Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trimming the Concrete

We finally purchased a new lawn mower for Jason on his Birthday.  Now Jayce runs the new mower (that is self-propelled) while Jason uses the old one to edge.  The new lawn mower looks like it drags Jayce.  Since it has the awesome ability to drive itself he uses it to help him turn.  I hovered the whole time, at each turn he would tip the mower way too high.  I would tell him to keep it down or somebody was going to get hurt.  All was well until this time and at this turn.  Jason had already edged with the old mower so Jayce did not need to get close.  With the mower tipped too high and fully engaged drive he hit the concrete.  It took him a few seconds to figure out what to do.  I had Tennyson in my arms and Jason was close by.  Jayce did manage to let go before Jason got to him.  He was so frightened (I hugged him for a minute) and Dad did good - he went back to his mower and didn't even look at the damage yet.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Typhoon Songda

(See the pile of brown glass)
Typhoon Songda came with a little more force than any previous ones.  It uprooted trees, disassembled plastic sheds, broke windows, dented cars, broke patio tables, blew transformers, knocked down weather towers... impressive.

We were watching a movie while the kiddos slept when the storm really got bad.  It ended our movie a little early and we got ready for be by flashlight.  As we listened to things hitting the house and the windows rattling we started to debate about bringing all the family into our room.  As the wind blew against our big bedroom window we thought our room was not the safest in the house.  So I grabbed Tennyson and headed into Charlotte's room.  The storm woke up Grahm, Grahm and Jason tried to sleep on the couch - but having a 6 year old on top of you requires a little more room.  They headed back to our room.  We heard something make a lot of noise outside - so we all gathered at a big window and watched the storm for a bit.  Then I took 3 kids back to Charlotte's room to sleep.  Jayce slept through it until the wind changed direction, he joined Jason until morning.

We lost our only tree and the glass form our patio table.  Our shed, trampoline, and chairs hung on through the night.  We spent the day cleaning up glass from our lawn.  It was all over.  When the power came back on we purchased a shop vac and vacuumed the lawn.

 Our only tree, it had pretty flowers -so sad.
 Neighbors house
Shed pieces under Jason's car, something took out his driver side mirror.

Here is what we read about the storm:
“This storm was no joke, that’s for sure,” said Technical Sgt. Robert Fournier of the 18th Weather Flight on Kadena Air Base.
Fournier said Typhoon Songda was one of the most powerful storms he has seen in his four years on Okinawa. The Okinawa Meteorological Observatory said it was the strongest storm to hit Okinawa since it began keeping records in 1972, the year the United States returned the island prefecture to Japan.
What saved the island from worse wind damage was the nature of the storm itself, Fournier said. “Fortunately for the island, the 135 knot (155 mph) winds were a thousand feet or so up,” he said. “The strong winds were not at the surface, where they could have caused some serious damage.”

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tubs Can Overflow

(See the 2 doorways on the left side)
We were preparing dinner and suddenly Jason asks the kids  if they left the sink on.  I realize as he finished his sentence that Charlotte is out of the tub and I didn't turn it off and realized that she probably decided not to this time.  Sure enough we have water  covering the floor in both  bathrooms and the hallway in between.

 (Bathroom without the tub)
(Where the mess started)
We don't have a shop vac so  I cleaned it up with towels and used the washing machine to wring them out.  There was a part of the bathroom that was 1" deep.

Later that night after all the kids were in bed and I was nursing Tennyson.  I start smelling something.  I ask Jason about it and he notices it  He starts to investigate.  Before he even gets to the kitchen I realize that I had left edamame on the stove boiling a very long time ago.  Black pan.

What an evening.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Little Calf

Monday, May 23, 2011

Return of the Plague

I told Jason he was allergic.  Jason disagreed and he and the ER doc gave it to him anyway.

It got worse than this before it got better and he made scabs, no matter how many times I threatened his life.

We have learned 2 things from this. 
1 - I am always right.
2 - Jason knows I am always right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sad Faces

I think sad faces are so cute.

This one I took with one arm while I was holding her.  I think I got a decent lucky shot.

I have been telling Jason that I didn't take enough pictures of her when she was little.  I need to have one more baby so I can get it right.  He is not buying it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Land Planarian and Tonsillitis

Last week was filled with Biology lessons. 

Photo from DavesGarden
We found a flatworm on the side of our house.  I remember learning about them, but had never seen one in real life.  We put it in bowl, but by the second day it had turned to mush.  This is a Land Planarian, also known as a hammerhead worm or Bipalium kewense.  It is carnivorous and gives me the heebie jeebies (because it is slimy and moving not because it bites).

I finally listened to Grahm on Thursday night that his throat was more than just a little sore.  We thought it was Strep, but he was diagnosed with Tonsillitis.  Sadly, he overheard the doctor talking to Jason and has been very anxious.  He is worried about his tonsils getting too big and not being able to breathe and about a surgery that might not even happen.  It breaks my heart when they get worried about death.  Grahm was trying really hard to see down his throat and had his gag reflex going fierce and then he came out of the bathroom totally freaked and starting to really panic.  He thought he couldn't breathe. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Fool's Day!

My bedroom was invaded by noise and wiggling much to early as each of my boys brought me what gifts they had made at school.  Charlotte grabbed one of the boys' school projects to gift me and as she handed it to me she loudly  proclaimed - "Happy Fool's Day!"  There are days when I have to agree that it might be a better way to describe what I manage to do.

 A flower bouquet and a volcano picture.  A coupon worth all the love in the world written in his best handwriting.  On the back I could earn monetary rewards for being his Mom.  Jason was given one coupon to mow the lawn and he could win $5 if he let Jayce have a day off from school.

 I love Grahm's poetry.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jayce's Percy Jackson Birthday Party

First off, a little disclaimer - this party just does not feel up to my standards of making it extra special.  It is hard to plan things when you can't run to your standby stores - Target, Walmart, etc..

I got the idea for the invitations from Thepeanutone's Weblog (just found it in a blog search).  I used a font called PiRhoHerak, you can get it for free on the web.

Sons and Daughters of the Gods!

Please join us in the celebration of Jayce’s 9th Birthday

Camp Half Blood

April 23, 2011 from 1:00 – 3:00pm

Please note that Camp Half Blood has moved to the Isle of Okinawa, our house.
We will practice warrior training, and Ancient Greek. Dionysus will provide the drinks; Demeter will provide the snacks and cake.

Please send an Iris message letting us know whether you’ll be able to attend or if you have been sent on some other Quest. If you are out of Golden Drachmas, you may call 99999999or e-mail xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com to be connected to Micah, daughter of Hera, Goddess of Motherhood.

Please wear protective gear for the anticipated visit of Apollo (sunscreen). If Zeus throws rain and lightning bolts our way, we will watch The Lightning Thief.

 Well it was raining that morning and I thought we were going to be watching the movie.  It finally stopped 30 minutes before the party started and I was assuming that it would be to wet outside. 

As the guests arrived they pulled a name tag out of a bowl (the Oracle).  On the tag it said...
Son/Daughter of HEPHAESTUS
God of Fire
or some other God or Goddess.  Then they were given a Greek alphabet sheet and they were to write their name in Greek.  Jayce requested to be Son of Hades, God of the Underworld.

About 10 minutes into the movie Jason and I looked at each other and said this is not going to work.  Only 3 of the kids were actually watching.  So I ran over to the park area and checked it for small ponds.  It was dry.  So we armed them all with foam swords and gave half of them blue headbands and we went to play capture the flag.  I thought it was fun, but their was a lot of fighting and I couldn't be a referee the whole time.  I guess I needed to make the rules easier to follow or make up more rules. 
After 3 rounds of this we switched to Medusa Freeze Tag. I kept adding Medusas because they were having a hard time getting anyone frozen or keeping them frozen. After awhile all of the girls (Medusas) came up with a game plan of guarding their tagged victims. The boys were getting so mad, but I figured we needed to be flexible at that point. So after the girls finally had all the boys tagged - I made the 4 biggest complainers be Medusas (Jayce was one of them).

 Being guarded.

I let them play one more round of Capture the Flag before we headed in for snacks and ice cream.  We served Sprite, Grape Soda (of course), Root Beer, Grapes, Doritos, and Oatmeal Fudge Bars.  Since Jayce does not like cake he makes it hard to make anything, but we tried.  He wanted a sword before we established that he really didn't want cake.  So I came up with this idea and had Jason execute it.
 I wanted to find small toy snakes, but no luck.  So I tried to pipe some from chocolate - I wont tell you what I think they look like.

He was way too spoiled.  He added to his Nerf gun collection, water guns and swords, Lego's and books. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dr. Jekyll

Since we moved here Charlotte has an ever growing number of things she sleeps with. I really try to keep the numbers to 4 things at the most. She always sleeps with a couple of dolls and then she adds in whatever new thing she has or recently rediscovered toy. The most recent addition is a snake.  I don't think in a few years that she would be able to sleep through the night with a snake in her bed even if it is plastic.

I have spent the last few days elbow deep in paint. I am finally getting Tennyson's room painted and the ceilings in Charlotte's and my room painted as well as the hallway.  Since I have been a little distracted my sweet little girl moved out and a mischievous little girl moved in. 

This new daughter of ours likes to sneak into the art drawer and glue card stock circles (from a happy meal) onto the walls in her room.  She likes to dump several large cupfuls of water onto the bathroom floor and onto a pillow that was for some reason in the bathroom.  She finds it necessary to remove all of the books from the shelf (about 50), bring all of her toys from her room into the living room (not to play with).  She is also starting to have accidents again after more than a year of none.  Also this little girl and her big brother Grahm (with help from Jayce) decided to use washable crayons (because the really are good for this add a little water and isntant face paint) and markers to draw on Charlotte and Grahms face just before basketball practice and pictures.

I think the little alarm is going off in my head - she needs more attention and love.  We need to bake some cookies together and read stories.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Time Half Gone

As Jayce's Birthday approached I had the realization that my time with him is half gone.  Yes, I do realize that parenting does not end when they turn 18, but I am afraid my influence will drastically decrease at that point.  He will move out (unless I can talk him into saving money for another year before his mission).  I started freaking out, I know that I have not wisely used the time I have had.  I hope that the next 9 years I am more focused on what is important and that I can fully prepare him for the challenges and the wonder that this life has to offer.

For his Birthday we were treated to steak, mashed potatoes and grave, jicama, tomatoes, broccoli, grapes, and cheddar biscuits.

We cooked him an extra large biscuit because every time we make them, they fight over who gets the biggest one.  This resulted in Jayce not even finishing his steak or eating much else that he chose.

I am very proud of you Jayce.  You are an amazing son, you help out so much with your little brother and sisters.  You deal with my impatience, bring me Diet Coke's on ice when I need them, comfort Tennyson when I am distracted, help with chores, and so much more.  You surprise me with how smart you are and how quickly you learn things.  I love that you have a love of reading - reading is magical.  A few things that you love Legos, Greek Mythology, jumping on the trampoline, guns, science, Basketball.  You don't like cake, but you do like cake pops.

My favorite part of  Birthday's are watching the siblings, they are so excited and so want to be a part of it all.  So cute.

 Happy Birthday Jayce!