Saturday, May 28, 2011

Seth & Mommy

Today was a Seth & Mommy day. Joel and Luke went to the cabin with Pop Pop and Uncle Richard, and Makenzie left this morning to spend the day and night with Meema. So Seth and I relaxed all day together. We watched some "t.v." (videos for Seth, t.v. shows online for Mom), ate lunch on the couch, played some Seth games, played outside, and read some books on the swing. Just about the time I started thinking maybe I should get something out to start dinner, Seth pulled the pools down and told me he wanted to swim. When Seth actually tells me that he wants something, I usually do what he wants.

I had wanted to get the pool out all day, but it was cloudy. By the time Seth thought about getting the pool out, though, the sun was shining brightly -- which is why his eyes are closed in this picture:

We had lots of fun together, but we really missed Joel, Makenzie, and Luke!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

our first boat trip

We took our paddle boat out on Cheney Lake for the first time, and we loved it!! It's a lot heavier than I thought it was, though. My arms still hurt a little bit from helping Jason carry it. We all piled in, and Jason pushed us into the water before jumping in the boat.

I am well aware that all of the children should have life vests on, but we only had one because I've only taken one child at a time before this. So Luke got the life vest because he's the most nervous out on the lake. We brought oars just in case we couldn't get the hang of maneuvering the pedals. It's a good thing we did since the rudder is somehow disconnected. We would've been going around in circles or jumping in the lake to push it back to shore without those oars!

Poor Joel had to stay on shore as the photographer because he still had his foot in a walking boot. After awhile, he got bored . . .

. . . very bored!

Speaking of Joel, he went to the orthopedic surgeon today to x-ray his foot. The doctor said that the bones are healed and that the joint is all lined up how it's supposed to be. The concern now is to make sure that it stays healed. Joel can walk in regular shoes, but he can't run for awhile. If he feels any pain or soreness at all, he's supposed to rest immediately. We're all so relieved that he healed correctly and won't need surgery or pins or anything like that!

Luke learned a new skill today:

He's so stinkin' cute working hard for his $5!!! He's saving up for a skateboard ramp :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

new boat

I found this boat on Craig's List this morning and called immediately. Good deals don't last long on there, I've discovered, so the kids and I went right to the guy's house and picked it up. We can hardly wait to take it out on the lake!!!

So why did we buy another boat when we have a perfectly good inflatable one that we've been using for at least two years now? Because my kids are scared to get in that boat with me. Especially Luke! Joel and Makenzie are a little nervous, but Luke is downright scared! None of them can swim, and they don't trust me to rescue them. We don't do much swimming up here where the lakes turn us into ice cubes, so they don't quite believe me when I tell them that I'm more than capable of swimming us back to land. That's ok -- the inflatable boat makes me a little nervous, too. I get sopping wet every time I take it out. I'm hoping to stay nice and dry in this new boat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

two zoo trips

Luke's class went to the zoo a couple weeks ago, so Gavin and I went with them :-) LOVE it that Gavin has an A.C.S. sweatshirt and the cousins were matching!

Second grade boys have so much energy! Gavin did a great job keeping up without going out of my sight. I think they RAN to each new animal, never walked. Here's a rare "holding still, looking" moment:

Then last week, Seth's class went to the zoo, so I got to go AGAIN! Yippee for me :-) I love watching the kids get excited about seeing the animals, though. Funny story about Seth's trip, though (and by "funny," i mean "so completely embarrassing, I didn't want to show my face at his school ever again"). The bus was supposed to leave the school at about 10 a.m., so we got there at 9:45 a.m. We waited outside Seth's classroom for his teacher to bring the kids back to get their jackets. We didn't notice the class filing down the other end of the hall out to the bus. We waited and waited, and finally thought to ask, "Hey! Where is everyone?" The school secretary called one of the kindergarten teachers because THEY HAD LEFT US! They had to turn around and come back for us! I was SO VERY embarrassed. After the 15 minutes wasted picking us up and the 15 minutes of waiting in line, we only had a half-hour to zip through the zoo and see as many animals as we could. Everyone was very kind and said they weren't very far down the road and that they were glad to have us on the trip.

Seth's friend Kristin walked around with us, holding Seth's hand, helping to point out the animals to him, and encouraging him to stay with me :-) Here they are standing in front of the sleeping snow leopard (which I bet no one can see in this picture, but its head is on the ledge above the black cage door).

And now, the school year is almost over. I'm really looking forward to not having to be such a drill sergeant every morning to get everyone out the door on time! My hope for the next school year is that Luke will have matured to be a little closer to the level of Joel and Makenzie, who can pretty much get themselves up and ready on time. I know -- don't hold my breath.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I've written about how great my mom is several times, I'm sure; but this Mother's Day, I've been thinking of how protective my mom was when I was growing up. I didn't really understand it back then, but I certainly do now. Isn't that what all parents say? "You'll understand when you have kids of your own!" It's the truth!

The memory of my mom's protecting me that I've been thinking about the most is about a sleepover. I always slept over with my grandparents, my cousin, and my best friend from church, but one time a girl from school was having a sleepover. My mom said that I could go to the birthday party, but that I couldn't sleep over. I was so upset and embarrassed that the other girls in my class got to stay, but that I didn't -- until I got to the party. I realized that this particular family did not live the way we lived. Honestly, I was a little bit scared and A LOT grateful that my mom had said she would be picking me up in just a couple hours.

This memory isn't about judging people for the way they choose to live, but about a mother's love for her daughter and that daughter's realization that no words could ever say enough how much that love and protection are appreciated. It is NOT easy for a parent to go against her child's desires or a culture's idea of "normal," but sometimes it's necessary. I learned a great lesson from this memory: part of a mother's job is to protect her children, even if it means getting strange looks from other parents and anger from the children she's trying so hard to love and protect.

THANK YOU, MOM!! I love you :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Luke is 8

Yesterday was Luke's 8th birthday. We started the birthday celebration on Friday with balloons and cupcakes for his class at school.

Saturday morning, we gave Luke got a set of Legos. He's so cute concentrating on those things.

Luke decided that he wanted to play miniature golf with a couple buddies for his birthday party. I hadn't been to Castle O'Malley (as far as I know, our only indoor mini-golf course) in quite a long time. It has SERIOUSLY gone to pot!! (sorry if that's an inappropriate expression, but SHEESH! what a mess that place has become!) The greens are all torn, at least one of the holes is "out of order," there's an INTENSELY offensive odor, the bathroom doesn't seem to have been cleaned in months (the other mom that went with us found that out the hard way), and they were "temporarily" out of score cards! I was wondering why in the world they charged us to be in there!! Luke's friend's older brother found a dead fish in the little fish pond. His mom said it looked like it was starting to decay. We tried to keep the boys away from that area, but they didn't even notice because they were running all over the place whacking the golf balls like little tasmanian devils. When we were ready to leave, I told the attendant about the dead fish. He said, "Really? I just checked them this morning. They looked fine to me."

I said, "They're starting to decay!"

He responded, "I think they're fine."

Okey-dokey :-) Bye!

So just a word of warning -- DO NOT GO TO CASTLE O'MALLEY!!!!

The boys had fun, though, after they got used to the odor.

We had lunch, presents, ice cream, and more playtime at McDonalds. Apparently, Luke's goal was to have the best germ-infested birthday party ever :-) We used quite a lot of hand sanitizer!

After the birthday party, Luke put together his second new Lego set . . .

and his third. Luke loves putting together and taking apart Legos!

After dinner, Luke got some new pajama pants and the first clue to the scavenger hunt that Jason made up for his final gift.

finding a clue:

The gift was waiting at Darryl and Amanda's house. Luke looked around, saw a new mattress and jokingly said, "Oh here it is!" We said, "Yep! Happy birthday!!" He was a little disappointed. Here's his pouty butt:

and his pouty face:

But he got happy about his gift when he realized how great it would be to sleep on a super-soft normal mattress instead of the thin little bunkbed mattress he's had for the last six years.

We had ice cream/chocolate chip cookie sandwiches for the birthday dessert.

The birthday celebration continued today with all of the Hofacker/Nelson crew. We had lunch, more gifts, (yes, his hair is red and purple -- there was hair painting in kids' church today. my kids got new orders today -- NO PAINT ON ANY PART OF THEM!!)

adorable little girl cuteness,

cousin group hugs,

and cake and ice cream.

The final part of Luke's birthday was to mark his height and weight on the polar bear growth chart :-)

Luke's life has been full of challenges, but life would NOT be as sweet without my Luke!

The Hofacker Family 2008