Tuesday, October 08, 2013

October 8, 2013

OK, put your seat belt on because this is a hodge podge of an update with no organized order whatsoever.

First, before I forget to document this, I was downstairs doing something yesterday and the boys were both playing upstairs.  At one point they asked me if I knew where their two boy dolls were.  These are boy dolls that my sister bought them when they were just 2 or 3 years old and they have played with them on and off over the years.  Nick has played with them more but he really likes little kids.  I think Ben finds little kids kind of annoying.  Anyway, they finally found one of them and they were playing and I heard Nick say "Ben, I'm birthing a baby.   Ben, I'm birthing a baby!"  I was trying not to laugh out loud because I didn't want them to hear me.  Then Ben came downstairs looking for some old newspapers because "If I am going to be the father, I have to read a newspaper", which was also pretty funny.  I told the husband about it and we were both laughing so hard.

We are having beautiful fall weather here these days.  It is really lovely and not getting too cold too fast.  We are having temps in the low 50's at night and in the 70's or low 80's in the day.  It is very pleasant.

I am working on my school planning for January, when the boys will be starting 3rd grade.  Well, they will be starting 3rd grade for everything except math.  Before I moved them on to 2nd grade math, I used a different curriculum and re-covered some of the 1st grade topics (mostly place value and memorizing addition/subtraction math facts) because I didn't think they were quite strong enough on a few things.  I am so glad I did too because they are really moving along confidently now and it is wonderful to see.  This year I am teaching from two different math curricula to hopefully avoid that from happening again.  It is a balancing act to know when to cover what from which one but, so far, it seems to be working out OK.

Today I had a 30% off coupon so I went ahead and purchased our next year of Story of the World, which is our history curriculum.  We have all really enjoyed this one a lot so there is never any question that we will do the next one.  The last one is in 4th grade so I will have to figure out what we will do after that but, in the mean time, we are really enjoying SOTW.

I am planning to attempt to start Latin again in January and I am hopeful we will have better results this time.  I had planned to start it last January but it ran our days too long and it required more writing than N was ready for at that time.  Since then I have researched the various Latin programs further and have found a different one that I think will be better for us and that we will all enjoy more (I hope).  Nick is doing much better with his writing too.  His occupational therapy is really paying off.  He is much more willing to write for himself now and very seldom asks me to write for him or has a meltdown about having to write.  He has made huge strides and I am so thankful that we had the resources to be able to provide OT for him.  I don't know if I mentioned this earlier or not but the occupational therapist said she suspected that he might have skipped crawling.  He has come along so far that he can even tie his shoes now, which is amazing.  He would not even try until recently and he is learning very quickly now.

The other day a neighbor boy was over here playing and he had ridden his "motorcycle" (battery operated) over here.  Nick was outside on the driveway riding it while the neighbor was inside playing with Ben.  A little later Nick came into the house and handed the dad his glasses.  The dad says, "oh, the lens popped out again", which has been a common problem with this particular pair of glasses.  Then the dad gets a closer look at the glasses and is wondering aloud what happened to them as he showed them to me.  They are pretty much totally destroyed.  The lens didn't pop out, the metal around the lens was broken in two pieces.  The arms that go back to the ears are both bent so far they are almost torn lose.  They really are pretty much destroyed.  So I asked Nick what happened (he had been quiet while we were taking inventory of the damage) and he was still kind of quiet so I reassured him it was OK and he was not in trouble.  He had taken his glasses off and laid them on the driveway (not sure why, maybe to protect them? or they bothered him when he was wearing the helmet?).  He forgot they were there and ran over them with the motorcycle.  I think it is actually pretty funny, not the $$ part but the typical little boy accident part.  So I really must get him over there and get another pair because his old pair that he is wearing now (the ones we thought were lost just before we left on our trip to AZ back in Feb so we paid for a new prescription and pair of glasses and then he found the old pair a couple of weeks after we got home:) are not strong enough for him.

The boys are very much into football these days.  That is all they want to play.  "Daddy, will you come outside and play football" is heard around here quite often these days and he is very good about making time to play with them.  Today they played at lunch time and they are outside playing again now and they have been playing every evening lately.  They are loving it.  When they play games on the Kindle Fire they play some kind of football game also and they love watching it on TV....and they also play it with the other boys in the neighborhood so it is all the rage right now.

Guess who turned 8??!!  Ben is now an 8 year old and Nick will turn 8 in a little less than 5 weeks from now.  Boy, they grow up so fast and they are both getting so tall.  Last month Nick grew a half inch and Ben grew three quarters of an inch and Nick's foot is almost as big as mine already.  The other day I was sitting in the living room and noticed Ben at the kitchen sink and I thought he was standing on a step stool.  I was shocked when he walked away and had not been on a step stool at all.  That boy is getting tall!

The boys are both loving their P.E. class but they are not so much loving their art class so we won't take that class the next semester and this one will end in November.  They are still in swim lessons, which they have a love/hate relationship with at times (they mostly like it though, except when they wish they could stay home and play with neighbors).

I guess that is enough hodge podge for today.  I need to take a look at Ben's birthday pics and see if any are post worthy.  I'll check on that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28, 2013

After looking through our photos, I realize that I need to take more pics because we do not have very many recent ones and the ones we have are not all that great.  The boys like to take pictures of their Lego creations or whatever it is they find funny and those are not usually something I would want to post on my blog.  Here is pretty much all I found worth posting and many of these are questionable:).

These first 3 or 4 are from the early spring, as you can tell by the clothes they are wearing.

These next two were also from last spring when the boys and the dad went to a cub scout camping thing overnight.

The next pic is from a dress-up night at AWANA.

The following pic is from Nick's first piano recital and I think it was in May or maybe April.

This was from one morning the boys had 'built' a 'wagon'...the type pulled by a horse back in the old days.  They had a good time playing with this for a couple of days.

And these final pics are of the treehouse that the dad is building.  It is really coming along.  He is getting ready to build and put in the rope ladder next so they can actually start playing in it, even though he still has some things to do, such as put on the door and shutters.  He is working on the trap door thing that they will come up into when they climb the rope ladder.  The first picture below is from the front of the treehouse.  The rope ladder entrance will be in the back opposite corner of the one in the front of the first picture below.  There will also be a fireman's pole on the back corner that you can see in the first pic below.  Just above where the ladder is in the pic below there is a small gate.  Eventually this gate will open to a bridge to another tree which will have a small platform.  They will be able to stand on the platform to take off on a zip line that goes across the yard.  I'm not sure how long it will take to get all of that done but I have a feeling this project is will be an on-going effort for a while.  The boys are very excited about it.

As for how our school week is going this week, it is not:).  I had an unexpected dental appointment on Monday morning for a bad tooth that needs a new crown and Nick had his occupational therapy that day.  Between those two appointments, we really didn't have time to get anything done and we were all exhausted by the time we got home.  Yesterday we had another two appointments for which we had to go to the city once again and my sister came to visit when we got home.  We had not seen her in a while so we enjoyed her company for the day.  Last night we didn't get much sleep because of bad colds (Nick and Ben) and an eye infection (Nick) so we took a sick day today and we are taking it easy.  Fortunately I had scheduled a one week break for week after next so we won't end up taking that after all and this week will be that week.  It is nice that we can be so flexible.  If everyone gets a good night of sleep tonight, we will definitely be doing school work tomorrow and Friday.  I feel so lazy when we are not doing school.  But I know it would not have gone well today if I had tried because Nick and I both were running on very little sleep.  I don't have much patience when I have not had enough sleep and Nick gets frustrated easier when he has not had enough sleep, which we don't need and I don't want especially since things have been going so well here lately.  We will be back at it soon enough though.

That's it for today.  I will work on taking some better and more recent pics of the boys.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013

I think we are finishing up our 1st month of school, or there abouts, and we have really gotten a lot done this first month.  More importantly, I think we have finally found a routine that is working for us and has us finishing up the day around 1:30-ish and with no fits and very little whining.  This is BIG news around here.  I think we just finished our best week of homeschooling ever and it was pretty amazing.

I have put together a check list of our various subjects and have divided it into the following categories:
*  Prepare for our day - includes making bed, tidying room, getting dressed, eating, and brushing teeth and hair.

*  "Let's remember to start our day off with a prayer"  (I'm ashamed to admit that I will frequently forget this if it is not on our checklist and it really does help us all to have a better day.

*  Subjects we all do together - includes Grammar, Spelling, History (Mon and Tues) / Science (Wed and Thurs or Thurs and Fri - depends on which day we take off, since we are schooling 4 days a week) and Memory Work.

*  Subjects you do individually with Mom - includes writing, math and read aloud to Mom.

*  Subjects you do independently - includes cursive practice, 30 minutes of fun read-to-self, 20 minutes of typing practice, piano practice, and sometimes I might assign a science or history library book for them to read-to-self.

I also list the once-a-week afternoon activities we are committed to each day, such as an hour and a half P.E. class, a two hour art class, Nick's 1 hour Occupation Therapy appt., 1 hour of piano lessons, 30 minutes of swimming lessons, a 1 hour almost-free Karate class at our church and an hour and a half of AWANAs.

We are not doing a co-op this year.  The one I really like did not have anything to fit our schedule this time so we will try again next year maybe.

Other big news around here is that after two and a half years of playing the violin, Ben has now switched to the piano and is having a ball.  He is so excited about it and loves to practice.  The great thing is that he no longer needs me to help him practice.  I always listen when Nick is practicing the piano and once in a great while I might go help him with something but, for the most part, I just provide encouragement and cheering, which works out quite nicely for keeping the peace around here.  The violin has so many different variables that have to be worked on that most children this young cannot really practice by themselves and really see good improvement.  Ben is really loving his independence of being able to practice the piano without me (and so am I!:).  It really has helped so much to streamline our school day and allow us to be able to fit piano practice in as another one of our subjects.  One child can be practicing the piano while I am doing math or writing with the other child.  Music practice is now getting done more regularly in our house than ever before and none of us are stressing about it now.  It used to be pushed to the end of the school day and they were ready for a break before practicing their music (and so was I!) and then it was a struggle for us to get back into gear and get it done.  What a relief this one change has made for all of us.  We'll see if it is still going this smoothly in another couple of months.

The other thing is I have started getting up a bit earlier and trying to finish my breakfast before the boys are ready to eat.  They spend a little time playing and by the time they are dressed and ready to eat, I am ready to start school.  So I usually read our grammar lesson to them while they are eating breakfast.  They are learning the parts of speech and memorizing the definitions and the lists of pronouns, linking/helping verbs, prepositions, etc. so they repeat back or recite definitions and lists between bites.  They are done eating before we finish our lesson so they do the written part after I finish the lecture part and then we move right into spelling.  We normally finish up these two subjects in about 30 minutes or so and then we move right on to history or science and memory work.  Grammar and spelling are pretty quick subjects to get done and we all end up feeling so positive about how our day is progressing as we fly through our morning lessons.  It really gets our day off to a great start.

I won't bore you with the details of the rest of our day but I am happy to report that things around here are really going well right now and it is really refreshing.  Nick even told me today that he is starting to like school now, which was quite an eye opener.

I must give all of the credit and glory for this vast improvement to God.  I have been praying about this and I know he is moving around here.  I believe we have gone through every day this week without one major attitude issue, which is amazing!  Thank you Lord!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013

This was our first week back at school work since we took off sometime in May.  I think we were out around two months.  We are approximately one-half through 2nd grade so we are picking back up where we left off, starting with some light weeks and a bit of review also.  We school 4 days per week.  This week we took off Wednesday and schooled Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri.  didn't do much of anything on Wednesday.  We had a very bad, long and loud thunderstorm Tuesday night (it even scared me a little) so Nick and I lost a lot of sleep that night.  Ben was also up for a short time but he went back to sleep next to the husband.  Nick and I were both awake from midnight to around 3:00 or later so that is why we ended up picking Wednesday for our day off.  I had planned to take off on  Thursday because the husband was off that day but it didn't work out that way.

Monday was probably our best day overall, because everything was new.  It wasn't really new but it had been a while so it seemed new to them.

This week we covered one chapter in History, continuing to use Story of The World II, the Middle Ages.  We read a chapter in the SOTW book about the Diaspora.  The boys answered the review questions in the Activity Guide and each one narrated one section of the chapter.  I am still writing down their narrations for them, although I will be working towards transitioning them to writing part of them sometime soon.  (This may be delayed due to Nick's fine motor skill delays.  He is in OT now so I am hoping to see improvement over the next 6 months or so.  We'll get there eventually.)  They also did the map work included in the Activity Guide and I printed out a blank world map and had them work together to identify all of the continents and oceans.  They were able to do it together pretty easily but I'm not so sure they could have done it separately so we will be practicing this more often.

The boys did one Math lesson each day using Christian Light Education Math for 2nd grade.  They are working on addition of numbers into the hundreds, with carrying/regrouping, practicing and memorizing their addition and subtraction facts through 20 (6+8, 14-8, etc.), measuring with a yardstick and learning how to calculate the number of inches in a yard and learning how much a pound feels like, versus two, three, five and ten.

I read aloud from School Days with the Millers (the boys love this book and their books always have a good moral/character/Christian lesson) and also from The Saturdays and a couple of books about Israel.  The boys read to themselves from The Paper Dragon, Raisel's Riddle, China's Bravest Girl, Fa Mulan, The Hunter (A Chinese Folktale), Adventures in Ancient China, Aseop's Fables and Christian Liberty Nature Readers.  Nick read a lot more than that in his spare time but this was official school reading.  Ben also read more than that but it was likely about Star Wars or Legos:).  At bedtime, the husband or I read aloud to them from their Bible, a children's devotion book and a book of their choice (they each pick one).

We covered three lessons in our grammar book (First Language Lessons 2).  We reviewed all of the poems they are memorizing (I think there are 5 or 6 of them so far) and we also reviewed the definition of an Adverb and we used them in sentences (orally) and such.  They also had to write sentences from dictation, which included adverbs and also figuring out where the punctuation marks go and which ones to use.  I had planned to cover four lessons in grammar this week but I didn't get around to buying postcards.  Our next lesson is about addressing postcards so I need to get some this weekend so we can do this on Monday.  I could have just used index cards but it is much more fun for them if it is real, it is for someone they know and they actually get to mail it.

For writing we are using Writing With Ease 2, which follows the same pattern each week and I do this with them separately.  Day 1 I read a passage to each of them, ask them some review questions and they answer in complete sentences and then they narrate and I write their narration for them.  Day 2 is copy work from the passage read on Day 1.  Day 3 is dictation; the same sentence(s) they wrote for copy work on Day 2.  Day 4 is narration of another passage of the same story/poem (this week was the Pied Piper of Hamelin), review questions and narration.  I write the narration for them and then I dictate some it back to them and they write that part.  This week, we only finished days 1 through 3 so I hope to make up day 4 either this weekend sometime or double up work one day next week.  I hate it when one week of this work gets divided over multiple weeks so we will try to catch up somewhere.

We finished a chapter in our spelling book (All About Spelling 2) and we were suppose to start a new chapter today but didn't get to it.  We did review open versus closed syllables and vowel-consonent-e type words but that was as far as we got.  We will make this work up when we make up our writing work.  For spelling I reviewed some of the spelling rules we had most recently been studying.  Then we go through some words they are to spell; I tell them a word and they write it on their small white board.  This week they were spelling words like rose and others that have the 'z' sound spelled with an s.  They also wrote 6 short sentences on their small white boards that I dictated to them, which were made up of spelling words from the chapter.

I decided to pick up two cursive books for the boys to have a refresher course.  They had one course of cursive at the beginning of 1st grade so I thought it was time for a refresher.  They do all of their FLL (grammar) and WWE (writing) work in cursive so they are getting regular practice but it is easy for it to become a bit more sloppy or messy over time.  So they started today (using Handwriting without Tears Cursive for 3rd Grade) and did one page.  They will continue to do one page most days and work their way through the book eventually.

The boys went to swimming lessons on Thursday, where they are working on fine tuning some strokes. This is a thirty minute class with 4 kids to 1 instructor.  They were graded and are very close to finishing level 4 but just not quite there on a couple of their strokes.  After level 4, they can join the swim team.

Ben went to violin lesson on Tuesday and Nick went to piano lesson on Wednesday.  Both boys practice their music after we finish school and I try hard to make sure they do this at least 5 days a week.  We don't always hit that; sometimes it is 4 times a week, but we try.  Frankly I am ready for them to quit lessons because I am tired of fighting with them to get them to do their practice (especially Nick).

I think that was about all we did this week, for our first week back to school.  It feels good to be back.  I promised the boys a night out to a fun place around here that has good eats and an arcade so that is on the agenda for tonight.  I was planning to go but lost a lot of sleep again last night due to another thunderstorm so I am hoping to get away with staying home and let the guys go together.  We'll see how the husband feels about that:).

Whew, that picture of the boys on this blog is really old.  I think they were five!  They will be 8 this fall so I really  need to update that sometime.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

May 9, 2013

The nicest couple has moved in next door to us back in January I think.  They have the cutest 3 year old son and 1.5 year old daughter and my two sons really love playing with them.  In particular, Nick has really hit it off with their son and they both love playing together.  It is interesting because of the large age gap but it doesn't seem to bother either of them and they just play together so well.  Nick is very sweet with the 3 year old (almost 4).  He really acts like an older brother with him, probably with less fighting.  It is really sweet to watch.  Ben really enjoys playing with the neighbor children's toys more than he enjoys playing with the neighbor children:).

So every day when we finish school, the first thing the boys want to do is see if M (the neighbor boy) ickcan play.  Their mom is so sweet and she loves having the boys over.  She says they keep her son busy and they all play well together.  She said it gives her a break.  It definitely gives me long breaks.  Sometimes they go over there around 12:30 and stay until 5:30 or 6:00.  They usually play outside until around 4:00ish and then they all go in and she gets dinner started while the kids play inside.  I normally go over and visit with her for a while, sometimes while they are outside and sometimes after they have gone in.  Sometimes they will all come over into our back yard and play in our sandbox.  The mom is so nice and we get along very well. Her son, M, has been over here to play inside only once.  I told her today that she should start sending M over here to play during the daughter's nap so that she (the mom) could have a break or, if she needs to go shopping or something that her son could stay here and play with my sons.  I would feel a little better if we switched off a little.  I end up feeling that I am getting all of the breaks and she always has all of the kids, even though she insists that it is a break for her when my sons are there because they keep her son entertained.  Anyway, for now, the kids are enjoying playing together and it is really sweet to watch Nick playing with this little almost-4 year old and treating him so kindly. 

It is kind of funny and I even start missing Nick and Ben at times.  I got outside and did the weed-whacking of the front and side yards today, since the boys were next door playing and I have mowed the yard the past two weeks, although the husband was home and working in the yard when I did that.  He has been staying busy building a tree house for the boys.  It is coming along slowly, since he does not have a lot of time to devote to it, but he is really doing a stellar job on it and it will be very sturdy and safe when he is finished.

Well, that is it for tonight.  I will try to post more soon and to post some pictures (I know I keep promising that and I have not delivered but I have very good intentions:).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21, 2013

Wow, it has been a while.  I have thought of posting often and started a couple that I then deleted.  I simply have not had much to write about lately.  Today we had something funny happen though that I want to write down.  It is a lot of fun to come back in a couple of years and read the funny things the boys did and said when they were younger.

We had a pretty good snow storm yesterday (pretty good for this area) and the boys had a ball playing in it.  It was a very wet snow so it was great for building huge snow boulders, snow men and forts and such.  The boys also really enjoyed sliding down the back side of the pond bank across the street from where we live.

While they had a wonderful time, at some point during the day, Mr. Nick. somehow misplaced his glasses.  We have looked high and low but have not found them.  We are soon leaving for a 2 week trip (driving) to AZ to visit family and friends so we wanted to get his glasses replaced before we leave.  Today I took him to a local fast place, where they make your glasses within an hour or so.  Since it had been 7 months since he had his last eye exam, we decided to go ahead and have another one.  The lady was checking his eyes and had him standing in front of this machine with his chin in a little cup and his forehead against this bar.  He was staring into the machine and the lady said "open wide".  I happened to look at him at that moment and saw him open his mouth really big.  It was so funny, it took everything I had not to burst out laughing.  I quickly and quietly told him to open his eyes real big, not his mouth.  It was really cute, although it may have been one of those moments when you just had to be there, in the moment, for it to be funny.

Ben has had a very hard time with Nick having glasses and him not having them.  He has wanted them since Nick got them and we never hear the end of it.  He has tried very hard to make due with sun glasses, even wearing them around, inside of the house.  Today when we were at the cheapie eye glasses store I asked them if they sold any really cheap frames with plastic lenses for children who just want to pretend.  They did!  I was so surprised and Ben was so happy.  So now he is sporting these black plastic round-ish, somewhat Harry Potter-ish looking glasses and he absolutely loves them.  He actually looks pretty cute in them too, but then I am kind of biased.

Nick's new glasses look really nice and they were quite a bit cheaper than his first pair.  Hopefully these will last for a year this time.  His eyes had gotten a bit worse so he kind of needed an updated script anyway.  He was impressed with how much better he could see now, although some of that is probably because he was without any glasses for about 24 hours or so.

So, we are getting ready to leave for a vacation and we are in desperate need of one.  Thankfully my brother has agreed to house/cat sit for us while we are gone.  We are driving through New Mexico and planning to stay over in Albuquerque and then on to Flagstaff where we are going to stay for a couple of days.  We are hoping to give the boys a chance to try their hand at skiing or snow boarding and we are also planning to take a day trip from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  Then it will be on to Phoenix and Tucson for visiting with family and friends.

The husband's practice has picked up quite a bit and he is also still working full time at the urgent care job an hour and a half from here.  There are times, when he is scheduled to work the weekend at the urgent care, that he will work almost two full weeks without a day off.  It is very tiring and stressful at times for all of us because, when he is working that many hours, I am too and I don't have a break either. So it will be good for all of us to take a nice long break and then we will be one step closer to spring time when we return.

We have had a really mild winter here though and it has been really nice.  The boys have been able to play outside most days, which they love.  They are both doing very well in school also.

We have had some cold nights and have really enjoyed our fireplace this winter.  We didn't use it much last winter but we are using it a lot this winter and it is so lovely.  I love having a wood burning fireplace.  I love the smell and the warmth it adds to the house and the lovely ambiance.  Yesterday evening I built a fire around 5:00pm and added some wood to it around 8:00.  It was still going strong when I went to bed and Dancer-the-cat was sleeping in front of it on the basket of pillows and blankets.  He likes it a lot too.

I can tell that Dancer-the-cat is starting to go down hill a bit.  He is getting a bit slower and I can tell he is not making his jumps as well as he normally has in the past.  He is definitely getting weaker.  He is about 15 years old now though, so I guess that might be fairly normal.  He sure is loving being able to go outside and goes out every chance he gets.  Yesterday was the first time he has been out in the snow and he didn't care for it a bit.  He loves sunny days though and, even if it is cold, he will find a protected spot in the sun and sleep out there.

Tinkerbell-the-cat, a.k.a. Tinky or Tinky-Winky, is still her naughty self about attacking Dancer.  She is doing a bit better about it though and she actually minds pretty well a lot of the time, for a cat.  She is getting a bit tubby but she only eats dry cat food so I am thinking she is just going through a phase and will grow out of it:).  I hope I am just going through a phase and will grow out of mine too.  She has become very sweet to me, most of the time, although there are times when I pick her up and she does not want to be picked up when she will try to bite me.  She is a little less tolerant of others than she is of me though.  She is not very tolerant of the husband at all and I am not quite sure why.  She tries to bite him almost every time he tries to pet her.  I told him maybe he needs to give her a few treats or something.  Maybe it is because he is not around as much as the rest of us and, when he is around, he stays pretty busy so he does not pet her or interact with her much at all.

We have new neighbors next door and they seem really sweet.  They have a one year old daughter and a three year old son and my sons love playing with their son.  They all had fun in the snow together yesterday.  The boys are so sweet with their son and they really enjoy him.  He was throwing snowballs at Nick yesterday and Nick would pretend it knocked him over into the snow.  Their son thought that was so funny.

School is going pretty well overall and we started 2nd grade in January in most subjects.  We are still in 1st grade math because it has taken me a while to figure out which math curriculum I liked best and which one worked best for the boys.  I'm still not quite sure we have it right but we are trucking along and they are both learning a lot.  In everything else the boys are now doing 2nd grade work, although Nick really does not care for writing much and that is not changing as quickly as the writing requirements for 2nd grade is changing.  I try to adjust it a bit for him when I think I need to but he can really do much more than he cares to do so I try to find the right amount.  His handwriting is actually quite nice when he wants it to be.

I can hardly believe the boys are now 7 years old.  The husband and I just had our 8th wedding anniversary also, which seems impossible.  Time goes by so quickly, it seems.  My birthday is coming up in a couple of days and I will be the big 50 this year.  Yikes!  I don't feel 50 inside of my head/mind but I think I do look it when I look in the mirror, especially on days like today when I am not wearing make-up. 

I know I really need to post some updated pics of the boys.  I have a new little laptop though and I have not yet loaded any pics on it so I need to do that first.  Hopefully I can get some uploaded sometime soon.  I need to go now and get some things done but I will try to start updating more often, if I have anything to report:).