Monday, August 31, 2015


I know it's not going to be good when Sam starts a conversation with "Mom. Please don't be mad..." I just never know what to expect. Ick.

Well, on this night, I was so not expecting this confession!

"Mom. Don't be mad...but, I was running a race against a friend. He cut me off and I fell. I had my phone in my hand."

And then he showed me his phone. Shattered.
 Hmm. "Sam." was all I could say. Jason was out of town, so I quickly snapped a picture and sent it to Jason saying, "This is Sam's phone."

This is where Jason and I balance out each other nicely. Things I freak out on, Jason usually finds to be no big deal. Things Jason freaks out on, I usually find to be no big deal. I thought this was a big deal. I have heard nightmare stories about not being able to replace glass on a phone and you have to buy a new phone. Eek!
It's one of those things that you know will eventually happen. It's just in the odds of life and the many times that phones have been dropped in this was going to happen. I felt bad because it happened to Sam and Sam felt TERRIBLE! I was still a bit disgusted. 
And guess what Jason texted back..."No big deal. We have it covered." Well, OK . So, I turn to Sam and say, "It's no big deal. Dad's got it covered."  

Sam quickly reminded me that in his contract with us, that he will have to pay for any damages done to his phone. So, he has mowed he lawn a few times and still has a little to pay off.  Once again, hard lesson, but lesson learned.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Can you guess were Sam is going?
A. To hang out with friends
B. Going out to eat
C. To do a few errands

D. None of the above!

He is actually going to mow the lawn! 
Who gets this "duded" up to mow the lawn? 
Answer: Sam

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Day of School!

It arrived.
The day is full of  nerves, excitement, anticipation and exhaustion!
Yesterday was no different!
What arrived, you ask.

This summer has bee extra long due to a new law passed that schools couldn't start until after the State fair...or something like that. Wednesdays are actually late start days, so the earliest anyone needed up would be 8:00.Which was perfect...can still sleep in a bit even though it is the first day school. Well, no need to wake anyone up today! No alarms...just nerves!

The day started with breakfast in front of the TV. Nothing like watching some "educational" TV to kick start the learning!

Jack had to use his new hair cream for his new hair cut! I tried to help him out, but, "MOM YOU RUINED IT!" might have been stated. How can I ruin 1/2" hair? And by the's gel, not shampoo, kid. You don't need THAT much!

Off to take our yearly before school photos in front of the bushes. The weather was actually very chilly. It was barely 50 degrees, hence the sweatshirt for Jack. 
Such handsome young men, if I do say so myself!

I wonder in 20 years if they will ask, "Really mom! You let us wear those long socks?" And i will say, "Yes. I was more concerned with how long Jack's arms had become over that summer!"

Time for some individual photos.
Seriously Jack?
That bright spot is Sam. He was that close to the camera when it went off.
No, though it may look like it, that wasn't the boy from the movie "Powder." Though Sam and I could probably make an appearance in this movie due to our delicate skin color!

My main concern was hoping the boys didn't jump right into the poison ivy that has taken over some spots in my rocks and BOTH garden islands! That is another story. I put the white stand over the poison ivy so no one will accidentally walk in the ivy of death.

Time to take and walk Jack up to school! He had a few butterflies on the drive to school and he didn't say much. Once we got out of the car, he loudly stated, "I AM SO NERVOUS!"  

While walking up to school, I asked if I could take Jack's picture outside of school. I don't know if you can read his lips and facial expression, but he is saying, "Yes. Do. It. Now." So I did.

We found a group of teachers outside that had made a tunnel for the kiddos to go through! I loved it! I don't think Jack knew what was going on! :) His focus was getting inside the building and getting to his room!

Sam was with us this morning and joined Jack in walking to his classroom. It was funny how many people said, "Hey, Sam!" and "Sam...when did you get so tall!"

 Jack was trying to tell me that I didn't need to walk him any further..oops! I wasn't listening!
I was able to get one last shot as he put his things in his locker and heading to his classroom.
Then is was off to drop Sam off at his new Middle School!
He appears so relaxed. (ha!)

I kept asking him if he wanted me to walk him into school. He was so polite, "No mom, that's ok I am good to go."

"Are you sure, Sam?" (wink wink)
"Mom! I'm OK!!"

 And off he went....

They both had really good days!
Jack actually enjoyed the day - it wasn't a day full of rules, rules and more rules! He made a couple new friends and shared with his class that his favorite part of his was going to Colorado and going to the border and buying illegal fireworks. 

Sam's couldn't stop talking about his day (phew!) It was great and his teachers were just right and lunch went well...

I couldn't have asked for anything more for the boys' first day of school. Except for maybe Jack wouldn't mention "illegal" the first day of school!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Someone Needs a Hair Cut...

With school starting today, Jack was in need of a long overdue haircut. He "claims" he likes his hair long, but as soon as he gets it cut, he loves it!! We have let him "grow" his hair out this summer, but it had reached the stage where it needed cut to get is back in shape and under control!

Yesterday morning, Jack's hair looked liked this...

By the end of the day, he looked like this...
...and he loved it! He even asked for me to buy him his own styling cream (not paste. that's a bit more difficult to use). The gal gave him a little lesson on how to style his hair and now he is good to go!

The only thing is...he looks like a little man. 
Not my little boy anymore. (sniff)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Day at the Lake...

 We have been trying to enjoy our last few days of summer and so one day we headed over to Jason's sister's lake house. Always a favorite day of ours as well as the boys. There are so many friend and family in and out throughout the day and they all just love it when the boys are there. It's great to be so welcomed!

 While getting ready for lunch, the boys just couldn't wait to get into the lake, so they decided to start jumping off the dock. 

All I could think of was, "I sure do hope they don't catch their little piggy toe in between the planks on the deck and pop it off." Who thinks that? Me, because someone told me a story about that happening to a friend of theirs! No worries...we were good to go! NO toes popped off. (And you wonder where Sam gets his worrying attitude?)

After jumping into the water, the cousins put out the Maui Mat for the boys. It's a huge mat and it floats, no matter how many people you put on it (tested up to 18) or how you get onto the mat...such as jumping off the dock.

I noticed the the sodas that Jack and Sam were drinking!

Easy to figure out who was the "sidekick!"

Time to head out on the boat! The boys jumped on the speed boat to try their hand and legs out with skiing. 

Steph and I, on the other hand, jumped onto the pontoon with some beverages and enjoyed tooling around on the lake for a few lazy hours! 

 It was a bit windy, so we were glad we brought our hats!

We would drive by and watch the boys try skiing. This is Jack!

He almost got up a couple of times. 

 Sam was successful this year with his skiing! So proud of him for not giving up!

We are always sorry to see the end of the day arrive.
It was a perfect day for the end of summer!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Music Videos...

Something that you may not know about me, is that I love watching music videos. I think it stems from my days of growing up with Friday Night Videos. Remember those? I was ELATED once my parents got cable installed and even triple excited when we got MTV!! I would watch music video after music video.
Now days, I still watch music videos every Saturday morning on VH1 Top 20 video countdown. My geek out for two hours! 
There are a lot of videos that I can pass up and even have to turn the channel if Jack is in the room. But every once in awhile, there is a good one...meaning that it tells a story. Here are two of my favorites.

X-Ambassadors play Renegades
It's inspirational and makes you want to get off your rear and quit complaining!! And..I didn't expect the ending.

Ed Sheeran - Photograph

I have watched this video by Ed Sheeran so many times! I love how it shows him growing up, but especially how the video was edited to show Ed when he was little and young doing something and then doing the exact same thing when he was older. That is good editing!! This one tells the story that many of us can relate to!  Makes me happy that I have so many photos of the boys!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What I've Been Reading...

Side note:
Had posts for the blog ready to go...just uploading pictures. I then reached for something across my desk and spilled my water...right onto my computer. (badwords badwords) It wouldn't start. Long story short. I got it dried out by blowing into the computer air holes, which brought on hyperventilating, which, in my book was A-OK because it come back on! Phew!! Unfortunately though, all my pictures didn't had to start once again.
 Back to work...Lately, I have been reading like a crazy lady, ignoring my blog and my house! Once this book got going, I could not put it down! Loved it!! It's not a suspense, it's not a thriller, it's just a really good story with unforgettable characters.  

Reeling from a personal tragedy, 14-year-old Kevin Gillooly and his mother seek sanctuary with her father, Pops, a shrewd, veterinarian whom his fellow citizens often turn to for guidance. Kevin finds companionship in Buzzy, a half-wild teenage boy; together they roam the mountains and hollows that surround Medgar, exploring caves and canoeing lakes and basking in Pops's jokes and stories. 

Medgar is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back filling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the "company" and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses a brutal hate crime, a sequence is set in play that tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains.

It's a long book, 480 pages, but it is amazingly written. The author sets the up entire setting in the first part of the book which makes the reader see and understand the very difficult and hard life some of the people in the Appalachians endure. Then Buzzy witness a terrible crime and the author does an great job on how he struggles to deal with the situation. Pops decides to take Buzzy and Kevin on a "tramp" into the mountains to get away from everything going on within the town. At one point, Kevin tells Buzzy, "Let's just live these next two weeks. Let's just focus on what is here and not what is happening in town." The writer actually makes you forget what the town is dealing much so that once the characters are back in town, I found myself having to remember who was who! If you enjoy a good story, I would highly recommend this book to you!

The next book that I read, in 24 hours, was We Were Liars. It is a Young Adult book (which I recently found out there is a book club at the library for people that read young adult books!) and was definitely an easy read. Plus, I wanted to find out what happened at the end.
Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened. Lockhart writes in a somewhat sparse style filled with metaphor and jumps from past to present and back again—rather fitting for a main character struggling with a sudden and unexplainable life change.
I liked this book. It was hyped as a huge surprise at the end that will haunt readers for days. Well. The ending surprised me, but didn't haunt me for days. I was more like: Oh. Really. What I did  like about the book was that the family went to Martha's Vineyard and I actually knew a few of the places mentioned in the story. That was fun!  
There were a few things that were left unfinished and that's what haunts me. At one point, the main character sees her Aunt walking around the island by herself. She mentions it to her Aunt the next day and she replies, "I don't know what you are talking about." That was never answered why the Aunt didn't remember wandering the island and taking with the main character.
If you want a quick read with a "surprise" ending, then this is your book. But, overall, I think there are better reads out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Little Break

Well, I am back after a week off of enjoying summer!
I did a little of this and that, which was fun!

 I visited a local mega craft store and found Christmas aisles!
They were stuffed to the brim, looked amazing clean and organized! It warranted a picture.
Did you know there are only 128 days until Christmas!
Just thought I would let you know!
Have a good one!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Horseback Riding...

The last time I rode a horse was in junior high and I loved it! Each time I would go to my friend's house, I would ask, "Can we ride horses?" We would spend hours riding in circles. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to ride a horse reason, the opportunity never presented itself. So when we planned this vacation, I requested a horseback riding day!

On our second day in Colorado, we  headed out to Sage Sables for a two hour on horseback ride. I was super excited! Someone asked me, "Did you ever feel like you were going to fall off the mountain?" I laughed. Worrisome me never had that thought cross my  mind!I really wasn't worried about anything!

Our guide assigned us different horses after a safety lesson. Jack had Romeo as his horse. Romeo was so mellow and perfect for Jack. We found out that Romeo is actually the dominant horse of the group and keeps all the other horses organized!

Sam rode Scout. He was another great horse...nice and calm, perfect for Sam. Sam had no problem getting on (and staying on) his horse.

Jason rode Spice. Spice likes her space and doesn't want anyone behind her. Jason reported that all she wanted to do was eat! Riding Spice meant riding in the back of the line!

Meg rode Blaze, the gentle giant. 

 This is my horse, Coolah. She was feisty. She loved to walk fast and would pass other horses. She wanted to walk with Romeo. 

We had a stop right away so our guide could tighten our saddles. Horses will actually bloat up when they know they are going to have someone ride them. Once they get going, the "de-bloat." That means we need to tighten the saddle. I was ok with a safety check.

As soon as we would stop, the horses would start to eat. That lettuce diet doesn't stay long with such an enormous animal!

Could Jason look any more like a tourist?

Off we headed onto the trails. mountain to fall off with on these trails!

The afternoon storms started to roll in while we were riding.

Our guide did an excellent job dodging the rain! We got a little wet, but never had to put on our rain ponchos!

A great group shot!
After our guide got off his horse to put us in order!! He was excited that ll the horses had their heads up1

This was us before our guide positioned us. Sam and Jack could not get their horses to move to move into a line.

While getting our horses positioned, my horse got a little touchy. She bit the horse next to her. At one point, she kicked back at Romeo, actually hitting Jack on the bottom of his foot, who jumped back into Scout. It was a little unsettling, but our guide told me to tell her was in charge. Horses will test you to see how much they can get away with...just like kids! 

I think she is giving me the stink eye!

The boys absolutely loves horse back riding and the view!

Heading back to get off the range and back to reality. If you haven't been horseback riding, I would highly recommend to give it a try!

Amazingly, we were all a little sore the next morning...mostly in our rear ends and a few of us in our hips! But all that soreness was well worth it!