Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Next Morning...

Sunday morning the boys were still so excited about the swing set. Janice explained, as they tried to open the kitchen door, that it would be best if they got dressed first. They would not be put off - they went to the front door. Ben got the front door key and moved a box up to the lock and opened the door. Freedom! Off they went across the wet grass in their pajamas around to the back yard and started playing. Janice smiled as she quietly watched from the kitchen as the escape mission took place. She later went out and snapped some pictures of the boys in their bed clothes. They had so much fun that a little girl from next door came over in her pajamas!

Nathaniel climbed to the top of the rope later and exclaimed "I can see the houses! I'm taller than the world!" Their joy overflows in to the entire neighborhood. Thank you again to all.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Swing Set Smiles-final update

Not sure what happened but the last email missed a GREAT pic of Nathaniel.
All is included now....enjoy!

Many of you know that we ordered a swing set. It was a gift primarily from our extended family. Thank you sooooo much! It has turned out wonderfully. Thank you also to Ryan who translated the directions for me as we worked. A special thanks to his power drills that saved a great deal of time and energy. The boys have been talking about the slide since it arrived and many plans were made on how to use it. Janice asked Nathaniel "What would you do if you had a slide in your back yard?" His matter of fact reply "I'd have to take off all my clothes." He went on to explain that there would be sand at the bottom of the slide and he did not want to get sand on his clothes. We are not sure what the neighbors will think and concerned for our standing with the HOA. Although "slide streaking" could become a new trend? The whole issue of landing in sand while naked is a bit disconcerting...better change topics now....

We started around 10 and worked until we were lured in by cool air, brownies, cheese puffs and turkey sandwiches. We put the final touches on the swing set around 6pm. The sun was rather unforgiving but a nice breeze kept us relatively cool. Lots of pictures and video tape for posterity. Hopefully I will have time to put a video together and post it. The kids are very very very happy and played until around 8:30pm. Joelle, we found, dislikes the slide and frowns rather fiercely when placed on it. Janice enjoyed her new view out the kitchen window as she made strawberry smoothies for our evening meal. Dinner was eaten in between swinging and sliding. In the end the boys unsuccessfully tried to negotiate out of bed time. They both fell asleep almost immediately. I think I will do the same. Again, to all who helped, Thank You!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cutting grass

The boys have seen lawn mowers before but always at a distance. Some poor hunchbacked soul beaten down by the sun as he pushes red faced through gas fumes and the thick smell of cut grass. Those were the apartment days. The simple days of watching others cut their grass are over and our lawn was looking a little unkempt. The majority of the yards on our cul de sac do not have fences. Our yard is part of a long winding pond of grass wrapped around all of our homes. The only boundaries are small shrubs and mailboxes. When the winter fades and the grass starts growing and an ideological change takes place. Saturday mornings begin with the sound of garage doors opening and tired little engines turning over. Suddenly our socialist landscape turns capitalist with each yard fighting for compliments and the affirming nod of the HOA. Slowly we divide ourselves along clean paths of short cut grass.

Being in a cul de sac we do not get much traffic so keeping up appearances can be delayed a bit but as the season progressed the lot lines became rather defined. Eventually the neighbors began passing our home with a knitted brow and shaking head which means a friendly note from the HOA could be forthcoming. I decided to pull out our faithful old lawn mower. This old machine had grinded through nearly a half acre of grass for more than 3 and a half years. Sometimes taking on foes considerably taller than itself without flinching. It was quite a machine. It was a hand me down from Janice's parents and was now better than 20 years old. I filled it with gas and then watched as the liquid snaked it's way through the machine and out on to the driveway apparently finding multiple ways of escape. Pulling on the starter cord caused a mild stir but only once. It seems that the 4 1/2 year hiatus in the storage unit did not sit well with the ol' timer. So I thanked him for his service while the weeds tall and smug smirked with delight.

It was time to buy a new lawn mower. I searched through Consumer Reports on the web and then walked my way through Home Depot, Lowes and finally Sears until I found my new mower. It's a big red shiny job with 8 inch wheels and a hungry 6.5 hp engine. Okay...I can hear those of you with riding lawn mowers snickering at me but alas a little lawn requires a little mower. After two go rounds the community pond was reestablished and the critical few stare mainly at my uneven hedges and lack of flowers. We will take on the flower beds another day.

The greatest part about mowing the lawn and having young children is that you become a Super hero pitting his strength against a noisy beast that eats grass. Our windows were open and my boys were flat faced against the screens watching me as I pushed past them. They were impressed and even applauded at times yelling encouragement loud enough for me (and the rest of the neighborhood) to hear. Once I was finished the boys came out to survey the land and try out the noisy red monster. It was a good day.

Monday, May 01, 2006

How to use an umbrella!

The day always seems a bit sunnier when mom wakes you up from your nap early to go play in the rain.

The real goal of opening an umbrella in the rain is not keeping your self dry but rather to look really cute. Below Nathaniel gives a full demonstration of how to achieve maximum cuteness while opening an umbrella in the rain.

Opening the umbrella is only half the fun. Providing high quality entertainment for the entire neighborhood with a little song and dance is the best part....