Wednesday we went to the splash park after school.

Then to McDonalds for icecream! We had a blast, and the kids were all really good.
We went with Chris and Leanne and their kids, and ran into Tahna and a whole bunch of other folks from our school, since it was a half day in our district. Very cool, because everyone else in Tuscon was in school, so we had the place to ourselves.

In the last two pics the girls are standing under that thing with the buckets on it. It fills the buckets and then dumps it on your head if you are in the way. Soooo fun!

"Mommy! Can I use your chapstick?"

Evan called out from my office. I was folding laundry in the other room.

"Sure, just put the lid back on"

Then I came around the corner... about the same time as Kira. Kira started laughing hysterically and said "That's not chapstick Evan!"

Here is what we saw...

Ok, pics as promised...

This is what Evan and Dad did, anytime Dad had a spare moment.

Here are the four of us. The kids weren't feeling ultra-cooperative on this fun day on the mountain, as you will witness in the next two pics! Oh well.

It's been way too long!

My apologies, I've been insanely busy,but also, I got out of the habit of logging in, and it went by the wayside.

I have bunches of pics to post from my parents visit, and I'll do that soon (I have to go steal some batteries from Evan's stash for my died).

But I read this on my message board today, and I loved it and wanted to save it. So here it is.

It is kind of long, but I assure you, it is worth the read! Enjoy.


I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way
one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be
taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping
the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see
me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you
tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even
a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide
to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order,
"Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes
that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now
they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and
she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to
compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress;
it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was
pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut
butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a
beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why
she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with
admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover
what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could
pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no
record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they
would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird
on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you
spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by
the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost
as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of
kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is
too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right
now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep
the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the
people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could
ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's
bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the
morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three
hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a
shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And
then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna
love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're
doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel,
not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Mom, close your eyes...

We got a trampoline from Chris and Galan. It's a little 8 foot thing with a high net, and a pad, so you don't have to worry *too* much mom. ;)

The kids love to bounce and bounce. I tire quickly of sitting in the heat while they do this, but I try to be patient for at least 10 min.

Just thought I'd warn you before you get here, so you can prepare your heart! (And I promise to not make you watch!)

I love Dr. Phlox.


Species: Denobulan
Position: Doctor
Assignment: Chief Medical Officer, Enterprise NX-01
Previous Assignment: Starfleet Medical, via Interspecies Medical Exchange
Full Name: Phlox
Birthplace: Denobula
Marital status: Three wives on home planet
Children: Five (youngest is a son named Mettus)
Office: Enterprise NX-01 Sickbay, E-Deck

Shawn and I are currently watching Star Trek: Enterprise on DVD, and while I have had a long time crush on Captain Jean Luc Picard, I have to admit my favorite character is Phlox. His character is just fun.

I'm a geek. I admit. Luckily I'm married to a bigger geek than myself, so I can freely indulge.

Enterprise is well worth the time to catch all four seasons. Phlox makes it all worthwhile!

Star Student!

Kira was chosen as the Star Student this week! She got to bring home the Star Student bag and fill it up with stuff about her, and things she likes. Then today she gets to have show and tell. She is really excited about it too.

She chose some typical kid stuff, her Ariel doll, Baby Pete (he's in pink), her baby jaguar, and blue baby, polly pockets,etc. But she also chose some uniquely Kira things. For one she brought her anatomy book. She is going to tell her class she "wants to be a doctor, and all about the human body!", she brought our matching turtle necklaces, and her scrapbook. Should be fun, wish I was there to see her presentation.

Evan did this while I dropped Kira off at school. He said his trains are in line getting ready for recess. "I'm pretending I'm the preschool teacher, and they are the kids!"

My Bad.

Gosh, I didn't realize it had been almost week since Iposted! Oy.

Sorry! We had a really busy weekend, but it was fun! On Saturday we spent some time with Aunt Kim and Aunt Katie and Collin. We hung out my house mostly and just relaxed. The boys played trains, and Kim and Kira made Rice Krispie treats.

The week is already flying by. I spoke with Kira's teacher today and she said Kira is great. I asked her if her chattering was a problem at all, and she told me not really. She said she has a hard time getting after Kira, because while chatting, she still works....the problem is that the person she is talking too isn't likely to be as good at multi-tasking! So she has had to remind her a couple of times.

I'll be volunteering once a week in the kids classrooms, though Evan has to wait until mid-August. The pre-school teacher wants to have them be a little more comfortable and independent in the classroom. Evan is doing really well, and I just keep getting told how sweet he is.

Kira was also chosen to be Star Student! this week. She gets to bring home a canvas bag and fill it up with things that she wants to share for show and tell. She is really excited. Each child gets a week, and she is first!

I think this is a great way to let each kid be special and at the same time avoid dealing with a weekly show and tell for everyone in the classroom!

This week we have also had some crazy monsoon rains, and so I've been turning off the computer in the afternoons due to the lightening.

Here are a couple of pics of Kira and Kim making us goodies!

I'll try to get back on the ball with my posts!

Rotten kids!

So getting Evan to tell me about school has been like pulling teeth. He tells me "I had a snack and played on the playground". Then Shawn gets home. And he goes on and on and on about his day, and details everything for him. I get the leftovers.

So tonight at dinner he's detailing for Shawn, and he tells him, "I learned my name today E-V-A-N, now I can spell it". I wanted to cry. I couldn't believe that something like that would make *me* emotional, but geez! I'm practically begging this child to tell me about school,and he saves that doozy for his dad! No fair!

Kira on the other hand won't stop telling me. Today I volunteered in her class. She mostly pretended I wasn't there. She was really indifferent to me. Kind of strange, but ok. She does really well, but her table got kept in for a few minutes of recess....for....drum roll please! TALKING! (Boy, she is a little like me after all!) I got in trouble for this from kindergarten till the day I graduated. Every teacher. *shrug*. I guess she'll figure it out...or get in trouble. ;)

After school I got a call from Evan's school. Turns out they missed one of his immunizations at his check up and he needs it to stay enrolled. I called the Dr. and they fit him in today. Great right? No. We also had a dentist appointment this afternoon, and right before Ev's nap he asked me if he had to get shots. I told him "Nooooo! Silly this is for cleaning your teeth, you already had shots!". So I wake him up from his nap with end-of-the-world news. That yes, indeed, he has to get a shot. Man was he upset with me.

But he lived through it. And for his trouble his teeth were perfect, and he scored a lost hot wheels at Target. (Found it in the shopping cart!)

Whew. Close call for me.

So I'm off to veg now. Long day.

Ethan David!

Dan and Dawn welcomed their new baby boy to the world yesterday! He is just darling! I am so jealous of those perfect little round c-section heads! My kids had such enormous coneheads...;)

He was 8lbs 2oz and 19 1/2 in. long. He is just chubby. He refused to look at us, opening your eyes is over rated. But he made lots of cranky faces for all the flashes from the camera!

Here he is being snuggled by me and miss Kira!

It's here! The first day!

Wow. How much fun! Kira was sooooo excited. Evan still very skeptical of how fun this would actually be! I'll post again with the verdicts later.

Evan was not interested in waking up. He turned over and put his pillow over his head when I tried to wake him. I eventually sent Shawn after him. I can't wait till he's a teen!

Kira (*my* child!) woke up to the flash! She had the biggest grin on her face and said "It's time for school!?"

The purple My litte Pony backpack!

I wonder if he is always going to be this difficult to photograph!

Thomas backpack of course!

Got that handraising down! I asked "Who's ready for school!" And they both raised their hands and said "I am!"

Daddy walking her to meet her class to line up!

The very first line leader!

Walking to class.

Miss Cassie and Chloe (Both in pink) doing "Hand on our hip, finger on our lip" to remind them to keep hands to themselves and voices silent when walking down the hallway!

Evan taking his sweet time walking to his class!

Daddy getting the door for him!

He walked right in, started a puzzle and barely took the time to give a quick peck on the cheek. Guess he's ok!

I'll be back later!

Kindergarten open house!

My camera was dead. D E A D. Dead. Sucks. So no pics.

But Kira had lots of fun meeting everyone in her class. The strange part is we know 3 little girls going into kinder. All three of them will be in Kira's class. So crazy.

The school served pizza and soda for dinner, but Galan and Shawn decided Pizza *out* at Argenziano's, a nearby Italian place, sounded better. So the 8 of us went there. There was over an hour wait for Pizza, so we decided to just order regular food. Sooooooo glad I saved up my flex points this week for weight watchers! I really enjoyed my manicotti and garlic bread!

Kira's teacher is a tiny little thing, maybe a little taller than me, but probably about 100lbs and she just gave birth 3 months ago. Is that a requirement to teaching K's? My Kindergarten teacher was so little also.

She seems really on the ball too, so that is great. And the kids should be reading *and* writing complete sentences by the end of the year. Kira will be thrilled with that!

So school starts Monday! I can't believe how fast it goes. Kindergarten? Holy moly.

A day at the Lake!

So Katie and I took the kids along with some friends to a lake. I already forgot the name. Parker something.

Chris and Tahna and their kids were there too, and we had a wonderful time! Tahna is not so good with actual time...our 45min. drive was an hour and fifteen...but it was cooler and the kids had fun, even if we didn't get to stay long, so we'll forgive her!

Also today was Evan's open house for his pre-school. His teacher is Miss Susan, and she was really nice. The classrooms are at a new district office, and they are HUGE, and look really nice. Evan didn't want to go at first, but then he found out they had a train table, track, and even a Percy (his favorite Thomas the train friend!)

Collin was with us so Katie and Terry could enjoy their anniversary, he didn't want to leave, and Shawn had to carry him out of the room. ;)

Tomorrow is Kira's big night, we have an open house at her school, get to meet her teacher, and see her classroom! So exciting!

So here are the pics from today.

This is such a sweet pic of Tahna and her sweet little red-headed man Ben!

Everyone throwing rocks in the lake.

How cute is this? He was just perfectly content sitting on the bank, throwing rocks and happy as could be!

Here is Chris and her kiddos, Cassie and Brennan! Say Cheese!

Speaking of cheese! Here is Miss Emma (she came along for the ride) posing for me!

Evan picking up rocks. (So I'm not much good at describing pics!)

Just a fun posed pic for my scrapbooking!

I just love this shot. I'm quite proud of it actually. Kind of artsy IMO.

This one's for mom. She likes us for some reason, so we pretend to like each other for her sake!
So our first camping adventure as siblings went fairly well. There were a few times we wished mom and dad were there. Camping is hard work, and they always just had everything we needed. With all of our brains put together we managed to have almost everything we needed. The only big issue was wood. Shawn and Jason and Terry lugged several small fallen trees and branches up the hill and then broke them into manageable pieces by standing on them etc. Did we have an axe? A saw? Nope.

We spent lots of time telling the kids to go play, being annoyed by our dumb drunken neighbors who thought we would enjoy their loud thumping music as much as they did, (we did not), playing games together, and reading. Lots of laughing, a little less yelling, and fun.

Our adventure started on Thursday, when Katie and the kids and I headed up to secure a spot. We found a good spot, but it was a ways down from where we could park. Perfect for everything except unloading! It took several trips down the hill. It was only slightly better than loading, but at least there were 6 adults to haul it up again!

We got the big tent up, and had no problem getting settled. We had the good fortune of being on a small little cliff, that had a big flat area below it. We sent hte kids to play down there, and we could see and hear them with little effort, but they were a distance away that kept things relatively quiet.

On Friday Terry and Shawn came up. Sans the packed SUV. We brought everything we could fit in my van, then loaded up Katie's highlander. Well the guys grabbed their clothes and pillows, some food, and misc. stuff and came up in the Lexus. We aren't sure where their brains were. We got lucky and got ahold of Kim and Jason before they left, and they went and got the stuff out of the Highlander....only to be foiled by a forest fire! Oy. So the mountain was closed until 10pm. But they came up anyway. So we got to set up tents in the dark, and the kids didn't care that we went to bed late...the sun was up and so were they! I think everyone but Terry and Jason took a nap the next day.

Since this is getting super long anyway, I'll spare the details of the drunken neighbors for another time.

And instead post some pics!

Shawn and the kids playing dominos. Kira kept winning.