31 August 2011

Day 243

My coworkers Laura & Ann brought in their babies today to work.  Needless to say, these two cuties got a lot of attention.  Who can resist such sweet little things?!!

Ladies first, so here is Miss Abby.


And now for Mr. Sean…


They are oh so cute, but I can’t fathom having a newborn again.  Sleepless nights, inconsolable crying, dirty diapers…..none for me, thanks!  I’ll just love on them and give them back to their parents!

30 August 2011

Day 242

Tonight we celebrated a very special occasion….my neighbor’s 16th birthday!!  I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow from a 7-year old cutie to a teenage beauty!  And the best thing is that she is gorgeous both inside and out.  No wonder I think of her like another daughter!


Happy Sweet Sixteen, Ambo!! 

29 August 2011

Day 241

Our cat’s love of unusual places continues.  The kids’ large insect cage was in the dining room tonight and Felix crawled inside the small opening until his whole body was inside.  He was happy as a clam in there and LilCrockett couldn’t resist playing along.




Notice: No pets were harmed in the making of these photos!!

28 August 2011

Day 240

Another beautiful sunset tonight so I snapped some photos.  I hate that there is a power line disrupting this pretty view but I don’t think the electric company will take it down for me!


27 August 2011

Day 239

Just when you thought baseball was nearly over until spring, LilCrockett signed up for a fall baseball team.  It’s mostly boys from his spring team, though they are playing for a different local league, Springfield Southwest Baseball Association (SSBA).  This time it is purely coach pitch as well, no tees.  These differences mean changes in the rules and such, which I am still trying to figure out completely, which led me to the association’s website where I discovered this:

  • The kids can now get tagged out at bases.
  • An inning consists of 3 outs or a maximum of 5 runs.  In tee-ball, each player got to bat each inning.
  • There is a maximum of 9 pitches per batter.  After 9 pitches the batter shall be declared out.  There are no walks.  In tee-ball, each player batted until they hit the ball.
  • Regulation games are six (6) innings in length.  In tee-ball, there were only 3.
  • On a hit ball that stays within the infield, the base runners and batter may advance one base. On a hit ball that goes into the outfield, the base runners and batter may advance as far as possible, until the ball is returned to inside the infield or its imaginary extensions in foul territory.  In tee-ball, the batter had to stop at first base regardless. 

As LilCrockett moves up to higher levels of baseball, the rules will continue to change.  Hopefully I can keep track of them all.  Today he played center field, 3rd base, and catcher.  He definitely still has to learn some tricks of the game, but did very well getting a few runs and tagging a few kids out.  

Because they are in a new league, they were issued t-shirts and hats today.  The team color is gray and LilCrockett is #7.  

Getting ready to bat…



Running to 1st base…


Coming into 3rd base…


Getting geared up to play catcher…



End of the game.  Did I mention that LilCrockett’s all-boy team played an all-girl team today.  The girls gave the boys a run for the money!  Funny but LilCrockett didn’t even realize that it was an all-girl team until I told him in the car on the way home.  I think he’s in his own little world sometimes (plus the girls were all wearing hats anyway).


26 August 2011

Day 238

My friend Ann had her baby last week while we were on vacation and I finally got to meet pretty little Abby this morning when I stopped in for a short visit.  Both mom and baby are doing great and starting to get into a routine with dad and the 2 big sisters.  I took my camera along to take a few photos. 

Abby was sleeping when I arrived and I held her for quite awhile as Ann and I chatted.  About the time I suggested we take a few photos, the baby started to wake up.  And sadly, she was not very happy.  It was a challenge getting these few photos and not the session I had envisioned (even though I didn’t have anything elaborate planned).  Since Abby was pretty fussy, mom had to hold her the entire time so our poses were really limited.  Should I decide to get into newborn photography, I’ve need to remember to shoot (at least some photos anyway) while the baby is sleeping.  They are typically much more cooperative with poses while dozing than awake. 

Here are a few SOOC (straight-out-of-camera) shots.






25 August 2011

Day 237

Felix continues to amuse us every day.  He’s such a curious little cat.  Today he was fascinated with a small shopping bag and rolled around inside of it for quite awhile.




He’s also fascinated with bands….we’ve found several zany bands and rubber bands in his feces.  We try to make a conscious effort to keep them away from him, but he somehow manages to find them throughout the house.  I’m thankful that he has passed them without issue.  But he might not always get that lucky.

24 August 2011

Day 236

We’ve been battling with the IRS over our taxes since May with them claiming we still owed them money.  While we were on vacation, we got a letter saying that they were going to seize our assets if we did not contact them by today or pay in full.  We sent them a certified letter one month ago stating that we would be glad to pay taxes if they are owed; but considering the fact that they screwed up our original return by failing to key in our 2 dependents, we asked them to provide us with documentation on why we still owed them money.  But we’ve received nothing from them.  So since the letter arrived, I took the morning off to call and chew them out.  After a 45 minute wait, I finally got through to a person and luckily, she was so sweet and helpful. I think we’ve discovered the problem (2 more errors on their part) and hopefully this will be resolved soon. 

While I was on the phone, I opened up the dishwasher door to let the dishes air dry a bit as there was still some water droplets on them.  When I looked over a bit later, this is what I saw.  Oh, such cuteness!  I think this photo also illustrates how big Felix is getting as this is a standard size dishwasher.


After school tonight, I picked up a pizza and breadsticks and then went to get the kids at after care.  Once we got home, we ate and the kids went off in separate directions while I cleaned up the kitchen and such.  A bit later, LilCrockett came out looking like this:



A short-sleeve Packers jersey layered over a long-sleeve Blackhawks jersey, which is layered over his t-shirt coupled with pants over his shorts.  And nothing sets off an ensemble of this quality quite like chip clips randomly clipped to your clothes and mouth!  Now before you call Child Protective Services, just remember that he did this to himself.  There are no words for my goofy boy!

23 August 2011

Day 235

After school today, LilCrockett has his first night of baseball practice for the fall season.  There wasn’t much else to do while I waited, so I took pictures and GothGirl played games on my phone.    



We saw a fox at the edge of the cornfield surrounding one side of the ball diamonds, but he spotted all the kids and took off.  Too bad as I’d been hoping to get a photo of him.  Instead all I could do was photograph the corn.


LilCrockett fielding and throwing balls…



One-on-one batting practice with Coach Long…



I’m looking forward to a great season of watching coach-pitch baseball.  And this year, they will even keep score and track hits and runs and such.  My little boy is moving up in the world!

22 August 2011

Day 234

Today is the big day….the first day of school (even though it’s only a half day)!!  My kids were up and dressed early.  This year, LilCrockett (now in 1st grade) is riding the bus without his sister as GothGirl is in 5th grade and a new Middle School-er (who ride the bus with the High School-ers).  GothGirl has lockers for the first time this year and she a lot of time over the summer practicing with her combination lock.  Though she was SUPER excited to go to the Middle School, she was a little nervous too.  This is partly because she doesn’t know what to expect and partly due to the crazy schedule (alternating A- and B-schedule days with different classes on each day).  I told her she was going to be just fine though.

Here are some photos of our morning.



I debated a bit on whether to let LilCrockett keep his mohawk for school, but he loves it and it’s only hair. 


Just before the buses came, the neighbors arrived (they catch the bus at our house) so it was time for a group shot. 


Now for the bus shots!  The girls’ bus arrived first.  I love that they are staggered in this shot so that I can see all 3 of them.



About 5 minutes later, as LilCrockett was getting antsier and antsier, Bus 23 came.



After waiting with them for the bus, I finished getting ready myself and then drove to LilCrockett’s school to meet his teacher and drop off his extra supplies.  I asked him if he just wanted to ride to school with me, but he was excited to ride the bus again after having a summer break.  His bus arrived at the school almost at the same time that I did and we were able to go to his classroom together.  Photos taken with my iPhone.

Here he is in front of the school


Posing with friends in his new classroom.  I had already left the school when I realized I forgot to get a photo of him and his teacher.  Fortunately there is an open house night coming up soon so I’ve gotta remember to get one then.



I had my friend Lisa take this one of LilCrockett and I at his desk before I left to head for work. 


Upon picking up the kids from after care later that day, LilCrockett comes running up to me and says, “Mom, I had the BEST DAY EVER!  We didn’t have to read or anything.  We just played games and stuff!”.  It was really cute.  Here I was thinking at first that he was just loving school, but then my pride was quickly dashed when I figured out that he was just glad they didn’t have to do any schoolwork!  LilCrockett did go on to say that he loved his new teacher and classroom.  GothGirl had a great first day too.  She LOVES Middle School and enjoyed seeing her friends.  She’s looking forward to visiting all of her classes for the first time in the next 2 days.  Ah, to be young again!  I always loved the first day of school too!

21 August 2011

Day 233

Since it was the day before school starts here, we spent our time hanging out and making sure everything was ready to go (school supplies, backpacks ready, first day outfits picked out) in order to make the first morning run smoothly.  Or as smooth as possible anyway! 

In the afternoon, GothGirl and I went to the nail salon to get our toes painted.  It was her first time going to a salon, except for once when she was little (but she doesn’t remember it).  I never wanted to pay the money for someone else to paint her nails since she could hardly go a few hours without getting a chip.  Now that she’s older, I think it will last a little longer.  And I wanted to treat her before her first day of school.

My chair was just behind hers and while she was looking at the guy doing her toes, I activated her massage chair remote control.  The chair started vibrating and she whipped her head around at me to see what was going on!  She opted for extra designs on her toes, so I was done before her.  This allowed me to snap a picture of her though with my iphone.  The pics I had taken of her while I was in my chair were super blurry due to the vibrating, massage action.


And the finished product!  GothGirl has the blue & white tiger striped toes.  So pretty.  Though she will never be a foot model due to the large scar on her left big toe.  She cut her foot on some metal a few years ago and it was nearly all the way to the bone.  They stitched it up well, but her skin has a tendency to produce hypertrophic (enlarged) scars just like her Crockett’s does.  My toe nails were a little shorter than I would have liked, but the nails on my big toe split causing me to have to cut them down.  Oh toes are a funky thing, aren’t they?!!


20 August 2011

Day 232

Look who missed us when we were on vacation!  I think he grew a ton while we were gone.  Wonder if our neighbors slipped him some steroids – LOL?!!



19 August 2011

Day 231

Today is the day we head home from vacation.  It’s a bittersweet time as we’re looking forward to being back in our house (which has a lot more room than a camper) and starting the new school year, but we are sad that we won’t be continuing our adventures here (at least on this trip).  Here’s a photo of the kids playing on their electronics while Crockett and I did the final packing. By the time we drove home and unpacked, there wasn’t much time for photos.  Plus, I had to download the photos from our trip. 


Day 230

We ate at the campground diner again this morning.  It’s such a cute little place.



Then we decided to drive to nearby Lead Mine, a Mennonite community.  Here’s LilCrockett watching a movie in my mom’s van on the way over.


And a photo of a Mennonite couple on horse and buggy is below.  It was taken through the front window of the van.  The couple was on their way to a local produce auction.  We saw lots of buggies, as well as bicyclists, all converging to the same building from different areas with produce in tow. We stopped at the general store (I was amazed at how much stuff they had) and a roadside bakery to purchase a few things but mainly just drove around the community.  My mom and I were thinking that the Mennonite community frowns on photography, so I didn’t take any photos when it was obvious as I wanted to be respectful.  Maybe next time I’ll have the opportunity to take a few more. 


After our little trip, we went back to the camper to pack a lunch and our swimming gear so that we could spend the afternoon at the swimming hole we had found the day before.  On the way there, we came across a turtle crossing the gravel road.  Of course my kids wanted to see him.




When we got there, Crockett showed LilCrockett how to skip rocks on the water while GothGirl hunted for small critters and mom and I saw in chairs in the water.



Then it was time for lunch.



We spent a few more hours at the swimming hole and then went back to the camper for to relax and eat dinner.  Sadly, we also had to start packing up our stuff to go home the next morning.


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