So it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. School started for the boys and so far it’s going well. This is Graham on his first day of school- and Thomas on his second day.
Mick just got back from Iowa. He was visiting his family-mostly his uncle who shares the same birthday. He had a good time seeing everyone.
Thomas had a Court of Honor for Boy Scouts. His patrol got Top Patrol AGAIN!! WHOO HOO This is what I made for the event. (mini cheesecakes) Everyone gobbled them up and I had none to bring home.
Thomas doesn’t like cherries on his so I left some plain.
Graham crossed over to Webelos last night. So proud of him. He’s doing so well in the new pack and the boys are awesome.
I am back at the gym with full force. I have a trainer now who is awesome and just really helping me get back in shape. I feel so much better when I work out so I am loving it.
So much more has happened but I just can’t think of it now. Perhaps later.
So my dad got into town yesterday. WHOOO HOOOO
Today we spent the day at the mall- his favorite place in the whole wide world. He loves to look around at all the different stuff and compare it to Denver. We stopped at one of the Kiosks which sold these really cool outdoor decorations that spin. (Hard to describe but way cool) The girl working there was a good 10 years younger than me and started flirting with my dad. He was oblivious. When my dad turned to look at something on the other side the sales girl asked me if he was my uncle- I said “no, he’s my dad.” This made her eyes almost pop out of her head and she said ‘he looks so young.” Then she proceded to ask me if he was married. I was shocked. I told my dad it was time to go. So we left. That’s just crazy. Then we went into Eddie Bauer- another one of his faves. The sales lady was equally flirtatious and told my dad he needed to move to Portland and to make to come back and visit her. I would have rolled my eyes but the lady let me use the employee bathroom which saved me a HUGE walk to the other end of the mall. Once again, my dad was oblivious. That one was funny.
I took my dad to my all time favorite store today- REI. He loved it and picked up quite a few things. I got some cool bike gear which i am excited to use when the weather changes. Graham got a marshmallow shooter and Thomas got a new camera. We had lunch at Macaroni Grill-mmm my favorite.
I made chicken, black bean chili for dinner and took some over to my friend John- for helping me take stuff to the dump the other day. After that my dad and I ventured to Home Depot (land of the assholes) where we got stuff to change the lights in my house and fix the one in my kitchen. Dad is really excited to work on my house and I am really excited to finally get the home improvements done.
The evening ended with Thomas and my dad putting some lights up under my cup boards in the kitchen and Mick, Graham and I watching an interview with Michael Phelps. Speaking of which, i am addicted to the olympics and can’t get enough. That whole Michael Phelps thing was just incredible. The coolest part about it is that he’s so close to his mom and sisters. My favorite part of watching him is after he received his 8th gold medal and he made his way through the photographers to get to his family. When he saw them he reached up with his enormous arms to hug them. His sister was crying, and once again he handed his mom his roses, and his whole family reached down for him. Brought tears to my eyes. What an awesome role model.
Graham hurt his toe tonight. The top of the nail was bleeding and came off. Made me weak at the knees so I had Mick pull the nail off as I stood by with band aids (and smelling salt for me! ha ha)
Well, i am off today. I had a great day with my dad.
Today marks a year that our little fatty died. Mick wrote a tribute to him on his blog- and it includes a little video that Thomas made.
I still miss our fluffy black kitty. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone for a whole year. Sometimes when Thomas is carrying Baby Elvis around and al I can see is black fur, there is a moment when I think it’s Nietzsche.
I know the whole circle of life thing needs to happen but sometimes it’s hard to see it as just that.
It’s about midnight here and I’m wide awake. I’m missing Thomas and hoping he’s having a good time on his hike around Mt. Jefferson. This was a hard thing for me to let him do because in so many ways he still seems so young to me. Cutting those apron strings is just so hard. Usually when he goes off camping it’s only for a few days OR at a place where I can reach him and if needed, could have contact with him. Not the case this time. He’ll be home Tuesday with a ton of stories about his adventure. I hope all good. I’ll be on pins and needles until then.
I can’t believe how fast summer is flying by. The kids will be back in school in about a month. I still want to do so much with them before we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of school.
I think all of this is being over shadowed by the fact that Mick’s company is closing their office here on Sept. 2nd so Mick will be/is looking for work. It’s a hard blow this time because this was such a great job and the benefits were good, the work was steady and it really felt like we were finally on our way to being on our feet. It was just so bad for so long when he worked for CPS. Then EFI came along and it was just to good to be true. Mick is optimistic which is good and he has a couple options that he’s looking into. At first, he was gonna have the month of August off and I was excited. With his new job in January, he hasn’t built up much vacation time yet. The thought of having the entire month of August to camp, go to the beach, etc… was enticing.
I am invited to 3 separate weddings on August 30th.
Last few days have been stressful because of a situation that is really beyond my control. It doesn’t involve my kids directly- but another kids behavior is effecting them. I don’t really want to elaborate except to tell a story that is similar to my current situation.
After I graduated from high school I went back to visit my parents in Saudi. They had made friends with a family that had a son who was a bit off. Teachers told them he needed counseling to deal with his anger and behavior issues. The parents stuck their heads in the sand and continued to believe that it was everyone else but their son. Their son scared me. He never threatened me but there was something about him that made me very cautious of him. I had seen his temper rear it’s ugly head a few times for what appeared to be NO apparent reason. It was irrational and out of control. My mom and I used to talk about him and say that one day he was gonna hurt someone really badly and that’s what it would take for his parents to get their heads out of the sand. Sure enough he lost his temper one day cause someone was teasing him about his shorts and he cracked some kids head open with a hockey stick. His parents took some responsibility for it but not as much as they should have. They blamed the situation and the other child. I do not understand parents like that. They frustrate me. They anger me. GRRRR They like to point out other kids flaws when instead, they should be focused on their own issues.
Anyway, I’m watching a bad sci movie now with the boys and I’m going to get into bed and sleep this day away.
SO after many days of cleaning Thomas’ room I have finally finished. I could not believe what I found in his room and have come to the conclusion that he is a pack rat. This is what I found:
12 empty pop cans
11 dirty socks
10 missing glasses
9 tangled up cables
8 broken pencils
7 dried up markers
6 loads of laundry
5 bags of garbage
4 boxes of Goodwill
3 pair of scissors
2 miss matched flip flops
and a partridge in a pear tree.
Well, not really, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had found that in there.
I left his desk and top of his dresser for him to do- since I don’t know where he wants that stuff. The brown stuff you see on the ground is carpet. I’m not sure he knows what that is. And the big blue thing against the wall- that’s his bed. Usually covered with books, laundry, toys, cats……
The big blue thing-
Thomas comes home in a few hours. I’m sure he’ll be tired, hungry and dirty. Ah to be 12 again.
On Thursday Graham and I ventured past Mt. Hood to visit Thomas at camp. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive and the camp was one of the nicest I’ve ever been to.
We were so happy to see Thomas and his patrol and vise versa. I got several hugs and lots of smiles. It was awesome.
The boys are responsible for making their own food at this camp- so they were busy getting water boiled for hot dogs. Graham and I brought our lunch – chicken salad- which I ended up not getting any since the boys wanted it. I didn’t mind since I KNOW how bad camp food can be.
We got to hang out with Thomas and his friends for an hour or so before he had to rush off to his next event. He said he was having a great time, sounded like he was loosing his voice and was pretty dirty. The boys started telling me how Thomas was spending all his money on Frapacinos at the trading post. Thomas just looked at me and smiled. Then one of them told me he hadn’t showered all week. I put my fingers in my ears and started singing “LA LA LA LA” so I couldn’t hear anymore. Then I said “hey, what happens at camp, stays at camp” and Graham said “just like in Vegas!” It was pretty funny. I bought up a case of Henry’s root-beer (Thomas’ fave) and my new hammock. Thomas and his friends decided to try out both. Thomas approved the new hammock and wanted me to leave it there for him to sleep in.
We brought up some tattoos with us that were a HUGE hit and the boys that stayed in camp after Thomas left covered themselves with all the crazy designs. Even the scoutmaster had me put two claws on each of his hands.
Graham and I ventured down to the lake which was absolutely beautiful. We got to sit on the dock and soak our feet. It was truly amazing.
We had to head back after that because one of the ladies that rode with me was having trouble with her son wanting to come home. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see Thomas before we left. We did stop at this awesome place called Calamity Janes on the way home. They have great burgers and even better shakes/malts.
It was a great day and I’m glad Thomas got to spend a week there. I can’t wait until Graham is old enough to go.
SO Thomas left for camp on Sunday. Usually when he goes I spend the week cleaning his room. This time I decided to take a before picture. Notice you can not see any floor or even tell that there is a bed in there. My son is a pack rat and doesn’t throw anything away. He keeps every scrap of paper, boxes, cords, and hand me down equipment from his dad. I had a full load of laundry that was hiding behind his door. I spent 2 hours in there last night and I still have a huge job a head of me.
I will post pictures of the after unless i get lost in his room and never make it out. So if I don’t blog with in the next 2 days someone please call the SWAT team to rescue me.
Graham and I are driving to Thomas camp tomorrow to visit him. It should be fun and a beautiful drive.
Well, I should get going on his room. UGH!
Cub World ’06
Cub World ’07
Butte Creek ’08
Every year I try to get a picture of Graham and me together at camp. Here are the last 3 years.
5:30am came all too quickly and it was time to get up to feed the cows and chickens. Once again I opted out for this- to avoid too much walking. I got up and got Graham ready then packed us up since we would be able to go home later that day. I got dressed and made the long, slow trek down the mountain to meet the boys for morning flag and mail. The day before I had gotten a little cup and a licorice rope at the trading post for Graham- and put it in the ‘mail box’ so he’d get something at mail call. At first, they call out all the letters and he was so sad when he didn’t get one. Everyone else in his pack got letters from home and it made it so hard for me to not tell him he had something coming. When they came to packages they called his name and he was so happy. He thought it was cool that his cat Rory sent him something from home. He grinned ear to ear and it made me so happy.
After breakfast we headed to the archery range where one of the dads discovered a huge mark on Graham’s leg. We stopped and took a look at it and determined it was a spider bite. Since Graham is stubborn like his mom and doesn’t like missing anything he opted to stay at the range and go to the nurse later. We pulled out our first aid kits and cleaned and bandaged it up which made him happy. Graham did really well and almost shot a bulls eye. I went in for my turn and wasn’t as lucky. Still had a lot of fun.
After that we went back to geology and did more panning for gold. Graham made a haul again and wanted to spend it at the trading post. It broke my heart to tell him that it was only a souvenir and couldn’t be used as currency. One of the others dad said it was ‘fools gold’ and then some of the mom’s and I brought up that episode on Little House on the Prairie where Laura thinks she and Albert have struck it rich.
After geology it was time for lunch and then BOB. Since our stuff was packed in the car I took Graham to the nurse. She cleaned it up and put a band aid on it and told me what to look for in case it was a poisonous spider bite. Graham was unfazed by all of it and just wanted to get back to having fun.
We headed off to pioneering where Graham got to wash his socks and make rope. He had a good time washing his dirty socks from the day before and suggested we do it at home. I informed him of just how many socks that would BE and he said ‘oh…..’
After hanging his clean socks we got to make rope. Since we were running late we had to run to our last station- dutch oven cooking. The staffer taught the boys how to make peach cobbler and then they got to eat their creation. It was awesome.
At that point it was free time before the big family BBQ then time to head home. Graham decided he was ok with going home early to see Thomas and dad. I let him get one more snow cone and we said our good-byes and headed back to Portland. I was pretty tired and was looking forward to Graham keeping me company on the drive home. 15 minutes into the ride and he was fast asleep. I was glad that a friend called my cell phone and kept me company (and awake) for most of my drive home.
When we got home we were greeted by a very happy Thomas and dad. I think they missed us.
Even though camp can be hard at times it is always so worth it. I would never give up the chance to do it with the boys because in so many ways it brings me so much closer to them. I am so fortunate that I am able to go with them and share this experience with them.I got to know the parents of this new pack and the boys are so wonderful. Graham fits in just perfectly. Even though I am glad to be home and in my own bed I am still so happy I got to go to camp. It was priceless. I wouldn’t trade it for anything- not even ‘real’ gold.