Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Aaron Learned To Ride

IT seems like yesterday that I wrote this post on my old blog about 6 year old Noah getting on his two wheel bike for the first time and taking off. I remember crying a few tears because it was such a neat thing to watch. I have always maintained that the summer between kindergarten and first grade is one of the biggest summers of growth. It's amazing how many things Noah learned the summer of 2008.

This time it's a little different. Since I held Aaron back last year, he should be going in to first grade this year but he's not. Nevertheless, this is THAT summer for him, since he is of that age. He is definitely becoming more of a grade school kid than a little kid in attitude and we have been working on that A LOT. But he is also hitting a whole bunch of milestones the same as Noah did in this comparable summer. Through the workbooks that I have both of the boys do every morning, his handwriting has gone from "babyish" that it was in May to much more mature, with correct pencil grip and sufficient pressure. HUGE improvement. He was already reading way advanced for his age, so that continues.

And then we hit another MAJOR one in the last couple of days.

Aaron has never been a super confident bike rider. With training wheels, he would always go really slow and tentative. When he went to Safe City (a week long safety class put on by the fire department last week) he was one of the only kids who still had training wheels on his bike. He asked me to take his off. I figured that since he was already not a confident rider anyway, it wouldn't hurt to have him just learn without the trainers. Neither Steve nor I had trainers and we learned just fine.

So I took them off. I also lowered the seat all the way down, so that he could put his feet down whenever he wanted. We also had a lengthy discussion with Noah that both Steve and I had been taught to ride a bike from our older siblings and he could he be a big part if this. He balked at every mention of it. But we noticed that during Aaron's first attempts Noah sat at the front window watching, while pretending to NOT watch.

After Aaron's first two runs, he screamed (as his way ALL THE TIME lately) threw his bike down, and stormed off. I didn't react though because Aaron's personality is such that I knew he would come back a try again. Which he did. Again and again. All day.

And for the entire day on Sunday, it was a series of try, scream, yell, throw the bike down, declare it the worst thing ever, and then repeat an hour later.

I got home from work on Monday night and wondered if it was just because he was having trouble staying on the sidewalk. So Steve and I decided to take the boys over to the parking lot nearby and see if he could get going that way. He was SO CLOSE. He could glide but he would not keep his feet on the pedals to keep going.

After Steve and I begged, pleaded, scolded, guided him to keep his feet on the pedals, he still refused. Then we brought Noah over and asked Aaron to watch Noah. We put Noah through a series of drills of riding. The minute he was done, Aaron turned around, pushed off, put his feet on the pedals and TOOK OFF! YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

And yes, I shed some tears this time too.

He was very excited that he could ride. And we were too. After watching him wipe out (happily, no less) we realized the problem. He will only go in circles instead of riding straight. And he will only turn to the left but not the right. Oh well. Let's have this celebration and worry about THAT another day.

Tuesday morning dawned and Aaron was out the door before he even got dressed, wanting to ride some more. So I packed the first aid kit again, pried Noah's Pokemon cards out of his hands for a little while, and we headed over to the parking lot again. This time was actually a little more frustrating for Aaron because he knew he had ridden the day before, but now it wasn't working for him. He started by just walking the bike along with his feet on the ground.

Then, he graduated to pushing off with one foot while gliding with the other.

When we got the the parking lot, much as he did the day before, he took off, going in circles.

And of course wiping out when the circle got too sharp. I tried to get him to follow the yellow lines in the lot, but he was getting frustrated again so we headed home.

After trying a little bit more, I got yet another idea. I had lowered the seat but I hadn't lowered the handle bars. Maybe that was the problem.

So after lunch and a little rest we headed outside to try again. I lowered the handle bars and set him off to try again.

Guess what?????

Yup, he took off!!

He still wobbles and goes off into the grass a lot. But for a little boy who never really got the hang of riding before, he is now riding a two wheeler 72 hours later. As I write this Wednesday morning at 9 AM, he has already been outside twice riding. He has permission to ride on the sidewalk between our house and the neighbor's fire hydrant three houses down unless I am outside with him.

I was very happy that Noah had such a huge part of this process. He is not always a willing participant when it comes to anything supporting his little brother. So the fact that I can say "Noah, YOU were the only one that could teach Aaron how to ride a bike" is definitely a boost for him as well.

We still have a month until school starts. Who knows what will be achieved in that month. Both boys have swimming lessons so who knows.They are also going golfing with my parents for the first time as well. We are going camping for the first time this coming weekend. SO many adventures lie ahead. The stores may be stocking backpacks and school supplies, but we're not looking. There's a whole lot of summer left for us!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just a Pretty Sky

Well, we passed another milestone (sort of) at the Wheelz Home tonight but I'm waiting to share the pictures on Wednesday after we have another day of practice tomorrow. But the pile of pictures in my "still to blog" folder seems to be building up. This is my temporary file of recent pictures that I like that may or may not get blogged about before I move them to a permanent location.

Last week was a stormy one here in West Michigan and they kept threatening us with major severe weather, even though it continued to go south of us the majority of the week. One of the nights that we were SUPPOSED to get a major storm ended up being beautiful, and I couldn't help but take an extra walk with Lily that night, just to watch the sky. I even took a few pictures.

Well worth the extra walk. The only thing that would have made it a more beautiful would have been watching it on the lakeshore. Maybe next time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Living in the Light

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark." John 8:12

Last week as I was speaking with a young lady from our old church whom I had become a sort of mentor to, I realized that it is coming up on a year (in November) since our tumultuous departure from our old church. The search for a new church home has gone strong throughout the entire year of 2010 and we believe we have found it. I like that every week we leave with something concrete that I can think about and that keeps me focused throughout the week.

I also like how happy the boys are to go. Unlike before, when it was begging to stay home, they actually BOTH protested when Steve and I decided to stay home last week and get a little extra sleep. I have to admit, I felt less grounded all week as a result and I was really looking forward to going back this morning.

This month's "series" is about living in the light. Today's message really hit home to me, as they all seem to. As we picked up the boys from their Sunday church, I asked them about what they learned They both said they're learning about living in the light too, but couldn't really explain what it meant. I knew that we were going to need to talk about it some more.

Each week, the boys also come home with a little paper about what they talked about that week, and discussion questions about it for at home. I got the paper out and at dinner tonight Steve and I shared with the boys what we learned about in the adult service. I'm not really sure they were 100 percent listening, but then, after I had thrown my plate away (pizza night) and had sat down to check my email I heard something come from the table behind me.

Out of the blue, Aaron had recited a not-so-short bible verse that they had learned. The entire thing. By memory. Just because. And he was SO proud.

So of course, I HAD to video tape it. The video is a little less confident than he did the first time, probably because I was watching. But I was still happy. And I am once again so very thankful that we made that difficult and painful decision last November to leave a place that was not meeting our spiritual NEEDS (and they really are needs right now) and found a place that will bring us back INTO THE LIGHT that we have been seeking for so long.

After putting this week's message on our board in the kitchen, I think we are ready to start our week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Lily Meets a REAL Chihuahua

Side note: Lily's a mix of pomeranian and chihuahua and is the one in pink. The other is a full chihuahua that we met at the fireworks on the 4th of July and is the ONLY dog that Lily didn't bark's like she knew

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hamster Update

We have had our first experience with death in the Wheelz Home. Noah came to me and here is the conversation that followed...

"Mommy, Snowflake looks dead but her eyes are open."

"Honey, take her out and play with her and she'll probably perk up."

"Ew, no Mom, she is covered with brown stuff and she stinks."

Yup, I knew it. Snowflake is no more.

He brought the cage out and no question rigor mortis had already set in. I wish they hadn't found her like this, but such things somtimes happen. After searching unsuccessfully for a box in which to bury her, I decided that we would have to settle for wrapping her in the towels that were in her cage, digging the hole in the back yard as deep as possible, and calling it good.

Noah seemed to be doing okay at first, but as the whole thing started sinking in, he got more weepy over the next hour. Aaron added into the emotion and it was a very trying morning.

Noah kept trying to comfort Aaron by saying that Snowflake is in Heaven with God. But then , the questions started flowing that I did my best to answer. "Why do we bury things in the ground if they're in Heaven?" Why were her eyes still open if she was dead" Why did she have to die?" When are WE going to die?"

All good questions but I hate answering them.

As the day went on, I dropped Aaron off for a little "camp" put on by the fire department this week and took Noah to the mall for some one on one time. I really love it when it's just the two of us. We were able to have a talk about so many things that needed discussing, and then got some "cheer up ice cream".

He's doing much better now. Tomorrow while Aaron is gone, I promised him he could take some wood from the garage and create a cross for Snowflake. He's asking for a funeral too but I'm not so sure about that yet.

Meanwhile, I received a total of 12 emails from people responding the Craig's List ad for Snowflake. I sadly had to email each one of them back and tell them that the offer is off the table, but I have one family who is still interested in the cage and accessories so at least they will be put to good use.

So the Wheelz Home is back down to two pets. We really love Minne and Lily though so I hope that we don't have to deal with this again for a very long time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

They BOTH Got Picked

Whenever I ever attend an "audience participation" event, I never get picked. It's just the way it is. I must have that look of "BORING" stamped across my forehead. In contrast, Steve has gotten picked numerous times. He has the look of "GOOFY".

I take the boys to a lot of library events in the summer, mostly just to break up the monotony of summer days. A lot of the programs are the same from year to year. It holds true this year as well. We saw two different magicians last year and the same ones were on tap for this year too.

But we still had to go check them out.

It was pretty exciting when Noah got picked to be the first "assistant". I was glad I had brought the camera. He can be such an oddball sometimes. In some ways, he is shy and doesn't want to try new things, but in other ways, he is a complete show off and ham.

This was one of the ham moments. As he was coming up, the magician played some music and Noah literally DANCED his way all the way up. The magician got a good idea the kind of kid he was dealing with. These people really have to be good on their toes when they rely their program on the reactions of kids in their act.

Anyway, the first thing he did was hide a piece of paper and ask Noah if he knows what was on the other side. Every other time when we have seen this act, the child has done as was expected and answered "no" and was tricked when the magician turned the paper over and it said "NO". But not Noah. Mr. Ham said yes and made the trick not work. I felt kind of sorry for the guy until he switched it on Noah, turned the card over, asked again, and then when Noah answered"No", he turned it to say "ON". Smart guy.

The trick went on and he had Noah pick a card. The magician was supposed to guess which card it was and after Noah was giggling because the magician was "getting it wrong" he turned around and the correct card was ON HIS BACK. Pretty funny. I'm glad Noah was a good sport about the whole thing.

So the trick was over, Noah sat down and the show went on...

...until the magician asked again for volunteers. Lo and behold, who should get picked ti time but Aaron. I couldn't believe it. This time, he came up with another little girl who was supposedly reading direction to tell the magician how to perform the trick.

It went on and Aaron was a very good sport while the magician continued to do silly things to him, per the instruction card the other girl was reading.

I don't remember the entire trick but the end resulted in a bunch of flowers atop Aaron's head. Even though the picture doesn't show it, Aaron was giggling and so excited when flowers showed up on his head. It was just too cute.

The final trick of the show, even though it didn't involve volunteers, was really amazing. He turned three doves into a rabbit. I have seen him do it at least four times now and I still just can;t believe it. So it was an eventful morning at the library. The kids have been talking about it ever since. I wonder what will happen next time we see them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

All in A Day

Yesterday was a busy day. It didn't really seem like it at the time, but looking back on it, it was definitely filled with new experiences.

It starts out with an interesting story about Snowflake. You may remember Snowflake, the ever escaping hamster that Noah got for his seventh birthday last year. Said hamster has spent more time in the closet than anywhere else in the past few months. We have always put her in the closet at night because she makes so much noise, but then brought her out in the morning for the day. But Noah has been neglecting this duty for quite a long time. So I've been threatening to get rid of her.

Well, yesterday, I finally had enough and posted an advertisement for free hamster with cage and fixings on Craig's List. At the same time, Noah had her out and was playing with her. It was actually kind of cute since he had her playing on the tree house he made at Mega Kids Camp, and was also playing with her in the toy castle (complete with dropping her through the trap door). I was feeling guilty thinking that if he was going to play with her, maybe we could keep her after all.

Anyway, we left to go to the next activity (see below) and when I came home there were SEVEN messages all from people interested in the hamster. While trying to figure out a way to tell Noah that yes indeed, it was time for her to go, Noah was making a discovery of his own. Apparently, Snowflake never made it back into the cage after playtime yesterday and is missing.

So now, I have to go back and email all of the people that, yes, I'd love to give the hamster to you, but unfortunately, she's AWOL at the moment and I will repost it when (or if) we find her. Unlike previous times, Noah seems to be in no big hurry to find her and Minnie the Cat doesn't seem to be locating her this time either. I don't think we'll find her until a mysterious disgusting odor appears in a week or so. I know it's morbid, but I think that's the end that we are facing:(

Meanwhile, we also took an interesting side trip yesterday afternoon. I really don't want to hear any political opinions based on this but President Obama was here in West Michigan yesterday to make a speech and I thought it would be interesting for the boys to go see the plane leave. So we drove out to the airport to watch it. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy so I didn't get as good of pictures as I would have liked, but it was very cool to watch the group of helicopters fly into the airport, wait about 45 minutes and then watch Air Force One take off. No matter what your opinion is, it is still an experience to watch something that official right in front of you. The only thing that comes close was watching the shuttle lift off on our trip to Florida last year.

So after we got home, yet another adventure awaited us. Through facebook, I have reconnected with a girl that I haven't seen since 1985, when I moved away from Michigan in sixth grade. We had talked periodically (she lives in Mississippi now) and she was in town. She wanted to know if I wanted to get together with her. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I hadn't seen her in 25 years and I was worried that we wouldn't have anything to talk about. Luckily that was not the case. It was really a neat visit and I wish she lived closer because it was clear that we would still be very good friends if she did.

We planned to meet in Grand Haven, near the lakeshore. There is a "musical fountain" that has run every night for decades and I had never taken the boys so we figured it would be a fun way to talk while having the kids be entertained as well.

Steve had a rehearsal and couldn't come so I figured I would take the boys over a couple of hours early, right after supper, and we would jump in the waves at Lake Michigan, which is right near the fountain. We had a blast. The red flags were flying (meaning high rip currents) so I put a life jacket on Aaron and we headed in. I definitely think that this is the best time to go to the beach. It epitomizes what is wonderful about living in Michigan. We jumped the waves, built sand castles, and had a great time. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Steve could have joined us. But I know we'll probably be heading back there again soon. It really was awesome.

We also managed to fit in a shopping trip to Michaels for $1 calendars, a free lunch at Qdoba from the library reading club, and a free haircut for Aaron, also courtesy of the reading club at the library. Aaron opted for gel and red hair color. It is so funny how he loves out of the ordinary things like that, but Noah refuses to ever have anything resembling "different" . Aaron was a little sad when the red washed out at the beach last night.

So as I sit here, I am remembering our day yesterday. Noah is in the process of (not so happily) cleaning his room and maybe finding a hamster, Aaron is reading a book, Lily is eating her leash that she is getting sick of wearing at all times, and I am smiling thinking about a few little things that my friend from long ago said about our time as little girls that made me realize some happy moments from my past that I didn't know were there.

All of this in one day? Wow, that's gonna be hard to beat today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Still Here

Yup, it's been over a week since my last post about our holiday weekend. I have many stories to share from our staycation last week, but I have not the freedom to sit at the computer.

Any guesses why?

I'll give you a hint. She weighs around three pounds and has taken over the Wheelz Home.

Yup, it's little Miss Lily again.

Since her mom was litter trained and she's so tiny, I had decided that pad training her would be the easiest thing to do. And she was staying consistent SOME of the time.

But "some" started driving me nuts around last weekend. When I had fully mopped the kitchen floor for the fourth time in a week and spot treated numerous spots on the living room carpet, I started losing it. Add to that the frustration of all of us, especially Aaron, that we were spending our days hopping from room to room in order to dodge all of the gates blocking EVERY entrance in the house. A change HAD to be made.

So I returned to the chihuahua website that my step mom had mentioned a couple of days after we got Lily. This time, instead of trying to alter it's plans to fit our lifestyle, I decided it was time to actually do what it said.

Thus, the reason I have had NO TIME for anything else in the last three days.

No longer is Miss Lily allowed to roam unsupervised, even if it's just in a single room. She is on the leash at all times. She is in our lap or being watched every moment that she is out of her cage. If someone can't watch her, she is immediately returned to her cage. This has created some necessary improvisation on ways to do things whilst keeping an eye on her. This includes a towel on the desk while I'm on the computer. If only she would stop jumping at the screen to eat the cursor.

On top of that, we have the timer going off EVERY HOUR and then we're taking her outside. When she goes, she gets treats. When she doesn't, we bring her back inside and set the timer for the next hour.

I don't know how long we will have to keep this up. After two days, Steve is already threatening to "forget" to set the timer. But the plus side is that we have had no eliminations in the house in 48 hours. I have to call it success.

But I agree (secretly) with Steve that this is gonna get old...really quickly. But at the same time, I love NOT jumping gates, NOT mopping the floor every day, NOT spot cleaning the carpet.

And she looks so darn cute sitting at the computer.

So I have lots more to share, but I wanted to first show you where I've been.

Wish me luck...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend 2010

Happy Independence Day everyone. I saw a great sign posted last night on the way home from my parents' house. It said, "If it weren't for the 4th, you couldn't take the 5th". It was a light hearted way for reminding us why we celebrate the 4th of July. I hope to remember it.

Anyway, it is always interesting figuring out a happy mix between regular 4th of July activities, and a birthday celebration for Noah, who shares his birthday with America.

We always work it out. This year was a little different though since the 4th of July celebration that we usually attend is being held tonight (the 5th) instead.

Noah had wanted a "friend" party this year, but with summer vacation and the holiday weekend, It just didn't seem feasible. So instead I offered to let him have a his first sleep over with a friend. B came over around 4:00 in the afternoon and the boys played inside and out. Little brother Aaron had a little trouble figuring out where he fit in, but B is a bit younger acting and at times played with Aaron while Noah wanted to go quietly play with something else. It was fine. After some swimming in the neighbor's pool, I took them for pizza (since Steve was working late again) and we came back and they watched a movie. Noah's big birthday request was root beer floats, which we did right before bed.

B's family, our neighbor's, get some fireworks and have a mini-show on their driveway every year. So we took the boys over that evening before bed. It was the first year that our boys had seen them since we usually put them to bed before they start. They enjoyed laying on the blanket watching them, with Lily in tow of course.

As usual, Aaron assumed his position of freaking out over the noise and ran to Grandma C, our neighbor grandma) and hid with her during the really loud ones. I wonder if he will ever grow out of that. I guess we'll see at the big fireworks show tonight.

I pulled the mattress from our futon downstairs and put it on Noah's floor since I didn't want to have both boys up in Noah's loft bed to sleep. When we got back, the boys quickly got into pjs and headed to the futon. After a little tucking in and instructions that they could whisper for awhile before going to sleep, I left them alone. I was happy when by 10:23 both boys were sound asleep and we were free to go to bed as well.

We kept Saturday pretty low key. Giving Aaron a nap proved to be a saving grace and we just had a really nice day after Steve got home. Since he's been working so many hours, it was awesome to spend as few hours just talking to each other about everything. I don't think we've done that in awhile. The boys must have picked up on it too because there was less fighting and fewer temper tantrums than we have had in weeks.

A few weeks ago I had asked my parents if we could do a simple birthday party for Noah at their house while all of the cousins were going to be visiting. So on Sunday (after skipping church...bad Wheelz Family), we packed up many bags full of stuff, including the dog, and headed up to their place. After droppipng off Lily, we headed over to the beach. It was an absolutely beautiful day. The waves were huge and the outside temperature was high. Perfect beach weather. This particular beach is great because it has a playground right nearby too. The boys spent the time going back and forth between the playground and the beach. It worked out well so Steve could be in the water with one while the other was off playing. Of course, I assumed my preferred position of photographer for most of it. I got a lot of great pictures of Aaron and Steve jumping the huge waves. Not so many of Noah though because he went out so far that most of the pictures were of their heads only. Not nearly as thrilling for photography, but I assure you they had a blast.

Afterward we went back to my parents' house to have some birthday celebrations for Noah. He was a very happy boy all day and loved everything. He has declared many times that it was the "Best Birthday Ever". I will be sharing birthday pictures later this week. I figured this post was going to long enough as it was :) The only thing he was sad about was that we both remembered this morning that we forgot to give the cousins their goody bags. We left them at my parents' though so maybe he can give them to the kids on Thursday when we see everyone again.

Lily got lots of chances to play with all of her cousins as well. My SIL had picked up couple of baby presents for her and she spent most of the day playing with a little rope toy they had gotten her. I got a ton of really neat pictures of my niece, K, with her as well as some of my nephews, P and J, playing wither her as well. I really hope this little pup stays as sweet as she is now. I am so grateful that my parents are willing to let us bring her when we visit. I can't imagine leaving her home in her crate for that many hours alone.

So by the end of the afternoon, everyone was getting tired from the fun and busy day and the boys started asking me about fireworks. I had told them that we wouldn't be watching fireworks that night because we'd be watching them the next night (tonight) instead. But Steve and I were still thinking about stopping somewhere and watching them. My parents then decided to take the kids for a walk over to the little store by their house and get some sparklers for the kids instead. The boys had never done sparklers before, mainly because they scare me. I'm always afraid a kid is going to put a hand on the sparkling part and get burned. The boys however, loved them. I took some pictures of my niece and nephew too that I'll send to my SIL, since they had to leave.

After those, it was time to finally throw the boys in the bath, get their pjs on and head home. We got on he road about 8:30 and Steve and I spent the entire ride home being thankful that we had decided to skip the fireworks that night. It had been a good day, but also tiring and we were in bed by 10 O'Clock, and I think asleep by 10:30.

We have one more celebration tonight with Deb and her kids, minus daddies who will be working, but then our daddy will be on vacation the rest of the week, as am I. Lots of fun adventures ahead I'm sure. I will also share pictures from Noah's birthday celebration some time this week as well.

I am enjoying watching everyone's fireworks pictures. Even though I love my new camera, it doesn't have a firework setting, so I will not get any of those this year. Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for five crazy kids jumping around and having fun tonight instead. Oh, and a puppy...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Holidays and Birthdays Oh My

My favorite holiday of the year and the birthday of one of my favorite people in the world. What a great weekend ahead!

Noah wanted a birthday party with friends from school this year but it just didn't seem very possible, so we compromised a bit.

Tonight he will have his very first sleepover with a friend. The little neighbor boy will be coming over this afternoon and spending the night. I asked Noah what he wanted for his birthday sleepover and he said he wanted root beer floats. At least he's easy to please. Since Steve will be working late, I will probably take the three boys either to dinner at Noodles or Playworld before we come home for root beer floats. Noah is very excited and Aaron is quite upset. Unfortunately, that's part of being the little brother sometimes. He'll get his turn.

Then, after a low key Saturday to make up for the sleep deprivation that will probably result from the sleepover, we will be going to to the beach will all of the cousins and then back to my parents for a little birthday celebration for Noah on Sunday, the Fourth of July. I am really looking forward to playing at the beach with all of the cousins. The kids all love each other so much and I look forward to seeing them all play together. I imagine the beach will be a mad house, with both Fourth of July vacationers and the forecasted NINETY DEGREE weather, but I actually like the beach better when there are more kids.

Not sure if or where we will watch fireworks on the fourth though. I know it sounds strange but after a busy day at the beach and with tons of cousins, we just may want to crash. It's okay though because the city where we usually go to fireworks with my friends and their kids is holding their fireworks on the 5th (Monday) so while Steve's at work that day (getting ready for his vacation from work the rest of the week), Deb and I will take our kids to the traditional fireworks show that day.

The rest of the week has a big happy question mark. My niece and nephews will be staying with my parents all week, as will my SIL the second half of the week. I am sure we will have lots of fun adventures.

In addition, the ONLY thing Steve really wants to do is go to Michigan Adventure. It's a huge amusement park nearby. We've never gone with the kids and I was hoping to put it off for a few more years. But, really, the poor man has been working his tail off, almost 60 hours a week for almost two months. So, after I have been blowing through all of the extra money he's bringing home just to try to get bills caught up, he should at least get the one thing that he WANTS with the money he's been working so hard for. I think it will be a fun day except for one thing. Somehow, Steve's mother got herself invited along. We will just make the best of it.

The week will also hold a baby shower for my step brother who will be having twins in September, Noah performing his first volunteer duty as a Bear Cub Scout, and a family scout outing next weekend.

It's going to be a crazy weekend and week. I am sure I will have a bazillion pictures to sort through for you.

But for now, here's a little shout out to my Baby Boy who's turning 8 on Sunday

Happy Birthday Noah and Happy Birthday to the United States of America!