Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thankfulness for Friends

The end of this week has been a bit trying for me. It started Friday morning with Minda's husband, Scott, knocking on my door at 7:00 am on his way home from work. I opened the door and was confused to see him. All he said was, "Have you seen your car yet?" My heart sunk immediately. He told me that two of my car windows (on the doors) had been broken. I didn't want to see what was missing on my own, so I asked if he would come downstairs with me.

As we walked to the elevator, I started to make a mental list of the things in my car: my golf clubs, my computer, my roller bag containing my computer, and some shoes that I was going to return.

When we got to the car, the first thing I saw was my golf clubs peaking through the backseat (I had one of the seats down) and I was thrilled that they weren't gone since I had a golf game scheduled for that night! I then popped my trunk to see what else was missing. My computer roller bag and everything in it including my work laptop, my notes, and the worst thing of jump drives with the backup of my computer! Ugh. How stupid to store the jump drives in the same bag as the laptop!

So, as best as I can figure, the thieves noticed that my one back seat was down, so there was easy access to the trunk. They broke the window closest to the backseat that was down (rear passenger side), but then the child safety locks wouldn't let them open the door with the inside handle. So, they then smashed in the driver's window in order to easily pop the trunk and unlock everything. Needless to say, there was glass everywhere in the car. I am still finding pieces of glass.

I have learned a few lessons from this experience:
1) how to lock my backseats so that you can't put them down
2) how to lock my "trunk release" on the driver's door
side thought - these two things my aggravate thieves and make them cause more damage to the car, but I guess I will live with that if it happens
3) never, ever leave your backup copies of your computer in your computer bag
4) never leave your laptop in the car (in fact, I hardly ever do this, but Thursday night, I had worked late and then run some errands, so I had plenty to carry up to my apartment and was way too tired to do any additional work, so I decided to leave it)
5) Friends are wonderful

#5 is my favorite part. It helped me so much to have Scott find the disaster and then to walk me downstairs. After he dropped me off at my apartment to call insurance and the police, his wife and my friend, Minda, came down. Minda and their son Andrew spent the entire morning with me. They helped me call insurance, they helped me clean out my car, and most importantly of all - they were just there. After we got the car cleaned out and I made some phone calls to work, I went to Minda's apartment where she made me a latte and I just sat. It was what I needed to recenter myself. Being near someone who loves you is often the best remedy of all!

Thank you so much Minda, Scott, and Andrew!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school which brings about several emotions for me: I am excited that the boys are growing and gaining experience, but the same thought also makes me sad. It is also a stressful day full of change and new schedules. I am really sad to say that I didn't get many good photos this morning. Now that I have them downloaded, I notice that many of them are out of focus (poor lighting choices) or the boys have fake smiles. I do have two favorites

This is my favorite of the boys because they have real smiles and their personalities are showing through:

This is my absolute favorite. I was locking up the car after taking pictures of the boys by the school sign when I looked up and they were already half way across the parking lot - a definite sign of their independence and confidence:

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Last Day of Summer

Where did the summer go? Did I accomplish the things that I had planned? Nope. Oh well...another summer has gone by and I can still answer that question with "NOPE!" I did accomplish some things such as learning to play golf, starting to teach my boys to golf, starting to run again, etc. All very fun things, but once again, I did not accomplish that academic-side of things that I had hoped with my children. Did they read as much as they were supposed to? No. Did we research topics like I had planned and then do something fun related to the topic? No. Did we practice "bridging" activities? Well, yes, thanks to the GRASP program for Ethan? Whew! I get to answer that one with a YES! Am I upset about not accomplishing these things? Not really - except for the reading part. I love to read! Why do I have such a hard time encouraging my boys to read. I admit that I find it difficult to find the time to sit down with them, but that isn't really a good enough of an excuse. So, to make up for a lackadaisical summer, I had both of the boys read tonight. Ethan read on his own while Alexander sat and read to me while I did dinner dishes. That wasn't exactly the best environment in which to encourage reading, but we made it 25 minutes!

On to a line of questions that won't make me feel guilty...Did we enjoy the last weekend of summer? YES! Was today a fabulous day? YES! Was there time spent this weekend golfing, hiking, biking, and swimming? YES, YES, YES, and YES! Whew! Some affirmative answers.

Our day today was split into two main activities biking and swimming/hanging out at the beach. Our biking adventure was a Elm Creek Nature Preserve that is filled with fabulous bike trails. This is a place that we haven't been to for about 4 years and it was as fantastic as we remembered; in fact, it was even better than we remembered because most of their large construction project is now complete. Kyle agreed to go with us since I don't have a bike rack yet and both of us have been wanting to get up there, so we combined our trip. I am really proud of the boys because we ended up doing at least 10 miles today. They were really good troopers until we hit this hill (E and A were not pleased that I was taking a picture of them trudging up the hill):

Here is a lovely picture of a sweaty, tired me at the top of the same hill as taken by Mr. Alexander:

Here are Ethan and Kyle waiting for Alexander to catch a grasshopper:

Here is Alexander and his grasshopper friend:

After the bike ride, we were going to play at the swim pond, but decided that it was a little too shallow and unexciting for the boys; instead, let the boys play for a little while at the big climber at the park:

At that point, it was already well past lunch time, so after 15 minutes or so, we hit the road again.

Kyle dropped us and my bike off at my place and the boys and I changed into swimsuits, grabbed our towels and water and headed off to West Bush Lake beach where the boys enjoyed another afternoon of digging in the sand.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ending the Summer

How many things can you squeeze in a day? The boys and I had a busy day trying to fit in a bunch of things that we have been talking about doing a some things that I had planned for them. The themes of the weekend have been getting outdoors, working on a puzzle while inside, and watching movies.

We started the morning by missing church and heading out for a hike. We took the woodchip trail that is across the street from my apartment's driveway. The trail leads around the edge of a marsh and ends in a development behind the Hillcrest School that has a great play set. As you may have guessed from previous posts, there was much whining and groaning throughout the walk. The hike home wasn't as whiny because it lead to the promise of food (they were bottomless pits today!). I was pleased that they made it since it was a 30 minute hike each way. It was quite impressive to see them make it!

After lunch and some work on the puzzle we have going, it was a Mommy enforced body rest since everyone seemed really tired. The only issue with that idea was that I gave them a new alarm clock yesterday, so instead of taking a nap, they sat in their beds and watched their clock tick its way to 2pm. Oh well, at least they stayed quietly in their room for 45 min!

This afternoon, Alexander and I managed to pull Ethan away from Star Wars for a trip to the beach. We spent a few hours there digging in the sand, attempting to catch fish, and some general lounging in the sand. This, of course, made the boys really hungry, so I took them to Perkins for dinner after getting cleaned up. They were amazingly good waiting for our food and we really had to wait. There was something done with their printer and so everyone else ended up getting their food before we did. Oh well, it all ended up well and was really yummy. Ethan ate and ate - his food, quite a bit of my food, and some of his brother's food! If you know Ethan, you know this isn't typical!

After dinner, we walked to Lund's and picked out the movie, Happily N'Ever After, to watch after hitting some golf balls at the driving range. The driving range went well. My hits are slowly getting more consistent. The boys decided to practice putting while I hit balls. After reaching home, we watched the movie (quite good for an animated flick) and the boys ate and ate.

Watch out - they are either going to grow or we will have another blowing chunks incident like a few weeks ago! I'll keep you posted on that one!

A Day of Golfing Firsts

Yesterday was the "Day of Golfing Firsts"!

First #1: I took Ethan and Alexander to the Hyland Greens Short Course for their first ever golfing experience on a course

First #2: By Hole 6, I realized that we had left the boys' "Long" range iron (probably a 9 iron) somewhere on the course

First #3: On Hole 8, I made it to the green from my tee shot!! Woohoo!!

First #4: To continue the fun on Hole 8, I parred!! Another Woohoo!!

First #5: Walking down the fareway, I somehow managed to lose the head cover for the boys 4 hybrid club (yes, by this point, I was carrying their clubs most of the time)

First #6: Alexander had an awesome chip shot from 30 yds out and landed on the green!

First #7: Ethan had some great, long shots down the fareway (actually, he had several good chips that were hit so well that they flew right over the green!)

First #8: Yesterday was the first of several golf outings with my boys!