Busy Bee

Busy Bee

Thursday, October 27, 2011


"Bath-time Bumpkin" - Eat your heart out

"Jailbird Baby"

P.S. - When Morgan looked at this photo as I was doing the Preview he pointed and said, "Let me out! Let me out! You got the wrong guy!" It's a quote from a movie - his godmother would be proud.

"Good Friends"

"The Leaning Tower of Cups"

"What?" - Bicentennial Park

"Riddle me this, riddle me that, whose afraid of the big black bat?" - Riddler

"Gushing Gals"

"Splish Splash in the Ditch"

"Papa Ron" surrounded by the four oldest (fishing trip at Lake Murray, OK)

"Just about right...."

Halloween 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

"Good Friends Still"

Amtrak at Ft. Worth - and "The Last of the Mohicans" Marathon

"Beautiful Girl" - Downtown Ft. Worth

"Santa in Training" - Christmas 2008

Christmas of 2008: "Yodeling Ghost"

Looking back at old photos and reminiscing a few of the good times from 2008, I always find myself surprisingly amazed by how little my kids were, compared to how big they are now, and sad at how fast it all goes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Morgan & His Homework

I'm scrubbing the tile in our shower and Morgan plops down on the floor with a pile of books, with his homework papers on top, and a pencil gripped in his hand. His first page is a partial dot-to-dot, which is George Washington's profile. I ask Morgan if he knows who it is?

"Umm..no." I tell him it's George Washington, the first President.

Morgan replies, "Oh! I know him, he's that guy that works."

"Works?" I ask.

"Yeah. He's that guy that's always at work. Helping people." Then Morgan is quiet for a moment and he asks, "Is he the guy that works at that laundry place." I have absolutely no idea what Morgan is talking about.

"You mean the laundry mat?" I ask, which we haven't been to since last winter when we were visiting/living in the cottage. Yes, that was what Morgan was talking about. Still don't see the connection because there wasn't anyone who worked at that laundry mat, and I haven't a clue what made Morgan think of it.

Caden piped in then and informed us that George Washington was honest and brave.

The next page is a profile of Abraham Lincoln. Again, I asked Morgan if he knew who it was, and then I told him. Morgan responded, "Oh, I was going to say that. Amberly Lincoln."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leaves of a Different Color

Autumn back in the midwest has been a great one. The vivacious colors of fall have captivated my awestruck wonder. The gorgeous colors that have surrounded us have been much enjoyed. The last few days have brought high winds and the color has greatly diminished as leaves have flown and swirled. The yard was covered in fun, crunchy leaves, but most of them are gone, probably submerged to the bottom of our pond.

The year 2011 has flown by in a crazy way, where you catch yourself wondering where the time has gone. A significant chunk of that time goes to just running a household, or for Brian juggling a career, and both of us slowly fixing up this house that is shaping up to be our home as we decorate to our liking, building new memories here, new stories, more tales of "Gus" the ghost who lives here. Or perhaps it really is "Casper," which is how Morgan refers to him, with unyielding certainty.

"Casper" has been guilty of many things - the other day he took the form of Tristen and ran Caden into a wall. Morgan freaks out EVERY time something happens that his four year old brain can't comprehend, which is daily, and he vocalizes his concerns: "Did you hear that?" "I wanna go home." "Don't you wish we were in Texas?" "What was that?" "That's freakin' me out!" "Oh my gosh!" These are the regular phrases that usually have his older brothers and Hal in stitches, with his big blue eyes and his dramatic voice and posture.

So I have come to embrace this ghost, who pees all over the toilet seat, leaves toys in the bathtub, glasses and cups all over the house and is the reason for many screams and taunts, usually at the expense of Caden and Morgan.

Halloween is around the corner. I don't think we've decided on costumes for sure, but there have been many discussions about it. We've been wanting to go visit family, and I think Brian is taking the kids to Indiana this weekend. After much hemming and hawing, I think I will stay here and try to wrap up some of these projects. I started laying the laminate in our bedroom. For months we've been walking on nasty, chalky particle board and my clothes are still in bags and cubicles. A normal, functioning closet will be bliss. Right now 1/3 or our room holds a large majority all of our belongings and I'm yearning for some organization. So, I think I'm going to stay behind to try to complete some of these projects, like the baseboard, some of the closet, the last window that needs painted and detailed (in the master bedroom anyhow) and at least a little more of the floor if possible.

Enjoy this beautiful fall, with the fresh air and brisk mornings, and evenings that continue to get darker earlier and earlier as nightfall creeps in. Crimson red, golden yellow and fiery orange treetops line the highways and country roads in a rustic rainbow that only autumn provides. Some warm sunny days, some cloudy days with a fierce coolness that requires a jacket, and maybe a hat as you enjoy fantastic time of year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Third Rock From the Sun

We might be sandwiched between Venus and Mars, but I don't feel like my feet have touched the ground. Life has been a whirlwind of chaos - a phenomenon of motion that my brain has been unable to keep up with. I made two recent trips to Texas for the last rounds of back and forth between our houses, neither of which was really home. One had most of our furniture and belongings, the other was shaping up to become our future home and housed us temporarily on air mattresses, with Vera Bradley bags lining the wall and a large tub of cold weather hats, scarfs and mittens packed to the rim. Big boots with melting snow sat on the rug inside the front door, and a kitchen floor full of buckets and cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paint trays, brushes, rollers, etc. with misc. tools scattered here and there.

On the last trip to Texas I did our final move. Tristen and Byryson stayed back in Indiana, while Halle, Caden and Morgan hung out with the cousins in Oklahoma. Cousin Bubba, (also known as Emily) accompanied me on this final trip. It was a blessing to have Em with me because she has a great sense of humor. She constantly had me laughing, which made it much less sad. We had great packers and movers, and Graebel's #1 Driver, but when it's all said and done and you're left with a shell of a home, it's a really lonely sight. No more comfy furniture to fill a room, no photos smiling from the walls and no laughter to fill the air. Nothing but the memories that get dredged up as you walk through each vacant room. So as with every other home I've left, the final walk through is a really sad one for me, with a sort of heaviness in your heart at this attachment to this house you've made a home. All hope is not gone of course, for a new adventure awaits not far off the shore of Lake Michigan. A home with plenty of the quirks and character that I so appreciate, with a big yard and the wildlife that we are all so fond of.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

38 Days on the Market

It was a typical Saturday morning. The kids were pretty good, with a hint of hostility and a dash of tartness here and there, but no knock down, drag outs or anything of the sort. Mid-day they noticed the white car sitting in front of the house. An hour or so later we get the call that someone wants to see our home. Ninety minutes later we are out the door.

We go to the store and look at Christmas decorations, and pick up a couple of things. The kids have fun perusing, everything from ornaments to Christmas dish towels to shower curtains. With the exception of Morgan they are very good. About mid-way thru his legs just won't work anymore. Typical. A while later we check out.

On our way home we pick up some ever so nutritious fat food. In the car the kids are having the usual chit chat. I hear bits and pieces, but block the majority out as I drive and listen to the radio.

Halle vocalizes her hope that Tristen doesn't dump our food all over the car (which he's done recently). Tristen gets defensive.

Tristen tells Bryson he ate all his fries, Bryson playfully pulls his hair or something of the sort.

Bryson asks Halle if she can give herself goosebumps, because he can think of creepy stuff and get goosebumps. Halle says, "Yeah."

Bryson asks how, and she responds that she gets goosebumps when she poops. Everybody looses it - a truck full of funny laughter. When it quiets down I hear her soft voice from the back state so brazen and simple, "Well I do."

Caden detests the movie Goosebumps (or maybe it's a mini-series). Either way, he hates the theme song. Morgan leans over in his car seat toward Caden, "Hey Caden," and whispers somewhat sing-songy, "Goosebumps." Caden shrieks.

To get even Caden yells, "E.T.!" who Morgan finds ever-so-disturbing, resulting in Morgan's infamous, irritating down to the marrow in your bones, blood curdling scream.

This continues with Gremlins, Signs, etc., etc. until we pull into the driveway.

I tell the kids to put on p.j.'s and wash their hands.

We pile into the Master Bedroom to eat on the floor to watch, "The Education of Little Tree," which is a really good family film. Morgan had zero interest so he pestered Halle and Caden the entire movie, but it was still enjoyable. We read a couple of books before bed, and then I tucked them in. It's been almost an hour and it's still not quiet. I did all the dishes, wiped down the counters, cleaned the splattered Microwave and vacuumed up all our crumbs just in case.

Last Sunday we got a call at 9 a.m. while EVERYONE was still sleeping. We had an hour and twenty minutes to get up, get dressed, spruce up the house and skedaddle. I even sat the kids clothes out tonight. It likely won't happen twice, but if that phone rings in the morning, we are prepared.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pig In a Blanket

When we were in Indiana getting ready for the long drive back to Texas I opened the back of the truck to find that Halle had so lovingly wrapped up her piggy in "blue blanky" and stuffed it into her purse that was a gift from Aunt Chandra. I laughed to myself and grabbed my camera.

As I'm posting: All five kids traipse in to see what I'm doing. Tristen reads the post out loud while Bryson laughs and Halle's eyes well with tears.

"Why?" she wants to know.

I explain to Halle what a pig in a blanket is and why I took the photo. The three oldest boys are laughing. She starts crying and says, "I left my pig at Grandma Karen's." She has tears streaming down her cheeks as she explains she had him in the car, but somehow left him behind. But now she's on my lap and absolutely sobbing.

And so I look at my boys, still smirking and snickering. Tristen says that "no" he didn't take it.

Bryson still laughing, "No, it wasn't me."

Halle's still crying.

"Tristen?" He's adamant that it wasn't him.

So I look to the right, where there stands a very quiet little boy, "Caden?"

His response is a simple, "Yeah."

All then he starts in with his excuse. He'd heard the boys talking about Halle's piggy and since sometimes she makes him mad, well....

He patted Halle's back while she cried and apologized.

But little Morgan was the most protective of all. The only brother who didn't laugh at her while she cried, and after everyone had cleared out of my room he came back and told me that Halle left her piggy. I sort of nodded my acknowledgement. He walks out and yells, "Hal, you're gettin' a new piggy."

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Here are some photo's from Halloween:

Troy as a fearless Pittsburgh Steeler, Hayden as a pirate (think Smee), Caden all Commando, Halle as a pretty with pink Pirate, Tristen as Frankenstein (and like he was told, he played him well), Bryson as Michael Jackson (with the moves to match), then there's little Morgan there in the front - the cutest little Scarecrow you ever did see, Brantley is a bench warmer for the Pittsburgh Steelers (don't worry Brant, it's better than being the water boy) and then we had the famous and fabulous, Harry Potter (staggering resemblance to Hollitte, is he not?)

Maddie rocking her witch robe, sitting with Michael, Halle and Trent

Brant, look hard and you'll see Caden, Morgan and Smiley Smee

My crew with Uncle Trent

Told everyone: "I'm a scary crow."