24 July 2014

The Next Generation Begins!

Last week, the 13th to the 19th of July, Zeke and Deacon spent the week at Pine Bush Bible Camp. This was super exciting for a few reasons. One, it was the first time either of them spent a night away from home without us, except for Easter two years ago when they spent one night at my mom's. Two, my cousin, Candice, and I grew up going to and then working at this camp.  It was a HUGE part of my summer, life, etc, for a good 15 years or so. Needless to say, I was super pumped to have them go. They were super pumped to go as well, and seem to have a had a really good time.



I was also super pumped my sister, Katherine, was there to come along side the boys and lift them up when they were feeling a little down, and to just be there with them. She said Zeke did really well, and had a smile on his face all the time and loved it. She also said that Deacon wasn't as excited and kind of moved slowly like a zombie through the week, but that's essentially Deacon in a nutshell.  That kids have very little pep. I think Zeke got Deacon's helping of that.  I digress...They both said they had a great time and would happily go back next summer, maybe even for 2 weeks.

This meant Finn got to have Mama (that's what he calls me) all to himself for the week.  I do mean all to himself as Josh was in Indiana almost that whole time too. He left before the boys did and didn't get home until Thursday. So, what did the wee one and I do? Umm...

Monday we had a successful trip to the library:


Tuesday Finn "helped" me cut the grass in the backyard:


Wednesday he "helped" me do some laundry:


Thursday, Finn helped me take garbage and recycling to the dumpsters:


Finn is a HUGE fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (has been for a few years now) and before each of these chores, Finn would ask himself, "Which Mouseketool will we use today?" The answers being: scissors to cut the grass, a shovel to do laundry, and a flashlight to take out the garbage.

On Friday, Josh was home, so instead of chores, "we" played on computers: 


Like father like son.

So, the whole week Finn kept asking when we would go to camp and get his brothers. He asked every single day if we could do that. Every day.  Saturday rolls around, he climbs into bed with me and asks, "Where are we going today?" When I told him was the day we could finally go to camp and get his brothers he was all, "Umm...no. I don't want to do that today." What?! Well, get them we did, and I think it's pretty safe to say they all missed each other:



Welcome home Zeke and Deacon! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

PS. Thanks to Erna Tremper for taking so many great pictures and posting them on Facebook while the boys were gone! The first 2 pictures are from there. 

08 July 2014

From Cutey to Tony Stark

Deacon had a birthday a few weeks ago (I promise to post about it this week, along with Finn's birthday, maybe some ball pictures, horses, and who knows what else). The week before his birthday party Josh and I went to the All Saint's Ball, and my stepdad, Pappy, babysat the boys for us.  When we got home, Pappy told us that Deacon told him that he wants a turtle for his birthday. We all laughed thinking he was being silly, but the next day, of his own accord, Deacon informed me that he told Pappy he wants a turtle for his birthday and Pappy is going to get him one. I sent a text to my sister, telling her what Deacon had said, and finished with a comment along the lines of, "If he did wind up getting a turtle for his birthday I wouldn't be angry."

Meet our new turtle:


At his birthday party, Deacon had decided to name the turtle "Cutey" because that's what my mom had been calling it for the past day. Cutey came in a tiny little thing that we decided needed to be replaced.  Thus, a few days after we got him, we got this:


Oh yes. A nice big terrarium for the newest member of the Walter family. When Cutey got his new, sweet digs, we decided that a new, sweet name was in order.  After all, if a turtle survives it's first year in the home, it'll live for a solid 30 years or so. I was pretty sure Deacon wasn't going to want to bring his turtle to college with him and have to introduce it to everyone as "Cutey." So the naming game was on and all sorts of names were offered.  Eventually I got tired of it and asked Deacon, "Who's your favorite superhero?" He answered, "Ironman." I suggested we rename the turtle Tony Stark and thus it was so.  The turtle now goes by "Tony Stark" "Stark" and "TS". And "Cutey" because that's what Finn likes to call him. And really, who can blame him? The turtle is rather cute:


10 June 2014

Cafeteria Confusion

Last week, on Monday, Deacon decided he wanted to buy lunch. Since my kids rarely ever decide to buy lunch I send money with them on the days they want to rather than keep money on an in-school account. It's one less thing to keep track of I guess.  Anyway, back to Monday.
 
Monday, Deacon was late to school because he had a dental appointment that morning.  I should've known better than to let him buy lunch a day he was going in late, but I didn't think much of it before school because there's quite a bit that happens in the mornings here before we get out the door. So I put some money in his backpack and off we went.
 
When I dropped him off at school the woman working at the front desk asked if he needed lunch and I told her that he wanted to buy, she marked down on a slip of paper his lunch choice (chicken patty), and then I asked, "Can he give you his money now?" She replied that no, he could just take it with him and it would be fine.
 
It'll be fine she says.
 
That night, Deacon was telling Josh how he went down for lunch and when he asked for his chicken patty he was told that he didn't have any money on his account and was given a cheese sandwich. I asked, "What happened?" He repeated his story and said that after he was given a cheese sandwich he gave the lunch lady his money, and it was okay because the cheese was really good and he liked it. I asked Josh if he thought I should mention it to the school and he said not to bother since he liked the sandwich.
 
Fast forward now to Wednesday. Wednesday Deacon brought home from a school a note saying his cafeteria account was at negative the price of one school lunch. Confused as to how he could be negative the price of a lunch when he said he gave the money to the cash register lady I asked him again what he did with his lunch money when he got to school on Monday.  This time he told me he had given the money to his teacher. When it was time to go down to lunch he said he asked her for his money back but she said she didn't know where it was.  Soooo, a completely different story than the one told to me on Monday.
 
As this didn't sound like something his teacher would do, I emailed her and asked her what went down. She replied that he had given her his money, and she sent it down to the office like the rest of the lunch monies but after that she had no idea what happened to it because it was out of her realm of control. Looks like it's time to question the office staff.
 
Thursday, when I went in to pick up the boys, I brought the paper with me stating the negative balance,. I explained to them what happened and they assured me they'd look into it. Friday morning, the woman who originally told me that "it would be fine" called to say that Deacon had a negative balance going into lunch on Monday, so when he gave in his money it brought him back up to a $0 balance, but when he went to then buy lunch for that day, it brought him back down to a negative amount, thus the cheese sandwich instead of a chicken patty. I told her that was impossible because he had a $0 balance going into lunch on Monday and he should've been given a chicken patty. This confused the woman who then transferred me to the cafeteria.
 
The woman who answered in the cafeteria was wonderful and friendly. When I asked her what was going on she explained it all. Deacon had a $0 balance on Monday.  He turned in his money to his teacher, who sent it to the office, but because he was late to school that day, the money went back to him rather than into his account for lunch that day. Since he hadn't been given his money yet, he showed up to the cafeteria with a $0 balance and no money - hence the cheese sandwich and the negative balance.  When he was later given his money back, he brought it down to the lady at the register and paid for his lunch. She then said this should have put him back at $0 but for some reason it didn't register in the system, hence the note saying he owed the price of a lunch still.  She promised to have her supervisor look at Deacon's account when he got to work later and wipe the account clean, putting it back at $0 because that's where she knows it's supposed to be. And that's exactly what happened.
 
When Josh got home from work on Friday and I told him what had transpired that morning he said, "So, Deacon was right with both stories he told us?" Yes. Apparently he was.

02 June 2014

I Hope You Had Fun in France!

Josh has been in France for the past 10 days, Paris and Lyon for those wondering.  Tough life, right? Now that he's home, I thought I would post what the boys and I did here in lovely New Jersey while he was gone. Now, most days went like normal, nothing out of the ordinary. After all, the boys are still in school and things like that keep us on a pretty normal schedule. However, there was a holiday in there and a full weekend, and the boys and I did have a pretty good time. So, without further adieu, how we spent our time in NJ while Daddy was in France:

Sunday the 25th. Josh left the day before, so this was our first full day without him. It went pretty much like a normal Sunday. Chapel, lunch, naps, play, dinner, etc.

Finn raising his hands in praise
Daddy would probably not approve.

Monday the 26th. Memorial Day 2014. To celebrate the day I took the boys to Denville for their Memorial Day parade.We bought some poppies and enjoyed the cheering for our veterans.



After the parade I filled up our little pool which the boys swam in all afternoon. It was a very fun day.


And they had ice pops. We can't forget
about the ice pops.

Tuesday the 27th. A normal Tuesday. The boys went back to school, Finn and I did a ton of food shopping (we hit ShopRite AND the commissary that morning). Speaking of the commissary, I saw this guy there:

 Josh asked me how I was able to acquire a 
baby picture of Mothra.

What?! We also started doing this with Deacon's hair during dinner since it keeps falling into his face while he tries to eat:


It might have actually been Wednesday, but one of the nights he was wearing this bow, Zeke said, "You look like a girl! You and Mom are girls and Finn and me are boys!" To which Finn said, "No, I'm a girl too!" Then Finn straightened himself up, and while sort of sashaying in his seat said in a falsetto voice, "Hi. I'm a girl." It really was quite funny, probably because it was so unexpected coming from him. One of the older 2, sure, but Finn? We all got a kick out of it. (When I told Josh about it he said he was going to bring us all back gift certificate for therapy sessions.)

Wednesday the 28th. I pulled out Zeke's tooth! Josh has been hogging all of that fun, pulling every tooth either boy has lost so far, but this night it was my turn. Boom! I pulled it out while the boys were getting ready for bed. After the younger 2 were in bed, Zeke wrote the sweetest note to the Tooth Fairy:

"Please give me a book. Please. Love Zeke"

Side bar: For some reason, my kids totally believe in the Tooth Fairy. Santa? No. He was a real man who lived a long time ago, but he doesn't come to houses delivering presents nowadays. Easter Bunny? Pfft. Like that's even a thing. The Tooth Fairy? Like Linda said, she is LEGIT. I have no idea why, but there it is.

So he writes that note, and it was so sweet I wanted to go to Target right then and get him a book to put under his pillow. Sadly, I was the only adult in the house, so I couldn't. Good thing I found a "good idea hand grenade" and launched it at myself. I totally ordered a book on Amazon, printed out a picture of the book and wrote a note on the picture from the Tooth Fairy:

"Dear Ezekiel, Congratulations on losing another tooth, and thank you for the sweet note! I like that you asked for a book. Sadly, I don't carry books with me - they get too heavy. But what I did was give a book to the mailman to give to you. I asked him to give you this Amelia Bedelia book, and he said he will bring it to you on Friday! Remember to keep brushing your beautiful teeth! Love, the Tooth Fairy"

Zeke. was. pumped. Not only did the Tooth Fairy get him a book, but it was a book he had been reading in school. "It's like she knew what I was reading in circle and got it for me!" Way to go Tooth Fairy! Well played.

Thursday the 29th. Thursday we had a play date after school. When it's nice out I like to let the boys play at the school playground when they get out of school before we go home to do homework. Most days another little boy from one of the kindergarten classes plays with them. On this Thursday, this boy's mom invited us over to play and have dinner. The boys all had a blast, I had a nice time hanging out with her, and she made a delicious homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner (one of my favorites). Sadly, I don't have any pictures from this day, except for her kitchen, because I walked into it and sort of fell in love.  But it's not a great picture, so I'm not going to share it.

Friday the 30th. Friday Finn and I went to the playground by the front gate with his girlfriend, Charlotte (as well as her baby brother, Theo, and her mom, Christine, who is a good friend of mine). When I was telling Christine about the Tooth Fairy's note, she said I should have added "And here's the tracking number for your book" which I find hilarious. We have a good time together. While we were there we decided to take a little walk around. To keep the kids occupied on the walk, we picked them a bunch of little daises. Finn gave me his by doing this:


I took them home and did this:



They're still looking just as good as they did on Friday, which kind of impresses me.

Friday afternoon, I let the kids play at the playground for a full hour before whisking them away to get McDonald's for dinner. Good times. Oh! The kids also found a spider preparing a dragon fly for dinner. Yes.


Saturday the 31st. I spent 1 1/2 hours weeding and pruning the chapel garden. I had to make 3 trips to the dumpster, one of which was thwarted by a bear lumbering around near by. I scratched up my arm, and even though I was wearing gloves, I still managed to get 4 splinters in my fingers. And can you tell I did anything at all over there? No. Not really. While I gardened, the boys played, and they played hard.

That afternoon I got out the bubble blowing thing I bought Thursday (that morning Finn and I did some more shopping - Target and Costco). See, the boys were taking turns blowing bubbles for each other to pop. However, this led to problems as the the ones popping were standing right in the face of the ones blowing, and the ones blowing were getting tired of blowing, and of being occasionally slapped in the face. Hence, the new toy. The toy that the boys LOVED.


Sunday the 1st. Before I talk about Sunday, I should also mention that Tuesday was Project Jump day for the boys at school (a jump roping fund raiser thing they do), Wednesday was a band concert and art show, then Friday was Field Day - all of which made for a pretty spectacular week in and of themselves. Back to Sunday. Sunday we went to chapel and what's it as usual.  Then, Kirsten came up and we took the boys to the Denville Street Fair, where we all had a really good time.  We walked through it to start, then bought some tickets and went on some rides, then got dinner and desserts and went back home, tired and happy.


Their first ever zeppolies. YUM!

Last night I also started reading our first chapter book with the older 2. I had decided this past week it was time to start reading chapter books with Zeke after his brothers were in bed, but Deacon wanted so badly to read this book with us, that I agreed. After all, who am I to discourage reading, right? So, last night we read the first chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. We started off taking turns, but by the end the boys were happy to just have me read it. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to reading more tonight, and to having Josh there to read with us.

And that, as they say, is that, to those of you still reading this ridiculously long blog post. While we did miss Josh and it was sad not having him here for all the fun, we did have a bunch of fun. It's like Finn said to him one night on the phone when he called, "I love you Daddy, but I don't need you."