Monday, June 30, 2008

June 29

Lots of things going on today so lots of pictures to post. We had Caty's birthday party at my mom's house today. It was supposed to be a pool party, but it rained. That didn't stop the kids and the dads from swimming anyway. No, they weren't overly splashy, the patio is wet because it is pouring rain in this picture.

Next, all the rain and clouds made for another beautiful sunset. I got this one just as the sun was sinking below the horizon. I almost missed the shot.

Lastly, the last game of the White Sox vs Cubs baseball series was tonight. Last weekend, the Cubs were at home and they swept my Sox. The neighbor's behind us love their Cubs as much as we love our Sox. After each game they put a big "W" in the window that faces our house. After the Cubs swept the sox, Bill had a "W" on the windshield of his car and there was a big letter "C" drawn on our driveway. Well, this weekend the Sox were at home and it was time for some sweet revenge. The Sox swept the Cubs - WOOT! I have three "W"'s in the window facing the neighbor's house, I taped eight Sox logo's to their windows, doors, and garage last night, Bill put a broom in their front yard, and I drew the Sox logo in their driveway and large as I could. All in good fun =)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 28

Playing after dark. I remember going out to catch fireflies at dusk when I was a kid, too. (I promise to stop talking about them now - LOL!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 27

Such a bummer. I REALLY wanted to share the cool firefly thing that is happening right now. It really looks so amazing - literally THOUSANDS of fireflies lighting up in the fields. There just isn't enough light for you to be able to see them. Trust me, though, it is awesome (literally).

Friday, June 27, 2008

June 26

Was playing around with my camera today while we were outside. I've decided that I won't use the AUTO mode on my camera anymore, so I shot all of the pictures yesterday in manual - taking control of the shutter speed an aperture size. I didn't take a lot of pictures and this is the best of the ones I got. Boring, I know. I have to remember all the things I learned in photography nearly 20 years ago while also learning where all the settings in my camera are.

You know what? I like this picture, too, so I'm going to post it =)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 25

I was playing with my camera tonight. Across the street from my house is a pond and beyond the pond is a cornfield. This time of year, the thousands of fireflies that live at the pond and field put on a spectacular light show after the sun has finally sunk below the horizon for the day. It looks like Christmastime with all the blinking lights. I put my camera on the tripod, flipped it to manual mode, opened up the aperture, and starting playing with shutter speeds greater than 1 second. This picture had almost a 10 second exposure - a little too much, as you can see by the clarity of the landscape. Still, if you click on the picture, you will see a bunch of yellow dots - those are the fireflies =)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 24

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. A view of the sunset from my front porch.

June 23

These are the fun kinds of things that my kids do before I get up in the morning. I arrived downstairs to find two new pictures hanging in my kitchen. Being hung with a thumbtack, I knew immediately one was Billy's (the boy LOVES putting new holes in the wall - UGH!). I asked him what it was and he told me it was "nervous". Caty drew the bottom picture (hung with tape - totally her MO) and told me it was "happy". Couple of goofballs...

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 22

Today was Caty's birthday party with her friends. It's the first friends party she's ever had. We had it at a little store in town that does birthday parties. It was really nice. All I had to bring was the kids and a cake - they supply everything else (the kids had to bring their own Webkinz, too). Here are some pictures from today:

Here is the birthday girl before the party. She was so excited today. She picked out a pretty dressed and actually brushed her hair without having to be asked!

Caty with her cake. We were supposed to have a party with my mom and siblings today, but last minute cancellations ended up postponing that party. Bill and I had purchased a big cake for that party that we were now stuck with. I brought it to the friends party and shared it with the birthday kids, the hostess, her helpers, etc. EVERYONE got a piece of cake - LOL! Later we went to my mom's and ate more of it there. Bill and I ended up with about 1/3 of it after all was said and done - not too bad.

Here is Caty with some of her presents. She only got two Webkinz (thank goodness!). She was thrilled with all of the nice things she got - a stamp set, a purse with some lip gloss, Webkinz clothes, markers, and a new horse/doll set.

Each kid got to choose some fleece and make a bed for their Webkinz. It was a "no sew" project. I ended up tying three beds myself - the kids were a little young and had some trouble. They LOVED the stuffing machine, though.

The hostess had some fun, Webkinz themed games. Here is the Wheel of Wow and Quizzy's Corner. Each kid got a prize in each game that was played - they walked out with a self made "goodie bag".

This is everyone. Not a great shot. The lady that was running the party was taking a photo at the same time and the kids were looking at her. The photo she took turned out really nice.

June 21

The only picture I took today. Alex had his first play off baseball game today. It rained off and on the entire game. Of course it was the ONLY game this year we've brought Samson to. Nothing like the smell of wet dog in your vehicle - yuck!

Anyway, in this shot, his attention was caught by the ball on the field. Sammy lives to fetch (good thing he's a Retriever, huh?).

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20

I got my haircut tonight. I really like it. I didn't have her cut my bangs this time (picture is orange because I couldn't use the flash - aiming at the mirror and all)

June 19

She's cute, thank goodness. It makes up for the fact that she has no grace - LOL! Tomorrow we will practice walking AND eating an ice cream cone at the same time. D'OH!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 18

Billy had his first Karate lesson today. I gave the instructors a heads up before class started and they were really good with him. Like many autistic kids, motor planning in general is difficult for him. He had a hard time getting his arms and legs to work together, but he sure tried! When it was time to pair up, the instructor paired up with him to do the exercises. Aside from getting distracted by the higher ranked students (who were working in the same room) and lagging behind after directions were given, he did really well. I am so proud of him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! My sweetie is 7 years old today. She requested a pink, strawberry cake so that's what she got. Now that cake and presents are done, we are gong to watch Flicka. It's hard to believe she is seven already - wow how time flies!

June 16

Every night after the kids go to bed, Bill and I go and sit on the porch and enjoy some quiet time. The dog always comes out and sits with us, usually with a frisbee or a ball, waiting to play fetch. Bill wasn't in the mood to throw today, so he had the dog lay down on the glider bench that lines the sidewalk. He obliged us by posing for a few pictures - LOL!

June 15

Happy Father's Day! Too bad I didn't take any pictures of Bill on today - LOL! We spent the day at a waterpark - so much fun! Caty, Billy, and I hung out in the wavepool all day long, jumping over and crashing into waves every 20 minutes. Alex and Bill rode all the waterslides. I got to ride three of them with Alex. We almost didn't go - we woke up to thunderstorms. By 11:00 the radar was clear so we decided to chance it. Glad we did! It was a cloudy day, but temps were around 80 degrees. I think the weather, coupled with it being Father's Day, gave us an even better day - the place wasn't crowded at all. We ended up staying until it closed.

June 14

A few weeks ago Bill built this doghouse for Samson next to the shed. Today was the first time the dog used it =)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 13

The baby days are coming to a fast close. Caty turns 7 on Tuesday. When we moved into our house, instead of keeping the dining room for its intended purpose, we made it a playroom. The last year or so the playroom hasn't really been used as one, other than a place to store Caty's horse collection, barbie collection, the bookshelf, and some random toys, doomed to a life in the toybox. Today, we went through everything in there in preparation to turn that room into the dining room it is supposed to be. As mad as I was at the time she did it, I am going to miss this spot on the wall where a preschool aged Caty practiced her drawing (and, if you look closely, a Kindergarten aged Caty tried to write her name in cursive).

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 12

We had the waterslide up for 4 hours today. Six friends, half gallon of lemonade, and a bag of Cheetos later, the kids relaxed by playing Wii with a neighbor.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11

IT'S HERE! This is what we spent a portion of our tax stimulus to get. Gas is outrageously high so the kids and I will be hanging out at home a LOT this summer. Alex had two friends here when the UPS guy arrived. Within 30 minutes of it getting here, all of the kids were in swimsuits and ready to ride. They played for over an hour before we had to shut it down to get ready for dinner and baseball. We've already got 4 kids invited to come over tomorrow afternoon and play.

June 10

Driveway camping! Bill popped the camper up to let it air out and he, Alex, and Caty camped out in the driveway. Billy and I, being the sane ones in the family, saw no reason to sleep in the camper when our nice, comfy beds were merely feet away - LOL!

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 9

So Bill and I were sitting outside last night, watching the newest storm front start to build in the sky to the west of us, when we noticed The Penis Cloud. It cracked us up for a good 10 minutes.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

June 8

Another thing I like about living out here is that we can watch the storm fronts as they approach. We're under severe thunderstorm warning right now. They should be here in about 15 minutes or so.

June 7

We went out for dinner tonight and the kids got dessert. Caty wrote a sign on her napkin and put it in front of her bowl to ward off Bill and his sneak attacks on her pudding =)

June 6

Since school got out we've had some pretty crappy weather. It's been hot and muggy, and it's been windy. Really windy. Our poor tree.

June 5

Tonight Caty and I, my step-sister and her daughter, my mom, and my mom's MIL all met at the bridal store to get fitted for dresses for my step-brother's wedding. Afterward, we went to Chili's for dinner. This is Caty and Kennedy being silly at the restaurant, taken by my crappy cameraphone.

We won't talk about the dresses or the fitting. You know it's going to be bad when the lady measures your chest, looks at the tape, and then says "Ooooh - let me measure that again and make sure it's right.". UGH!

June 4

Alex had a baseball game tonight. They got their first loss of the season - bummer! Of course Caty was oblivious. This is her, dancing around with her Webkinz dog.

June 3

It is officially summer when the poppies open. I love these flowers and am so happy that they have done so well in our flowerbed. I've got at least 20 buds per plant waiting to bust open.

June 2

School's OUT! Here is a crappy picture of my bulletin board and circle time crap stored for the summer =)

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 1

Tomorrow is Billy's last day of school. It is a lot of "lasts" for him - he will be going to our home school next year and will no longer be in the special autism program he's been in for four years. He'll not only have to say good-bye to his teachers and therapists, but to his school and friends as well. As it looks right now, his 1:1 assistant is going to go with him to school next year, too, so he will have a familiar face when he starts school next year. She offered to go - I thought that was so sweet.

Billy's teacher (who is leaving this year, too, as she had a baby and wants to stay home) requested a picture of Billy with Timmy and Lucky - all of them in ties. I hope she likes this one =)

May 31

What a gorgeous day! The temps were up near 80 and there was a nice breeze/wind. The perfect day for flying a big kite. Alex got a Pirates of the Caribbean kite for Christmas - a pirate ship - so Bill put it together and got it up in the air for him. Bill took this picture, too, but I really like it.