Jun 23, 2008

I guess I forgot....

One of the things I love most about
being a mom is getting to 
watch my kids...well.....be kids. They remind me of the little things in life that sadly....I sometimes forget to remember. 

Like, I guess I forgot how fun it is to lay on the trampoline on my back and look at the clouds. How there are faces and houses and castles up there.... just waiting to be discovered.

I guess I forgot how nice it is to sit side by side and listen to music with a good friend. And how great it feels to turn it up really loud and dance and sing.

I guess I forgot (or maybe never really knew) that if you put a motorcycle helmet on, your bicycle actually becomes a motorcycle. If you also draw a road with chalk, the pavement becomes a city that you are driving through, complete with drive in restaurants and hotels.

I guess I forgot the simple joy of whacking a piniata, taking a dip in the pool or lake, digging in the dirt, making funny faces .....and how fun it is to have a lemonade stand, even if you drink it all before you sell any! 
I forgot what it feels like to have hands that are sticky with ice cream and feet that are black on the bottom from playing outside all day or wrinkled like prunes from splashing in the pool!

Kelli, Keaton and Kellen....thank you for helping me to remember! 

I love you!!!!

Jun 18, 2008

How the babies get air, etc.

I just love the way kids think....

The conversation took place in a little family room off of our kitchen. Keaton, Kellen, and a neighborhood friend were draped all over the furniture, wearing swimsuits, pondering life....staring at their belly buttons.  "Mom, why do we have belly buttons?" I launched into a lengthy (what I thought was quite fantastic) explanation of fetal development, umbillical cords and amniotic fluid. Blank stares.... glazed eyes . Looking quite confused Keaton said, "so how did I get air?" I decided to go a more "elementary" route with this answer and just said, "you didn't need to breathe because you got all of your oxygen through the cord that connected you to me."

The boys on the couch spent the rest of the afternoon trying to breathe through their belly buttons........ 

Jun 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I am so grateful for the 'dads' in my life and today, I dedicate my post to you. On this day, I hope you feel honored, cherished, special and loved.....

To my Dad, Jerry Altig:

Do you know how blessed I feel to have you as my Dad? How many times your love, support and encouragement have been my 'rock'.....the constant, steadfast, dependable, presence in my life? You are an amazing father, a terrifically handsome guy, and a wonderful person. You have always made me feel so precious to you. One of my favorite memories of you was when I was about 13 and I was throwing a huge, unreasonable tantrum about my back brace (imagine that....?). Mom finally sent you in to try and deal with me.... and ultimately, I ended up getting a (much deserved)  swat on the behind by you. I think it surprised us both, as you weren't much of a spanker...especially with your sweet little girl! The next day, I had all but forgotten about it, but clearly, you had not. When you got home from work that night, you came in and presented me with a big bouquet of flowers and wrapped your arms around me in a tearful embrace. I have never forgotten that moment. Not because of the swat, but because of your kindness, gentleness and love. It was such an amazing display of your tender hearted nature which is one of the things I love best about you. I'm sure you had a million other things going on in your life at that time.....running a business, making a living, etc. but you still always managed, in spite of everything, to make us kids feel important and cherished. Thank you so very much for being such a shining example of compassion, kindness, affection, honesty and love. You have also managed to give us lots of laughter....sometimes intentional, sometimes not! Dressing up in costume to sing or do a skit, the Louis Armstrong impersonation and the always funny "louie-louie" song and dance (do you really even know the words?). I think we all also get a real kick out of the un-intentional 'funnies' like you answering the door in your underwear when one of the boys brought a girl home from college or (much to Mom's horror) you blowing  your nose in a cloth napkin at a restaurant. They are the endearing things that make you YOU.....and I wouldn't trade you for the world. I love you Dad....Happy Father's day!
To my Father-in-law, Bill Flanigan:
Last summer, we unexpectedly had to say goodbye to Bill, who was Tom's dad. So many times over this past 12 months, I have wished that we could have had just one more chance to hang out with you. To share a meal (prime rib with a glass of ice cold milk?), or watch one of the hundreds of videos you shot, or hear of your latest adventure.....
You are missed. The kids still speak often of "papa Bill" and I know that Tom feels such a void in his life with you now gone. He has told me how whenever he was down or troubled, you had a way of bringing light into the darkness and making him smile.  You, with all of your silly quirks, brought us much laughter and joy. I personally will always remember the time you dyed your hair black. 18 years later I am still laughing about it! It's also been difficult to get used to having a family dinner without a video camera set up on the corner....:)!
Not much doubt in my mind that heaven has now opened a comedy club with you as the entertainment.....
Happy Father's Day! We love you and miss you so much.....
To "Papa Barry", Barry Buth:
Ahh.....the 'bonus dad' who joined our family 10 years ago. Barry, you are such a kind and loving man. I am so thankful to have you in my life and in the lives of my kids. You have one of the gentlest souls I have ever come across and the way you love the people in your life is inspirational and beautiful. You have abundant patience, even when surrounded by any or all of the 14 grandkids! I love how you take the time to know each of them on such a personal level. You take such care to understand them and all of their hobbies, likes and dislikes. 

It has also been so wonderful to watch you and Jo together and the happiness you have brought to her and continue to bring to her each day. I know that it really touches many of us to see the two of you together.....you're like a couple of teenagers in love! Thank you for being such an awesome example of integrity and kindness.
I hope you have a wonderful father's day. We love you!

To Tom:
Wow....where do I begin? When I look at you, especially in the moments when you are interacting with our kids, I am overwhelmed with love and thankfulness for your presence in their lives and mine. I so admire the way you are playful and silly with them, yet can also handle the tough 'teaching moments' with such wisdom and grace. You were tender with them when they were newborn babies and continue to be that way, even as they grow....taking time to make them feel special and loved and do it in a way that meets them where they are at. You consistently work your tail off  to provide a life for us that is worry free and wonderful....a life where I am lucky enough to stay home and be fully invested in the kids.....a life where we have been able to take our family on vacation, to the lake, to the ski mountain......I am so grateful. 
I know I don't tell you often enough how much I appreciate, admire and love you. I was so inspired by the way you took the role in "Annie", simply as a way to grow closer to Kelli and participate in her passion. I love how you will drag yourself outside after dinner to shoot hoops, jump on the trampoline, referee a boxing match or start up the 4-wheeler. I love the way you cuddle with Keaton on the couch, get up at midnight to check windows and doors with Kelli and how you smile when Kellen wants to get into bed with us....even at 5 in the morning! I love seeing your personality coming through in different ways in each of them and I am so thankful that you are their daddy!
I hope your day is relaxing and fun honey. You deserve it. 
I love you very much.....

Jun 12, 2008

He looks how I feel!

It has been a l-o-n-g week. This photo is the best way to describe how I'm feeling.....like falling over in the grass, mid-dorito, and passing out! We have been at dance rehersals, school olympics, made 500 banana splits, gone on an all day field trip, shopped for Father's day and 3 birthdays, had some fraud on the Visa, took 3 kids to the dentist....all while fighting a terrible cold. I know all of you 'mommies' out there with school aged kids can relate to the craziness of this time of year and probably feel just like I do! Hang in there.....only 1 pizza party, 1 pool party, 1 talent show, 1 dance recital, a 6th grade graduation ceremony and 3 more days of lunches to pack until we say 'hello' to summer vacation!!!!!! I can't wait!!!

Jun 8, 2008

Its a wrap!

The curtain fell for the last time on the "annie" production today. 

A bittersweet moment for everyone.....

Jun 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

June 5, 2008! I dedicate my post this morning to my mom, Judy, who will celebrate her 65th birthday today. Happy Birthday Mom!!!  Some of you reading this don't know her at all.... some of you know her a little bit and others know her well but I am the only girl in the world who is lucky enough to have her as my mother! Mom, I am blessed to be your daughter and I love you so much. I hope you know that. I know I am not always very good about saying it. You are a treasure and I wouldn't trade you for anything.

One of my favorite and earliest memories of you was this.  I was little......... maybe 3 or 4, (in the days before carseats), and I used to ride in your lap in the passenger's seat. Do you remember? We would be chest to chest and you'd rub my back and play with my hair while I looked out the window. I recall being sleepy, gazing at the stars and feeling so safe and loved wrapped up in your arms. 
Mom, you have always done such an amazing job of taking care of us. Now that I am a mother, I can more fully appreciate the daily sacrifices that you made on our behalf. A nice clean house with awesome family meals each night, cool 'with it' clothes (ironed always!), bedrooms that we could be proud to bring our friends into.....and a million other things.....all of which I know I took for granted until I had to start doing it for my own kids. Now I realize what a whole lot of work it is! I know I'm about 36 years late on this but 'thank you' for all of it. Thank you also, for teaching me the 'little' importances in life like not wearing navy with black, the horror of shiny white nylons, making sure you always have clean breath and serving condiments in cute dishes instead of the big plastic bottles they come in! 

I have also always loved the way you take such special care to cater to each of us kids' and grandkids' likes and dislikes. I remember when Tom and I were dating and how you'd always try to have peanut M&M's in that little basket on the counter, simply because you knew how much he liked them. I notice how you always make sure to have everyone's favorite kind of soda in your fridge and favorite snacks in your cupboard; how when I broke my wrist, you showed up at my house with new jammies for me; how my honeymoon suitcase mysteriously ended up with new beach towels and perfume inside it; how you cleaned my whole house after Kellen was born so I wouldn't have to do it myself . You have a thoughtful, caring nature and I so admire it. Thank you for giving so much of yourself for me and for always thinking of new ways to make me feel special!

I hope that your 65th birthday is full of fun, laughter and great shopping!!!! I'll see you at lunch!
I love you Mom......

Jun 2, 2008

A lesson in parenting...

Today I learned a valuable lesson. Here it is. When shopping in a department store it is never a good idea to let your boys go 'look' at the cologne. 

Enough said.

Jun 1, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's a NEW YELLOW SCOOTER!

What a completely, absolutely AWESOME weekend! No question about it.... I have sore cheeks and new eye wrinkles from smiling so much. It all started Friday morning with my sweet,thoughtful husband surprising me with a new,bright, yellow moped! Can you beleive it?  It was especially surprising because it was my mother's day gift and since Mother's day was 3 weeks ago, well lets just say that I really wasn't expecting it.....

I have DREAMED of having a scooter ever since my big brother Curt got one when he graduated from high school. I guess I must have been about 14 at the time and I took more than one exhilirating (unauthorized) spin around the block on it. Boy was I ever sad when Curt took that cool red moped with him when he left for college. From then on, I have held a secret fantasy that one day I would have one of my own. I could just imagine how fun it would be to putt around town, beeping my horn, waving at everyone.....

well friends, the dream is now a reality! I have my scooter. I still can't beleive it! Tom, I am so overwhelmed that you would remember my crazy obsession with mopeds and actually buy one for me. I love you!

Friday evening I dropped off the boys, (thanks Granny) and headed up to Diamond lake for a bit of 'girl time'. Put 7 women together in a beautiful lake home and what do you get....??? Great food, tons of conversation (of course...7 women, HELLO!), yummy drinks, guitar hero, singing, snacks (cheese in a can on wheat thins...YUM), stargazing, laughing until my sides hurt.....SO MUCH FUN! I came away with much more than just a sunburn and an extra 5 pounds. Thanks to Kelly, Jacki, Arianna, Marie, Brenda and Joy for a truly memorable time. You are special to me.....