Showing posts from August, 2011

The Great Daryl Nathan

Facebook and memory lane inspired this post!

When Ry and I were first married and without children we spent every weekend at his sister's house.  We had a lot of nights where we nearly peed our pants from laughing so hard from one crazy thing or another!  We made up our own games and entertainment.  But some nights we enjoyed the entertainment of the the Great Daryl Nathan.

The Great Daryl Nathan appeared on public access cable in Grand Rapids, MI in the early to mid nineties. With his puffy long wig and sauve white tuxedo, he would soulfully sing over keyboard presets, reading the lyrics from an old notebook while occasionally hitting a drum fill and flinging up some jazz hands. In "Spinning Wheel", Daryl treats us to a few twirling dance moves.

The Great Daryl Nathan was teased for his dedication and seriousness about his music which I hear he did not appreciate, but it certainly made him more popular!  I can't find what he is doing today, but he has some facebook p…


August 28, 2011

Today I sat on a hospital bed and held my grandfather's hand as he took his last breaths on this earth.  This was the first time I have ever watched someone die.  I am relieved to say that it was peaceful.  We were all there at the end and surrounded his bed.  We had been talking and Oma (my grandma) and I were talking about how hard it is just to wait for death to come because we knew it was just a matter of time.  Not five minutes after we had said this Opa's breathing dramatically slowed and I called the family to be around him.  I was happy we could all be there so that he and Oma wouldn't be alone, but nothing about death is easy.  I am supposed to find comfort in the fact that he is now in Heaven and a better place and lived a long and happy life, but when I would rather have him here- that is difficult to wrap my head around.

Instead of talking too much about his final moments I thought I would tell you a little about his life!

His life was worthy of …

Michigan Adventure!!

For the past three years Ryan and I have been taking Jackson to Michigan's Adventure for a fun day during the summer.  This year A was supposed to come with us, but he had soccer try-outs so he missed out on the fun.  Maybe next year!

Of course the day couldn't go without some fun adventures! 

The first thing we always do is go to the waterpark and get a locker.  If you don't get there right away you won't get a space.  This way we can change our clothes when we are ready to go swim. 

The first ride we hit was the corkscrew.  This is not the most ginormous ride and Jackson is big enough for it and I have been on it a ton of times.  Yet, standing and waiting in the line just makes my heart start to beat faster.  The longer we wait the more anxious I become!  Once I get on the coaster and go down that first drop I am fine and enjoy it, but it is close to torture for me to wait for it!

There were three of us so Jackson was going to sit by me and Ry was going to sit on h…

Grandpa's "Big Bikini"!

When we lived in our old house we enjoyed a huge garden!  We had flowers, raspberries, beans, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes - did I mention tomatoes?  Jackson used to pick the tomatoes and call them "no nos" and eat them whole. 

At this house we don't have a garden, but will hopefully have one next summer.  The little ones did plant seeds this summer however!  Our neighbors were kind enough to let them "help" plant their seeds for a bountiful summer crop!  I held my breath until I saw the shoots come up because I wasn't sure how the "help" turned out!  The little ones rushed to the garden every day looking for those shoots! (after a week of looking every day and not seeing anything they lost interest = thank goodness!!)

Grandma and Grandpa have a wonderful garden as well and the kids picked some vegetables yesterday.  They brought home cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.  When I came through the door into Grandma and Gran…

This Makes Me MAD!!

I watched the Today Show the other morning and caught a story that just kills me!

It is about a man (a really young man) who got his girlfriend pregnant at 19.  The girlfriend had the baby and relinquished her rights without telling her boyfriend about it.  Ironically the couple is back together and want the baby back.  The child is now three years old and living with an adoptive family across the country.

Now, I understand how he would be more then upset about his child being adopted without his consent and I feel for him, but my question is where was he when the child was born?  If he had been there or had been involved he would have had a say in what was going on.  There would have been no way he could have missed any of that going on!  But maybe I don't have the entire story...  And no it wasn't right of the girlfriend to do it behind his back.  Is it his mom who is pulling for this?  Is it a fantasy between him and his girlfriend that once they have their daughter they wi…

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!!

The white billowy clouds splatter the crisp blue sky making the lush green grass even more vibrant.  The crack of a bat sends the stark white baseball spinning through the vast.  It seems suspended in air and the crowd holds its breath to see if it will bounce off of the forgiving green or be swallowed up by the leather of the brown glove.  Waifs of popcorn, hot dogs, and beer touch the noses of the patrons and people put their arms up high in harmony with their neighbors as they make a wave travel around the stadium.  The music plays, the crowd cheers, and the flag waves.  What a wonderful All American pastime baseball is!

That is until my family ventures through the stadium gates.  The game is lost on every single child I have. 

A sat very still and watched trying to comprehend the events of the field, but soon began drawing pictures and coloring with Jackson who was most concerned if he could get a souvenir like a giant finger or not. 

Lola cheered when the crowd did, but was mor…

Mommy Drink

So maybe I didn't need to stick with my original summer plan about starting a new hobby because things did get better, but now that school is in sight the kids are driving me to my breaking point.  Honestly, they fight all day long no matter what activities I engage them in!  More times then not Ry has come home this past week to me either with a piece of chocolate in my fist or an adult drink.

Tyce, Lola, and I were in the store getting a few odds and ends.  We had time so we looked at the lobsters for awhile and played on the bikes in the toy aisle.  They were not fighting and were very agreeable so I didn't want to mess with a good thing!

When the list was taken care of Lola took it and pretended to read off the items.

Lola: "Yogurt"
Me:  "Got it"
L: "check.(she is making a flourish with her arm likes she is checking something off)  Cereal.  Check. Bike Pump. Check."
(I don't know where she got the "check" thing from.)
L: "P…

Is the Sign on my Forehead?

I don't know what it is about me, but people like to randomly talk to me.  I will be in the grocery store and strangers will look into my cart and comment on what I have!  The cable guy will tell me about his motorcycle accident and the checkout guy will tell me about his roommate stealing his food!  It seems I can't get a quote on something or ask where to find something in a store without hearing someone's tragic/gross/happy story!!  Ryan suggested I comment back with something shocking to make them stop, but I don't think that will work!  I think that will just open it up for more comments I don't want to hear!  There are times I encourage conversation, but I feel like when I am not in the mood to talk to people that is when they really seek me out to have a heart to heart.  Maybe I have a sign on my forehead or something!  I just don't know!  It takes up a lot of my time listening politely, but Ryan always seems to appreciate the stories I come home with!  …

I'm turning into a Shar Pei

I have a lot of experience working with children who are deaf. After all, that is what I went to school for! I learned what they now refer to as an "old school" approach to teaching children who are deaf or hearing impaired, but I have to say I pull out the "old school" stuff a ton with A in trying to help him learn to speak English as well as the current stuff! 

I think what I do the most is actually going to make me look like a Shar Pei breed of dog!

I do the "wait with an expective look" on my face a lot. I get a lot of one word answers to questions so I do a lot of sitting and waiting with my eyebrows up and my head forward. I think my eyebrows inch up farther the longer I wait until I creep the kid out with my eyes the size of baseballs and my eyebrows becoming one with my hairline and my neck stretched out!

I ask open ended questions instead of yes and no questions. He hates this!
Me: "Tell me what you did today."
Him: "Uhhh... N…

I am a Soccer Mom

Last night A had his first soccer game!  It was a scrimmage actually, but still it was his first real game in an organized sport!  He made the JV soccer team along with only three other freshmen. (yes, I am bragging and I can officially do that because he is a foster child from a different country and that is the rule!)  He   played almost the entire game! 

I don't know that much about soccer even though three of my four children are playing soccer right now, but A has some moves!  He does a great job dribbling the ball down and passing.  I was quite proud!  I was the most proud that he seemed to be understanding the rules and what the players and coach were saying!  Or maybe that was more of a huge relief then a feeling of being proud.

So, does this mean I am officially a soccer mom now?  My idea of a "soccer mom" is one of a yuppie mom who dresses to the nines, has her hair and nails done and a housekeeper and a cook.  That definitely isn't me so I looked online ju…

Painters at the House...Do Not Hire this Crew!

I bought the kids some paints today.  Nice crayola paints in little plastic bottles in all different colors.  Lola and Tyce were so excited to create a masterpiece they could barely wait for me to find the paint brushes and paper!

I thought I would go with the least messy of my options and put the two of them outside.  We have a little plastic picnic table on the deck that is perfect for all of their messy fun!  I set them up with plastic plates with drops of different colors, paint brushes, and paper.  I left the slider open and went inside.

I was busy doing this and that.  Honestly, I don't remember quite what I was doing, but after a bit I realized it was way too quiet.  There hadn't been any tattling, any disagreements, or any demands for food!  Something was definitely wrong!

I raced to the door and discovered they had closed it which explained the quiet.  Before I even opened it, I knew I was a goner!

There they stood in all their painting glory!

Of course I raced to get …

Tasmanian Devil

It never fails.  It is kind of like washing your car and then it rains.  At the most inappropriate time around the most possible people, your child will throw the most glorious of fits known to man!  Of course when no one is watching and it is only you to witness it, your child will be the most angelic presence on earth saying the sweetest, most tear jerking statements imaginable.  This of course makes one wonder what it is about the public that brings out the Tasmanian devil in children!?

On Saturday we went to an open house for the new YMCA that was just built not too far from us.  They had a tour, games, and lots of treats for everyone.  It should have been a fun time, but Lola didn't think so.  To be fair she was being punished and wasn't allowed to have a cookie like her brothers did because she had stolen and eaten all of her brother's candy the day before.  She had even eaten the wrappers to cover her tracks! (I am in big trouble with that one!!)  So I can understand…

I Lost my 16 year old - Part 2

So yesterday's post covered the disappearance of A, my 16 year old and his friend, J when they were dropped off at the movies.  After being missing for 3 hours they showed up on our door step, a little sweaty and hungry, but fine.
I felt annoyed, relieved, and baffled all at the same time!  According to them, they waited for an hour just where I said they should and never saw me so they walked home!  Seriously, A made this girl who he is trying to woo walk almost 6 miles on a very hot day and he didn't even stop to get her water or food! (according to them...)
First, I can not figure out how Ryan and I both would not have seen them if they were where they said they waited.  I was there for 45 minutes in a minivan with my hazards on in front of the doors!! I even have a magnet on the side of my car advertising It Works!  You can't miss me!!  Ryan actually walked around the entrance!  My thought is that maybe my time and their time are not the same.  Neither one of them had a …

I Lost my 16 Year Old - this time it wasn't on purpose!

The other night I about lost it.  I need to clarify - I lost my 16 year old and then about lost it!  I know, hard to believe!  How in the world can that happen???

So here is the story.  A and his cute friend who happens to be a girl, J, went to a movie.  J's mom picked them up and dropped them off at the theatre.  I was to pick them up.  We discussed where and when we would meet and all seemed right with the world!
The time for our rendezvous rolled around and I piled the kids quickly into the car.  I had them all use the bathroom, but we skipped the shoes. (priorities)  I got to our destination, took a slow sweep of the area and then parked with my hazards on ..... for 45 minutes!
Yes, we sat in the car waiting and waiting and waiting!  I had a clear view of the door and everyone that came and went.  No sign of the two kids.  While my anxiety built the other children in the car were of course screaming and fighting and trying perform aerial feats over the chairs.  Lovely.  Before I…

The Awkward Turtle

I couldn't resist telling you about our last night at Lake Tahoe and the infamous "Awkward Turtle"!
After our hike we beelined it to our room where Ryan immediately collapsed on the bed.  I however got my suit on and talked him into going to the pool with me!  It's not that I wasn't tired, I just knew if I layed down and took a nap I would never get my momentum back!
There is something so odd about having the sun beating down on you while you swim and look up to see snow on mountains around you!  I love it!  We hung around at the pool for awhile and were entertained by people who had a little too much sun and drinks.  Sometimes it's fun to watch people who are intoxicated and sometimes it is a little painful!  It is almost like an accident.  You want to know what is going on, but you feel like you should look away!  (a good time to pull out the awkward turtle!)
There were a group of people in the pool playing the band/singer game we played on the hike.  This ti…