First Day 2015

Somehow, summer is already over. The boys started school today!

Jack Henry is in 2nd, Bennett is in 5th, and Luke is in 7th. Which is utter craziness, because I’m pretty sure I was a 7th grader not all that long ago. And I know what kinds of things I did in 7th grade, so I hope he makes better choices. Ugh…freaks me out a little. Anyway. Aren’t they cute? Let’s just focus on that.

The boys don’t even know how fortunate they are to go to such amazing schools, even though I tell them all the time.

It’s going to be a great year!

He Scares Me a Little. 

I called all three boys into the kitchen to help me make supper tonight. I don’t know why, because that generally sounds like torture, but it seemed like a good idea.

I immediately assigned Luke to the sauté pan for fajita vegetables, and had Jack Henry and Bennett help me chop and mash ingredients for guacamole. For once, everyone was actually really helpful.

We finished making the guacamole, and Bennett asked if I was going to use the rest of the lime for anything. I said no, and turned around to the sink to find him doing this:

he juiced almost half a lime straight into his mouth

Um. I feel like he’s the kind of kid who’s going to have good party tricks in college. And I. Am. Terrified.

In related news, the University of Illinois was ranked the top party school in the nation last week, which means I’m no longer excited about the fact that all of the boys want to go there. We have seriously put so much effort into making these little Missouri residents Illini fans, and now this…



Ok. Time to just be transparent about a couple of things:

1.  I absolutely will not get political here, but I feel like you all should know that if Trump manages to win the election somehow, you can find me on an island far away. I am so not joking.

2a. So I used to have this schedule for summer mornings, where the boys would do some reading or math work and some housework, too. Yeah. I let that go this summer, and we have been so. chill. around here. They have done some reading and they do chores as requested by me but it’s not like before. Boy, have we enjoyed our lazy downtime. They’re just at an age where the schedule isn’t needed anymore to keep me from going crazy. And I’m apparently at the age where I don’t care enough because…

2b. They have played an embarrassing number of hours of Mario Kart this week. They haven’t cared about Mario Kart for years, and somehow their interest resurfaced. Here’s why I’m cool with it: they’re all playing together and not fighting. SO PLEASE KEEP PLAYING THE MARIO KART.

School starts Wednesday and I’m celebrating with a massage on Thursday. 

Happy weekend!

Three Solutions

I’m going to try to ease myself back into writing here, hopefully regularly after the boys are back in school (which is in 9 days. I can’t even believe it.). I have two trips to recap, but here’s a little story from our last weekend trip that illustrates the boys’ different personalities.

We spent the weekend at Lake Delavan in Wisconsin with Matt’s entire family. The old lake cottage was lifted off its foundation last fall, a basement poured, and the house put back. It’s still under construction, but all 16 of us were able to stay there! The boys stayed in the basement in a bunk room, and there’s a bathroom down there now, too.

And since they’re old enough to just take care of themselves, I didn’t interfere with the showering process at all.

We all bring our own towels when we stay at the cottage, and it occurred to me on the drive back to STL yesterday that I had never given the boys their bath towels after we got there. (Of course, no one asked if there were any. Typical.)

I knew that they had all showered at least once, so I asked, “Uh, what did you do to dry off?”

Luke: “I just dripped dry.”

Bennett: “I used my beach towel. There was some sand, but I didn’t care.”

Jack Henry: “I just used the towel hanging closest to the shower.” (My apologies to whomever else was drying off with that towel.)

I won’t over-analyze this, but honestly, their solutions fit their personalities so perfectly it’s hilarious.

Mid-summer Recap

Mmmkay. So here’s when I go, “oh, yeah, I still have a blog…”

The last few weeks have been eventful and honestly, each of these things could have been their own blog post. And let’s face it, at one point in time, they would have been. However, at this point, a quick-and-dirty recap is what is going to happen. Because these things are important! But, I also can’t sit here at the counter on the laptop all day drinking coffee, as nice as that sounds.

1. Out of approximately a billion scheduled baseball games, we played around half a billion. It has been a rainy, rainy summer, and it seriously impacted our baseball schedule (particularly weekend tournaments). So here’s the recap: my boys all won some and lost some, made some amazing, awesome defensive plays and made some errors, got some clutch hits and struck out a bunch of times, pitched some killer innings and gave up lots of hits. I know that’s incredibly specific and descriptive, but it’s the best I can do at this point in the season. For details, talk to any of them, as they remember virtually every play and at-bat ever.

1b. There are very, very few precious moments in a house full of boys, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I mean, let’s face it…a group of brothers just doesn’t exactly scream precious, and it shouldn’t. However, this morning, without prompting, Luke brought up Jack Henry’s amazing catch in centerfield last night and told him how great it was. And then Bennett piped up with, “Yeah! I saw that catch and thought it was awesome, and then realized it was Jack!” And I almost died from the sweetness.

2. You guys. Matt turned 40. I threw a surprise party for his 30th, and he’d been telling me for several years that he did not want a surprise party for his 40th…and I get it. It’s totally not him. (We could not be more different in this regard. I’d freak out and be like, “A PARTY FOR ME?? YES!!”) So, instead, I told him we were going out for dinner, and our small group friends surprised him by being at the restaurant when we got there. That kind of surprise he can live with, though it cracked me up that on the way to the restaurant, he reiterated that he didn’t like not knowing where we were going. :)

3. And, I turned 38. But really, getting older doesn’t bother me. We ate some really good BBQ, laid by the pool for a few hours, and I read a book. It was a great day.

3b. Our family has passed around pinkeye, and I spent the week after my birthday with it. Lovely. It’s cool that as I’m nearing 40, I spent a week with a school-age kid’s illness.

4. 4th of July fun had by all when we got together with our friends the Swinigans! Love our tradition. Our kids don’t see each other very often but they just pick right up where they left off when they do get to hang out. And just a couple of days earlier, Heather and I made gallons and gallons of applesauce like we do every summer.

 5. The boys and I took a little day trip to Elephant Rocks for some hiking and rock-climbing on a non-rainy day. Super fun. I was SORE the next day. They were not. 

 Ok…I think this paints a good picture so far, for the sake of me being able to someday remember this summer.

Vacation coming soon!


My last post was all “tra-la-la, summer is amazing and wonderful and hot and we go to the pool every day! I love life!”

We’re on day, I don’t know, 7, maybe?, of rain. It feels like 87. And there’s no end in sight. 

The boys are coming up with new and more dangerous ways to pass the time. This is Bennett, Jack Henry and their friend Connor, aka my beloved fourth child, playing some game in the basement that resembles jumping in a leaf pile. 

Shirtless because their shirts are in the dryer, because I sent them out to play in the rain when my two children started to cannibalize. 

Send help. Or maybe just some good tequila. 

Pool Day

This boy, who I’m spending the afternoon with (his brothers are at a day camp), invited me to the pool. 

I think he knows his mama is never happier than when she’s in the sunshine. :)

I hope, friends, that you’re soaking up every single minute of summer that you can. And doing things like eating a watermelon-only lunch and drinking copious amounts of QT unsweet mango tea and never doing your hair (thank you, beachy, wavy hair for being in right now) and enjoying not wearing much makeup because you have a little bit of a tan that hides a lot of stuff. Tell me it’s not just me who’s doing these things?

Summer. :)