is in the pink shirt. I'll let the photo do the talking. :)

Channelling their inner princesses! Tessa already had the dress on which didin't hurt.

Everyone got along well despite the different opinions as to which University to support!

Sam at Jedi Training. I think he about died when he saw Darth Vader come out - he was in HEAVEN!!!

Outside Tower of Terror - Yep, Tessa rode it bravely.

Taking a break after California Screamin' (no, Tessa didn't ride it - she/mom opted for the carousel next door.)
When we got home we hurriedly got excited for Easter and decorated Easter eggs. (You know the kids are all exhausted when Tessa decides to just sit and watch everyone color eggs.)
The next morning they all had enough energy to run around and search for eggs and their Easter baskets. (We only had to gently encourage Emma to wake up in the morning.) What a great ending to a great week!
The only thing we missed here was cold, rainy, snowy, gray weather. Man I love spring break!!!

Pinewood Derby 2010

Man, Lincoln never disappoints us. This year they were following the actual weight rules, so we were ready to fashion a serious sports car for competition. Lincoln had a different idea, though.

This year he wanted to construct a brick. He wanted it to look like a brick, say "Brick Corp." on it, and it was going to be cool. He loved it. The other kids loved it. And surprisingly, it actually won several races.

When Ted heard that he wasn't needed for hours of sanding, weighing, gluing, and whatever you do with a typical pinewood derby car he knew he had struck gold. He simply grabbed Lincoln in a bear hug saying, "I love you, Lincoln!!"

Lest you fear that Ted is being deprived of the typical pinewood derby experience, put your mind at ease. Sammy will have nothing to do with these "out of the box" concepts. His will be a race car through and through upon which you can spend hours and hours of work. :)

Don't try this at home.....

Don't worry. She isn't really about to fall out of the car. This is her showing me who is boss...and it isn't me.

I think I broke the ultimate code of motherhood (according to Tessa) and didn't provide her a drink within the allotted .02 seconds after said request, so she is mad. Really mad. Mad enough to show me that she is going to throw a huge tantrum. Mad enough to know that I was worried about her hurting herself and so she kept pushing herself further out of the car (and yes, I did take her out of the car and shut the door, but she got back in the car just to demonstrate how mad she was). The more I worried about her falling out and hurting herself, the more she responded by pushing herself further out of the car, so I went and got the camera instead.

The "terrible twos" have nothing on the "tantrum threes."

Now don't get me wrong - most of the time she is a happy and sweet girl. However, there are moments where a terrible monster takes over her body and leaves us searching for the phone number of an exorcist.
I guess I have two options: Work on my reflexes so I can more adeptly respond to her majesty's wishes, or learn to love photos of tantrums.

What can I say...I love tantrum photos.